Kinman Strat Pickups

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by tfunster, Oct 12, 2005.


  1. tfunster

    tfunster Silver Supporting Member

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    I haven't read too many posts on the Kinman noiseless pickups. Their reputation is that they're the best noiseless pickups around.

    Does anyone here have experience with them??? Do they sound that much better than the Fender noiseless pickups that cost half as much?? I know this is of course subjective, but everybody's opinion counts. I think I'd rather dish out the $260 to get all the way there rather than $130 and say "they're pretty good but..."

    I have a MIM Fender Strat with Rosewood fretboard, and I'm looking for a meaty, yet tight and punchy tone with not too much sacrifice in the bell like highs. Any Recommendations??
     
  2. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    I've been very happy with the Kinmans. And I do think they sound better and are more responsive than Fender's original noiseless Strat pickups, but I haven't tried their newer Samarium Cobalt pickups. I suspect those would be closer. I don't, however, believe any of them sound exactly like true single coils. But in the context of any mix at all, they're extremely convincing and seem to have a little extra muscle.
    Having said that, I don't have Kinmans in all my Fenders. I like them a lot (particularly for recording - where you can get that big, woofy front Strat pickup sound with zero hum), but actual single coils still have some quality of stringiness I've never quite heard in any hum-cancelling design. Especially when played clean. Still, the majority of the time I could be completely happy with only the Kinmans.
     
  3. tonedrip

    tonedrip Member

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    Look out for the new Suhr noiseless pickups... they are apparently phenomenal. Do a search on the TGP ..lot's of talk going on.
     
  4. xroads

    xroads Member

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    I have Kinman Blues Set in my Edwards Strat:
    for crunch/overdriven sounds, I don't hear a difference compared to any single coil.
    For completely clean sounds, they lack a bit of the bell like clarity excellent (real) single coils have. They have a little more mids, that can partly be dialed out at the amp.
    The upside is that there is NO hum or noise whatsoever.
     
  5. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    The Kinman's are much better then the Fender noiseless and the upside of the Kinman pickups far out weighs any negatives I can think of. The are more balanced string to string, sounds great when using overdrives, does not hum even when using high gain pedals in front of the amp and to my ears sounds like single coil pickups.

    I remember a guy playing my tele saying the guitar sounds great but then making a comment on how there was something with all that noise and unheard frequencies (some blabber like that) etc... that made single coils unique. Personally when is noise magical, and if it is at what point does it become so?
     
  6. Scott Cioe

    Scott Cioe Member

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    I agree with this. Some friends and I compared a few different sets of pickups including the two you mentioned as well, among others, a set of Lindy Fralin Blues pickups.

    The Fralin's were the clear winner for cleans, but the Kinman's definately were better for OD / Crunch.
     
  7. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Kinmans are the best noiseless single-coil pickups around.

    I've got a set of the new Fender Hot Noiseless (with the samarium-cobalt magnets) and while they sound REALLY good, the Kinman Woodstock+ sets that I have in 2 guitars simply sound better, clean and overdriven. More three-dimensional, more clarity, more balance.

    --chiba
     
  8. tfunster

    tfunster Silver Supporting Member

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    So, would you guys say that with the Kinmans, there is a slight difference between them and a true single coil???
     
  9. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Like I said earlier this pickup IMHO is the only way to go, but I hate hum more then worrying about whether it's 100% percent accurate. If I rated it on percentage scale compared to a single coil I would say it's 97% of the way to sounding just like a single coil.

    I have owned Schecters and Tom Andersons and have played all the Noiseless Fender stuff, the Kinmans are in another galaxy when comparing their pickups to any other noiseless variety.
     
  10. CGrisamore

    CGrisamore Member

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    I put a set of Kinman's in my '57 reissue Strat a couple of years ago and in order to test how true to vintage they sounded, I pulled my '69 Strat (not a reissue) out of the closet, plugged both into a Twin Reverb and switched back and forth for about 30 minutes.

    I was totally satisfied with the Kinman's and felt that they nailed the sound and the difference in hum was HUGE.

    One point: the Kinmans are very sensitive to height adjustment and you need to take some time and care in dialing in the sound you want. In particular the amount of quack is very dependent on the height differences between the middle pickup and the other two. In my case it was well worth the effort and money well spent.
     
  11. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    I'm interested in Kinmans, but for the price, I'm waiting for an informed and comparative review of Bill Lawrence's new L200. Bill's L280s were intentionally designed with a more flat response than vintage Strat pickups, but request for a more vintage Strat tone (and due to challenges from people saying it couldn't be done either as noiseless or without alnico) he designed the L200.

    One more thing it is not correct to say that noiseless single coils "don't sound like true single coils." Though what may be meant is that they "don't sound like some particular vintage single coils" which may be true and true by small degrees.
     
  12. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    Suhr does not have new noiseless pickups. The suhr silent coil system is a mod to the actual guitar and electronics that uses his standard v60lp pickups. the pickups themselves are real single coils. he adds a passive circuit that cancels noise. the pickups themselves remain the same, which is why it sounds so good!
     
  13. mojoslide

    mojoslide Member

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    mattmccloskey, do you have any more info on what Suhr's system is exactly? I'm very curious. Also can it be used with any single coil pickup or just the v60lp's?
     
  14. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    I don't know exactly how it works- it is a new 'proprietory' technology. On the suhrs with the system they actually route an area of the body under the pickguard and install it, and then cover it with a veneer of wood, or so I gather. I think it is similar to the idea of a dummy coil of sorts, but is more specific and involved, without actually changing the pickups themselves at all. I guess they have found something that can cancel the 60 cycle hum that can be away from the pickup, and not part of it. That is about all I know, and just the gist of it. It works.
     
  15. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I've had my SRV strat now for 13 yrs. Its been through about 5 PUP changes before I settled on the Kinmans. I've had them about 4 yrs now and I really have no complaints. I only wish it had maybe a bit more treble when I use the Neck Pick up...........but only when I'm going straight to the amp. Otherwise my Tubescreamer adds a nice treble boost.


    That said I think I'm gonna experiment a little and grab a set of those new Suhrs from Acme when I get a little Xtra Ca$h. I'm hearing to many good things and after 4 yrs I need to freshen up and old friend and make her exciting again..........:p
     
  16. tfunster

    tfunster Silver Supporting Member

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    What are the kinmans that you have??
     
  17. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    ...and do keep one all-important thing in mind. Pickup comparisons don't mean much if they're not done with the same guitar. I'm sure most of us have learned that lesson but it bears repeating. If you've ever tried to "cure" a guitar that wasn't working for you with a pickup change, only to find it just sounds like a variation of that particular guitar's inherent tone, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
    That said, also keep in mind Kinman makes several models of Strat pickup. For that traditional "front pickup only tone", the vintage set is killer.
     

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