Lollar Blackface or Blonde for my strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cbpickin, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone have any experience with the Lollar Blackface strat set? I have read a bunch of good reviews of the Blonde set, but nothing on the Blackfaces. His site says they are a good pre CBS strat sound, but the Blondes say they are great with od pedals.
    I am an od pedal user, but I still want great cleans and that '60's sound.

    Blackface or Blonde?
     
  2. hendrix2430

    hendrix2430 Member

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  3. EXP

    EXP Supporting Member

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    thats what i was going to say, but he says 60's so Blondes.
     
  4. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

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    No experience yet but I went with the Lollar Blackface for the K-Line Strat that Chris is building me. I wanted the classic pre-CBS Strat sound.
    Chris said it should be ready next week. Can't wait.
     
  5. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I was under the impression the tweed were really low output, then the Blondes, then the Blackface with the Specials being the highest.

    Lollar's website says the Blackface are the '60's sound, so why the Blondes. Could you expand a little more? He does say the Blondes are perfect for od pedals, and I love my od pedals.:D
     
  6. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    I have a blackface in the neck of my Squier 51. It is a great pickup. It sounds like a great old strat.
     
  7. Curly

    Curly Member

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    you might try asking Jason
     
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  8. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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  9. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    So, nobody is running a set of the Blackface in a strat? Sounds like the Blondes may be the way to go. Jason recommended Blondes with a Special in the bridge.
     
  10. Festus

    Festus Supporting Member

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    I've got Jason's Blackface pickups in the neck and middle, and a Special in the bridge. I really like this setup. The blondes are great sounding pickups, to be sure, but a bit too polite for my taste. Very clean, great Mark Knopfler sounds. I needed a bit more growl when you dig in, so I went with the Blackface/Special set. I use a couple of different pedal boards with OD's, and the blackface/special setup works great. I suppose I was after more of a David Gilmore kind of tone, if a name needs to go with the sound.
     
  11. leftyaxeslinger

    leftyaxeslinger Supporting Member

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    I have set of Lollar Blackfaces and couldn't be happier with them. They sound exactly how I want a strat to sound. They've got nice spank and quack in the middle positions, and great low end too. With my rig I can some nice Layla era Clapton strat sounds as well as some 70's era Gilmour tones. SRV is not too far away, but I don't use super thick strings or have his hands!
     
  12. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    So, to the Blonde users,
    Can the Blondes do the Texas/SRV (for the sake of a well known tone) thing, or are they too "polite?"
    Do they sustain well with od's?

    I am thinking I want something similar to the sound of my EJ pickups, which is supposed to be a '63 neck, '54 middle and overwound bridge.

    Anyone have an EJ AND some Lollars?
     
  13. Casey

    Casey Member

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    I have a set of Blackface pups in my Senn Strat. They are nice and chimey (very pre-CBS sounding as Jason describes), but they have a good full sound to them at the same time. They work excellent with OD pedals, I haven't found a pedal they don't agree with. If I were you I would start with the Blackface set, and if you find you need something else proceed from there. I've tried all of this Strat sets and that is my favorite. Two thumbs up from me....whatever that is worth to ya.
     
  14. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    .

    Interesting. I listened to the clips on the Acme site and thought the Blackface were pretty close to the Fralin Blues Specials I have in another strat. The Blondes definitely have the chime going on, but I thought the BFs were a little strong in the mids and may not sparkle/chime enough in comparison. I may go with the BF, but I definitely want something with more high end chime than the Fralin Blues Specials.
     
  15. Casey

    Casey Member

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    I've had the Fralin Blues Specials before, and the Blackface sets doesn't have the overwound mid thing going on like the Fralins. Jason voices these pickups very nicely. The mids are nice and full, but not hot/overwound. Where the mids are voiced at in his pickups sit nicely in a band mix, and keep a nice note clarity (even when overdriven.) The Blondes I had were a little thinner and more scooped in comparison to the Blackface set. The 2&4 positions have the nice strat quack, where I didn't get that as much with the Fralin Blues Specials.

    Anyhow, those are just a few observations...being as I have owned both sets I hope I can help you with a decision one way or the other.
     
  16. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes, you did help. I'm gonna go with the blackfaces. Did you try the Special in the bridge by chance? I think I'm gonna go with a straight blackface set, but I have been considering a Special in the bridge because Jason Lollar said I could even do that with the Blondes and still get the quack.
     
  17. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Well a local guy was nice enough to let me check out his Blonde-loaded strat and I really liked them. I totally get all the descriptions people have been using and they were pretty true to the clips at Acme. I did compare them with my EJ and they are a little similar in that they are very articulate, but definitely not the same. The EJ's have more output and body, but some of the smoothness is similar. The Blondes really do chime extremely well and the neck of the Blondes was little brighter than the EJ. They sounded like a great 50's strat should.
    Now I am almost more indecisive because I can't directly compare them with the Blackface.
    If the Blackface can give me a fair amount of the strat chime that I heard in the Blondes, but add some mids and body, I would be set. My fear is that the BF's may not have the crisp, chimey high-end that the Blondes do when you dig in and may be too mid heavy. I know they are both great pups, so I can't go wrong.
    Well, I've got a few more weeks to torture myself before I have to decide.
     
  18. Casey

    Casey Member

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    Sorry for the delayed response...I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately. The Blackface will do what you just said..."a fair amount of the strat chime that I heard in the Blondes, but add some mids and body." I have a Special in the bridge...and surprisingly still get a nice bridge/middle quack. I wired my tone controls for Master Volume/Neck Tone/Bridge Tone. I assure the Blackface set is very chimey. I can roll down the bridge tone a bit and use just the bridge pickup and get a very cool greasy/chimey strat tone. Try doing that with most strat bridge pickups! But if think the Blonde set will do it for you then by all means give it a shot. Only your ears know what you want to hear. I've had every set of Jason's but the Tweed...and for the sound you are wanting....I feel confident the Blackface set will get you there. I'll see if I can find a sound sample or two of my Strat with the BF set in there so you can have another reference.
     
  19. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    That would be really great. I really like the Blondes I played, but I am a little concerned they may get too bright. I played them with an ash body with maple neck and I'm thinking my alder/rosewood may mellow them out a little, but no way to predict. The Blondes are by no means harsh, just a tad bright.
     
  20. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Still got some time. Any more responses? I have been reading and listening to everything I can find comparing the two. Of course, it sounds like I want what is right in the middle of the Alnico II and Alnico V. Chime, sweet high end AND some good mid, lower fullness. It looks like I have to choose one way or the other. Currently, I am leaning toward the Blondes with a Special in the bridge.

    Casey, any luck with some clips of the Blackface?
     

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