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Need Single Coil suggestions


Silver Supporting Member
Guys, help me out. I might have just landed myself into a zone of no return, and possibly even a bottomless pit.

I played a vintage 1955 Ash bodied stratocaster recently.. This guitar is probably the most amazing strat I've ever played tone-wise. The tones were clear, chimey and VERY fat. it was really really thick sounding, but very clear on every single note. middle positions were quacky, but not thin. There was a lot of meat. almost piano-like. Very gilmour-like. The in-betweens were knopfler-esque despite using a V-pick. This was all on clean. Guitar was 100% stock.

The neck was like a baseball bat, and I'm sure that had something to do with the tone. i also played a 1956 refin that paled by comparison. The 56 was alder though...

So, what modern day single coil replacement would give me that fat tone in the neck and middle? i'm also looking for a thick sounding bridge, almost tele-like.

Any suggestions?


With many Strat pickup sets, some of those adjectives you used are actually contradictory. But there is one set of pickups I have used (and still use because they are among my favorites) that can actually fit all those descriptors listed above, and that would be the Harmonic Design Vintage Plus set. I have my set in an ash body and they really are incredible sounding pickups. I also like a huge bridge pickup so I use the Harmonic Design Super 90 at the bridge position. You would expect quack to suffer with such fat sounding pickups, but that just isn't the case with these. I think one of the indicators of their uniqueness is, for example, my neck Vintage Plus which is one of the fattest sounding neck pickups I have played and yet it measures 5.4k on my multimeter. Any 5.4k single coil should have nice, clear highs and provide sweet quack tones, and this one delivers all that. Yet, crank up the preamp on my amp and it sounds like this...

I change to the bridge pickup (Super 90) at 1:37. I don't have a clean recording for you, but the clean and quack tones are sweet and convincing.



Silver Supporting Member
With many Strat pickup sets, some of those adjectives you used are actually contradictory.
Exactly! That's why I was so stunned when I playued that 55. The subsequent 56 and 58 I played didn't have that. So i suspected it was the ash body and thick neck. but I hope these can sort out my 57 hot rod alder strat.

I'll check out some of those harmonic design clips. thanks!

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