Pedal freaks, what is the absolute best neck single coil?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by americananalog, Dec 19, 2009.


  1. americananalog

    americananalog Member

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    I'm interested in finding a new neck pickup for my MIM '60s Reverse strat. I want the best, something inspiring with a clear sparkling sound that will make me want to play in the neck position constantly (normally I hate the neck position and generally avoid it).

    I write this in the effects category because i want to hear from pedal effects enthusiasts. Not really looking for authentic blues tone. Think Jamie West-Oram, Robert Smith, The Edge, and Steve Lukather with the Valley Arts strat in the Star Licks video.

    Right now I'm looking at Lollars and Fender Custom Shop Fat '50s possibly. No active circuitry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  2. Zero G

    Zero G Member

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    What do pedals have to do with the best single coil neck pickup? I don't see the correlation.
     
  3. iggs

    iggs Member

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    All you need is here: http://www.groshguitars.com/products/pickups/index.htm
     
  4. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    I have an custom mid 80s ESP hybrid (strat neck and body w/ tele pickup routing) and I'm rocking a Fralin Tele Blues Special in the neck which is pretty hot for a strat neck pickup (7.4K ohms) but delivers great classic round warm strat neck tones from this hybrid axe. Outstanding for warm women tone overdrive AND clean curtis mayfieldy/hendrixy r&b riffing.

    The stock Fralin blues special strat set has a 6.2K ohm neck pick up, besides output differences not sure what tonal differences there are between it and the tele neck version.
     
  5. DavidLopezJr

    DavidLopezJr Member

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  6. americananalog

    americananalog Member

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    Pedals are my point of reference when discussing tone with other guitarists. It's not so much a technical question as it is a stylistic one. For that I come here to Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things. Someone in 'Guitars In General' could suggest that a Duncan SSL-1 sounds great through a 150 watt Fuchs Overdrive combo, but then again a $50 Korean Squier would sound amazing through an amp like that. Pedals are the way I present my sound and perform.
     
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  7. Miles19

    Miles19 Member

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    I put a DiMarzio Virtual Vintage 54 pickup into my CBS-era Strat many years ago, and it sounds great. They don't sell that model any more but they still have some selection of "vintage Strat" neck pickups.
     
  8. B_of_H

    B_of_H Member

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    I will just say that I prefer the sound of fralin blues specials in the neck of strats for a few reasons regarding pedals.

    1) they have that single coil sparkle and snap which is great for funky wah stuff.
    2) they don't have that annoying high end fizz sound when playing through distortion as much as traditional singles
    3) they are super dynamic so you can really go from mean to clean, the range of the volume knob is really consistent; no jumps 1-10.
    4) added output (while still sounding stratty)
     
  9. americananalog

    americananalog Member

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    That's 2 votes for Fralin Blues Specials.
     
  10. Zero G

    Zero G Member

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    For clear and sparkly I would suggest a Suhr V60LP neck pup. It is so subjective though. You're going to get a lot of differing opinions. Best thing to do is try before you buy if you can.
     
  11. Gary Ladd

    Gary Ladd Member

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    Rolph 62' neck pickup.

    P.S. If you get the set make sure he overwinds the bridge, unless you like wimpy bridge pups ;)
     
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  12. TaylorBarefoot

    TaylorBarefoot Supporting Member

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    I use way too many pedals... I have had the best experience with Fralins. Lollars are great as well. I like the Fender custom shop pickups but usually end up changing them out for Fralins. I have a set of the Callaham treated fralins in my main strat and I love every position.
    I know "most of it is in the players hands" and all that, but I think I know what you're going for here. Like I said, I use WAY too many pedals but it's because I like to sound different and I try to pull off live what's on the recordings I do. For me it's extra important that I use a good guitar that's set up well with great pickups, great cabling, awesome sounding amps and speakers that compliment the sound I'm after. Basically I try to have all good things in the chain because I poop on my tone a little running through 20+ pedals. There's also the thought that since I use fuzzes and other odd-ball effects that I need a fairly neutral source pickup-wise. Nothing active or too colored in a crazy way. Am I in the same ballpark here?
     
  13. man_mars

    man_mars Member

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    I'd say the Suhr FL standard. It sounds wonderful with all my pedals and even modelling processors. It also kinda fits your requirement of "inspiring with a clear sparkling sound". I'm pretty much always on the neck position now :)
     
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  14. americananalog

    americananalog Member

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    Great suggestions from everybody.
    3 votes for Fralin, 2 for Suhr, 1 Grosh, 1 Rolph, 1 Dimarzio.
     
  15. 55hz

    55hz Member

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    A second vote for Suhr FL (the lower output version). I used to have a fender '69 that was amazing as well. I like neck pickups right under 6k, I've found. 5.98k on three different makes, one vintage, all by accident! My favorite "wind"!
     
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  16. hathisisfunnyha

    hathisisfunnyha Supporting Member

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  17. JCM 800

    JCM 800 Member

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    My favorite right now would be a Lollar Blackface, with the Suhr FL in a close second. Overall I'm really digging Lollar pickups.
     
  18. Felixun1

    Felixun1 Supporting Member

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    I vote for Van Zandt Blues, although van Zandt doesn't seem to get a lot of attention on this forum. Best I ever heard, fralin's and lollar's included.
     
  19. TooManyHobbies

    TooManyHobbies Member

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    Gotta agree with this.
     
  20. MojoFilter

    MojoFilter Member

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    I'd recommend a Bill Lawrence Keystone across the board if you're looking for a non-noiseless. Sparkley, chimey, with low noise and plenty of body to boot.

    If you're in the market for noiseless, check out the Bill Lawrence L-200's...
    Safe to say that the Bill Lawrence L-200 is my favorite Strat pickup by a large margin. I pulled out every other single coil in my Strats because of them.

    The Bill Lawrence prices are just a bonus...they're a fraction of what some other manufacturers charge.
     

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