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Pickup recommendations for Strat

King Tone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
391
I am trying to figure out a feasible pickup change for my strat (60th annivesary). It is a nice guitar but if I have to put too much money in it, then it might be better to just move on to something else. I know there are a lot of options so I would like to give some boundaries and see what you guys come up with. In an ideal world I would probably have a suhr classic with the ssc and landau pickups or possibly a fender custom shop 56 with the same. The right tone and no noise...it would run probably $500 to do this guitar with that setup but that is not very feasible to put that much cash into this guitar. If you were me and had lower money what would you do? You can get those loaded/prewired pickguards by 920D which are about the price of buying and wiring yourself but already wired up, so that is a good deal and they have lots of different pickups. Those are about $200-$250. I actually played a guitar with the gold lace sensors like I had in the 80s and they actually sounded surprisingly good...no noise or intonation stuff, put them close to the strings...better than I remembered and I tried them in three different amps. I may be spinning my wheels and will have to move up to the big boy guitar to be happy but maybe in between then a cheaper alternative could work. These are the rules...

1. Silent/noise cancelling--one of the main reasons for changing!
2. Not too much money, because I don't have it and it may not be worth it to put too much into it.
3. Not look too weird as far as some of the crooked blade magnet things or covers that are strange.
4. Passive, no EMGs.
5. Not screaming hot I have a humbucker guitar for all that. Vintage-medium range of output.

Ideas...thank you!
 

WoodyStrat

Member
Messages
2,109
Well...I am probably one of the only folks who loves the original Vintage Noiseless pups from Fender. However, I did experiment with pot values a bit to get the performance i was looking for. They need all of 300k but not more than a 500k volume pot. Tone control is less persnickity but still 300k is great. The standard 250k pot can measure quite low, my original measured 180k and I got the standard dull, lifeless sound that folks complain about. I also tried the 1meg route which is the "ice pick in the forehead" set-up. But once they were setup, they sound a lot like a set of 57/62s. I have been running them in my main guitar for almost 15 years and they have yet to be topped for me by some REALLY expensive options. Properly tuned SCNs are a great sound also but a bit "beefy" at times, did not like the N3s at all and I have not had the opportunity to try the N4s in a strat. I was very impressed with N4 tele pups though.

Oh, no treble bleed on the VNs!!
 

King Tone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
391
fralin is not noise cancelling except the ones with the funky blade magnets like my rule #3
otherwise a favorite dimarzio?
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,204
I'll add two more to the mix:
Zexcolis
Mojotone Quiet Coils
 

King Tone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
391
I heard the zexcoils were a good sound but funky look as mentioned in rule #3
mojotone will be checked out, thanks!
 

RicOkc

Member
Messages
2,728
Fender "Hot Noiseless".

They work with the standard Strat pots and cap. , no need to change them out.

Solder them in and set the height and you're ready to go.
 

Zexcoil

Vendor
Messages
5,896
I heard the zexcoils were a good sound but funky look as mentioned in rule #3
mojotone will be checked out, thanks!
Our pickups have the highest Q of any noiseless pickup available, right in the range of conventional AlNiCo 5 based Strat pickups. Other humcanceling Strat pickups have a Q value that is just "barely Stratty". Some people like that tone, it's a little rounder with the highs shaved off, but it won't give you that Strat quack, sparkle and spank the way you want it.

The reason we can do this is that we stepped out of the box and we're using a very different approach to engineering these tones. Our pickups look different because they are different.

But, all of that being said, we've heard the voice of segments of the market that don't like the slanted pole look.

This is what the new Z-Series pickups look like.

These covers are available now, and will fit any Strat-sized pickup we make.

 

King Tone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
391
that looks great, thanks for letting me know!



Our pickups have the highest Q of any noiseless pickup available, right in the range of conventional AlNiCo 5 based Strat pickups. Other humcanceling Strat pickups have a Q value that is just "barely Stratty". Some people like that tone, it's a little rounder with the highs shaved off, but it won't give you that Strat quack, sparkle and spank the way you want it.

The reason we can do this is that we stepped out of the box and we're using a very different approach to engineering these tones. Our pickups look different because they are different.

But, all of that being said, we've heard the voice of segments of the market that don't like the slanted pole look.

This is what the new Z-Series pickups look like.

These covers are available now, and will fit any Strat-sized pickup we make.

 

scott944

Member
Messages
3,957
Plus another one for Dimarzio Areas, with a Virtual Solo in the bridge if you want a beefy bridge pickup that still sounds like a Strat.
 






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