Recommendations for " woody" sounding STRAT pickups ?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Andre357, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    I have a Fender Custom shop Pro Strat that I love the feel of. Maple neck, resonant and relatively light .

    I've been using the stock pickup ( SCN's ) in it for a while. Not bad , especially for heavier rock stylings......but I want to replace them with something with a more vintage sound. Something funky with soul and character.

    I'm looking for good combination of Highs, low's and and an accentuated quack in positions two and four.

    Also, looking for pickups that help to achieve that hollow, woody tone. You know, where you hear " the Kiss of the Pick " when you play.

    Any ideas ?? I know there are many factors that contribute to the sound of a Strat. But I feel I have all the good building blocks with this strat, just want better, or should i say different, pickups.

    I'm a gear whore in general but haven't looked at replacement pickups in eons ( since the mid 80's ).......I tend to buy guitars and not change the pickups....so I'm a complete pickup " newbie " :eek:

    Did a search but looking for fresh opinions. Thanks !
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  2. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Fender '69's are exactly what you're describing. Lots of hollowness and woody tone stuff oozes from those things. chimey harmonics an all that junk.
     
  3. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    Ooh, I kind of disagree there. I'm not sure I have a better suggestion, but I had a set of AY CS69s in a Strat that I sold a few months ago. At low volume it sounded fantastic, but as soon as I would turn it up, they were unbearably harsh - they were way too bright.
     
  4. jamison162

    jamison162 Supporting Member

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    The CS69's are good, but a little too weak for me. So I agree with the above and them being a little too bright. They are also NOT calibrated so the bridge position is esp. bright.
     
  5. cugel

    cugel Member

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  6. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    Wait no, I do have a suggestion. Having read your original description, I think you might like the set that comes in John Mayer's sig. Strat (Big Dippers). Check out my soundclick - there's a song on there called "Hope I Heard You Wrong" that I used that guitar for, and it's as vintage Strat vibe as it gets. Only one caveat to those pickups - they're not made for separate resale, so you'd have to ebay them and on ebay they can get pretty expensive.

    If that's not your flavor, or if you just can't find them, I'd highly recommend looking at something from Don Mare, Lollar, or maybe Nick Sorenson (Rocketfire Guitars). He's got a special running in the mfgr's emporium on the Strat pickups for something like $270 a set, which is a pretty good deal.
     
  7. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. And I'll certainly listen to that clip.


    Keep em coming !
     
  8. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Well they are, but not calibrated means just like the real ones were. That's how you get those good notched sounds. When you have a stronger bridge pickup, it dominates when combined with the middle pickup. Yes they are bright, and that's where the chimey sweet tone comes from. The highs and lows seem accentuated because there is less mids, and that's why they give an amazing clucky pick sound in the notched positions. So "kiss of the pick" is there in spades.

    Going by this description "Good Highs, low's and and an accentuated quack in positions two and four." Well that's as dead on a description for the '69s as you'll find.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  9. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Hey Shark Bite, nice clip and playing man - what amp and what pickup settings were you using ??


    Also, anyone have or used Fralin Vintage Hots ?? Do/did you dig them ??
     
  10. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Intersting - I may look into these.

    Hollow, woody and stringy I guess is the ultimate tone I'm going for......I had an Eric Johnson model when they first came out that came close to this sound ( I wonder if I should try those pickups, are they sold seperatley ? )

    I bought this KILLER tele a few months back ( custom shop s1 tele, 63 custom pickup in the bridge and twisted tele in the neck )...........the pickups on that are so freaking good I had the revalation I need better pickups on this strat....
     
  11. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    Staying with Fender pickups...those that are in the Rory Gallagher Strat..."woody".
     
  12. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Take a listen to this clip. It's got the stock '69's pickups in it. Around the 2:00 mark it's amazing, clear chimey. I love how these pickups accentuate the pick attack, and that is in part where the cluck comes from. When you have scooped tones, the attack is accentuated. Overwound or hotter pickups don't do it.

    Not too bright here, just great, great tone. check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RkQP9BVZ1U
    Secret to great old strat tone: use weak pickups and crank the amp!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    Thanks. That song was done direct into my 72 Deluxe Reverb. Tones usually rolled back to the 6-7 range, volume as needed. I think I was using neck/mid for the solo, and maybe just mid (or bridge? can't remember) for the rest. Come to think of it, I used that guitar for a lot of recording recently. The tune "Released" on there had a bit of that Strat in it too, although that went through a stereo delay pedal into a Vibrolux on one side and an old Traynor Bass Mate on the other. But that was tones dimed, mid/bridge. The other texture parts were done with a Casino straight into the 'lux.
     
  14. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    No link to the clip :)


    I hear you about weak pickup - I use single coils exclusively now just for that reason....

    I love relatively low output pickups for sure...

    Show me that clip will ya ??


    EDIT _ I see you posted it ( or i missed it , duh .... )
     
  15. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    Clip? I'd be curious to hear this myself.

    Admittedly I didn't spend a ton of time with the CS69s. I used the guitar through maybe 4-5 different amps, and played it at maybe 4 different gigs. I was really thrown off my game the whole time, too, because it just didn't sound right to me. That's why I went back to playing my JM more actually. I realized I wanted something that sounded more like an early 60s Strat than a late 60s Strat.

    Andre, a good starting point if you're really curious to hear these 69s would be the Classic Player 60s Strat. It's a really high-end MIM model, designed by CS master builder Greg Fessler. Most GC stores usually carry them - sonic blue or sunburst. That's got the CS69s in it, and you can give it a nice little test drive without buying anything or re-wiring anything. But like I said from the onset - I'd highly recommend playing it both loud AND soft before making up your mind on the pickups, because that was the mistake I made.
     
  16. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    Oh there's the clip... that's actually a great demo. It'd even inspire me to give the pickups a second try if it weren't for the fact that I don't play with effects or an Orange. I guess I've already sort of figured out that the pickups aren't going to give me the tone I'm looking for through any of my amps.
     
  17. Freedom

    Freedom Member

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    A set of CS69 can do that...and if you lower them a little bit they do it even better... ;)
     
  18. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Nice man ( and I love freaking Highway Star ! Machine Head is one of the GREATEST rock albums ever made ! ) Also dig the delay stuff around 3:30...

    Is that you ?

    Hey that strat looks similar to mine ( I have it in white though -but I have the 70's headstock )...

    These do sound very good.....hmmmm

    Should I be worrying about the 12" radius I have on my neck relative to pole staggering or anything ??

    Like I said, although being a gear whore I'm sort of a pickup newbie.....


    Also, are the fender 69 pickups i can buy online same ones used in the custom shop models ?? I heard they may be different ( different cloth on the wire or bobbins or something )
     
  19. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    It's up there, I forgot it first time around, duh!

    No that's not me, I just did a quick search on those pickups and that's the first one I clicked on. I think it sounds really accurate as to how those pickups sound. I had three guitars with them. The thing is they supposedly come on the MIM 60's player but they do not sound the same. Something's different about them.

    I never bought them separate so I don't know if they'd be the same ones. Supposed to be.
     
  20. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    I rock a set of Fender Texas Specials in my Strat and in the neck position the amount of wood tone I get is amazing. It's pure, unadulterated Stratocaster sound.
     

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