Stock Fralin Pickups vs Callaham "Cryo" Fralins?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Troubleman, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    Remulon V Beta Colony
    I've been hearing a bit of buzz (good stuff) about the "cryo" process to which Callaham's version of Lindy Fralin's pickups are subjected. Anybody here have experience with this/Callaham-Fralins?
    I'm looking for replacement pickups in my Limited Edition Vintage Player's Strat (not a big fan of Texas Specials). Fralin Vintage Hots are on the short list, but I keep hearing things about Callaham's "cryo" process and what it does to those pickups.
    Chime in tone-heads, I'm listening...


  2. Igneous

    Igneous Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    I know it doesn't do anything good to valves. But I wonder if its different with magnets. Bump.
  3. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    NJ out of England
    Why bother? Is the process free?
    Fralins sound good just as they are.....

    Best, Pete.
  4. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Northern VA
    The cryo treatment appears to be working on my wart so why not pickups?

  5. Cap'n Fingers

    Cap'n Fingers Member

    Oct 4, 2005
    T-Town. Home of street construction hell!
    LOL! :roll

    Beware of cryo treatments. It probably doesn't hurt pickups,(maybe the paraffin if they're dipped), but a friend of mine got talked into having his Mandolin
    treated. It wasn't pretty.:eek:
  6. Docgab

    Docgab Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I would have to politely disagree with the statement that cryo treating tubes/valves does nothing. There is a subtle difference when used in home audio equipement, esp in a high gain application ie. phono stage. I have cryo'ed tubes in my CAT Refernce pre-amp, they did smooth and warm the sound somewhat in a positive way. Whether it is worth the expense sonically I am not sure. Likey of no benifit in guitar amps.

    There are some discussions on the web that I have run accross. Most think that cryo'ing circuit boards, wire etc alters the crystal structure of the metal. Which inturn casuses less signal degredation and thus removes some of the harsh graininess in some circuits. If this is BS I am not sure but some swear by it. I kind of like the idea for guitar pick-ups.:D
  7. mainsale

    mainsale Member

    Nov 16, 2002
    Cape Cod Blues
    I've got an American Standard Tele that I put Callaham guts into. I used Callaham cryo treated pups, wire, bridge with compensated brass saddles and his control assembly which I'm not certain is cryo or not. In any event it is a wonderful sounding traditional Tele, that I've had for more than five years now without the thought of ever selling it. I'm pretty sure the Callaham pickups are 3% underwound. As to the cryo treatment, I've also read that it makes a measurable difference in electrical transmission. If you are interested in getting traditional Tele tones, I say go for them. Everything I've ever gotten from Callaham has been of superior quality.
  8. Nickcha

    Nickcha Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Clearwater, Tampa Bay
    I have a nice Nash Strat which I had built with all Callaham Cryo metal parts as well as his treated Fralins. I never liked Fralins for my purposes because they were a bit too thin or strident sounding to me. However, I took a chance on the Callahams because they were reputed to be a bit warmer w/o sacrificing that Fralin definition. After a few years with them I have to say that I think the advertising is true: they do appear to be warmer Fralins.

    I did recently change them though because they were still not thick enough for me. I went with Voodoo Black Bottoms, but I think I'll end up with Rolphs. Jim Rolph just can't seem to make a bad pup.
  9. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Pleasanton, CA
    I have a Custom Shop NOS 65 Strat that I always thought was a pretty good guitar, though I was less than thrilled with the stock pickups. I went through several sets of pickups. Some were pretty good, such as Duncan Antiquities, and some I just hated, such as the Fralin Blues Specials. I communicated with Callaham, asking them about their cryo pickups that are wound, for them, by Fralin. I told them what I didn't like about the Blues Specials, and asked how their pickups compared. It turns out that he felt the same way about Fralin Blues Specials. To shorten the story, I went with the Callaham pickups. These are the first pickups I've really liked in a rosewood board Strat. I use EJ style wiring (no tone control on the middle pickup), and I love every position, although I still favor the single pickup sounds over the inbetween positions. The solo bridge position is excellent. (This guitar also has a Callaham bridge assembly.)
  10. Formvar

    Formvar Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    I`m using the Callaham/Fralins on a strat that I pieced together recently. EJ body, MIJ neck, all Callaham electronics and hardware. The pickups have that single coil chime without being harsh. I have owned stock Fralins in the past, but couldn`t tell you of a difference unless they were in the same guitar. Overall, i`m happy with the pickups. Callaham sells the pickups on his site for $220.00/set. I think that is what you can usually find Fralins for. You could always resell the pickups if you didn`t like them.

Share This Page