Strat pickups for that late 60's sound?

sshan25

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If I wanted to get that "1967-69" Strat tone what options are out there besides the Fender CS '69 set? I like the Fenders but I'm curious to know what others are using.
 

Lewguitar

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I use Fralin Vintage Hots and Duncan Antiquity Surfers. Alnico 5.

You don't have to spend a lot tho.

Duncan SSL-1 pickups would be great too.

If you really want that '67 sound get three identical SSL-1 pickups.

If you want 60's accuracy, DON'T get a calibrated set with a bridge pickup that's hotter than your neck & middle and DON'T get a RW/RW middle pickup.
 
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Devin

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klein pickups are my favorite strat pickups. Lots of output options.

Duncan "surfer" antiquities II look good, never tried them. Look for something with enamel wire. Don Mare makes some attractive pickups but Ive never tried them.
 

rummy

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I love Fralin pickups, but I thought the Fender CS69s sounded really good for that specific sound.
 

Devin

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Vintage hots... are nothing like late 60's pickups. They are very popular though and in the right hands they sound great.
 

broken_sound

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Pete Florance ST60's have that high 6k wind and from everything I've heard nail crystal clear but semi hot sound.
 

Lewguitar

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Vintage hots... are nothing like late 60's pickups. They are very popular though and in the right hands they sound great.
You can get them wound any way you want.

You want them weak and plinky sounding?

Order them that way.

I did...although that's not my favorite wind.
 

Devin

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You can get them wound any way you want.

You want them weak and plinky sounding?

Order them that way.

I did...although that's not my favorite wind.
Hi, respectfully, off the shelf vintage hots are wound with 42ga heavy formvar wire. Fender only used this wire until sometime around 1964. They are based on pre-CBS pickups. Most late 60's strat pickups are not wound that hot and use a different wire.
 

sshan25

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To clarify, I'm not talking about what specific artists like Hendrix were using in their guitars (his weren't stock, were they?) but which ones sound like what Fender was installing in guitars at the end of the 60's decade. I've read that there was a change around 65 or so and also in the 70's sometime (flat poles?).
 

Muzzy

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Rocketfire is now making a 69 set. I've had the total 60's and there great. The antiquity surfers are excellent too.
 

Delver

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When I have found it necessary to swap any pickups, in a Strat anyway, I've used the Duncan SSL1s, they're great. I bought a set which I think were called the "California" set or something similar. Really good. I've also tried Original Vintage from Fender in a Tele and they were superb, so if they do something similar for Strats, I'd try them. The Strats I'm using now are AVs, a 59 and a 65 and the pickups in those are excellent. If they are available as seperates they are well worth a try.
 

Lewguitar

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When I have found it necessary to swap any pickups, in a Strat anyway, I've used the Duncan SSL1s, they're great. I bought a set which I think were called the "California" set or something similar. Really good. I've also tried Original Vintage from Fender in a Tele and they were superb, so if they do something similar for Strats, I'd try them. The Strats I'm using now are AVs, a 59 and a 65 and the pickups in those are excellent. If they are available as seperates they are well worth a try.
Good call.

The Cali set is a set of SSL-1 pickups with a RW/RP middle pickup and a slightly overwound bridge pickup. So it's a 50's/60's set with some "modern" updates.

Order three identical SSL-1's for a more authentic early 60's Strat sound.

But without being over wound, the bridge pickup will sound weak because of its location on the guitar...just as it does in all 50's and 60's Strats.
 

TheWayfarer84

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2,871
Do not buy SSL-1's for that sound. SSL-1's are formvar wire and sound more like pre-CBS, early 60's pickups. They're not bad by any means, but not what you are after. The Fender pickups ('65, '69, etc) aren't bad, but there is better out there. Fender pickups always sound not quite 3D. Like 2.5D. Not flat, but not as interesting as others.

What you are after is a plain enamel pickup. Which is the transition you were asking about in 65. when CBS bough Fender (although there are some pre-CBS 64's that already moved over to enamel.)



My favorites for this tone are offered by Rumpelstiltskin. He winds three degrees of CBS era pickups. Experience are the warmer 1965 "Wind Cries Mary" tone. His Gypsy set is closer to the late 60's Hendrix woodstock tone which is a lower wind and thinner edgier sounding. The CBS set sits somewhere in the middle. I personally like a CBS in the neck and middle, and Experience in the bridge.

@0:30, I think you'll hear exactly what you're after.
http://www.rumpelstiltskinpickups.com/uploads/Gypsy_Set.mp3

Klein would be my next choice.
 
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Lewguitar

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What's funny to me is that those CBS-era 60's/70's Strats were so poorly regarded that they sparked the whole Vintage Guitar market.

I thought that by the early 70's they were pretty much junk and started searching out 50's and early 60's Fenders to play.

Still don't think much of those CBS-era Fenders.

I think Jimi played them because he liked to be seen playing a shiny new guitar... (matched his image) ...not because he thought they sounded better than a '63 Strat.
 
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TheWayfarer84

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While CBS quality control was definitely substandard to Leo's, I wouldn't say they're bad sounding pickups. No one ever said Gilmour's black strat sounded terrible and its a '68/69 sporting '71 pickups. Just two different flavors/timbres. I like having both around.

I think it really took a turn for the worst when they started drenching them in poly, the 3 bolt neck plate, etc. Those design elements, combined with a lot of blemishes making it out of the factory hurt the image of the 70's CBS strat more than anything. I'd take a 67 all day :D
 
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sshan25

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4,133
What's funny to me is that those CBS-era 60's/70's Strats were so poorly regarded that they sparked the whole Vintage Guitar market.

I thought that by the early 70's they were pretty much junk and started searching out 50's and early 60's Fenders to play.

Still don't think much of those CBS-era Fenders.

I think Jimi played them because he liked to be seen playing a shiny new guitar... (matched his image) ...not because he thought they sounded better than a '63 Strat.
My memory may be failing me but I seem to remember a lot more big headstock Strats being played in the 70's than small ones.
 
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2,170
Went through the same search for a new build I have in the works. I was lucky and found a used set "like-new" of David Allen '60s Rock and Blues. I was debating between these new and a set of Kleins Jazzy Kats. The price of the David Allen pickups won me over. Don't think I'll be disappointed.

 




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