Strat upgrade reccomendations

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by zac89, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. zac89

    zac89 Member

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    Hey all, I've been meaning to upgrade my MIM 2006 60th anni strat for awhile now, and after a lot of home work, I've decided on certain items and just wanna know if anyone has tried em and the feed back or ideas i can kop from all of you.

    so first up, i'm looking to change the pickups. Now, I have had a set of lace sensors holy grails in my strat for the longest time, i plonked it in when i first bought it, and now i think its time for a change. I'm looking to make my strat fatter, somewhere in the vicinity of this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLp9NQd_uNQ

    so i've narrowed down my pickup choice to 2 sets, one would be the 1969 Stratocaster Pickups by Klein pickups, or the suhr V60LP's.

    Now, which would be a better set? I play a lot of blues and rock and I know both these sets are killer, but i'm looking for folks who have some experience with these sets to chime in.

    Now other things i plan to upgrade would be the trem, Now, i know after some reading up that my strat has a zinc block. Now i've tried searching for the difference between Brass, steel and zinc to no avail, so i hoped to find out some info from you guys too. I've recently read somewhere that callaham blocks and bridges make the tone too.. bright. Now i dont wanna tick the callaham off my list cause i know they make pretty decent trems, but i like things a little bit more... mellow/warm

    I'd love to hear some tips or reccomendations from you guys =) oh and i'm gonna change the pots and caps too, and was wondering what brand of pots should i be looking out for? and should I get 250K pots ? or 500K pots?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  2. zac89

    zac89 Member

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    Anyone got any tips?
     
  3. Barnzy

    Barnzy Member

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    Pickups are for individual tastes and they are hard to test unless you buy and install, so go with your own judgement here. Maybe go with a brand that allows returns/exchanges. You'll get better at understanding descriptions after you go through a few sets (...and I'm 37 and still learning here myself...tons of options with pickups!!). For bridge I think Callaham is the best option...don't get worried about brightness, this may or may not be so for your guitar and you can compensate through tone caps choice and settings anyway. It's a better built bridge for sure with great sustain. Pots can be CTS, Bourns or Alpha made and places like RS guitarworks offer the best here. CTS is likely best and 250k is best for singlecoil strat pickups generally. Experimenting if fun and expect to make changes throughout your guitars life because nobody gets it right the first time and your needs will change over time as you add new gear.
    Good luck,
    Barnzy
     
  4. otaypanky

    otaypanky Gold Supporting Member

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    I've learned that installing the right wiring kit can make a big difference, big enough that pick ups I was planning on changing sounded just fine. You might try starting with that and see what you have. If the wiring you have in the guitar now is not bringing out the best your pickups have to offer it probably won't no matter what pickups you install
    I use RS kits in a number of my guitars and like them a lot. I have Klein pups in two Strats and I love them
     
  5. Trobbins3

    Trobbins3 Silver Supporting Member

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    Just put Lollar's in my Highway One and is blows me away the improvement. I'm may switch into Lollar's in my '57 Reissue now...

    I would recommend Lollar Special S pickups for a rich fat tone.

    RS Guitarworks for your pots, caps, etc.

    Have fun!
     
  6. SLBlues

    SLBlues Member

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    As "otaypanky" wrote, I would recommend a good wiring kit such as RS sells and a Callaham steel block before changing pickups. You can use different type strings to tailor brightness to some degree along with the tone cap. But you need good pots, wiring, etc prior to doing that IMO.
     
  7. Gevalt

    Gevalt Member

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    Definitely go with CTS pots. Real carbon track and brass wiper. It really opened up my guitar from the noname pot. I thought I'd just get a better taper, and I did, too.

    The MIM zinc block is still in there, but I changed the springs to Raw Vintage and noticed much more warmth immediately. I keep the back cover off, and unplugged, I'm closer to harp than banjo. Raking the strings at the bridge isn't to tinny now, for one. Thy don't cost much more than 5 Fender springs do, and the RV springs slinky'd the heck outta the strings. Less rigid tension with their vintage-correct material.

    If your block is painted, buff it off from the mating point. Clean out your neck pocket, do the "tightening trick" with assuredly stainless steel bolts. Polish your frets for smooth bends. Consider an indie machinist on ebay for a block if you want one.
     

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