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Strattiest - strat pickups

bluesbreaker59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,739
I'm looking for stratty sounding strat pickups. Think underwound, vintage output and lots of that glorious strat clucky, plucky type tone. Strat players I like: Jimmie Vaughan, Anson, Mike Morgan, Kid Ramos, early Buddy Guy, etc. I've been enjoying my Van Zandt True Vintage pickups for quite a few years, especially enjoy the neck and neck / middle. But they're a little dark sounding to my ear.

Guitar is a very average weight alder strat with thin nitro finish with a JV strat maple neck.

I don't want overwound, hot, or hum cancelling. Seeing what else is out there these days.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,298
Lots of flavors out there...but Don Mare makes what I like to hear from a pickup, especially his "Josie/Vaughn" set that was modeled after my old '64 Strat: http://donmarepickups.com/

Bang for the buck? Check out Onamac Windery on ebay. Different flavor but Kerry pays attention to the details. I especially like his '64's & Texas Magic sets.

I like some of the stock Fender's too: the stock pickups in my '56AVRI sound pretty good as do their '65AVRI's & Custom Shop '69's.

Too many choices these days and we all hear tone differently.
Good luck.
 

70 Mach 1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,408
i think youre going to get 1000 responses on every Pup ever made.

imo go to the website and DL the specs. compare one ot the other and try one

most of the major mfgs have a 15 day exchange policy. SD was great with me. went thru 2 exchanges before i fell in love with
a 59 neck
 
Last edited:

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,339
Alnico 3 is your best friend.

I'd call/message Lollar, Fralin, or SD for a set with A3. Maybe a low wind Real 54 would be the closest production set?

I have this guitar, with Fender CS pups, to give you an idea of A3 in a 50s Strat:

Koch probably demoed a dozen of these guitars. I use it with fatter amps, like Blonde and Tweed style.
 

Bob T.

Member
Messages
2,936
Alnico 3 is your best friend...
For that classic 50's strat flavor, this is a key piece of the puzzle. For more of a 60's style, I would say AlNiCo 5.

Plenty of great pickup makers out there. Duncan Antiquity II Surfers (AlNiCo 5) are what I run in my Classic Vibe. Great pickups with tons of quack, sting, clarity, and all that stratty goodness. Hotter bridge pickup is great for clean and dirty stuff all across the board. However, using a neck pickup in the bridge would yield a more "authentic" vintage strat tone.

On a side note, I would not recommend the Antiquity Texas Hot for what you are after. Those have an AlNiCo 2 magnet; I do not believe they will get you where you want to land for the strat tone you seek.

You'll find something perfect for you with a little patience. Have fun!
 

Tidewater Custom Shop

Performance Enhancing Guitarworks
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,691
For what you're looking for, I personally like anything that implies the 50s - where the Strat was a rolly polly big and bright fatass thumper.

My tried and true favorites, in order of precedence:

1. Lindy Fralin Real 54s
2. Fender Custom Shop 54s
3. Fender Fat 50s

An honorable mention for the highly underrated and undervalued Fender 57/62s. But because they're stock on most of the early AVRIs, they're considered disposable. Very inexpensive in the used aftermarket, but you won't impress your friends and peers LOL.
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,381
I'd find an Eric Johnson strat set. I don't know what's considered overwound or hot, but to me, they're the most "stratty" sounding pickups I've ever heard. I had that model strat and always felt it was everything a strat should be.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,339
I don't have one but the EJ sounds 100% Strat to me.
Some dump the pups to make it less so, it seems, so you may find deal on a set.
It's a very nice set, but they're not matched. Each pup has a different style and that won't necessarily 'quack' right. Great for versatility, though.
 

SouthpawGuy

Member
Messages
2,858
The strattiest pickups I have are Fender 57 / 62s in a 2006 Diamond 60th Anniversary Strat, in which I'm sure the middle pickup is RWRP for that model.

Lots of quack / cluck / glass without being overly brittle in tone.
 

Binaural

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,953
Fender Pure Vintage '65 pickups are probably the best clean tone pickups made. Fender hit it out of the park with these and they're more vintage accurate than any boutique pickup I've ever played.
 

juh_sepp

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
425
Yes, you will get 1000's of recommendations, but the only one to heed is @VaughnC. His idea of strat tone is unsurpassed. My personal recommendation for your quest is the Onamac's. I have 50's neck and middle with Texas Magic bridge. Outta this world. My next build will have the 64 set.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,298
Yes, you will get 1000's of recommendations, but the only one to heed is @VaughnC. His idea of strat tone is unsurpassed. My personal recommendation for your quest is the Onamac's. I have 50's neck and middle with Texas Magic bridge. Outta this world. My next build will have the 64 set.
Thanks for the nice comments but I just call them as I hear them...not everybody agrees on what good tone is ;).
 






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