The essence of strat? Which low->medium pups?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by TGF, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. TGF

    TGF Member

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    I seem to be making more threads than actual responses - I apologise for that. Searching is not as intuitive as I'd want it to be.

    I'm looking for something different than my Texas Specials. Not because I don't like my Texas Specials, I do love them! However, I want to try both ends of the spectrum. So which pickups captures that classic strat blues / bluesrock tone? Low to medium output. Looking around the net it's sometimes quite difficult for the non-techies to discern what a pickup is, and what it isn't.
     
  2. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Since there are so many truly good vintage sosunding strat pups on the market, I will offer what I use as an excellant example of a moderately priced vintage voiced pup. Seymour Duncan SSL 2.
     
  3. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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  4. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    This is what I wanted too, and found in Fralin Blues Specials. I've had Vintage Hots a couple times before, and while nice they're more in the vintage category than I wanted for this guitar, a Music Man Silhouette Special. The Blues Specials strike an excellent balance for smooth lead tones and remarkable clarity and note separation. I couldn't be happier with them.
     
  5. bluesrules

    bluesrules Member

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    I have strats with Lollar's, Van Zandts, Duncan's and stock Fender's. While the Lollar and Van Zandt's are excellant pickups, the Seymour Duncan Antiquity II are by far my favorite!

    They have clarity and sizzle with cleans and distortion. The best part is that they have a useable 2 & 4 position without being muddy, sadly a problem I have with the Lollars. The Duncan's maybe at the upper end of medium output pickups, but hey....let your ears pick the best pickup, not the ohm-meter.

    Btw: I had Texas Specials once and I could not bond with them. Maybe the wrong strat at the time. Life goes on.
     
  6. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    Whichever pickups Fender puts in the Rory Gallagher Strats.
     
  7. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    Fender CS 54's. More usable bridge pickup as well.
     
  8. Ricky_Rockhardo

    Ricky_Rockhardo Member

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  9. JiMB

    JiMB Member

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  10. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    Fralin Blues Specials and WCR SRs are my favorite Strat pups. I also (surprisingly) like Fender Fat 50s pups if you are on a budget.
     
  11. TGF

    TGF Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions! I've also heard lots of good things about VanZandt Vintage Plus, but maybe they're in the same ballpark as the TX Specials?
     
  12. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    VZs are clearer than the Txsp's and very nice pups...I would go with Rocketfire pups...they've transformed my strat...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  13. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Don Mare "Josie" wound...next to original vintage Fender's, the best Strat-o-tone I've experienced to date in 40 years in the game. Clarity & focus sans ice pick, and a big thumpy bottom sans mud.
     
  14. TGF

    TGF Member

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    And the choices keeps on pouring in :D
    Not as simple a task as I had thought!

    By the way - I can't find those Josie pickups on his website. Are they out of production?
     
  15. TooManyHobbies

    TooManyHobbies Member

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    Either V60lp's or my preference, Suhr FL's. Don't bother looking at everything else even.
     
  16. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    All Don's pups are "Josie" (an employee of Fender back in the day) wound...but Don will wind their output to the Fender circa you desire. "Josie" had a unique winding pattern that lent itself to some of the best vintage Fender tone and Don figured it out and borrowed that winding pattern from her. I had him wind me a set of Strat pickups to come as close to my old '64 as possible (B6.3k, M6.2k, N6.1k) and he (and Josie) nailed that old tone I was seeking. After trying a dozen or so sets of pickups, no other winder came as close to my original '64 as Don.
     
  17. codyj84

    codyj84 Member

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  18. TGF

    TGF Member

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    I just saw your thread from a few months ago Vaughan. It's hard not to buy in to the hype about those Don Mare pickups, so I guess I'll be going for those! I suppose yours, and the so called Super Sport are what you'd classify as medium to hot though?
     
  19. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    One man's essence is another man's ... er ... opposite of essence!

    Anyway, Suhr V60LP's put you into vintage 60's strat territory. I haven't tried many alternative Strat pickups but the V60LP's sound so good I don't think I'll ever need to look elsewhere.
     
  20. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Depends on the Fender circa. Fender 50's Strat pickups were around 5.8k and by the mid 60's they were hotter at around 6k. Which is "better"?...very subjective, but my ears tend to like Strat pickups around 6k (like the originals in my old '64). Less than 6k and they start to sound too glassy to me, and around 6.5k they tend to sound too dark to me. However, Don's "Josie" winding pattern seems to make a big difference in the overall tone balance with no mud or ice pick. With every other pickup I tried, it was that tone balance that wasn't quite right and I couldn't correct for that with my amp settings.
     

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