What are the best strat pickups?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Cuthbert, May 4, 2015.

  1. Cuthbert

    Cuthbert Member

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    So many out there. I like a Hendrixy, EJ type of vibe, not looking for high output. I'm sure I can't go wrong with Lollars or Fralins. How do Fatr 50's, Custom shop '69's, EJ etc. compare?
     
  2. Hefalump

    Hefalump Member

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    Acme music had a soundboard that compared many of the Fender CS pickups to fralins. After listening to a bunch I bought the CS 54's and they are pretty darn nice.


    The best I have heard are the Lollar Blackface set.


    The CS 69's have a lot of top end and I find them harsh, however, the guy who bought my DRRI from me sure made them sound fantastic.
     
  3. Matt L

    Matt L Supporting Member

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    I just sold my Blackfaces. I obsessed over them, but when I got them, they didn't blow me away.

    I'm sticking with Fender's own pickups for now. They have a lot of choices, they sound great, and they're reasonably priced. I can find whatever Strat tone I need somewhere in their range.
     
  4. grapeshot

    grapeshot Member

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    'Best' is subjective. I like the Fender Fat 50s. YMMV.
     
  5. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    FWIW, I pickup up a set of noiseless GFS Neovin Mega Texas pickups the other day. They're far from the best, but they may be the best value (a set is about $70).
     
  6. JCW308

    JCW308 Supporting Member

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    This subject has been discussed many, many times but I really like Dimarzio Areas. Stratty and noiseless.
     
  7. americananalog

    americananalog Member

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    Original vintage Fenders.
     
  8. stevel

    stevel Member

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    I have CS54s and the middle is the best middle I've ever had.

    Not as keen on the neck tho...

    But you know this question can not be answered. Sometimes, the "best" means "the best for this one guitar", or even, "the best in this position on this guitar", or "the best for my playing style".

    Honestly, I think Fender sets the bar pretty high with their own, and any of the major manufacturers and boutique manufacturers are meeting and even exceeding that bar.

    DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, Lollar, Fralin, etc. - you can't go wrong with any of them, aside from those caveats above.

    And, all you have to do is turn that little screw beside the pickups on your guitar and you'll have a new set of pickups. So you should do that first before buying anything, because you may already have 1, 2, or 3 of the best pickups for your guitar already in it, and all you need to do is adjust the height of the pups.
     
  9. Teletech

    Teletech Member

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    I like Lollar Blondes and Vinehams.
    But like you say, it's subjective.
     
  10. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    Sounds like your looking for vintage. So alnico 2 & 3 magnets should be your prerequisite. Now all you need to do is choose a company. One of the few I would consider are Duncan ssl 1's. Fender cs54's are great too, noted for glass.
     
  11. Hollis

    Hollis Member

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    I really dig my Fralin Blues Specials
     
  12. m1911

    m1911 Member

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    I loaded Fralins in three Fender Custom Shop 56' Strats.....
    Vintage Hots in the Neck & Middle in all....
    Steel-Pole-43's in all of the Bridges...
    AWESOME Guitars!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. MONSTER ZERO

    MONSTER ZERO Member

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    Guess I'm old fashioned. I like Lace Sensors for singles. Just put a GFS Lil Killer HB in the bridge position of my strat last night. Sounds outstanding to me.
     
  14. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    oh man i'd like to hear how that rig sounds.
     
  15. Lance

    Lance Member

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    My favs are the Suhr Mike Landau's. Coupled with the noiseless back plate system, you get all the stratty-ness and none of the noise.
     
  16. stratology

    stratology Member

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    Really depends on the guitar.

    I tried Fender (the original pickups in the '82 57RI Strat and Lace Sensors), Seymour Duncan (APS and Antiquity), Lollar (Dirty Blonde set).
    D. Allen pick ups were by far my favourite.
     
  17. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    There ain't no best. Depends on the beholder and the wood they're sitting in. Kickin' tires is the only way to know...or buying a killer sounding guitar off the rack, as is.
     
  18. Tuberoast

    Tuberoast Silver Supporting Member

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    Custom Shop 60th Anniversary 54's
     
  19. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    For vintage type, Fender Fat 50s. For overall best in all circumstances, EMG SA's with SPC.
     
  20. Dumb Bell

    Dumb Bell Member

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    Off topic a bit, i've tried Duncan, Fralin, Dimarzio and other vintage pickups in my ancient Strat. All sounded great, but the lower output of the stock 1960 pickups was the clear winner. Also the little jumper wire tone control mod on the bridge pickup makes it more usable.
     

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