What pickups for custom Stratocaster?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Fatso Forgotso, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Fatso Forgotso

    Fatso Forgotso Member

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    Hi guys, I have a question regarding pickups for a Stratocaster I will be putting together. These pickups will be going in my Squier Stratocaster until I'm able to buy a Highway 1 Body and a nice neck for them to go into, as well as better hardware and other things.

    I'm looking for a fairly glassy tone, and I play funk, classic rock and blues, as well as some more modern stuff. So kinda like the tone John Frusciante had on Blood Sugar Sex Magik (he used a '58 Strat and possibly a '62), and a Claptony tone too. I play Hendrix stuff, but I prefer the tone of 50s and early 60s Strats to late 60s ones. I use mostly cleans, but also fairly lightish OD from the Laney VC30, and I do use a Roger Mayer Axis Fuzz, so I'd like pickups that could work well with light OD and a fuzz.

    I was considering Fender SCNs, Laces and also Rockmonkey pickups (can be found here: http://www.rockmonkeyguitars.com/), the Smooth Grooves in particular.

    So, any suggestions would me much appreciated.


    - Faisal
     
  2. LReese

    LReese Member

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    From a recent post on the Seymour Duncan Forum, Frusciante is using SSL-1's - I'm sure they're OK for what you are looking for.

    You got a lot of choices - Something a little different I really like is Suhr V54s neck and middle and an SD Antiquity I in the bridge.

    I also like the SD Livewire Classic II's if you don't mind dealing with a battery. They might not work well with your Fuzz though (Mayer might have an input buffer - if it down, you're OK).

    Lace Hot Gold's are OK - but right now, I'd go for the Livewires if I needed low noise and use a buffer kit for the fuzz.
     
  3. Fatso Forgotso

    Fatso Forgotso Member

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    Hmmm, I guess I was after something more like a traditional 50s/60s Stratocaster. The Antiquities look really good, but they're quite expensive. I could use low noise, but I don't think active pickups like the livewire are really what I'm after. I was thinking of getting Rockmonkeys 59s or 62s, and possibly having something less thin in the bridge.

    Cheers. :)
     
  4. Fatso Forgotso

    Fatso Forgotso Member

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    On second thoughts, the SSL-1s do look good. I do believe Frusciante has them in his '54 Stratocaster, whereas the others all have the original pickups.

    I was thinking of going with Smooth Groove 59s in the neck and middle, and I'm not so sure about the bridge.
     
  5. rockstarjay

    rockstarjay Member

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    SSL-1's are the best if you play with distortion. I load all my strats in all positions with them. Sounds great clean as well.

    If you really only play clean, get Fralins.
     
  6. Fatso Forgotso

    Fatso Forgotso Member

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    Ahright, I might be going with the SSL-1s or Rockmonkeys, seeing as I like to use light OD and some fuzz also, and I don't like using cleans all the time anyway.

    How are the SSL-1s in the bridge positions of your Strats? The Rockmonkeys are apparently thin in the bridge, and I want something quite funky and not so thin, but with bottom end.


    Possibly the Smooth Groove 59 in the neck and middle, and the SSL-1 in the bridge if it's what I'm after?
     
  7. Fatso Forgotso

    Fatso Forgotso Member

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    Also, there's a good chance that the Stratocaster will have a maple fretboard. I read that SSL-1s are better suited to rosewood boards. rockstarjay, dyou have the SSL-1s in a Strat with a maple fretboard? If so, how are they?
     
  8. rockstarjay

    rockstarjay Member

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    I have 2 rosewood board strats loaded with them. 1 hard ash with vintage trem and 7.25 neck radius; and one alder strat plus with the modern neck and american series bridge.

    Sounds awesome in both, and they are very different strats.

    I don't own any maple board strats. But Frusciante's strats are maple board and his sound great as well.
     
  9. Fatso Forgotso

    Fatso Forgotso Member

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    Yeah, he has the SSL-1s in his maple boarded '54 that he used a lot on Californication, and I really, really liked that tone. They also sound like they'd be capable of funk, Clapton and other blues, and also surf and other genres I'd like to explore.
     
  10. rockstarjay

    rockstarjay Member

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    Honestly, I love mine and couldn't recommend them more highly.
     
  11. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Supporting Member

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    I love my Don mares for single coil tone. I am also pleased with my JB jr (bridge), ssl-1 and little 59 (neck) for thick P-90 style tones.
     
  12. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I love the Rio Grandes I put in mine almost 10 years ago. Stelly in the bridge, Muy Grandes in the middle and neck.
     
  13. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    Van Zandts. True Vintage neck & middle. Vintage + for the bridge.
     
  14. stratoskier

    stratoskier Member

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    Had my first set of SSL-1s back in the late 80s. I've tried a gazillion pickups since then and never found anything to match them for both character and versatility.
     
  15. Fatso Forgotso

    Fatso Forgotso Member

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    Ah, I think I will be going for SSL-1s then, mainly because they're the easiest found in the UK.
     
  16. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    WCR SR 331's if there's still a set left...
     

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