What Strat pickups do I want?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by atomheartmother, Jan 25, 2006.


  1. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    Right now I have some Classic 54's (I bought a used set that came out of some Fender that had them stock). The guitar that they are in is a Warmoth with a maple/maple neck and alder body. I really don't like how they sound. I find the neck pickup to be too bright and thin, and the in between positions to be too muddy and dark. The bridge and middle pickups alone are fine though. So I guess I'd like a thicker, fuller, darker neck pickup sound, and a little more brightness (or prescence) and quack in the in between positions. I'd also like the bridge pickup to be notically hotter than the neck pickup. Hum free or traditional are both fine with me. I'd also like some pickups that are a bit hotter with ratings in the 6's and 7's.

    Any suggestions or am I asking for too much? :eek:
     
  2. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    Everytime I see this question I feel it is my duty to sign in and reply "Van Zandt Blues".

    I like the Fralin blues & Suhr V60's as well, but if I could only have one set it would be the Van Zandts.

    Also, Stephens Design. I don't have personal experience with these, but listen to the clips, read his web site and check out the reviews on HC. I think he makes it clear what his mission for sound is. Listen to the clips.

    http://www.sdpickups.com/

    Good Luck!
    Jeff
     
  3. Grap

    Grap Member

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    You can do a lot worse than G&L CLF pickups as fitted to the Legacy and Fullerton models.

    I have a Legacy and Fullerton fited with them. The ash/maple Fullerton is bright, breathy & 50's sounding, and alder/rosewood Legacy is darker & more modern. The nuances of the wood show through.

    This track was recorded with the Legacy through a Sansamp GT-2 straight into a Fostex XR-3.

    - Steve
     
  4. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    Consider a set of Fralins - two Vintage Hots and an SP43 in the bridge. You could also substitue a Blues Special in the neck position. Very warm with a definite vintage vibe and the ability to kick it up in the bridge position.
     
  5. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I have had great experience with Kinman pickups. For hotter, I think Peter Florance makes some good ones as well.
     
  6. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. But I'm not sure if I can really swing the dough for the boutique route right now. Any recommendations for a set in the sub $120 (used or new) range?
     
  7. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    I was going to say Lollar but at that price check out Bill Lawrence or Seymour Duncan virtual vintage?
     
  8. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    Well, I'm on the hunt for some DiMarzio Virtual Vintage pickups, but they are hard to find used. I've considered BL, but I've heard that they aren't very Straty. The new 200's are supposed to be better, but I really don't want to wait a couple of months anyway.
     
  9. mischultz

    mischultz Member

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    I have a Strat that I'm parting out. Read up on Pete Biltoft's Vintage Vibe pickups, and if you're interested I can send them out for $110.

    I find them to be strong, well balanced and the bridge has a very forward voice.

    Michael
     
  10. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    I know of Vintage Vibe. It's too bad he really doesn't give much info on his website. I really think that he'd get a lot more business if he were more forthcoming with information or listed options and whatnot.

    Do you happen to know the specs on your pickups? What did you ask for when you ordered? I'd be very interested in the pickups.
     
  11. mischultz

    mischultz Member

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    I *may* have a data sheet somewhere at home, and I'll check on that this evening. My main request for Pete was that the set be balanced. Not a middy Texas thing and not the scooped 50s/John Mayer thing, although both certainly have their place. These really don't give up much at all anywhere in the spectrum: it's sort of a classic Strat sound without any quirks.

    I'll shoot you an email this evening and let you know if I can dig up anything, spec-wise.

    Best,

    Michael
     
  12. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    Tried Texas Specials (hated them--no top end), Custom '54s (hated the guitar so not fair to judge), DiMarzio VV (OK, but I agree with the "could be more "stratty" comment), Duncan Antiquities (nice) and Kinman (very nice--and quiet too. Don't like the fact that you need to only mix Kinmans w/Kinmans however. Man needs to develop a humbucker).

    Best I've ever played are the Fralin Vintage Hots. Liked them better than the few real Fender stock ''59s and '62s I've played. Maybe that means they are too good...whatever--they do the job as well as can be asked.

    I have wanted to try the Lollars but to be honest, I don't think it is humanly possible to improve on the Fralins unless you made them silent.
     
  13. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    My 1960 NOS stock pups aren't making it for me either. Can you use the same covers when changing pups because I love the color on the stock pups.
     
  14. gmiller77

    gmiller77 Guest

    Bill Lawrence L280s - very "Stratty" and dead silent. I haven't heard the new L200 model, am told it sounds even closer to a Strat. It's hard to imagine - I have these pickups on three guitars, including my main Melancon and dearly love them. BTW, the Melancon came with DiMarzio Virtual Vintage - I was unimpressed and feel the BLs sound much more vintage and just have more of whatever it takes.

    Wait times can be a drag, but are usually around a month, if that.
     
  15. BSHARP

    BSHARP Member

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    Seymour Duncan 'Hot Stack' in the neck/middle position is a great sounding pup. It's also a noise cancelling pickup. I went through four changes of pickups before I settled on those. I have a SD Custom in the bridge to round out the SSH 50th anniversary Strat I've had for a while. PuPs are subjective. I just picked up a MIM Strat with TexMex pups. I like those too. They have a punchy twang that screams "I'm a Strat"
     
  16. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

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  17. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    I've had the regular (non-overwound) Repro 60's in a different Strat before. They sounded great, but I guess that I figure that I could do better for around $100. I also wanted something a bit hotter than vintage (like in the mid 6's for neck and middle, and low 7's for bridge). Also, their overwound pickups are ridiculous. Who wants Strat pickups wound in the 9's and 10's? Why can't they do normal overwound pickups that aren't over the top?
     
  18. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Member

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    I concur with this - but would also add a real sleeper - Lace Sensors. These are just amazing pups. No noise and you can run them as close to your strings as you wish.

    Jet
     
  19. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

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    I'd say try to get lucky sniping something boutique off EBay in that case. I don't think you'll get a better whole set of 3 for under $100.

    Also, there some Tex-Mex Fender sets out there right now that would be pretty good and have BIN's of about $70. I think they sound better than the Texas Specials, definately a better top-end.

    You may want send Jay at Guitar Fetish a question about that. The ad copy on both the regular and overwound show the same 5.8K/5.5K/5.35K values. Maybe the overwounds are more in the range you want.

    In part customer demand, I'd guess. I suppose a lot of his customers must get wimpy low end stock pickups in their Squiers and such and want "more power" to get that elusive SRV tone.
     
  20. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    I emailed Jay about the overwound 60's. There seems to be some descrepency about the output: he lists them as being in the 5's, but in the picture they have 9's and 10's written on them. Maybe he's just lazy and copy and pasted the description and pictures from other ads. We'll see.

    I've also been strongly considering the Tex Mex's, but the reviews seem to be kind of mixed. Anyone use these pickups? Anything that is bright and quacky in the in-between position is in the right direction.
     

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