Your favorite budget strat pickups?

Cerpin Taxt

Member
Messages
650
Satisfied Toneriders customer here. I put a set of the Pure Vintage pups in my Classic Player 50's Strat that. I liked them better than the 57/62s it came with. Wasn't a huge change but I have no complaints.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,098
Crazy right!? I looked at some of the SD stuff but nothing remotely close to the $100 price point these days.

SD and DMZ both have some price increases...all the pickups that used to be $80 new are now $100, and even on the used side a lot of the pickups that used to be $50 are now $75-80.

Really does make Tonerider look a lot more appealing. A few years back you could get a pair of Dimarzio 36th PAF's for about $100 used and now it's $150. So the Tonerider Alnico Classic at $100-120 per pair new are a good value.
 

jlectka

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,876
Toneriders, as mentioned previously. Years ago I used to buy beaters or parts and refurbish or make mongrels. I learned a ton about setups, fretwork, and wiring. Back then I didn't have a lot of money to spend on that stuff and used Toneriders in all of them. I think I used three different types of single coils and a couple humbucker sets. There was nothing wrong with any of them.
 

rickt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,011
My favorite is going to be whatever came in the guitar. If the guitar didn’t sound good with the stock pickups, new pickups, especially budget ones, might not make a noticeable difference. I did, however, purchase a G&L Georeg Fullerton Signature Strat that I eventually upgraded to 3 Seymour Duncan JB Jr pickups and that did make a noticeable impeovement to the tone.
 

wraub

Member
Messages
2,149
When I got my main Strat, used, I figured I'd just live with the pickups in it before I made any changes. After a while of thinking they sounded really good at all settings, I relented and opened up the guitar to determine what were these really amazing, balanced and just good sounding pickups that were surely from a high-dollar boutique basement builder of brilliance, and found... a basic alnico set you can buy online for about $20. :D
I've seen essentially the same set from Stratosphere and other sellers on ebay, not hard to find and surprisingly good. :) Definitely worth a try for the price, at the very least you get some interesting fridge magnets.
 
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Go Cat Go!!

Member
Messages
6,971
Bootstrap have become my go to pickups for single coil bith strat and tele. I have DiMarzio, SD Custom Shop antiquities, Fralin, and Van Zandt. Maybe 1 or 2 I am forgetting. The Boostraps are just as good as these.

Q Pickuos from Croatia ae fantastic as well. I have a few sets and no bad or harsh tones to be found.

i
 

Telechamp

Member
Messages
2,616
The Toneriders in my early first run Squier Classic Vibe Teles do sound great. Those pickups are definitely staying in those guitars.

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Ron Kirn

Vendor
Messages
8,438
The Wilde Pickups by Bill Lawrence would be another choice.
Id say they would be the only choice at that price point.. and while the cost 128.00 for the set, you get a world class pickup. Pickups used by upper tier professional guitarists... I might point out.. the Micros are as fine as any other Strat set one might lust after...

r
 

greySky

Member
Messages
237
The mim vintera pickups are pretty good imo. I have the 60s version and they keep up with my ssl 1s no problem. They're sweeter and less powerful/in your face. But I don't think they're worse than the ssl1s by any means, just different. Maybe the 50s vintera pups would get closer to ssl1 though.

I asked fender about the 60s pups and they said they're basically mexi made pure vintage 65s. They sound great to me and I'd assume the other mim pickups are good as well.

Just checked though, and Sweetwater has the set for $120 now. Maybe could find them used for less.
 
Messages
69
I have been very impressed with the Yosemite Strat set a buddy of mine put in his partscaster. They are a touch hotter than my SSL-1 equipped strat but sound thick in 1/3/5 and quacky in 2/4. They are slightly above your price range, however, but would be my pick for an SSS set if I was purchasing today.
 

ozraves

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,673
Id say they would be the only choice at that price point.. and while the cost 128.00 for the set, you get a world class pickup. Pickups used by upper tier professional guitarists... I might point out.. the Micros are as fine as any other Strat set one might lust after...

r

I think you just motivated me to put the Wilde Micro Alnicos in my Tele I've had sitting around.
 

PewterCam

Member
Messages
88
Another vote for Bootstrap. I have the sun city SSS set in my old Samick strat from the 80’s and love them.

I also have the p90 hunbucker sized set in an epiphone LP. Again great sounding and for the price they can’t be beat. Great upgrade on the project guitars I have.
 

Ddur

Member
Messages
574
A set that came stock from a Am Standard from a couple years back. People are really quick to change the stock pickups on their guitars, but usually (especially from Fender) they're really good.

I have a 2008 Am Std Strat and I personally love the pickups. I don't think they have a particular name though. I'm sure that you can find a set used on Marketplace or ebay for a pretty cheap price
 

peskypesky

Member
Messages
6,701
$49

 

bluegrif

Member
Messages
5,649
They’re $109, but the Q Pickups Silver Sky set are about as nice as anything, and I’ve been a Fralin Partisan for 30 years. BTW, I said the SS set only because that’s the one I’ve tried. No reason to think his other sets aren’t equally fine.
 

Bill Dennis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,031
Bootstrap Sun City Select single coils. $50/set, they sound great, super flexible.

I currently use the Sun City Select neck and middle with a Dimarzio Norton in the bridge for HSS and it's a great match. I got the Norton for $50 used.

The Bootstrap Sweet Serrano bridge also would work great with the Sun City set. I have one of these in another guitar, it's a superb hot-ish humbucker and cleans up nicely. $40 new.

I cannot recommend Bootstrap enough!
Definitely. I Sun City selects the the Pro 54's. They are as good as anything else I have used
 




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