Old 05-21-2019, 09:52 AM   #1
toleolu
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Default Suggestions for Strat Pickups

I've been looking into some new pickups for one of my strats and I've reached the point of paralysis by analysis, so many options out there. DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, Fender Custom Shop, damn, my head is swimming.

I know this isn't Reaper related, but I've been so impressed with the broad knowledge and expertise demonstrated by so many on this forum that I thought I would seek some recommendations here.

Looking for something with a classic rock sound, might even consider a fat strat arrangement with a humbucker and single coil combo. I'll be replacing the Texas Specials in my parts caster and I'm already using the Fender Hot Noiseless pickups in my MIM mod.

Not looking at any active pickups, though I do like them, just don't want to route out a cavity for the battery.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by toleolu; 05-21-2019 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:13 AM   #2
Jeffsounds
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I had a set of Classic stacks in the Strat I bought in Honolulu. I'm going to put a set of these in my current Strat:

Neck

Middle

Bridge
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:25 AM   #3
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The rub is that no matter how much you read about, listen to audio of, and discuss pickups, you aren't going to know what you like until you try some in your guitar with your hands and ears. Same with guitar speakers and pretty much any other gear. Personally, I think there is too much noise made about pickups. For a given type of pickup there are surely differences in windings and magnet types, but past that I feel that marketing has too much influence on discussion about pickups. For classic strat sounds, look for pickups with Alnico II magnets that aren't overwound. Same goes for classic style humbuckers.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Tonerider

I put Tonerider Pure Vintage in my MiM Roland Ready Strat:

http://www.tonerider.com/strat
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:58 AM   #5
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I've got Texas Specials in my Squire Bullet and they sound fine to me. That's my least played guitar, though (but not because of the pickups). What don't you like about them?

James Wilsey used a stock 62 RI strat on Wicked Game.
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/in...#post-11840371

That's not really a "classic rock" sound, though. He used a custom shop strat on most of El Dorado, not sure what pickups were in it.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/show...8&postcount=13

Have you tried adjusting the heights? I find that can make a significant difference. Might be placebo, i dunno, but lowering the stock P90s in my Epi LP Jr brought them from tubby-and-muffled to the clear-but-muscular-singles tone that I was looking for.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:49 AM   #6
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When I bought my "Investment Stratocaster" I wanted the brightest most bellish sounding pickups I could get on a stock American Strat, so I watched a ton of YouTube videos to zero in on the Custom Shop Fat 50s. I could tell by the videos that those pickups were going to have that edge that I wanted, and from there was able to zero in on a range of years for Strats that would have those pickups. When I finally got my 2012 American Standard Strat, it sounded exactly like the sound I wanted and was hearing in the videos.

The short of all this is to first decide on a sound you want, and then look for people getting that sound on YouTube to figure out what to buy. If you want the crystal clear bellish sound, I'm very happy with the Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s, but listen before you buy anything.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:40 PM   #7
toleolu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffsounds View Post
I had a set of Classic stacks in the Strat I bought in Honolulu. I'm going to put a set of these in my current Strat:

Neck

Middle

Bridge
Are those the same as the SSL-4's?
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
Are those the same as the SSL-4's?
I don't believe they are but to make sure just email Seymour Duncan. They respond rather quickly.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:28 PM   #9
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Be sure to check out Lindy Fralin pickups. Lindy has been making pickups for a long time, and his pickups are really a step above most aftermarket options. Some really big names use his pickups.

I'd check out the Vintage Hot series, but the High Output strat pickups have the advantage of pairing well with humbuckers.
https://www.fralinpickups.com/produc...strat-pickups/
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenkeith View Post
Be sure to check out Lindy Fralin pickups. Lindy has been making pickups for a long time, and his pickups are really a step above most aftermarket options. Some really big names use his pickups.

I'd check out the Vintage Hot series, but the High Output strat pickups have the advantage of pairing well with humbuckers.
https://www.fralinpickups.com/produc...strat-pickups/
Yep, been seeing those a lot. Lot's of good reviews.

I'm not really looking for something with that traditional strat sound, something more punchy or beefy.

Kind of hard telling what some of these sound like though, especially since these guys playing them in the demos are so damn good.

Just listened to the Fralin High Output pickups. Really liking those too.

Last edited by toleolu; 05-21-2019 at 10:42 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffsounds View Post
I don't believe they are but to make sure just email Seymour Duncan. They respond rather quickly.
You're right, there different. So far I'm liking the SSL 4's, looks like you put one in the bridge, one in the neck, then one of their reverse wound pickups in the mid position for noise cancelling.

Still looking and listening.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:20 AM   #12
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First off, why aren't you happy with your current pickups?

When I replaced my tele pickup I went with Seymour Duncan, mainly because they had a good collection of sound examples and I was able to find one with the tone I wanted just by listening to their clips online.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:00 PM   #13
toleolu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
First off, why aren't you happy with your current pickups?
I love the Texas Specials, I'm not looking for a replacement, looking for an additional set that will give me a different tonal quality when playing along with my MIM mod with the Hot Noiseless pickups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringer View Post
I put Tonerider Pure Vintage in my MiM Roland Ready Strat:
I originally had a set of Tonerider Classic Blues pickups in my PartsCaster, first set of pickups I installed in it after I built it. Really good pickups, I replaced them with the Texas Specials but I've still got them laying around here somewhere.

Regarding the points made about not really knowing for sure how they're going to sound until you actually get them installed and start playing, I totally agree. That's why I was hoping to narrow the field a little by seeing what others experiences were. There's just so many choices out there.

The plan is to wire up a new pickguard and just swap pickguards on the PartsCaster with the the Texas Specials. When I do hit on a set that gets me close to this tone I have in my head, then I'll look around for a good used Strat, or just get another MIM strat and put that pick guard in the new strat and put the pickguard with the Texas Specials back in my PartsCaster.

Boys and their toys, right???

Never even dawned on me to check You Tube, thanks for the suggestion.

EDIT: Should probably mention I'm playing through a Fender BassBreaker tube amp.

Last edited by toleolu; 05-21-2019 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
The plan is to wire up a new pickguard and just swap pickguards on the PartsCaster with the the Texas Specials. When I do hit on a set that gets me close to this tone I have in my head, then I'll look around for a good used Strat, or just get another MIM strat and put that pick guard in the new strat and put the pickguard with the Texas Specials back in my PartsCaster.
Why not just get the guitar the pickups are going to be used for first and use that for the tests?
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:51 AM   #15
numberthirty
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Since YouTube got a mention, Earl Slick has a line of gear through GFS. If "Classic Rock" is the ballpark, a couple of the sets might be worth a listen.

"Warmtone":

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lDa...K&index=6&t=0s

" '65 Start Set":

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1Sy...&index=12&t=0s
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