Can't Decide On Pickup Change

Discussion in 'Fender' started by VicodinDream, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. VicodinDream

    VicodinDream Senior Member

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    I got a 2011 Fender Strat. The wiring isn't so good. It's obvious between me and the former owner, a few connections have had to be replaced. The bridge pickup (stock ceramic) shows signs of corrosion. The others, I've been too lazy too look closely at. Their ceramic, nothing special.

    I have the time comming up, and am thinking about changing the pickups. The guitar has good tone unplugged, and plays like butter. I can't decide between making it single coil (The 57/62 Pickup Set, new pickguard, some shielding, and new pots/switch) Or a JB (maybe a '59), and 2 decent single coils.

    I play a mix of everything. So talk me into one, talk me out of one.
     
  2. Crotch

    Crotch Delete My Account Entirely Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    I have no opinion on the actual pickups themselves. I'll say that I am a Strat purist. I love 3 single coils. With that being said, I did have 1 HSS strat and was pretty blown away that I could actually use the bridge pickup. I never use it on an SSS. Well rarely I guess is better than never. I've been through a lot of SSS pickups and my favorites are Klein, and Lace Holy Grails. The latter being the pickups in my number 1. Love them.

    Back to your question, if you rarely use your bridge PU on a strat than you may want to give it a shot. Might open up some new things. It did for me.
     
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  3. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    I too am a Strat purist and prefer 3 single coils. I never used the treble pickup on my previous Strat because it was way too trebley. It's a 1975 Strat and had no tone control for the bridge pickup. My current Strat has the Jeff Beck Hot Noiseless Loaded Pickguard installed by the previous owner. I love these pickups, they sound great and are completely noiseless! Also one of the tone controls works with the bridge pickup, which is extremely useful.

    I now use the bridge pickup quite frequently since I can dial back the treble. These pickups can be purchased loaded in a pickguard with 250k CTS pots, like mine, or just the pickups alone. I can't say enough about these pickups, the tone and the versatility make this Stat come alive.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  4. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Sorry for the book.... Just wanted to set the stage :slap:

    I always wanted to try the Jeff Beck set based on what I've read about them.

    Meanwhile you Strat purists are gonna hate me, but I understand! :laugh2:

    I have an American Deluxe Strat that I have hated the sound of since shortly after I bought it. Why did I buy it? It was a gift from my wife, I knew everybody needs a Strat (right?) and it was an American Deluxe after all.... Bought it used without playing it first. American, had to be good, right?

    It came the the N3 noiseless pups and they were quiet alright, but also devoid of tone at least to my ears. Brittle, tinny and thin, like the poster above said, forget using the bridge pup.


    Had a friend of mine ask to borrow it some years ago and I gladly let him. I haven't missed it.

    I have a MIM Strat that came with a SSH config that has worked out very well for me. I like the fatness of the hummer for some songs and for over-driving.


    Recently I changed it over to HSH and had the extra hummer lying around, so I asked him since he liked the sound of mine, if he'd like me to put it in that Strat he has.

    So last night I did. But what to do with the other 2?

    Turns out at my last visit to my friendly neighborhood music store they had a pulled set of Fender 57/62 pickups in the box for a reduced price!

    I didn't know how they would sound, obviously, but they were Fender vintage style so i figured they HAD to be better than what I had.

    Yes they do! The neck is very full and almost springy, but not muddy, which to me is amazing. It is actually a usable tone now.

    The middle is a nice balance without too much bite or bass.
    (I put the leftover pickup from the set into my Mexicaster) :thumb:

    And the hummer is a Rio Grande Barbecue.
    (They also make Strat and Tele pups which have had some good reviews. I would recommend checking out their website. They have an impressive list of clients..)

    It also has the S-1 switching system I had put on years ago in an effort to get some usable tone out of those noiseless pups, but... nope!

    NOW the S-1 is AMAZING! :wow:

    I don't want to give it back to my friend anymore!:run:

    I wantz to play it! :jam: 20170619_212338.jpg

    In some of the positions it sounds BETTER than my Mexicaster at tones that I use for songs I play, through the same amp and settings! :mad2:
     
  5. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    I have a set of 57/62s in this 50's RW:
    20170617_114005_HDR.jpg
    And yes, they ROCK! Gotta REALLY spend the time to dial them in, but it is worth it!
     
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  6. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Thanks Kris :thumb:

    Coming from you i take it my gamble was a good one! That's nice to know! :cheers2:
     
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  7. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    +1 on the Hot Noiseless pickups, I've had mine for 10 years and couldn't be happier with them
     
  8. C_Becker

    C_Becker Dat Gibson smell Premium Member

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    If I had a Strat, I would put a Pearly Gates in the bridge and 2 Texas Specials.
    But I am far from a purist ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  9. gibsonguitar1988

    gibsonguitar1988 Senior Member

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    I like Fralin's in Strats. I use the Blues Special in the first two spots (neck/mid) and a SP43 in the back (bridge). I like the SP43 because it's fat and midrangey and none of that spiked treble business that makes me normally hate Strats. Still quacks in the second position, though slightly less perhaps but definitely not all gone. I don't mind, because otherwise I wouldn't have a Strat.

    Too dark is the Vintage Noiselesses from Fender. They were very dull sounding. So there is a thing as too dark too. But a good option if you want something darker.

    I wanted darker in the bridge but not too dark. Like baby bear's porrige, it's got to be just right. :p
     
  10. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

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    I've been through too many Strat's to care to mention. CS, USA, MIJ...

    it got to the point that I just swore off of them for more than a few years.

    Last year I bought a recent-made MIJ ST62 (Basswood body, RW neck) and swapped out pu's for Pure Vintage 65's, which I like better than the 57/62's - a little thicker and minus that glassy, plinky sh*t that still annoys me about a lot of Strat's, yet still has the presence of a single coil. Overall its as close as I'll probably get to the sound I want out of a Strat (Surf to Hendrix) but then again I doubt a Strat will ever be my number one guitar.

    For the bridge pickup I learned to deal. It has its uses for modulation effects and Fuzz Face style pedals.

    If I want a humbucker sound I'll just grab the Les Paul. Life's too short to mess around with humbuckers in a Strat.
     
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  11. Mockbel

    Mockbel Senior Member

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    I was just playing my American Special Strat yesterday... It is SSS with Texas Special pickups.. I love this set and I use the bridge more than neck pickup actually !

    For me, a strat is a SSS guitar... If I want to play heavier stuff I would pick the Ibanez or the R8.. both are HH
     
  12. Family Man

    Family Man Senior Member

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    Ya can't go wrong. I also used to be a SSS purist, but I've found that an HSS strat is potentially the most versatile guitar on earth. I have both variations and the only pickup that very rarely gets used on either is the middle. I love the neck pickup for smooth and creamy tones and I love the bridge pickup for rock. My single coil bridge pickup is especially nice with a Big Muff.
     
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  13. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Yeah..too much of a purist myself..I got back into Strats because they didn't have HBs! And my 57/62 50's Strat has a mean grind in the bridge through my '74 JMP Super Bass!

    Sounds like I'd dig the PV 65 set though!
     
  14. Falconbill

    Falconbill Premium Member

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    These might be a good choice for a partscaster I'm building. I do like having a tone control wired to the bridge PU.
     
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  15. Crotch

    Crotch Delete My Account Entirely Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    The best part of the Strat is that you can easily do whatever the hell you wan to it and not spend too much money to do it. It's genius really.
     
  16. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Tone control to Strat bridge is a VERY easy and fast mod..like ridiculously easy..kinda shocked it didn't catch on back then...though I would never use it..don't need too!
     
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  17. freak

    freak Silver Supporter

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    hot rails in the bridge.
     
  18. VicodinDream

    VicodinDream Senior Member

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    Sorry for the delay. Work decided to creep into my life in a far to big of way.

    I am really starting to think about the pure vintage 65's as well. Fender Strat Custom Shop 69' have also grabbed my attention. It might just come down to a series of coin flips.
     
  19. kevinpaul

    kevinpaul Premium Member

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    IMG_3489.JPG IMG_4038.JPG IMG_4126.JPG IMG_4791.JPG TI had to just spot read some posts looking for a person taking about Lace Sensors. During the past near 50 years of goofing around with guitars I tried many pickups in Stratocasters. My most recent endeavor was to install Lace Sensors in my Mexican Strat. I like the humbucker in the bride but I don't want it all the time. I did a coil split and the seven way switch mod. Fender did use Lace Sensors in a few better Strat models. The vintage tone is to be expected from these pickups.
    I really love this guitar now, I loved it when the sales guy was giving me my change. I did so many mods that I lost track. The titanium tremolo block was a total waste just like the brass block I put in my black Strat.
     
  20. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Hi!
    Of the 5 Strats I've owned (70s AVRI, '93 Jeff Beck, '96 SRV, '07 YJM and Eric Johnson), the EJ is by far the best sounding of the lot - in fact, it's the best sounding Strat I've ever played! Hence, I recommend you get the EJ pickups!
     

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