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2008-2011 American Standard Alnico V Amazing!

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by AJ72, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. AJ72

    AJ72 Strat-Talk Member

    37
    Jun 11, 2014
    PA
    So I walked into my local Guitar Center two weeks ago just to buy strings when I noticed a NOS 2011 American Standard Strat hanging on the wall. Since I haven't seen one in a while I decided to plug it in and holy smokes the sound was amazing! I then plugged in a 2015 American Standard with Fat 50s and to my ears the 2011 blew it away no contest. I didn't buy the guitar because I don't like 3 Tone Sunburst and I didn't like the high gloss maple fingerboard but I sure fell in love with it's sound. At home I have a 2015 American Special Strat which I purchased last year. Price was not an issue when purchasing a Strat last year but I chose the American Special over the American Standard because I preferred the vintage tremolo and block over the modern tremolo, and I also preferred the satin maple fingerboard, the jumbo frets, and CBS headstock and to put icing on the cake I got it in my favorite all time Strat color which is Surf Green. I originally liked the Texas Special pickups that came with it but about after a month I started to dislike them in a big way. I found them very nasty and offensive. They were pure midrange but in a non musical way. However I never got a chance to try other pickups in it because I was busy with my business and didn't want to open up a can of worms by getting involved in pickups OCD lol. All I kept thinking about when I left Guitar Center two weeks ago was how if my American Special had the sound of that 2011 American Standard that I would have my dream guitar. So I finally took to eBay and sold my American Special loaded pickguard with greasebucket tone circuit and purchased a 2011 American Standard loaded pickguard with Alnico V and Delta Tone. I Installed and plugged in and I was in ecstacy :). They are very versatile pickups. They can be clean and bell like when you need but also have a lot of balls if you want to drive an amp. They definitely have a midrange presence but in a sweet musical way not in an offensive way like the TS. I have to say they are VERY sensitive to pickup height and angle and to saddle height as well but after a while of dialing in I hit the sweet spot. These pickups are really special I think Fender should have never discontinued them. I now have my dream guitar. Anyone else out there loving their pre Fat 50s American Standard?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
    Elvie and ocean like this.

  2. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    The old plastic bobbin Alnico Vs were loud, and upfront pups. The bridge pup in particular was hot sounding. I loved them too when I had my '08 Am Stds. I was quite surprised when I first bought a newer Am Std ('13), with Fat 50s as they certainly didn't sound that fat in comparison to the old pups. Having played them for a couple of years I have grown to appreciate the Fat 50s too. They are more subtle sounding, and a lot more vintage Strat sounding than the old Alnico Vs, and for clean sounds I find then second to none.
     

  3. AJ72

    AJ72 Strat-Talk Member

    37
    Jun 11, 2014
    PA
    They are definitely in your face pickups. I didn't like the Fat 50s I found them flat in comparison but maybe because I got so used to all the midrange in the Texas Specials and the sweeter midrange boost in the Alnico V's. Fat 50s have a lot of fans so I won't dare to say they aren't great pickups but just not my cup of tea. However, I'm sure if I played them for a while I would adapt to them and might even prefer them. But these Alnico V's are exactly what I pictured in my head when I think of what a Stratocaster is supposed to sound like.


     

  4. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    The Am Std/Series Strat middle and neck pups were basically the same spec' for 25 years. They used a hotter bridge from 1997-2012, so I suppose you could say those plastic bobbin Alnico Vs were the benchmark for a long time.
     
    AJ72 likes this.

  5. jrbirdman

    jrbirdman Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    63
    Feb 3, 2016
    Elk Plain, Wa.
    I have them in a limited run strat (only 250 produced) and I can't find anything wrong with them. They do what you want, they can be bright or mellow and rich. One of my favorites!
     
    AJ72 likes this.

  6. AJ72

    AJ72 Strat-Talk Member

    37
    Jun 11, 2014
    PA
    FYI this is the pickguard I purchased on ebay. Based on all my homework before purchasing IMG_20160319_1430115.jpg I'm 99% sure this is a 2011 American Standard pickguard but I would still like confirmation from someone more familiar with these pickups. Thanks in advance
     

  7. vlxerdon

    vlxerdon Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    71
    678
    Jan 31, 2013
    Coastal Georgia
    Here is a pic of my 04. Does not look like anything has changed,so I think you are alright. I'm sure someone with a bit more knowledge will be by soon. $(KGrHqJ,!qYFI)+dV1t5BSSGbQTLRw~~60_12.JPG










    JD
     
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  8. TheDuck

    TheDuck Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    Fender Alnico Vs are one of my favorite single coil pups, from any brand.

    They get bashed a lot, though I suspect its by players that spent far too much coin on their aftermarket pick ups.
     
    AJ72 likes this.

  9. Grounded

    Grounded Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    64
    Jan 2, 2010
    Seattle, USA
    Duck nailed it. IMO they are Fender's most under-rated pups.
     
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  10. AJ72

    AJ72 Strat-Talk Member

    37
    Jun 11, 2014
    PA
    I agree 100%. If these pickups had fiber bobbins and push back cloth wires and carried a fancy name I'm sure they would be the most talked about pickups. They have a very special sound and very versatile. They can cover a lot of genres and can sound vintage if you back off on the amp volume and scoop the midrange through EQ. I'm very impressed.
     
    TheDuck likes this.

  11. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    Yep, they look like 2007-2011 Am Std Alnico Vs alright. Only difference before was different coloured leads. They used to be Red, Blue,Yellow, ground leads with White leads to the switch. Your pups are Red, Blue, Yellow leads to the switch, and Black to ground, a much less confusing convigoration.
     
    AJ72 likes this.