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What's your favorite clean strat pickup set?

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Fuzzpop, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 The wizard next door. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 4, 2008
    I did have a website and am planning to put up a new one early in the new year. At the moment, I've been focusing more on building local business. For now, I've had more success negotiating custom work than by worrying about a wide range of pre-built models.
    Fuzzpop likes this.
  2. DerRobert

    DerRobert Strat-Talk Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    I've got a set of Leosounds "Red House" AlNiCo 5 single coils in my strat. They're more 60's than 50's spec but with flat pole pieces.

    I really like them for both clean and overdrive. :thumb:
    Dick Blackmore and Fuzzpop like this.
  3. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Seymour Duncan SSL-1s. There's a reason they've been making them since the early 1980s. The 57/62s are nice, but the SSL-1s have the edge as far as I'm concerned, a little warmer overall & without any hint of that ice-pick top end.
  4. guitarmikey

    guitarmikey Strat-Talker

    Jan 10, 2013
    Bucharest - RO
    Vintage set on my MIJ Contemporary Strat (if not 57/62 on AVRI '62...)
    Fuzzpop likes this.
  5. himijendrix

    himijendrix Senior Stratmaster

    May 2, 2012
    Barrow Upon Soar, UK
    I have MIA strats with Texas Specials, Fat 50s, and Abby CS69s respectively. They will all handle cleans OK if that's what you dial into the amp settings and turn any pedals off but the 69s win for the classic bell tone.
    Fuzzpop likes this.
  6. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    now, to keep things in perspective... Clean Sound .. suggests a positive attribute .. it may, or may not be...

    "clean sound" in the realm of audio aficionados refers to articulation, resolution, focus, clarity... etc., any word you can think of that suggests precision in the sound.. sounds like something ya want, Humm?

    Well maybe, maybe not... those are the very qualities that do allow "you" to cut through the mix... so everyone will be hearing you above the rest of the gang.... but.. it's also the very qualities that exposes "sloppy" technique... ya know what ya don't want the "Crowd" to hear..

    It's the absence of those qualities that allow poor fingering or picking technique to "pass" unnoticed with most pickups.... but, it acts like a "magnifying glass" over poor technique... it's why "you" sound awesome with any one of a number of FX .. they are in fact nothing more than electronic devices that interject audio distortions on the signal, thus "smearing" the resolution that would expose the way ya really sound.. you know.. like when ya just play clean.. :whistling:

    So if you Do have a clean, disciplined style... they can work wonders, but if you're still stumbling up the learning curve, ya may wanna hold off for a while.. unless you want something that will force ya to "clean up your act." then go for it..

    or.. "clean sounding pickups" are to guitar as a Hasselblad was to Film photography, Muscle back clubs to golf, a Porsche to the daily commute, a Barrett M82 to "plinking" or, the biggie... 4K television to aging Starlets... < that one's sad...

    Remember.. there is NO "better" . . . there is only different.. you gotta like what's different for it to become "better", so Better is up to you... and you can always change your mind.. :p

    Ron Kirn
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  7. Fuzzpop

    Fuzzpop Ryan-Ola Silver Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    Washington, D.C.
    All very good points, Ron.

    I've been playing about 25 years and my technique is pretty good (though it could always be better) so I'm not super worried about revealing anything on that end. Though clean pickups will certainly help me round off any sharp edges on my technique.

    Your last point is totally spot on. "No better, only different" is definitely the way to think about this. Thanks, again!
    glmino likes this.
  8. bluesman1956

    bluesman1956 Strat-O-Master

    Dec 3, 2012
    Upstate NY
  9. TA1996

    TA1996 Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 30, 2017
    I've played a fair few Strats and I really am digging the Ancho Poblano set, especially for that clean Frusciante tone (I may be slightly biased by a NGD with these on however ;))
    Bladesg and Fuzzpop like this.
  10. anderz

    anderz Senior Stratmaster

    May 4, 2014
    Fender CS69 since 1998 for my clean sound and everything else they are perfect so no need to change. Now go play!
    himijendrix and Fuzzpop like this.
  11. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Fat 50s are my fav but there are many.
    Fuzzpop and Nate D like this.
  12. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 2, 2016
    Philly, PA
    I’ve got a set of Lollar Blondes and a set of H/W CS 60’s that are both amazing pickups clean and get dirty quite nicely.
    Fuzzpop likes this.
  13. Dick Blackmore

    Dick Blackmore Strat-O-Master

    Jan 10, 2017
    San Diego
    Bill Lawrence, yep. Take your pick. The Alnico Microcoils are my choice. Be prepared to face the music on your technique if you go this way. They are unforgiving in that aspect. The neck is unbelievable and the middle pickup is the best middle I have ever heard. The bridge will peel paint. They take to effects and distortion really really well. Very clear and vintage sounding.

    You have the Alnico ones? Ive always wanted to hear somebodies opinion on that alnico vs neodymium
    Nate D and Fuzzpop like this.
  14. Dick Blackmore

    Dick Blackmore Strat-O-Master

    Jan 10, 2017
    San Diego
    I decided to make a second post on these. LeoSounds makes the best vintage wind pickups I have ever heard. I also have a set, the 'Munic77' (with additional middle RWRP) based on the Ritchie Blackmore pickups from 76' to 78' (Dio era Rainbow). They are the most amazing vintage wind pickups so beautiful and clean. The bridge is rich almost like a PAF. I love LeoSounds. My main Strat has these. They nail 'Man on the Silver Mountain' but are also right at home playing 'Working Man Blues'. Love love love these pickups.
    DerRobert likes this.
  15. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I don’t know but the stock pups in my ‘76 hardtail natural (avatar guitar) sound pretty good clean, although the bridge by itself can get ice picky without lowering the volume knob a little.

    Could also lower the gain on the amp, but then the other pups wouldn’t shine through as much.
    Fuzzpop likes this.
  16. Tomas83

    Tomas83 Strat-O-Master

    Jul 30, 2014
    NE in the 4 corners
    Rose Robusta pickup set... $72 shipped (set of 3...:thumbd:)
    Fuzzpop likes this.
  17. Fuzzpop

    Fuzzpop Ryan-Ola Silver Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    Washington, D.C.
    I love this. Anything to force me to pay more attention to technique.
    Nate D likes this.
  18. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    I think most any "vintage style" strat pickup will do clean well. You don't have to break the bank either. I have been quite surprised and happy with a set of Stewmac Golden Age Alnico V pickups. Completely overlooked pickups, but they are a well kept secret.
    fezz parka, Fuzzpop and Nate D like this.
  19. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Ad space available Strat-Talk Supporter

    I have gotten a few sets of pickups from Bodean and they are always shiny and clean before I put them in a guitar;) And they sound great too:thumb:
    Bodean, Fuzzpop and Nate D like this.
  20. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 2, 2016
    Philly, PA
    That’s funny. :)
    The Strat Dude likes this.