3 different pickups in 1 Stratocaster

Otisblove

Senior Stratmaster
May 20, 2016
1,808
Chicago
I'm the guy who started this post. I have another Strat. It's got a Squier 50's Classic Vibe body, and I love the pickups that came with it. I have no intentions of changing them.
 

somebodyelseuk

Strat-O-Master
Jan 29, 2022
722
Birmingham UK
I put 3 different PUs in a MIM Strat I acquired, just popping on odd ones I happened to have on hand. In the end, it was a mix of 1 Fralin, 1 Armstrong, and 1 of the MIM originals. It's not as though I actually gave it much thought, but nevertheless the result was outstanding as each single pickup had a distinctive voice and the 2 and 4 combinations were really stellar. I'm not really interested in doing loads of tweaking and modding, but for those who enjoy spending time with such obsessions, I would think this crossbreed approach would give a lot to play with. I am really stunned with how great my trio of oddballs sounds.
That's how they did it in the 50s and 60s... and that's why no-one can make a guitar/pickup set today that actually is something special.
Back then Fender made one Strat pickup. The spec wandered a little. They pulled three randomly from a bucket and soldered them where they landed. Some guitars sounded ordinary, many sounded stellar.
Today, they make them to a formula. They all sound the same and they all sound 'close, but no cigar'.
 

OnlyRevolutions

New Member!
Apr 9, 2012
9
New York
The pickups in my 2006 MIM strat are all different. I just wanted variety since I was playing all different kinds of music and loved various tones.

Neck - some small-house blues pickup supposedly based on a John Mayer tone I bought back in 2011 or so. Could just be a regular old strat replica for all I know, but backing off some of the tone makes a great, fat bluesy tone.

Mid - DiMarzio chopper - single-coil-sized humbucker. Full-sounding is how I would describe it. It doesn’t bite like the SH-4 (which is a little too bright for my tastes), but it has a much more even sound, which is great to my ears. I’ve never liked some of the very trebly, jangly, or shimmery pickups, so I imagine most folks here might find it too bass-heavy for a band setting.

Bridge - Duncan SH-4. Again, bright for my tastes, but a great rock sound. Fits in pretty well with a mix, though, which is why it’s so favored, in my experience.

I most prefer the mid position.
 

Jaysmay

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 24, 2021
37
DC
2004 Tangerine Deluxe. Did not like SCN and pickguard. Put in new parchment pick-guard, pots, and aged white control knobs. All fender.

69 custom neck
Fat 50s middle
Texas Special bridge
 

geogoetz

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 9, 2021
22
New York
I didn't know pickups could fail. Switches and pots can wear out due to wear but what would cause a pickup to fail? A bad solder connection, corrosion?
 

bobbybro

Strat-Talk Member
May 30, 2021
51
Zurich, Switzerland
I bought this 1998 American Standard Stratocaster 6 or 7 years ago. At the time, it was 3 tone sunburst and had a Dimarzio Yngwie Malmsteen pickup, some Fender Custom shop pickup and I believe a Lollar pickup.

At the time, I didn’t know a Lollar from a lollipop and the ancient wiring in my house made ANY single coil pickup a nightmare for the ears.

I started buying noiseless pickups and learned how to work on guitars with this particular guitar. I’ve had so many pickup combinations and types in here, I really wonder if I’ve set a record.

Most recently I had a Fender Gen 4 noiseless set. Unfortunately, a couple months ago, the middle pickup just died out of nowhere, so I bought a Vintage Noiseless Hot from a Jeff Beck Strat for the middle.

Then, yesterday, the neck pickup got quiet and started to make a sizzling noise as notes died out, so I opened it up for the 8,000th time and put the middle Vintage Noiseless Strat pickup from my Deluxe Nashville Telecaster in the neck.

Recap:
Bridge- Fender Gen4 noiseless
Middle- Fender Vintage noiseless hot
Neck: Fender vintage noiseless

Anyone else here crazy?

View attachment 574457
I've taken my strat apart so many times I stripped the threads on some pickguard screws and some neck screws. I used the next size up on the screws and kept having issues with the 5 way. Finally I brought it to the shop. They filled the holes, changed back to the standard size screws in both the neck and pickguard. I now want another set of pickups. Every time I get in my guitar, with all these operations, I wonder if it"s going to be ok. But it keeps going. I've been at these shenanigans for the last 10 years.
 

Groundwire

Strat-O-Master
Apr 16, 2021
689
Oregon
I’ve not done too many pickup swaps in my Strats, but I do have an SG that has been through about 10 sets of pickups and has no original hardware left. I kinda feel like everyone needs one of those guitars.
 

CalicoSkies

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 10, 2013
7,153
Beaverton, OR, USA
Mixing pickups is really good for getting the two and four positions to work!
But sometimes it can also be bad. In 2004 I bought a HSS Strat (MIM) and wanted to replace its single-coils with noiseless pickups, as I didn't like the buzz I was getting with the single coils by themselves. At first I tried a couple of Fender Vintage Noiseless, but the middle with the stock bridge humbucker on the guitar didn't sound good at all (I remember it sounding a bit low-volume/muted). Then someone suggested Kinman, so I bought a pair of their hum-canceling pickups and put them in, and the middle-bridge sounded great on that guitar (and I think the Kinmans sound great too).
 

Intune

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 14, 2021
4,916
Edmonton, Alberta
That's how they did it in the 50s and 60s... and that's why no-one can make a guitar/pickup set today that actually is something special.
Back then Fender made one Strat pickup. The spec wandered a little. They pulled three randomly from a bucket and soldered them where they landed. Some guitars sounded ordinary, many sounded stellar.
Today, they make them to a formula. They all sound the same and they all sound 'close, but no cigar'.

I’ll let you try my custom shop 54 strat and my broadcaster with pickups made by Alan Hamel. You may change your mind. I find them to be really special of all the guitars and pickups I’ve had. Also the set of ancho poblano pickups I have are something else, they are really special.

So yeah don’t really agree with “no-one can make a guitar/pickup set today that actually is special.” You could just be buying the wrong gear?
 

Otisblove

Senior Stratmaster
May 20, 2016
1,808
Chicago
I didn't know pickups could fail. Switches and pots can wear out due to wear but what would cause a pickup to fail? A bad solder connection, corrosion?
I wondered that myself. The first Gen 4 just stopped working. I tried to resolder it. If there was a break in the copper wire somewhere, I didn't see it and certainly at the time didn't know how to fix it. The one that got weird the other day I just didn't even feel like dealing with it, but I know that if I kept it in there it would annoy me until I took it out.

Since I happened to have that black pickup handy, I did a quick fix. So quick in fact that I didn't even consider putting the cream cover on it so that it would match the other two.
 

Otisblove

Senior Stratmaster
May 20, 2016
1,808
Chicago
I've taken my strat apart so many times I stripped the threads on some pickguard screws and some neck screws. I used the next size up on the screws and kept having issues with the 5 way. Finally I brought it to the shop. They filled the holes, changed back to the standard size screws in both the neck and pickguard. I now want another set of pickups. Every time I get in my guitar, with all these operations, I wonder if it"s going to be ok. But it keeps going. I've been at these shenanigans for the last 10 years.
I think about 9 of the 11 pickguard screw holes are stripped in my pink Strat. When I put the black pickup in the neck the other day I dropped small pieces of toothpick in each hole. Worked like a charm.
 

Intune

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 14, 2021
4,916
Edmonton, Alberta
I think about 9 of the 11 pickguard screw holes are stripped in my pink Strat. When I put the black pickup in the neck the other day I dropped small pieces of toothpick in each hole. Worked like a charm.

That’s probably how pickups just fail. They are kind of fragile so handling and removing pickups many many times is probably the reason. Same with the stripped screw holes in the body. It’s the price we pay to tinker or mod.
 

xpatUSA

Strat-Talk Member
Mar 27, 2010
28
Bellville, TX
All Seymour Duncan’s
Neck = Cool Rails
Mid = Vintage
Bridge = Nashville (5/2) tele

One master, one tone, one blend…

Got two Seymour Duncan mini-humbuckers on my Yamaha Pacifica.

Jeff Beck at the bridge
'59 something at the neck

Original Yamaha in the middle.

Best yet!

Before that I had Schaller Golden 50's at the bridge & neck ... not so crisp.
 

bdrs1

New Member!
Aug 16, 2020
3
USA
This $4650 Custom Shop 57 is rocking 3 different pickups.

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" The three onboard pickups are some of Fender Custom Shop’s most popular electronics: a Texas Special, a Fat '50s, and a '57 Strat. This collection is less like a sampler platter and more like a passionately assembled 3-course meal. The bridge Texas Special delivers razor-sharp midrange that’s great hefty rhythm playing that’s heard; a Fat '50s in the middle position delivers beefy tones with enhanced bass response and ample midrange that’s hot but never shrill; the downright hypnotic '57 Strat in the neck position is ripe with thumping lows, round mids, and smooth high end. Each pickup is hand-wound by the Fender Custom Shop, which means they feature period-accurate components like vintage fiber bobbins, wax potting, and more."
 

Quikstyl

Strat-Talk Member
Nov 10, 2018
16
California
I bought this 1998 American Standard Stratocaster 6 or 7 years ago. At the time, it was 3 tone sunburst and had a Dimarzio Yngwie Malmsteen pickup, some Fender Custom shop pickup and I believe a Lollar pickup.

At the time, I didn’t know a Lollar from a lollipop and the ancient wiring in my house made ANY single coil pickup a nightmare for the ears.

I started buying noiseless pickups and learned how to work on guitars with this particular guitar. I’ve had so many pickup combinations and types in here, I really wonder if I’ve set a record.

Most recently I had a Fender Gen 4 noiseless set. Unfortunately, a couple months ago, the middle pickup just died out of nowhere, so I bought a Vintage Noiseless Hot from a Jeff Beck Strat for the middle.

Then, yesterday, the neck pickup got quiet and started to make a sizzling noise as notes died out, so I opened it up for the 8,000th time and put the middle Vintage Noiseless Strat pickup from my Deluxe Nashville Telecaster in the neck.

Recap:
Bridge- Fender Gen4 noiseless
Middle- Fender Vintage noiseless hot
Neck: Fender vintage noiseless

Anyone else here crazy?

View attachment 574457
I like your set up. I took out the stock neck and middle p-ups in my 89 HM but left the Super 3 in the bridge. Put a blue Lace Sensor in the neck and a silver in the mid right after I bought it in 89. Replaced the Kahler with a Floyd original as well. Just found the original p-ups the other day and was thinking about putting them back in.
 

fuksman

Strat-O-Master
Jan 9, 2022
514
USA
Is this setup noise cancelling in positions 2 and 4?
не знаю, уважаемый.
этот инструмент я придумал и собрал полностью сам; проводка была сделана для меня специально моим любимым специалистом в Портланде. но есть ли там отмена сопения я не уверен. знаю, однако, что с сопением проблем нет и как букер, так и п90 во 2-й и 4-й позициях сочетаются с односпиральным звукоснимателем в середине превосходно. у меня никогда не было стратокастера с таким доказуемым разнообразием звуков. многие члены этого форума лезут на стены от таких заявлений, но этот мой самодельный страт лучше чем ампро2 который я не так давно продал.👹
кстати, все 3 снимателя Тонрайдеры
 
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