Favorite Noiseless Pickup Brand/Model?

Favorite brand/model?

  • Dimarzio Area

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • Seymour Duncan Stacks

    Votes: 10 21.7%
  • Kinman (are they still alive?)

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • Fender Noiseless

    Votes: 9 19.6%
  • Lindy Fralin split poles ($300, is it worth it?)

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • Bill Lawrence aka Wylde pickups (which one?)

    Votes: 3 6.5%
  • Mojo Tone 58 set

    Votes: 6 13.0%

  • Total voters
    46

fenderkev

Most Honored Senior Member
Aug 18, 2009
7,364
Back In Blighty
Well, I’m yet to see a noiseless I actually like. But like I said, your mileage may vary. To each his own.

To my ears, none of those equals a good vintage style Fender single coil...

My house was built in 1992 and has good wiring so playing at home my single coils, Am Std Alnico Vs, CS Fat 50s, and for a short time D.Allen Austin Blues.were ok hum wise. But when I gigged and especially with any kind of gain, the 60 cycle hum was horrendous. I don't play many big places, and on many occasions the hum was commented upon by audience members and not necessarily guitar players either. I got fed up continually having to roll the volume on and off all night. I'd been used to a Strat Plus with Lace Sensors for many years, which were pretty quiet, so 60 cycle hum was unacceptable to me, so I decided I better investigate Noiseless pups. Something like the DiMarzio Areas to my ears are not only the equal, but better than a single coil, not only for the lack of hum, but because i love how they sound. True single coils sound thin to me now, not to mention noisy. I have total confidence when I kick my gain pedal in, that I'm not going to be met with horrendous hum, and squealing. Areas sound great clean too with a maybe a touch more body, but they're not that far off a single coil sound wise either.
 

Sugarcane

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 24, 2014
2,126
On the road
True single coils sound thin to me now, not to mention noisy. I have total confidence when I kick my gain pedal in, that I'm not going to be met with horrendous hum, and squealing. Areas sound great clean too with a maybe a touch more body, but they're not that far off a single coil sound wise either.


That’s exactly why I like them, to my personal taste humbuckers are too blunt and growly, while noiseless SCs just don’t “cut” it.

Good for you that you like them. I play mostly Fat 50s through a tube amp with a RAT stacked with a Centaur clone in between, I like my tone fuzzy and crispy, the typical single coils give me that “Hendrix on steroids” feeling.
 

scooteraz

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 10, 2009
1,431
Peoria, AZ
Well, good news is that the (admittedly kinda funky looking) Kinman site is back up. It appears they didn’t renew their domain name on time.

So far, I have had good luck with Lace (Hot Gold) and EMG (the telecaster set). But as noted, the Lace are not really noiseless, just a different way to make a single coil. I want to try a set of Kinman pickups (Nashville Telecaster set for my Nashville Strat; Tele bridge, Strat neck and middle).
 

fenderkev

Most Honored Senior Member
Aug 18, 2009
7,364
Back In Blighty
I play mostly Fat 50s through a tube amp with a RAT stacked with a Centaur clone in between, I like my tone fuzzy and crispy, the typical single coils give me that “Hendrix on steroids” feeling.

:thumbd: Crikey, do you not have huge hum problems? You have to be using some sort of noise suppressor with that rig?
 

dante1963

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Apr 28, 2016
1,964
St. Louis
I put a pre-wired Dimazio Area pickguard in my Buddy Guy Strat last year, and it turned it into my favorite Strat. All the personality, none of the noise.

More and more, I’m a Gibson guy, and the BG is the only one of my four Strats I’ve been picking up in the last few months.
 

Wayfinder

Strat-Talker
Jan 5, 2016
318
Kansas City MO USA
My absolute favorite noiseless pickup isn't on the list. BUT, of those on the list (and mind you, I am not acquainted with all of them)... I have enjoyed the very noticeable tonal difference of the Fender Noiseless. But this is one of those loaded polls because... favorite for what use? I would definitely choose different pickups for playing smooth jazz than I would heavy metal or country. Different pickups and even different guitars for different styles of music.
 

stylemessiah

Strat-Talker
Dec 11, 2017
459
Sydney, Australia
I haven't heard a ton but I think the N3 Fender's are quite good as far as capturing a classic single coil tone.


Not really, all 3 pickups have different magnet types per position, and all are hotter than classic singles

I had a set in my last 60's CV Strat, i had a set of early gen 2 Lace Sensors Golds id had sitting around to Claptonize (algn with mid boost kit) a guitar and which i was going to replace the N3 set for...sadly sold it before that happened.

I also got the original 60's CV Strat pickups in the sale for the Strat, and if i hadnt had the Lace Sensors, i would have put those back in the guitar. N3 were not vintage sounding pickups, they were even listed as being "modern" in their original product listing from memory

If money wasnt an issue, i would vote Kinman, and not just because i knew the guy back in the late 80's in Brisbane, QLD where i grew up...before his pickups were being sold retail, he was a great fiddler before that and you could go and chat to the man as he worked magic on your guitars
 

Golem

Strat-Talker
Aug 19, 2011
269
Monterey
Kinmans are the best I've tried. Fender is getting better with its noiseless designs over time but they never sound as good as any of the aftermarket noiseless pickups I've tried.
 

Giant

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 13, 2009
4,286
Greenville, NC
I like the Fender hot noiseless. My buddy has the vintage noiseless so, monkey see monkey do. I prefer the sound of singles, but playing these bars you never know what kind of noise you're gonna be in for. (Neon BEER signs, dimmers, old wiring, etc). You're already introducing noise by using standard singles, so add that other stuff and you can forget any kind of dynamics using your volume knob. There IS a slight trade off as to me the noiseless aren't as bright as regular singles, but that's just one of those things. I just boost the treble or presence a little and call it done. TOTALLY worth it.
 

Richard Southgate

New Member!
Mar 30, 2016
3
UK
Another vote for Kinman. I have three sets of pickups from them and definitely agree that, while the Fender 4th Gen noiseless pups are an improvement on previous generations, Kinman are still some way ahead. I've found both Chris (Kinman) and Joe on their tech support to be immensely helpful when answering questions too.
 

Dr.Funkenstein

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 15, 2013
50
Hobart
I have really wanted to get the Mojotone quiet coil strat pickups for some time but the problem is that they are kind of expensive and never on sale. Now with COVID19 and the Aus/US exchange being insane, I can't see trying them out any time soon. I don't know what it is about Australia but I found many houses I have lived to be very susceptible to power line noise. Many amps didn't sound great even with humbuckers. I didn't have that experience in North America.

I switched to a Line 6 Helix Stomp a year ago and now use a lithium battery to power my small pedal board. I also picked up a 1982 Greco strat with their stock excel pickups and it is surprisingly good in terms of noise with this setup. I don't do gigs so the way things are now, my desire for noiseless single coils has dropped off significantly.

I did play a Fender customshop strat that just had single coils in a store in Tasmania. They had told me there was something with the wiring and shielding they had done and it was also pretty good for a single coil guitar. It wasn't 100% into noiseless territory but amazingly good.

The other thing I have considered doing is a DIY Ilitch style noise suppression system. The parts to make it are very cheap but the issue is that you need a 20cm circumference or so and placement is difficult. They sell options with it built into a pickguard or backplate but that is hard to replicate when doing DIY. Other guys have routed their bodies but that isn't a great idea for a vintage guitar.
 

knh555

Most Honored Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
6,346
Massachusetts
Have you considered the various Lace options? Not true noiseless, but very quiet. I love my Golds, thought those might be a bit too vintage for your tastes. They come in all sorts of voicings though. Mine are very quiet.

EDIT: note that for nearly 15 years, the Lace were spec'ed on the Clapton signature Strat because they were quiet enough for the on-board boost.
 
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crazyrachey96

Strat-O-Master
Feb 26, 2020
646
MN
In the past few weeks I've put noiseless pickups in two guitars... a set of Dimarzios and a set of Duncans. I'm coming straight over from regular singles; my main live guitar had an FS1 in the bridge and SSL2s in the middle and neck. As far as I'm concerned, either set nails it. I like the Duncans MARGINALLY better, but they're a slightly different flavor of the same thing. I honestly can't tell the difference between the noiseless Duncans in the neck and middle and my old SSL2s. So yes... ditch the Fender noiseless, but don't blow big $$$ on boutique pickups. Either one of the major aftermarket companies has a set that does the job.
 

SurfsUp

Senior Stratmaster
May 18, 2016
2,173
Aff-Ma-Heid, Ontario
Not really, all 3 pickups have different magnet types per position, and all are hotter than classic singles

I had a set in my last 60's CV Strat, i had a set of early gen 2 Lace Sensors Golds id had sitting around to Claptonize (algn with mid boost kit) a guitar and which i was going to replace the N3 set for...sadly sold it before that happened.

I also got the original 60's CV Strat pickups in the sale for the Strat, and if i hadnt had the Lace Sensors, i would have put those back in the guitar. N3 were not vintage sounding pickups, they were even listed as being "modern" in their original product listing from memory

I'm a huge Lace fan, and would recommend them to anyone, however the more I play my American Deluxe with the N3 pickups, the more I like them. To me, very Stratty in comparison to my other two Strats, loaded with Lace (so that alone could be a helping fact, sure) Obliviously side by side to my Les Paul, very Strat like, lol....

I like the voicing of the N3. Maybe it's the different magnets in each position, maybe it's hype, but I find a clear and distinct difference in each position, as opposed to say my Lace which I do find a diff, sure, but slightly less pronounced. I find lowering the N3's and utilizing the tone/volume knobs on the guitar really makes these pickup's shine in comparison to most reviews I read online. And they are incredibly dead quiet. I ran Fender's PV 65's in there place for a while, I actually prefer N3's over those.
 


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