Fender Deluxe Drive pickup technical details

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Antigua, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between

    This pickup set was being discussed in another thread, and I've had an eye on them for a long time, because they're relatively cheap, and they're the hottest Fender-branded Strat pickups. I figured they would be dark pickups, because the inductance numbers are near double what you'd expect from vintage pickups, but some demos I heard on YouTube didn't really sound that dark to me.

    The packaging has values are close enough to what I measured "Neck: 3.5 Henries, Middle: 4.3 Henries, Bridge: 4.3 Henries", so the interesting thing is that the bridge and middle pickup are pretty much the same, except the middle is RW/RP. Usually the bridge is distinctly hotter than the middle and neck, but in this case only the neck is of fewer turns.

    Judging from the inductance versus the DC resistance, and the small size of the coil, it's likely the wire is 43 AWG. Also unlike most Strat pickups, the magnets are AlNiCo 3 instead of 5. The bobbins are made of the typical Fender tone plastic, with the finest vinyl hookup wire.

    I've installed them into a Strat and I played them for a little while, I'd say they're similar to Texas Specials, but the AlNiCo 3 in place of the AlNiCo 5. The AlNiCo 3 is a weaker magnet, but have a higher permeability, so combined with the higher inductance, the output is probably a little higher with the Deluxe Drive pickups, too. If you like hotter pickups but hate Texas Specials, I think these are worth a try. They are a little darker in the neck and middle, and I like that sound, especially in the middle position, but the notch positions are not as quaky as what you get with 57/62's an the like. The Neck pickup being only 3H is still rather Stratty sounding.

    Fender Deluxe Drive Strat pickups

    - DC Resistance: 13.167K ohms
    - Q @1kHz: 1.962
    - Measured L: 4.334H
    - Calculated C: 129.6pF
    - Gauss: 500G (AlNiCo 3)

    - DC Resistance: 12.396K ohms
    - Q @1kHz: 2.05
    - Measured L: 4.240H
    - Calculated C: 113.8pF
    - Gauss: 500G (AlNiCo 3)

    - DC Resistance: 10.413K ohms
    - Q @1kHz: 1.779
    - Measured L: 3.082H
    - Calculated C: 142.0pF
    - Gauss: 500G (AlNiCo 3)

    Bridge unloaded: dV: 13.7dB f: 6.51kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 4.8dB f: 2.86kHz (blue)
    Middle unloaded: dV: 14.4dB f: 6.89kHz (red)
    Middle loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 5.4dB f: 2.86kHz (green)
    Neck unloaded: dV: 13.7dB f: 7.46kHz (pink)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 5.6dB f: 3.47kHz (black)