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Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Audiowonderland, May 12, 2021.
Would you consider them hot/modern or more vintage in nature?
While I wouldn't consider this to be definitive proof, I found some Player Series pickups for sale online and the seller shows the outputs as:
Neck 7.4k Ohms approximately.
Middle 8k Ohms approximately.
Bridge 8.5k Ohms approximately.
If most Player Strat pickups are relatively within this range, that would indicate a somewhat hotter, more modern type of tone.
For comparative purposes, here are some other Fender pickup specs:
Custom Shop Texas Specials:
Custom Shop Fat 50s:
Vintera 50s Vintage:
Vintera 60s Vintage:
The American standard pickups from the mid 2000s were about 6k/6k/7.5k.. and that was classed as an overwound bridge.
Those are kinda the defining "modern strat" sound.
The mexican players are clearly similar... so yeah.. hotter modern sound... but I don't find them quite as nice as the american standards. It's not all about resistance though. Texas Specials are the same sort of wiring for the neck and middle, but sound completely different.
Short answer: Go play them. If you like them.. great.
I also found this info here, which appears to support the specs listed earlier:
This is true, although different "ranges" of impedance can yield similar "tonal characteristics" (but not always) which may generally fall into categories that are typically described as "clear and brilliant" or "fat and full".
That said, there are certainly a lot of grey areas in between and no one can predict which is better or worse than others for a specific person's needs - even with pickups with more closely related specs!
All I can say is that I was surprised at how much I love my cheap-ass ($99.99) Fender Tex Mex Strat pickups compared to the the over-the-top expensive ($229.99) Fender Fat 50s I had before...
I have been playing them. When I bought it I thought they were modern based on the specs and ordered a set of Bootstraps with a vintage spec to replace them. As I am playing them, they feel a little weak and thin. Especially compared to the MIM player Tele stock pickups. I am just rethinking what I want to do with it. If these are a hotter, modern sounding pickup then a vintage wind may not be what I want.
What amp are you using?
"Gain" (not distortion) makes a huge difference on how a guitar sounds. I can make my relatively weaker vintage output Fender Original '57/'62 pickups sound meaty and bold when applying the proper amount of amplifier gain.
Gain is a function of gradually pushing the amp until it reaches a certain point where tone and output work together in order to reach the desired sonic balance. Amplifier preamp gain and overall power output determines where the "sweetspot" is at while trying to maintain a certain volume level. Speakers also affect the tone in dramatic ways as well.
If you have an underpowered amp and your guitar sounds like crap at a usable volume level, or an overpowered amp where your ears start to bleed before you can get a decent sound, that can be more of a factor than the pickups being used sometimes.
Furthermore, comparing these pickups with other pickup sets isn't helpful either. One must dial in each set to effectively exploit their best features. Boosting or cutting the gain may be necessary to squeezer out the best tones. Use the characteristics of the Player Strat set to your advantage, otherwise what's the point of having them sound like your Tele?
I use a number of amps. Deluxe Reverb. Legacy 3. Metal Front Marshall. Occasionally DI with plugins. Been using using a Fly Rig 5 v2 the most lately since I started working with a band again.
It just may be a question of relativity. I really notice it when I go from the Player tele to the strat. The tele just has more punch/pop to it.
The only real experience I have with the gear you listed is the Deluxe Reverb ("reissue" I assume) and I found the one I tried to be a bit anemic sounding - but I wouldn't take anything I say about it as gospel since it was short test drive at a noisy Guitar Center and I hardly had a chance to give it an adequate run through. First impressions weren't great though.
I do own a tweed Fender '57 Custom Deluxe and it is fat and powerful - especially considering that it's only 12 watts!
By "Legacy" I assume you mean a Carvin Legacy? I did try one of those back in the day (not with a Strat though). I was impressed by it, but went with a Mesa Boogie instead. Part of the reason was because I already own a Carvin X-60 tube amp, which is great little amp as well.
After Marshall came out with the fizzy, problematic JCM2000 I haven't been tempted to try any of their stuff ever since...
I can relate:
My 2003 Fender AV52 Telecaster has way more punch and noticeably more output than any of my Strats, but my Strats have an airier more brilliant tone than my Tele. The Tele has a thick, syrupy sweet tone - something that my Strats can't quite emulate - but my Tele can't match my Strat's clarity and sparkle. So they both have something the other hasn't and that's the way I like it.
That said, even when switching between different Strats I find I have to tweak my amps to better suit each of their unique voices...
The previous MIM 'Standards' had dual ceramic bar magnets which increase the output voltage over the traditional Alnico 5 pole magnets used in the MIM 'Player Series'.
Fender was finding too many players were afraid of ceramic and often added an auto-mod pickup swap in their calculations to buy a MIM guitar or not given other guitar brand choices. So Fender moved to the Player Series using Alnico 5 poles just like the MIAs so players already had the 'upgrade'.
So if you want more output you'll want stronger pickups. Or raise the pickup heights closer to the strings. The 'classic' pickup tone chasers can achieve those tones with the ceramic pickups by lowering the pickups close to the pickguard.
Don't forget you can tip pickups to give more/less bass/treble as well as full height adjustments.
Tele bridge pickups have a metal backing plate behind the pickup that acts like a magnetic field reflector -- increasing the effective output of the pickup. Hunt around your scrap parts and find a steel plate around 1/8th inch thick that fits in the Strat pickup cavity and sticks to the back of the pickup and you can get the same effect. I have cut $1 house electrical box covers (like the octagon box covers) to shape before to do this.
There is also an ergonomic playing method adjustment between Strats and Teles that alters where most players pick the strings and the output tone. Strats have the volume knob in the way so players pick forward of the middle pickup while Tele players rest their palm on the saddles or behind the bridge plate and pick closer to the saddles (where twang hangs out on all guitars).
Its a 68 Silverface Deluxe Reverb. It was a project I got for cheap 25 years ago and had repaired. 2 different techs have pointed out that the circuit in it has been significantly modified from the stock circuit and its something they have never seen before. Its quiet and sounds great so I have never worried about it. Maybe I have a Dumble and don't even know it! LOL!
Yes, Carvin Legacy 3. The dirt channels were very dark with the Eminence CV75 I was using but the clean channel was fantastic. I have since switched to a Vintage 30 and its a different amp all together now but I still get most of my dirt from the pedal board.
This. The characteristics of a pickup change dramatically between their lowest and highest position. I tend to play with my pickups quite low compared to factory spec and apply boost in the signal chain. Others like theirs half a bee's dick from the strings. So play with that first.
That's also partly due to the bridge on the Tele, and the metal base plates on the pickups, and at least in the case of my tele... that it weighs as much as two small children in a potato sack. So it's probably unfair on the Strat to expect that Tele cut through.
im a bit suspect regarding the Player series pickups readings. I have one and they aren’t hot in the slightest. Never measured them though so I’m only going by ear. To me they are on the vintage side. Not doubting you btw, just saying what my ears tell me.
>the seller shows the outputs<
Wire is not like horsepower.
Light bulbs list outputs in watts
But if we go to Walmart and by a multimeter for 8 bucks, we can measure pups..............so, therefore, it MUST mean something, right ??
While those numbers are a tad higher than what I’d expect for “50’s style” pickups, I still think they’re closer to the vintage side than modern high gain pickups.
What wire gauge?
Ha Ha, you're a very funny man...
Unfortunately, when it comes to Fender disseminating certain information, more often than not it's a "beggars can't be choosers" situation - and you should be happy to get what you got!
When dialed in to suit you, the TM set is quite fine. IMO it's easily the best value in Fender's pickup line. That makes the pricing of most other Fender sets to be a bit ridiculous, given that machine winding is the same damn process in the US or Mexico.