Mojotone Quiet Coils for Strat analysis review

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Antigua, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,254
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    in between
    [​IMG]

    Product URL: https://www.mojotone.com/Pickups_x/StratocasterPickups_x/Mojotone-58-Quiet-Coil-Strat-Pickup

    I've been wanting to get ahold of these for a while, but at $230 for a set it was hard to justify, but after receiving them, I'm very surprised but how novel they are, and given the unique fabrication involved, I don't believe $230 is too expensive anymore. I had found a used set for cheap on Reverb, and bought it.

    All the smoke and mirrors of the aftermarket pickup business has made me cynical, and I was expecting little more than a single coil sized humbucker with fake plastic pole pieces on top. That's actually what it is, but it has some key features that set it apart: rather than use steel blades like all other single coil sized humbuckers on the market, it has AlNiCo bars, like a Firebird pickup. Avoiding steel and using AlNiCo give them a high Q factor that is characteristic of actual Fender single coils, as well as keep the inductance low, like real Fender single coils. They claim that they match the inductance and resonant peak of a "vintage single coil", and that looks to be true, based on these measurements:

    Mojotone Quiet Coils

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 6.337K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.550H (2.329H without baseplate)
    - Calculated C: 84.13pF (79.5pF without baseplate)
    - Gauss: 800G (AlNiCo 5) (700G with baseplate)

    Middle
    - DC Resistance: 5.944K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.216H
    - Calculated C: 85.62pF
    - Gauss: 800G (AlNiCo 5)

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 5.943K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.399H
    - Calculated C: 85.91pF
    - Gauss: 800G (AlNiCo 5)

    Bridge unloaded: dV: 8.1dB f: 10.3 kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 5.4dB f: 3.98kHz (blue)
    Middle unloaded: dV: 7.8dB f: 10.7 kHz (red)
    Middle loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 5.6dB f: 4.27kHz (green)
    Neck unloaded: dV: 8.0dB f: 10.9 kHz (pink)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 5.4dB f: 4.08kHz (black)

    [​IMG]



    All of the specs are more or less indistinguishable from a standard Fender Strat single coil. Even the flux density over the pickup is close. An inductance of 2.2H to 2.5H and capacitances around 85pF, and a loaded resonant peak at 4kHz with a resonant amplitude of 5dB is all spot on. On this web page they say the quiet coils are designed to work with 500k pots https://www.mojotone.com/uploads/StratQuietCoilFAQs.pdf , but these measurement show that 250k pots would be the more authentic choice, as they are nearly identical to real AlNiCo single coils otherwise. 500k would make sense if they had a low Q factor, but the presence of resistive AlNiCo bars ensures the Q factor remains high. Their explanation as to why 500k pots would be preferable is a technical non sequitur. Maybe they bought 500k pots in bulk and are trying to rationalize why they used them in their loaded Strat pick guards, that's just a guess.

    Note though that there is no "stagger", so where as a true Strat pickup has a characteristic emphasis on the G and D strings, these will sound more even across, like a Tele pickup. They boast that as a feature "you never have to worry about string spacing and fretboard radius issues" but what one person calls an issue, another calls authenticity.

    A flux strength of 800 guass is somewhere in between the flux strenth of AlNiCo 2 and ALNiCo 5, but because the magnetic circuit is different, it's sort of apples and oranges. Overall, it has a weaker string pull than AlNiCo 5 pole pieces and is probably more comparable to AlNiCo 2. To get a stronger magnetic pull, just scoot the pickup closer to the strings.

    These pickups also feature base plates. Usually a base plate on a Fender single coil are gimmicky, because they aren't adding anything that cant be had through simpler means, but in this case, the parts are so tightly fit that they would have to resort to other means to hit the spec targets. The presence of the base plate under the Strat quite coils boosts the Gauss strength from ~700 Gauss to ~800, and increases the inductance of the bridge pickup from 2.3H to 2.5H.

    Thirty years ago the plastic pole pieces would have looked tacky, but ever since the relic'ing thing has taken off, they look good, in by today's standards. The dull gray plastic closely resembles the "aged" pole pieces of Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickups.

    The fake pole piece spacing is 52mm, so standard Strat covers fit, but barely squeeze over the top, but if you put some muscle into it, they fit. The Quiet Coil's coils are taller than vintage coils by about a millimeter, so the covers are also slightly taller than a typical pickup cover. The insider of the cover say "DIMARZIO USA", so I'm guessing these are the same covers that DiMarzio uses for their Area pickups. The previous owner of this set blacked the covers out with a magic marker.

    The hookup wire is the high quality, cloth pull back type.

    I take issue with some of their marketing, which is another reason I was reluctant to buy a set. They say "No PC boards, batteries, stacked coils, or anything else associated with other hum-canceling pickups were used in our design." That's just false, these are substantially similar to single coil sized humbuckers, and the use of AlNiCo bars as cores is not a new idea, either. These are a mashup of two conventional designs. "Vintage formulated Alnico magnet cores with lower Gauss levels like an aged vintage strat pickup." , 1) the Guass is lower due to geometry, not formulation, 2) there's no evidence that aged pickups actually feature lower flux densities, that after fifty years the AlNiCo will read significantly lower flux density, and AlNiCo manufactures say it should remain stable for decades, yet the marketers push the idea that older equals weaker. "-Consistent scatterwound coils for that handwound tone, sensitivity, and clarity." "Consistent scatter wound" sounds like a euphemism for "machine wound". Also the FAQ linked about is rather patronizing "Can I get a custom wound?" " No, they're perfect already."


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  2. AcrylicSuperman

    AcrylicSuperman Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    636
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I am rather fond on the quiet coils. I use them exclusively in the neck position of my strats. I use an HS set up, so there is no middle pickup. They don't sound overly bright with 500k pots either. They are an excellent choice if you are an HSS player.
     
    CFFF likes this.
  3. CFFF

    CFFF Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    500
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2018
    Location:
    .
    That is very interesting. I dislike the appearance of the plastic dummy poles but I suppose performance is more important really. The specs look good. I look forward to reading your later thoughts if you decide to install them.

    Thank you again @Antigua :)
     
  4. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,254
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    in between
    FYI, I've confirmed that DiMarzio's Strat covers, the types sized for the Areas, which are taller and have more space within, fit the Quiet Coils like an OEM cover.
     
  5. lineboat

    lineboat Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,049
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Location:
    western ky
    What do you do with all these pickups after you test them? Do you have an amazing collection?
     
  6. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,254
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    in between
    I have about eighty guitars, a lot of them are Japanese made Fenders, and about two hundred sets of pickups, so a little less than half are in guitar, and I have plastic drawers with the rest, mostly sorted by type.

    I'm putting the neck and middle Quiet Coils in an HSS Strat along with a cheap humbucker from Amazon, which I posted about on TDPRI https://www.tdpri.com/threads/cheaper-jb-jazz-alternative-analysis.1012205/ I also bought the Tele Quiet Coils, both sets are going into new MIJ black Paisleys.
     
    lineboat and bluejazzoid like this.
  7. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Posy rules!

    Messages:
    13,796
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Funny Farm Ln.
    Did you sharpie the covers?
     
  8. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,254
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    in between
    No they came that way used. The used priced was lower, probably because of it. I bought actual black DiMarzio covers to replace them, the ones sized for their Areas. The insides of the OEM covers confirm they're made by DiMarzio also.
     
  9. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Posy rules!

    Messages:
    13,796
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Funny Farm Ln.
    Gotcha, are the coils in series or parallel?
     
  10. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,254
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    in between
    Series. It would be bad design for any of these pickups to be in parallel as a factory default, it would just be a waste of wire. IIRC Seymour Duncan Duckbuckers and Cool Rails are parallel by default, but that's probably because they're reusing the coils of their Little 59 or Hot Rails models.
     
  11. bsman

    bsman Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    974
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    So....we now know everything about them except the most important bit: How do they sound?
     
  12. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,254
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    in between
    There are demos online.
     
    AcrylicSuperman likes this.
  13. AcrylicSuperman

    AcrylicSuperman Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    636
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Here is a guy using a telecaster set who actually compares them to regular single coils. Not only does he compare them, but he uses the recommended 500k pots for the quiet coils and 250k for the single coils.

     
  14. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,254
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    in between
    I think they would have sounded more alike if he had used 250k pots for both.
     
  15. AcrylicSuperman

    AcrylicSuperman Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    636
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Hard to say. I personally think quiet coils would be dull with 250k. I've never actually tried that though, so i could be completely wrong.
     
  16. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,254
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    in between
    I can tell from the Q factor in the plots exactly whats going on there. The blades are AlNiCo and the DC resistance is typical, there's no physical reason the pickup should sound dull.

    MojoTone boasts how these pickups are structurally alike with actual vintage pickups, and they're not lying. They sound very vintage correct with 250k pots because material-wise, they are vintage correct. Most dullness comes the use of brass around the pickup, and steel within the pickup. The base plates are steel, but they have almost no affect on the Q factor. I don't know why MojoTone recommends 500k pots, I don't see any factual rational for the suggestion.

    I have a set installed in a Telecaster now, with the stock pots, I can assure you they're not dull. The Strat is still in the works.
     
    AcrylicSuperman likes this.
  17. AcrylicSuperman

    AcrylicSuperman Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    636
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    That is good to know. I use them in HSS strats because of the 500k situation. But I may have to put a set in a tele with 250ks now.
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  18. daytonian

    daytonian Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    40
    Messages:
    93
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    I have the 58' HSS quiet coils in my MIM strat. I find especially with the neck P/U, it needs to be almost flush with the pickguard, and tone rolled almost all the way off, to get softer bell like strat tones. Any higher, and it gets harsh.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
  19. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    50
    Messages:
    2,751
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Location:
    Louisville Kentucky
    My understanding is that each pole piece has its own dummy coil - is that right?

    If so, I didn’t quite get it that it was really any different than a stack
     
  20. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    50
    Messages:
    2,751
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Location:
    Louisville Kentucky
    Do you like the pickups? Do they have a convincing true single coil tone to your ear?