Strat Ultra w/4th gen noisless PUPs that I'd like to replace

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by RickinVirginia, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. RickinVirginia

    RickinVirginia New Member!

    Mar 31, 2011
    Let me first confess that I'm not the brightest bear in the woods! If I were, I would not have purchased a new Ultra a couple of years ago the first time I looked at it. Don't get me wrong, I love Strats - this is my fourth - but I had my year-end bonus burning a hole in my pocket, so I brought it home.
    I love the way it plays but the tone.... not so much. Yes, there are a lot of tonal combinations available on the stock guitar, but the only one I like is the "passing lane" where, with a simple push of a button, all pickups feed directly to the output jack. So now I'm thinking about taking a bath and selling it or replacking the pickups. That's where I'm looking for some help in what I might pick as replacements.
    I'm not hard over on the classic Strat tone, mine is an HSS with the Shawbucker in the bridge position, so I'm really open to suggestions.
    Or, if you would really like to own a white, ebony-necked Ultra (that has been PLEKed!!!!), let me know that, too.
  2. Dick Blackmore

    Dick Blackmore Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2017
    Black Hole
    If you do end up replacing the pickups I am interested in buying the single coils or in particular the middle pickup as I would like to turn my Ultra Tele into a Nashville Tele.

    If you love the guitar then swapping out a pickguard with a new set is not terribly difficult. If you are not loving the guitar I would sell it, it's worth more unmodded and right now the Ultras are pretty hard to come by unless you want mocha burst, which is actually pretty cool up close I'm just not sure it was something anybody was asking for.
  3. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 22, 2011
    West Virginia
    Hi and welcome!
    If you like the guitar itself, I suggest simply purchasing a loaded pick guard wired with something like the '57/'62 pickups and either TBX circuit or Delta Tone circuit. Then save the OEM stuff for the day you decide to sell the guitar or just return it to stock.
    ido1957 likes this.
  4. crazyrachey96

    crazyrachey96 Strat-O-Master

    Feb 26, 2020
    I don't think I've ever met a stock Stratocaster with pickups I liked, with the exception of the vintage reissue models. I especially do not understand what they're doing with their noiseless pickups; seriously, if that's the best you can do, swallow your pride and install Dimarzio Area series or something. They're awful. Just do what was suggested above; get a loaded pickguard with something good on it.
    Bladesg and EC Strat like this.
  5. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    I bought a set of after market Gen 4s and they were very disappointing. To add insult to injury, they weren't totally noiseless either. I can highly recommend the Areas. I have 58's middle and neck in my Am Std, and 61's middle and neck in my MIM Std. The 58's are pure vintage Strat, and the 61's are similar but are a touch more rounded tone wise. You can't go wrong with either imo.
    diogoguitar likes this.
  6. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

    May 29, 2012
    Long gone.
    I would go for the Area 58 as FenderKev suggested. It should work with the Shawbucker bridge with no issues if you follow the Dimarzio instructions and wire the red wire to the switch and green to ground. Area 58s work with either 250k or 500k controls. Personally I use them with 500k controls and raise the pickups high. Your guitar probably has the dual gang 250k/500k volume control so you may have the option to choose how its connected if re-using the stock pickguard.
    diogoguitar likes this.