What pickups sounds vintage-y for my strat

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by DaxTheHuman, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. gretev

    gretev Strat-O-Master

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    I always recommend the Fender Custom Shop 69 Strat pickups. They are my favorite Strat tone. Mellow, scooped mids, clear highs, tight bass. Pure Hendrix. Get em!
     
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  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    yessir.. years ago I would recommend simply changing the cheep Chinese speaker in the amp for a huge improvement in tone... I just got tired of explaining that all speakers do not sound alike...
    r
     
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  3. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    What? That’s crazy people Here wouldn’t listen to you. It’s almost like saying people get pissed if you mention practice on the instrument to solve a lot of questions.
     
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  4. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

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    True 'dis.

    The problem with high output pickups is that you're locked into a "hot" sound with no range - kind of like trying to build dynamics after starting a song loud.

    No one would say that Yngwie's tone sounds "low gain," yet he uses VERY low output pickups - at least his Dimarzios were - the vintage styled Area '58's are actually higher output than the HS-3's that he used to use - but the result was a very clear sound with little to no "mush," which you often end up with using super high output singles.

    This is part of the reason Eric Johnson said he prefers strats over Gibsons (although he does play Gibsons from time to time; ) there is a greater range available - Gibsons generally do dirt wonderfully but can struggle getting clear and clean - strats start out clear and clean and you just bump up the gain through your rig for the rest.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  5. R-Dizzle

    R-Dizzle Strat-Talker

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    You could have Hendrixs', Gilmours guitars but if theyre not playing through a decent amp, but youre using lets say a garbage can, your tone will still sound like trash
     
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  6. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

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    Amp guru Caesar Diaz said that the first time he saw SRV play he thought his playing was great, but that his amps were in such bad shape that his tone sucked - and he told Stevie so.
    Apparently it was early in his career, and instead of taking offense Stevie said, "Can you help me?"
    Caesar worked Stevie for the rest of his career.
     
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  7. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Kind of "off topic", but has anybody heard of or tried Fender Yosemite pickups? I saw a set for sale for a Telecaster, but have never heard anything about them before.
     
  8. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    The humility to learn from others is something we ALL need to continually work on. It’s similar to how Rene Martinez came to work for John Mayer full time.

    Rene had come out to a show at John’s request to work on a thing or two and Rene started poking around John’s rig prior to the gig and making some tweaks to amps and pedals and such and didn’t tell anyone. After the show Mayer was exclaiming how his tone that night was the best he’d ever had and Rene stepped in and told him what he did. And they’ve been on the road together since. Rene loves working for him.
     
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yosemite Pickups?? Tarrrrrrnation... Just get a dadgum set..... Yosemite-Sam-1.jpg

    r
     
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  10. uncle daddy

    uncle daddy Strat-O-Master

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    I wish I could. The set I ordered in May went from the USA to London to Brazil. Still no sign of them.
     
  11. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I love Yosemite Sam, but is he the guy that makes these pickups for Fender? Dogone, %#&@*, I need to know what they are before I buy a dadgum set!
     
  12. Torvald

    Torvald Strat-O-Master

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    Seems to be the way it is now. I waited almost four months for my Pribora pickups. Can't imagine how your pickups went to Brazil, though!
     
  13. Belltonenblues84

    Belltonenblues84 Strat-Talker

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    Klein pickups
     
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  14. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    This goes for humbucker as well. I used to think higher output was better when I was starting out. Now I just want a good sounding pickup with the right harmonics. The output can be pushed with other devices.
     
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  15. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Senior Stratmaster

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    That's why I won't ever buy a set of them. There's dozens of vintage sounding sets that aren't expensive and are well made.
     
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  16. REWTX

    REWTX Strat-Talker

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    Van Zandt true vintage.
     
  17. longboard blues

    longboard blues Senior Stratmaster

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    I bought a set of Bootstrap 54 sparkles. $50 US a set. They're amazing for the $$$. I'm sure the cork sniffers would insist that their $500 set are fuller in a specific part of the spectrum, but as I play with a band (studio and live) it's about what fits in with the sound. And for $50, i can buy some of their higher output ones too and have a couple of loaded guards ready to drop in.
     
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  18. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Silver Member

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    For me 60's = Lollar Blackface or Rocketfire Total 60's. Cannot go wrong with either IME
     
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  19. errikwong

    errikwong Strat-O-Master

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    Here is a rundown of my experience to date with different strat pickups:


    Bareknuckle Slow Hand
    Bright without the shrill ice-pick, great fat bottom-end piano-like tones; amazing clarity and takes all kinds of overdrive/distortion well. Slightly higher output and slightly more midrange vs vintage spec, and works incredibly well with all amps.


    Fender 1995 American Standard
    Middle and bridge pickups are not particularly inspiring with anaemic sound; only the neck pickup has something special going on, where it exhibits a very characterful tonality.


    Fender ‘57 USA Vintage Reissue Stratocaster (1990)
    Classic 50s strat tone, with loads of body and warmth in the neck position, very usable middle pickup, and bright bridge pickup. Loads of chime in position 4, and plenty of cluck in position 2 as you would expect from a nice 50s-style set.


    Fender 2008 American Standard
    Bright and aggressive, with a harsh top end. Rather anaemic in the mid-range, the bottom end is clear, but nothing much to write home about. In my experience, it requires a little help from pedals to sound good, so from that point of view is a suitable blank slate if all you want is that "stereotypical strat tone" with which you lay on the effects.


    Fender Player Series MIM Stratocaster (2019)
    Great clean and spanky sound, but with a little less depth for alnico magnets. Sounds great driven, but can be classified as “generic vintage sounding pickups”.


    Fender Vintera 70s Stratocaster (2019)
    Great chimey clean tone. Loads of sparkle and quack in positions 2 & 4, but with great body and ‘bounce’ in the bottom end. Very reminiscent of the sound used by The Edge in “The Joshua Tree”.


    Fender Custom Shop Fat ‘50s
    Fat bottom end with good clarity and sparkle in the top end. Chewy upper mids, chimey quack in positions 2 & 4. Bridge pickup not that shrill, but nice and articulate even with tone rolled down. The middle pickup is the secret weapon, being very toneful and musical.


    Fender Custom Shop Fat ‘60s
    Hotter, thicker 60s strat tone but retaining the bottom end piano tone of the PV ‘65s. Ever so slightly rolled off top end without losing chime and quack. Records well and is proving to be incredibly versatile.


    Fender Pure Vintage '59
    Big, bold tone, very SRV/Mayer/Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Chewy, slightly scooped mids, great gritty clarity and is what Texas Specials want to be when they grow up. Fantastic for all applications, but bridge pickup needs taming of high end.


    Fender Pure Vintage '65
    Lively with plenty of bell and piano-tone. Pretty much the definitive bright 60s strat tone. Not for those seeking a fat texas blues sound, at least to my ears. Seems to perform a lot better when clean vs higher levels of overdrive, where it loses some degree of articulation.


    Klein Jazzy Cats
    Bright, lean tone. Supposedly THE Mayer tone, but this is BS as far as I am concerned. Overall tonality was too bright and shrill, and only usable in pure clean or edge-of-breakup tones. Far too thin unless you add base plate and resistor in series to cut high end (which I have done). Could probably work best when going into a very mellow amp, or unless you want the kind of top-end response that kills your hearing prematurely.


    Lace Sensor Gold (1993 Fender Strat Plus)
    Dark tonality, but plenty of meat when driven. Does not have the typical sparkle and quack for a strat, and requires a significant boost in trebles on the amp in order to get closer to the sound of a ‘vintage-sounding’ strat.


    Lindy Fralin SP43 set
    Thick, fat sound, retains articulation even though there is less obvious "chime" and "sparkle". Leaning towards the darker end of the tonal spectrum but retains spank and quack in positions 2 & 4; turns into an incredible beast when overdriven. Supposedly P90-esque tone in strat single coil format.


    Porter Hybrids
    Very similar to the Fender PV '65, but perhaps a little more scooped and thinner in the upper mids. Spongy bottom end. Reminds me of the "Sultans of Swing" kind of vibe.
     
  20. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    Agreed...

    My favorite humbucker is the Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates bridge pickup in my hot rodded HSH Strat.

    Moderate output, but super dynamic, lively, harmonically rich and clear...

    EB8BE4D1-1FD7-4FA7-A176-4EFEDA29957E.jpeg

     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
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