Which PUs would you recommend if I'm loving the sound of my Squier VM70s Strat

elimnio

New Member!
Nov 25, 2022
1
Wien
A few month ago a bought a used Squier 70s Vintage Modified Strat (Indonesia), with Seymour Duncan Designed PUs, black with maple neck and big headstock and I really like the sound of those pickups through a Rocket Dude and a Fender HRD. I mostly play it on position 4 (n+m) because the neck PU is really strong and beefy (?) sounding. Usually I prefer to play the strat on the neck PU alone. Also the bridge is quite powerful and sounds great with the volume turned back a bit to reduce the pircing highs.

Now I want to put a similiar sounding set in my partscaster (with MJT Sunburst Body and Musikfraft 1pc Maple neck). Currently I use Fender Yosemite PUs for n+m and some kind of Suhr PU in the bridge (I bought that set used). Sounds great, but the Squier has a little more Output and bite and more dynamic and doesn't sound as "polite" oder flat as my partscaster.

Preferably I would buy a set of 3 together. Any recommendations would be appriciated!

Thanks!
Emil
 
Last edited:

jvin248

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014
5,939
Michigan
.

Pickup heights, pickup bass/treble tip, and the actual measured values of the pots and caps matter to the tone as much as the pickups do. I'd start there. You can tune out the ice pick on the set in your Squier if you adjust the treble side lower.

Ear fatigue will set in while adjusting and listening. Best to get it so it's what you think is 'best' during that session even though you don't think it's 'great' and then come back the next day and it often sounds 'awesome'.

I used to swap pickups until I learned how the pickup setup and swapping known measured control parts can push the tone around -- for free or a tenth the cost of pickups. I've seen people swap pickups two or three times and then sell off the guitar in frustration when their real issue was in the pickup setup or the pots and caps. Example: pots have a 20% tolerance range and it matters which end of the spec the part sits at just like you 'know' what happens with 250kohm vs 500kohm pots.

.
 

solitaire

Strat-Talk Member
Aug 23, 2017
28
The heartland of Sweden.
There are just so many flavours of pickups out there to choose from, from the mass produced SD and Dimmies to more boutique stuff. In this world of options my advice to you would be finding one brand of pickups which you prefer the general character of and then try to zoom in on the style/ model of pickup you want from there.

The Yosemites have a mix of A2 and A4 as I understand it. Now A2 pickups can be designed to compress quite a bit and therefore not be as direct/ immediate as e.g. A5. Could this be what you're missing? Then - and forgive me for potentially sounding like a broken record - A2 doesn't have to mean squishy and compressing as e.g. diMarzio use A2 for models where Fender originally used A5.

You would also have to take into account the tonewood used for the body: species, weight, etc. This may affect your choice of pickups and e.g. component values. Shall I assume this body of yours is alder?

I would agree with Jvin above that the distance from strings matter a great bit too.

If you're in Europe, same as me, we don't have too many options available to us. I would reckon: Fender, SD, diMarzio... I know Thomann have Kinmann, Lollar and Fralins You probably have Tonerider and, local to my home country: Lundgrens. English brand BKP, etc.
 

VTStratocaster28

Strat-Talk Member
Jul 23, 2022
22
Miami Florida
A few month ago a bought a used Squier 70s Vintage Modified Strat (Indonesia), with Seymour Duncan Designed PUs, black with maple neck and big headstock and I really like the sound of those pickups through a Rocket Dude and a Fender HRD. I mostly play it on position 4 (n+m) because the neck PU is really strong and beefy (?) sounding. Usually I prefer to play the strat on the neck PU alone. Also the bridge is quite powerful and sounds great with the volume turned back a bit to reduce the pircing highs.

Now I want to put a similiar sounding set in my partscaster (with MJT Sunburst Body and Musikfraft 1pc Maple neck). Currently I use Fender Yosemite PUs for n+m and some kind of Suhr PU in the bridge (I bought that set used). Sounds great, but the Squier has a little more Output and bite and more dynamic and doesn't sound as "polite" oder flat as my partscaster.

Preferably I would buy a set of 3 together. Any recommendations would be appriciated!

Thanks!
Emil
I have the same exact guitar and I have modified it by adding Black Graph-Tech Ratio Tuners and a Tusq nut plus a complete set up.

I like the Duncan designed pickups but the pots and electronics are just awful.

I have already upgraded the guitar beyond what it is actually worth, which is okay because I really like to play it.

I also own a 2021 Fender Stratocaster Player Plus in Aged Candy Apple Red with Pau Fero fingerboard and Noiseless pickups with 22 frets.
I really enjoy playing my Black 2016 Squire Stratocaster with Maple Neck and fingerboard and I am hoping to purchase a loaded pickguard with better electronics that will make my Squire sound better.

If anyone can recommend some loaded pickguards for this guitar I am all ears!

Since I already have three Noiseless Single Coils on my Player Plus maybe a Hum-Bucker loaded Pick guard could work as well.

Looking forward to hearing from anyone who has modified their Indonesian made Squire Stratocaster Vintage Modified guitar.

Appreciate any input!
 

VTStratocaster28

Strat-Talk Member
Jul 23, 2022
22
Miami Florida
Which Duncan designed pickups are in it? I have a set of Duncan Designed SC101that are probably a match to what you have. I haven't decided what to do with them yet.
I think I have the same pick ups as you.

I like the DD pickups a lot, but I think the wiring and electronics need to be upgraded to get the best sound out of them.

I like to shop on Stratosphere.com as they have a lot of loaded pick guards for sale for very reasonable prices.

My reason for looking at loaded pickguards is that they save time and money on installation.

Perhaps I should just get a quote from my luthier on upgrading the wiring and the pots and skip searching for a loaded pickguard?

That said, I can buy loaded pickguards with excellent pups for under a $100 or Less.

You can buy a Loaded Pickguard with new Fender Noiseless Pick from a used Player Plus for under $200 on Stratosphere!

Of course those new noiseless pickups would not fit in a Squire Stratocaster because the routing is not deep enough to accept the depth of noiseless pups, plus the 5 ways switch would not fit a Squire Stratocaster.

Thanks
 

stratmandooo58

Strat-Talk Member
May 11, 2008
65
Haltom City texas
I agree with jvin....proper pickup height is everything. Whether its a 1983 Fender Japan with ceramics, 1992 Am Standard, mid 2000's Mexi or a Players they all have very musical pickups once you dial in the proper height and find the "sweet spot". I think too many players swap pickups chasing a tone that is unattainable unless its within them and their fingers to start with.
 

Chipss36

Senior Stratmaster
Oct 1, 2018
1,457
Texas
I agree with jvin....proper pickup height is everything. Whether its a 1983 Fender Japan with ceramics, 1992 Am Standard, mid 2000's Mexi or a Players they all have very musical pickups once you dial in the proper height and find the "sweet spot". I think too many players swap pickups chasing a tone that is unattainable unless its within them and their fingers to start with.
and I think many player‘s do not understand that a stellar set of pickups, can be way out of wack adjustment wise, and still sound stellar.
pickup hight changes volume. In a very crude way.
a pickup swap, changes resonate frequency, and q.

they are not the same thing.

you can adjust pickups, without bashing people who know the difference.

I have obtained the tones and feel, I was after, with pickup swaps.
an order of magnitude over stock…..so….

just a thought.
 

VTStratocaster28

Strat-Talk Member
Jul 23, 2022
22
Miami Florida
A few month ago a bought a used Squier 70s Vintage Modified Strat (Indonesia), with Seymour Duncan Designed PUs, black with maple neck and big headstock and I really like the sound of those pickups through a Rocket Dude and a Fender HRD. I mostly play it on position 4 (n+m) because the neck PU is really strong and beefy (?) sounding. Usually I prefer to play the strat on the neck PU alone. Also the bridge is quite powerful and sounds great with the volume turned back a bit to reduce the pircing highs.

Now I want to put a similiar sounding set in my partscaster (with MJT Sunburst Body and Musikfraft 1pc Maple neck). Currently I use Fender Yosemite PUs for n+m and some kind of Suhr PU in the bridge (I bought that set used). Sounds great, but the Squier has a little more Output and bite and more dynamic and doesn't sound as "polite" oder flat as my partscaster.

Preferably I would buy a set of 3 together. Any recommendations would be appriciated!

Thanks!
Emil
After thinking this over for a while, I have decided to ask my luthier if he could replace all oil the major electronics on my 2016 Vintage Modified Squire Strat and keep the 3 Duncan Designed pickups. On my V.M. Strat, the two treble controls affect each other and are not wired properly. The Volume control turns so easily that I had to put sticky tape underneath the knob so it would stay on the setting I chose instead of spinning freely.

Upgrades I have done to my Vintage Modified (my Luthier did the work)

1) Replaced junk tuners with Black Graph Tech RATIO Locking Tuners. ($175.00 after installation)
2) Installed Black Graph Tech Tusq Bridge Nut (makes the tremelo work smoothly)
3) Installed New Black Graph Tech String Saver Saddles
4) Installed Two Black Graph Tech String Trees ( after removing old string trees)
5) Complete Set up - Neck Adjustment - by a Luthier

I also own a new 2021 Fender Stratocaster Player Plus with noiseless pickups. My Player Plus is my favorite guitar but I had some work done on it that took over a week. I played my VM Squire Stratocaster everyday for a week and I wasn't missing my main axe. I like my Black 2016 Squire Stratocaster almost as much as I like my Aged Candy Apple Red Fender Stratocaster Player Plus.

I hope to have the work done on my Squire Stratocaster that I outlined by March of 2023. I will keep you posted as to the results. if you don't work on your own guitars the most important thing is to find a really good luthier that can help you decide what to invest in your guitar.

I had been stuck with one luthier who was okay but he liked to charge high prices. I finally found a really good Luthier who is more creative and he doesn't charge high prices for his work. It pays to ask around.

You had asked for any recommendations, here they are.

1) I bought my used Vintage Modified for $250.00 which was a little high but it already had the Black Graph Tech String Saver Saddles and black Graph Tech String tree's. I ended up putting a lot of money into it which I don't recommend doing with out thinking thru the process. Before upgrading your guitar you have to ask yourself if you would be better off putting your money towards a second hand Fender rather than trying to turn your Squire into a Fender? Personally I grew a lot by upgrading my guitar and it helped me work up to buying a new Fender, but if I had to do it over again I think I would have been better off putting all the money into a new or second hand Fender. I have a Squire that will never be worth what I have invested in it, but I love the 21 fret guitar and gives me something my Player Plus doesn't have.

other recommendations or free advice
on
2) Pay a luthier to remove the old junk tuners and install a set of new locking tuners (locking Tuners are necessary if you want to use your temelo system) <$175-200 depending on tuners)
3) Pay a Luthier to instal a graph tech Tusq XL Bridge-Nut ($14) while he changing our the tuners (this is a self lubricating nut that is mandatory if you want to use your tremolo system and stay in tune while playing )
A few month ago a bought a used Squier 70s Vintage Modified Strat (Indonesia), with Seymour Duncan Designed PUs, black with maple neck and big headstock and I really like the sound of those pickups through a Rocket Dude and a Fender HRD. I mostly play it on position 4 (n+m) because the neck PU is really strong and beefy (?) sounding. Usually I prefer to play the strat on the neck PU alone. Also the bridge is quite powerful and sounds great with the volume turned back a bit to reduce the pircing highs.

Now I want to put a similiar sounding set in my partscaster (with MJT Sunburst Body and Musikfraft 1pc Maple neck). Currently I use Fender Yosemite PUs for n+m and some kind of Suhr PU in the bridge (I bought that set used). Sounds great, but the Squier has a little more Output and bite and more dynamic and doesn't sound as "polite" oder flat as my partscaster.

Preferably I would buy a set of 3 together. Any recommendations would be appriciated!

Thanks!
Emil
4) Pay a Luther to do a complete set up on your guitar (Read up on what a complete set up is). Approximately ($75-12)


This is probably a lot more recommendations than you were asking for, but I had some free time this afternoon and thought I would send this out to you.

Good Luck with your Vintage Modified Squire Stratocaster

Michael Murphy
Lyndonville, VT 05851


Remember: Every Guitar needs a complete set up!
 


Top