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Old May 15th, 2011, 02:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fender Custom Shop '69 Pickups

I'm thinking about getting some of these to put in my Strat. Any opinions? The other alternative I'm considering is the set that Seymour Duncan offers--the "Classic 50's" set.

I want some traditional Strat pickups that can be nice and round, but still clear and fat. But I also want them to sound good when I go for a rude, hot blues tone...

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Old May 15th, 2011, 02:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, the '69s are clear enough and they'll give up nice Hendrix style Strat sounds, but they're not fat and they won't give up a hot blues sound. More bright sting to the '69s than you may be looking for.

If you're looking at Fender pickups and you still want vintage chime to go with a round, warm sound, I'd suggest the Fat 50s.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 07:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I love CS69 pickups for that Hendrix tone. They get nice piano tones on the low strings and the neck pickup is pretty creamy. The bridge is a little hotter, so it doesn't get all thin sounding.

Lance installed some Fat 50's in a new Strat he just built. I didn't really find them that fat. They were fatter than 57/62's, but not as creamy as CS69's. They were a very typical 50's sounding Strat set to em, for sure. I liked them. But, I didn't hear 'fat'? Maybe pickup height?

I have no experience with the Seymour Duncan set, so I can't comment on them.

Interestingly, I am a big fan of Tex-Mex pickups in a Strat, but they don't seem to get a lot of love around here. I like the Stratty in between sounds, lots of quack and I like the neck pickup for that Hendrixy lead thing. I play mostly Blues, but not super dirty blues... I tend to like a cleaner sound than a lot of my friends, so maybe that's part of it too?

I don't think you can go wrong with CS69's they're one of my favorite Fender pickups for sure! Check out youtube vids of Classic Player 60's Strats....
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Old May 15th, 2011, 08:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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+ 1 on CS '69s

One of the top three sets Fender makes !
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Old May 15th, 2011, 12:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Axis29 View Post
I love CS69 pickups for that Hendrix tone. They get nice piano tones on the low strings and the neck pickup is pretty creamy. The bridge is a little hotter, so it doesn't get all thin sounding.

Lance installed some Fat 50's in a new Strat he just built. I didn't really find them that fat. They were fatter than 57/62's, but not as creamy as CS69's. They were a very typical 50's sounding Strat set to em, for sure. I liked them. But, I didn't hear 'fat'? Maybe pickup height?

I have no experience with the Seymour Duncan set, so I can't comment on them.

Interestingly, I am a big fan of Tex-Mex pickups in a Strat, but they don't seem to get a lot of love around here. I like the Stratty in between sounds, lots of quack and I like the neck pickup for that Hendrixy lead thing. I play mostly Blues, but not super dirty blues... I tend to like a cleaner sound than a lot of my friends, so maybe that's part of it too?

I don't think you can go wrong with CS69's they're one of my favorite Fender pickups for sure! Check out youtube vids of Classic Player 60's Strats....
I am a big fan of the Fender's '69s, but the bridge is very much on the thin side imo, and all 3 pickups have the same output. There are no extra winds to pump up the bridge.

I think that the '69s are the best pickup that Fender makes but, other than having a neck sound to die for, I don't hear them meeting the OPs needs.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 10:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had been anti-strat for a long while until I purchased a classic player 60s with the CS69s, absolutely nails the smooth lead sounds off that neck pup, really great for an all rounder pickup and has really turned me on to the stratocaster as a workhorse guitar, but I wouldn't use the strat for sizzling hot or super dirty stuff - that's P90 territory for me.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 11:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Buy some cs 69 and be done with it.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 11:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just finished installing 69's in my MIM Strat. Had CS Tex-Specs. Too hot, now just right.

Love them.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 11:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Custom Shop 69's are nice...Seymour Duncan ssl-1's (the California Set $142 Street) are super nice......I like a lower output for TONE.....
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Old May 16th, 2011, 02:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I own a CP60 strat with the proper CS 69s and, in accordance with rhinocaster's suggestion, I don't see how those pickups fit the OPs needs.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the smooth, sparkling yet still warm tone I get out of my strat. But I think the OP is looking for something else. I agree with the Fender fat 50s not being so fat at all.
I find it hard to come up with a few good suggestions right now, but perhaps the Seymour Duncan SSL-3 is right up your alley? Guitar Fetish has quite a selection of slight to moderate overwound pickups as well and they won't break the bank either.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well, the '69s are clear enough and they'll give up nice Hendrix style Strat sounds, but they're not fat and they won't give up a hot blues sound. More bright sting to the '69s than you may be looking for.

If you're looking at Fender pickups and you still want vintage chime to go with a round, warm sound, I'd suggest the Fat 50s.
+10000

Waaaay to bright for my tastes anyways...

You could just go try a classic player 60's strat. they have them stock..

And even with the rosewood board they are brittle to say the least.. I think they sound great in 1st and 2nd position with tone rolled to about 4, but all the other positions are useless imo.. If you have a maple board strat you are in big trouble imo....

Ofcourse it depends on the amp too.. But really not a versatile choice at all imo.

The 57 on the other hand imo lacks a bit of what I at least, consider the traditional strat sound ala Knopfler etc ( the 2 and 4 positions). They sound great, but are jsut not poppy/plucky enough, and you might find yourself better off with a tele.

When talking fender pickups I personally like some of the cheaper alternatives a lot better. The texmex (don't laugh) and the texas specials I find to have the best of both worlds, in that they can get that lovely srv grind that jsut sounds huge and have a lovely attack that compliments AND imo defines the strat for blues. BUT you also get the thinner pluckier/quackier knopler tones and the inbetween hendrix like tones.

You could try the jimmy vaughn mexican signatures or roadworns for the tex-mexs and you can try the emerican specials or the knopfler sig for texas specials.

Best of luck...
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Had 69's for a while, but they have their limits......check out something a bit more verstile IMO, no affiliation

http://www.dallenpickups.com/
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Old May 16th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Interesting that you guys find the 69's brittle... I would never have gone that way with them! In Lance's CP60's Strat, they are very creamy and thick sounding...

I can't laugh, I love the Tex-Mex in my 60's RW Strat! But I would never really call them round or fat... Maybe they do if you crank them up close to the strings, but I have them down pretty low and they sound like a good vintage set... but fat? I dunno if I'd go that far. I get a good piano tone on the lower strings and good bright sound on the high strings with them, but I find Lance's 69's a little creamier. Not a bad thing, mind you for either set of pickups... I like them both.

I was hesitant to suggest Texas Specials, but maybe that's what we're heading towards?
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Old May 16th, 2011, 10:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Think of it as a spectrum: 69's are clear and sparkly quintessential vintage strat sounding pickups; Fat 50's (my latest favorite) are a little punchier with hotter midrange and maybe not as much top end; Texas Specials are even more overwound so they're honkier and not as clear. I think the Fat 50's sound fantastic with a bluesy grind, SRV type of thing.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 05:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Of all the Fender pickups I prefer the Fat 50's. I tried various strats with the 69's, Tex Mex, 54's and Texas Specials before getting the Fat 50's.

If the tones aren't to your liking with the pups set at the recommended heights then lowering them gives a lower output to make them more like the 54's. But the big bonus with the Fats is that the middle one is reverse wound so you get less hum from any lights etc in the 2 and 4 positions. This is very useful on gigs where there are lights and older electric circuitry.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Interesting that you guys find the 69's brittle... I would never have gone that way with them! In Lance's CP60's Strat, they are very creamy and thick sounding...

I can't laugh, I love the Tex-Mex in my 60's RW Strat! But I would never really call them round or fat... Maybe they do if you crank them up close to the strings, but I have them down pretty low and they sound like a good vintage set... but fat? I dunno if I'd go that far. I get a good piano tone on the lower strings and good bright sound on the high strings with them, but I find Lance's 69's a little creamier. Not a bad thing, mind you for either set of pickups... I like them both.

I was hesitant to suggest Texas Specials, but maybe that's what we're heading towards?
Well your right FAT might not be the correct term,, guess I was trying too hard to outline the difference between the more vintagy wamth and the 69's spank and glass..

Maybe his guitar is just an extraordinarily nice guitar, cuz every guitar I have tried with 69's have left me with the same feeling... It's not a bad thing cuz they do sound great, but are very limited in their use imo.. at least in the guitars I have tried them in.

But yeah... texas specials i think is the answer here
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Old May 19th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I love the Tex Mex pus, also. I recently bought a really nice early Jimmie Vaughan figuring I would pull the PUs, but after making some height adjustments, I love them. They are VERY sensitive to height adjustment, but dialed down produce some really nice "Layla" era tones, IMO. And the neck PU is one of Fender's best Strat neck PU.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 12:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You might check out the D. Allen CS 69 Voodoo set. He has a site with a clean and a dirty clip. Both clips sound great. I'm seriously thinking about buying a set myself. I've read nothing but good things about his stuff but I have no first hand experience with them. (yet) Google "D.Allen Pickups"
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Old May 21st, 2011, 01:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You might check out the D. Allen CS 69 Voodoo set. He has a site with a clean and a dirty clip. Both clips sound great. I'm seriously thinking about buying a set myself. I've read nothing but good things about his stuff but I have no first hand experience with them. (yet) Google "D.Allen Pickups"
I have a set D.Allen CS 69 voodoo , best set of pups I own . I have had many different sets. When ordering them though make sure which colour cover you want cause they have a custom string spacing and reg. Fender covers are not a direct fit.

I have a set of his new Cheetah tele pups coming in next week.

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Old May 21st, 2011, 05:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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It's always good to have at least 2 strats one with fat hot pickups for the puch and growl, and another strat with low output vintage classic clarity. I like both.
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