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I love ceramic ( I think...)

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by laidback, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. laidback

    laidback TDPRI Member

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    I've had a few strats in my life but my favorite of all is an Aerodyne I found in a pawn shop for $90.00 As far as I know it has the original ceramic pickups in it, and they just rock! They don't do that sweet, glassy strat sound very well but for all that stuff where you just want a little hair on the note they're great. I like everything about this guitar: it's light, comfortable, the neck feels good, and it's just quirky enough to be cool.
    It's funny, I have a brand new G&L Legacy that lives in a case and I'm playing this pawn shop queen because I actually like it better.
     
  2. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm assuming they're the same pickups in my MIM Standard.
    I love them.
    I usually play 2 guitars at a gig and every time I trade to the Strat, I plug it in, hit a couple notes and just think, "DAMN!"
     
  3. richey88

    richey88 Tele-Afflicted

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    Great price for an Aero!! My 80's Fernandes has some killer ceramic pup's. Love it!!
     
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  5. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

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    Had a '90 MIM Strat Std that had the "ceramic magnet-on-bottom" P90-ish pickups and they were realllllllyyy good. Loved them.

    Not overly hot either.

    I realize that they are some of the most detested pickups on the planet but what do I know ?:D:D:D
     
  6. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think I now own that guitar, and it's the very one I'm talking about.
    The pickups kill!
    It's my main gigger...and I was never really a Strat guy...but this guitar got to me!
    I bought it to flip to a friend who was looking for a Strat and I told him he couldn't have this one.
    I found him another!
     
  7. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Friend of Leo's

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    Had a '94 MIM Strat with ceramics. They really didn't sound that bad.
     
  8. saladin

    saladin Tele-Meister

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    My favorite Strat pickups are from an old Peavey Predator!
     
  9. MN Punk

    MN Punk Tele-Holic

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    Me too! I've got a '99 (Korean) Predator Plus that cost me almost nothing. The bridge HB is every bit as terrible as the Fender HBs (I swapped in a JB and am now happy), but the neck and mid single-coil pickups absolutely SING.

    Like a lot of people here, I'm a tele person, but when it comes to strats I've owned a lot of 'em with a lot of different pickup options, some rather expensive, and that Peavey smokes them all as far as I'm concerned.
     
  10. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Poster Extraordinaire

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    I went looking for a guitar for one of my students a bunch of years ago (early 90s) and my buddy in the music store handed me a Predator and said, "Check THIS out."
    I bought it immediately.
     
  11. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

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    I love the punch of the ceramics... but have learned to appreciate the alnico(s) as well.
     
  12. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    Mine's a '93. I think they sound pretty good.

    Lately they've started to hum, has anyone else had this issue? Is there a fix, or do I need new pickups? I've had the guitar for 15 years, and didn't have this issue before.
     
  13. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    The stock dual bar magnet MIM Strat pickups don't sound bad to me. A lot of people automatically dismiss them.

    Some of the 80s/90s MIJ Strats pickups with a single bar magnet under the bobbin, my buddy has one of those and the pickups sound great, everyone who plays the guitar is impressed with them.

    And a LOT of humbucker guys like the ceramic magnet models.

    Hey if it sounds good to you , who cares what kind of magnet they used?
     
  14. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Friend of Leo's

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    I'd look at your wiring. Loose ground maybe? Try a different cord or amp, does it still hum?

    Has something been added to the wiring in your house, are you now closer to a computer/TV screen or changed residence? Hung up your favorite neon beer sign?

    Might not be just the pickups. Might be a change in your enviroment.
     
  15. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    Nah, I've lived in the same house for eight years and had all my gear in the same room. I use the same cord, just leave it plugged into my amps and switch guitars. My Tele and my LP don't hum through either of my amps (a Blues Jr and a solid state Frontman), but the Strat hums through both. I will pull the pickguard this weekend and see what I can see. It's an old guitar, it makes sense that something came loose.
     
  16. grapenehi

    grapenehi TDPRI Member

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    i had one of those 93'-95" mim strats... i'm guessing it had these pickups in it... best sounding guitar i ever owned... made the mistake of selling it to buy a les paul... the les paul was nice, but i'm still looking for that sound...
     
  17. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

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    Glad to hear that people have an "open mind" about ceramics vs. alnico. I think the assumption is that ceramics must be garbage because they are found on inexpensive guitars. The reality is that a guitar parts are like tools. You can have the best the quality screwdriver in the world, but if the head is "flat" and you need a "Phillips", the dollar store screwdriver in your drawer might be a better fit.

    We're talking about magnets. It's a single component in a pickup, which is itself the single component of a guitar, and even that combines with an amplifier and other components in a single chain to produce your "tone". Ceramic does tend to be brighter, but if you have a "muddy" setup, that might be the best fit for you. And as the poster said above, ceramic humbuckers are a whole different ballgame - a lot of people actually prefer those over alnico.

    It's good to be aware of the difference because if you buy a "pre-loaded pickguard" from GFS, all of them are ceramic magnets, unless it specifically says they are alnico. I have the dual chrome humbucker set, and I assumed I would replace them quickly, but after trying them out, I'm not sure there's a need. There are other things you can do to warm up a guitar (like switching to thicker strings, or changing from steel to GraphTech saddles), but the ceramic HB's do have great punch and I think I want to keep them for awhile!
     
  18. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

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    One of those Peavey Predators went on sale near me (used) for like $69. You guys are just TRYING to spend my money, aren't you. :D
     
  19. Hiker

    Hiker Friend of Leo's

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    ^^^ Check out that Predator before it disappears! :mrgreen:
     
  20. mattio

    mattio Tele-Meister

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    I've always thought the ceramic pickups in my mim standard strats sound great - I have to admit to changing them out but not because they sound bad really - more because I just want to try something else and due to the fact that I like to change stuff and work on my guitars. I'm in the middle of a partscaster build (all my parts are on their way in) right now and I look forward to try the GFS Crunchy Pat's I chose for this build. I plan to wire them up with a 5 way switch for coilsplitting. I've also had various ceramic factory pickups on Tokais and Squiers that I've been more than happy with.
     
  21. MontereyKid

    MontereyKid TDPRI Member

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    I bought a 94-95 mij fotoflame strat off eBay from Japan that came with bar on the bottom pickups that had amazing tone and clarity. I was gonna replace them but the guitar sounded better than the custom shop strats at my local GC.
    I eventually let that guitar go to a coworker when his wife asked me to help her find a guitar like that one for his 50th birthday. I tried to explain to her that finding a an exceptionally great sounding, great playing instrument takes time and timing. She did not understand what I was saying. I gave up and sold it to her. Took me three years to find another of the same caliber.
     
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