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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Strat pickup recommendations?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by twiggymac, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. twiggymac

    twiggymac Tele-Holic

    Jan 17, 2012
    Massachusetts - United States
    hey guys, recently got my first strat put together and im enjoying it quite a bit. the only problem i'm having is that the bridge pickup seems pretty tame compared to my other guitars (humbucker, humbucker sized p90, and a tele bridge pickup) so i'm thinking it needs to be changed out. the other pickups sound pretty great, so i think only the bridge needs a change.

    my question is, what do YOU guys like in the bridge of a strat? i plan on getting a custom warmoth guard made, so i can go pretty much anywhere with this.

    things that sound cool to me are:
    a mini humbucker
    tele bridge pickup
    pretty much anything besides a full size humbucker or a strat pickup (unless you guys have some goodies)

  2. ErikW

    ErikW Tele-Meister

    May 5, 2010
    St. Louis
    I'm a big fan of Zhangbucker pickups; he makes a set of very tele-like strat pups he calls "streles". That might be something to check out. He'll also custom wind you just about anything:

    Check about halfway down the page.

  3. anonymous

    anonymous TDPRI Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    If you really want to kick it up a notch try a Fred Stuart Lap Wrap bridge pickup. You can order from the Virtual Vintage Guitar site even though it is not listed.

    From the Gosia Guitars site in Europe "It is based on the early Fender lap steel pickup. Besides sounding like a bridge pickup on steroids, (it’s in the 10k range) it has tonal similarities of a P-90. It’s an incredible pickup! This, like the Black Guard™ pickups utilize ALNiCO 3 magnets."

    They cost 175, but worth it imho.

  4. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Feb 12, 2011

  5. rokdog49

    rokdog49 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 22, 2010
    D. Allen Hot 59 Bridge. Sounds a lot like certain Tele Bridges. Not thin but still a single-coil.
    Love mine.

  6. Scotland

    Scotland Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Aberdeen, Scotland, Yewrup
    I really like the Fender CS69, it does it for me.

  7. puremania

    puremania Tele-Holic

    May 25, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I'll throw in for the Lil 59 or JB Jr. Gets the job done, no cutting required.

  8. bun malaey

    bun malaey Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 14, 2012
    Shertz, TX
    Rio Grande Muy Grande.. strat pickup with great big fat hairy b#*?s

  9. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2008

  10. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    i feel its more amplification than pickups.Sweet sounding low powered strat pickups dirty up well with a good pedal amp combo where as a hot pickup is usually just that .I expect to be shot down over this by the way .

  11. Starrman44

    Starrman44 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2010
    North Dakota
    It is going to depend a lot on what all you are running as far as pedals or straight into the amp.

    I tried the 57/62 set and a set that were modeled after them and hated the fact that they weren't even sounding across the strings.

    I went for the Lawrence Microcoils and I love them. I am sure there are other pups out there that get more stratty sounding, etc, but for my purposes (straight into the amp), they get the job done.

  12. dblues

    dblues Tele-Holic

    Apr 3, 2011
    smyrna tn
    If you have'nt tried adjusting the heights to get a better result try that before you give up on these. You can set the bridge pu closer to the strings to better balance the output with the middle and neck. If your liking the sound of the neck and middle when you switch to the bridge it should just rock.

    By the way what do have in the guitar now?

  13. JKjr

    JKjr Tele-Holic

    Aug 24, 2007
    raleigh nc
    Twiggymac I see it's your first strat, so I'm gonna throw out a couple things I wish someone had told me. Like how the quack goes away in direct proportion to the pickup mismatch in the #4 position. The more powerful the bridge p'up the less quack you get. If you go with a HB you can split it to bring the quack back. Or how all the stacked HB's have a distinctive sound...notice how Uriah1 lumped them all together? Most people either love 'em or hate 'em. And you CAN get a non HB strat size with "great big fat hairy b#*?s". You can put tele p'ups in 'til the cows come home, a strat's gonna sound like a strat. Maybe more tele-ish, but the trem's the thing. Just like a PAF style doesn't sound like a Gibson.

    I'm not saying any of the above is good or bad, just things that seem to hold true and I wish I had paid more attention to in the past. As for what I personally like? Mostly I just like a stronger-wound strat style. My Lollars are "dirty". The bridge is really stout and thick but still very much a strat. A low-wind P-90 kicks arse. I like 'em straight up north-south. I haven't tried a Filtertron in the bridge but they sound great in the neck position.

    I heard a guy play a partscaster that had a bridge mini, 2 knobs, and a jackplate.He had a dirtbox and a cry-baby feeding a SFSR and thoroughly rocked the house.

    Since you pretty much have the bases covered with your other guitars I'd let this one be a strat, just a bigger badder one if that's what floats your boat. Any of the better winders can hook you up first try,give one a call. My favorites are Lollar and Fralin, but getting there is no secret to any of those guys. My experience has been that it's cheaper to do it that way than to try 3 or 4 SD's DMZ etc...searching.

  14. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2012
    Check out what Lindy Fralin has done with strat pups. That's his favorite guitar, so he put more time and effort into it. He has several demos you can watch and it compares different pups; pretty interesting.....

  15. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2010
    Too many to name! In my opinion though, strats benefit a lot by having a bridge pickup with some extra grunt. Mine came stock with CS69 (Alnico 5) pickups that measure around 5.5k, and though the bridge pickup sounded good, it was far too weak compared to the others. Adding a baseplate improved the sound, but it was still weak.
    One day I got a set of German pickups (also alnico 5) with neck and bridge measuring 6.1 and bridge measuring 6.4. They had a bit more midrange, and sounded smoother. For neck and middle, I thought they didn't sound as interesting as the CS69s, so they came out. The bridge pickup however is perfect, especially with a baseplate. More grunt, presence, and smoother highs.
    Perfection for me is now low wind, bright neck and middle, and a bridge pickup with grunt. I really like switching to bridge and feeling a jump in mids, drive and 'rock':).

    Check this out:

    Before getting a new pickup, maybe try experimenting with height and adding a baseplate.

  16. twiggymac

    twiggymac Tele-Holic

    Jan 17, 2012
    Massachusetts - United States
    ive fiddled with the heights, and i don't care too much for quack positions (blasphemy for a strat owner i suppose!) and my conclusion is that the pickups are not stock ones/ someone has done SOMETHING to the wiring/ pickups. it's a squier II, and i am pretty sure the neck isn't original so who's to say the pickups are? the bridge pickup has less output than the neck, which sounds pretty damn sweet. when i go home sometime soon (college kid) i think i'll try throwing some other strat pickups in there and see what happens, otherwise i'll need something else.

    a lot of people recommended either strat sized humbuckers or other strat pickups, so i guess i'm stick between those, a mini hum, or a tele bridge (i really just want something different).

    oh btw i generally run it through a fender princeton 65 with a bad monkey overdrive for solo work. i havn't been able to give this guitar all of its paces since im at school, but i KNOW the neck pickup is hotter than the bridge

  17. twiggymac

    twiggymac Tele-Holic

    Jan 17, 2012
    Massachusetts - United States
    i won a lot of 6 strat pickguards (some hss, some sss) so i can pretty much put together whatever i want. i have a prewired strat harness laying around so i'll try that out this next weekend when i get home!

  18. jamieorc

    jamieorc Tele-Meister

    Apr 22, 2011
    I put Wilde microcoils in my strat and love them. A bit of P-90 flavor in them. Incredible fidelity.

  19. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 26, 2011
    For starters, put in a $10 blender pot ...

  20. rogb

    rogb Tele-Holic

    Jan 3, 2012
    London, England
    I feel the opposite about mine, nothing special at all. I guess it's the same, I have the Hot 54/59 set. The cleans are beautiful though and the quack is good too, but hot? DC resistance is around 6.6K ISTR when I measured it.

    Only time it was hot was when I soldered it in:p
    No comparison to my Tele Ellis Broadcaster, now that rocks!

    In fact I'm going to drop in a Lil 59 when I get hold of one.

    If it was marketed as a 54/59 without the hot, that might be closer.
    EDIT: I tried a baseplate and wore out the screws adjusting height, but it ain't got no balls...

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