Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
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 HybridTele, May 10, 2018.

  1. HybridTele

    HybridTele TDPRI Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    New Jersey
    I know, I know... this is a HUGE, subjective can of worms but I'm going to ask anyway. :)

    I have a love / hate relationship with an excellent 2013 American Standard Strat - LOVE the guitar / HATE the pickups!

    To put a finer point on it, the pickups (there was a sticker on the PG that said "Custom Shop Pickups" - I assume Fat 50's?) sound fine individually, but the resultant volume drop in positions 2 & 4 due to the RWRP middle pickup drive me NUTS.

    Without breaking the bank (trying to keep this in the ~$250 range), can anyone recommend a set without a RWRP middle that will get me in the ballpark of the tone of a '62 Strat?

    I really don't care about hum cancelling - hell it hums in positions 1, 3, & 5 anyway!!

    My reference for this tone is all over Ronnie Earl "Guitar Virtuoso in Europe". He plays a beautiful sounding '62 Strat.

    I've searched the web numerous times, but always end up overwhelmed and confused and give up!
  2. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World
    You could get a set of the Original 57/62 pickups, which don't have a RWRP middle pickup (unless they are pulled from a Classic Player 50's Strat). But be advised that they are built to accommodate the wider, vintage string spacing and the pickup pole pieces will not be aligned directly below your strings, most noticeably with the neck pickup. It's really only a visual "feature", they sound great.
    Jim W, rider7, SPUDCASTER and 2 others like this.
  3. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Holic

    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    If you have the budget The Duncan Antiquity Surfers are something else....the Bare Knuckles mother milk are really fine...but for the money I would have to say Bootstraps blew my mind..I have them in my gigging strat...and there is no volume drop at 2 and 4...they deliver the goods and Ryan is cool to deal with...he will wind them to your specs. check him out.
    Mincer and BB like this.
  4. jonrpick

    jonrpick Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2014
    Marietta, GA
    Your neck and middle pickups are probably very similar.

    Why not just swap the middle for a non RWRP neck model Fat 50's?
    hrstrat57 and bgmacaw like this.
  5. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

    May 4, 2010
    San Antone
    Do yourself a favor and talk to Rob Distefano at Cavalier pickups. I just got a set of his Bengal Tigers and they are the best sounding Strat pickups I have ever heard. Rob can talk to you about what your needs are and steer you in the right direction.
    lineboat, rich815, Teleguy61 and 2 others like this.
  6. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 24, 2012
    Southern California
    I like a P90 pickup in the neck, strat pickup in the middle and a tele pickup or humbucker in the bridge in a strat, and I always use Seymour Duncan Antiquities or vintage model pickups.
    Mincer and Zepfan like this.
  7. h4ck.b0x7

    h4ck.b0x7 Tele-Holic

    Nov 29, 2011
    United States
    Fralin Vintage Hots are really nice as are Fender Custom Shop Custom '54's.
  8. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Holic

    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    For that Ronnie tone..he mainly plays on pos 4 and he picks in the bridge...any low wound Alnico 5 mag pickup would work...the MIJ alnicos pups are really good for this tone. You're going to get a ton of recommendations for sure.
  9. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Feb 20, 2018
    I'll throw my hat in... my advice: don't get too caught up on "you must have a matched set". That can work fine, but I've had better satisfaction auditioning for each position. My fav strat has a dimarzio red velvet in the bridge (brass plate and 8.3k), rio grande rwrp tallboy in the middle with flat poles (7.1k), and (I think) a sd antiquity in the neck(6.?). I've auditioned full sets of texas specials and antiquities, 90's american std, dimarzio blue velvet, red/blue/gold lace and lots of others but ended up choosing each position individually and I really like it - might work for you. I still have pretty good balance altho that's not as important to me. Just a thought.
  10. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    By The Levee
    As above, Fender 57/62 set.
    Jim W, rider7, Teleterr and 1 other person like this.
  11. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 11, 2006
    Greater Boston
  12. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 11, 2016
    I think you would like the 57/62 set. I have them in one of my strats. They really nail the late 50's/early 60's strat sound. I found mine new on Ebay for $120.
    SPUDCASTER likes this.
  13. rmendozajr

    rmendozajr TDPRI Member

    Nov 16, 2011
    My vote goes to either the 57/62 or the Pure Vintage 59 set. They’re both easy on the pocket yet they yield great strat tones. I had a Fat 50s neck that was really nice but ultimately I stayed with the 59s. Just my 2 cents
    x2plex likes this.
  14. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    Its not the RPRW thats hurting 2 and 4, its just they are in parallel. What about just having series hook up for 2 and 4 ? Oddly, I find that 4 is less muddy in series, as well as not losing volume.
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  15. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    I am SUPER happy with the '59 Professional Series from.....GFS.
    They also have a '62 set.
    Choose reverse wound or not.
    Short sheckels, too.
  16. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Meister

    Mar 13, 2018
    There are a lot of great suggestion above. I'll just add to the chorus of recommendations that you consider trying a different middle PU especially if you really like the current PUs generally.

    FWIW, I replaced my strat pickups with a Lollar Dirty Blonde set and really couldn't be happier. Even with a slightly hotter bridge PU, and a RWRP middle pickup, there's not a significant volume drop in position 2 and 4. If anything those pickup settings are the most improved over the lace sensors I replaced.
  17. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Dec 11, 2009
    Bloomington, MN
    I put the Fender Custom Shop '54 series pickups in my AVRI sometime around 1999 or so - Well that's what I'm thinking I put in, even though I could have sworn they said '55, but I can't find any evidence of that being offered, so I'm saying the '54 ones -
    Seriously awesome sounding pickups - they're not quiet for sure, but the guitar sounds like a Strat..... not funny, but it's really got THAT sound and I find it useful - think Lay Down Sally when quiet and clean and more like The Core when not so soft n' loose - Very Clapton like Strat sounds from an era before he began using Lace Sensor types -- Classic Strat all the way for me - How much of that is the guitar? I don't know - but this one nails it
  18. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World

    I played a Strat with the Custom '54's years ago, and it had a wonderful vintage tone; probably the best vintage tone of any I've played. But I don't need vintage tone....I want BALLS DELUXE.
    h4ck.b0x7 likes this.
  19. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Holic

    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    He is wanting Earl tone not
  20. h4ck.b0x7

    h4ck.b0x7 Tele-Holic

    Nov 29, 2011
    United States
    You could always get a Red Silver Blue set of Lace Sensors. or put a Humbucker in the bridge.
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