2012 american strat fat 50s pick ups

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Grandfunkfan, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    Just bought a 2012 american standard strat with fat 50s pickups. Beautiful candy apple red with a rosewood fret board. It's in mint condition, not even any fret wear, but I'm not loving the pickups. Not a big deal to replace them, but I'm wondering if anybody else feels the same way about them. Maybe I'm missing something. I have a 99 American standard and a Vintera 50s strat and they are both way better sounding. Is it just an " old dude out of touch" thing?
     
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  2. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    I found the hum objectionable and the tone “middle of the road” for lack of a better way to describe it. I have a CS ‘69 Stratocaster and I love the bright, clean, clear vintage tone. I love the twang and especially the middle pickup tone. I replaced the pickups in the American Standard Stratocaster with Ultimate Noiseless pickups with an S1 switch for 7 sounds. They’re virtually silent. They’re not twangy. They have more of a chime with exceptional harmonic complexity. The Ultimates and CS ‘69 pickups are very different from each other but each has character. Either would make a great upgrade to an American Standard Strat if you’re into what they offer.
     
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  3. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the info. I love the pickups in my 99 strat. They switched to the fat 50s not long after that and of course the older ones aren't available. Do you still have the pickups from your American strat, and is it pre 2000?
     
  4. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    Fender didn't switch to the Fat 50s pickups until early 2012. The ones they switched to in mid-2000 were pretty similar to the pickups used from roughly 1997-mid-2000 - but they did change from flat polepieces to staggered-height polepieces. That being said they really sounded very similar to me; there was also an update in 2008 but the pickups were not really different then either.

    While they are no longer on the Fender website they did sell the 2008-2011 version of the American Standard pickups as an aftermarket set; you might be able to find some of them. I would have thought that the Vintera 50s Strat would be similar to the Fat 50s - but they are slightly lower output than the Fat 50s. You can buy the Vintera 50s pickups aftermarket.

    Pickups are always subjective - personally I like the Fat 50s a lot better than the American Standard pickups. If you look here or on Strat-Talk you'll find that players are split - some like me prefer the Fat 50s; some prefer the American Standard pickups.
     
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  5. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    I'll probably go with the Vintera pickups. I know how they sound and they're only $120.00. Oddly they sound very similar to my 99 American.
     
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  6. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was never a fan of the Fat 50s either. Usually, any pickup for a Strat or Tele described as "fat" translates as "dull" to me. I have 2 sets of the flat pole Am Stds in my pickup drawer. One set is older than the other, and has the 2 philips head screws in the bottom of the bobbin on the bridge pickup (it's supposed to beef up the sound, like the plate on a Tele bridge pickup). I don't have a guitar to put them in, 'cause my Pro with V-Mods and Performer with Yosemites don't need changing at all, my Squier CV 70s Strat has Texas Specials, and my Oscar Schmidt OS-300 has Dimarzio VV 2.1s, both of which I like even more than the Am Std ones. I also have a set of Lawrence L250s and Dimarzio Area 58s in need of a home.
    As for Vinteras, the standard ones have vintage style pickups, and the Vintera Modified are the ones with hot pickups.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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  7. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    Funny, there was a time when the fat 50s seemed to be universally loved. I was underwhelmed. Maybe my expectations were too high. After a bit, I replaced them with Fralin Vintage Hots and am quite happy.
     
  8. Dacious

    Dacious Doctor of Teleocity

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    Try dropping the pickups especially bass side.
     
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  9. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    From what I've read, the pickups with the Phillips screws are from the late 90s and those are the ones I can't find. I was thinking about trying to have mine replicated, but I'm sure it would be cost prohibitive. If you want to sell yours I'd be interested. Just goes to show how different people's taste can be.
     
  10. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    Definitely gonna do that. I've got nothing to lose. If nothing else I'll find out if I have a bummer guitar. It dropping the pickup height doesn't get rid of the spikeyness the problem may be something else. One thing I notice is that it sounds different than my other strats even unplugged. It's got a rosewood fretboard and my other 2 have maple, so that could be why it sounds different acoustically
     
  11. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Never liked the fat 50s. Too beach boys. Couldn’t put my finger on it.
     
  12. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I LOVE my Fat '50's in my '97 Tex-Mex Strat ( installed around 2001, and rear Tone control is now wired to middle and bridge pickups)

    Something about the mix of both warmth and bite ( especially Neck/alone) these pickups have that just work for me. Feel like they were made for me.
    ( I play on the cleaner side: a lot of Blues/Dead/Country)
    * they can get noisy/hum at some gigs, but that 'goes away' once the band starts playing, Ha!
     
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  13. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got the first run of Fender Custom Shop 50's pickups in my 90's Am Std Strat; sound great after all these years (just about as old now as real 50's pickups would have been when I bought them), especially the middle pickup, which I have wired Jimmie Vaughn style, no tone.
     
  14. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    I'm thinking it could have to do with the guitar it self. Extra thin d shaped neck, which I love, rose wood fret board, less mass in the neck than my other strats. It even sounds less woody unplugged than my other strats. I've read that the fat 50s sound better in some guitars than others.
     
  15. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I had a set of Fat50s in a Hwy1 Strat and they sounded really good in a band mix.
     
  16. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I've had guitars that sounded a little edgy and once I played with a bass and drums it was fine. It's really not bad as is. Just so different than my other strats.
     
  17. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love the tones with Fender Fat '50s. It's the '69s that sound a bit thin and wimpy to me. Fat '50s add just a little bit of beef.

    Where's the beef? Fender Fat '50s!

    Mystic Red Fender American Standard
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    It's definitely got the beef!
     

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  19. Daytona.57

    Daytona.57 Tele-Meister

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    I have a Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s loaded pickguard, in my 2008 Road Worn 60s Strat, and is a perfect combination.

    Is there a difference between CS Fat 50s loaded pickguard, before the 2012 Fat 50s were available in American Strats?
     
  20. Grandfunkfan

    Grandfunkfan TDPRI Member

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    That's a good question. There may be a difference between the CS fat 50s and the version of the ones from 2012 on. Fender does love to change things up.
     
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