In praise of Rio Grande strat pickups

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by archtop_fjk, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    I recently completed building a new strat partscaster, with a MIM sunburst body and 70s style (big headstock) maple neck. I wanted to have a beefy bridge pickup and originally tried an HSS configuration (which the body can accommodate) with Fender Texas Specials and a Fender atomic humbucker. The humbucker sounded fine but was too different from the single coils, even when split.

    So, I decided to start over with a new pickguard. I had heard a lot of good things about Rio Grande pickups and so sprung for a set which contained Vintage Tallboys for neck and middle and a Halfbreed for the bridge. Wow! Great tone and a very even string balance. Ultimately, though, I wanted a little more beef in the bridge and so decided to go all out and try a Rio grande Stelly for the bridge. That's it!! Perfect hotrod bridge pickup! To me it has the tone of strat bridge pickup with the added power and mids of a P-90. And it matches well with the Tallboys, which have enough output on their own in the neck and middle positions to balance with the Stelly. I'm a happy camper. :)

    Strat-Rio-Grande.JPG
     
  2. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    i too am a big fan of rio grande. I have a tall boy in a strat I haven't changed since 2000 (which is sayin' a lot cause I constantly try dif things). Haven't tried the others you mentioned so will have to give one or the other a shot at some point. w/o a doubt quality pickups.
     
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  3. Special Tom

    Special Tom Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I have a muy Grande set in my tele partscaster. Sound great through a couple of SS Marshalls
     
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  4. Wildcard_35

    Wildcard_35 Tele-Meister

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    I have a Rio Grande Dirty Harry in the neck position of my homemade tele in my profile photo. I really like it. On the site, they say it's a lot like the sound of a P90. I'm not sure, since I've never played a guitar with P90s for any appreciable amount of time, but that's okay.
     
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  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I had a Stelly in a CS Strat I used To have.
    Great pickups!
    My avatar guitar gas a RG Muy Grande in the bridge.
     
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  6. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    I thought about a Muy Grande for the bridge but saw the Stelly and thought what the heck. Interestingly, it’s a hot pickup that doesn’t sound hot (ie mid heavy and no top end). Really well voiced. BTW I didn’t want staggered pole pieces (like a Fender classic pickup) and the Rio Grande strat lineup had uniform magnets.

    Next I want to make a single pickup guitar with a Muy Grande humbucker in the bridge...ooh I can feel the heat already! :D
     
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