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Noiseless Strat Pickups... Have Choices, Need Recomendations

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Clifton82, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Clifton82

    Clifton82 Tele-Meister

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    This week I picked up a used 2005 Fender MIM 60's Classic Series Strat for an incredible price. Its 3 Tone Sunburst with Mint Pickgaurd and Aged White Plastic's. The guitar is 100% stock and has barely been played. The neck is super nice and the 7.25" radius is right up my alley. But like every new guitar I get, I have to replace the pickups with something noiseless. This is my first Strat (after a bunch of Tele's) and I know little to nothing about pickup choices.

    After some research based on my knowledge of Tele pickups, I've come up with 4 choices to look at. Your opinions would be much appreciated.

    1. GFS Neovin Noisefree Set (either Pure Vintage or Fat Vintage) - $90 for the Set - I currently have a Lil'Puncher Rail pup from GFS in the Bridge of my Reverend Buckshot, and I am very pleased with it.

    2. Bill Lawrence Wilde - (L-280SN, L-280SM, L-290SL) - $132 for the Set - I currently have a set of his L Series Tele Pickups in my 50's Classic Series, and it is probably my favorite guitar at the moment.

    3. Dimarzio Area (58,61,67) - $170 for the Set - I have no experience with these.

    4. Kinman Traditional MKIII - $254 for the Set - I have no experience with these.


    So those are options I am exploring right now. Cost is certainly an issue, and Im not sure I want to spend $250 on pickups when I have little more than that invested in the whole guitar! GFS being the cheapest, I can order a fully hand-wired pick gaurd from them for less than the Cost of the Dimarzios...

    Any opinions will be greatly appreciated! Yall helped me so much on my last Tele pickup choice (Bill Lawrence) and I am extremely happy with the outcome. Thanks!
     
  2. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    Hmm, I would be curious to see some responses here as well. I too have been looking at noiseless options for my strat. The only experience I have from your list would be with Dimarzio's Area T's but that's in my tele....and they are exceptionally good. Super clean and very single coil sounding.

    I've been looking at Bill Lawrence's Micro Coils as well. I think they are 135 for a full set and the reviews look to be pretty impressive.

    Good luck, and I'll keep watching
     
  3. GCKelloch

    GCKelloch Tele-Afflicted

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    Wilde pickups are mathematically phase-aligned for maximum efficiency. The L280/290's are voiced like early '60's Fender with better overall clarity and fundamental response. Can't go wrong with those. The L200's are like mid '50's Fenders with the same improvement in clarity. I like those a lot, too. People like the Dimarzio Areas a lot. They have other voicings you might prefer over the Wildes, but they don't claim maximum phase-alignment. Either are worth the extra money over the Neovins, if you can afford it.
     
  4. tiskit86

    tiskit86 Friend of Leo's

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    I love the L200's in my tele, and I probably wouldn't hesitate to put something similar in a strat.
     
  5. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    Another BIG fan of Wilde here. I have the L280 in all positions of my Strat and both of my Teles. The L280SL and L280TL are no longer available. I would recommend the L290SL for the Strat lead to go with the L280SN and L280SM. Great sounds, FANTASTIC value. While you are at it, make sure your guitar is well shielded. Strats are the easiest guitars to shield well (IMHO).
     
  6. Clifton82

    Clifton82 Tele-Meister

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    If I get noiseless pups, do I still need to shield the body?
     
  7. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Tele-Holic

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    Big fan of the Dimarzios here. Hard to go wrong for classic strat tones.

    I know the Lace sensors don't get a lot of love around here, but the purple-silver-emerald set is one of my favorites.
     
  8. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    No need to shield with noiseless
     
  9. BillZ

    BillZ TDPRI Member

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    I have the Kinman MK II's in one Strat and and set of the Area's in another. Both very nice. Kinmans maybe a little thicker sounding than the Area's but nice quack from both. The Kinman I picked up came with the no solder harness that he sells and that is pretty cool too. Has a push pull on the back tone knob that lets you dial in some interesting combinations. Makes the bridge a lot more user friendly, IMHO.
    Dont think you can go wrong with either of those.
     
  10. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Not only are the Areas a really good Noiseless pickup they are just a really good pickup.
     
  11. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    Absolutely, positively, YES. They do different things. The shielding dissipates electrostatic interference, which shows up as crackling and buzzing which goes away when you touch a grounded part, such as the bridge, strings, or metal knobs. If your guitar is shielded thoroughly and correctly, those noises are dramatically reduced, sometimes to the point of disappearing altogether. You can put "noiseless" pickups in an unshielded guitar, and still have horrendous ESD noise. On the other hand, you can put true single-coils in a well shielded guitar, and only have hum, but no ESD noises. For best results, do both. If you've never played a guitar that has the best of both worlds, you don't know what you're missing. If, like me, you are used to truly noiseless guitars, playing something else that needs better pickups or better shielding can be very irritating. But then, I'm spoiled.
     
  12. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    I couldn't disagree more, and I don't think this is just a matter of "opinion". Shielding makes a difference, a BIG difference, even with noiseless pickups. I've done too many shielding jobs and seen it work to believe otherwise. And the more you play with high volume or high gain (or both) the more important this issue becomes. All minor noises from the guitar become unbearable with high gain and/or high volume.

    If you use Lo-Z pups like the active EMG models mentioned below, the shielding isn't as important. Everything I said above applies primarily to Hi-Z pickups.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  13. wmsimpson

    wmsimpson Tele-Holic

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    I'm probably gonna to get a lot of eyeball rollin' and face palms for saying this, but I've got EMG active pickups in my Strat. Zero noise, and so help me I think they sound fabulous. The range of tones I can get out them is nothing short of amazing.

    I LOVE my EMGs!

    There. I said it. I'm out of the closet. It's liberating. :D
     
  14. 20721

    20721 Former Member

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    It's OK. My basses have been 100% active for years and I'm thinking of going the same route with my guitars. There are some advantages you get with EMGs that you get with nothing else: no noise, no electrical ground (can't get killed by a death cap or any other bad stage wiring), no restrictions on cord length or capacitance, no microphonics - takes a whole lot of hassles off the table and they sound great.

    You do need to change batteries every six months to a year.
     
  15. GCKelloch

    GCKelloch Tele-Afflicted

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    I know we've been through this all before T-man, and it's a tough call what the best shielding options are. I agree that shielding can even be useful with HB's. I think ESD noise is dissipated via grounded copper, or Aluminum control cavity and pick guard shielding. Since Wilde pickups are shielded, I would not bother shielding the pickup cavities. I don't think there is any benefit for them, and it can actually cause tone/hum problems when surrounding the pickups in some cases. Just twist the pickup leads before soldering. An Aluminum pick guard shield from GFS will provide added protection from light dimmers, as well as soften the upper mids a tad. All this gathered from talks with Bill, and reading his materials. He called the other day. I'll call him to back confirm all this.
     
  16. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that the OP not shield the guitar, it certainly can only help, but quite honestly I have two tele's both with different sets of noiseless pickups from Dimarzio, and neither are shielded. I play them both with many varieties of pedals and at different volumes....they are both completely silent. That even includes playing in environments with fluorescent lighting and/or dimmer switches....quiet as a mouse. I guess I'm just suggesting that it's not an absolute
     
  17. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Tele-Meister

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    I'm in the minority as I like Fenders N3 pickups. I'd find a loaded pickguard on the bay someone took off.
     
  18. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Tele-Holic

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    Dimarzio claims that the Area series is more noise-resistant that a regular humbucker, and that's been my experience as well. And that includes their Strat, Tele, and J-bass pickups.

    I also second the opinion that they are just a great-sounding series of pickups regardless of the noiseless properties. Dimarzio really did a nice job on these.

    FWIW, I ended liking a N-M-B combo of 67-67-61 on my Strat.
     
  19. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have used the Fender Hot Noiseless pickups and thought they were really good sounding pickups, not really "hot", they are what comes in the Jeff Beck model Strat.

    Currently have a set of Lace Hot Gold pickups in my Strat and they sound good, but I think I like the Fender Hot Noiseless better.

    Both sets can be found new for around $125 if you shop around.

    No experience with the Dimarzio Strat pickups, but I did try the Dimarzio Area T Tele bridge pickup and liked it.
     
  20. axlstrat

    axlstrat TDPRI Member

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    It depends on what you want. but the Wilde 280,s 200,s and L45,s are great pups since you tried a rail pup before. I think you would like the L45. there is a great youtube clip of them played clean the guy has a strat with fat warmoth neck really nice work give it a listen. just search Wilde L45,s by plko88
     
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