Pickup hunting

Discussion in 'Welcome Wagon' started by Bikerider20, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    848
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    I played the CS '54 set, and liked them. Like RodeoTex said, the 57/62 sent is nothing to write home about. Outside of the sets you mentioned, I liked the Bootstrap '54 Sparkle set.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
    BB likes this.
  2. Bikerider20

    Bikerider20 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    18
    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    United States
    Better as in glassier and brighter? Or warmer and creamier?
     
  3. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,049
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Location:
    Three Rivers, CA
    I
    If I had a word to describe the difference, it would be slightly more "alive" sounding or "dynamic" sounding. The 57/62 set is still very strat sounding, however they just didn't grab me other other pickups do. I would rate the 57/62 as a 7 out of 10. I would rate the 59 set as 8.25 out of 10. Better than the 57/62, not as dynamic as the Lindy Frailin vintage hots. Lollar has a good reputation, but I haven't used any to give a recommendation yet.
     
  4. Bikerider20

    Bikerider20 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    18
    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    United States
    I think I’m gonna try the 57/62s and if I don’t like them then I’ll return them and try the 59s and if not then then lindy fralin vintage hots I just really dislike the Texas specials I have
     
    JRapp likes this.
  5. Bikerider20

    Bikerider20 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    18
    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    United States
    Also have you tried Klein’s?
     
  6. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

    Posts:
    6,059
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    IMO the 57/62 is the baseline for those characteristics. I judge other pickups by the ways they deviate from the 57/62 set.

    I don't find a relevant thread on our sister site. Perhaps I don't see your posts, there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    27,484
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    +1 CS69s did it for me too, but probably not what @Bikerider20 is looking for.
    BTW, welcome to TDPRI. Most of us have a strat (or two, or three, or ...:eek:), so you have found the right place. The people here helped me select the CS69s for my strat that I owned long before I joined TDPRI and they were the perfect set for me. Good luck on your hunting expedition.
     
  8. SKEsq

    SKEsq Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    114
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2020
    Location:
    U.S.
    I like the 57/62 I have in a partscaster, but they don't seem like some major revelation in Strat tone to me. I like them well enough that they'll stay.
     
  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    96,143
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    You might consider Rio Grande Muy Grande pickups.
    I really like em'.
    They're traditional sounding, with a tiny bit more mid-range.
    Good luck!
     
  10. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,049
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Location:
    Three Rivers, CA
    I
    I have not tried any of the Kleins. Some of the other pickups that I have heard that I liked are the Suhr's and Lollar blonds(from soundclips) on those.
     
  11. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,049
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Location:
    Three Rivers, CA
    Texas Specials were always too hot, dark sounding with way too much mid range for my uses. The bridge pickup might be ok, but I didn't care for them in the neck and middle spots.

    It appears that there are fans here on the forum for the 57/62 set. They may suit you better than they did me. Tone is subjective to the listener.
     
  12. myteleplaysjazz

    myteleplaysjazz Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    613
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2020
    Location:
    Lakeway, Texas
    Have you look at the Klein Jazzy Kats?
    I have them on one of mt Strats. I like 'em a lot.
    Antiquity II's might be another good option. I have Antiquity II's on a Jazzmaster of mine. I really, really like those pickups.
     
  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    27,329
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    The problem with your description is it could be applied to all the sets you list.

    If you have a Strat now, tell us what pickups are in it and what you do and don't like about them.

    The question among vintage style sets that are articulate and glassy, is how much warmth is "just a tad"?
    Some might call your idea of that, shrill, while others would call the same pickups perfect.
    You need a reference point to move brighter or darker from.

    I'm also annoyed that Fender put A5 in the CS54.
    Fender does make a set with A5 but I forget their name for that set.
    I had an original set from '54 with A3 magnets, wound very low, and the A3 warmed them up perfectly.
    I've tried lots of Strat pickups with same specs as the CS69 and they are too thin and shrill for me.
    While FCS makes a nice pickup, under 6k dcr of 42awg on A5 is what it is, veeerrryyy bright!

    WRT all the same or wound for position, I find same winds are too bright in the bridge and too dark & muddy at the neck.
    Add some turns to the bridge and use less turns on the neck, you get more articulate neck and less shrill thin bridge when the amp is set the same.

    Also remember: classic glassy Strat neck tones, those iconic not all that common how do they do that clear neck pickup?
    That's a ge FF with the guitar vol rolled back.
    NO Strat pickups do that without the FF.
     
  14. Bikerider20

    Bikerider20 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    18
    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    United States
    I have a set of Texas specials and they’re flush with the guard and they are super muddy and I have the mid control on my amp at 0
     
  15. Bikerider20

    Bikerider20 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    18
    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    United States
    No but I just got an email from Klein and he recommended them or the 57s I’m itching for the 63s though they sound really good to my ear
     
  16. myteleplaysjazz

    myteleplaysjazz Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    613
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2020
    Location:
    Lakeway, Texas
    That doesn't sound like proper pickup height/adjustment. That might be why they sound muddy.
     
  17. Bikerider20

    Bikerider20 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    18
    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    United States
    How would you recommend them set? I’ll gladly change them and try it out :)
     
  18. myteleplaysjazz

    myteleplaysjazz Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    613
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2020
    Location:
    Lakeway, Texas
  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    27,329
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Well any of the listed sets will be more to your liking than those, if I recall all their specs correctly.
    I find bridge needs to be around 6.4- 6.5k and neck needs to be more like 5.8k to match with a given amp setting.
    You'll find that some Strat players spend 90% of the time on the neck pickup and only use the bridge for accent, or with a dark toned dirt pedal.
    Strat players that need a nice fat clear bridge AND neck tone with a clean amp?
    Not a lot can get that with something like the CS69 set where bridge and neck are BOTH under 6k.

    Flush with the guard AKA set low will get the most clarity a given set is capable of, but to balance high E string volume with low E string volume, you need to have the pickups closer to the high E and further from the low E.
    IOW they need to LOOK crooked in order to SOUND evenly balanced.
    As a last resort, raise the high E side of the pickups to get the top string and the bottom string to have the same volume through the amp, with the same pick attack.

    I do have to wonder what other factors deliver "super muddy" sound from a Strat with fairly typical pickups?
    Those are not the clearest or the muddiest Strat pickups, and some players can get sounds with them that are not super muddy.
    A light touch is key to a clear Strat neck pickup sound, as is a clean amp and a low enough bass setting.
    Some speakers get muddy, some amps get muddy, some settings get muddy; strumming a Strat neck pickup.

    If you set a 6.7k Tex Spl bridge pickup flush with the guard, and are getting a super muddy sound with it, there are other problems causing that super muddy tone!
    Strat neck pickups are prone to muddy tone though, which is why I and many others prefer a calibrated set with a weak neck and stronger bridge coil wind.

    I'm pretty sure there are lots of Strat players who use the neck pickup 90% of the time but choose a "neck pickup" for middle and bridge too, just because Fender made so many vintage low wind clearest sets- non-calibrated.
    The Robert Cray set is calibrated, fatter bridge wind and clearer neck wind, I forget the specs though.

    For me I need to choose each pickup because I really need a useful versatile stronger not thin bridge pickup, then a super clear neck with a very low wind to keep bass from getting muddy.
    Literally a whole 1000 ohms difference is needed for me to get a balance between neck and bridge.
    But less might work, like 5.8 and 6.5 which is only a 700 ohm difference, assuming 42awg.
    AND angled crooked looking pickups to keep bass clear.
     
  20. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

    Posts:
    6,059
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    There isn't a height spec that will sound right to all people, so it's your ears at work and also adjusting to avoid weird overtones, especially with the neck pickup. With each Strat pickup the screws are tone controls. In this order:

    Neck: Start with the pickup flush with the pickguard. Raise it until it sounds right to you and doesn't have weird overtones as you play up the neck. If it sounds rong, lower it.
    Middle: Raise it until the volume matches the neck pickup
    Bridge: Raise it until the volume matches the neck and middle pickups.

    In all cases you may need to have the low E end of the pickup lower to balance the volume across all 6 strings.

    The above is a process that takes some time. Do it and live with it for a while. Revisit the process and see if you can get them optimized.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.