1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Pickup Suggestions - More than Fat 50's

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Bikersluggo, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Bikersluggo

    Bikersluggo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    893
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Location:
    East of Nowhere
    I don't have a ton of Strat experience. I have 2 Strat like guitars. My pickup reference points are. Fender Custom Shop Fat 50’s and 69's and a set of Rose with Robustas in the middle and neck and buff beauty in the bridge.

    My favorite of these 3 by far is the Fat 50's. Plenty of middle and low end, not at all shrill.

    My least favorite are the 69's. Too scooped and a little weak.

    The Rose are somewhere in between.

    So what's out there for me to try next? Kind of like the Fat 50's but more...
     
  2. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,062
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    I’m gonna suggest either Fender 57/62’s, or the Duncan SSL-1’s. (Or SSL-2; flat pole set) The 57/62’s are some of my favorites. Vintage tones, good chime and quack, good mids, don’t seem as muddy to me as Fat 50’s, and have a good bite to them. They do well with overdrive and Distortion too.
     
    Mincer likes this.
  3. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    721
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area
    The Five Twos are also a great set, sort of a fatter vintage thing going on.
     
    lineboat likes this.
  4. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,401
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Missoula, Montana
    If it was me, I would check out the Lollar Dirty Blonde flatpole set -- uncheap but I've liked every Lollar pickup I've tried. Though lately I've been digging the Texas Specials in my Am Special tele which makes me think I might want to try the Strat Specials, a hotter / higher output pickup. Now you got me thinkin
     
  5. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    8,524
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Antelope, California
    Not sure what you're wanting exactly, but I'll suggest researching Tex Mex pickups. I did a Strat build recently and put a set of Tex Mex in it. Being a rocker, I think they're absolutely spectacular distorted, and still retain enough Strat character to get some decent clean tones. I know a lot of people looking for a vintage sound don't like them, but I think they're just misunderstood. They're not supposed to sound vintage - they're rock and roll pickups. Dirt cheap too - I shopped around and got the entire set for like $69.
     
  6. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    440
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2017
    Location:
    Washington
    Texas Specials are a cheap solution to get a great sound with pronounced mids. They're still pretty smooth but are the opposite of the scooped mids you had on the CS69s.

    I also use Rio Grande Muy Grande pickups. Lots of output, lots of mids and can be punchy to cut through the mix. Kind of expensive, but a good solution if you're looking for something off the board.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,648
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Tex Mex are great for me. Not expensive either. I have an extra set here.... :>)
     
  8. Bikersluggo

    Bikersluggo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    893
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Location:
    East of Nowhere
    Texas Specials and Tex Mex, really? I think i had a Texas special Tele set. I really liked the neck, but the bridge was ear piercing. Ok,i will not dismiss your advice so quick, I'll look for some demos or better yet see if the local guitar center has something with them in it.
     
  9. Bikersluggo

    Bikersluggo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    893
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Location:
    East of Nowhere
    How about the Fender Fat 60's? Anybody know how they compare to the Fat 50's?
     
    lineboat likes this.
  10. Bikersluggo

    Bikersluggo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    893
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Location:
    East of Nowhere
  11. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,688
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I really like the Kinman Woodstock or Fralin Blues, but they come with a high price. All my current strats wear Lace Gold pups which I find perfect to my ears
     
    Tony474 likes this.
  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,286
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    Put a steel plate under the bridge pickup you have (or really any of them).

    Load up a second pickguard, so you can keep the existing pickguard intact in case you want to go back original after the experiments or if you ever want to sell the guitar.

    Get a Tele bridge pickup paired with Strat neck and middle.

    A set of MIM Standards, yes dual ceramic magnets. Work with adjusting pickup heights with your ears. These are higher output than alnicos.

    Also, experiment with buying a few ebay import pickup sets. You might spend from $10-$20/set. Get a few different ones. Some will be ok but some will surprise you.

    Jaguar pickups with the metal 'teeth'.

    Lipstick pickups.

    Armstrong Blender mod -- wiring change to convert second tone knob to blend between SSS and HSH. This is what I put on my Strats as I can thicken up a thin sounding pickup or pull a humbucker back from the fizzy edge.


    One of my future Strat builds will be a Tele bridge, Jaguar middle, and Strat neck.

    .
     
  13. Bourboncaster

    Bourboncaster TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    8
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Location:
    Phoenix
    I actually just swapped out a set of the Texas specials in favor of the fat 50s. The TSs definitely put out a meaner tone but comparing them to the TS Tele set I have the bridge pickup isn’t quite as harsh. I’m actually leaning towards keeping the fat 50s neck and middle and throwing the TS back in the bridge because it’s a little thicker and less ice picky than the fat 50s bridge.

    A buddy of mine just put a porter vintage custom set in his Strat and they sound amazing. They definitely have that vintage but more thing going on.
     
    DHart likes this.
  14. Bikersluggo

    Bikersluggo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    893
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Location:
    East of Nowhere
    Is there a trick to adding a steel plate to the bottom of a pickup? Just cut a steel plate to the shape of the bobbin and glue it on?
     
  15. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    732
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Location:
    Lebanon, NH
    I have Rio Grande Vintage Tallboys in the neck and middle of my strat, and recently got a Rio Grande Stelly for the bridge. Love all three, especially the Stelly - a hot pickup with lots of mids but not over the top.
     
  16. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    2,709
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My fav bang-for-the-buck strat set is the basic Alnico 5 sets that came with the American Standard strats before Fender switched to the Fat 50’s.

    Favs overall? CM Daughtery ‘59 and ‘55 RI pickups. Amazing...
     
  17. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,483
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    Check out Lace Strat pickups. The Gold are mediumish but the red and blue have their own funkiness with the Blue being more middy IIRC.

    I have Seymour vintage lipsticks in my Flaxwood which I really like and the blend knob is really great for adding the bridge into the neck/mid combos to get all three in parallel. A blend control may be all you need with almost any set
     
  18. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,062
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    I have some Fat 60’s and live them too. They’re A2 magnets, and are a little “milder” than an A5, but the extra winding on them makes them warm and Fat. Not dark at all. They do warm clean, nice bluesy sound, and really well with pedals.
     
  19. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,647
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    My number one strat has a SD Quarter pounder middle pickup put in the bridge position.

    It just has the extra girth and mids I wanted without the harsh treble.

    I was battling ages to get something that was like running the bridge with the bridge tone set at 7 or 8 without the loss of signal.

    I’d not discount Tonerider pickups either. They do a ‘pure vintage’ set with mixed magnets in the bridge. The only strat that made my ears go wow, that sounds really great, was a strat that someone brought into the studio to record some demos with a set of those in. Significantly more punch.

    At the ridiculous price of Toneriders you could have a couple of pickguards made up with pure vintage and maybe their slightly more overwound classic blues PUs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
    Bikersluggo and Tony474 like this.
  20. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    9,541
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    North Bushey, England.
    Four of my Strats (or derivatives thereof, i.e. the Music Man Silhouette) have Kinman pickups. Two have the AVn-Traditional Mark II set, one has the Woodstock Regulars and the Silhouette has the AVn-Blues. I'm a believer and I wouldn't have anything else. I did once try a much-vaunted Bare Knuckle "Slowhand" set. They came out almost immediately and I sold them on eBay – absolutely nothing special at all to my ears. That said, Kinmans are expensive, but justifiably, since they're beautifully made, sound tremendous and are worth every penny.

    That said, not everybody can afford a set of Kinmans. When it comes to normal single-coil pickups, if my experience with Telecasters is anything to go by, I agree wholeheartedly with my compatriot Guitarteach above. Tonerider pickups provide unbeatable value for money, and regardless of cost they're damn fine pickups by any standard.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.