Replacement pickups for Strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by LGOberean, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    Some other Fender 'vintage' options are the recent AV '59s and AV '65s.

    I have an AV 59 from 2014 and I love the pickups, prefer them to the Fat 50's in my last Strat. And I have read good things about the sound of the '65. These pickups are in the American Original 50's and 60's Strats, respectively. Maybe a local store has one for you to try before buying.
     
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  2. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I always proffes Lace alumatones and or the Lace sensor rainbow pack ( Hot gold 13K bridge, Silver in the middle and Blue in the neck) I Like both of these sets and they are dead quiet no noise at all,

    P1011430.JPG P1011433.JPG


    I put a set of lace aumatone buckers in my Peavey Preditor EXP that are quiet, jazzy, and ballsy


    -1_4.jpg
     
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  3. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Pics please.

    If it's the guitar that i think it is, standard size Strat pickups won't fit.

    Those are decent guitars for learning on, but I humbly submit that investing anything more than the parts already floating around in your parts drawer, and you run a serious risk of turd polishing...

    Done it many times myself.

    If you see me winding up to make a similar mistake, please warn me and we'll call it even.

    :cool:;):cool:
     
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  4. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Actually, the sandpaper/ceramic strat single coil analogy is pretty good. If I were to try to "describe" my adjective :twisted:, I would say "edgy" is coarse and irritating. If I played with a lot of distortion, these pickups might work okay for that, but I'm a clean player, primarily, and the bridge and middle pickups just irritate me. Not to the point of fingernails on chalkboard irritating, but getting there. And the Tone control on the Raptor Plus doesn't affect the bridge pickup, do there's no dialing that back.
     
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  5. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm actually not seriously considering swapping pickups on the Raptor Plus. I've never tried my hand at that task. I considered it briefly, but this guitar is probably going to get flipped pretty soon.

    I've enjoyed the learning process that playing it has provided, but I don't think that it's the guitar for me. It was an impulse buy, and such purchases rarely ever stay in the fold. Furthermore, I paid $100 for it at a pawn shop in Tupelo, Mississippi, so putting much money into it would indeed be a turd-polishing project. But I'm going to keep mulling over my options for strats and pickups, since I want to have strat tones in my guitarsenal.

    And yes, my Raptor Plus is SSS, and here is the photographic evidence you requested...
    09-28-2019 - Peavey Raptor Plus - 1.jpg
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah hard to say what the complaint sounds like, but if doesn't say the pickups are muddy/ bassy/ dull toned/ dark, I assume the desire is for a warmer fatter less bright pickup.

    You might try a used Robert Cray Strat bridge pickup @ IIRC around $40 from Stratosphere.
    I bought one and it actually sounds a bit too warm for me where it replaced a rewound '73 Strat pickup.
    I also plan to swap in a Tex Mex bridge pickup in the same guitar where I'm trying to really nail a bridge tone, because I only use the bridge pickup but almost never a Strat bridge pickup.
    The R Cray is supposed to be a CS pickup and one of the few Strat bridge pups that everyone seems to like.

    I actually forgot the RC set you can get from Stratosphere for $100 and are very good.

    These days I'm happy with a Jazzmaster pickup in the bridge position of a hardtail Strat!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  7. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    Bootstrap has all 3 pickups for <$50. Been wanting to try a set; just need to get something for them to go in! I was given a set of Fender MIM Strat pickups that are perfect for my Peavey Predator.
     
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  8. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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  10. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    I installed a pair of FAT50 in my (heavily modded) 2005 Squier Std Strat :

    [​IMG]

    These pickups are very satisfactory sounding - less funky but more vintage-ey than the nonetheless excellent genuine Squier AlNiCo Std Strat set, that I put in my 3-PU "Cyclone" Harley-Benton project :

    [​IMG]

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    -tbln
     
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  11. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    +1 on the Tex Mex
     
  12. Bluesensationist

    Bluesensationist TDPRI Member

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    Bootstraps are the cheapest I think of anything mentioned and are also handmade in the US. $50 a set is a good price to feel comfortable experimenting with. Sun city would be a set I'd recommend just looking through as it's pretty standard alnico 5 and 42 awg and output within a normal range. If you want something more vintage output range, the 54 set looks really quiet. Some of the other sets have some features I'm sure sound really good, but I can't speak of without experience of those materials in a strat.

    The thing I really like about the fralin vintage hots is that they have none of the bridge issues mentioned above. I believe it has a metal plate and sounds very tele-like. I think just the single bridge of fralin set is almost the price of two full bootstraps sets though so there's that. If you ask Ryan of bootstraps, he may very well be willing to make a stat bridge with metal plate for like $10 extra.

    Tex mex are a really good set, my buddy just installed a set in his partscaster. They are noticeably hot to my ear, but not overly so. I think they still retain good chime and sparkle if you have the height set right so can't really go wrong there either.
     
  13. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Confirmed.

    Regular sized Strat pickups will not fit in that.

    Someone gave me one of those once. I used it as a loaner guitar for several years and finally gave it to a student who needed it.

    I believe they were made in Korea in 2004-2005. Little brother/sister to the KPP (Korean Predator Plus).

    The KPP pickups are better quality, but still ceramic. I bought a few from Peavey a while ago. Not sure if I still have them in a drawer somewhere... LOL The Raptor pickups don't even use copper wire, they use copper film... The KPP pickups use actual pickup wire.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Toneriders

    Best value around.
     
  15. Telegnosis

    Telegnosis Tele-Meister

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    When one buys a guitar, one must know enough of their needs in the sound and play-ability of a guitar. Changing pickups in a guitar is not an automatic fix-it. It's not about a popular pickup making mojo in your guitar, it's about picking and finding a set that enhances the sound of your guitar's body. Which is easier said than done.

    If the guitar did not turn you on when you bought it, how can you expect that it will change (without some difficulty in trial and error and expense) by slapping in other pickups?

    Not sure what your options were, but if it were me, I would try a number of that model and if none excited you, you could've passed on it and rethought your plans.

    If availing of a pickup guru, he would serve you best if he had your guitar in his hands to custom wind something for your guitar, if he deemed it worth it rather than just pick things off a shelf list.

    I bought an SX Thinline. Was blown away as to how it sounded and played. I like it better than my Fender MIA 1980's custom factory color paint Tele. Luck of the draw. stock pickups, pots, everything. Hence a $150 guitar is not a dead end, specially the way guitars are made with machines. I heard SX had an American luthier advising them.

    But it is about that one in a million build that sends you.

    Played the SX Tele in the store before plunking down the cash. Another customer was listening. She wanted to know if it was the amp or guitar that was getting the great tone.

    It was the guitar!


    Keep in mind the SX pickups are not even the same standard size as Fender Tele pickups. Rather than kill the mojo, I'm leaving it stock.

    Sum of its parts, is key. Consider the guitar, not just the pickups.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  16. jwp333

    jwp333 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Larry, I like the looks of the guitar and I like Peavey. As an aside, looks like there is a lot more string space on the bass side than the treble side of the neck. If so, just loosen the neck a little and give the headstock a tug towards the bass side to even out the string spacing on the neck. As for the pickups, if they are too edgy as you describe them, I'd lower the pickups and turn up the volume on the amp till you find what you are looking for. And if I had to recommend a pickup change, I'd check out Rob Distefano's Cavalier pickups as many have mentioned above.
     
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  17. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    The 2008-2012 American Standard pickups are a crazy good modern-voiced set with vintage flavours for the used price.
     
  18. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire

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    What you mean like these ones :cool:

    AD8AB755-8AF0-43EF-86BE-F6B2A5BD30E2.jpeg

    These pickups provide big tone out of a little Strat. Mine are a set of prototypes from a few years ago but I think the newer ones are even better. Vlad’s got some demos of them on this page: https://www.deneb-tone.com/proekt-02

    EDIT: @Zepfan, I see your talking about Vlad’s pickups with the steel poles and neodymium magnets on each pole. I haven’t tried those ones.

    EDIT 2: @JayFreddy made a point about the Peavey pickups on this particular strat-like guitar not fitting correctly... I’m not sure any of our recommendations are going to be helpful unless Larry decides to modify the pickguard or swap in a fender guard (if it fits the pickup and controls routings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Several have suggested adjusting pickup heights, which was a good recommendation. FWIW, I've done that. Before I tweaked 'em, the neck pickup sounded the best to me, the middle wasn't bad but a little too hot, but the bridge pickup was the most edgy, in your face. Height adjustment helped, for the other two pickups, but that bridge is still too edgy. I lowered that pup by increments, test driving it at each level, until it was pretty much flush with the pickguard. Somewhere in between next to the strings and flush with the guard is probably where I'll leave it, but in the words of U2, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for." And with no Tone control on it, I just don't use that pickup alone.
     
  20. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Point taken about Strat replacement pickups not fitting my Raptor Plus. That idea's off the table now, which I guess means this thread has run its course.

    Thanks for the input about the guitar's date and country of origin. I didn't find much on it searching the Internet, but one source said they were made in Korea then China. In Peavey's archived manuals is a spec sheet for the Predator Plus & Raptor Plus, which was copyright dated 1998.
     
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