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The most 'strat-sounding' Pups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by CarolCorn, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    This assumes you have a Tele with the neck pickup mounted to the body. Most of mine have not have it mounted to the body.

    ...But since I have both, I'd say it's actually not much of a sonic difference. The body mounted Tele neck pickup is more of a sort of quasi-convenience, as the neck pickup height can be adjusted independently of the pickguard itself, so IMO it becomes more of an aesthetic thing, if I care to swap out the pickguard w/o having to screw with the neck pickup.

    Having said that, the vast majority of guitars seem to have the neck pickup either mounted in something like a mounting ring, or within the pickguard. So I'm used to being able to adjust the neck pickup w/o having to remove the pickguard just to adjust the neck pickup height, for that reason.
     
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  2. jeremyb

    jeremyb Tele-Meister

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    I used to think the twisted tele neck in my tele sounded strat like until I got a strat!!
     
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  3. Mosstone

    Mosstone Tele-Meister

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    I like Toneriders... They're pretty well known in the US. I've heard of Donlis and Kaish. You see a lot of their guitar hardware and brick-a-brack on Amazon and ebay, but I've never tried their pickups. I'm not put off by Asian-made pickups (though a lot of the hardware can be crap).

    As to the Tele/Strat neck pickup question: I don't know if anybody mentioned these already (I mostly skimmed the thread), but I have a GFS Fatbody neck pickup in one of my Teles, and it's just about my favorite Tele neck pickup ever... Sounds very Stratty. I'm not as fond of the Fatbody bridge pickup, though.

    I've had a few sets of GFS Tele pickups, and I think they really shine in that department, but their humbuckers are kinda hit-or-miss IMO.
     
  4. danjamesmick

    danjamesmick NEW MEMBER!

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    last time I was looking at strat pickups looking for a hendrix sound, via online sound cloud samples I think I actually thought that one of the Fralin tele neck pickups sounded more like hendrix than any of the strat neck pickups did.... but of course the hendrix strat sound is pretty much entirely different to most other strat artist sounds.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A53C316B-572D-46F9-8BEA-6A45AA07B817.jpeg Really, I’m still trying to find the most Strat sounding Strat pickups...
     
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  6. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I have and like the TT and the Twang King neck pickups, they're great. But if you want that real Strat neck tone, I'd say just get a true Strat neck pickup and a pick guard cut for one.

    Fender CS Fat 50 sounds awesome, but so does their low-cost Strat Tex-Mex pickup - fantastic tone, for way less money. (TEX-MEX, not Texas Special)

    Bag a used Strat Tex-Mex pickup off eBay or Reverb (a full set of 3, brand new, is only around $70) and don't look back! (Yes, I have a set of these and love them as much as I do my CS Fat '50s. Best deal going for great Fender Strat tone.)

    Here ya go - $20 - Awesome Strat tones, guaranteed!
    https://reverb.com/item/34089058-fender-tex-mex-strat-pickup-white
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  7. Doctor Blue

    Doctor Blue TDPRI Member

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    No contest: Jason Lollar pickups. They're super helpful too, so call or email them if you have any questions.
     
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A pretty important detail that gets missed a lot is that many classic well loved "Strat sounds" are a Strat into a Fuzz Face with the guitar volume rolled back to clean up the fuzz. Not only Hendrix, lotta FFs on hit recordings.
    What the FF circuit does is cut the bass in a particular way, and make a certain distinctive "Strat sound" that's not attainable without a ge FF.

    I can't take credit for this nugget of info, read it somewhere probably on the TDPRI, then went and plugged a Strat into my London Fuzz, rolled off the guit vol and there was that sound!
     
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  9. NiceTele

    NiceTele Tele-Afflicted

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    I dropped a cheapish Wilkinson Strat bridge into the neck position of my Tele (had to enlarge the slot in the pick guard very slightly. Sounded great
     
  10. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Actually, that was the final Strat pickup that I installed in a Tele partscaster. It was a GFS Tele body - one of their premium XGP ones, which has a nice tight neck pickup rout, so I didn't put a 'guard on it. There was just enough room to mount the Strat Tex Mex pickup in there, w/o a cover on (well, maybe I had to trim the ears of the bobbin a bit, but since it was plastic, that was pretty easy).

    ...And yes, it sounded fantastic. The only thing that bugged me was the square holes in the plastic bobbin, in between the polepieces.

    I actually went with that pickup because it was originally just a low dollar partscaster build (body was a scratch 'n dent for less than half the original cost), and I didn't have a Tele neck pickup, but did have one last Tex Mex pickup kicking around.

    It took me awhile to realize that the Tex Mex sounds as good as a Seymour Duncan SSL-1, which was kind of my main go-to Strat pickup for years and years. If the plastic bobbin and non-cloth wires don't bother you, IMO there's really no need to spend any more on a basic traditional sounding Strat pickup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  11. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic

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    In my head, there's more than one strat sound. While my favorite is John Mayer's tone, I think there are a lot of other equally valid strat sounds out there and that's why I have more than one "strat'. In terms of aftermarket pickups, my favorites so far have been the Kinman Woodstock Plus set.
     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Add in the fact that you can force the magnets up or down to "fix" the ridiculous old stagger pattern and those MIM plastic bobbin Strat pickups look even better.

    At the neck where the pickup is set further from the strings the stagger isn't as much of an issue, but at the bridge I end up with the B less loud than the G and E. I haven't actually adjusted them for use yet, bought one on ebay for $20 shipped, the seller accidentally shipped me some other buyers hot rail, asked me to send that to Louisiana and sent me THREE Tex Mex to make up for it!

    I still nit pick the last ounce of bridge SC sound, but for Strat neck pickups the only way to screw them up is winding them too hot IMO, where an underwound neck pickup can just be raised till it balances. I'm not counting ceramic mag/ steel pole, since they really aren't Strat pickups even though they fit the guard.
    Mustang pickups make good Strat or Tele neck pickups too.
     
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  13. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    dang, to much can make it more difficult than easier i think:lol::D:lol::D
     
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  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've been modding parts Fenders since 1980 and some of the dead pickups are that old.
    Circa 1990 I bought a set of rewound '50s black bottom Strat pickups that IMO had to be from 1954, when they used A3 magnets.
    Just the most perfect Strat sound, bridge and neck both sounded great and the tone was balanced without excessive fiddling.
    Lost that Strat in a pawn shop, at least three times, (drug addiction, stay off the dope kids!).

    Ever since then I've tried to get that sound again without success.
    I lost the Plexi 100 then too, might have been a part of the great sound...

    I also used to work as a guitar tech so spare parts is just how that works, and the combo of 40 years both playing and fixing/ modding guitars for myself and other players means I have a good idea of what can be done to dial in toward a target sound.
    Strats are both easy to get 90% there and hard to get the last 10%.


    IMO/IME!
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  16. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    I
     
  17. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    I have Don Mare's S-Tele in my tele neck position which beats most others regarding tone & feel. His bridge tele pups are to die for too.
     
  18. Cpt.Blues

    Cpt.Blues TDPRI Member

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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the McNelly Duckling pickup. McNelly is a Canadian pick up maker that makes some awesome sounding pickups. The Duckling was specifically made as a Strat sounding neck pickup. The best part is there is no routing required. Just drop it in. Check out the sound samples online on their website or various YouTube videos.
     
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  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's certainly been my experience. Well, I can get the neck pickup sounding like I want, pretty easily. I haven't wanted or needed positions 2 or 4 on the pickup selector for probably close to a decade now, and never ever liked the sound of the middle pickup by itself.

    It's the bridge pickup that's been where the elusive 10% exists, for me. I've got to have a tone circuit on the bridge pickup, for starters. I also prefer bridge pickups that are wound 'hotter,' but it's probably just enough to get the inductance similar to what the typical Tele bridge pickup has, as opposed to just massively overwinding the Strat bridge pickup.

    There are some definitive sounds in my head that only seem to happen with a Strat and a Twin Reverb or Dual Showman. 'Huge, gutsy clean' is how I would describe them.
     
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  20. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    the knowledge is there, but in the chain from fingers to amp speaker there is so much that can set you on the wrong foot.
    if my tone memory is still correct than i would get strange combo's in pickups.
    the Bill Lawrence microcoil tele neck with adjustable pole pieces, the keystone strat middle pickup (the only middle pickup i ever liked in a strat, but the in between of those sets give a good Buddy Guy sound in the 90) and the L500 XL at the bridge.
     
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