Would you spend $500 for a set of Fender Strat pickups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by grolan1, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Holic

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    Here is where the BS starts. The video shows and gives us the sound of a guitar, dimed in on an amp. First which amp was it? 2nd, if you want to know how great these PU's are, compare it to a squire strat, then a custom shop strat, maybe a couple of artists strats. This is where the BS starts and reality walks. Relativity baby. Where is that relativity? A great set of new custom PU's at $500 should unequivocally Crush any competition. The sound and tone are very good;but I need to hear it annihilating the competition. Otherwise this video is worthless and the price is ridiculous.
     
  2. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

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    Yes certainly. But only when there is a guitar attached and included in the price.
     
  3. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    One aspect that seems to have been overlooked is the investment value. They come with a coa. Once they are sold out-and they will sell out- It wouldn’t surprise me to find out somebody’s dentist pays double the price or more for an unopened box of these. I don’t have $500 to blow on something as speculative as that.
     
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  4. Stratohacker

    Stratohacker Tele-Afflicted

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    I think Josefina is still winding for Fender.

    Abigail Ybarra is the winder who wound for Fender since the 50's who recently retired. I had a tele with a set of pickups wound by Abby and it did sound really / really good.

    There are so many other great winders right now that I don't think I'd pay that much for that set. Now if it was an original set of Abby wound pickups...........
     
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  5. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    To me, GREAT has the sound of classic Strat pickups with clarity, solid midrange, and a bite that can be tamed with the tone controls.

    A $60-70 set of great can be had from Rose, Bootstrap, GFS, Donlis/Guitar Madness, Dragonfire, etc. It's not rocket science, it's materials, operating costs, and profit for making passive devices that are consistently reproducable.

    This specific Fender example may be great, but it's mostly the marketing of magic and telling you that inconsistency is a good thing (assuming you like the inconsistent examples that you get).
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sure, I'd pay that for the set of '50s Strat pickups I had that must have been A3, which had been rewound by who-the-hell-knows, that I paid $200 for in circa 1991 after they were taken out of one of Robert Quines Fernandes Strats when he got mad at the guy he gave the Strat to because those things didn't belong in that guitar.

    Several players who had vintage '50s and '60s Strats agreed that they were the best sounding Strat pickups they'd heard (in both the Frenandes and the parts Strat I put them in), and they certainly made the best sounding Strat I'd ever played.
    But the sound wasn't in the person who wound them, at least that's my opinion.

    Here it seems we get a chance to buy a piece of history, not a superior set of pickups.
    At least that's my opinion.

    I now have a set of '64 Strat pickups, also rewound by who-knows-who, and a set of CS Strat pickups, IIRC a fat '50s and two lower wind.
    None of these have the burnished sweet tone of those '50s pickups.
    Also IMO the rewound '64s were not rewound very well, because they don't even sound as good as the CS pickups, and the resistances are higher at the neck and lower at the bridge.

    I've tried two A3 Tele bridge pickups and didn't feel they had the thing I wanted or expected and had had in those old Strat pups.
    But both Tele bridge pups are over 7k where the Strat pups were barely over 6k, plus of course different design/ bridge/ guitar etc.
     
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  7. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a set of Tonerider pickups that I thought for sure I'd rip out and put something decent in the guitar. They are still there and I think they sound great. Oh, thinking of it, I actually have two guitars with Tonerider pickups and they are only $100 a set.
     
  8. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I get the price, and it’s dragging out a bit too much. I realize Fender is using historical information to market a set of copper wires and magnets. It is nice history though, and worth something to me, but not 500.

    On a related note, how much do you think a Tadeo Gomez neck would cost today, if the man was around to do business? Anyone with decent carving skills can make a Tadeo curve, but only Tadeo can make a Tadeo neck.

    Nobody else can get away with this marketing, maybe except Gibson. Now that the folks from the ‘Classic era’ of electric guitar are passing on, there won’t be anymore pickups like these.
     
  9. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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  10. Antmax

    Antmax Tele-Meister

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    If I had a $4000+ Strat, loved the guitar playability wise but didn't like the pickups I guess I might. But otherwise I'd just get another guitar before I spent that much on pickups.
     
  11. Wildcard_35

    Wildcard_35 Tele-Meister

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    Nope. I doubt they sound any better than a US strat pickup or a reasonable priced Seymour Duncan pickup.
     
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  12. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

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    No.
     
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  13. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can buy a lot of baby shoes for $500.

    Reminds me of guys who spend thousands of dollars on big shiny rims for their cars. Then they drive around in neighborhoods with endemic childhood poverty and think they look cool.

    It raises the question...

    WTF is wrong with people?
     
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  14. Mosstone

    Mosstone TDPRI Member

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    My upper limit for a set of pickups is $150, and I typically find sets of regular Fender or CS pickups for about $100 new. I also dig Toneriders, and I think GFS really shines in the Tele department (humbuckers, not so much).

    So.... No. Not unless they come with a free guitar.

    I don't believe in 'mojo' (whatever that is), or that pickups wound by somebody who's been doing it for 40 years are somehow more magical than a pickup wound by somebody who's been doing it for 10 years, or 5 years. Pickup winding is a mechanical process. Once you've achieved competency and consistency, you're going to make a good pickup. I don't know how much more skill, or talent can be injected into it. Pickups either sound good or they don't. You either like them, or you don't. There's no way to quantify tone and say: "these pickups wound by this person sound 40% (or 400%) better than those pickups wound by that person".

    The emperor has no clothes.
     
  15. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    The idea that AlNiCo 2 simulates aged AlNiCo 5 is wrong on two counts, first it's a different formulation of metal all together, it delivers a different permeability, inductance and Q factor in a given pickup. Second, there is no reason a fully charged AlNiCo 5 magnet should lose half it's charge over the course of 60 years. Fully charged AlNiCo 5 is rather stable. It can become demagnetized in a few different ways, but it would take a lot more than sixty years for time alone to deplete AlNiCo 5 to the degree that it has equivalent strength of AlNiCo 2.

    In the video, Mike Lewis says that when the wire is guided onto the bobbin by hand "you get a very charming sound with a lot of character, because of all the little inconsistencies that come from doing it by hand.. each one will have it's own mojo". He actually used the word "mojo". "We call them tomatillo because they have a very sweet flavor, yet a tanginess to them". "charming", "character", "sweet", "tangy" none of those are adjectives that describe tone. I can't say something sounds one of those things, and you think "yes, I know exactly what you're talking about". IMO, this is worse than misleading, this is deceptive marketing, because even though he uses subjective, non falsifiable adjective like a good salesman will, the suggest itself that hand guiding makes a pickup sound any different is not substantiated in any way whatsoever.

    It's true that a pickup that is hand guided shows some peculiarities, but the thing is, even some machine wound pickups show the same signatures, because wire that fine never lays perfectly neatly on a bobbin that wide. What happens is you get second, third, fourth resonant peaks way beyond the primary resonant peak at frequencies from 50kHz to 150Hz and probably beyond, but you never hear those resonances audibly because they are waaaay beyond both human hearing and the operation range of guitar rigs. The point being that the effect of sloppy coil winding has a predictable and observable outcome, it's not a shadow in which sweet and tangy tone can be found hiding.

    Fender apparently sees boutique winders doing well selling mojo and they want a piece of the pie, but Fender is not being nearly as subtle, they're shoveling the BS hard.
     
  16. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

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    No, especially after I found out how good Rose pickups are at a fraction of the price.
     
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  17. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Wait, let me check my Lotto numbers,,,, looks like a no goo_O
     
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  18. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have an Aunty that used to ride the same bus to school as Hendrix's cousin.
    She can wind you a mean set of pickups for half that price.
    She uses her hands to do it too.:)
     
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  19. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yes Sir, still have a set of signed Abby's in a MIM Strat, and they sound great! But not 500.00 worth great, and they probably would pull that price.
     
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  20. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Meister

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    No, but it's far from the craziest thing I've seen guitar players drop insane coin on *cough* original Klon Centaur *cough*

    I spent just under $200 for a set of Lollars for my strat (well worth it in my opinion) but that's my upper limit for strat pickups.
     
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