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Pups for Strat


Izzy

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When I got my Gibbies they sounded great right off and I never thought about changing a thing. Even the Parker, souless as she is, sounds pretty fraken good to me. The Strat FEELS good and sounds...not bad. I wish she didn't fancy herself a duck!

 

I searched the threads here and on other forums but FEW turned up Lollar or GFS pickups, though Searcy and surfpup mentioned GFS when Rabs was seeking pup advice.

 

I don't like quack and love thicker tones, so I was thinking Lollar S.

GSF pups seem underrated, price-nice AND cool, but what would compare to a Laller S in sound?

Rio Grande pups are tempting 'cause I'm Texan and they're made round these here parts, also, Rockin' Robin has like a ton of guitars with Rios put in to demo the things but they are expensive.

 

Have ya'll had expirience with Lollar/GFS or any other Strat pup I should consider?

 

I've seen a couple dozen demo vids, but I also want to know if the pups have issues and if costumer service is good. Vids only give us so much insight...

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Well, I had an old MIM Strat that was a great guitar for many years. But, I always thought the pickups were just a tad too harsh and hot for my taste in single coils. So I tried replacing them with GFS and liked them much more. It was a vintage style set, so if you don't like that classic quack you probably wouldn't like these. But I know GFS makes other, hotter style Strat pickups too.

 

You can check them out on Guitarfetish.com

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Single coil vs Humbucker configuration has always been a dilemma for me. I'm spoiled by the "full bodied" sound of a Humbucker style pup. I almost always regret bringing a single coil guitar to a gig at some point. Then again unless I reconfigure my EQ settings (a real job)...A Humbucker can't give me the thin watery out of phase sound of a single coil that some tunes really need. Bringing two guitars sometimes is NOT an option. I hope you get your question resolved to your liking.

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If money is not an issue and you are going strictly for tone I would recommend Klein or D. Allen pups. Both have useful sound samples on their web sites. If you are looking for good value you could go GFS but go with their pro series. You can also go to the bay and grab a good deal on stock Fender pups pulled out for "boutiques".

 

Of course you could always ask Searcy to wind you a set. [thumbup]

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I replaced the pups on my "Roland Ready" MIM strat with Kinman "Woodstock" pups (there are some YouTube vids of them including someone playing Floyd's "Comfortably Numb").

 

They are no noise pups and have a "thick" sound - I think they are great. No regrets at all. There is a woodstock + version if you want even hotter.

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I agree with Kaiser Bill. Sometimes a classic Strat tone is required and it is hard to get that from a Gibby unless it has P90's on it. I have a few thin-sounding Strats but they thicken up pretty good with the right distortion pedal. I used to play with a guy who used two distortion pedals for that reason. The second pedal was for a boost for leads when it was needed. That's one way to deal with Fender pups.

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I love the pups form the Fender Custom Shop the Vintage Noiseless or the Fat 50s are nice thick.

 

Yep, I really like the Fender "Noiseless" series on my Strat - excellent frequency response and nice voicing even distorted. Or "Texas Specials" are pretty decent response and voicing too

and last but not least good old P90s. Can't go wrong with any of those in my experience.

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I may be in the minority here, but I'm comfortable with that. I have replaced both Fender and Seymour Duncan single coils in my Strats and Teles with GFS stuff. I found Fat 50s and Texas Specials harsh sounding. Thee Duncan Alnico Pro Strats were my go to for a while. But I like the GFS better. And for the price you lose very little if you are not pleased. If you want some specifics about the sets I have now in two of my Strats, Izzy, let me know. The two pairs are quite different.

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@ Riffster

 

I thought about P-90s as well...didn't find a vid for the ones you linked, but Manilus has single coil sized P90s and the demo sounds...very different from a Strat. I'll keep looking for single coils as I actually do like the strat sound, just want less of certain aspects, but if that doesn't work out I'll look into these more seriously.

 

@ Surfpup

 

Thanks man. I've gone to their site and the Mega Tex got my attention. They sounded sweet in the demo I saw, retaining the strat sound but then there were some additional thicker tones. Less than $40 for a pup, thats very reasonable.

 

@ AXE and Pin

 

Never heard of the Wolftone or Kinman pups, I'll check 'em out fo' sho! [thumbup]

 

Seriously, none of ya'll have Lollars or have neard bad of them or nuthin'?

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Like I've said, I'm not much on modding... but to keep it Fender, maybe consider: Tex-Mex (keeps the TX connection going). I do like the Noiseless vintage (have them w/active circuit in my Clapton). Or maybe some of the other Custom Shop models (like the 69s in my Custom Shop designed MIM Classic 60s Player). To demo a set of the Fat 50s mentioned above, ask to play a 2012 American Standard Stratocaster, they are standard in these (have one I picked up a couple months back at a steal of a price from Hello Music).

 

If you do decide to go outside Fender (there are many, many justifiable choices). Don't overlook Seymour Duncan. And Fralin. Just to name a couple.

 

One last thought- before changing put p'ups, have you tried any pedals? A Tube Screamer does absolutely WONDERFUL things for the sound of a Stratocaster (though I confess I love most of them bone stock- though if yours is the Mexican Standard version, the pickups are about as plain as they come from what I've heard).

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I'm a BIG fan of "Fender Vintage Noiseless" pickups. Replaced a set of Lace Sensors with Vintage Noiseless in one of my Strats, and the first words out of my mouth after plugging it in were "WOW".

 

A Strat set can be had for around $100.

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@ Surfpup

 

Thanks man. I've gone to their site and the Mega Tex got my attention. They sounded sweet in the demo I saw, retaining the strat sound but then there were some additional thicker tones. Less than $40 for a pup, thats very reasonable.

 

Yeah, I think those are basically humbuckers. I know some poeple like those is Strat's but not me. My favorite set of theirs so far is an overwound 63 set. Everyone who has played the guitar they are in has asked me about the pickups. The Duncan APS set they replaced was shrill and thin by comparison. These are slightly hotter than normal but they still sound like Strat pups.

 

I found them on their site - not always the easiest site to shop mind you....

 

1963 Strat Texas Wound Professional set

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I don't know that you'll ever get rid of the quack in the 2 and 4 positions on a Strat with single coils. I suppose all of the suggestions made here are great. I only have experience with single coils that were stock on my 1999 American Standard and the Dimarzio low noise Virtual Vintage series currently on my Strat. I had the Blues put in the neck position, the 54 Pro in the middle, and Area 61 on the bridge. If I had to do it again, I would have put the Blues on the bridge and pups with more mid and bass in the middle and on the neck. But the Dimarzios on there now sound great (much better than stock), especially turned up and put through a good tube amp- very expressive and bright.

 

Dimarzio Strat Virtual Vintage

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My son's guitar teacher knows the owner of Zexcoil and had an early prototype set sent and installed on my boy's strat about 18 months ago. He absolutely loved them. They are pricey...but fabulous. My son will be ordering a set as soon as he pays off the used Martin he recently bought to complete his guitar arsenal.

 

 

http://www.zexcoil.com/welcome.html

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@ Riffster

 

I thought about P-90s as well...didn't find a vid for the ones you linked, but Manilus has single coil sized P90s and the demo sounds...very different from a Strat. I'll keep looking for single coils as I actually do like the strat sound, just want less of certain aspects, but if that doesn't work out I'll look into these more seriously.

 

@ Surfpup

 

Thanks man. I've gone to their site and the Mega Tex got my attention. They sounded sweet in the demo I saw, retaining the strat sound but then there were some additional thicker tones. Less than $40 for a pup, thats very reasonable.

 

@ AXE and Pin

 

Never heard of the Wolftone or Kinman pups, I'll check 'em out fo' sho! [thumbup]

 

Seriously, none of ya'll have Lollars or have neard bad of them or nuthin'?

 

 

 

I have set of Kinman P90s on my LP Studio 70's Tribute...they are noiseless and sound great on a LP.

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Lollars have a great reputation. I don't think you can go wrong. Wolfe is a great winder but I have only heard his humbuckers.

 

My Strat has Nick Sorenson Rocketfires. Hands down, thee best Strat pickups I have heard.

Everyone who has played my Strat so far as said the same thing. "How much do you want for it?"

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In addition to GFS, check out Dragonfire pickups they are wound in the same factory as GFS, but to different specs and they are lower cost. I got the vintage set in a loaded pickguard, great workmanship, really good sound to my ears; a vast improvement over the stock Affinity pickups they replaced.

 

Dragonfire Strat loaded pickguard

 

I got the Vintage pickups but I don't see that one. You can get a loaded pro series noiseless pickguard for about $90. These will fit in a MIM or American made strat.

 

Noiseless

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