I have two Stratocasters - a stock American Vintage '65 and a Vintera '50s Modified. I am quite happy with the the AV '65 as it is awesome for surf. The Vintera '50s Modified pickups, however, are a bit lifeless to me. I'm in the market to put in an upgraded set of pickups for the Vintera '50s Modified Strat.
I've had Pure Vintage '59 pickups in a Strat that's since been sold that were lovely although not my first choice for surf. That said, I'm not really looking for pickups primarily for surf but it's nice if they can do surf well. Ideally, a well-rounded set of pickups that can cover a lot of genres.
I've had Fender Original '57/'62 pickups and they are great overall Strat tones. No complaints whatsover with them, however, I think at this point I would like to try for either noiseless, Fender Custom Shop, or boutique caliber pickups.
What are your opinions on the following noiseless Strat pickups?
- Fender Super 55 Split Coil
- Genuine Fender Vintage Noiseless
- Hot Noiseless
- Gen 4 Noiseless
- Ultra Noiseless Vintage (updated version of the Genuine Fender Vintage Noiseless or different altogether?)
I previously have had Fender Noiseless pickups for my Tele and found them to be fairly sterile and sacrificing tone. They were earlier than the Gen 4 series. Should I be concerned of the same issue with the Strat noiseless options?
There a quite a few sets of Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster pickups to try:
- Texas Special
- Fat 50s
- Fat '60s
- Josephina Hand Wound - a bit outside my budget but would consider if I can find a good deal on a set.
Another consideration, but also a bit more expensive, is getting a boutique set:
- Joe Barden S-Deluxe
- Lindy Fralin Split Blade
My concern with Fralin pickups, which I really love in my Tele, Mustang, and Gretsch guitars, is that they are very fragile. I swapped a set out of one Tele to another only to find I accidentally damaged both pickups when installing into the other Tele. I'm usually very careful swapping out pickups in general, so I was dumbfounded that I damaged not one, but two pickups. I'm still debating whether to send them back to Fralin for the rewind fees or just pitch them in the bin.
I've been super impressed with a set of Joe Barden Two/Tone Jazzmaster pickups that I got in a trade, so the primary boutique Stratocaster pickups would be the S-Deluxe set.
Again, your opinions are very much appreciated!—
The doofus formerly known as Snorre
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Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 18:05:37