#1
I've been thinking of getting some new pickups for my Squier, and I really liked the Tex Mex pups. What are they like?
Quote by Kensai
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#2
Hot.What sort of music do you play?
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#3
Anything except metal. I was kinda looking for an SRV type tone. Will they help?
Quote by Kensai
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#4
*Flameshield*I've never really listened to SRV but I imagine that they would since (I think?) they used on his Fender artist model.
"This is Sierra-259, you got Spartans on the ground, sir. We're not going anywhere."

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#5
Thanks. It's ok, I'm not an SRV junkie or anything, I just want a clean tone similar to his.
Quote by Kensai
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#6
Quote by gbgg9409
Thanks. It's ok, I'm not an SRV junkie or anything, I just want a clean tone similar to his.



Then let me recommend the Custom Shop '69 pickups.

Imo,hey are beautiful clean and sound amazing with some overdrive.
"This is Sierra-259, you got Spartans on the ground, sir. We're not going anywhere."

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#7
Quote by NewsoftheWorld
Then let me recommend the Custom Shop '69 pickups.

Imo,hey are beautiful clean and sound amazing with some overdrive.


Argh, I'm going to a music store on Saturday, and I only have $100 to spend on pickups. Can I just ask for one of them for the neck?
Quote by Kensai
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#8
Quote by gbgg9409
Argh, I'm going to a music store on Saturday, and I only have $100 to spend on pickups. Can I just ask for one of them for the neck?


I'd wait until you have enough for a set, dude. It's a bummer to only have one.
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#9
Alright, let's clear some things up.
First and foremost you will hear very little difference in sound if you switch pickups while you're playing through your current amps because neither of them are dynamic enough to pick up the nuances that make pickup swaps worth it; you'll pretty much be burning cash right now. Secondly, your amp is the largest single factor in your tone so even if it was as dynamic as it'd need to be you probably still wouldn't hear as much of an improvement in sound as you might expect.

To address the pickups (purely because I disagree with a lot of the suggestions here), the Tex Mex are the MIM equivalent of the Texas Specials, but aren't really very good. The '69 models, while very good, are not what you'd be after for an SRV tone; hiis MIA signature is loaded with Texas Specials, and if a pickup swap would be worth it you'd want those.
#11
I would have to disagree with Rock Pig, you will hear a differance in your tone, but if you're going for that "texas blues" tone, your amp will help you out a HELL of a lot more than replacing your pickups.

Right now you're using moderate wound Ceramic magnet pups, which will be a little hotter sounding than Alnico models with the same windings. If you REALLY want to get a better sound, getting a Fender style tube amp and a TS-808/9 style pedal will get your there a lot faster than changing your pups out.

I personally will tell you, though, that for an "SRV" tone, the pickups don't really matter that much. Almost any set of single coils can get you close to that tone, the Texas Specials and the Duncan SSL-3's will get you closer, but not much closer, to the "SRV" tone than your squier pups.

I'm not saying "definately don't get the pickups," but if you want to see more improvement, amp and pedal, man... amp and pedal.

edit: I should add: I can get a "fairly SRV-ish" tone out of my Les Paul, Tele and Strats with my Marshall and a Green Screamer pedal. Not dead on, by any means, but a "close enough" sound. Check out my profile to see exactly what pups I am using.
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Last edited by Thomme at Mar 19, 2009,
#12
Quote by Thomme
I would have to disagree with Rock Pig, you will hear a differance in your tone, but if you're going for that "texas blues" tone, your amp will help you out a HELL of a lot more than replacing your pickups.

I agree with the fact that there would be some difference but my initial point was (or was intended to be, perhaps it didn't appear this way) that the difference probably wouldn't be worth the money and you've actually backed up this point to some extent.
#13
Quote by Rock Pig
I agree with the fact that there would be some difference but my initial point was (or was intended to be, perhaps it didn't appear this way) that the difference probably wouldn't be worth the money and you've actually backed up this point to some extent.

I just can't stand when people say "You won't hear a differance with your amp" cause I know you can. I used to use SS amps all the time, a Spider II, a Kustom III and a Squier Champ 15, and I could hear the differances between my pickups when I changed 'em out. It made considerable differances in some cases, too. Putting the Duncan '59 in my guitar was probably the greatest thing I ever did when I had the Spider II.

But, when I got my Vox and Marshall, my tone improved substantially more than any of those pickup changes ever did for me. Pickups for certain tones are fairly important, depending on your gear, but for other tones an amp upgrade is essential. This is one of those times when an amp and pedal will far outweigh the benefits of a pickup swap. Now, if he said he wanted tone closer to that of like... Bad Religion or The Offspring, a pup swap would benefit him more than an amp, IMO. Although those aren't good amps, if he's just a bedroom warrior, then it's not that big of a deal.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#14
Quote by Thomme
I just can't stand when people say "You won't hear a differance with your amp" cause I know you can. I used to use SS amps all the time, a Spider II, a Kustom III and a Squier Champ 15, and I could hear the differances between my pickups when I changed 'em out. It made considerable differances in some cases, too. Putting the Duncan '59 in my guitar was probably the greatest thing I ever did when I had the Spider II.

But, when I got my Vox and Marshall, my tone improved substantially more than any of those pickup changes ever did for me. Pickups for certain tones are fairly important, depending on your gear, but for other tones an amp upgrade is essential. This is one of those times when an amp and pedal will far outweigh the benefits of a pickup swap. Now, if he said he wanted tone closer to that of like... Bad Religion or The Offspring, a pup swap would benefit him more than an amp, IMO. Although those aren't good amps, if he's just a bedroom warrior, then it's not that big of a deal.

I dunno, I think it's certainly true that an amp with poor dynamics and response will take the value of a pickup swap down a peg or two; I'm talking from experience because I rather stupidly bought Bare Knuckles while I was playing through a BOSS ME-50 and didn't hear very much difference at all.
But yeah, my DiMarzios sound different (if not substantially so) to my friends Ibanez INFs through his Vox VT30 so I do agree to some extent.

And if you're wondering why I had Bare Knuckles but now have DiMarzios, it's because I wanted a more modern sound on my guitar but was a bit broke after buying the BKPs and the Valveking >.>
I still have the BKPs (if not actually IN a guitar) and they're definitely better at what they do than the DiMarzios are at what they do.
#15
Wow guys, thanks for the info. I'll definitely reconsider. And, I'm not a bedroom warrior. I'm in a band, and I play with a drummer at least once a week.
Quote by Kensai
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#16
Quote by gbgg9409
Wow guys, thanks for the info. I'll definitely reconsider. And, I'm not a bedroom warrior. I'm in a band, and I play with a drummer at least once a week.

Then an amp. A nice, 30w Fender Tube Amp and a Tubescreamer style pedal'll get you some hot, SRV-type tones, as I said before. 30-50w tube is going to be where you'll start to get over a drummer.
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#17
Quote by Rock Pig
your amp is the largest single factor in your tone

I'm not going to touch that with a fifty foot pole...


I'd agree with what other people have said, save up and get a set. They're actually pretty nice, I don't personally have a set, but I know someone who does and I've played around with them a ton and they are absolutely sick for a mid gain type of setting.
#18
Quote by wizards?
Quote by Rock Pig
your amp is the largest single factor in your tone

I'm not going to touch that with a fifty foot pole...

You could argue that it's the player, but in reality the only influence a player has over his tone is pick attack, which is usually not as drastic of a difference as an amp makes. Vibrato can't be considered a tonal thing.
Your amp determines the vast amount of your equalisation, your level of distortion, the character of the distortion, most of your clarity,
The idea that a player has more influence on his tone than any of his equipment is one of those romantic myths about guitar playing. Certainly whatever you play will still sound like you but it will be a phrasing/playing thing, not a tone thing.
#19
Quote by NewsoftheWorld
*Flameshield*I've never really listened to SRV but I imagine that they would since (I think?) they used on his Fender artist model.


Fender didn't do a good job replicating the SRV tone with the instruments they put his name on.

Quote by NewsoftheWorld
Then let me recommend the Custom Shop '69 pickups.

Imo,hey are beautiful clean and sound amazing with some overdrive.


'69s are the exact opposite of the SRV type clean tone. They do have great clean tone, but the custom shop 69 pickups are much tighter and they have the "midrange quack" that Fenders became famous for after CBS took over.

The SRV type tone, (AKA the RHCP tone, John Mayer tone, and early Eric clapton tone) all come from from Pre CBS style pickups which use formvar wire, fiber bobbins, and alnico 5 magnets. This type of construction gives you less midrange, more treble, and a very loose bass end that makes everything seem smooth and warm.

Quote by gbgg9409
Argh, I'm going to a music store on Saturday, and I only have $100 to spend on pickups. Can I just ask for one of them for the neck?


If you do go with fender pickups get their 62 strat pickups. You won't find what you need by going cheap so just replacing the neck pickup for now may be the best way to go for you.

Of course I'd recommend you go with my 62 strat style pickups but then again, I'm biased
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#20
Quote by CorduroyEW
Fender didn't do a good job replicating the SRV tone with the instruments they put his name on.


actually, he helped design the guitar before the helicopter crash. It wasn't supposed to replicate 1, like it looks like, but was his ideal guitar built specifically for him. I'm sure that if he didn't die, though, he probably would have still used 1 and Lenny much more than his custom.


'69s are the exact opposite of the SRV type clean tone. They do have great clean tone, but the custom shop 69 pickups are much tighter and they have the "midrange quack" that Fenders became famous for after CBS took over.


100% true, but TS, you'll see much more of an improvement in tone by going with the amp upgrade than the pickup upgrade, even those crappy squier Ceramic SC's you've got will get you a good "texas" blue tone with the right amp.


If you do go with fender pickups get their 62 strat pickups. You won't find what you need by going cheap so just replacing the neck pickup for now may be the best way to go for you.

Of course I'd recommend you go with my 62 strat style pickups but then again, I'm biased

I personally prefer the Duncan hots for this application, myself, but... IIRC, SRV actually had hot pickups in his 1. I'm not sure what Lenny had in it, but I'm fairly confident that his pups were overwound in 1. The 62's will sound FANTASTIC, though. The Fender pups are great pickups, but I prefer the Duncans, I just feel that they do a better job at getting you the tones you want than the Fenders do. The Duncan SSL-2's (their hot vintage SC's), I feel give you better attack and bite while retaining the qualities of vintage SC's than the Fender 62's do, which will help you get the tone your looking for. The Duncan SSL-1's and Fender 62's will be extremely similar pickups, I just think the Duncan SSL-1's are a little warmer and musical sounding than the Fenders, not that the Fenders are bad, by any means. But, a hotter pickup will help you get the tone.

I might also recomend looking into Bill Lawrence's pups, too. They're impossible to find concrete information on, but at the Telecaster Forum on Telecaster.com, they are EXTREMELY highly recomended and don't cost an arm and a leg, I can't speak to them myself, but they do come highly recomended.

Also, I know that GFS produces a set of pups to "emulate" the texas blues sound with correct materials and the set costs around 80 bucks, I think. I haven't used GFS pups myself, but all the reviews I've seen of them are glowing and praise their value. If you're concerned about cost, you might want to go with the GFS pups, especially since these are going into a squier.

But, as I stated before: your amp's gonna make or break the tone you're going for in this case, especially if you're playing with a band. With a good tube amp, you'll get some amazing tones at high volumes, even with the stock squier pups.

also, Cord, if you could, could you check out my thread here: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1088292
and let me know what you think. You seem to know a lot about pickups and could probably help me out.
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Last edited by Thomme at Mar 20, 2009,
#21
Quote by Thomme
you seem to know a lot about pickups

Well that's the understatement of the year.
#22
Quote by Rock Pig
Well that's the understatement of the year.

wait, is Cord one of our resident pup makers?
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#23
^

yup
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#24
Quote by Thomme
wait, is Cord one of our resident pup makers?

He is, and from what I've read he's very good as well. I have yet to get round to ordering a set but I'm going to at some point; probably when I have a Strat style instrument as Bare Knuckle don't really offer a Stevie Ray style pickup.
#25
Quote by CorduroyEW


The SRV type tone, (AKA the RHCP tone, John Mayer tone, and early Eric clapton tone) all come from from Pre CBS style pickups which use formvar wire, fiber bobbins, and alnico 5 magnets. This type of construction gives you less midrange, more treble, and a very loose bass end that makes everything seem smooth and warm.



"these Fender pickups are built using height staggered Alnico V magnets and a special gray bobbin."

If I am correct the tones of SRV,Frusciante,and Mayer are some what based around a Hendrix sound,a sound which the FCS '69's do nicely.
"This is Sierra-259, you got Spartans on the ground, sir. We're not going anywhere."

Fender Partscaster

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TC Electronics Nova Repeater
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MXR Micro Amp
EH Holy Grail Reverb
#26
Quote by NewsoftheWorld
"these Fender pickups are built using height staggered Alnico V magnets and a special gray bobbin."

If I am correct the tones of SRV,Frusciante,and Mayer are some what based around a Hendrix sound,a sound which the FCS '69's do nicely.

kind'a. I can see how you're thinking of it, but I gotta disagree.

While they do play like and are influenced heavily by Hendrix, that doesn't necesarily mean that they emulate their tones spot on to Hendrix's, also. And even though Jimi did have that Olympic White '69 strat, he also used a Flying V and a '67 (IIRC) strat frequently. Naming a single artist can't really nail down the pickup choice that you're going to be after, you know?

I can think of 3 differant HB's that Cobain used off the top of my head, 3 that Corgan used, as well. No artist has a stable of guitars with identical specs. Going for a "certain" sound is more of a ballpark estimate than it is a spot on science.
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Last edited by Thomme at Mar 20, 2009,
#27
Quote by NewsoftheWorld
"these Fender pickups are built using height staggered Alnico V magnets and a special gray bobbin."


The difference is the pickup wire. The 69 pickups have PE wire while the 62 has formvar. Formvar sounds a lot different than PE.

If I am correct the tones of SRV,Frusciante,and Mayer are some what based around a Hendrix sound,a sound which the FCS '69's do nicely.
Most of SRV's guitars had 1962 pickups. There was at least 1 with 63 pickups and 1 with 59 pickups. He also had the Danelectro lipsticks in one. All but the danelectro pickups give him a Pre CBS tone. Frusciante uses 1962 strats and has 1 1954 strat which is also Pre CBS tone. JM's neck pickup is the same specs as a 62 pickup, his middle is like an overwound 62 and the bridge is a modern design that is significantly higher output than anything vintage.
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