#1
Ok so.. i have my very first guitar and it is and fender strat. it is not a squire but its not top of the line either. i already hav a different guitar so any comments to "just get a new guitar" will not be appreciated. i want to replace the stock pickups on my strat to something that will go from nice crispy cleans to a warm bluesy jazz sound to a heavier crunch. my other guitar is set up for metal and im looking to make my strat to do wat strats excell at!!! (i would prefer seymour duncan pickups but and suggestions are welcome) oh my strat it a ssh setup!! so i need single coils in the neck and middle and humbucker for the bridge!!(just to clarify) please try to give me some low cost options!!! but i can splurge a lil... please try to help me keep it under 200$-250$!!!
#2
Have you properly setup the pickups on said Stratocaster? You can increase the tone and crunch by simply raising the pickups, assuming they are low to begin with.

I, personally, wold avoid Texas Specials; there's just something flimsy about their tone that I don't like.
#3
no the pickups are fine with height.. they are just very low quality fender stock pickups.... any suggestions for new ones thou??
#4
you could go with fender vintage noiseless pick ups in the neck and bridge, you can get an almost hollow body jazzy sound out of them. I am not sure about the humbucker though...an SD JB?
2008 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
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#5
So your first guitar was a Mexican Strat? Nice.

Anyway, some Lace Sensors would probably help you out quite a bit. If you're set on Duncans, then I'd suggest a JB. Don't know their single coils, though.
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#6
Quote by oldspice56
you could go with fender vintage noiseless pick ups in the neck and bridge, you can get an almost hollow body jazzy sound out of them. I am not sure about the humbucker though...an SD JB?

This is what I have now, stock on the Deluxe Player's Stratocaster, and they are indeed a mix of smoothiness and crunch - on my FBJr, they are surprisingly capable of getting you that nice mix of dirty clean tones, clean when play, overdriven when you dig in. 'Tis a sweet sound.

The reason I brought up height is because my pickups came rather low from the factory, and upon raising, really boosted the tone, making the guitar come alive. I'm a firm believer in a proper setup.

I'm sorry I can't really help you; my experience is with Fender pickups only.
#7
well.. i am really open to any suggestions that would help my guitars tone greatly... it has this really awful metallic sound and i dont like it at all... and it still sounded awful after new strings so i kno it wasnt that.... i was thinking seymour duncan cool rails for the single but idk for the humbucker?? good idea? suggestions?
#8
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#9
Well firstly, if your amp isn't up to scratch then you won't be able to go from clean to crunch tones easily. The best way to get that sort of effect is to have an all-valve amp set up with low gain and fairly high-output pickups; then you can roll down the volume on your guitar and get a cleaner tone while hopefully still having decent volume. If your amp is a solid state or hybrid amp it very likely won't react in the same way so you may run into problems. Also consider getting an overdrive pedal; you could set your amp to be fairly clean with clear-sounding, smooth, low-output pickups, then kick on your overdrive pedal to get a little dirt and crunch going instantly. It's really worth considering your whole rig; your pickups don't effect your sound as much as many people think they do, they're relaly for tweaking your tone once you have your amp in roughly the right ballpark.


Anyway, there's a few different options to consider.

For the bridge humbucker, I would recommend:
  • SD Pearly Gates. This is a really good all-round blues and rock pickup, based on the pickups that Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top has in his favourite Les Paul. It's got medium output and works well in nearly any guitar with nearly any amp. The only things it's not suitable for are perfectly clean jazz and really heavy metal - but anything from blues to country to normal rock, it can do perfectly. This would be my #1 pick - I use one in a Strat myself.
  • SD Jazz. This is a lot like the Pearly Gates only it has an Alnico V magnet which gives it a little more compressed tone with a touch more treble. Despite it's name, it's not just a pickup for jazz, it's good for rock and blues too. I personally think the Pearly Gates is the better option as it's a touch smoother, but depending on your amp the added brighteness of the Jazz might be better.
  • Seymour Duncan Custom 5. It's got a more mellow tone and slightly lower output than the famous SD JB model humbucker. This is a really good pickup to use with a good valve amp to roll the volume up/down to change from cleaner tones to medium distortion.


For the middle singlecoil, I'd suggest:
  • SD Five-Two. This is balanced to give a more even tone across the strings, so the lower strings have a little more treble and 'snap' while the thinner, higher strings are slightly more mellow. I used one for a while and it really was the best all-round singlecoil pickup I've found. I ended up switching it out because it's a little too generic all-round for me, but for you it might work out well.
  • SD Quarter Pound. This has an almost P-90 tone; smooth but with considerable power. Good for any blues or rock playing but it can be hard to get a clena tone out of it; you've got to really whack the volume control right down to get this pickup to sound perfectly clean if your amp has any gain on it. The middle position on Strats doesn't seem to get much use for perfectly clean tones anyway though so I think you could get away with it.
  • SD Custom. Higher-output but not quite as much as the Quater Pounder, and a little brighter too. Very similar to the Fender Texas Special but with a touch more bass. Possibly the best option for you. It would match the Pearly Gates humbucker very well.
  • SD Custom Stack. High output and hum-cancelling, but has a slightly ''dulled'' tone compared to traditional singlecoil pickups. Will be a lot like the Quarter Pounder only a touch easier to get a clean tone out of and hum-cancelling at the cost of not being quite so well-defined.
  • SD Vintage Rails. Small humbucker made to sound as close to a singlecoil as possible. As an interesting tone, it's not quite got the sparkle of a singlecoil but it's much clearer than any other humbucker. Not very smooth though. A nice all-rounder which will provide you with a hum-cancelling, bright pickup with less output than the Custom Stack, but it's not especially good at any one tone, it's really a jack-of-all-trades pickup.


For the neck pickup I'd go for one of
  • SD Alnico II Pro. Really mellow, smooth, ultra-clean pickup. The problem with this is it will be hard to get a crunch tone out of it unless you really jack up the gain on your amp (which then means you'll struggle to get a clean tone out of the middle and bridge pickups).
  • SD Duckbucker. Same as the Vintage Railes above, only a little closer sounding to a singlecoil. If you had a Vintage Rails or Custom Stack in the middle, this would be a good match for it in the neck. If you have a true singlecoil in the middle though, this will sound odd to have in the neck.
  • SD Vintage. Very basic, traditional singlecoil pickup. It's not going to wow you in any way, but what it will do is give you perfect, classic singlecoil tones. In a way that's quite boring, but it's also quite nice to have at least one pickup in your guitar that just does the basic traditional tones well.
  • SD Custom. See the entry for this for the middle pickup. If you put a Custom, Quarter Pounder or Vintage Rails in the middle then this will be a good match in the neck.
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#10
As has been said, I'd get yourself a good tube amp if you don't have one already... I think that'll make a bigger difference in your tone.

I am more of a DiMarzio guy myself though, and it sounds like you're looking for a good bluesy tone right? I'd look at the True Velvets and/or the Virtual Vintage Blues for the single coils and maybe a Bluesbucker or Air Classic for the bridge. Honestly though, if it was me (and hopefully someday I will get to do this to a Strat) I'd get a HSH pick guard and put some EJ Custom humbuckers in the neck and bridge with Virtual Vintage Blues or Heavy Blues in the middle. Toss a coil tap into the mix and I'd think you'd have a pretty versatile guitar!
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#11
hmmmm..... sounds good... thanks mr.flibble for all the information... i will really check into those... i had never really checked up on those pickups...
#17
idk wat the model is.. i sanded off the logo off the headstock a long time ago... lol... but i am not totally sure wat to pick yet... but i agree mr.flibble helped me a great deal..
#19
^ i agree with sound, but the neck on mine was/is nice

anywho, mr fibbles advice was very good. tube amp will make a huge improvement in tone tho.
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#21
hmm.. ok... idk mine is a pretty nice guitar.. jus the pickups suck.. but i willl look into getting a tube amp... trying to get it all done.... lol
#22
I just got lace sensor hot gold with hotter bridge. They sound amazing to me. Def. check out you tube videos for an idea.