#1
Doing some upgrading to my stratocaster and I need some help choosing pickups all three, neck, middle & bridge. I need something that will work great for mainly blues and rock. I've gravitated towards the DiMarzio brand but I'm not sure which of their models will work well for the styles I mentioned. Should I look at other brands? Can anyone help me find some great sounding pickups? Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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SG
#2
For blues and rock you can't go wrong with the Fender Custom Shop 69's. Amazon usually has them at a good price. Also check Toneriders (tonerider.com) and listen to the sound clips. I own a set of Pure Vintage and also the Surfari's. I have found the Tonerider on Ebay and real good prices. ($99) for the set

ESP LTD RZK-600
4 Custom Strats
1 Custom Soloist (Warmoth)
1 Custom Telecaster (Warmoth)
2007 Jimmie Vaughan Sig Strat

Callaham Hardware & Bridges
Fender Custom Shop 69's
Dimarzio Breed Pickups

Blues Junior Amp
BlackStar HT Club 40 Amp
Last edited by JohnnyNash at Jul 31, 2010,
#3
I hot rodded my mexican with a set of custom shop texas specials. I get really good blues and rock tones out of them. Funk even sounds really good with them of all things. That's something else to consider.

Good luck with the search.
#4
Not a big fan of texas specials. Want the bright, twangy tone, which is generally a fender thing, but I think the texas specials are too much of that.
SG
#5
check out www.rockmonkeyguitars.com

chris runs the website, he's a member here on UG, and hes awesome. he knows everything you'd want to know about pickups, recommend you pickups, wind you pickups to your specifications.
Call me "Shot".

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Est. 2007


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#7
^thanks you two

I can certainly make good blues pickups but there are a lot of blues sounds and from a tonal perspective they traditional blues strat tones mirror each other. When Fender was owned by Leo Fender the pickups had strong treble, scooped mids, and loose bass which gave you that smooth "bell like chime" that guys like SRV are famous for. After CBS bought fender they started using a different type of wire and smaller magnets which gave the pickups compressed treble, a midrange hump, and tight bass for more cutting and aggressive tone like what is commonly associated with musicians like Hendrix. Narrowing it down to Fender vs CBS era pickups is just the 1st step but it is the most significant. Also, mixing and matching these two styles of pickups works very well because they mirror each other it means that when you have two pickups selected at the same time they complement each other and fill out the areas that the other pickup lacks.

With a bit more info about what you play I can guid you a bit closer to the right pickups for you.
#8
Quote by JohnnyNash
Also check Toneriders (tonerider.com) and listen to the sound clips. I own a set of Pure Vintage and also the Surfari's. I have found the Tonerider on Ebay and real good prices. ($99) for the set


I agree. Toneriders are excellent value for money. Tonerider pure vintages + light overdrive + wah = awesome bluesey sound. The neck has amazing cleans, but the mid and bridge handle the dirty stuff better. The bridge can handle rock, but you might be better putting another pickup in like a SC-sized humbucker that will be more suited to rock and other genres. I loved the combo of bridge and mid for blues, but the bridge and mid on their own are both nice. I didnt really use the neck and mid position, so if i were you i would have a master vol, neck/mid tone and bridge tone so you can blend the different tones together for more versatility.
TBH ive heard better, but they are unbeatable for that price. If you are on a budget, then these are the way to go. If price is no barrier, then you might be able to find better pickups, but these pickups will offer the best value for money. I chose these as i refused to pay around £70 per seymour duncan pickup when i got this whole set for that much.