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Old 05-02-2016, 08:50 PM   #1
killin it
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Pickup Suggestions?

I have a 1970's korean strat that I would like to upgrade with new pickups. Anyone have any suggestions for some that are reasonably priced? I replaced one of them with seymour duncan and had no idea how horrible the stock ones were until I did. Now they all must go!
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:10 PM   #2
JustRooster
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What kind of music do you play and what is your amp?
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:01 PM   #3
dannyalcatraz
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Ditto that query!
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
Ditto that query!


Ditto the ditto.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killin it
I have a 1970's korean strat that I would like to upgrade with new pickups. Anyone have any suggestions for some that are reasonably priced? I replaced one of them with seymour duncan and had no idea how horrible the stock ones were until I did. Now they all must go!


If you like the Seymour Duncan so much why don´t you just get 2 more?
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:55 AM   #6
killin it
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I have a fender frontman/solid state. Play mostly heavy effect shoegaze. Not decided on the SD because there may be a better option.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:27 PM   #7
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What SD pickup? I would maybe look at something noiseless, like the Classic Stacks- they have have a clean & clear sound that won't get messy with a ton of effects. I don't think I'd go for super high output pickups if you like effects (like I do).
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killin it
I have a fender frontman/solid state. Play mostly heavy effect shoegaze. Not decided on the SD because there may be a better option.

So, like some of the older bands? Curve? Jesus & Mary Chain?

Check out:

1) Lace Alumitones or Alumitone Deathbuckers- some of the cleanest passives on the planet, and they dirty up nice. The Deathbuckers are not available in singlecoil size, but the normal ones are.

2) Rio Grande Dirty Harry family- the singlecoils are made like P90s and the HBs pair the singlecoil-sized ones in a HB housing.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 05-03-2016 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 05-03-2016, 02:01 PM   #9
killin it
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I meant seymour duncan (sd). Some bands I like are beach house, blonde redhead, explosion in the sky to name a few. Calmer indie rock. I have never replaced pickups but have heard it can totally revamp your current set up. Excited! One thing I can easily see is how much quiter the original pickups are from my one seymour duncan upgrade.. Makes the difference pretty obvious..
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Old 05-03-2016, 02:31 PM   #10
dannyalcatraz
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How do you mean the originals are quieter than the SD?

Oh yeah--and is your Strat HSS or SSS?
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 05-03-2016 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:02 PM   #11
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Correct me if I a wrong but isn't the Fender Frontman the cheap shitty little starter pack thing?

If it is I would look into that before pickups.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:49 PM   #12
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^^^^I was wondering why you would invest in new pickups with an amp like that.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:30 PM   #13
killin it
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You guys all have valid points about my cheap shitty amp. Lol! Honestly, it is not that bad for home recording... The stock pickups are quieter than the sd's not sure what else to say..
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:34 PM   #14
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A new amp would make a much greater difference at improving your tone and be more cost effective.

For instance, my Vypyr was £70 which is cheaper than a single new SD pickup, and your guitar in it's current state would sound better through this amp than putting SDs into your guitar then running them through a Frontman.
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:26 AM   #15
dannyalcatraz
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I agree that an upgraded amp would make a bigger tonal impact. OTOH, he noticed the difference in pickup quality despite the apparent crappyness of the amp.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:56 AM   #16
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I really like getting pickups from small builders/winders. Usually they will work with you to come up with a pickup that captures the tone you are looking for. Here are some builders that turn out some outstanding pickups at very reasonable cost.

Buddha Custom Pickups

Benson Handwound Pickups

BG Handcrafted Pickups





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Old 05-05-2016, 08:31 AM   #17
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Rosepickups.com you can buy the Mariposa set or give a listen to sound samples.. Ken is a good guy and pretty much custom wind you the pickup you want. The notes are nice and clear.
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
I agree that an upgraded amp would make a bigger tonal impact. OTOH, he noticed the difference in pickup quality despite the apparent crappyness of the amp.


You can tell he differences in pickups in most any amps when you have been playing for a bit and your ear starts picking up on all the subtle nuances, and I get the volume and tone quality differences between pickups can be annoying but I still believe that getting a new amp first then upgrading the pickups will be a better solution.

I noticed he likes the lower gain end of the spectrum so maybe something like a Vox AD30VT+, Fender Mustang or maybe a Marshall Code would be good for starters?

Side note: has anyone tried those Marshall Codes? I haven't really seen any opinions either way on whether they are good or not.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:52 AM   #19
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If you like how the SD pickup sounds, I agree that simply buying another couple makes the most sense. You've not said which model of SD pickup it is you used, so it's hard to recommend anything. Remember, the more detailed info you can give us, the more worthwhile and accurate suggestions can be!

As a general rule of thumb for 'shoegaze' and any other style with a lot of clean tones + effects, for a Strat I like to go with SD Hot Stacks. The bar version, not the 'Plus' with the magnetic pole pieces. It's a little smoother than a normal Strat pickup and it's hum-cancelling, but it doesn't lose any of the high end.
A good example of what the Hot Stack can sound like is Prince's Purple Rain. The main clean tone on that song is a pair of Hot Stacks into a Roland Jazz Chorus solid state amp, with the amp's own chorus and reverb, plus a tape delay and some stereo panning. Obviously, Purple Rain itself is not a very shoegaze song, but that clean solid state + effects tone used on it gives you a good idea of the kind of sound the SD Hot Stack produces.

My second general pick for such tones is to go active with EMG SAX pickups, or an SAX for the bridge and SLVX for the middle and neck. The SAX has a bar magnet and the SLVX uses magnetic pole pieces; the winding is similar to any overwound Strat pickup. With a solid state amp they are the cleanest pickup you can get, and their low impedence means they can go through long cable runs and many effects units without losing any response or treble. The 'X' versions give you more dynamic output, for more of a passive feel. The non-X versions have more compression and are better for funk and progressive rock; for shoegaze I'd go for the X pickups.

Third, plain old Fender Vintage Noiseless. There's nothing exciting about them, but that's the point. They're totally standard with no hum and just a little less treble for a slightly smoother tone than you usually get with common Strat pickups. When you're playing with a solid state amp and lots of effects, that's really what you want; vintage-style pickups can sound weak and get lost in the ffects and modern, overwound pickups can drive the amp to clip, which isn't pretty with solid state amps.


I don't agree with some of the others about the amp change, because small solid state combos actually is really common for shoegaze. That said, upgrading to a higher-end solid state, like a Jazz Chorus, or going to a very clean valve amp like a Fender Princeton, sure would help you more than a pickup change, if you're getting into recording and gigging. If you only play at home and don't record then I'd actually say the Frontman is fine, for shoegaze at least.
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:35 PM   #20
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If you like shoegaze, check out the SD Quarter Pound. Had one in the neck of my old Strat and it sounded very Jazzmaster-y.
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