#1
Hi all,I'm thinking of upgrading the pickups in my mim strat and would welcome any advice.looking for something not too expensive and good mainly for blues but with good variety too.thanks in advance for your suggestions.
#2
"Expensive" is to vague. What's your budget?

Also, what's your amp & whose tone are you chasing (generally speaking)?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#5
What is it about the current pickups in the guitar that you feel is lacking?
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#7
The HRD should be able to deliver that sound with the right stuff in front of it.

£100 total? I'm not sure you're going to be able to noticeably improve on the MIM's pickups for that sum. You MIGHT, however, be able to find a pedal to help beef up your tone in that general price range. Take a look at prices on the Magnetic Effects Satellite, Dr. No Drive-O-Matic or Keeley Katana Blues.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#8
Thanks dannyalcatrazthanks for the advice man I'll definitely check out what you've suggested. I was looking at some 57/62s if you or anyone else on here has any experience with them I'd be interested to see what they think of them.thanks.
#9
57/62 are good pickups but if your main problem with the original MIM pickups is that they're weak and thin, they may be the wrong choice. The late 50s/early 60s pickups that they're modeled on are quite bright. What we hear as "weak" is usually a harsh treble and and lack of warmth. So if you want something that sounds big and warm, the 57/62 may be a little better, but perhaps not ideal for you. They're more for a jangly, bright sound, and can sound thin in some cases. So if you want to sound like Buddy Holly, they're excellent, and I'd expect them to be less thin and harsh than the stock ceramics on the MIM, but it sounds like you want a fat, rounder pickup (correct me if I'm wrong) and not necessarily a better version of the bright, fairly thin pickups that you currently have.

Here's what I'd suggest:
-Duncan SSL5 are high output for strat pickups, which may not be what you want if you play clean, but the HRD does have quite a bit of headroom. Anyway, they're a pretty safe bet for people who like the base strat sound but want a big, fat version of it. Some people like that they get a little gritty/blurry in the mid and neck positions compared to lower output strat pickups. If you want super clean chimey mid/neck, put something else there. The bridge is a really good lead pickup.

-Duncan Alnico II Pro are kind of like the 57/62 set but are warmer and rounder with less treble emphasis. An SSL5 in the bridge and AIIP in the middle and bridge is a pretty cool set that warms up a strat and won't drive the amp as hard as a set of all SSL5s.

-Fender Fat 50s are just what they say, a fatter version of the bright 50s style pickup. Solid set, and probably easy to find used since they come stock in some newer Fender models.

-Lace Hot Golds are a noiseless version that sound kind of like 50s strat pickups. The Lace Silver are closer to a 70s pickup which is a bit hotter and more mellow.

All of these are fairly easy to find used if that's something you're willing to do, which might get you a set within your budget. Not sure what the retail prices look like in England though. You could also just replace one or two pickups for now - if you spend most of your time on the bridge or neck pickup, start by swapping just that one, or maybe mid and bridge, that sort of thing. Lots of people get MIM strats and put a hot bridge pickup in and leave the rest.
#10
You might try putting a singlecoil-size P90 or a Charlie Christian in the bridge. Either would beef up the tone when selected. Kinda like making the SSS into a HSS without actually doing so. Definitely warmer.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#11
Thanks guys you've been really helpful and given me plenty of food for thought,luckily there's a few good gear shops in Liverpool and I should be able to check out your suggestions.many thanks. ?
#12
Hmmmm...while you're in the stores, you might also check out what they say about Burns pickups. I only really know them for their Tri-Sonic singlecoils- legendarily used in Brian May's Red Special.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#13
Well if you're looking for a SRV type tone then you definately need the Fender texas special pickups or the seymour duncan Texas Hot pickups. (Any pickup with "Texas" in the name will do lol). Let my also recommed the Fender Gold Lace Sensor which I have in one of my strats, they sound really good: really "sparkly" or "glassy" whatever you want to describe it. Eric Clapton uses them also.

#14
Seymour Duncan SSL-1's should fit the bill. not overly expensive, and the tone is very sweet. good for blues , sure, variety, yes. you won't want to put the guitar down. i've got them in one of my strats and it's never a disappointment to plug in
#15
As you can probably tell by the amount of replies you have here, there are a ton of Strat pickups out there and a good number of them are probably going to get you pretty close to where you want to be. And, to add to a post a couple comments above, anything with "Texas" in the name is probably going to be a pretty safe bet for you.

I personally have had Texas Specials in my main guitar for a few years now. I did swap the bridge pickup out for a JB Jr. to make it an HSS for even more versatility, but overall I love the Specials. The Specials play nicely with a dirty sound, even the bridge p'up that I swapped out, and they have a nice, glassy high end that makes positions 2 and 4 sound fantastic. The pickups clean up very nice when rolling down the guitar's volume, partially thanks to the high end response I mentioned.

The biggest difference in the Fender Texas Specials and the Duncan Texas Hots is the bridge pickup. Whereas I believe the outputs of the neck and middle pickups in each set are roughly the same, the bridge pickup in the Texas Hots is wound to around 9k as compared to the 6.8k the Specials' bridge is wound to.

I also like the Fender CS-69's.
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#16
the mim stock pickups are fairly hot ceramics, aren't they? that might complicate things if you find them too thin etc. since most vintage-spec strat pickups will be even weaker i think (good while since i've tried them though, i can't really remember how they sound )

£100-£150 will easily get you handwounds (and even things like duncan sets), but i haven't tried any of the cheaper handwound pickups which are available. but things like oil city, catswhisker, jesse loureiro, fletcher, mojo (in northern ireland, confusingly there's a dearer mojo in england too ) etc. etc. As I said, I haven't tried them so that's not a personal recommendation.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#17
Quote by Dave_Mc
the mim stock pickups are fairly hot ceramics, aren't they? that might complicate things if you find them too thin etc. since most vintage-spec strat pickups will be even weaker i think (good while since i've tried them though, i can't really remember how they sound )

£100-£150 will easily get you handwounds (and even things like duncan sets), but i haven't tried any of the cheaper handwound pickups which are available. but things like oil city, catswhisker, jesse loureiro, fletcher, mojo (in northern ireland, confusingly there's a dearer mojo in england too ) etc. etc. As I said, I haven't tried them so that's not a personal recommendation.


yeah MIMs tend to be on the hot side so going for vintage voiced pups isn't going to give you what you want. keep in mind that SRV's tone is very much about high volume amps with a tubescreamer in front. perhaps a TS is what you really need. what amp are you using?
#18
^ yeah
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#19
Well, let's not confuse weak sounding with low output. Lots of super hot pickups sound trebley and harsh, which through a dry low volume amp can sound anemic even if they've got tons of output. You can always turn the amp up so it's not like low output pickups are going to physically be too quiet, and driving the front of the amp isn't necessarily going to make it sound bigger.

That's not to say that a Tubescreamer isn't a good idea, definitely adding some mids might help, but I take issue with the notion that the solution to crappy hot pickups is a hotter set of pickups, or that a weak sound is always the result of lower output. The voicing is more important here than the output. Texas Specials aren't that hot.
#20
Yeah, believe it or not () i was actually going to put something along those lines in my original post (honest ) but was too lazy to type all that. Agreed.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#21
Quote by Roc8995
Texas Specials aren't that hot.


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#22
Roc8995
Exactly. Charlie Christians aren't hot, but they have a warmth to them that some compare to P90s.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#23
Checkout,"Tonerider" piickups.Some are even fitted to Fender Squier CV50s Strats.Check out Youtube.


I have Tonerider,"Pure Vintage" in my Middle and neck Positions on a Fender Squier HSS,

Here's a heavy overdrive sound,

https://soundcloud.com/paulsheppard/fingerboogie

and a softer sound in the first part,

https://soundcloud.com/paulsheppard/summerashes
#24
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Hmmmm...while you're in the stores, you might also check out what they say about Burns pickups. I only really know them for their Tri-Sonic singlecoils- legendarily used in Brian May's Red Special.


Speaking of which...

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#25
I really like lace sensors. I have them in a Nashville tele and they are pretty much perfect for that guitar (i have other strats and teles too).

I would do some research on them.
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