#1
Have a Squire Affinity Strat that I want to try to upgrade without spending more than its worth. I see videos on Youtube claiming that British Wilkinson pickups are really great for the money (Only $40 for a set of 3 on Amazon!) Are they worth the money and effort to upgrade really? Do I need to change to one of those big orange capacitors? Not sure if I still have a soldering iron. I've just really started playing electric guitar in the last year, before that I'd only had a Hagstrom electric for about 6 months back in the eighties, and a bunch of acoustic-electrics, so I'm kinda lost here. Any advice would be appreciated.
#2
I have never heard of Belcats.

Wilkinsons are a solid choice for affordable pickups.

I have 3 Fret-King guitars, which is Trevor Wilkinson's brand, so of course he uses his own hardware & pickups. 2 of my FKs are stock, one recently got upgraded P90s from Bareknuckle. And that only happened because I was spoiled by all the other guitars with P90s I own. The Wilkinsons were good, but not quite as good as the rest.

Another reasonable option are Golden Age pickups from STEWMAC. I have a nice guitar with a set of their HBs in them, and they sound perfectly fine. Full disclosure: I may be swapping those out with some TV Jones HBs next year because I'm trying to expand my tonal options without buying a bunch of new guitars.*


* those who know me, feel free to laugh.
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Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#3
like danny the ones i've tried (which came stock in fretkings) are pretty decent for stock pickups, but i reckon you could do better with aftermarket upgrades. it all depends on how poor your current pickups are, and how cheaply you can get the wilkinsons (and also if the ones for sale are the same as the ones which come stock on the fretkings). fwiw although it's a british company i'm guessing the pickups are made in korea or china.

i've also heard good things about tonerider, entwistle and irongear but i haven't tried them. there also might be cheaper options available in the USA. Sometimes local handwinders can be pretty cheap as well, but you need to know they're good.

i haven't tried belcat, i didn't know they made pickups, i know they make cheap pedals (which i haven't tried).

regarding the caps etc. i haven't tried this myself, but from what i hear from people who usually seem to know what they're talking about, you don't need fancy caps in a guitar. however, more expensive (without going to silly money) caps might have tighter tolerances and be closer to the specced capacitance.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Nov 13, 2016,