#1
So my brother wants to change the pickups on his fender strat (standard mexican made) to get a better tone. He's looking for clean/distorted tone that's good for jimi hendrix, stevie ray vaughan, and john frusciante of the chili peppers's stuff.

I know the sound is more dependent on the amp, but we are just looking for some better quality pickups. The amp he is using is a vox ad30vt.

My brother's budget for these pickups is $140, and no higher.

We already looked at tex mex standard pickups, and vintage noisless pickups (the vintage noisless are too expensive though).

So any suggestions?
#2
seymour duncan rails?
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#3
Definitely not rails, you want a true single coil, but a hot one. Get some Texas fenders if you want that heavy Stevie sound, Jimi actually used very mild pickups and used his pedals and amps to get his craziness. Well, they both used pedals, but what I'm getting at is, you can really only nail one of them. Your bro, imo, should save up and get...

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-Custom-Shop-Texas-Special-Strat-Pickups-100107923-i1127521.gc

Seems to be what your bro's looking for. And, contrary to popular belief, a new set of pickups can completely transform a guitar and it's sound. Oh, and SRV would use very heavy strings, (go for 12's if you're strong enough). But, yes, the amp has the final say in your sound.
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#4
Fender's own Pups are abit overpriced IMO, I've got the Texas specials in my tele, and while they are great pups, not for the price.

Check in to Rockmonkey pickups, Cordurey here at UG hand-makes them, and its 10% off for UG members, much better than Fender's own pups. Im not absolutly sure of the price of them though, check them out though.
#5
bridge - dimarzio blue velvet
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#6
Not really worth spending the money to be honest, there's not going to be a huge amount of difference, if any, with the Vox.
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#7
lindy fralin vintage hot
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#8
I upgraded from a std mex strat to the 60th avviversary mex I own now. This model includes the Texas Specials. I have to say I am very pleased with it (although I really like blues so the match is quite good).

In all honesty, my ear is not that good yet and my guitar teacher back when I got this guitar noticed the improvement a lot more than I did.

Good Luck,

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#9
Quote by steven seagull
Not really worth spending the money to be honest, there's not going to be a huge amount of difference, if any, with the Vox.

+egg salad. MIM pups arn't at all that bad; the Vox is the culprit if the tone is not where he wants it. I play Squiers with stock pups through a Twin Reverb, and it sounds amazing.
#10
Quote by Hakanku
Fender's own Pups are abit overpriced IMO, I've got the Texas specials in my tele, and while they are great pups, not for the price.

Check in to Rockmonkey pickups, Cordurey here at UG hand-makes them, and its 10% off for UG members, much better than Fender's own pups. Im not absolutly sure of the price of them though, check them out though.

+1 on the Rockmonkeys, look into the Smooth Groove sets, they're made using formvar. Formvar was used on pre-'65 Fenders, so they're pretty much the closest you can get to the sounds you want, as their Strats were older.
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#11
Quote by steven seagull
Not really worth spending the money to be honest, there's not going to be a huge amount of difference, if any, with the Vox.

+1, i played my strat, a gibson sg standard, and a Jackson RR3 through my vox, and honestly, they all sounded the same. modeling amps don't let the guitar's natural sound come through.
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#12
If you need some pickups I have a mexi pick guard with everything still in place. Dimarzio yvj in the bridge and Dimarzio blue velvets in the middle and neck. Let me know.
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#13
okay well

for myself, i am thinking of getting a crate palomino v32 combo and using my schecter c1 plus with it.

I may switch out the stock humbuckers to a seymour duncan 59/59 combo to get the closest/best tone for a good classic rock sound. the tone I'm particularly interested in getting is jimmy page's from his earlier days (led zeppelin II is my favorite album and I'm looking for tones from this album. I also love his live tone from "how the west was won")

so would switching out the stock humbuckers be worth it in my case?
Last edited by ilikeguitar90 at Mar 28, 2008,
#14
Oh yeah. In your case with an awesome amp with a nice guitar it is. Is that the Schecter that comes with Duncan Designed pups stock? I think a pup swap for you will be perfect. I wouldn't exactly go with the 59/59 combo though. I would go with an SH-5 in the bridge and a 59 or SH-11 in the neck.
#15
Quote by acdcrocks0323
Oh yeah. In your case with an awesome amp with a nice guitar it is. Is that the Schecter that comes with Duncan Designed pups stock? I think a pup swap for you will be perfect. I wouldn't exactly go with the 59/59 combo though. I would go with an SH-5 in the bridge and a 59 or SH-11 in the neck.


I heard the seymour duncan 59 humbucker is designed to replicate the late 50s PAF humbuckers, which are the exact same pickups jimmy page used to use. Are you sure a 59/59 combo wouldn't be the best pickups for the kind of sound I want?

I'm not doubting you in any way, I'm just wondering.

EDIT: just realized you are a palomino v16 owner

Do you have a USA made or vietnam made v16? and is it really all that different sound-wise from the v32? How good is it for the zeppelin tones I'm looking for?

I ordered a v16 from guitar center, but I don't know if it will be USA made or vietnam made
Last edited by ilikeguitar90 at Mar 28, 2008,
#16
I have the USA made one. I have played a few Vietnam made ones and some were fine and some had scratchy pots and the tone was just lacking somehow. I am pretty sure if you get one from GC it will be Vietnam made. Just inspect it before you play it extensively so you can return it if there are any problems.

As for Zeppelin tones, I get some pretty good tones with my amp and stock Epi Les Paul. The gain is usually at 6 with mids at 6 with bass at 5 and treble at 7. Gets me some pretty good sounds. When I get to crank it, I turn the gain down a bit and let the secksy powertube overdrive kick in. That is when it sounds its best with the level at about 5.

And you are right, those 59s would be a good choice. I was just put off because they are usually used as neck pickups.
Last edited by acdcrocks0323 at Mar 28, 2008,
#17
Fender Custom Shop 69's. They are quiet with a great sound, but they aren't the "noiseless" that some people complain about. I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a Highway One FSR with those pickups.
#18
Quote by acdcrocks0323
I have the USA made one. I have played a few Vietnam made ones and some were fine and some had scratchy pots and the tone was just lacking somehow. I am pretty sure if you get one from GC it will be Vietnam made. Just inspect it before you play it extensively so you can return it if there are any problems.

As for Zeppelin tones, I get some pretty good tones with my amp and stock Epi Les Paul. The gain is usually at 6 with mids at 6 with bass at 5 and treble at 7. Gets me some pretty good sounds. When I get to crank it, I turn the gain down a bit and let the secksy powertube overdrive kick in. That is when it sounds its best with the level at about 5.

And you are right, those 59s would be a good choice. I was just put off because they are usually used as neck pickups.


well I just found a used v32 on craiglist. The owner lists it as pretty much new and in excellent condition. It's not exactly in my city though, it's about an 8 hour drive away. The amp is only $295. Do you think I should go for it and get it shipped here? Or wait and hope one shows up around me locally for cheap so that I can test it out? I already tried a v32 at my local guitar center and loved it.

and yeah, i think I'm going to go with the 59/59 combo.

and blackreign, i will look into those. thanks
Last edited by ilikeguitar90 at Mar 29, 2008,