The Stratocaster is one of the most flexible guitars ever made. When compared to many Gibson models such as the Les Paul or SG, there is a dramatic difference with regards to your customization options.
One of the most popular areas of focus for Stratocaster modification is the pickups. This change will have the most dramatic effect on your guitar’s sound.
There are a zillion options out there for pickups. Some good, some great, and some just plain awful. Among the “great” options, the “right” pickup depends on not only your budget, but also your taste. This is a very subjective area and opinions differ. So while some may prefer a vintage-style / low-output Stratocaster pickup, others may opt for a noiseless or active model. There are no right or wrong answers here, just what works best for you. Hopefully this list will help you get started in making this choice.
Continue reading “What are the Best Stratocaster Pickups?”
First things first: If you are looking for a full-fledged humbucker, go out and buy a full-fledged humbucker. Just wanted to put the whole “…well, it’s not really a real humbucker” argument aside. This pickup is meant for folks who have a humbucker-fitted guitar, yet are looking to get P-90 and or Strat tones out of it.
Some might say: “well, why don’t you just put a P-90 or a Strat pickup in the guitar?”
Continue reading “Seymour Duncan SHPR-1s P-Rails – a P-90 and a Strat Pickup in a Humbucker-Sized Package”
Telecasters are great, probably my favorite guitar of all. But when your Tele is stock, chances are that it came loaded with vintage style pickups. Depending on your rig and your style of playing, this may translate to noise (i.e. the dreaded 60-cycle hum), or in the case of the bridge pickup: a somewhat brittle tone, and few options. Here is a list of areas to think-through before you make your final decision on which Telecaster bridge pickup to choose.
Continue reading “Should I Upgrade My Telecaster Bridge Pickup?”
It’s hard to believe that these pickups just celebrated their 20th anniversary. They first made their debut in January 1992 as the stock pickups in the Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster. Not too long after, they became available as a standalone product. SInce then, they have become quite popular.
Continue reading “Fender Texas Specials Stratocaster Pickups really are Special”
Although Telecaster bridge pickups are best known for their famous “Twang,” more and more, guitarists are looking to coax an increased array of sounds out of their instrument. If you need to extend what your Telecaster can do, you’ll need to consider upgrading your bridge and neck pickups. Even if you simply want to improve the quality of your existing sound, an upgrade is usually the best bet. Below are links for the best Telecaster Bridge pickups on the market. Which one is right for you depends mostly on your needs as well as taste.
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I’ve been trying out a set of the Seymour Duncan Phat Cat pickups recently, and I’ve gotta say: they really got it right on these. When I started this blog, for some reason I decided to add the links at the bottom first. When I was researching the Harmony-Central reviews, I started to read the first review. The more I read the review, I kept thinking to myself: “wow, this guy sounds like he has had the exact same experiences as me… and he seems to have the same sense of humor as me… wow, I really agree with the way this guy approaches his review on these Phat Cat pickups and the kind of feedback he is giving….this is bizzare!”
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This is a celebration of my favorite pickups. The title may seem a bit much, but it is true; these pickups absolutely changed my playing style as well as my tone. I am a bit of a pickup nut. At one point I owned over 100 different pickups, but had only about a dozen or so in a guitar. This is a pretty clear indication of obsessive compulsive disorder. But, at the same time, it’s much better than spending your money on beer : – ).
Continue reading “Guitar pickups that changed my life”
Mini Humbucker pickups offer you the best of both worlds; they are humbucking (i.e. no 60-cycle hum), they are capable of great chime and clarity when you play clean, and when you use a lot of drive, they sound fantiastic. They will never sound quite the same as a full-sized humbucker, but they have a fullness and grit all their own. You really have to experiment with Mini Humbucker pickups and find the ones that are best for you, but it is worth the effort.
Continue reading “What Are the Best Mini Humbucker Guitar Pickups?”
Nowadays, between digital modeling and overall great engineering, you can make virtually any guitar sound like just about any other guitar. Except, you cannot make any guitar really sound like a Telecaster. You can try, but it will never really quite smell right.
Continue reading “What Are the Best Telecaster Neck Pickups?”