If you want a vintage Strat pickup that is extra hot, these are seriously worth considering.
It’s hard to believe that Fender Texas Specials 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.
Keep in mind: these are Stratocaster pickups; they are dripping in Strat-ness, so obviously, not meant for situations in which you need a humbucker. But if you are a Strat player, and the vintage realm is where you tend to spend your time, the Fender Texas Specials have a lot to offer.
What always impresses me so much about these pickups is their versatility. They do super-clean extremely well. But they also sound incredible with moderate amounts of gain. Granted, these are not meant for crazy amounts of distortion, so if you are a Metal player I don’t think these are the right pickups for you. But, if you play Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Rock and Roll, Funk, etc., you’ll find that Fender Texas Specials are quite versatile.
The clean sounds are second to none — plenty of snap, and twang, and bell-like chime. When you start to apply drive, all kinds of wonderful squeaks and squawks start to pop out of your amplifier. While they are vintage pickups (i.e. non hum-canceling), they are surprisingly quiet for vintage. If you’re considering upgrading your Fender Stratocaster pickups, and do not want hum-cancelling, Texas Specials are seriously worth considering. Take a listen to the videos below for a pretty good sampling of how they sound.