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Strat pickups

3/19/1997 4:34 AM
Egil Sunde
Strat pickups
I have two different strat's. One of them is a japanese type. The guitar is quite good, but the pickups are terrible. I have replaced one pickup with a hot rail humbucker, but i want a replacement for the two single coils too. Any suggestions on what might work good?
3/27/1997 7:34 AM
Pat Freuler

You might want to check out Carvin's strat replacement pickups if you don't want to spend big money on Duncans or other high end types. They are only about $40 each, and they have several types. They are blade style. I put two in my Mexican made strat to replace the originals and they sound much better. They are single coil humbuckers, and my guitar is very quiet now. This is my first experience with single coil pickups, so I don't have much to compare them to other than the stock pickups. One word of caution. Although Carvin advertises their single coil replacement pickups as drop in for any strat, I did have to shave just a little bit from the pickguard the get them in. I used a dremel at low speed and very carefully removed just enough to make them fit.
4/17/1997 3:29 PM
Mark Hammer

A hum-rejecting pickup (either stacked or rails-type) placed in the middle position on a Strat (or clone) can be used to reduce hum in three of the switch positions (2-3-4), since one of the coils in the middle pickup will always be reverse-polarity/reverse-wound with respect to the front and rear pickups.  
Bear in mind that since the OTHER coil in the middle pickup IS in phase with the other two pickups, the noise/hum reduction will not be perfect (think of it as reducing the hum by about 50-60%). However, if a person only has a limited amount of cash to spend, replacing the middle pickup alone can go a long way towards fixing the hum problem inherent in single-coil assemblies without having to forfeit the tone of the front and rear pickups (assuming they like that tone). Again, I must point out that this benefit will occur whether one installs a stacked or side-by-side pickup, the glitziest boutique special (made with wax from 1952), or the cheesiest $35 replacement.
4/21/1997 1:48 AM

I use a Carvin as one of the 2 single coils on my custom Aria. It wails. I was jamming with a friend the other night and kept thinking how good his G&L "strat" sounded. He'd replaced 2 of his stock single coils with Carvins. The middle pickup was still stock, so you I can't imagine a more telling A-B-C test than that. The Carvins were far and away superior in tone and volume. The stock coil sounded sick in comparison. He had his installed by a pro, so I don't know if he had to rout the pickguard or not. Shop around if you can, and trust your ears. I was AMAZED at the difference a couple of $20 pickups made. <---OPINION
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