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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seeking advice from the strat cats here :D
Since I got my Highway 1, I've been looking for some pickups that have a little more...character to them than the stock ones that are in there. I'm looking for a set that's versatile, as I'll be using this for blues, rock and when I want some disinfectant-sterile cleans. I really like the tone SRV that people are able to get with the Texas Specials, but word has it the Lace Golds are very versatile and go almost anywhere.

I've pretty much narrowed the list to:
CS 69's
CS Texas Specials
Lace Holy Grails
Lace Golds

I know this really isn't the ideal forum to ask this in, but there's lots of people here. Plus, I don't want to bother Ayrton too much ;)
 

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Go for the CS 69's if you want a nice classic strat tone. The Texas Specials sound very different and very hot to my ears anyway. They kind of "sizzle" they are so bright and hot. I don't care for Lace pickups but a lot of people like them so I guess you have to try them and see. For my Strat it would be the CS69's all the way.
 

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You are never bothering me!

My first choice is the CS 69's
Custom Shop 54's for that real vintage tone

I have the original Lace Golds in my 88 and while not my favorites, I don't dislike them enough to swap them.

Finally I have the CS 68's that came in the Hendrix tribute strat in my jimistrat.

If I could only choose one, it would be the CS 69's.
 

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Stevie never actually used Texas Specials, and they do not sound like "classic" SRV.

Kinman Woodstocks are great pups (as is all Kinmans), but are a bit pricey. I try to hit the target with Fender pups before stepping up to Kinman, Fralin prices.
 

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My vote is for the CS 69's. I have them in my '60 Relic and they are simply awesome.

You might also consider a single coil sized 'bucker in the bridge if you want to have the ability to go heavier for certain songs. Might make the guitar more versatile. I like the Dimarzio Fast Track 2. Warm sounding with plenty of output. I have one in my Deluxe Strat, and it sounds amazing.

When I'm playing blues or clean on my Deluxe Strat it's always on the middle or neck pup anyways. I only invoke the bridge when I need a smoother (squeal-free) rock crunch or singing "shred" lead tone.

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Kinnmans and Fralins are quite pricey, I figured I'll try some more average priced aftermarkets before I consider making that jump.

Everyone seems to love the CS69's so much...but I can't find them anywhere to try them out (as with most aftermarket pups).

Just a little surprised no one had anything to say about the Holy Grails :confused: I did always want a lace-equipped guitar...maybe I have an excuse to get another strat now...;)
 

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Everyone seems to love the CS69's so much...but I can't find them anywhere to try them out (as with most aftermarket pups).
Go into well stocked Fender dealer and play a 69' NOS, 69 'Closet Classic, or 69' Relic. All three come with Custom Shop 69's stock. However, please don't blame me if you buy another guitar after playing one of those sweet ass CS models. :p
 

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As a 30-year Strat player/tinkerer, I would say try "HOT" Noiseless Fender p/u's. Here's why:

CS59 pickups are good- but weak. They are machine-wound and initialled by Abigail Y'Barra, who has been there since the 50's winding pickups.
(she also hand-winds 300 sets of custom AY pickups per year - around $400 per set)

Hot noiseless were designed by Jeff Beck and a public statement from Fender states 'these are the finest pickups Fender has ever produced'. I have 'em in 2 of my guitars and I love 'em.

The Texas Specials are quite noisy and have no low-end (IMHO)

Another possible choice is the YJM. Hot, but cleans up nice and is really a vertically-stacked humbucker. I've had 2 YJM Strats and both were great.
 

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I just got a set of Fralin Blues Specials from Torres Engineering. I had them pre-wire the harness with their "BluesKaster Deluxe" option.

I've tried just about every Strat pickup out there and this setup just KILLS them all (Fender (Noiseless, CS & others), Kinnman, DiMarzio, Duncan, Lace, EMG, etc.). Absolutely nails "the" Strat tone and has options for soooo much more.

http://www.torresengineering.com/bluesdelwitl.html

By far the best $300 that I've spent lately :)
 
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