One of the greatest creations by Leo Fender is the Fender Stratocaster which was in 1954, introduced to the world and happens to be on of the most stylish and most iconic versatile mass-produced guitar that has ever existed. It’s also commonly known to have been used by legends such as Eric Johnson. Eric Clapton, John Fruscinate, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix just to name a few.
However, none of those mentioned above guitarists would have been able to achieve the sweet, stimulating, chiming tones without owning a set of some amazing pickups on their ax. To help you choose the best Strat pickup, we have reviewed some of the best Stratocaster pickups that are available in the market today.
Our below review is ideal if you are looking to choose a Strat pickup that can roar but is also expressive and mellow at the same time.
1. Fender Pure Vintage ’65 Strat Pickups
One of the best and secure choices that you can make when it comes to buying a Strat pickup is the Fender Pure Vintage ’65 Strat pickups. Why? Because with is you get that classic, signature, staple, golden-era Fender Strat sound that most guitarists desire to recreate.
These three Hombres produce a sound that is not only warm and organic but fuzzy as well and is in a way, gain-driven. It gives out a natural sound that doesn’t have a hint of the modern digital vibe that tends to be too clean, too plastic or too perfect.
The tone from this Vintage ’65 Strat pickup is delivered through enamel-coated magnet wires as well as a set of Alnico 5 magnets that add more focus, are dynamic and authentically express every knack of your playing style. These Strat pickups are also wax-potted, feature a period-correct cloth wire with fiber bobbin construction and the staggered polepieces that balance volume and each string’s output.
With a one-year warranty and only weighing 5.8 ounces, this pickups have aged white pickup covers and comes from a company that is known to make the best Strat pickups.
2. Seymour Duncan California ’50s Strat Pickup Set
Anyone looking to add some roar and bite in their sound should definitely consider getting these Seymour Duncan Strat pickups. They are not only well-rounded and versatile, but they will give any blues player the satisfaction they need if they are seeking a modern tone that is rooted in traditional values.
This set is designed to fit like a glove, and they operate quite well with the common Stratocaster-five-way pickup switch selector giving each position a distinctive color and character. The first position is suitable for blues-rock player and locks nicely in a warm rock-driven sound.
The second position leans more towards traditional blues but still carries with it the warmth that comes from the first position. The third position is crunch-driven and perfect for rock licks. Position four gives it clear-tone blues whereas position number five is thin and bright and perfect when combined with distortion.
While the California ‘50s set is ideal for blues, it’s not the only genre that it can suit. In fact, it’s not only the best Strat pickups, but it’s also best single-coil pickups in general from Seymour Duncan.
3. Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups
The Fender Tex-Mex Series are perfect for those seeking to save money but also a rich sound. And just because they are affordable doesn’t mean they compromise on quality. Far from it. This Tex-Mex series stands out with increased gain. Simply put, these Strat pickups are designed for blue rocks players than for fans looking for a clean sound.
It has a bright and warm tone and is designed for use with different guitar effects and pedals. They give out a very strong audio output that results in the increased gain which is still within the limits of normal blue sound. Although these pickups come in an aged white color finish, they are also available in different patterns which are bound to fit your guitar perfectly based on your choice and needs.
Its roar and bite can be nicely felt mid-range department making it the best fit for a Mexican Fender Strat. Of importance is that you don’t have to break the bank to get the sound you desire with this set.
4. Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Pickups
There are lots of guitarists that want to sound as good as Eric Johnson. There is nothing wrong with that considering that Eric Johnson is among one of the greatest guitarists to have graced this earth. So if you want to sound like him, you most definitely can’t go wrong with the Fender Eric Johnson Strat pickups as they were designed in collaboration with him.
The set has three single-coils that give the sweet, melodic tone that Johnson is famous for. The three pickups each have their own eccentric sound. This is made possible by the differing constructions as the neck utilizes oversized Alnico III magnets while the middle, when used in position 2 or 4 is a reverse wound which cancels the hum.
Its bridge has an output that is quite hot than is usually expected by most people even though it keeps the desired sparkle.
When looking to buy a Stratocaster pickup, you need to ensure that the chosen pickup matches your style of the genre. You also need to choose a Strat pickup that is durable and worth the money you’ll invest in purchasing it. If you are a newbie or play the guitar for fun, consider buying an affordable device just to see how adequate it suits your needs before upgrading to the more expensive ones.
Also, consider your budget and needs. As mentioned, a Strat pickup should be selected based on your style hence it’s not a one-fit-all kind of instrument. Ensure you do a proper research and read various reviews and forums that discuss the best Stratocaster pickups that are ideal before spending your money on one that won’t work or worse off, won’t suit your needs.