A pickup is very important for electric guitars because they send an important signal to the amp. The stronger the signal, the higher the output of the pickup. So the sound that comes through the speaker will be distorted at a controllable rate.
It can be challenging to understand most things completely, like all things about guitars. This situation is no different for strat pickups. You won’t know what you are looking for in the beginning. Below, you’ll find out the best strat pickups for your needs.
Best Strat Pickups
Metallor Single Coil Pickups
- These are a single coil design machine winding and calibrated with the magnetic field to produce double the output inductance of regular single coils with each set of pickups having its own unique flavour. This special winding also has the added advantage of keeping the Ohms roughly the same as a vintage wound single coil.
- Each pickup is designed for a specific location to match up with the increasing width between strings and produces the ideal power for that tonal position.
- The mid position pickup is reverse wound and opposed magentic polarity to ensure true hum cancelling properties in switch positions 2 and 4. All pickups are wax potted to reduce unwanted noise
- Flat pole pieces and no trapezoid bases mean these pickups are suitable for left and right handed guitars.
- Supplied with screws and springs for fixing. All coils are wax potted
The Metallor single-coil pickups use a magnetic field to produce double the output of single coils. You will also see a special winding, which helps the Ohms similarly to a vintage wound single coil.
These strat pickups must be positioned, so they match up with the width of the strings. This position helps with the tones, which is ideal for professional musicians. You’ll find that sometimes the screw sizing can be a bit off, but you can contact customer service for a replacement.
The pickups are wax potted to reduce any unwanted noise you might experience. You can use them for both left- and right-handed guitars. These pickups are flat pole pieces with no trapezoid bases.
- Crafted for excellent tone accuracy
- Suitable for both left and right-handed guitarists
- Wax potted to reduce any unwanted noise
- Screws have been known to be the wrong size.
Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups
- Produces the characteristics of a vintage-style Stratocaster.
- Offers increased output.
- Alnico V magnets with Polysol-coated magnet wire.
- The Fender volume pedal, the sleekFender volume tone pedal gives you masterful, zen-like control over both volume and, um, tone.
- Tilt this bad boy back and forth to reign supreme o’er the kingdom of volume
Fender is one of the biggest brands in the guitar world. They have been at for an extremely long time, so it is no surprise that their Tex-Mex Strat Pickups are some of the best. The Tex-Mex strat pickups can give you a lot of punch to your music and a clean tone.
Fender uses polysol-coated, reverse-wound magnet wire, which eliminates hum. Cheaper pickups can’t keep up. The Tex-Mex also has an overwound bridge pickup, providing you with maximum output for the best-sounding music. You’ll be paying a bit extra for the brand and quality.
Fender’s pickup will also provide you with a warm, sustained treble. These pickups produce minimal unwanted noise unless you are using a high gain. You’ll also get installation hardware to help with the installation process.
- High quality with lots of punch
- The overwound bridge pickup will provide you with the full output sounds
- You get everything you need to install them easily.
- They are pretty expensive.
Wilkinson Low Gauss Vintage Strat Single Coil Pickup
- For Strat style electric guitar, for neck/ middle / bridge position
- Classic staggered polepiece design. Neck and middle are 50mm pole spacing, bridge is 52mm pole spacing
- Vintage voiced single coil pickup. Ceramic magnet, Neck and middle are 5.75K resistance, bridge is 6.4K resistance
- Middle pickup is reverse wound/reverse polarity, delivers a humcancelling feature
- Package included: 3 Pcs Pickups
The Wilkinson LowGauss Vintage Strats provide a great combination of vanity and quality. You’ll find many different versions of this pickup if you want style and quality. You get 12 different options on design and colors.
You can expect a pure sound with lots of punch. The low gauss means they are not overly powered, reducing your chance for distorted and low-quality noise. The Wax potting reduces unwanted noise as well. You can expect an incredibly clean-sounding strat pickup despite some bridge pickup issues.
Lower output pickups will keep the sound you are making much smoother and feel more controlled. This can be a positive if you want a softer style of music. However, the smoother sound makes this less ideal for heavier styles. Still, you can expect plenty of power from this.
- Pickups with low output and a smoother sound
- Wax-potted pickups reduce unwanted noise
- Great aesthetics with numerous colors
- The bridge pickup is known to be a little faulty.
Fender Vintera ’60s Vintage Strat Pickup
- Enamel-coated magnet wire
- Staggered pole pieces for balanced output
- Reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup to eliminate hum
- Non beveled alnico 5 magnets for more focus and dynamics
- Wound and calibrated for each position
Fender holds another slot on this list with more of a classic-style pickup. Fan of the 60s? These particular pickups provide you with a vintage feel. The vintage feel applies to the sound and the aesthetic. The enamel coating contributes to this unique sound.
Staggered pole pieces provide you with a balanced output than some lower-quality strat pickups. The reverse-wound (or reverse polarity) eliminates almost all hum. As a Fender product, you can expect to pay more for the quality.
The Vintera Pickups are wound and calibrated for each position. The magnets use non-beveled alnico magnets, providing more focus and dynamic sound. Fender knows quality, so you can expect this specialized product to have a good sound.
- Enamel-coated magnetic wire for a vintage sound
- More balanced output with staggered pole pieces
- Beveled alnico magnets will provide you with a more dynamic sound
- They are an expensive product.
Fender Pure Vintage ’65 Strat Pickups
- Enamel-coated magnet wire delivers warm vintage-style tones
- Alnico 5 magnets add more focus and enhanced dynamics
- Staggered polepieces balance volume and output across every string
- Period-correct cloth wire and fiber bobbin construction
With a slightly more modern sound, the Fender pure vintage ’65 strat pickups use a similar enamel-coated magnet wire. This feature helps deliver a warm and vintage-style sound.
The wax potting reduces any hum; much like other pickups, the reduced buzz results in a cleaner quality sound. These Pure Vintage pickups also use Alnico 5 magnets. These magnets add a lot of focus and dynamics to your music.
You’ll also find the familiar staggered-pole design, balancing the volume amongst the strings. Many Fender products also include a one-year warranty. So if there are problems, Fender will stand behind their products and replace them as needed.
- Enamel-coated magnet wires help deliver a warm vintage tone
- Alnico 5 magnets which help with dynamic sound
- Wax potted to reduce any humming
- Expensive (because Fender)
What does wax-potted mean?
If your strat pickups aren’t wax coated (or potted), then you are limiting yourself. Waxless pickups produce a humming sound. Pickups with wax potting will create a more clean and crisp sound. However, the lack of wax coating can sometimes create unique, distorted sounds.
How do enamel-coated magnet wires help?
Enamel-coated magnet wires deliver a warm tone which produces a much nicer sound. When learning guitar tone, enamel coatings can help with clarity (much like wax coatings). Enamel-coated magnet wires make a lot of difference to the quality.
The enamel-coated wires also help with warmer tones in your guitars. You’ll find them often used with vintage-style pickups.
Alnico 2 vs. Alnico 5 Magnets
You’ll find one of two magnet types when looking for guitar pickups: Alnico 5 and 2. Alnico 2 produces a softer and weaker sound but tends to be cheaper. Alnico 5 magnets create a stronger and more crisp sound.
The best strat pickups will have alnico 5 magnets. Keep this in mind when shopping.
What does low gauss mean?
Low Gauss means low output. High output pickups will increase the harshness of your sound. Your music will feel a lot smoother and more controlled. When learning a smooth sound can help you identify the correct pitch.
Gauss levels are likely to change depending on the charge of your pickup. Your charge level will vary depending on the pickup, so address the owner’s manual. Try levels from 600 to 1200 and listen to see what makes a more appealing sound.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do Wax Potted Pickups Help?
Wax potted pickups help because they reduce the humming that you hear when you are playing guitar, humming can leave unwanted sounds and damage the quality and the sound that you are making. This is highly important when you are learning because it will mean you can track your progress easier.
Why Is Low Gauss Better?
It will help produce a smoother sound instead of a sound that can be considered jumpy. This means that it will be nicer to listen to, which is the most important part of playing the guitar.
What Do Alnico Magnets Help?
They will help you produce a more dynamic sound which will help you find the sound that you really want to create when you are playing the guitar, this will make a lot of difference.
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