Need inexpensive strat set with full sound

BlueSquirrel

Squier-holic
Dec 21, 2018
2,911
France
Changing the cap would probably make a big change. In the now discontinued Fender Classic Player 60s, there were the Fender custom shop 69 pickups with 0.1 caps.
And it sounded great imho, but perhaps not "fat" enough? Anyway, you could still find those pickups second hand and change the caps in your guitar .


 
Last edited:

kdm1218

Squier-Meister
Jun 18, 2021
228
TX
Thanks for all the input. Bootstrap responded to my post on another forum and recommended Sun Cities. I am also going to get a set of oatmeal stout. I have several strats so a couple flavors will be nice to try.

I might also start playing with loading capacitors (not tone caps) to shift resonant frequency
I have Texas Special style (not Bootstrap) neck and middle and paired an Oatmeal Stout with those for an even hotter bridge than those type usually come with. Hope you like them!
 

mountainhick

Squier Talker
Aug 25, 2014
87
Coolorado
I have Texas Special style (not Bootstrap) neck and middle and paired an Oatmeal Stout with those for an even hotter bridge than those type usually come with. Hope you like them!

Thanks, I am glad to see your location relative to the topic! So you got the gutsy Texas vibe with your set?

Changing the cap would probably make a big change. In the now discontinued Fender Classic Player 60s, there were the Fender custom shop 69 pickups with 0.1 caps.
And it sounded great imho, but perhaps not "fat" enough? Anyway, you could still find those pickups second hand and change the caps in your guitar .

Thanks @BlueSquirrel. Mostly not hearing what I need in your vids. The closest is the blues section with the DD SC101. He's got them close enough to strings for some wolfin'. As stated in the first post, I already have a set of DD in my VM strat. They sound dull. Thanks for the lead though, led me to investigate a little more perhaps a little surgery would unleash them:

 

kdm1218

Squier-Meister
Jun 18, 2021
228
TX
Thanks, I am glad to see your location relative to the topic! So you got the gutsy Texas vibe with your set?



Thanks @BlueSquirrel. Mostly not hearing what I need in your vids. The closest is the blues section with the DD SC101. He's got them close enough to strings for some wolfin'. As stated in the first post, I already have a set of DD in my VM strat. They sound dull. Thanks for the lead though, led me to investigate a little more perhaps a little surgery would unleash them:

I guess so? I play mostly P&W with some dabbling in blues-ish and classic rock-ish. I just know I don’t care for how clean and chimey 50s style pups are, at least for any of that kind of playing.
 

BlueSquirrel

Squier-holic
Dec 21, 2018
2,911
France
Thanks, I am glad to see your location relative to the topic! So you got the gutsy Texas vibe with your set?



Thanks @BlueSquirrel. Mostly not hearing what I need in your vids. The closest is the blues section with the DD SC101. He's got them close enough to strings for some wolfin'. As stated in the first post, I already have a set of DD in my VM strat. They sound dull. Thanks for the lead though, led me to investigate a little more perhaps a little surgery would unleash them:


Do you know which caps you currently have in your guitar?
 
Last edited:

AxelMorisson

Squier-Nut
Nov 15, 2021
790
Fagaras, Romania
I really appreciate your input and taking the time. A few things are tangential though.

-I have 5 good strats (just not the pickups). I do not need a new guitar nor do I need to build another from parts. I just am not crazy about their pickups. It is that simple.

-I build tube amps. I have some electronics knowledge. I know how guitar tone circuits work. I understand RC filters. I am not seeking to change the cutoff frequency of the tone circuit.

My reference point isthe 70's strat that I previously had. It was stock, no tone mods, just stock 250K pots and .047 tone caps. One of the amps I use, the Boogie MKIV, is the amp i used with that guitar. Sure I can fiddle with tone cap types and values, but that's not it! It's a matter of the pickups. It's that simple.

Did come across this though, and I think that LOADING caps may be the solution for a couple of the pickup sets I already have, the lower putput GFS and the Rose sets.
If I can shift the resonant peak from the brittle crystalline range down into lower fuller treble range, it might work. Won't cure the problems with the Duncan design and hot GFS sets though.

Loading caps change the resonant frequency of the pickup response. http://buildyourguitar.com/resources/lemme/

View attachment 241409



If this works, it may preclude the need for other pickups. But I am curious to try the bootstraps anyway. I do have 5 strats with pickups that I am not in love with after all! LOL!

-What I am after is not unobtanium. I had the desired pickups on that stock 70s strat. They are surely not the only set ever produced with the desired sound. The problem is quite simple and resolvable, but will the solutions be simple?

Regarding the vintera, it is closer than your previous videos, but still too crystalline and scooped. Very similar to my Rose pickup set.
Alright then! Now I get it. I still think the Vinteras are close to what you need but that demo was not very convincing- not enough playing on clean channels and the Marshalls have their own "flavor" that is as different from the Ac30 as a potato from an eggplant.

Maybe this sheds the right light- a much better demo-


Another video this time done in the right spirit- played clean or slightly overdriven on a Fender amp , none of that Marshall stuff - and a thorough review of the tones. Please give it another chance!!!

Some points though: the guy demoing the vinteras while a good player, did like to overload that pre like crazy (video from the previous post). What I meant was closer to the things he gets around 4 minutes in to about 5 .. not the other stuff he tries. That is not the totally clean sound in the demo you showed me still- and it's amp settings and personal preference from the two players. My contraption- virtually identical to a stock Vintera 60s with the said ceramic cap (tone cap not loading cap - anyhow the tone stack does load the pickups somewhat anyhow, no TBX-es anwhere in sight...and in a classic Strat the tone stack is parallel to the pickups it connects to) - so my contraption does sound very much alike what you liked in the first demo- once it's on the proper Vox clean channel. It has more bark and bite and less mud than what the guy showed us in that second demo - and I know this only to be true if the representation of the AC30 is accurate in Amplitube 5. I don't have a large budget for gear and I use amp simulation whenever I can and borrowed amps when I can't. Don't know what they put in the newer Vinteras though- I heard they installed a crazy multiswitch that does more than the classic 5 way, don't know about that. I went with the Fender supplied schematic that was virtually a 60's Strat.


PS: If the classic Vintera seems to lack bass and is over-the-top with the high end, the surprisingly different Vintera 60s Modified is full sounding and vintagey yet ergonomic, shown here :


still ok priced, vintage style, modern features.

On loading caps on various pickups- yup I have seen them (together with inductors!) in the totally crazy Gibson EB-3 bass from the 70s. I only have the current gen Epiphone and that does NOT come with that interesting circuitry but with a 3 way disguised as a tone switch. My uncle saw that and showed me the real thing- and I promptly got to mod it to the "real" spec.
Give the Vinteras a try - they can live in one of your guitars for a while- especially if you're a builder/electronics expert that should not be hard to do, nor expensive.

What I do disagree on is your statement : "I do not need a new guitar" - wrong, wrong, wrong. You DO need a new guitar :) . Instead of one you already have, if 5's your number. or alongside those- you just don't know it yet. I think the guitars you collected each have their own strong points either looks or ergonomics or soundwise, but they all fail to check on the 70's sound. I get that. Get another- or mod one you already have- but there- a new guitar :) . Everyone needs a new guitar sometimes.
Good luck in your pursuit of tone- and be sure to re-check Vinteras - also try the 50s for more chimey sounds, or the so-called 70s for a bland and soft sound that might please some- but the 60's (as they called it,, Vintera 60s) is the closest thing to what I heard in that demo..
 
Last edited:

mountainhick

Squier Talker
Aug 25, 2014
87
Coolorado
Thanks for all the input everybody. I am sorry for any misunderstanding, seems that what is very simple to me is too easily misconstrued. I need to disengage from this discussion. When I succeed, I'll post what worked for me.
 

kdm1218

Squier-Meister
Jun 18, 2021
228
TX
Good luck with finding your sound @mountainhick! The frustration of trying to explain with subjective language the tones you hear in your head, worth others who will read and interpret subjectively and possibly differently, is just what it is. Hope you find what you’re looking for.
 

Ray Stankewitz

Jammin' in my Music Room
Staff member
Oct 11, 2014
1,000
Central Indiana
Demos on YooToob leave much to be desired in my opinion. Too many people are willing and able to show off their signal chain instead of what the guitar or pickups can actually do or not do.
Would it be so difficult to use a clean setting, no pedals, minimal reverb to do a demo? Apparently, at this time it must be a problem that most guitarists are unable to solve.
And, that 60's Vintera looks great but sounds too shrill to me. Probably aided by YooToob audio compression. That's something nobody seems to take into account. It would probably sound full and chimey in person, though.
 

radiotech

Squier-Axpert
Apr 23, 2014
11,389
Freedonia
You set a very specific bar, and then tore down many comments based on interpretation, and description… when it comes to pickups, everyone uses their own description of perceived tone.

I will tell you what I think: Even if you had a set of Fender ‘70’s pups to try out, hearing them now… they might not meet up to your memory of them (unless you have recordings to compare them to).

I will tell you (to my ear) what I know:
Of all the inexpensive Strat and Tele pickups I’ve heard through the decades, nothing comes closer (again to my ear) to sounding like well worn-in 70’s Fender pickup than the Alnico pups in the discontinued Squier Standard, and Deluxe series.

I have stated this on this site at least a half dozen times since joining here to guys who were looking to replace them… I’d venture to say if you posted in the Classifieds “Wanted to buy” section, you’d find a number of members who likely have them in their parts bins.
 
Last edited:

Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,667
Honolulu, HI
I've had a bunch of strats. "the one" was a 1973 Fender, the real deal with grey bottoms. There was a period in my life where I pretty well stopped playing and sold all my expensive instruments. Now, seller's remorse.

OUCH! I know the feeling of letting the wrong guitar go. That's why I think long n hard before selling a guitar, IF I even consider selling anymore. Most of what I have left are keepers, and too many I'd consider running into a fire to retrieve, LOL.

I've been seeking a set of pickups that do what they did for not a whole lot of scratch.

I currently have:

SD design on a VM. Not my cuppa, not too very "strat like" to my ear
a couple affinitys. The ceramics are actually a little closer to "that sound" than my others
A Ken Rose Heritage set wonderful, but have more of that older generation strong in the high end, sparkle/treble, glassiness, not full and gutsy
GFS overwound non stagger grey bottoms. They are too overwound, and muddy
GFS alnico loaded pickguard, pretty nice, but not full sounding , a bit scooped

I am wondering about other GFS flavors, or Bootstraps. Think the gutsy full sounding SRV or maybe Kenny Wayne Shepard kind of sound, not trebly scooped chimey. There's plenty of scoop just in positions 2 and 4 on the 5 way switch.

Welcome all yer thoughts!

Sounds like yer looking for the 60s sound. My goto pups for that is the Seymour Duncan Surfer Strat Antiquities II. BUT, the thread's title includes the word "inexpensive." I dunno whether ye consider a set of white unaged Surfer Strat at $327. It USED to be cheaper prepandemic. ☹️😞


Another SD 60s style pups I liked are the Psychedelic set @ $297, again not exactly affordable.


The links leads to their respective pages which has sound samples of the pups, and at the bottom there's often links to demo videos (most often on YT).

At the least, you could use these pups as reference when shopping around. "Do you have pups that sounds like Seymour's x pups?"

I consider SD to be an industry standard, everyone and their mother is always making copies or similar pups based on them.
 


Top