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Strat Pickups: CS '54 vs Fralin Real '54 vs ?

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  • Strat Pickups: CS '54 vs Fralin Real '54 vs ?

    Hi!

    A short introduction. I have an MIJ strat from '88 with maple neck and basswood body. Been thinking of upgrading the stock pickups for quite a while now. They aren't too bad, but I'm looking for something more musical, transparent and complex (in terms of harmonics). Low output, vintage but not too noisy, bright but not sharp. Oh, well.

    My favourite pickup positions are 2 and 4. I'm more of a rhythm player than a soloist (strumming and arpeggio usually). My amp is already too dark and fat for the position 2 especially when strumming, so I'm not interested in fat pups like CS Fat 50's at the moment. The position 4 sounds good and clear to me, but it definitely lacks a bit of soul. A little too dry.

    I gained a lot of interest in CS '54's after hearing some clips on the net, and here are a few questions for you guitar gurus.

    1. I know that Lindy Fralin make '54 pickups as well. Are they worth extra money? Heard nothing but great things about their products, but they're quite pricey.
    2. A negative thing I heard about the CS is that it's quite noisy. I believe the mid pickup in the Fralin set is reverse-wound. How much would it affect the tone-noise-ratio in positions 2 and 4? This is very important for me, since those are the ones I always use.
    3. I'm still open to other suggestions as well. How are those GFS pickups, compared to the Fender and other boutique ones out there? Heard they are excellent for the money. Any other suggestions are very welcome.

    Thanks!
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><a href="http://microamp.tumblr.com/" target="_blank"><font face="Verdana">microamp.tumblr.com</font></a></font></div>

  • #2
    A RWRP middle PU will hum-buck in positions 2 and 4.

    I have no experience with the Real '54's and their A3 magnets, but they are still wound to the some resistance as the Vintage Hots.

    Fralin will make a model called True Vintage as a request,, these would be near equivalent to the CS '54. IIRC, they once were called simply "Vintage" (as opposed to the "Vintage Hot"). For all practically purposes they are just an underwound option on the Vintage Hot. They are recommend by Fralin for the best in-between quack tones (in general, lower output=stronger quack).

    Personally, I still prefer the CS '54's, they just have a rounder bell-like tone without any breaking up in the high-end. Just pure clean tone (they don't drive an amp very hard, so they'll need help to play dirty) And I prefer non-RWRP middle PU's.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've listened to many of the clips on this page:

      http://www.acmeguitarworks.com/Strat_Pickup_Sound_Clips_W1.cfm

      If this website is any indication, the differences will likely be subtle.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Gear:<br />
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      Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Standard<br />
      PRS SE Singlecut Trem<br />
      Fender Mustang 1<br />
      Bad Monkey</div>

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      • #4
        Bump for more suggestions/responses!

        I've listened to many of the clips on this page:

        http://www.acmeguitarworks.com/Strat_Pickup_Sound_Clips_W1.cfm

        If this website is any indication, the differences will likely be subtle.


        Thanks. Super-helpful clips there.
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        • #5
          bump
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          • #6
            I think you're going to get more feedback from this forum:

            http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html

            Go to the Pup Tent. Those guys are all over fralin/fender/lollar single coil pickups.
            <div class="signaturecontainer">Gear:<br />
            Breedlove Atlas AD/20SR+<br />
            Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Standard<br />
            PRS SE Singlecut Trem<br />
            Fender Mustang 1<br />
            Bad Monkey</div>

            Comment


            • #7
              You could also check out the Fender CS Fat 50s.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have the '54s in a 50th anniv American ltd edition. THey are WONDERFUL pickups. If I only had one Strat I would not have them in it. I'd go for the cs 69s. The 54s are great but they don't really give me the thump of some of the oothers.
                <div class="signaturecontainer">If only I was all thumbs</div>

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                • #9
                  Listen to the fralin blues specials. Have those in a mexi and it really smokes.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><font color="red"><font size="6">www.mpdacrylics.com</font></font><br />
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                  • #10
                    I make a set of handwounds called Vintage60s. They could be a great choice for you.
                    Clips and info can be found at www.bgpickups.com/sc.html
                    You can read what user have to say about them at http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Electric+Guitar+Pickup/brand/BG+Pups
                    If I can answer any questions just let me know.

                    Thanks,
                    Bryan Gunsher
                    BG Pups
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bg-pups.com"><font color="Red"><b>BG PUPs Hand Wound Pickups Boutique Tones For Just A Few Bones</b></font></a> - Wait times are being minimized .<br><br>DAB Custom Guitars<br><br>Paul Reed Smith Guitars<br><br>Pettingill Lap steels<br><br>Gibson Guitars<br><br>Fender Guitars<br><br>Eastman Mandolins<br><br>Micheal Kelly Mandolins<br><br>Line 6<br><br>Blackheart Amplifiers<br><br><br><br><br><br>HC Geezer Brigade #183<br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=761799&amp;content=music"><b><f ont color="Red">My Music</font></b></a><br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/user/BGPups"><b><font color="Red">My Youtubes</font></b></a><br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/BG-Pups-Guitar-Pickups/122952581112262"><b><font color="Red">Catch me on Facebook</font></b></a><br><br><br><br><font face="Arial"><font size="1"><font color="DarkOliveGreen"><br><br></font></font></font></div>

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                    • #11
                      I'm not a Strat pup expert by any means and can only speak from my own experience...

                      I have a Fender Classic 50 and although the factory pups sounded really good, I installed a set of Fender CS 69s and the difference was like night and day. The CS 69s are incredible sounding pickups!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have both CS54's and CS69's - I think the fender custom shop p/u's are a tremendous value, significant upgrade in tone and you can get a set of either for around $150. If I had to choose between the two I would go for the CS69's, just a great tone.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have both CS54's and CS69's - I think the fender custom shop p/u's are a tremendous value, significant upgrade in tone and you can get a set of either for around $150. If I had to choose between the two I would go for the CS69's, just a great tone.


                          i know they're hard to put in words, but i'd like to hear more about the 69's in comparison with the 54's. are they harmonically richer? not muddy when strumming? eq response? etc. thanks lots in advance.
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                          • #14
                            go fralin blues specials
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                            • #15
                              bump
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