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Tex Mex vs. Standard Strat Pickups


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I just did a search for this and didn't come up with anything.... so here goes.

 

How do the Tex mex pickups in the Jimmie Vaughan Strat, compare in sound to the ceramic pickups in a Fender Standard Mexican Strat in terms of loudness, brightness, midrange, and overall tone? Also, what about noise?

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You'll probably get a million different answers to this question but I'll give it a shot.....It's even more subjective than your strat question. I like talking about this stuff myself so I think you've asked some good questions in these couple threads.

 

Let me first start by a saying that I play very hard so I look and listen for different things like when I described the HW1. To me it played better when I was really playing it hard. Much better than MY mex strat.....but that's me. Mine get quite worn so fit and finish are secondary.

 

As far as sound goes when I bought my MIM I was thinking of all the things I was going to do TO it, the ceramic pups are crap IMO. I put in Texas Specials. I'll be getting a heavier tremolo block too and other stuff like that. As opposed to the HW1 which to me I didn't want to do anything to it.

 

To me the JV pups sounded somewhat like Texas Specials BUT seemed to have more bite and a "midrangy" growl, if that makes sense. It probably had more to do with the maple neck but I didn't like them as much, so that's the reason I bought the MIM and put in the Tex spec. Since you can't get the JV with a rosewood fingerboard, I was even going to get it and put my RW MIM neck on it.......but decided not to.

 

I think you'd like the sound of the JV so hopefully you'll get a chance to play one. They are what's called overwound so they're hotter than a standard pickup so that's what makes them sound the way they do.

 

Hope that sheds some light on it.....

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the ceramic pups are crap IMO.

 

This is a sample of the problem I am running into on here. You told me they are crap but didn't tell me why. That's an extremely negative criticism of the pickups and you need to explain why.

 

I appreciate your feedback. Keep it coming.

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I am waiting for my MIM to come tomorrow. The main problem with them is they are noisy. Now understand that most single coil pickups are going to have hum unless you get hum-canceling pickups. The MIM strats I have played sounded pretty good the only pickup I will replace immediately is the bridge pickup. The other problem I think the stock pickups have is that they do not have character. Even if they did not hum they are just plain. Most people I think hate them mostly because of the hum.

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They are very noisy, made much cheaper than the other Fender pickups, didn't sound good to me when distorted. Didn't sound good clean either, with the exception of the neck pickup, which didn't sound as bad but it had more to do with the fact even a crap pickup will sound better in the neck position.

 

You say that what I said was a sample of the problem you are running into here. Sorry to be a problem but I did read your other thread and got an answer from you that the HW1 was the worst guitar you have ever played and it's crap I believe. What you said was an extremely negative critisism...but it was your opinion from your experience and that makes it valid, but if you answer people with extremely negative critisizm don't hold it against them if they do too. I'm not taking a quiz here so I might not answer EVERY question you have correctly.....it's just an opinion.

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A friend of mine brought his MIM strat over a year or so ago. I thought it sounded fine. Very much what a strat should sound like. But that was a very brief exposure to his guitar.

 

Myself, I have a 60's MIJ Strat that had very anemic sounding pups. I replaced them with Texas Specials and that was a big improvement.

 

My other strat is the 50th Ann. Deluxe with Sam-Cobalt pups and it sounds much better than my other rig, but I think that has a lot more to do with it than just the pups.

 

I have the Tex Mex set up in my new Nashville Tele and so far I'm a bit Ho-hum about them.

 

I think maybe the better route is the MIM Standard and then select your own pups. That would put you ahead if the JV doesn't exactly pan out for you.

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No sweat, I was just surprised to see what I said was part of a problem. If I can suggest another forum in addition to HC....

 

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

 

but not to go there INSTEAD of here, it's just a place I like to go if I have some specific Fender questions. Much better results when I search and you might even get some answers from a Fender professional. There's a forum section just for pickups too.

 

These guys can get into some real detail when talking about a Strat.... ;)

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The TexMex sound like a premium version of the Standard strat ceramics. After trying them in three different guitars I've pretty much decided they're mediocre, but many like them.

 

Similar output, better separation between the five different positions, quieter in 2 & 4. TexMex are peakier/screechier in the mids, at least as I remember the MiM standards( don't currently have a set in a guitar). Are they better? Yeah, but I think there's a lot better choices out there.

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I thought the sound of my MIA Strat was a little too twangy, clean and thin, so I replaced pups with the Tex Mex pups, which I believed gave me a thicker and fatter sound that I wanted. But then I sold the Strat to buy the sound of HFS pup in the PRS.

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I've always found that Std Mex pickups don't nail the traditional strat sounds. If you plug in a US Strat or Classic series etc. into a clean tube amp the difference is pretty obvious to me. The vintage alnico pickups have the "bell like" tone, while the ceramic Mex pickups are harsher and not as clear.

 

If you're looking at Tex Mex & Texas Specials they are not traditional Strat pickups. They are overwound & designed more for overdriven strat sounds and not the traditional clean tones. Remember Hendrix, Gilmour & many other famous Strat player got their sought after overdriven sounds just with vintage alnico type pickups.

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Are you saying that the 50's, 60's, and 70's Classic Series Strats (Made in Mexico) have the vintage alnico type pickups? Which other Strats feature them?

 

Please listen to this 2 minute live video of the Hep Cat Boo Daddies and comment on the Strat tone and see if you judge this as the traditional tone of alnicos. if not, why?

 

Just click on the picture of the disc when it comes up and it will download . takes a few minutes.

 

http://impresskit.com/hepcat/

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This is going to sound fucked up, but I'll try anyway,

 

I characterize the difference between overwounds (Tex) and vintage primarily by the way the bass E string sounds - but not by the bass frequencies.

 

WIth vintage pups, when you pick the string, you get sort of a "Dummmm" but with the overwounds you get more or a "Donggggg". There are midrange harmonics that are giving it a little more voice and I think that is key to the Texas sound.

 

Anyway, that's my take on it.

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Originally posted by GAS Man



I have the Tex Mex set up in my new Nashville Tele and so far I'm a bit Ho-hum about them.

 

Yeah - I have the Nashville Tele too, and I kinda like the Tex Mex Tele pups (neck and bridge), but the Tex Mex Strat pup in the middle is totally lifeless - I very rarely use that by itself. I'm trying to figure out what to replace it with, and if a really hot Strat pup would ruin the 'inbetween sound' in position 2 and 4 on the switch.

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OK heres a reply from a single coil NON User(since only 3 of the 58 axes I own are single coil loaded)....

The JV Strat s/s/s units do exhibit a bit more snarl and frequencies inherant in midrange output and I have an American Standard with those same units installed(pearloid p/guard s/s/s and No Boost switch).

The Mexican s/s/s units are kindqa comparible as well-but the neck chosen(as posted earlier) gives the neck pickup a rounder bite in my opinion.

I also have a 62 Tele with a rio grande bridge and a late 50 lipstic/tube neck pickup that I wanna load with Joe Bardens over the ones it came with.

I believe ther is little difference(depending on the amp/gain and overdrive capability of your AMP) OVER THE usa OR mEX fENDER UNITS.

iTS IN YOUR HANDS DUDE...

ROCK ON:thu:

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Point is...I love his tones and am trying to decide between these guitars.....A new MIM Fender Standard Strat with standard ceramic pups....A Jimmie Vaughan Sig. Strat with the overwound Tex Mex alnicos......or the 50's Classic Strat with the weaker, brighter Vintage Alnicos.

 

I want to get as close as I can to his tones. He told me in an email that he uses a 57 reissue Japanese Fender Strat but had a guy add some windings to the pickups. It's been a long time since I've like a Strat tone this much, and it's giving me a new zest for playing. I have their new CD and DVD and play them constantly. I like some of his live tones even better than Hendrix!

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Here is a quote from an email that Joel Dasilva of the Boo Daddies sent me.

 

My strat is a 1979/80 1957 Re-issue. The very first year that they came out with reissue's.

2. My main amp is a 1964 Super Reverb.

My back up is a Twin.(which I hate).....yuck.

I would love to get another super reverb, but cant afford it right now.

the original speakers I blew........

The ones in there now are jensens.

Never tried a jimmie vaughan strat.

footpedals: ts9 tube screamo, boss blue box, rotovibe,tremolo,tuner, one peanut butter churner, one eggwave, chia pet,etc,etc

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I listened to the clips on the band's site. There is nothing extraordinary about his tone. It's classic Strat into a pushed Fender.

 

You could get there with a TS-9, a MIM Strat, and a Blues Deville. I have to be honest and say that I think you are over analyzing his tone. It's not a tough or rare tone to achieve.

 

PaulS

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Originally posted by etvetv2001

Paulster, did you watch the promo/video? That's a lot better representation of his tone, which I find to be very bright and crisp sounding...best slightly overdriven 4 position tone I've ever heard. Pay attention to the very first and last clips.


http://impresskit.com/hepcat/

Just watched it. Definitely nice playing and nice tone! Still-- there's nothing exceptional there other than what is already exceptional--Fender Strats and Fender amps! I guess it's just that I have so many Strats, along with a nice Super Reverb and a Pro Reverb- and several OD pedals. The good news is that his tones are relatively easy to achieve. It's not like there's a big rack of effects which I always consider to be the "black hole" where you don't know what's doing what and how to cop particular tones.

 

His rig is simple and sounds fantastic. It sounds like he favors the bridge and bridge-middle settings. The heavy handed technique is also critical. That characteristic snap and articulation comes from getting 'physical' with the guitar. IOW-- hittin' it real hard! IMO-- no other guitars do that better than Strats and Teles.

 

PaulS

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