Hey everyone. Recently I've been thinking about upgrading pickups in my Squier '51. I like the ones I have but I'm looking for something with a little more "umph" (if that makes sense). I also want a more distinct transition between pups. For the HB I'm looking for a real 70's and 80's classic rock tone, and for the SC I'm looking for a heavier blues kind of tone. Something with a little more crunch that the stock pups. So far all I've really been told to look for are anything with PAF in the name for the humbucker. I'm pretty much just looking for different types to look at and narrow down. It'd be great if you guys could just help to get the ball rolling because I'm new to the pickup thing and I'm pretty clueless as to what pup does what. Well I guess thats it. Thanks for helping out! :D
seymour duncan makes virtual vintage model single coils that are good for blues
I put some GFS pickups from GuitarFetish.com on a MIM Strat and cannot be more pleased.
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin
Modder, my suggestion:
Bill Lawrence L500 or L510 from the 1970's in the bridge. These can be had on eBay for $49.99 NEW (new old stock). Other than that, you could look for a Gibson 490T or Gibson 498T. Both are classic pickups that produce excellent classic rock sound. The Gibson's can be had for around $50 - 60 (used). And don't forget the Dimarzio Super Distortion. It is THE classic rock pickups.
For the bluesy sound at the neck, you could easily do worse than a Fender Texas Special. You can get a neck Texas Special for $35.
"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"
Hey, thanks for all the suggestions guys! I'll be sure to take a look at all of those on eBay and MF. I won't be able to now but maybe later tonight. :D
If you are in the UK I'd have a look at Swineshead pickups - a one man company who hand make a wide range of superb pickups at incredibly reasonable prices, with the option of having the coil bobbins made from decorative woods, different colour plastics etc, all to order. All the pickups have sound clips, a friend has a set of 'AMP' humbuckers with coil splits in his hand made guitar (which incidentally is in the gallery on the swineshead site - its called 'zeb'). Im not sure if they ship worlwide but they are worth a look
Gordon Smith GS1.5-40 Marshall VS65R
Since the Squier 51 is fairly inexpensive, GuitarFetish might be a good place to look. At least, I personally would probably not go for $200 pickups in a $100 guitar. Also, if you want a real transition between pickups, you may want to leave the neck pickup as is, and put a stronger humbucker in the bridge. That will have you going from slightly crunch blues to real growling rock tone by simply flipping the control. Even the stock bridge pickup has a pretty good bite if you dig into it, but the neck seems quite mellow.
(BTW, I just bought a burst 51 yesterday too, like the one in your avatar :-))
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller