Mojotone ’59 Clone

DC resistance:
  • Bridge: 5.78k (advertised), 5.68k (measured)
  • Middle: 6.12k (advertised), 6.22k (measured)
  • Neck: 5.78k (advertised), 5.68k (measured)

To hear each pickup position alongside the other reviewed models, see “Five Pickups, Side by Side.”

Would you like your Strat to sound the way it did in music stores in 1959? Or would you prefer it to sound like the same guitar 56 years later? If you favor the aged sound, Mojotone’s ’59 Clone may be the set for you.

All the sets covered provide authentically vintage tones, but no other sounds this old. A pickup’s tones tend to smooth out over time, largely due to weakening magnets. I have no idea whether Mojotone systematically degausses (demagnetizes) their magnets, but it sure sounds like it. Every settings is as rich, warm, and as smooth as decades-aged whiskey.

The result isn’t for everyone—this is the quietest of the five sets. It’s also the one with the most restrained treble attack, so it might not be the best choice if you prefer Strats that sizzle. But if you dig the mellowed warmth of a well-loved old axe, here you go! The instant I popped these into our test guitar, the instrument felt decades older. (And as on the Klein set covered above, the middle pickup, not the bridge, is the hottest. Food for thought?)

This set is a great choice if a bright Strat bridge pickup makes you flinch. Here, position 1 isn’t spanky/snappy—it has more of an open, acoustic-guitar-like character. Settings 2 and 4 don’t sparkle as much as on some of the other sets, but they offer lovely, burnished tones you can listen to for hours. The tones aren’t dark, exactly—“rounded” and “warm” are better adjectives. Same with the distorted sounds: they’re less pointy and aggressive than on the other pickups. If Strat pickups were cats, the other sets would snarl. This one purrs.

The ’59 Clone set may be too restrained for some. But for those who appreciate the deep, baked-in character of old guitars, this set is the one to beat. At $212, they’re a bargain.

Ratings

Pros:
Authentically “old-sounding.” Rich, nuanced tones.

Cons:
Not for those seeking snappy, aggressive tones.

Street:
$212

Mojotone ’59 Clone Set
mojotone.com

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