Last month we decided to focus in-depth on pickups, so I thought we’d start with the Stratocaster, since it’s the best. Yes it is. Oh yes it is. Oh
Last month we decided to focus in-depth on pickups, so I thought we’d start with the Stratocaster, since it’s the best. Yes it is. Oh yes it is. Oh yes it IS.
Have a look at these illustrations of a Strat pickup with and without its cover. The cover just slips on and off, in case you were wondering. The original design called for an exposed coil, wound directly on the magnets. The plastic cover slipped over the coil to protect it before the pickup was mounted into the pickguard.
Perhaps it didn’t occur to Fender that people would disassemble their guitars to modify or replace their pickups and wiring schemes. Surely in 1953 Leo wouldn’t have foreseen the massive aftermarket pickup industry that would spring up in later decades, and he probably couldn’t have anticipated the huge DIY movement that we see today. Still, there are some people in the pickup community who feel that this removable cover was a major design flaw, since the coil is completely exposed and really vulnerable to damage when the cover is removed.
As you can see in the following illustrations, there are only a few parts to the pickup; it’s a very simple design.
There are two flat plates made out of vulcanized fibre, six magnets, and a coil of wire.
So there you have it, the innards shown, er, outwardly.
The magnets used by Fender were alnico 5. Alnico describes the magnet’s content, which is ALuminum, NIckel, and CObalt (with a few other metals thrown in for good measure). There are a number of different alnico alloys; the ones commonly used in pickup making are 2, 3, 4, and 5. But because the aluminum, nickel, and cobalt percentages can vary pretty widely, there are thousands of possible variants. Much has been made about the importance of this component in reproducing those great Strat tones of the fifties and sixties, but I think you could argue that we don’t know the exact makeup of the alloys Fender used back in the day—though this could probably be ascertained, if anyone cares to donate their old pickups for lab analysis.
Of course you could also argue that the magnet alloys used in Fender guitars may have changed over the years, since it’s probable that like most manufacturers with a production schedule to meet, Fender bought from more than one supplier.
The coil wire used was 42 AWG (American wire gauge) copper, insulated with Formvar (polyvinyl formal). The ends of this wire were wrapped through eyelets attached to the bottom plate, and then heavier, human-friendly 22 AWG leads took over from there.
Fender used 1800 turns of wire on the coil, yielding a total DC resistance of between 5800 and 6200 ohms, per Forrest White (Plant Manager, then VP and General Manager of Fender from 1954 through the beginning of 1965).
Next up: Telecasters!
Founder, Acme Guitar Works
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.