August 5, 2016
Ten passive single-coil options for a total tonal makeover.
Be it a bargain find or pricey acquisition, Strat-style axe or the real deal, it might be time to go pickup shopping if your guitar’s tone is less than inspiring. We’ve rounded up 10 sets to help get you started.
Texas SpecialCharacterized by midrange chirp, crystalline highs, and tight bass, these pickups have an overwound single-coil construction for producing big and searing Texas-blues tone.
Traditional Mk-IIIThis Zero-Hum set features proprietary alnico-5 rod magnets and is intended to sound and perform like gracefully aged ’60s pickups with a softened attack and no high-end brittleness.
SSL-1 Vintage StaggeredUsing hand-ground alnico-5 rod magnets and heavy Formvar magnet wire with a special wind pattern, this set is meant to produce tone with bounce and sparkle reminiscent of the best ’50s Strat pickups.
Area Strat Set Consisting of the Area ’58 (neck), Area ’67 (middle), and Area ’61 (bridge), this hum-cancelling set offers up a collection of classic, authentic tones for any Strat-style guitar.
Sensor Hot GoldAvailable with an optional 13.2k Hot Bridge for more power and cut, Hot Golds are designed for full bottom end, singing midrange, and plenty of high-end sparkle.
Alinco II Blues TRS4Scatterwound with single-gauge AWG 42 wire, these alnico 2 pickups offer players sweet, clean tones without boom-y bass or harsh trebles—ideal for blues or jazz.
’58 Quiet CoilUsing the exact same parts found in vintage ’58 Stratocaster pickups, this set was designed to capture the warmth, clarity, and fat low-midrange of their inspiration, without the 60-cycle accompaniment.
S-7 Stratocaster SetVia reverse engineering, this wax-potted, handwound set was designed to faithfully recreate the warm, full tones from Fender Stratocaster pickups from the late ’50s/early ’60s.
SP 42These single-coils with adjustable pole pieces are wound with 42-gauge wire for more mids and take on some of the character of a P-90 for a big, round Strat tone.