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Who Makes the Hottest Strat Pickups??

(image: Angela Instruments)
Depends on your taste, and there are a number of fine pickup makers out there.

However, these days an awful lot of Strat & P90 pickup buzz seems to surround Lindy Fralin and Jason Lollar.

Another up & comer we're hearing about from the custom guitar builder zone is Amalifitano.

Rod McQueen of Slider's Vintage Classic Pickups is a major pickup guru in Australia.

Do your own research, but before considering a pickup upgrade always make sure that your current configuration is set up well, otherwise another set of pickups may not give you the anticipated results for your $$.

Pickup height adjustment is important. In this video clip from NAMM, Scott Henderson touches on his system of setting pickup height (last minute). This longer video with Roger Sadowsky, goes into his EXACT pickup height and string action setup specs. Although there are differences, this can help give you more insight. Good cable is also important because good tone and capacitance walk hand in hand. Don't spend $100 bucks plus on those indestructible wiz-bang cables. But be willing to spend the dough for a good Mogami or George L's cable and go as short as you can possibly live with because more length means more loss.

Your strings are important. Why do you use the strings you use? Experiment between nickel & stainless-- hex cores and round cores. Play as heavy gauge as your strength and style permit because heavy is better, although not at the expense of your dexterity. Keep 'em clean and wiped down too!

Keep your guitar well intonated and tuned up. A guitar that is "out" may prompt you to seek expensive solutions for "your sound", when a simple strobe job might put you back into your happy place.

Premier Guitar features a great Jason Lollar interview in the Dec. '08 issue. A must read!!

Lindy Fralin has a CHART which breaks down his seven different Strat pickup sets on a scale of output vs brightness & clarity. Fralin's "Vintage Hot" & "Real 54's" have the lowest output & greatest brightness & clarity of all seven options. However, the Vintage Hot is their best seller. So consider the size of your signal chain. It would seem that most Fralin users use less effects simultaneously. But that's just a guess. Anyway, if you really do need a pickup upgrade, Fralin's chart and pickup pages are a good resource.

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