Different Pickups in a Strat?

asdaven

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 13, 2022
31
Maryland
Have a cheap Strat style guitar and thinking about swapping out the 3 single coils with a 2 pickup setup of some sort with 2 humbuckers or 2 fatter style single coils like P90s or Jazzmaster pickups. I already have a Strat with 3 single coils.

Obviously would need to swap the pickguard for bigger pickups. Probably would goto 500K pots, a Tele 3 Way switch and maybe swap to volume and master tone or tone for each pickup. Pretty sure the body has a "swimming pool" rout underneath. So just the pickguard would need to change.

Thinking either Wide Range Humbucker style pickups or Jazzmaster pickups or maybe even Filtertrons but dunno if thats an easy swap. . I was thinking about P90s but I got them in other guitars and am looking for a different sound.

Does anybody sell pickuguards to swap in Jazzmaster pickups? I would think wide range style pickups would fit in a humbucker pickguard. Or do they make a Strat humbucker that is two Strat pickups right next to each other?

As far as the Wide Range Pickups, what are the Alnico 5 pickups im seeing if these were originally CuNiFe? Are these basically PAF style pickups made to look like Wide Range?
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,561
UK
Hi, humbuckers, jazzmaster pickups, filtertrons, wide range humbuckers and p90s are all different shapes. Not one hole will fit any two of those pickups.

You can get versions of each in HB shape.

Original (and now fender offer them again) WRHBs were made with cunife magnets, I believe the actual threaded pole was the magnet. I’ve had one and it was very excellent, would love to hear them in a strat. Although they are physically massive. I’m sure you could get a pickguard to fit them but I wouldn’t be surprised if the body needs some extra routing.

Same with the jazzmaster pickup, it’s bigger than a HB. Wouldn’t be surprised if you needed to remove more timber.
 

6th Stringer

Strat-Talker
Jan 30, 2014
166
Rogers AR
Check out GFS (guitarfetish.com). There is about every option you could want. I have used a lot of their pickups and they are great quality for the money. I put a Dream 180 (P90 voiced HB) in my Celtic Esquire and it sounds PHAT!!
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
18,380
KC
Hi, humbuckers, jazzmaster pickups, filtertrons, wide range humbuckers and p90s are all different shapes. Not one hole will fit any two of those pickups.

You can get versions of each in HB shape.

Original (and now fender offer them again) WRHBs were made with cunife magnets, I believe the actual threaded pole was the magnet. I’ve had one and it was very excellent, would love to hear them in a strat. Although they are physically massive. I’m sure you could get a pickguard to fit them but I wouldn’t be surprised if the body needs some extra routing.

Same with the jazzmaster pickup, it’s bigger than a HB. Wouldn’t be surprised if you needed to remove more timber.
If the body has a swimming pool route then any one of those pickups should fit.

I have a strat with Active HBs and one with P90s. I will also be building one with a WRHB too and they all fit in the Pool pretty easily.
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,561
UK
If the body has a swimming pool route then any one of those pickups should fit.

I have a strat with Active HBs and one with P90s. I will also be building one with a WRHB too and they all fit in the Pool pretty easily.
I stand corrected, that’s good to know!
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,740
Maine
I like the Jazzmaster pickup, and it is the biggest of all on your list.
My finding is it will NOT fit the swimming pool rout in the neck position, just set a JM cover on the Strat guard lined up pole holes to strings and the pickup cover goes beyond the edge of the guard on the low E side.
The JM would fit in the bridge position but moved away from the bridge to squeeze in there due to being such a wide pickup if you include the mounting screw bumps.

I would also say that all the big pickups made into smaller pickups to fit a HB shape are not really the same pickup, like making a big P-90 coil small changes it into some other pickup sorta like a P-90.
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
18,380
KC
I like the Jazzmaster pickup, and it is the biggest of all on your list.
My finding is it will NOT fit the swimming pool rout in the neck position, just set a JM cover on the Strat guard lined up pole holes to strings and the pickup cover goes beyond the edge of the guard on the low E side.
The JM would fit in the bridge position but moved away from the bridge to squeeze in there due to being such a wide pickup if you include the mounting screw bumps.

I would also say that all the big pickups made into smaller pickups to fit a HB shape are not really the same pickup, like making a big P-90 coil small changes it into some other pickup sorta like a P-90.
Now I stand corrected. Thank you!
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,740
Maine
I tried to post a couple of pics but there is a problem with the server here.
TDPRI works now but Strat Talk says the administrator needs to fix something.
Bummer, I love jamming JM pickups where they do not belong!
 

asdaven

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 13, 2022
31
Maryland
Routing aside, do you know what options are out there for precut pickguards? I can rout out what but I dont want to attempt a hack job on a pickguard. Kindve leaning towards Jazzmaster pickups or Wide Range. But my understanding is the Wide Range pickups nowadays are just similar to a Gibson PAF Humbucker especially if Alnico 5 because it cant be machined into a screw. Really kindve want to go the Jazzmaster pickup route. Think they would sound good in a Strat, but might run them with 500K pots.
 

asdaven

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 13, 2022
31
Maryland
Narrowing it down.....thinking about either Filtertrons or Lipstick pickups. Or both. Like with a Bridge Filtertron and two lipstick pickups or a bridge and neck filtertron with a middle lipstick. Or just goto a 2 humbucker setup with 2 Filtertrons. Filtertrons seem a little more chimy and might sound good on a Fender.

Fender Wide Range humbuckers I found out are not really the same anymore and are kindve now just a variation of a PAF humbucker dressed up to look like the Fender Humbucker. You cant get CuNiFe magnets anymore, if you do theyre very expensive. Theres alternatives but its pricey. And im assuming anything "Alnico V" utilizes a bar magnet and is probably just a underwound PAF.

Like the sound of Filtertrons, argubly the first humbuckers. Sounds like a cool design. Theyre smaller than other humbuckers so dont have to figure out how to put a bulky pickup in. GFS makes pickguards that fit them. Lipstick pickups can be purchased to fit where fender single coils fit. Dont know if GFS sells the combination Filtertron and Lipstick pickup pickguard.

What would you reccomend here? How does the output of Filtertrons and Lipsticks compare? Would a Filtertron bridge and Neck Lipstick pair well together?
 

gonzo

Senior Stratmaster
Dec 4, 2009
3,798
POWDERVILLE, UTAH
just did a tele build,
put in Fralin Split blade bridge and P-92 humbucker sized p90 single coils...

pleased as punch.


 

asdaven

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 13, 2022
31
Maryland
Nice. I really would like to see if somebody makes a pickguard that fits Jazzmaster pickups? Either that or if somebody makes humbucker size/shape Jazzmaster pickups then I could fit them in an HH pickguard. Kindve think that would be a good fit. I got P90s in other guitars and about to put Humbucker sized P90s in a Les Paul.

Filtertrons would be cool too but unclear how they handle gain. Seem to get blubbery sometimes. Lipstick pickups are cool, but their low output kindve sucks and to me , to emulate that jangly kindve sound, normal Strat Pickups do it better. Then the Wide Range humbuckers, most of what you get are not a true wide range humbucker and are a PAF in a Fender dress.... unless you pay alot of money. I think I wanna make it a two pickup Strat as well.
 

asdaven

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 13, 2022
31
Maryland
Soooo....the Guitar Fetish pickguards which are standard Stratocaster pickguards do not fit the Strat pickguard I have. There goes the idea of throwing humbuckers in this guitar or filtertrons.

So im stuck with the SSS pickguard I have. Ive ordered my pickups. I have a 15K Strat sized humbucker with pole pieces (Alnico 5 not Ceramic) for the Bridge, then a not as hot 9K Hot Rail Humbucker Style Pickup (also Alnico 5 im thinking for the neck) then a hot 7.5K Lipstick pickup for the middle im thinking. I believe thats Alnico 5 as well. I was able to find a rail pickup that is less hot for the neck and not 13-15K. This is the only way to run Humbuckers in this guitar with a single coil lipstick in the center.

I have an extra 10 way Freeway Switch sitting around, could throw that into this guitar. Thinking of running the two humbuckers in a lower output parallel mode or split mode when combining with the middle to not drown it out. Then maybe on the other side of the switch run them as full in series humbuckers. Dont know if this is possible.

Should I run all 500K pots with this setup? Either thinking of running a master tone, two pot setup OR throwing tones on the Neck and Bridge and run the middle wide open to equalize output.

Thanks-
 

somebodyelseuk

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 29, 2022
1,520
Birmingham UK
Have a cheap Strat style guitar and thinking about swapping out the 3 single coils with a 2 pickup setup of some sort with 2 humbuckers or 2 fatter style single coils like P90s or Jazzmaster pickups. I already have a Strat with 3 single coils.

Obviously would need to swap the pickguard for bigger pickups. Probably would goto 500K pots, a Tele 3 Way switch and maybe swap to volume and master tone or tone for each pickup. Pretty sure the body has a "swimming pool" rout underneath. So just the pickguard would need to change.

Thinking either Wide Range Humbucker style pickups or Jazzmaster pickups or maybe even Filtertrons but dunno if thats an easy swap. . I was thinking about P90s but I got them in other guitars and am looking for a different sound.

Does anybody sell pickuguards to swap in Jazzmaster pickups? I would think wide range style pickups would fit in a humbucker pickguard. Or do they make a Strat humbucker that is two Strat pickups right next to each other?

As far as the Wide Range Pickups, what are the Alnico 5 pickups im seeing if these were originally CuNiFe? Are these basically PAF style pickups made to look like Wide Range?
Probably too late to the thread.... get a pair of Gretsch HS Filtertrons.
They sound great and cost peanuts.
Regarding the pickguard, they're not difficult to make yourself.
 

asdaven

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 13, 2022
31
Maryland
Im sticking with this. I wouldnt be able to make a pickguard that looks nice and this is a budget guitar build so $40-$50 for a custom pickguard is steep.

So would you think a Lipstick pickup in the Neck or Middle would be better? Then the lower output 9K rail humbucker in the middle or neck? Im leaning towards Lipstick in the Middle and the 9K humbucker in the Neck. Then either 500K master tone or Neck and Bridge tones and no tone on the Lipstick to get more output. The humbuckers can be split or put into parallel to not overpower the lipstick. But this is a 7.5K lipstick pup tho.
 

Papa Che

Strat-O-Master
Mar 25, 2017
649
Denmark
Here is my very first electric. Can’t tell if this pickup combo “sound good” but it certainly works.
Need nicer sounding pickups as these don’t sound good to my ears. However the string to string balance is good even though they don’t align perfectly with those magnets. (Goldfoil neck, tele bridge in middle, tele neck in bridge)

BE318B47-2F86-498B-A209-F7B5258BF15E.jpeg
 

Butcher_my_axe

Strat-Talk Member
Jun 8, 2022
94
Australia
You're letting the cheapest part on the git dictate what p/u's to put in.
Get the ones you want and modify the p/g (it's easy) or get a custom PG made for $40-$50.
Agreed, however I'll also add that if it's a cheaper S-type budget body, there's nothing wrong with drilling holes and making modifications with the body in conjunction to get the desired setup as well. This guitar in question doesn't sound like the type that's intended for resale in the near future.

Soooo....the Guitar Fetish pickguards which are standard Stratocaster pickguards do not fit the Strat pickguard I have. There goes the idea of throwing humbuckers in this guitar or filtertrons.

So im stuck with the SSS pickguard I have. Ive ordered my pickups. I have a 15K Strat sized humbucker with pole pieces (Alnico 5 not Ceramic) for the Bridge, then a not as hot 9K Hot Rail Humbucker Style Pickup (also Alnico 5 im thinking for the neck) then a hot 7.5K Lipstick pickup for the middle im thinking. I believe thats Alnico 5 as well. I was able to find a rail pickup that is less hot for the neck and not 13-15K. This is the only way to run Humbuckers in this guitar with a single coil lipstick in the center.

I have an extra 10 way Freeway Switch sitting around, could throw that into this guitar. Thinking of running the two humbuckers in a lower output parallel mode or split mode when combining with the middle to not drown it out. Then maybe on the other side of the switch run them as full in series humbuckers. Dont know if this is possible.

Should I run all 500K pots with this setup? Either thinking of running a master tone, two pot setup OR throwing tones on the Neck and Bridge and run the middle wide open to equalize output.

Thanks-
Not entirely. If you feel adventurous and/or want to channel your EVH/Billy Joe Armstrong inner spirit, you could enlarge the bridge pickup hole in your SSS pickguard and whack a full sized uncovered humbucker on a slant. My ears like the slanted humbucker when comparing both slanted and straight mounted. That's is if it's not too late to get another full sized humbucker.

20221103_201534.jpg

20220713_195400.jpg

I did use a single-coil routing template to do the job, mind you.

Use a 500K in the bridge, and another pot (500K works, however some like 250K for single-coils) for both middle and neck and voila. Or if you're wanting to do an auto-split with a regular 5-way switch in position 2, run a pot each for both bridge and neck pickups.
 


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