Mojotone 59' Clone vs Orig 59 Strat

EC Strat

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 16, 2018
4,437
Louisville Kentucky
Checking em out now.

Just nabbed a set of Klein 59's off Reverb. So we'll do another comparison in the near future. I'm looking forward to it. I didn't realize that Mojotone degaused their pickups to "age" them, and I didn't realize they flipped the middle pickup. Having an original to compare is good to have, because I believe they left them too long on the grill.
Everything makes a difference, even when you think it doesn't. I wonder if Leo tested flipping the middle and thought...."these lost their Mojo".
I tried a degaussed set from a different manufacturer also and didn’t like them much at all. I think that’s what you’re hearing in tonal differences.

Glad you bought the Klein 59’s! You’re gonna LOVE them
 

Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
16,129
State of Disbelief
EDIT: Missed your post about paint flakes from removing the neck on Page 2, so my answer wouldn't work for you.

IMO anything you do will be a compromise. No two guitars are ever going to sound identical. Too many variables.

I hope the Klein's work out for you, but I'm guessing that the "better" (being subjective) course, to get the closest sound at least, would have been to purchase a new neck and/or order a custom one and replace it, setting the original aside to keep the guitar complete.

That would give you the neck specs you want, shouldn't affect your tone overmuch, if at all. It makes no noticeable/irreversible modification and won't affect your resale value or vintage status as you can put the original neck back on.
 
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WillyDee

Strat-Talker
Sep 14, 2022
173
Twin Cities, MN, USA
OK Guys and Gals. Here you go.

3 guitars, Straight into a Fender Princeton Chris Stapleton with a Celestion Ruby Alnico speaker. No effects. No volume adjusting. All guitars full.

Mic is a Shure Unidyn III SM57. Mic Pre is an Antelope Studio Synergy Core. Let me know what you think. I'm beginning to think it really has a lot to do with that middle pickup polarity. Because the CS sounds nearly as good as the 59....and all they did was make it as Leo designed it.

I notice that the the pickup demonstration in the video before had reverb added.....that would be called "cheating"....reverb adds shimmer. My comparison is dry.

I've included a side view of the pickups in the 59'. I'm sure in 30 more years the pickguard will shatter, or the pickup covers, as it continues to shrink. But that will be someone else's problem.

I love the way the Brazilian Rosewood looks like a melting chocolate bar in the photos.
Here's the link.
Strat Pickup Comparison
That 59 sounded great! Tone was full and rang out. Next best was 57/62 but a ways from being as good. Mojotone last by far. Frankly it sucked. Thin and lifeless.
 

Knave101

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 1, 2021
40
Spain
That 59 sounded great! Tone was full and rang out. Next best was 57/62 but a ways from being as good. Mojotone last by far. Frankly it sucked. Thin and lifeless.
Agree. I won't make any blanket statements, but "my" Mojotones are not my favorite. The 57' is a Fender Custom Shop Ash 57. So I assume it has 57'? reissue pickups? I may redo the comparison this week, to include the Klein 59' Reissues.....I'll record the Mojotone, then remove and install the Kleins.....leaving the amp as it is.....for the full comparison.

However, the most interesting thing....is the original 59' is the loudest of the three. So why is Mojotone weakening the pickup magnet!? Mine is like new!
 
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Knave101

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 1, 2021
40
Spain
Pickup Comparison 2
Fender 1959 Stratocaster Ser #40500 compared to Mojotone 59 Clone, Klein Epic 59, and 57' Fender CS reissue.

Now with Klein Epic 59 Pickups added to the comparison.
Amp: Fender Reissue Princeton Stapleton with Celestion 12" Ruby Alnico
Mic: AT4050
Preamp: Antelope Studio Synergy Core

At the end I compare the 59 to the Klein Directly. Here you can see that while sounding good...the orig 59 stands out.

No effects, direct to amp.

1959 Stratocaster Comparison - Part 2

I have also included photos of the white and parchment covers compared to the original 59'. I noticed that the Mojotone pickups have beveled pickups, while the Kleins do not (you can pay extra $30 for this to be done when ordering). So I looked at the original 59 pickups and i see a very crude, and almost imperceptible beveling....as if they didn't really care. The magnet poles have a more 'caveman' imperfect look to them. IMG_0528.jpg IMG_0526.jpg
 
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EC Strat

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 16, 2018
4,437
Louisville Kentucky
That ‘59 is breathtaking. Immaculate

How do you like the Kleins ? I thought they held up pretty well vs the 59s but I agreed with you in that nothing will beat those. I wonder how the Kleins would sound in that 59 hardtail - probably different I would imagine. Not suggesting you should do that though.

You’re right, the mojotones pretty much sucked. Which is surprising considering how good that company is. Degaussed pickups just don’t do it for me. It’s akin to a brand new relicd guitar. Weakening a magnet doesn’t add shimmer, it just makes the pickups sound weak and shrill
 

Knave101

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 1, 2021
40
Spain
That ‘59 is breathtaking. Immaculate

How do you like the Kleins ? I thought they held up pretty well vs the 59s but I agreed with you in that nothing will beat those. I wonder how the Kleins would sound in that 59 hardtail - probably different I would imagine. Not suggesting you should do that though.

You’re right, the mojotones pretty much sucked. Which is surprising considering how good that company is. Degaussed pickups just don’t do it for me. It’s akin to a brand new relicd guitar. Weakening a magnet doesn’t add shimmer, it just makes the pickups sound weak and shrill
What it shows is that you truly need an original to do the comparison. There simply is no comparison. Particularly at the end where I compared the Klein directly....what happened to the mid-lows??? The 59's are full, and much higher output. To do the comparison, I simply strummed a chord on one, then pulled the plug, and did the same on the other.....you can't get much closer comparison than that.

The Kleins are in the ballpark, but not playing on the field. I could accept some tonal variety, but the output levels are different...and it's quite noticeable. I messed with pickup height to try to match, but could not match them. The 59 pickups are quite low as well. Could it be the pickguard? I have a gold metal pickguard on the partscaster. But the orig 59 has the thick aluminum plate backing as well....

Either way, if I had to do it all over again, I'd stick with Fender pickups. I have fairly inexpensive Fender 57/62 pickups in my MIM strat (it's in europe...or I'd certainly compare it as well).....and it has a better tone to me.

I never anticipated the 59 would sounds as good as it does.....and I almost sold it for 2k, 30 years ago, then again 10 years ago, because I didn't think it had any certain magic. I was wrong....it does!

In the 80's I played a 60's Rick 365 in my band. I never bonded with the guitar....no matter how much I tried. So I pulled the 59 out of the closet in 1990 and I remember thinking.....WOW! But everybody played a strat and I wanted to be different....it was then I decided that I would forgo being different and play the Strat. Too bad, cause I have a bunch of cool old Ricks!...and only one old Strat.

I'm not that dissatisfied with the Mojotones...they have lower output, but when you turn up to make up the difference, they sound good. The Kleins are missing some of the mid low frequencies...especially noticeable on the bridge pickup. (I did test to make sure they were not blown) And the Mojotones are beveled as well.

I also opted to use a condenser AT4050 mic. I have many mics in my closet....including old Neumans. I return to the AT4050, just as I return to the Strat....easy to use, easy to set up....always sounds great! I actually had a vintage SM57 set up next to the AT4050, recording two tracks for each instrument....and it just didn't sound as good.

On Soundcloud, There are some of our older songs. In "Something No One Can See", I'm playing my brothers 1970 Black Strat (tremolo) on the right channel. In the cover "Shapes of Things to Come", I'm playing the 59. My brother always played lead, and used a 62' Gretsch 6120 with Filtertrons. Now I know why the guitars sounded so awesome!
 
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Knave101

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 1, 2021
40
Spain
I think this about wraps up this thread.
I’ll add one last thing. I’ve been watching some videos by Nile Rodgers and one by Tim Pierce on the “Hitmaker Hardtail”. And I realize that they describe the warmer tone out of the hardtail that I assume must be because of the better resonance, since the strings are anchored firmly on the body. This could account for some of the low end loss in the vibrato version. I’m liking the Kleins the more I play them. I would have to have a hard tail parts caster to do a true comparison.
 
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Eric_G

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 10, 2021
3,508
Quebec
I read your thread and found it interesting. I saw you mentioned that the partcaster was built with the exact same 250K pots, however there’s no mention of caps type, value and if you had a treble bleed.

I raising this point simply because that part of the electronic will also make a difference in tone. I’m assuming you have replicated the exact same wiring, but I figured I would ask.

Another factor is the real value vs the “printed” value…. Caps and resistors real value will vary. I’d be curious to test all the values or your 59 and compare them to your partcaster.

Another test that would be interesting is measuring the resistance of all your pickups and compare them.
 

Knave101

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 1, 2021
40
Spain
The point about the pots is interesting. Take a look at this article...specifically as it relates to pots. Interestingly, Alpha faired better than CTS, with Bare Knuckle CTS pots fairing the closest to vintage.


I do not use treble bleed circuits....I just do the simply original circuit. I have measured the resistance of the 59 pickups previously....documented somewhere here. I can do the same for the Kleins.

However, I won't be able to look under the hood of the my 59', nor touch any solder joints, as the guitar is all original, including solder joints. Additionally, the screws holding the pick guard are under a great deal of stress from the shrinking pick guard. One has already shot off somewhere. But what I can do is measure resistance at 1 to 10 along the volume pot taper.
 

Eric_G

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 10, 2021
3,508
Quebec
The point about the pots is interesting. Take a look at this article...specifically as it relates to pots. Interestingly, Alpha faired better than CTS, with Bare Knuckle CTS pots fairing the closest to vintage.


I do not use treble bleed circuits....I just do the simply original circuit. I have measured the resistance of the 59 pickups previously....documented somewhere here. I can do the same for the Kleins.

However, I won't be able to look under the hood of the my 59', nor touch any solder joints, as the guitar is all original, including solder joints. Additionally, the screws holding the pick guard are under a great deal of stress from the shrinking pick guard. One has already shot off somewhere. But what I can do is measure resistance at 1 to 10 along the volume pot taper.
You could measure the 3 sets of pickup through a cable and by selecting each positions, you don't need to open them up. If you measure them all the same way you'll get comparable data.

In your first sound sample, it was obvious that the Mojotone 59 were much lower in volume than the others, however, in you second sample the difference in volume didn't seem that much, or I missed it...

I didn't the resistance you had documented in this thread, I guess I missed it, will have to look again...
 

Knave101

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 1, 2021
40
Spain
You could measure the 3 sets of pickup through a cable and by selecting each positions, you don't need to open them up. If you measure them all the same way you'll get comparable data.

In your first sound sample, it was obvious that the Mojotone 59 were much lower in volume than the others, however, in you second sample the difference in volume didn't seem that much, or I missed it...

I didn't the resistance you had documented in this thread, I guess I missed it, will have to look again...
I posted it in a different thread. I’m trying to remember which one. And where. I can simply redo it. Regarding the difference in volume? It is as it is. The difference in volume was what initially clued me to the problem. I would plug in my les Paul’s, then the strat. And the difference was a lot. So then I compared to the 59 and was like. ….oh ! This is different. I’m at work but can take a look later.
 

Knave101

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 1, 2021
40
Spain
59' Orig Strat - B: 6.5k M: 6.54k N: 6.46k
57' CS Reissue - B: 6.1k M: 5.88K N: 6.05k
Klein 59 Epic - B: 5.8k M: 5.92k N: 5.86k
Mojotone 59 Clone - B: 6.0k M: 6.42k N: 5.78k

I left off a decimal place on the Bridge Pickups....but you get the picture. Tapers to follow....next week.
 

EC Strat

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 16, 2018
4,437
Louisville Kentucky
59' Orig Strat - B: 6.5k M: 6.54k N: 6.46k
57' CS Reissue - B: 6.1k M: 5.88K N: 6.05k
Klein 59 Epic - B: 5.8k M: 5.92k N: 5.86k
Mojotone 59 Clone - B: 6.0k M: 6.42k N: 5.78k

I left off a decimal place on the Bridge Pickups....but you get the picture. Tapers to follow....next week.
No wonder the Kleins sound different. Surprised your original 59 set measures so high My Klein 57 set measures out around 5.8k as well.

Interestingly, my SD SSL 1 set measures out at 6.5k and has a similar full bodied, lots of tone warmer side of things as your original 59’s do

Lots of variation back then
 

Knave101

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 1, 2021
40
Spain
No wonder the Kleins sound different. Surprised your original 59 set measures so high My Klein 57 set measures out around 5.8k as well.

Interestingly, my SD SSL 1 set measures out at 6.5k and has a similar full bodied, lots of tone warmer side of things as your original 59’s do

Lots of variation back then
Well for sure that accounts for the higher output of the 59'. But I have no way to measure the magnetic field of the pickups....but the 59's don't sound like they have weakened. I'm interested in the 280k pots that are sold by Bareknuckle, Black Bobbin, Vintage Inspired Pickups, RS Guitarworks......etc. I realize that I have been too lax on Pot selection. One of my tone pots on the Partscaster measured 212k across the wiper.....so that's out. I'll do a 3rd comparison audio once I've got the parts.

To answer a prior question....I use "Hosco PIO paper in oil "Slim Type" capacitor from Philadelphia Luthier tools and supply. Not sure why no one ever talks about this place, but they seem to have a great selection of parts at good prices....but no 280k pots.
 
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Guitarchaeologist

Dr.J- Master Spuddler
Silver Member
Well for sure that accounts for the higher output of the 59'. But I have no way to measure the magnetic field of the pickups....but the 59's don't sound like they have weakened.
Unless some outside force has acted upon them, the magnets should not weaken with age. As I understand, magnets will weaken slightly (<1%) within the first few months, then should stay at that level for a century or more.
 


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