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LSU alum wannabe
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Jan 2004
20454 posts

Changing pickup questions.
My sons guitar may get experimented on. He rarely messes with it. It's a standard Squier Strat. HSS pickguard.

A. How easy is it to change pickups. How easy is it to solder? Not pretty soldering. Just getting wires to stick together.

B. Give me some ideas of good pickup manufacturers. I've seen Warman and a couple others I can't think of right now.


MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
8656 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
It's pretty easy, just watch a few YouTube videos and practice a little bit before you try the real deal. Most aftermarket pickups are good quality. You just have to find some you like the sound of. If you want a vintage sound, I can recommend Seymour Duncan Antiquity but there are a lot of good ones on the market.


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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
59139 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
If it was a Mexi or American Strat - that's pretty much Lego - I don't know how much deviation there is with the Squiers for cost considerations. But, almost anyone who keeps those guitars very long will swap the pickups. I'm sure there is an extensive user base.

I'm thinking about doing a whole modeling setup to maybe kick start me back into electric playing. If I go all Line 6, I won't be futzing with pickups. If not, I'm going to get a Mexi or Squier and mess around with pickups to maybe get a HSS setup to play a different range of stuff from my American Deluxe 50th Anniversary edition ( ).


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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
59139 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

B. Give me some ideas of good pickup manufacturers


Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio would be my starting points for a bridge humbucker for a strat.

If you want a little more "Gibson" sound on the bridge, you can always go with a PAF Pro. You don't want to go too hot, though, in HSS - because a really hot humbucker will overpower your single coils.


LSU alum wannabe
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Jan 2004
20454 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
Sorry.

You guys are going high dollar with Duncan and DiMarzio. I was looking at some no name guys. Warman being one?

Or is it a “get what you pay for” scenario.

Warman I believe has their own Texas Strat singles for like 40 bucks. For the set of 3. Those are single coil so I’d need a humbucker, but you get what I’m saying for price range.


Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
59139 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

Warman being one?


I don't think Warman is bad, but the pickup market is pretty competitive, so:

quote:

“get what you pay for”


I think so.

Cheap pickups that are probably okay or better -

Dimarzio DP111 and DP175 (These should go for $40 to $60). Wilkinson (maybe). Fender has some value products themselves, but I don't know how much of an upgrade any of these are going to be on what comes on the Squier - I guess that's my problem.

I understand, "I have a cheap guitar - I'm on a budget" - but I'm not 100% on board with, "I want to replace these cheap pickups with other cheap pickups." (Especially humbuckers. I guess Entwistle might be okay.)

Understand my point?
This post was edited on 10/6 at 9:41 am


LSU alum wannabe
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Jan 2004
20454 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

Understand my point?


Yep.


Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
59139 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
If you are going to go cheap on the bridge H - check out:

Entwistle HVX

UK maker - now they say HH or HSH, so it may be too hot for a HSS, but for about $35 with decent reviews, that might be a way to go in accordance with your budget.

(ETA: Does your budget have room for a HSH pick guard, because that is another way to go with a Squier.)
This post was edited on 10/6 at 10:12 am


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MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
8656 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

I'm not 100% on board with, "I want to replace these cheap pickups with other cheap pickups."

Yeah, that's my opinion too. SD & DiMarzio are middle-of-the-road pickups. If I wanted to recommend high-end ones, I'd be talking about Ron Ellis, Stephens Design or other boutique pickups.

You might be able to find used ones for a better price on CL or eBay.

quote:

ETA: Does your budget have room for a HSH pick guard, because that is another way to go with a Squier.

Would he have to rout a bigger hole for the neck pickup?
This post was edited on 10/6 at 10:19 am


Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
59139 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

Would he have to rout a bigger hole for the neck pickup?


That's why I was asking - I don't know if they route all the Squier bodies the same, so it doesn't matter, or if they're all specific to the model sold. With computerized CNC, the cost would be practically zero, but who knows how the overseas factories are set up?

If it's just a pick guard, then it's an option (I would think) - if it's routing, at that point it's probably literally easier/cheaper to find a used Squier in the desired configuration.


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LSU alum wannabe
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Jan 2004
20454 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
Never taken the guard off so I don’t know about the hole underneath.

HSH set up, I don’t know. Think I would still want a coil split capability to get the Strat sound.

I shouldn’t be doing any of this. I should just be practicing. This kind of like doing laundry that has sat for days the day before an exam. Do anything other than productive studying.

Some tricked out Squier that sounds awesome, but I only switch from G to A chords cleanly. Lol

I suck.


MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
8656 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
Hey, I'm all about spending money on guitars. Just ask Mr. FretShack.


LSU alum wannabe
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Jan 2004
20454 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

Just ask Mr. FretShack.


He sounds like an enabler. Lol

Bastard.


MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
8656 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
He knows my weakness.


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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
59139 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

I shouldn’t be doing any of this. I should just be practicing.


True dat. It isn't the ax, it's the player.

When you can play well enough that the pickups actually make a difference, that's your cue to upgrade.


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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
59139 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

HSH set up, I don’t know. Think I would still want a coil split capability to get the Strat sound.


I think you're at a pause moment. Is your goal an overall upgrade or are you wanting something more specific out of the bridge?

Because those are 2 different questions.


ChatRabbit77
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2013
4190 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
SD, Dimarzio, and Bareknuckle.


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LSU alum wannabe
LSU Fan
Katy, TX
Member since Jan 2004
20454 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
Just overall improvement.

And Bareknuckle was one of the ones I’d heard of.


ChatRabbit77
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2013
4190 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

And Bareknuckle was one of the ones I’d heard of.

They make great stuff.


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MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
8656 posts

re: Changing pickup questions.
quote:

Just overall improvement.

Just a piece of advice. Try to zero in on a particular tone you're looking for - or alternatively a particular tone your current pickups give you that you don't want. That will help narrow down your search. For example, do you want a clean chimey tone like SRV, a hotter more overdriven tone like Eric Clapton or Buddy Guy, etc.? It helps to know where you're trying to go.


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