Mexican strat


greyfus
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greyfus
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12/29/2015 1:52 am
just bought a Mexican Strat, played a bunch before i settled on this one, it has the double hb at the bridge playing through the Fender blues jr amp.
my other guitars are Gibson, Les Paul , SG and I have an Epiphone dot
[es335 copy] . I love the Gibson sound but really like the sound of this Strat
on some of the songs I play, I've read a lot about upgrading pickups on these but as i like the sound i am getting now wanted to see if i could get some feedback ,this would be down the road of course but at some point should I upgrade ? If so what pickups are recommended ?
thanks
# 1
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12/29/2015 2:01 am
Originally Posted by: greyfusjust bought a Mexican Strat, played a bunch before i settled on this one, it has the double hb at the bridge playing through the Fender blues jr amp.
my other guitars are Gibson, Les Paul , SG and I have an Epiphone dot
[es335 copy] . I love the Gibson sound but really like the sound of this Strat
on some of the songs I play, I've read a lot about upgrading pickups on these but as i like the sound i am getting now wanted to see if i could get some feedback ,this would be down the road of course but at some point should I upgrade ? If so what pickups are recommended ?
thanks


If you're going to upgrade a Strat's pickups, I'd recommend the Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Single Coils hands down.

They'll give your Strat a lot more bite and "rock tone" without compromising the appeal of the Strat's sound.

As far as whether or not you want to upgrade, do you know what kind of pickups are on there now? Are they just stock Fender pickups? Or something nicer like Tex Mex single coils?
# 2
greyfus
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greyfus
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12/29/2015 2:38 am
thanks for the quick reply I have a double [standard humbucking] bridge pickup and both middle and neck pu's are standard single coil strat
this is a HSS model# 0144702532
# 3
JeffS65
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JeffS65
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12/29/2015 5:19 pm
A few thoughts...

1) If you like the sound you get now, then no reason to hurry (which you said you weren't in a hurry). Food for thought as well; the only reason to change up your gear is when you're not satisfied. You may see the coolest pick-up by a favorite artist and think that you love that tone...spend $100ish to buy it and then pay more for installation...and get home and realize that it didn't change your sound all that much or, even worse, you like it less than your previous sound.

Guitarists have an issue with chasing the shiney object for the ultimate tone. Your hands do more for your tone than any pick-up ever will.

In the 80's, I spent plenty on pick-ups but never spent money unless I hated the tone of the pick-up. Everyone loved Duncan JB's and I had one in a guitar and hated it. Hated. The tech at the guitar store thoughts I was nuts. I switched to an EMG 89 and loved it. The tech hated EMG's so he totally thought I was sniffin' glue....

2) Which brings me to the next point; we can tell you anything about a pick-up we like. This doesn't mean it will work for you. What my ear is looking for in my playing is different than yours. For that matter, the attack in your playing and how that reacts with the pick-up will differ from player to player. Remember that a pick-up is really just a magnetic microphone that reflects what you're playing. Your natural string attack is interpreted by the pick-up and depending on the materials and the number of winds on the bobbin will alter that attack.

By now I know my playing and what I want to hear in my playing cuz I've been playing for a good long time. On my Gibson ES I have Gibson 490R/498T's and I hate them..again, hate. But I know the gear, tone and my playing enough to know that the pick-up is what ain't workin' for me. With that said, I recorded a backing track and needed a hollow, vibro twang and the pick-up was perfect...it matched the style...so there's that.

3) Don't buy a pick-up by name. Listen to them. They all have characteristics. If you can, try them out (of course). The name on the pick-up is meaningless.

It's all specific to your ear. I like EMG's for metal, or even an old Duncan Distortion will do. For the stuff I play now, I like Gibson 59/59T or Fender Texas Specials but that's because I'm more traditional these days.

4) See point number 1 above...If it's sounding good, save your money for strings and picks.

....just my two cents worth. I've spent more money than I should have on pick-ups and learned a few things but it's up to you and your ear.
# 4
maggior
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maggior
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12/29/2015 7:47 pm
I keep getting the pickup swap itch. I have Burstbucker Pros in my LP Standard. I always felt the neck pickup was too muddy. Always thought what I wanted were a more traditional '57 PAF type pickup. In the meantime I bought another LP that happened to have '57s in it. I like them, but using them gave me an appreciation for the BB Pros. It's another variety of tone. I've learned though some setup tweaks and adjustments in the amp that I can get a unique lead tone using the BB Pro neck pickup that I really like.

Searching the internet looking for opinions can send you on a wild goose chase. You can find as many people that love a particular pickup as hate it. Youtube vidoes only tell you how the pickups work in that player's rig and their playing style.

So swapping out pickups, a lot of times it's not necessarily an upgrade, it's more of modifying the tonal characteristics to suit what you want. If you are happy with the tone you have, I would leave it as is.
# 5
greyfus
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greyfus
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12/29/2015 9:33 pm
words of wisdom guys thanks for the advise,think I'll leave it alone for now
recorded some stuff yesterday and it sounded pretty good and the humbucker at the bridge gives it a nice tone anyway
# 6
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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12/29/2015 10:48 pm
I bought a Mexican Strat for $150 at a pawn store (is it time for another pawn store thread yet? :D ).

I kept the pickups stock because they sounded fine. And I already have a variety of Strats with HS3s & other pickups. I used it in this vid to demo a treble booster pedal. I used this guitar precisely because they are standard Fender single coils.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S13PU1ri3k
Originally Posted by: JeffS65Which brings me to the next point; we can tell you anything about a pick-up we like. This doesn't mean it will work for you.

+1000! :) And what Jeff said about pick attack is also right on the money. The type of pickup will affect your tone. Gear does matter & will shape tone. But it's important to remember to find what works for you, regardless of the brand, who else uses that gear, etc.

It's fun to check out gear demos & listen to the sample clips on the product websites. But it's no guarantee it will sound like that in your hands. Sometimes it's possible to find a guitar at a music store with the pickups you are considering buying. Then you can actually play them & see how they sound in your hands!

Hope this helps!
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 7
mlambrechts
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mlambrechts
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01/06/2016 10:05 pm
Hi, thanks for the wonderful comments on pick ups.
Just want to share my experience.
I have a cheap 83 USA strat (they produced it only for 6mths or so, has only one tone control, was when Fender really was going down). It was a present from my parents in 1983 for my 21th birthday. Left it unplayed for +- 25y and started playing again in 2010. Then a lot older (and money not a problem anymore) I started buying a lot of guitars, all "for better tone". I bought a 2008 Standard LP, but "not good enough", and GAS goes on and on...
Finally I have 3 guitars I play on, and 20 in the spare room that I don't touch... I play on my strat 1983 (in the spare room : strat RI 1962, tele RI 1951, tele 1988), my Gibson LP 2008 (in the spare room : Gibson R4, R8, ES335, SG, LP junior), and a Danelectro ($200).
Reason:
1. I was always looking for "better". The only thing I got was "more expensive"...
2. Most important : I didn't bother looking for good tone with the gear I already had! I think this is a major issue with many players : spend some time with your gear, and almost always you will find the tone with the stuff you already have! Learn how to "dial in" correctly (and every guitar, effect or amp is different: remember that!).

Hope this helps, saves you money, and keeps your partner happy/spend the money on a holiday :)
# 8
JeffS65
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JeffS65
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01/07/2016 12:31 am
Originally Posted by: mlambrechtsspend some time with your gear, and almost always you will find the tone with the stuff you already have! Learn how to "dial in" correctly (and every guitar, effect or amp is different: remember that!).


That's it right there. Rare is the equipment that you couldn't find some tone you can live with.
# 9

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