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Fender Custom Shop Strat Texas Special Pickup Set
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- Enamel-coated magnet wire for warm vintage tone
- Staggered pole pieces for balanced output
- Alnico 5 magnets for more focus and enhanced dynamics
- Reverse-wound middle pickup to eliminate hum
- Overwound calibrated pickups for scorching output
- 1 year Warranty Included
- Alnico 5 Magnets
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As Heard on: Fender American Special Stratocaster guitars. Characterized by their midrange chirp, crystalline highs and tight bass, Fender Texas Special Strat pickups feature an overwound single-coil construction that produces big Texas-blues tone.
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But that was just the insult to the injury caused by these pickups. The ones that did work have the worst 60 cycle hum I've ever heard on any pickup; I couldn't even leave the soldering iron on if it was in the same room while I was checking connections. The screws provided didn't fit the mounting holes even after I scraped out the gunk Fender had used to cover the induction coil mounting plates. The hot leads on two of the pickups were mounted too close to the coil, preventing the covers from seating properly. And if all this wasn't enough, 3 of the six leads on the set of pickups were cold soldered. Lesson learned; future builds will not include any Fender components.
Edit: I don't think these were actual Fender pickups.
I couldn't believe Fender quality had gotten so bad, so I took a chance and ordered another set (Tex Mex this time). The difference was night and day. The new set were correctly soldered, the windings were good, and the backs were marked with output and position. So: apologies to Fender and shame on Amazon for allowing fakes to be sold under the Fender name.
Then I thought I would go in a totally different direction with DiMarzio HS-2 and HS -3"s. That didn't work out either. Figured I had nothing to lose by ordering these, and was actually surprised that they actually were pretty great. Wide range of tones, all combinations sound great, I can use the tone knobs again - all new territory for my guitar.
Note: these pickups won't aren't designed great metal tones or give you "The Brown Sound". If that's what you are after, you shouldn't be looking here anyway. Think humbuckers and 5150s...
Top reviews from other countries
Anyhow, one extremely easy return later, my replacement set arrived, and are absolute perfection (was able to test them first this time!). These Custom 69s have really blown me away if I'm honest. Bright and loud, but not overpoweringly so like the Texas specials. With a basic Strat set-up, every position was pretty much dead on for me and I was so impressed with the versatility of sound across the five switch positions. You can totally nail that authentic Hendrix/Knopfler/Cray/Clapton Strat sound with absolute ease. The neck position gives you that lovely richer tone, down to the amazing twang of the bridge and combinations in between to give you just about every nuance of vintage Strat sound you could want.
So aside from highly recommending these, my advice when buying any new pickups based on my experience here is that a small multi-meter is invaluable! So if you don’t have one, well worth getting. Basically an MM will enable you to check the function of each pickup before you start trimming wires, soldering and installing. It’s so simple to do and will save you a massive headache with poorly wired, or plain dud pick-ups.
Basically, switch your multi-meter to read Ohms (and the 20k setting if it supports separate values) and then with each pickup: hold one probe to the earth wire (black) and one to the hot/live wire (white) and you’ll get a reading. The pick-up box should tell you the expected resistance reading of the pick-ups on the back (Custom 69 is about 5.8K from memory) so you want this reading to:
1. Be somewhere within near the reported resistance (don’t worry about being dead on, as there are many factors influencing the reading, including temperature and your multi-meter). A tolerance of up to about 200 either way should be fine.
2. Remain steady. Small fluctuations in the lesser digits are fine, but if you have a pick up where the reading is fluctuating more wildly, it’s a bad pick up.
If these two things look good, you’re looking at a good pick-up, so get installing and enjoy!
This has also been reported to fender and trading standards.