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Seymour Duncan California '50s Strat Pickup Set

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 ratings

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Product description

A calibrated three pickup set for Stratocaster players who are seeking that bright vintage tone from their modern set-up instruments

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
52 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!
By srcarruthers99 on January 23, 2018
First of all, I am a HUGE Fender fan. Guitars, amps and especially their pickups. Second, when it comes to tone, I am very picky. I love the Fender Custom Shop ‘69’s, 54’s, 57/62’s and Fat 50’s. I wanted to try something other than Fender this time, so I chose these SSL-1’s. So far I think they are absolutely the best single coil pickup I have ever had. Big, full tone with bell-like highs and a clear bottom end. On a lot of pickups in Strats the neck pickup can sound too quacky, too much twang and it over powers everything else. These strike a very nice balance with quack and all the other harmonics that are present. Some other vintage single coils I’ve tried have too much chimey-ness in the tone, too much high, drowns out the mids, again these SSL-1’s don’t do that, even though there is still tons of chimey, bell-like tones, like glass breaking, very brilliant, but it’s balanced out with the mid and low tones as well. Very nice and yes I would buy them again.
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Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on February 8, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2017
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Jarn K
5.0 out of 5 stars Great bright vintage pickups.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great bright vintage pickups.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2019
Really good set of pickups. Clean, crisp and great tone. Not too hot - perfect for clean strat style tones with some real punch. These were what Fruscianti used on the Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication album.

They have staggered pole pieces which gives a more authentic vintage balance between the strings. Also if you get the heights set right (or just slightly wrong strictly speaking) you can induce a quasi-chorus effect on the middle two strings while the others stay clean which I've been enjoying. I'll correct that soon, but for now a nice side effect.

The pickups are vintage cloth wired and wax potted (both the coils and the wire). All works well.

They do come with bright WHITE pickup covers which are SD branded. You'll need to buy aged cream or black covers separately.

Also supplied are the installation guide (with more options available for download from the SD website) and mounting screws and rubber tube section spacer pieces. No mounting springs are included. I swapped these across from my old pickups as I prefer the springs over the rubber tube.

Coil resistances (OCR) are typically 6.5k ( I measured 6.47-6.78k) and bizarrely the middle pickup in my set had the highest resistance. Usually it is the bridge. I didn't measure impedance - that also contributes so the OCR is only one indicator of the coil output.

NB The box lies. They are all 52mm pole spacing NOT 49.5mm as the packaging suggests. This is for all 3 pickups. That is the better way round for Fender stratocaster and similar guitars with a vintage trem (Yamaha Pacifica, Squire, etc). Strictly speaking they should be 49.5mm neck, 52mm bridge, and in-between for the the middle pickup. Using 52mm throughout is as the Fender default spec and is better than having the outer strings outside of the end pole pieces like you'd get at the bridge with a 49.5mm spaced pickup. Why the packaging suggests the bridge is 49.5mm spaced baffles me. I've measured it by ruler and by vernier callipers and it is definitely 52mm.

A bit of an impulse buy but glad I bought them and a big step-up from the default pickups on my cheap Pacifica 112V.

Note these are not shielded and not hum-cancelling. (Nor were the original pickups I swapped out) To improve resistance to hum shield your pickup cavity with copper foil. I tried it and the amount of hum I get from electrical interference is much reduced making these much more viable and the cost saving over Stk4s well worth it.

Edit 2021: Pic added of the back of the packaging confirming these are SSL1s (and the spurious comment about pole spacing!)
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.MLJ.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best after market pickups for sure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2021
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