Not only do pickups offer an amazing way to improve your guitar’s tone, but also to upgrade your entry-level guitar into an excellent one. And if you’re out shopping for the best one, here are the best strat pickups for Blues and Classic Rock:
To get the right tone with your guitar you need to consider installing the best strat pickups. But with a vast selection of pickups out there, choosing the right one can be pretty overwhelming.
To make finding the right one quite easy for you, you need to first decide on the type and whether you’re looking to replace a single pickup or the entire set. The best thing is that there are plenty of superb pickups that you can choose from.
Many of them are sold individually and are specially made for a specific position and others are available in sets of three units.
Strat pickups offered out there vary greatly from their tone, loudness, design, price, and much more. As such, you need to make sure you know exactly what type you want to make finding the right one for you pretty easy.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your guitar or just want to enjoy vintage sound, here are the best Strat Pickups for Blues and Classic Rock that you can choose from for the best experience.
Best Strat Pickups Review
Seymour Duncan California ’50s Strat Pickup Set
Do you love playing classic guitar tones with the modern Stratocaster? The Seymour Duncan’s California SSL-1 set is your ultimate strat pickup. Whether you are into the pure, rich, or warm classic, this set brings out a vintage vibe of the ’50s-era single-coil pickups that define the strat sound of classic rock, blues, rockabilly, pop, or even country music.
Besides, the set provides a better sound, and uses reverse wound middle pickup or reverse polarity. This gives you a focused and enhanced range of timeless classic tones as well as the ability to control noise. Unlike other vintage pickup configuration, the reverse middle pickup offers you a broader range of tonal flexibility. This means that your Strat-style guitar gives you classic 3-position tones while in positions 1, 3, and 5. Additionally, positions 2 and 4 combines the reversed middle pickup with the neck or standard bridge pickup for hum-cancelation, also widely known as the Humbucker.
The flexibility of this Strat Pickup sets it apart from the rest, making it the best choice for most professional guitarists such as Dan Schafer, who plays for Reba McEntire and David Levitt, Shania Twain’s guitarist among others.
What’s more, the core of this Seymour Duncan’s California ’50s is built with authentic hand-ground, sand cast, and Alnico-5 magnets assembled in an incredible right-handed and staggered pattern. The magnets are skillfully combined with vintage materials, including hand-made forbon bobbins and Formvar magnet wire. These pickups are specially designed to give you that sweet and lively high-end flavor to add depth and emotion to your jam.
The set is also ideal for alder, toned ash as well as basswood body instruments and works perfectly with rosewood fingerboards.
Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Pickups
It is almost every guitarist dream to have an amazing sound like Eric Johnson, and with these Eric Johnson Strat pickups signature set, it’s like a dream come true.
Eric Johnson is a legend when it comes to guitar tones, and he clearly understands Strats inside and out. He is not only known for his awe-inducing ability to play different genres, but also as a tone perfectionist, who will do anything to make sure that no engineering, acoustic or electronic failures affect any aspect of his tone.
His determination and perpetual pursuit to perfect his sound led Fender to make his signature set made of three single-coil pickups. The pickups are carefully and skillfully designed to produce the sweet and pleasant tone that EJ is known for. It comes with a mix of Alnico 3 and 5 magnets with staggered pole pieces to deliver a richer and ultra-clear sound with incredible sweet highs and extremely tight lows.
Each Strat pickup is differently built so that each can produce a unique sound. And it boasts a hotter bridge output that retains the much-desired sparkle and shine so you can enjoy a balanced signal across all switching positions. The neck is made of oversized Alnico 3 magnets, and the middle is reverse wound so that it can cancel hum when used in positions 2 or 4.
Another impressive feature of this set is the lack of a string tree on the headstock, which firmly holds the strings against the nut. Instead, it features a deeply rooted headstock with vintage-style staggered tuning keys, which greatly help to reduce string drag as well as enhancing tuning and tremolo accuracy.
Fender Noiseless Pickups Electric Guitar
This hot noiseless Fender pickup is specially designed to provide a warm and crisp single-coil tone with no hum. It utilizes advanced technology but carefully made without losing the quality of the Fender sound.
This set of three features distinctive beveled edges, magnetic wire coated with enamel and Alnico 2 and 5 magnets. These features help produce unmatched clarity and harmony of a vintage pickup but packaged in a “noiseless” set. The set will undoubtedly blow you away; it produces no noise, and you can nail the authentic tone with a lot of ease.
Another impressive feature of this Fender Strat is the versatility of sound it gives across the switch positions. The bridge pickup is designed for higher output and produces a sharper, brighter and more piercing screams at a high gain. On the other hand, the neck pickup gives you that lovely thick, rich, and warm sound with a bluesy feel.
These combinations give you every touch of vintage Strat sound every guitarist could ever want. So, if you are looking for a well-balanced, consistent, and articulate classic strat amplitude and tone, this Fender Noiseless pickup is your perfect match.
Tonerider Classic Blues Strat pickup TRS3
If you are a diehard fan of Blues, watch out for the Tonerider TRS3. This set is one of the best pickups for Blues and nails the grit and spank of the late 60s blues, rock, and southern rock vintage sounds.
The TR3 is the improved and high output version of the TR1 using cutting-edge string technology, which is more accurate and consistent. As a result, it produces a clearer and deeper sound with more punch. Moreover, the set is made with Tonerider’s unique pole-piece magnet array known as “Modifies Vintage Stagger.” These staggered rods are designed to give you that classic Strat vibe and allow for an impeccable string-to-string balance on a wide array of instruments. The laser-cut and hand beveled grey fiberboard flatwork is made to perfection to complete the ’60s vintage look.
The set features a hotter bridge pickup, neck pickup, and a middle reverse wound pickup. Although the set is not noiseless, the middle reverse pickup helps reduce noise. It comes in a vintage push-back wiring, which is pretty easy to install. Besides that, the coil is wound with calibration for an improved and consistent volume balance in all five positions. As such, it produces a fantastic sound, especially in positions 2 and 4.
Additionally, the coils are also tape-bound to avoid damage and are all wax potted to help minimize feedback when using high gain settings. This makes it ideal for playing Blues, Jazz, and Rock, and almost every genre.
Another impressive of this Tonerider set is even if you are an aggressive player, the pickup will still give you the right punch, and you can also play soft, sweet, and mellow sounds.
Overall, TRS3 is a versatile Strat pickup ideal for blues, country, and southern rock tone with a powerful replication of ’60s Blues and classic rock vibe with a minimal hum.
Seymour Duncan Little Bridge Pickup
The Seymour Duncan Little 59 is not the ordinary single-Strat pickup we are all used to. It is a remarkable double coiled set stashed in a little brute design to give the smooth and warm sound of Patent Applied For (PAF) Humbucker replacing the single-coil sized set.
This dual-pickup set certainly works better since it is specially designed to give clear and articulate note signals as well as canceling out the hum. However, since it is not a full-size Humbucker, it might not drive your amp as the full-sized one, but you will marvel at its unique and impressive sound.
The Little 59 comes with an even and dynamic response while the adjustable pole pieces are made to give you the right punch and to adjust the string balance. It also features a four-conductor lead wire that allows you to hook up a switch with ease.
Being a PAF passive-style pickup means that each pickup is uniquely designed in terms of tone and level of output. Besides that, the medium output delivers warm tones of the legendary Gibson PAF, making it ideal for jazz, country, funk, heavy rock, blues, and classic rock. It also works quite well with rosewood and maple fingerboards.
Finding the right strat pickup for your guitar is the first step to getting the right tones. All the strat pickups mentioned above are undeniably some of the best options you can get on the market. Every one of these strat pickups is specially designed to deliver the ultimate tone and balance from your guitar.