Fender or Boutique comparisons to E series pickups

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guitarz4fun
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Fender or Boutique comparisons to E series pickups

Post by guitarz4fun » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:19 am

I like the tone of the E stamped pickups. Are there any threads or comments on tone comparisons to actual Fender or Boutique builders models.
Seems like the grey bottoms, coil wire, and DC resistance stack up close to the Fender '69 pickups. They sound brighter and sparkle more than '69's though in my comparisons. Has anyone A-B against other pickups and have a close comparison sound wise in the same body and neck combination ie: Alder/Rosewood or Ash/Maple?

stratman323

Post by stratman323 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:05 am

Es are the weakest & brightest of all the Tokai Strat pickups, they tend to measure 5.5k to 5.6k. Us are around 6.1k to 6.2k. Es are too thin and bright for me, though many players who like a clean sound tend to love them. Many people will agree that they don't overdrive that well, though some will disagree. They tend to come in ash (or sen) bodied guitars, which makes them sound even brighter. I haven't tried them in an alder bodied Strat, though I suspect the alder would mellow the tone out a bit.

In comparison to the pickups on the Fender US 62 RI Strats, they sound weak and thin, to my ears. Personally I would prefer a set of Seymour Duncan Vintage or Alnico II pickups.

But it's all very subjective.....

Mike

makaze
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Post by makaze » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:17 pm

Stratman, i wish you'd do a you tube vid of the E's playing a song then A/B's with whatever is tickling your nidgits pup wise. It'd be cool to hear this difference. I am getting eager to try some other pups thanks to you, I was much more content in my E pups or gods world.

I've got an alder st-80 with E pups, be good to see what you made of it, pretty boring body to be honest compared to a lot of sens, it feels a very serious guitar, like it only want top quality riffs played on it, scared of playing my crappy indie riffs on it, whereas my silverstars love em.

Goestoeleven
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Post by Goestoeleven » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:11 am

One of my Fenders has Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II's in it. From 1985.

They sound very much like the "E" stamped Tokais.

As others have said, they're quite a delicate tone and don't overdrive that well. I'd like to replace them with Lace Sensors like in my other Strats ultimately.

The DiMarzio FS-1 (As used by Mark Knopfler on the first Dire Straits album) are on my list of things to look for on Ebay too.

All depends on what style of music you play and what amp you're using in the end as to whether or not they're any good for you.
Last edited by Goestoeleven on Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"My guitar is definitely a P**** extension. I play with it behind locked doors for my own amusement"

stratman323

Post by stratman323 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:41 am

makaze wrote:Stratman, i wish you'd do a you tube vid of the E's playing a song then A/B's with whatever is tickling your nidgits pup wise. It'd be cool to hear this difference. I am getting eager to try some other pups thanks to you, I was much more content in my E pups or gods world.

I've got an alder st-80 with E pups, be good to see what you made of it, pretty boring body to be honest compared to a lot of sens, it feels a very serious guitar, like it only want top quality riffs played on it, scared of playing my crappy indie riffs on it, whereas my silverstars love em.
:lol: You should never let a guitar intimidate you, however good it is! If it doesn't do what you need a guitar to do, it's no good, whatever it cost.

I wouldn't know where to start with doing a vid for YouTube I'm afraid, I'm not good with that kind of stuff. Anyway, I don't want everyone to see me messsing my playing up.... :(

Besides, I don't think it would really be much use - you can't detect the subtle nuances in different pickups through the crappy speakers that 95% of us have on our PCs. You don't really get those subtle differences at living room volumes anyway - it's at gigging volume that different pickups make the difference, in my opinion.

I was chatting to my mate about this yesterday - he wants to get new pickups to replace the VIs in the Goldie ST55 he bought from me. He's interested in Texas Specials (he's basically a rock player), but I haven't tried TSs in an alder bodied Tokai - they may not work as well as they do in my sen bodied ST80. So it will be interesting to try them if he does get a set. Pickups can sound very different when fitted to different guitars.

Personally, I don't think the Duncan Vintage pickups are like Es. I have a couple from the 80s, & they read 6.6 to 6.7k - a fair bit more than Es. Their top end sounds smoother as well, to my ears.

Dave_Mc
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Post by Dave_Mc » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:57 am

i think i have Es in an alder goldstar (maple neck)... nice cleans, not too keen on the overdrive- heavier overdrive, anyway.

guitarz4fun
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Post by guitarz4fun » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:27 am

I changed the pots to CTS 250's and this opened up the sound of the E's quite well. I was suprised that the Tokai pot values in my guitar were only 150 - 160K when measured once out of my guitar. Does anyoe know if this is a common trait of the Japanese pots that should be 250K as marked? The CTS pots were all at 250K +/- 5K the Tokai's are
250K + 0 / - 145K on average for this set. This does effect the tone quite a bit, so just wondering what others on the forum have experinced with the higher end strats with U's, E's, or V's for pickups. Are the pots the weak link in some less than stellar sounding guitars and this could be a possible fix without junking the pickups???

stratman323

Post by stratman323 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:34 am

Interesting theory. Here's where I show my ignorance - how do you use a multmeter to measure pots? All I know how to do with it is to measure pickup resistance!

:oops:

njnall
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Post by njnall » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:41 pm

Hi Mike

Try these links:-
http://www.ladyada.net/library/metertut/resistance.html

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh2cQCLie5A

If you are testing a pot connected to a pup & grounded, let me know and I'll post additional information courtesy of Dan Erlewine.

Goestoeleven
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Post by Goestoeleven » Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:02 pm

You'll need to measure them disconnected to get an accurate reading. Obvious really, but a resistor connected to an inductor will have different readings to one measured on its own.

I'm not sure how much difference it'll make to be honest. In the "10" position the pot will be pretty much by-passed anyway.
"My guitar is definitely a P**** extension. I play with it behind locked doors for my own amusement"

guitarz4fun
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Post by guitarz4fun » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:57 am

I guess the best judgement on the quality of the E pickups would be how close are they in sound to actual early 1960's strat pickups. Has anyone had the opportunity to play side by side with real vintage pickups and compare?

brad347
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Post by brad347 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:35 am

guitarz4fun wrote:I changed the pots to CTS 250's and this opened up the sound of the E's quite well. I was suprised that the Tokai pot values in my guitar were only 150 - 160K when measured once out of my guitar. Does anyoe know if this is a common trait of the Japanese pots that should be 250K as marked? The CTS pots were all at 250K +/- 5K the Tokai's are
250K + 0 / - 145K on average for this set. This does effect the tone quite a bit, so just wondering what others on the forum have experinced with the higher end strats with U's, E's, or V's for pickups. Are the pots the weak link in some less than stellar sounding guitars and this could be a possible fix without junking the pickups???
YES.

The pots in my ST-80 were the same. I changed them yesterday.

The tone pots were 140k and 160k, and the volume was a scant 120k(!) :o

Got some nice CTS pots, the 'special' run made for Mojo Musical Supply, and a vintage Sprague Vitamin Q in there.

Can't report on the improvement on this particular guitar as it's all taken apart right now, but I've done similar swaps on other guitars and it really brought them to life. Apples to oranges, but I had an 80s Gibson with 250k volume pots and 100k tone pots(!!!). Put correct 500k pots all around and it was like a blanket was removed from the amp.

I'm thinking of getting some Don Mare pickups for my ST-80, but I'm honestly gonna see how these E pickups sound with nice pots/cap first. The output jack also leaves something to be desired, and I changed it for a Switchcraft.

It's taken apart right now because I'm actually building a swamp ash body for it. Saving all the original parts of course.

bluejeannot
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Post by bluejeannot » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:29 am

Dave_Mc wrote:i think i have Es in an alder goldstar (maple neck)... nice cleans, not too keen on the overdrive- heavier overdrive, anyway.
If they are stamped E they are Es.What do you have in your Goldie Dave?.You don`t sound too sure.Gabe.
bluejeannot

Dave_Mc
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Post by Dave_Mc » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:38 pm

actually, i think they might be Us. I'd need to take the scratchplate off to see, that's the problem. chronic laziness... :lol:

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