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Best pups on a ST-50? Let's hear it!
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Eigil
Sus4add11


Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 38
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 12:24 pm    Post subject: Best pups on a ST-50? Let's hear it! Reply with quote

I have tried a gorgeous sparkle red ST-50 (w/maple neck "C" shaped and the pre cbs look) with two different sets of pups on the same great guitar. There was the Lace Sensor Golds and a set of "Kinman Hx" The Kinman Hx set sounded awsome, or even better! My ears were in heaven with that set! That set of Kinmans was designed to sound like Hank Marvins guitar, and I must say it does! However when putting 009s on, instead of 012s, there will be a slight differense in punch and so on. Hank plays with his strings were high, and heavy gauge strings. Any way, that pickup setting just blew those golds away! When adding a little overdrive, the pups acted just fine, but one could hear that they were better at the clean sound, when going past 12 o' clock on the gain. I wonder how the traditionals or the blues set would sound!

Well, that there was just my little erruption, now let's hear yours!
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tokaigeezer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2002
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I have kept the Tokai pickups in my AST-56 and in my Silver Star as I find them to be very, very good. They are of course far less hot than the Van Zandts I needed to put in my Fender Squier (the Fenders were kind of duds) but the Tokai pickups are quite good with some subtle qualities to them that will take some time for me to fully explore. I don't use pedals much as I consider them to be little tone-suckers , although I do use a volume pedal sometimes, and if in the mood, a Dan-Echo which ain't half bad with its 1.5 usable sound(s). But me, I like the sound of a good tube amp, clean and slightly distorted. :?)

If you are looking for the real deal Stevie Ray sound, I've heard that the Kinmans and also the Lindy Fralins are outstanding.

But for my money, I like the Van Zandts. The original Mr. Van Zandt in Texas allegedly custom wound a replacement pickup for SRV after he broke off a pickup wire, and Stevie was reportedly thrilled with the new VZ. So I went whole hog and bought a set, with the optional Bluescaster wiring options, from Torres Engineering:

www.torresengineering.com

and found them to be dead on, even in a Fender Japanese Squier (underrated guitar). Torres puts a midboost in the first tone control that fattens up the sound like the butcher's dog. They were really expensive, about $300 mounted on a new pickguard, more than I paid for the fershlugginer guitar itself, but worth it. With the hopped-up Squier and the AST-56 and the Silver Star plus the Hendrix Tribute Strat, I have a really wide tone range of Strat tones that works for me.

Now if I can just control my *&%#$@?? Tokaitis!!
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tokaigeezer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2002
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oops

Just checked the abovementioned Torres site and it appears Dan Torres no longer carries Van Zandts, and is instead offering his own Torres pickups, apparently, in their place. The Torres pickups seem to rate pretty high, though. Perhaps he has cloned them, to what degree I do not know, but Torres is a reputable firm and carries Fralins, Rio Grandes and Duncans, all available in bluescaster wiring harness mode.

Another source for Van Zandts:

http://www.gaspedal.com/vanzan.htm

Hopefully the boys in Texas are still making them
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Lee
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried them all, (Lindy Fralin too) and agree that the Van Zandts are great pickups with bags of tone.

I have the Torres custom set in my Reverend and my Jap reissue Strat.

See my thread on 'Reverend' guitars in the General Guitars section on this site.

Happy soldering!
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cornelius bonobo
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Joined: 18 Mar 2002
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Location: UK (Essex)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I notice a few Van Zandt references here and I wanted to get some feedback as I have a set of these. I've got 2 vintage+ (neck and middle) and a blues in the bridge. As they are my first brush with aftermarket pickups I wanted to get some other opinions. Whilst I love this set totally, they are quite dark sounding. So what would be a good alternative to get that Hendrixy /Frusciante cleaner, less overwound sound for my other strat? Or am I hearing a difference that doesn't exist. For me the strat is the only guitar that matters, but I want a Hendrixy sounding strat as well as a SRV sounding one(which is what the VZs do brilliantly). The VZs aren't quite as bright and chicky chicky (you know what I mean) as I want for other strat sounds. Would the VZ True Vintages be the way to go or are there other suggestions.
I know that Hendrix would have had a reverse magnet stagger, but beyond that his pickups don't seem to drive the amp as hard. Compare openings to both Hendrix and SRV versions of Little Wing to see what I mean.
Wow this seems like a massive stack of BS but anyone's comments will be read with interest.
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Eigil
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Joined: 22 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 5:15 pm    Post subject: Kinman Woodstocks Reply with quote

You want Hendrix aye?
Then I suggest you have a look at the Kinman Woodstocks "unaged" pickups. They should give you just what you are looking for, and that classic 50's strat tone when needed. They are expencive though...
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Lee
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to suggest the Fralin Woodstock 69's. I had a set on a Chandler Strat. The pickups are reverse wound. The Chandler also had a flipped headstock (left handed neck) on the body.

There was some initial problems with the break angle over the nut on the bass side, but the tone was right. Neck was too big for me though

The whole Hendrix-Hog you might say.
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apmechling
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Joined: 25 Apr 2002
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Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys -

I've been busy for a while and haven't gotten a chance to write recently - looks like there's a lot of good new topics I'll have to check out.

What's funny about pickup selection is that there are 3 types of Tokai pickups - the E series (Dimarzios) on ST-65 strats and up, the U series (Tokais) on ST60s, and the V series I haven't had yet.

The U series sometimes have cloth wiring which is very cool, and are, in my opinion, the BEST pickups you can get for vintage tone. It's good for me, too, because in Japan here, the ST-80s now sell for over their original price, so you have to pay big bucks to get them, but the ones with the best pickups, the U series, have a nice warm vintage tone, and the guitars they are on are awesome, too, and cheaper since they may be ST-60s or below. I have 2 bookmatched 2-Tone Sunburst ST-60 strats with cloth wiring that have ash bodies that are both over 100 years old, if you count the ring on the wood

I wouldn't pay anything for any other pickups - I think the U series Tokais have the best tone of anything out there, plus they are 20 years old almost, too, so they are truly vintage now, and sound like it.
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Watto
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Joined: 01 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Black Goldstar came with Duncan hotrails so I changed them For Kinman Blues.These are awesome pups and easily give you a Texas vibe without the noise.I wired them up and plugged them in and thought they didn't work as I couldn't hear anything,So i turned up the amp an touched the strings and nearly blew my head off,They really are that quiet.
I was so impressed I put Kinman Traditionals into my 83 Squier and they give the vintage twang.Chris has definitely nailed the tone exact with these pups.

To those who think they are rather expensive I say "you can't put a price on tone,Once you hear them you'll stop looking for any other pups"

Rock on
Watto
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tokaiguy
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Joined: 09 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The story about VanZant helping out Stevie Ray is true, Rene Martinez was the house repair man at Charly"sGuitar Shop in Dallas and became SRV's tech, and Van was a fixture at the store in the early days. I have the True vintage VZ's in a AST 62' and the Tokai V's in the rest of the strats and have to say I like the factory pup's for clarity and singing tone. Also I set all my Strats up with a little float at the trem with 3 springs and that makes a big change in the overall tone! I had some blocked and some with 4 springs flush, the sound was a bit harsh when driven...I'm back to Float'n! TGIF and Daylight Savings! TG
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Eigil
Sus4add11


Joined: 22 Jan 2003
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure whether I should buy VanZandt ROCK pickups, or Kinmans. I want the singlecoil sound, however with enough output and tone to play rock'n roll. My stock Tokai pickups are really great though they don't have enough clarity and sound a little muddy. Could have hotter output and better sustain too. Please help!
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tokaiguy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be the rosewood slab on the 62'with VZ's, but it has a darker tone than the 56'with the stock pup's. Have you tried the Texas Specials from Fender? All the guys who are SRV freaks use them here in Dallas!TG
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

null

Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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cornelius bonobo
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eigil,
Just my two pennies, but more output won't give you better clarity.
If that's what you're really after then go for weaker pickups. The hotter they're wound the more mids you get. The Vz rocks are quite warm and middly. You should try the Vintage + which are rated at about 6.7K which is pretty hot for a strat. They give a great balance between clarity and power and are hot enough to push an amp into overdrive nicely.
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Eigil
Sus4add11


Joined: 22 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of like the thought of having both the vintage dire straits sound, and still being able to nail those rock/metal overdrive sounds. What I really need to know is how the VZ ROCKs sound, and if they kill those vintage qualities that I long to play. I would give much to get hold of a set of Kinman Traditionals. Those should give me strat tone, done deal... I play through a Fender Twin Reverb II and some really great Carl Martins and botique pedals. I can't afford a Les Paul at this point, however am purchasing a used Maple neck Tokai strat from the "7okai"-era. I hope it'll give me that chunky C shaped neck and the trebly tone. It has the CAR finish. That new guitar, and the 62'ish Tokai Strat from 84 should keep me going for a while.
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