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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Replacing SRV Strat Pickups


United States

Nov 10th, 2016 03:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

So this is a great guitar, sounds great, feels great and is one of the highest quality strats I've played. That said I feel and have felt like the pickups could be improved, as the TX Specials sound kind of compressed, almost like a tube-screamer is on all the time. I don't like that quality. I want and have wanted a smoother, more airy tone, and after listening to a couple clips I decided to buy the fat 50's pickups.

I had debated the 57/62's but after watching a comparison I decided for the fat 50's. Likewise, I've played the fat 50's before and they're excellent pickups, and hum canceling in 2 & 4. I felt like the 57/62's were kind of dry sounding by comparison at least via youtube.

Anyways, just thought I'd share and if anyone has experience with this I'd appreciate it, and hopefully my predictions are accurate. I know for a fact the fat 50's sound good, and I'd hate to give up hum canceling. Just for reference I play anything from SRV, to The Smiths, to Sex Pistols.


United States

Nov 10th, 2016 11:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

Also just because I had played my guitar minute ago, and man it's such a sad thing. The TX's are so great at having a searing lead sound, but they really just don't cut it with clean stuff. To hot, not enough clarity, etc. But they just snarl and bite with some gain.

Soooo yeah, I'm hoping the fat 50's aren't too dark and still can get into that SRV lead stuff, but just having a nicer more controlled sound. I'll post when they come in for kicks.

Contributing Member


Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
Nov 11th, 2016 07:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you play with a clean tone, those pickups don't sound compressed or like you have a Tube Screamer on.

The very same pickups come in the Mark Knopfler Strat. The Texas Specials are not all that hot or high output really.

You might need a different amp.

Contributing Member

Memphis, TN

Nov 11th, 2016 09:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

A buddy of mine put Texas Specials in one of his guitars, adjusted it as per the Fender standard spec of 8/64ths on the bass side, 6/64ths on the treble and though powerful, definition just wasn't there.

We then dropped them darn near level with the pickguard and viola, they seriously woke up !

You may want to try that before replacement.


United States

Nov 11th, 2016 11:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah I think I'm juat gonna keep them for now. I have a deluxe reverb and I found for clean sounds at fender spec pickup height they sound much cleaner in the low input of the amp instead of high. Also, I thought about it, and why try to make something already good something it's not? The dirty sound is great, and I can work around the clean sound. So yeah, I canceled the fat 50s. I have a tele coming in anyways with low output vintage pickups so I think that'll work for the clean tones if I want something different. If not the srv still sounds fine so I'll just keep using it.

End result, the texas specials are great at what they're designed to do, and I don't wanna ruin that. Plus when playing with my blues jr last night I dialed in a little wing tone that was scary close to the recorded version. That cemented for me that I wanted to keep what I had.

Contributing Member

USA/Taos, NM

Nov 11th, 2016 06:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

"...and viola, they seriously woke up !"

"Viola" is a wooden, stringed instrument slightly larger than a violin.



United States

Nov 11th, 2016 09:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

For anyone interested, I made a little clip that roughly demonstrates what I was talking about. It doesn't sound quite the same because I filmed off axis but you get the idea. Needless to say I'm a happy camper.

(p.s. the recording doesn't do justice, but man it really does nail it closely in person)

Little Wing

(This message was last edited by NHILL1 at 11:06 PM, Nov 11th, 2016)

Contributing Member


Christian Slater
Nov 12th, 2016 08:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

"We then dropped them darn near level with the pickguard and viola, they seriously woke up!"

Ding Ding Ding!

Yep. That's just the ticket when your pickups are barking at you and you'd like a little less-forward sound out of them.

re: "Viola!"

I think that was intended. Proper adjustment of your pickups imparts a smooth violin (or viola) -like quality of tone/response :o)

Modal Magic

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Nov 13th, 2016 05:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

I echo that SRV pups sound very good when lowered. To me they sound very close to '57/'62s. I can only really tell the difference if I directly A/B them.


United States

Nov 14th, 2016 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

I actually prefer mine at fender spec after testing more. I think the tx specials are pretty bright as is the 57/62, but I've never played the 57/62's in person, whats' the difference Modal?

Modal Magic

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Nov 15th, 2016 05:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

From memory (because I haven't played the guitars for around six months) the Tx Specials are slightly more compressed. To get a more open vintage tone when I turn down the volume a notch or two and that's when they sound closer to the '57/'62s. I'd really have to have both sets of pups to play to give a hopefully more accurate description and I wont be able to do that for another month or so.

Tx Specials are very versatile IMO. They handle vintagey clean to distortion very well. I find '57/'62s are best from clean to overdriven.


United States

Nov 15th, 2016 10:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Modal, that seems fairly accurate to what I've heard from others. I may try the 57/62's some day, I just can't stand not having hum canceling in 2 & 4. If I find a pair from the 62 reissue strats, I'll buy them on the spot.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Replacing SRV Strat Pickups

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