Fender Custom Shop Fat ’50s Strat pickups come with all parts needed for installation, including:
Output Rating (Bass/Mid/Treble)
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Fact#1: pickups can't save a bad guitar.
Fact#2: the same pickups will work/sound different in different guitars. Even in the same model, same runs, but different units.
My Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop 1956 Relic (1 piece, light ash body + 1 piece maple neck) loads these pickups from the factory. The guitar is unreal, with a resonance and timber that is not-of-this-Earth. Probably it would sound great with virtually any pickup you'd slap on it, but I won't risk to try. I won't do anything that would alter her tone, and these FAT '50s guys are a big part of it. Couldn't be happier with them.
Again, the guitar (the piece of wood) plays a critical part in the final tone. I tried several '56s, same model, same pickups (FAT '50s), same year, even same runs, and they all sounded different. Yet, all of them sounded fantastic.
I don't know how these pickups would sound on a cheaper guitar, but I'm giving them a 10/10 upon my experience with them. Just the perfect chime, incredible twang, unreal fatness that never gets muddy, rich sparkling harmonic content, and perfect cut-thru-the-mix. The bridge pickup is super-usable by itself, full and musically pleasant, no need to use the tone control at all (just like in the good ole' Tellys). To me this fact speaks by itself.
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I bought a 2012 strat this time last year, which has the fat 50s, and as soon as I tried it at a gig i knew something wasnt right, no strat tone came through on the neck pickup as soon as you put some overdrive with it, it sounds harsh and farty. The middle and bridge do sound ok, but for my tone these pickups aint good, I play lots of john mayer and blues and they dont suit it. So now i've got to shell out another 200 quid on changing them, its been in its case since i bought it, I've been using my classic player and my korean Squier which blows every strat i've ever tried out the water.
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