Fender Strat Pickup change.


Well-Known Member

I have now two strats, one American Standard strat (that sounds amazing) and another strat, aparently japanese made. This japanese strat will soon undergo a big morphing process, including a pickup change. I want a versatile guitar with a maximum sound options (smth like Muse). I was planning to get a sustainer in the neck position and a Dimarzio Super Distortion S in the bridge position. I might close off the middle area with a pickguard. Now the question is: is there anything else I should think about, maybe another pickup story that might help, a brand, an idea, you name it.

Thanks a lot!!

Matt uses Bareknuckle pickups - you could always get a custom pickguard routed for a humbucker and drop the requisite model in there (I'm sure he uses a Warpig but I could be wrong). Failing that, just get a "Sinner" model single coil for maximum output?

Depends how much output you want and if you require a single coil or stacking humbucker I guess....


Well-Known Member
The pickguard is no problem, I'll still need to find an idea for the colour and shape, I'll see. The pickup I want shouldn't have too much output, but is definitely going to be a humbucker. Except for matt using those bareknuckle pickups, any idea how they sound (personal experience)?
They sound like Satan coughing a molten fireball into the world.

Nah, they weren't around when I was playing so everything is anecdotal at best - however I know Matt's have LOTS of output. Crazy amounts. If you prefer something milder I would still look at BKP but choose something less extreme.


Does not have the same opinion!
Actually Bellamy uses his yamaha pacifica telecaster a lot, with two PAFish humbuckers in it, that sound extra clear because of the tele shape and alder body. It's the greatest cheap guitar known to mankind (well, atleast to me :D ) because it has a particularly pronounced "woody" tone, even more than the fender teles.
The super distortion is a great pickup, but it is pretty much limited to the iron maiden sound, if you run it too clean, it will sound a bit awkward. A sustainer is a gimmick that is useful for superlead shredding, the dimarzio evolution comes to mind in that respect, rather than the super distortion.

A versatile humfree strat with classic tones and some bite for heavy work could be a DiMarzio Area58 neck, an area61 middle and a PAFPro bridge on a separate tone pot, but there are many possibilities, also in seymour duncan, maybe check out the hot rails pickups for the bridge, they have a ceramic magnet and can do razorsharp metal as well as mellow jazz. I use the Hot Rails for Tele myself for a long time already and they are amongst my absolute favorite pickups, they have the response and the sensitivity of an active pickup, and incredible sustain (nothing beats the sustains of the SD rails! these pickups have the least string pull of any passive pickups I know because of the exquisite shape of the blades and the small formfactor), and they have an indecent amount of warm but hefty midrange piercing power for mindblowing leads if you want to, and the output power to drive just about any amp into metal distortion (they can make my modeling preamp input clip more than EMG's if at minimal useful string distance, not joking!). Also a very nice axe is the fender lonestar strat, which has two texas specials in it and a SD pearly gates. You can recreate the tonal possibilities of this guitar by using a SD pearly gates and two DM Area67's for instance, the latter have the bite of the texas specials, but with more warmth and without the disgusting hum. :D I also have a few strats with the EMG SL20 set in it, that I've used for gigging for more than 10 years now, and it is just about the most useful versatile set for playing live when you want the advantages of active pickups.


New Member
I'm using a Seymour Duncan Hotrail in my bridge for my strat and I'm loving it =) So I'd recommend you to at least look at them ^^;