• Fender Custom Shop 69 pickups review

    Review updated 4 January 2009

    I have always preferred that classic single coil tone. From Hank Marvin to Jimi Hendrix to David Gilmour… the unique tone defines a genre and style and today the search for the vintage flavours are stronger than ever. I’ve been using Fender Custom Shop 69s for awhile and I’ve found my tone.

    Deciding which pickups to get is like buying stomboxes for your pedal board. It’s a matter of sorting out the gear you already have and what kind of tone you want. Vintage style single coils are – in my opinion – the most versatile pickups but they’re not for everyone. Especially if you’re more into hard core metal than classic 70’s rock. I’ve seen some mixed reviews and some of the cons are that the 69s can be a bit too bright or doesn’t have enough output but that’s the nature of vintage style single coils. Make the needed adjustments on your amp and pedals and make sure that the height on the pickups are correct and you should experience a much better tone.

    What I wanted was something close to David’s Animals and On an Island/Remember that Night tones and the CS69s captures the power and edge of both eras. Originally, David’s Black Strat had stock Fender late 60’s pickups. These were replaced in 1972 by a set of Fender 1971 pickups – both on which the CS69s are based on and later in 1979 David replaced the bridge pickup with a custom Seymour Duncan SSL-1, which is basically a hotter version of the CS-54 but again very similar to the CS69s.

    – This clip is recorded at home using just the internal mic on my iMac. Not ideal but you’ll get the idea. Setup: CS69 pickups > Boss CS-2 > Boss BD-2 (modified) > Maxon OD808 > Boss DD-2 > Marshall 5210 amp.
    Check out my Youtube Channel.

    The CS 69s has a typical scooped mids tone with crystal clear top and a well balanced lower end. The transparent tone and the fairly low output makes them ideal for keeping your clean tone clean and they blend nicely with most pedals. Compared to the CS54, the 69s has a bit more bass but they’re very similar. I think I would go for CS69 on bright sounding guitars with alder or basswood bodies and CS54 on ash bodies for a bit brighter tone. The 69s nails most of David’s tones and you can easily create some convincing PULSE tones with these too.

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134 Responsesso far.

  1. JCL says:

    Hey Bjorn
    I wired neck/middle 69s with ssl5 bridge and blender pot, the 1st position neck sounds a lot brighter than the 2nd position, which seems odd to me. Do you have any suggestions on wiring this set up? I used Lindy Fralins blender pot layout. Cheers!

  2. leo says:

    hi bjorn,

    first of all, congrats for your job and many thanks for giving us the chance to share with you our passion for mr. gilmour, really…

    i bought a cs69 pu set and, before installing it, i’m asking if an ssl-5 would be definitely better than a cs69 in bridge position, considering my gear is really entry level (classic 50’s strat, fender frontman 25r ampli and boss me-50 pedalboard).
    i mean, i know the ssl-5 is “it”, but i could feel a real difference (from the cs69) with my gear? worth it?

    another little question about the cs69 positioning installation… the correct position is:
    -less powerful resistance at neck, more powerful at middle and middle powerful at bridge
    or
    -less powerful resistance at neck, middle powerful at middle and more powerful at bridge?

    thanks again for your help, regards.
    leo

    [Sorry for the late reply Leo. Whether or not the SSL5 is IT is up to your and your ears. Personally I prefer it in the bridge position in combo with CS69s neck and mid. It’s very similar to the 69 with a bit more output and a slightly warmer tone, which is nice for those fat lead tones. The 69s has a classic transparent bright tone with lots of fat lower end. Great for David’s Black Strat tones. Keep in mind that you need to reverse the connections on the SSL5 when you install it. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  3. Sebastien says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Talking about that vintage style single coil pups, I’ve recently shielded the inside pups cavities on my strat.

    Have you also covered the back of the pickgaurd with adhesive copper foil? Or only the pup cavities? And what about the jack input cavity? The back plate ?

    Do you have some close up pictures of the shielding in your strat?

    Regards,
    sebastien

    [I’ve only covered the pickup cavity. You don’t need to shield the back or input cavity. – Bjorn]

  4. Adam says:

    Martin,

    I share your view on the SSL5. I replaced mine in the bridge with a DiMarzio FS-1 (same pickup Gilmour used from ’77 – ’79). In my Strat (a MIM Classic 50’s with Alder ply wood body and thick poly finish), I find that the FS-1 cuts through a lot clearer, and also retains the classic Strat tone a lot better than the SSL5. Middle + Bridge still gets the classic “quack” which went missing with the SSL5. I am using CS69’s in the middle and neck. I am still trying to find the right balance of height with the ’69 in the neck…haven’t quite got “the tone” yet…

  5. Martin says:

    I tried to do my own black strat – cs 69 + cs 69 + ssl 5.
    It seems to me, as if i am the only one who really does NOT like the ssl5 – I soon replaced it with a ssl1. the ssl5 was too “overpowered”, less treble, boomy. the sound was terrible if i did not roll down the guitar volume.
    first i tried a cs69 in the neck-position, but i replaced it with a fat50, which sounds great if it is set really (!) high on treble side and really (!) low on bass side.

  6. Mike says:

    I need some help on pickup selection…. I like the jimi hendrix and david gilmour clean tone but i like the overdrive tone of SRV and john mayer. I feel that texas specials are just too hot to play those warm rhythms and other pickups aren’t hot enough.i dont know what pickup would be the perfect medium. any help would be appreciated :)

    [I don’t think the TS are too hot. They have a bit more mids than the CS69s but other than that they’re almost identical. The CS69s has a bit more top perhaps. You could also try the Fat 50s, which are somewhere between. Personally I prefer the CS69s with a Tube Screamer or Fulltone OCD for Mayer/Vaughan tones. – Bjorn]

  7. Well… all right my friend.
    I know about the limitations of the amp i’m using. Really not expecting it to perform like a top one.
    But i forgot to mention that the same problem occured in a friend’s Marshall too.
    Considering that the Marshall was not a tube one, maybe the same issue occurs.
    Anyway, the tips about the amps will certainly help. I’m looking for a tube amp in a good price range and your considerations came in the right hour.
    As i said, if i discover whats going on, i tell.
    Thanks a lot again.
    Marcelo.

    [It’s always hard to pin down the problem when I haven’t tried the rig. It could be a number of possible issues. I think the amp is the biggest issue and I think you’d be much happier with say a Laney Cub 15w or similar but the amp’s settings, you pedal setup and settings, cables, string height and lots of other tings can cause dead tones, buzz and crackle. – Bjorn]

  8. Hi Bjorn.
    I’m using a Roland Cube 60w. The clean set is a Jazz Chorus emulation in this amp.
    I’ve made a test with the guitar direct through the amp, eliminating my rig, and the problem persists.
    What i have noticed, is if i roll down the tone knob a bit… just to cut the highs a little, the problem seems to decrease.
    This Strat came from the factory with 500k knobs, both for tone and volume.
    Maybe i’m having a conflict between the PUs and the electronics in it.
    I’ll keep testing.
    If i manage to figure out whats going on with it, i tell ya. Maybe the experience will be usefull for someone else.
    Thanks again for your attention.
    Marcelo

    [I think the “problem” is your amp. Not the guitar. The 500k pots works fine with CS69. Roland Cube is a decent amp but it has its obvious limitations and you can’t expect it to perform as clean and pristine as a Roland Jazz Chorus or a large tube stack just because it has a preset that says so. The Cube series and similar amps from other brands are designed with price and options in mind – not nesseceraly a powerful punchy clean tone. I’m not trying to be rude but I’d consider getting a new amp before buying loads of pedals. Check out this review for some tips on affordable smaller tube amps. Hope this helped. – Bjorn]

  9. Hi There!
    Congratulations for the site. Very good spot for everybody, and not just for floyd or Gilmour fans.
    See, i just bought a cheap Squier Standard Strato and put the Fender Custom Shop 69 set on it.
    But i’m having a problem.
    In the clean channel, through a OCD clone, the notes seens to be overgained, sounding like there are fret buzz mixed.
    It occurs in clean channel too (with no drive), but with less intensity.
    Bjorn, do you have a clue of what’s going on whit my axe?
    The tech has already looked the guitar and there’s no problems with the neck.
    Hope you can help.
    Congratulations again for the site and the sound.
    Best regards from Brasil.
    Marcelo

    [Hard to tell when I haven’t examined your rig. Could be a number of things. First thing that comes to mind though is that you either have one or more bad cables in the chain that might either be broken or that drains too much signal. The other is that the speakers in the amp aren’t pulling their weight properly. Low wattage speakers can often sound harsh even when the amp is set for a clean tone. Also, be careful with applying too much mid range to your tone. What amp are you using? – Bjorn]

  10. Dan says:

    Nice review!!
    I want to get a fuzz pedal. After my rather bad experience with a Big muff pi with tone wicker, I am considering to get one of the following pedals: blackout effectors musket fuzz, MI Audio GI or Neo Fuzz, BYOC Large beaver or the Analog Man sun face.
    They all cost about the same down where I live. If you had to choose one, what would it be?
    Cheers

    [What was the problem with the Tone Wicker? Why didn’t you like it? The reason why most people doesn’t like their Muff is because it doesn’t fit the guitar/pickups and amp. If that’s the case I don’t think that any of the pedals you mention above will sound good. I do agree though that both the Musket Fuzz and Leager Beaver sound way better than the Wicker. Keep in mind that the GI, Neo and Sun Face are fuzz pedals. Not to be confused with a Muff. The Large Beaver is by far my favourite but check out this article for some distortion tone tips. – Bjorn]

  11. sebastien says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Hello Bjorn,

    I recently bought the custom shop 6ç set.
    Going to install them in my strat. I’m about to order some shielded wire for the ground connexions and copper foil for the inside cavities and the back of the pickguard. Did you use back adhesive copperfoil or foil painting in your strat?
    What did you do with the shielded wires. did you use normal cloth push back wires for everything ecepet the long wire runs that you ‘ve done with shielded wire?
    What kind of wiring schematic did you use? I’m interested in the Black Strat schematic but can’t find it anywhere. And I don’t know what to do for the ground connections once the copper shielding will be done.
    What kind of caps did you put in your strat? 0.O22 uF or O.O50? ceramic or sprague orange drop?
    At last did you use a base plate for the bridge pickup?

    Regards,
    Thanks for your help!
    Sebastien

    [I didn’t do anything my self… I’m all thumbs when it comes to these things. I know what I want but don’t have the patience to do it :) The copper foil is adhesive. The wires are standard cloth. The pickups wiring is standard for the Fender CS69s (you can find a schematic on the Fender site) and reverse for the bridge Duncan SSL5 as required. There’s ground wires from the pots and back claw to the copper foil. Doesn’t really matter how you do it as long as there’s a couple of connections to ground. No idea on the caps… Sorry. No baseplate. – Bjorn]

  12. Ville says:

    I don´t know if you have seen this, but in this video Seymour Duncan says that in “Have a Cigar” David is playing (if i understand correctly)
    his esquire with pickups that Seymour made.

    [Never seen this before. Thanks! – Bjorn]

  13. Ben says:

    Thank you bjorn, another pickup question…! I have an SSL5 for the bridge and see you wired it back to front with your cs69’s. I am prob going to put SSL1 in neck and middle and don’t know whether to get rwrp middle or not. I’m going to have the blender wiring and it’s got me thinking – with your bridge wired back to front do you get hum cancelling with your gilmour switch engaged? If so I’ll get 2 regular SSL1 and wire the ssl5 back to front to achieve the same with the blender wiring.. ! Hope you see what I mean!
    All the best, ben

    [I’m no expert on pickups wiring so perhaps someone else here can help. I don’t have the mini switch anymore either, so I really can’t tell. Not sure what you mean, but you can’t reverse the SSL5 just to get hum cancelling. With an all Duncan setup, I assume that all three pickups needs to be wired “normally”. Again, I’m no expert. – Bjorn]

  14. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn, I’m building my own ‘blackie’ – quick question about these custom pickups…can you change the covers to an aged white cover – i’m probably going for the cs54s (love the ‘echoes in gdansk’ tone – 54 better than 69?) and it appears they only come with a white cover?
    many thanks for your wonderful site,
    cheers, ben

    [I think the 69s are closer to David’s pickups than the 54s. There’s a subtle difference but the 69s has slightly more bite and fatter lower end. No problem changing the covers. They are loose and easy to swap. – Bjorn]

  15. Andy says:

    Hi Bjorn have you ever tried a cs fat 50 neck pick up insted of the cs69 as i belive the nos black strat has a cs fat 50 in the neck a cs 69 in the middle and of couse the ssl-5 in the bridge.
    Do you know if the pots are 250k of have the been changed to 500k’s ?
    This is a grate site and i have got a lot of gear advice off it over the past few years.
    I have kinman Woodstock plus in my 57 reisue strat but I’m thinking of change to the above mentioned pickups any thoughts.
    Cheers andy

    [The Fat 50 is very similar to the CS69 but it has a bit more mid range and a generally smoother tone. I prefer the 69 for more bite but the Fat 50 is a great pickup. – Bjorn]

  16. Tom says:

    Hi,
    a novice question; if you buy a set of 3 69’s, are they different from one another, or is it just the placement in the body that makes them sound different?

    Thx

    [They don’t need no special placement. It’s very individual though and some PUs require certain positions. In Fender’s the pickups are usually market with a colour sticker. – Bjorn]

  17. Ed says:

    Hi
    I recently replaced my GFS Io1’s with CS 69’s.
    AMAZING, my Strat is an ALL PARTS composed, and I take it the body will be Alder.
    Anyway great tone, and with a a touch of delay an minor chorus it sounds great. Very easy to reproduce Gilmuorish tones.
    I found my PUPs
    (BTW great site)
    Regards
    Ed

  18. ShortBlack9 says:

    I just installed a set of Chris Klein’s 69 pickups… they replaced 69 RIs that I bought when I made my guitar. They sound phenomenal… no I just have to learn to play better. I have purchased his DG (david gilmour) set to try out.

    [Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  19. hey Bjorn…

    i have problmes iwth my guitar… it just doesnt stay tuned!!

    i own a callaham vintage HArdware Kit
    so new tuners new brdige

    the neck has a chea plastic
    nut…

    but you think the nut inlfuences os MUCH!!

    also a strin tree can be bad for tuning.? speciilay the vintage round one…

    also i really think you should get to konow Howard Davis EHX MOD

    Howard DAvis was a ex-Ehc engineer
    the Bucket Brigade DEvice Delay Father…

    great iimprovements to the Ehx Deluxe Memory Man…

    and he offer some great mods to the deluxe meomr man and the electirc mistress
    y really think you should buy the reissue get it modified and compare to you vintage one.
    becasue the mod isexcellentç

    also what a botu a review for the BYOX Large Beaver?¿¿

    [Check out this article on tuning problems. – Bjorn]

  20. Martin Wells says:

    Hi Bjorn! My CS69s are in a draw awaiting the arrival of my Fender but I read that you’ve changed your pots to CTS 250k. Can you let me know the specific model and if its definitely worth changing what comes with my MIM Classic 50s?

    Also, for those worried about the hum, and some on the Fender forum say they get major hum from CS69s, there’s the Electro-Harmonix ‘HumDebugger’ which “absolutely eliminates hum from any audio source” (and is not a noise gate). Check Youtube for some demos.

    [I’m not sure what brand my post are but I assume your guitar has 250k. I replaced mine beacuse they’re not stock on some older models. Noise gates or noise supressors can often do more harm than good and I you do want to use one, you must make sure that it doesn’t suck tone or kill your sustain, which many do. The CS69s will give you some noise but all vintage type single coils will. However, there are many thing you can do to eliminate noise that’s much more effective than using gates. Check out this article for some basic tips. – Bjorn]

  21. Rodrigo Sarzosa says:

    you have a point there,,,
    so

    the CS69 will be better tha the fralins blues specials in most of gilmour “bluesy stuff) kinda shine on your crazy diamond solos?…

    i love that pure pickup sound… at the beggining… wich you think will be better with my hot rod deluxe(stock)

    (Always hard to say unless you do a proper A/B test but my opinion is that the 69s are in general better for replicating David’s 70’s and present tones. – Bjorn]

  22. Rodrigo Sarzosa says:

    yesterday a tired a the CS9, Cs50, and a pair of Vintage Hot and Blues Special by Fralin … all Excelent pickups…

    but Bjorn… the FRalin Set i think is Way more .. i dunno dynamic clear sound better note separation.. thatn the 69.. allthough the 9 is great… have you ever tried Lindy Fralin?

    and why you choose the CS69 over the fralins…

    (Yes I have. Difficult to say why I chose the 69s over the Fralins but I agree with you that they’re sllightly brighter and clearer than the 69s… I guess that’s also why I prefer the 69s. They’re not perfect in the sense that they’ve got some of that vintage dirt and crudeness of the original pickups. – Bjorn)

  23. eyal says:

    im adding a great link that gives you an idea about sounds of pickups cs69 and more

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  24. FretlessJay says:

    i tried to veiw the link but it kept going to a broken link : (

    [Oops! My bad! Please try again. – Bjorn]

  25. FretlessJay says:

    I just recently had a set of these installed. Unfourunately the bridge PUP had an internal problem with it causeing my guitar when switched in bridge posistion to sound like it was being played on a tweed. When my Guitar Repair guy put a peak meter on it, it over loaded the meter (me and him joke that Abigale must of had a spasm when windeing that perticular pick up, heck shes what 87?) but i should be getting it back from the shop soon, I had them order me a Seymoure Duncan SS-L 5 (whats your opinion on those by the way?) to replace the bridge pickup

    [I wrote a mini-review of the SSL5 right after I installed the bridge on my Strat. – Bjorn]

  26. Jose says:

    Hi

    I recently installed a set of this pickups, I know you are not a tech, but you seem to know this pickups perfectly, does your middle pickup has less output and seems less brilliant?, and I even get less hum :), I installed with standard wiring and standard pickup height. Also, how do I get that tone from the outro of Echoes in Live at Pompeii.

    Thank you very much for all the things I found in your incredible site.

    [Thanks! Glad you enjoy my site :) All three pickups should have equal output although the middle can appear slightly darker. Plug your guitar straight into the amp for the cleanest signal possible and test all three main pickup positions and make sure that you have the same volume/output from all. What tone from Echoes do you mean? Check out this article for Echoes details. – Bjorn]

  27. Jan Hyldebrandt says:

    Hi again,

    And thanks for the answer.

    What are the equivalents (if any) if CS69 in Duncans catalogue?

    Best…Jan

    [The SSL pickups are based on the same tone. I guess the SSL1 would be the closest although a little hotter. – Bjorn]

  28. Jan Hyldebrandt says:

    Hello,

    Once again thank you for a brilliant site, and congratulations on Releasing Airbag, it sounds terrific!!!

    I am currently building a Strat and is in the process of finding the pickups for this future beast. I had my sights set in Duncans, but i am growing increasingly tired of the noise, and i just caught a glimpse of you mentioning the Kinmans.

    I was thinking about Kinman Woodstocks but since i havent been able to try them and there sound samples arent that great, could you comment on them?
    Do they have the same dynamics, openness(uncompressed) feel of a “true” singlecoil?

    Best…Jan

    [The Kinman Woodstock is based around the same specs as the Fender CS69, as I’m sure you know. Very similar with less noise. I’ve never had any noise issues with my CS69 but that’s individual for each rig. I prefer vintage style single coils because in my ears the noiseless system in the Kinmans takes away some of that pure vintage flavour. The Kinmans are a bit too clean and neat if you know what I mean and there are tons of things you can do with both your guitar and rig to eliminate noise equally efficient. It’s basically just a matter of taste though… – Bjorn]

  29. Martin Wells says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’ll be getting the MIM Classic 50s Fender strat this year (black pick guard a must!), which I assume comes with CS54-type PUs. You’ve mentioned that the 54s are best for 77-Present (which I play – particularly On an Island material) but you’ve also suggested putting CS69s into the 50s strat. I’ve been reading every comment to help me make up my mind but I still decide! Is it worth changing the standard PUs to 69s?

    All the Best! And keep up the excellent site!

    [All the MIM Classic models have pickups that resembles the originals or the current Custom Shop models. The Classic 50’s PUs are has the same “flavour” as the CS54 but far from the rich character and dynamics of hand made PUs. Whether you should go for CS54 or 69 is a matter of taste. I love both but I think I’m heading towards the 69s as my favourites. They have a bit more lower end and a typical scooped mids tone. The 54s has a bit more treble and mid range. – Bjorn]

  30. Dave A says:

    cheers mate,that does it

  31. Dave A says:

    Hi bjorn hows things over your side.ok here goes just read this whole review top to bottom,again.Now im not moaning i might add but i am still indicisive. Question for ya, 5210, dynacomp, green russian, rat 2,maxon 808, bd2 mod, mistress deluxe, dd20…..now then my friend 54s or 69s. hehe ,well….songs trying to play, soycd, c num .time. echoes. ok give it to me my friend hehe

    [CS69s… no doubt :) – Bjorn]

  32. Anthony Szwec says:

    Hello Bjorn.

    I recently bought a near mint 2008 Fender MIM Classic 70 Stratocaster off of Ebay that has Custom 69s installed. Although they don’t have the output like my other Strats, I really like the tone out of these things.

    I also opened the guitar and shielded the cavity and pickguard to help curb some of the 60 hz hum. MGC-841 MG Chemicals Super Shield Conductive Coating does the trick. I recommend it to all guitar techs and hobbyists.

    There seems to be some misunderstanding on these pickups as to whether or not the middle pickup is reverse wound. As far as I can tell, the middle pickup is not reversed wound. No hum cancelling in positions 2 and 4. Not on my set anyway. But, I don’t care, the guitar plays like a dream and sounds fantastic. It is my favourite guitar.

    If it wasn’t for this article I wouldn’t have bid on the guitar.

    I wanted to thank you. Cheers.

    [Thanks Anthony and congratulations with your new guitar (and tone)! – Bjorn]

  33. Greg M says:

    I had the ’69 custom shop pickups in a Fender Custom Shop ’69 NOS strat that I bought awhile ago. They are very nice. I mean, they are just so different from say, humbuckers. Some people who play Les Pauls, for example, have picked up the 69 strat and feel it doesn’t have enough punch. That’s because it doesn’t hide anything in your playing and doesn’t pull you along with the high output. You have to push THEM. But the sparkle is brilliant and there is nothing like a single coil for that. With the high out put pups you lose some transparency. The lower output pups are like a palate that you can add colors and flavors to. And when need be, they scream with a boost and some fuzz or an OD. I sold the guitar because I wanted to get a Fender Japan ’68 and save some money. I wanted to mod it up and get it to the level of a custom shop strat but with what I want. Your site is awesome and is really helpful not only for Floyd/Gilmour tips and info but just lots of good stuff in general for the electric guitarist. Thanks alot, bud! Keep it goin’!

    [Thanks Greg! I’m not a big fan of humbuckers but then again, you can’t really argue taste. But I agree that the 69s are very honest and transparent, – leaving your guitar tone clean in the sense that they’re incredibly easy to use with most type of pedals and amps. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  34. Phil says:

    Bjorn, thanks for your response to my above post, thinking about it, maybe the pickups in the EJ arnt best for Gilmour, because Eric has a very bassy smooth tone.Are the CS 69’s the most versatile of the selection of Gilmourish pickups??? Do they get that Pompeii, The Wall and something similar to the PULSE tones with some added mids??

    Many thanks :)

    Phil

    [To my ears the CS69 are the most versatile for David’s tones. They’re the closest match to the ones in his Black Strat in the 70’s – which are in the neck and middle positions today – and by adding some mid range boost or using pedals like a Tube Screamer and RAT you get the best from both worlds. I also recommend replacing the CS69 bridge with a SSL1 or 5 for a bit more meat. – Bjorn]

  35. Paul S. says:

    Hi Bjorn – those CS69s sound great, I’ll have to try them out if / when I get a new strat. With my current strat I’ve installed Kinman Woodstock Plus. Have you heard about / tried these? I heard lots of good things about them, then the Kinman site reported that David insalled a set of Kinman Woodstock Regular in one of his strats, and it pushed me over the edge to buy a set. They sound real nice, but I’m not sure if they’re AS gilmour-esce as the CS69s?

    [The Woodstocks are based on the same tone as the CS69 so they’re very similar. I prefer the 69s but that’s apples and oranges really. – Bjorn]

  36. Phil says:

    hi Bjorn

    Have you had any experience with the Fender EJ guitar? most importantly its pickups. I am using them at the moment, and to my ears, dont sound that great for Floyd stuff. After say the 15th fret on all strings, there is a harsh tone, imagine a lot of distortion trying to be pushed thru a small space, it doesnt sound open – which is what im trying to go for. I use a Blues deluxe reissue, AA Green Russian, and I have a Tube Driver on order – what do you suggest I try to ‘open’ up the sound

    Hope that made some sense :)

    Phil

    [It’s been a while since I’ve tried the guitar but I think it has custom made pickups in it with a tone very similar to the 57/62s and the ones that are in the MIM and US standard Strats with the beveled poles. These are bit boomy for David’s tone in my opinion. Too much bass and mids so you might want to replace them with CS69 or Duncan SSL1 or similar for a more authentic Gilmour tone. – Bjorn]

  37. Bjorn, how are you? A while back on this posting (March 29, 2007 at 5:54 am) I asked you about your opinions about the Fender Fat 50’s, the Dimarzio Area ’58 & ’61 pickups (thanks for the response) and I commented about what I did to my late 80’s Fender American Standard Stratocaster.

    In 2008, Dimarzio came out with “The Area ’67” Pickup. From reading the spec on the Area ’67’s, the resistance is strikingly similar to an actual 1967 pickup, but the Dimarzios are using Alnico II Magnets.

    Area ’67 Resistance: 5.86k
    Actual 1967 Strat Pickup resistance: 5.88k

    What’s your take on the Area ’67’s?

    David

    P.S. Here’s a clip of Paul Gilbert’s new Ibanez Fireman Guitar with Dimarzio Area ’67 Pickups.

    [Thanks for the tip! I haven’t tried these so I really can’t tell. The clip obviously doesn’t reveal much in terms of David’s tones but they seem to have great warmth and depth. – Bjorn]

  38. Kevin Bryant says:

    I gutted my clapton “blackie” model strat and replaced with passive electronics and 69 custom shop pickups and couldn’t be happier. Hendrix and Gilmour tones are totally nailed now especially with the proper fuzz face on the floor.

  39. Rich says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    i’m looking to upgarde the pups in my 94 standard strat (mia), i heard alot of the sounds clips from some of the posted messages, i really liked the ‘little wing’ clips. after listening to the ’50s, ’54, ’69 and Texas Specials, i actually quite like the Texas Specials, they seem to have similar bottom and mid, but a slightly brighter top.

    do you think i would be able to acheive Gilmour tones (i like dark side, but love pulse stuff) using Texas Specials or should i stick to the 69’s? (i think i prefer the ’69 to ’54)

    Thanks, oh and excelent site btw.

    [My personal choice would be 69s. I think the TS are a bit too muddy for David’s tones. – Bjorn]

  40. Ferry says:

    Great sound man, are those the same PU’s as on teh classic player 60’s strat btw?

    [Yes. – Bjorn]

  41. AlexH says:

    I don’t think I messed up anything, when putting it back to black on pot and white on the switch it seems to be fine except for the hum canceling that I don’t have. I’ll trying switching the cables again soon to make sure… next time I change the strings.

  42. AlexH says:

    Hey there, your videos and your website are very informative… much appreciated

    I’m a lefty player and wanted to build my own black strat. I got a Japanese 57 Strat. I put a black pickguard and I added the SSL-5 (left staggered version) while keeping the stock neck and middle pickups for now.

    I was in a rush to try it out so of course (doh) I didn’t read the seymour duncan documentation. I just removed the stock bridge pickup and replaced it directly…. white wire to the switch and the black wire to the pot. After trying it I noticed in position # 2 I’m not getting the hum-cancelation, seems even louder but the sound is good and the tone is working fine.

    Then I looked at the wiring diagram and saw the note that the wires should be reversed when combined with Fender pickups, so I tried putting the white wire on the pot and the black one on the switch…. when I do that the bridge pickup is not playing at all in pos # 1 and doesn’t seem to play neither to pos # 2. So I put back the black wire on the pot and the white wire to the switch.

    I’m totally puzzled by that, would you have any clue why it does that ? Pos # 1 (bridge) is great, Pos # 2 (bridge + middle) is great too, doesn’t sound thin or out of phase at all but it’s quite noisy, noiser than pos # 1 (bridge only). I’m wondering if the wiring or the switch setup is any different than a regular strat. I only tried it like 5 mins before changing the bridge pickup but I’m pretty sure the hum canceling was working fine on Pos # 2 when I was having the stock bridge pickup.

    thanks for your help

    [That’s strange. I’m no expert on technical stuff but I would imagine that the wires would go where the stock pickup was, only reversed then. Mine did and it works fine. You’re sure you didn’t mess up any of the other wires or soldering? I really don’t know. – Bjorn]

  43. RLee says:

    After much consideration for a bridge pickup for my “gilmour strat”, I’ve ordered the duncan Antiquity II custom bridge. It has some pretty rave reviews in the seymour duncan forums and elsewhere, and sounds like it might match up pretty nicely with the CS69’s in the neck and middle. At 9.7k, it’s hotter than an SSL1 or CS69, but not quite as hot as the SSL5. I was considering trying the SSL5 but was concerned that it might be a bit too dark for my taste, since I prefer a bit of treble bite to my bridge.

    I did get my BYOC Large Beaver Triangle V1 pedal all assembled, and I absolutely love it. It’s now my favorite pedal! Thanks for the recommendation, Bjorn. I seem to prefer the stock tone selector setting (position 1).

  44. Thomas1190 says:

    Hey Randall, how do you like the Antiquity Texas Hots in the neck and middle postions? Are they versatile for most gilmour tones? Not too mid-rangey? From reviews i’ve been reading they sound like some sweet pickups.

  45. Brad says:

    Thomas1190,
    Look at the link above from RLee. I checked it out and it is a pretty easy way to tell the polarity of your pickups. Although you need a meter with a needle (not digital).

    Brad

  46. Thomas1190 says:

    Hey, how to you tell what winding and polarity you have? Can you just look at it and tell? If so, how? i want to install the SSL5 but im not sure if they will be in phase with my 57/62 pups.

  47. RLee says:

    Thanks for the great review, Bjorn, and all the work you put into making this site such a fantastic one. And your video of Castellorizon was excellent, very moving!
    I had just recently installed CS69’s on my black deluxe American strat (after removing the rarely used and dubious-sounding S1 switch wiring that the deluxes come with, and putting in a stock 5-way switch), then I saw the review you’d posted. The pickups I replaced were the stock SCN fender’s, which are actually quite nice sounding considering they’re noiseless — but I wanted the real vintage single coil sound.

    The 69’s certainly opened up the high end chime, and have a crystalline quality that shines on clean settings. The scooped mids contribute to this transparent, silky clean sound. I especially like the neck sound; the middle pu is great as well, but like others I found the bridge to be a bit thin, due to lack of mids there… it still sounds great, but I think I may put another pu in the bridge position. I’m torn between several pickups for the bridge; I’m considering the duncan SSL-5 and SSL-1, and also considering getting a set of CS54’s for the middle and bridge and keeping the neck as a CS69.

    One of the deciding factors is that I like the sound of the 69’s so much for clean, bluesy stuff, and want to use the ones I pull out of my black strat to put into my new am std strat, which I keep tuned to E-flat for hendrix/SRV stuff… the CS69’s just *nail* that “Mary” and “Little Wing” hendrix sound.

    So I may very well try to set the black strat up for more mids in the middle and bridge, for more of an overdriven rock tone, as well as doing gilmour stuff on it. One problem with having scooped mids is that using conventional overdrives will often result in a muddy tone that doesn’t cut very well, which is why I’m looking at the SSL-5’s and others for my “gilmour strat”. I may end up with something like neck=CS69, middle=SSL-1, and bridge=SSL-5… but I’m going to play these as-is for awhile to get more of a feel for them, I’ve only had them a week.

    From the excellent reviews here, and also the tone I hear on the clips, I got a BYOC Large Beaver kit and I’m putting it together now… looking forward to hearing that with these pickups!

    And finally, for anyone wondering how to tell if the pickups you’re putting in need to have the wires reversed to work with pre-existing pickups… here’s a link to a great article that tells you how to easily test to see what polarity a pickup is, whether it’s already in the guitar or not…

    Bjorn, I’m really interested in hearing your impressions of the SSL-5 when you get it installed…

    [Thanks for the link! The 54s do have a bit more mids than the 69s but they also have a slighty lower output, which makes the bridge sound even thinner… if you feel that’s a problem with the 69s. I’ve only tried the SSL5 on the DG Strat but it’s a different pickup all together. More output, more mids and bass. I think that it would be a better choice than the CS54. Personally I love the CS69 middle pickup. I think it has all the punch and balls needed for that typical Echoes/Live at Pompeii tone. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  48. Martin Cabral says:

    Hy im from montreal, laval just 15 mins north i tried to make my own gilmour model with my classic 70’s model because his body is a 69 one so that was the closest i could find i replace the neck with a classic payers 50’s model and i change the pickups with texas specials cause they are 6,5 ks just like the mexican
    ones that come with the 70’s model but are custom shop insted of mexican made and they have that reverse wound hum cancelling mid pickups and are hotter bur keep the vintage sound.you should try on an another guitar with those and see.

    So what di you think about that?

    [Sounds like a cool guitar. As long as you like it… that’s what is important. Personally I prefer the CS69 over the Texas Specials but that’s my taste. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  49. Randall Yeager says:

    Borison,

    I don’t think that the CS 69 pickups are available with a reverse wound/reverse polarity middle pickup, so yours are likely the same for neck, middle, and the old bridge.

    If your SSL-5 is out of phase with the middle, it would also be out with the neck, if you have a neck/bridge option switch of some kind.

    If it sounds “weak”, it is most certainly out of phase. Out of phase pickups can sound different ways. Some have a “wah wah” type effect, but more often than not, what you get is a “thin”, “weak” sounding combination. You’ll know for sure if each pickups sounds full and lush alone, and only sounds “weak” when combined with the SSL-5.

    You’ll either have to switch the lead wires on your middle and neck pickups, or the lead wires on the SSL-5 (also at the switch). You could also mount the SSL-5 backwards, making the low E the high E. That is an easy fix, but doing a little resoldering isn’t too bad either.

    I probably answered this in another post, but there are a few and they are long, so I hope this explains it better.

  50. borison says:

    Hello,
    very interesting thread about mixing the fender and duncan pickups….
    two months ago i ve replaced the CS69 bridge pickup in my custom shop strat with the SSL5, i really like the sound of the SSL5, the bridge/middle combo is now hum-canceling but ist sounds somehow weak…im pretty sure that the neck and middle pickups are same polarity , but i have no idea if its out of phase or not
    if anyone could help it would be greate, thanks

    Bjorn, this is great forum, i also like the graphic design of these sites, very tasteful, thanks

    [Thanks! Glad you enjoy my site. I think your question is already answered in one of Randall’s comments. Anyone care to add anything? – Bjorn]

  51. Randall Yeager says:

    Giovanni,

    Yes, on page 96 in the second edition of Phil’s The Black Strat shows David using a .050 capacitor on his tone circuits. Hope this helps.

  52. Randall Yeager says:

    Giovanni, the vintage Strats use a .020 or .022 value capacitor, although, you can use various values. Basically, the higher the value, the more bass you have at your ‘zero’ position.

    I also like to add a .001 capacitor to my volume pots to bleed the highs to ground. As for tone I do two things typically. On my Black Strat, I use two Fender TBX tone pots. These pots can attenuate highs and lows, with 5 being off (wide open). Traditional tone pots only attenuate the highs (10 is wide open). I run one tone control for the neck pickup and an identical one for the bridge pickup. The middle runs wide open, i.e. no pot. I use .022 capacitors on those,

    On my other Strat I have two humbuckers, so I use 500K pots for the volume controls. I run one volume for the neck and another for the bridge. Both have a .001 capacitor to bleed the highs. For the tone, I use a master tone control, which is a 1-Meg value pot. For this I use a .050 capacitor, to have a wider control of my tone from high to low.

    Basically this is how pots work:

    (Strat/Tele) 250K= warm

    (Les Paul) 500K= bright/warm

    1-Meg=bright

    Strats use 250K pots, because the single coils have to be darkened a bit. You can use 500K (Les Pauls do), but your Strat will be a lot brighter, and a 1-Meg would be too bright, but that’s for volume controls. If you use a 1-Meg or 500K for the tone control of a Strat, you can add a lot more brightness. The benefit is that you have more to work with.

    A bass guitar uses a .100 capacitor on its tone controls. Les Pauls (humbucking guitars) use a .050 capacitor. Strats (single-coil guitars) use a .022 because the pot is already dark, so you don’t need much adjustment. I like to use a higher value pot, so I can use a larger capacitor to darken it. I hate it when tone controls don’t seem to do much. Now, I have a lot of ‘throw’ in my tone controls. Just a tip for ya.

    If you want vintage, go with a .022. However, I think I saw a picture in Phil’s book where David uses a .050 capacitor. It will work fine, just at the zero position, you’ll have more bass output, which I tend to like having the option if I want it. Basically, have more! You can stop at four if it’s too bassy, and it’s there if you need it.

  53. Randall Yeager says:

    I thought a little more about what Phil/David might have done.

    The pickup David has in his Strat is actually an over-wound SSL-1, which may have different specs. than the SSL-5. Duncan uses various winding directions and magnet polarities on different models.

    Also, his SSL-1 is from 1979, so it may have different specs based on that alone.

    David’s SSL-1 was undoubtedly custom wound for David. It is quite possible that Phil gave Seymour the specs for David’s early ’70s pickups. Although, it is quite likely that Seymour knew already, since he worked for Fender in those days and still collaborates with them today. So Seymour may have built David’s SSL-1 just for use with his early 70’s Fender pups.

    Lastly, a modern, stock SSL-5 may work with Fender pickups. Like we’ve been talking about, it is luck really. They may work fine, with no problems. Problem is, if you don’t know your Fender’s specs, you have to install them first to see if it works in phase, if not, you have to start looking for a solution. For instance:

    Stock SSL-5 (new):

    Winding: Top Coming

    Polarity: South

    So any of these pickup specs would work, and I listed what they would do:

    Option #1 (standard single 60-cycle hum):

    Winding: Top Coming

    Polarity: South

    Option #2 (hum-canceling)

    Winding: Top Going

    Polarity: North

    Only those two options will work in phase. By chance, CS 69 may have those specs. If not, you’ll have to mod something somewhere. If I had to change my lead wires, I would ask myself, “Which pickup do I use more?” I would switch the wires of the lesser used one, in case it affects the tone. If it is your neck pickup, you may have to switch your middle pickup’s lead wires as well.

    I know the Fat 50’s are offered in RW/RP. You may need one of each for the middle and neck. If you know what your CS 69’s are, and if they now offer a RW/RP option, which last time I checked, they did not offer that option with that series.

    This is why you need to know what the standard wind/polarity is. For instance, you have a SSL-5. The winding is top coming with south polarity. However, the Fender is wound top going with south polarity. OUT OF PHASE TOGETHER. But, if you buy a RW/RP version of the Fender, then it is now wound top coming with south polarity. TOTALLY IN PHASE. If you’re lucky, you can get a standard wound, or RW/RP that would be wound top going with north polarity, because then you are still IN PHASE with HUM-CANCELING.

    Be careful! You have to have the same winding and polarity, or completely the opposite. If you find that your Fender is wound top coming with south polarity, you’re in luck, but if you are building a guitar or replacing all the pickups, look for a reverse wound/ reverse polarity version. Let’s say you found that the Fat 50 works. If you bought two of the middle RW/RP versions, you could have hum-canceling in bridge/middle and bridge/neck. If you are using a Fat 50 and a CS 69, try finding a RW/RP version of each, i.e. a middle version of both. You can work the combinations to make whatever hum-canceling configuration you wish.

    All of this is why I went with a standard version of the Antiquity Texas Hot 50s’ pickups by Duncan for my neck and middle. They are wound the complete opposite of the SSL-5. I could have got a RW/RP version, buy why? I would still be in phase with the same polarity, but why not have hum-canceling too? So, I ordered a neck version for my neck and middle positions. I rarely use the neck/middle together, and I still have great tone there. But now, when I am in neck/bridge or middle/bridge (probably my most used combos, except for neck or bridge alone) I have hum-canceling as an added bonus.

    HERE IS A LINK ABOUT FENDER PICKUPS WITH DUNCAN’S.

    [Again, thanks for your input! Sure is a lot to consider… Cheers! – Bjorn]

  54. Giovanni says:

    Hi Bjorn! Your site is the best! Thanks for everythings!
    What capacitor value uses on your Strat with the custom CS69?

    [Thanks! I have no idea… need to check it next time I open it up. – Bjorn]

  55. Randall Yeager says:

    Well Bjorn, I don’t think David, or Phil, would have just thrown the SSL-5 in without considering the ramifications, especially Phil. Surely they would have been aware of a possible phasing issue. Again, I don’t know how his vintage pickups were wound, or how Fender winds them for the CS version. I doubt David would live with his bridge/middle and bridge/neck combo out of phase, since more than likely his vintage middle and neck have the same winding and same polarity, i.e. no hum-canceling reverse wind/reverse polarity.

    Every out of phase guitar sounds different, it depends. Some out of phase is weak and thin. Some out of phase has an almost wah-wah sound. You know the song “Peace Frog” by The Doors? That isn’t a wah at the beginning, Robbie Krieger’s guitar tech wired his pickups wrong. Some people like this sound as an effect, not the main tone. A lot of 70’s funk players like an out of phase sound. This is also why most pickups have the option of coil tapping, to create that sort of sound.

    However, this sound is really not anything David uses. Without regard to phasing, he’s neck/bridge switch would be worthless, something I’m sure he uses quite often. The only time I’ve heard Gilmour use anything close to an out of phase sound is on the beginning of “Coming Back to Life”, which I know isn’t an out of phase sound, just a really bright bridge tone, but the thinness of that tone is close to what some out of phase setups can sound like. Really, that’s just too harsh and brittle sounding for me.

    I could see Phil or David flipping the lead wires. Although I can’t believe he’d live with an out of phase sound, I could see flipping the leads being acceptable for the “Mess Strat”. See, that’s some of the details I was hoping Phil would have put in the book. I know it’s not a tech book, but I wish it had more of that stuff. A lot of people don’t know about phasing until something sounds like shit, and that means tearing your guitar apart once more to fix it.

    [Well, I didn’t mean that they would have thrown in the pickup and never considered whether it was out of phase or not. I give them more cred than that :) But like you suggest, I would assume that they just flipped the leads rather than doing something more complicated. Or perhaps Duncan customized the pickup I don’t know. Anyway… I’ll let you know how it turns out. Got it in the mail today but I’m having a check up on a fret job from late last year so it will take a week or two… Cheers! – Bjorn]

  56. Emilio says:

    Hi all, Hi Bjorn and thanks for you good work.
    Have you read the Guitar Player interview to David? I’ts on David’s site, on Press section.
    He says he love the replica pickups, expecially on the neck, and he think it’s better (!) than the original…
    Have a nice weekend all
    ciao
    emilio

    [Yes I saw that. According to Phil’s book “The Black Strat” David owns one of each of the signature models. I would assume that the original 1972 neck and middle pickups on David’s Strat are close to the CS69s and in comparison the Fat 50s are slightly brighter with a hint of mids. – Bjorn]

  57. Rick says:

    So…If I need to change all my PU set, you think I’d better choose CS69 instead of CS 54?

    [Right now I’m very much in love with the 69s so yes. However, personally I think that the 69s sound better on bright sounding guitars with alder or basswood bodies and maple necks while the 54s sounds better on warmer tones like ash bodies and rosewoodnecks. – Bjorn]

  58. Randall Yeager says:

    Oh, I saw Deck mentioned you can flip the lead wires. I was told by a licensed Fender tech that will correct phasing, but does cause some adverse effect I can’t remember. I think he said it would muddy the highs of the SSL-5 and remove some subtle harmonics, but that it was minimal. So I can’t say how good or bad it is to try. Mine is one way, and I like it. Deck’s is another way, and he likes it. Maybe he wouldn’t like mine. Maybe I wouldn’t like his. Who knows? But yes, it will work.

    I’m really not sure how flipping leads corrects a polarity issue, or if it needs to be corrected. Maybe it only fixes the winding direction. I can’t really say whether two pickups can work at full potential when wound the same, but opposite in polarity. Since a reverse wind/reverse polarity works and adds hum-canceling, I would imagine they can work well together. Let us know how yours works out. I’m curious.

    [I’ll let you know. Come to think of it… without knowing I would assume that David would have just fitted the Black Strat with the Duncan. If you look at the history of the guitar it’s pretty much a mess and I would guess that as long as things worked they didn’t pay much attention to whether it was the right way or not. Or what do you think? – Bjorn]

  59. Randall Yeager says:

    You’re welcome Bjorn. Thank you for the site. I’m just trying to save everyone some of the lessons I had to learn the hard way, and spending money on a lot of trial-and-err experiments.

  60. Randall Yeager says:

    Bjorn, yes, I did experience an out of phase effect in the bridge/middle position, because the middle pickup was a reverse wound/reverse polarity version of the neck pickup, as both came from an Eric Johnson Strat (they were matched for hum-canceling each other). It just so happened that the SSL-5’s winding and polarity don’t match with either the standard or RW/RP version of the Custom Shop Eric Johnson, so if I wanted it to work, I had to mod something somewhere.

    Remember, you don’t have to have a hum-canceling setup, but everything must be in phase and match polarity (except in a reverse polarity situation). A humbucker rejects sound because the other coil absorbs the noise e.g. two coils. You can match single coils to create the same effect, that’s why most companies offer a RW/RP version of their middle pickups. Mix and match. It takes some calculating, and recalculating, but you can more often than not make some combo work without tearing your pickups apart, or flipping them. Maybe buying a RW/RP middle pickups for your neck to make it work with your bridge. Follow me?

    With my SSL-5 I have hum-canceling in bridge/middle and bridge/neck positions. The neck and middle are wound the same and have the same polarity, so they don’t hum-cancel each other in the middle/neck position, but it doesn’t increase the noise either… basically, a standard two coil amount of noise… like the days before people discovered that reverse winding and flipping the magnets in their middle pickup created a “humbucker”. What an age we live in!

    SEE #9.1 under “MAGNETS” ON THIS CHART FOR AN EXPLANATION.

    So if your pickups don’t match the SSL-5, you can make it work. You can flip the SSL-5 so the high E side is now the Low E side (and vise versa). You can flip your lead wires on the connections. I personally don’t like either of these options. Flipping your wires will alter your sound a little, but a little is just too much for me. You can turn the whole pickup around, but it throws your staggered magnets off, and yes, that does affect the sound.

    However, you can physically take your magnets out and flip them around in the pickups. I have done that once before, and it’s a royal pain in the ass.

    Most pickup companies suggest that if you are using single coils, use a common brand. It’s not a sale’s pitch, it’s the truth. Fender changes their winding directions about every 5-10 years. Seymour Duncan winds pickups in various directions and polarities, depending on model. Fralin winds one way (I think his match Fender’s current windings). What pisses me off is that CS 69 pickups wound in 2000 may not match CS 69 pickups wound in 2009. Possibly, 2006 might not match 2007, depends on when they switch. I would hope they continually use the vintage method on their high end vintage pickups, but who knows?!

    Humbuckers can be mixed and matched at random, because they already contain two coils deliberately designed to work in a hum-canceling fashion, hence the name “humbuckers”. Single coils, however, need to be matched. So in some ways, some Fenders don’t match each other, and some Seymour Duncan’s don’t match each other. Sometimes choosing a pickup is a game of chance. Most smaller winding companies have a uniform method.

    When mine were out of phase with the SSL-5. The sound wasn’t so bad I thought something was wrong, just bad… I assumed the SSL-5, right? It sounded really thin and almost like a Telecaster with the treble way up. I wrote a bad review of it here to warn people. I started emailing Fender and Duncan trying to get the specs, and found out they were out of phase and no combination would work, without those mods I mentioned above. So the thin sound was actually the neck and bridge out of phase, not the SSL-5 alone. Honestly, this thing sounds so rich and full alone, I rarely use my neck/bridge combo anymore. A great pickup! You’ll love it.

    It is often hard to find this info on pickups. Duncan lists it for some pickups and not for others. I have emailed them, and 99% of the time they respond in 24 hours with any tech specs you want. Just ask, they’re polite about helping you. Fender, on the other hand, are dicks. They rarely answer emails. If you look around online, you can find most specs on their pickups. Duncan’s site offers quite a bit of Fender specs too and other info. Seymour has a long relationship with Fender. He wound for their Custom Shop in England during the late ’60s. They may offer any specs on Fender’s you would happen to ask for.

    My logic finally was that Seymour wound for their Custom Shop during the ’60s in London. I wanted vintaged pickups to compliment my SSL-5. His Antiquity Series 50’s Texas Hot pickups are as close to the real thing out there, even Fender’s stuff, and Seymour winds, ages, and signs them personally. They cost a bit more, but are worth it in the end. Not to mention, they work in a hum-canceling setup with the SSL-5’s winding, if you like the SSL-5. I originally looked at his ’60’s Surfer Series, but the winding and polarity didn’t work with the SSL-5, and most reviews I read online said the Texas Hots had more of that vintage ’60’s tone, and that the Surfers were too bright. In addition to hum-canceling, the output was slightly closer to the SSL-5’s, so that was another selling point.

    Anyway, Bjorn I hope this helps you and my fellow devotees. I really hope you have no phasing issues with your setup. I’m not sure if Fender’s vintage winding/polarity match the modern one used on the SSL-5. See I wonder if those pickups used on the Fender Custom Shop Black Strat are custom wound to match the SSL-5. I mean, David uses Fender’s with his SSL-5. However, I do know the neck and middle pickups of the Black Strat are “custom” wound. I can’t imagine David or Phil would like the sound of flipping either the lead wires or the pickup itself.

    [Thanks a lot for this info! Cheers! – Bjorn]

  61. Jared Young says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Bjorn I have a Silverface 68′ Fender Bassman 50 watt head, one of your favorites I know, but I am having a hard time trying to get a good Gilmour tone. Can you help? I need some suggestions on setting up the eq and the linked inputs also setting the input volumes. I have no problems setting up my effects and the overall volume and its a great amp, just a little frustrated.
    If you have any suggestions it would help.

    And also Happy New Year Bjorn, I cant wait for the “Dogs” article. Thanks Bjorn!

    -Jared

    [The Bassman is definitely one of my favourite amps. I sometimes use a 100w head with my Sound City cab, which has a mid control as well. The 50w doesn’t as far as I know. I don’t think you can link the inputs on the amp but use the normal channel and just set it up for a well balanced clean tone. I’d keep the master at about 1/3 of the channel volume. The amp is very dark sounding so you might need to set the bass around 3 and the treble at 7 or 8 to get the tone you want. – Bjorn]

  62. Deck says:

    Bjorn, this is very simple as you have 69 Fender pups and want pups in phase:
    SLL5 black wire = CS69 white wire
    SSL5 white wire = CS69 black wire
    Just solder the SD black wire as if it was a white wire, and the SD white wire as if it was a black one.
    At first, my pickups were out of phase in bridge/middle position. It only took me 1 minute to reverse the wires and it is now ok.

    By the way, I wish you and to every body here a very happy new year.

    [Cheers Deck and happy new year to you too as well! – Bjorn]

  63. Randall Yeager says:

    Bjorn, you won’t be disappointed with the SSL-5! I first commented on it here when I had it in combination with two Fender Custom Shop pickups from an Eric Johnson Strat. I didn’t realize the Fender windings were out of phase with the SSL-5. So alone it was full, in combo it was weak and brittle, so I naturally assumed the brittle sound was the SSL-5 alone, because the out of phase wasn’t that noticeable… I thought I wired my combo switch backwards.

    Long story short, everyone, make sure you know your Fender (or other brands’) windings and polarity. Fender’s change from year to year. My Custom Shop Eric Johnson’s had a winding of top coming/north polarity.

    NOTE: You either want them all the same direction and polarity, or in some form of a reverse wind/reverse polarity configuration. Anything else will be out of phase. I like having mine RW/RP in mid/bridge and neck/bridge combinations, but you can do as you like. If they all have the same direction and polarity, you don’t get more hum, just standard hum. If you have RW/RP, you get hum-canceling in those combos. Same direction and different polarity is OUT OF PHASE. Reverse direction and same polarity is OUT OF PHASE.

    Select your middle and neck pickups to compliment your bridge however you choose, if possible. Unfortunately, most pickups aren’t available in custom winds. However, you can look for pickups that are offered in RW/RP options, most are the days! What they call “RW/RP” may not be so with your bridge pickup. So if you know the “standard” wind/polarity of that series of pickup, you can order a RW/RP to work with yours. Follow me?

    TECHNICAL INFO:

    I switched my neck and middle pickups to the Duncan Antiquity Texas Hots. These pickups are wound top going/north polarity. The SSL-5 is wound top coming/south polarity. Basically, when I have my neck/bridge combo switch on, I get hum-canceling due to the reverse wound/reverse polarity effect used in hum-canceling pickups (i.e. humbuckers). This is extra nice because using two of the Duncan Antiquities in the neck and middle, I get hum-canceling in both neck/bridge and mid/bridge combos. I lose hum-canceling in the mid/neck combo, because they are wound the same way and have the same polarity. However, the “hum” is still very minimal (normal), but I have done a lot of shielding work and wiring upgrades.

    If you are mixing Duncans and Fenders, make sure you know the winding direction and magnet polarity of the pickups involved. I had to send emails for tech specs from perspective companies, but worth it to know everything works out. Some pickups may be so little out of phase you just think you have a shitty pickup like I did. If it isn’t full, lush, and singing… something’s amiss.

    I loved my Eric Johnson pickups, but making the switch to the Duncan Antiquities was well worth it. I get hum-canceling in my most used positions, and no additional hum elsewhere. The tone is great. I like that they are handwound by Seymour. Yes, handwinding makes a significant difference in your tones. These pickups are aged magnetically (e.g. stabilized) and use vintage techniques and materials. Hell, Seymour even personally ages the white plastic for ya! Really great tone, a lot of attention to detail, vintage with a tad more balls with slightly more output than the CS 69; this also makes it a good match for the higher output SSL-5. If you like the SSL-5 and keep it, these are a perfect match.

    Sorry to bore everyone with the technical shit, but if it saves just one person the hassle of having to figure this shit out the hard way, it’s worth it.

    [Thanks for your comment. I must admit that I get totally lost when it comes to technical details. It’s not my strongest side. Does this apply only when you’re using a neck/bridge combo switch like David or on a standard set up as well? Did you experience any tone loss in position 4 bridge/middle? – Bjorn]

  64. mrface says:

    I’ve got an ’83 strat with a CS 69 in the neck position and a CS54 in the middle (JB Jr in the bridge). The CS69 gives me that hollow, Hendrixy/Gilmourish neck tone. It’s everything i’ve been looking for in a neck pickup. I previously had a CS54 in there which i didn’t like all that much.

    The CS54 in the middle is great for arpeggiation and strummy type stuff–very Buddy Holly or Byrds-like in tone. Plus, unlike the CS69, it’s RWRP so i get that great hum-cancelling quack in positions 2 and 4. The CS54 is a very mids-forward sounding pickup, and i think it’s great in the middle position–in fact i’ve yet to hear a better middle pickup.

    On my guitar, i’ve got a Fralin Blender Pot installed where the 2nd tone knob goes. This allows me to blend some neck pickup into the bridge pickup (or vice-versa), giving me that “neck and bridge” tone that David’s got the little toggle switch for.

    The Duncan JB Jr in the bridge is a stacked humbucker and is full of chimey harmonics when used with various distortion pedals (among mine are a Menatone King of the Britains, Lovekraft Mojodrive and Lovekraft Chupacabra).

    cheers,
    wade

  65. Bjorland says:

    In my black strat I went with Bjørns advice and put fender 69 in all slots, I still am very very happy with them. But I felt the bridge pickupp sounded a little thin and bright. I replased the bridge pickupp for SSL-5, and Bjørn let me tell you, the change was huge.
    It was almost like I had a complete new pedalboard in front of me.
    I also have davids “magic” switch on mine, but neck bridge combo with all 69 pups never worked for me either.

    Guess this all depends on what tone your after and what effects you have, but I could`ne be happier about the SSL-5 in my strat.
    And the 69 pups are brilliant for neck middle pickup.

    [Actually, I ordered a SSL5 just two days ago! I’m very pleased with the CS69s and although I don’t think they lack any balls I thought it would be cool to check out the SSL5. Yours and other reviews confirms that it’s worth the try. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  66. Randall Yeager says:

    Ryan, you might like the Duncan Vintage Rails. You may not like the look, but they deliver sweet tones and are 99.9% noiseless; I wouldn’t recommend them for the bridge though. I used them in one of my Strats, and I liked the tone. I used a neck-calibrated pickup for the neck and a bridge-calibrated for the middle position, and I used a Duncan STK-S2 for the bridge (another noiseless rail pickup).

    However, my preferred setup is now with the Duncan Antiquity Series (50’s Texas Hot). By the way, no “Texas” sound. Nearly perfect Gilmour “Shine On” tones. In the bridge I use a Duncan SSL-5, like the Gilmour Strat.

    Like Bjorn, I like the CS 69s. I used them in another Strat of mine, and they deliver great Gilmourish tones. However, the CS 69’s output is around 5.9, whereas the Antiquity Duncans have around 6.4. Since the Duncans are hand-wound (by Seymour himself), the scatter-wound makes for varied output and tones. I bought two from different dealers, one had an output of 6.24 and the other was 6.44. Not that it mattered, but I put the slightly hotter one in the neck and the weaker one in the middle.

    As for a bridge pickup, I have to go a little new school. Like most Strat players, I don’t care for a weak bridge pickup. I must say, I did use a CS 69 pickup in my bridge, and it could get really heavy if I wanted it to. And yes, it produces some sweet tones, although a bit thin when used totally clean by itself.

    For my single-coil Strat, I am now using the Duncan SSL-5 in the bridge. It sounds fucking great! Really full. Great cleans. Distorts/Overdrives excellent. Plus, unlike the output of the CS 69 (around 5.9), these are around 13.5, so there is a lot more output, but it blends well with the lower output pickups like my Antiquities, i.e. it doesn’t dwarf them. Very well balanced. Believe me, this Strat has seen four different sets of pickups, and this setup is a keeper.

    I built my Black Strat for around $1,700 using parts from the Stratosphere. I had a maple neck, but switched it a few weeks ago for a rosewood… in my opinion, it looks much better and sounds a little fuller. Strats tend to be bright in general, despite pickups, body wood type, neck type, etc. I absolutely love this one! Terrific blend of tone, playability, and looks.

    My budget Black Strat:

    Black Fender ’57 Hot Rod body w/3-ply solid-black pickguard

    Fender ’62 Hot Rod (thick-C) rosewood neck (originally I used the ’57 Hot Rod soft “V”, now on my Green Strat)

    Duncan Antiquity Texas Hot 50’s pickups (neck and middle)

    Duncan SSL-5 (bridge)

    Rewired Fender S-1 switch/volume pot (for neck/bridge combo switch)

    Fender TBX tone pot for neck tone

    Fender TBX tone pot for bridge tone

    Fender ’57 reissue “vintage” neck plate

    Gotoh vintage bridge

    Monte Allums full copper pickguard shield (worth every penny!)

    Monte Allums silver-core wire (for output connections)

    One can (six coats) of conductive shielding paint for internal cavities

    Not only does this baby look great, it plays and sounds fantastic. All the shielding actually makes for a quieter guitar than Fender’s Gilmour Strat, since they only use copper over the traditional aluminum pot shielding, the silver-core wire decreases noise as well as the shielding paint (neither Fender does on any model guitar, except a shot of shielding paint on a few Custom Shop models). I have all the tone, if not better, for less than half the price. And if I want to “relic” it and increase the value another $1,000, I’ll throw it down the stairs, drag it behind my car for a few minutes, and pop and fill an XLR hole it. Eat your heart out Fender!!!

  67. ryan says:

    regarding noiseless single coil vintage sounding pickups, the seymour duncan classic stack plus pickups never seem to get mentioned here. from what i’ve read on duncan’s forums, the pickups were meant to sound like 62 strat pickups. one guy even took the pups out of his 63 strat and stuck these in and found them to have a nearly identical sound. i have them in one of my strats. they’re not as sparkly on clean sounds as my other strats (that strat is made of different body wood though), but it has an amazing tone when ran through my sweet sound bc108 filmore west fuzz.

    [Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  68. William says:

    Bjorn, I have found a set of Pickups called Tone Riders Pure Vintage, they sound really close to CS 69s, and there only $99 USD. I put them in my MIM strat also, and got really good Gilmour clean tones. heres the site.

    [Never heard of them. Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  69. cavalettas89 says:

    Hi Björn
    I really like this site and visit it really often
    also really enjoy your new song with Airbag
    I do have a question concerning the 69cs Pickups
    I have a 70ies classic Strat (maple neck) just like yours and i also
    installed these pickups in it
    My problem is that it has to much highs now..
    i think that’s because of the body,pickups and the neck.
    any suggestions to lower the higher tones?replace the body?neck?
    because the pickups are really great..
    I don’t know if it’s even the amplifier (fender frontman 212R) which has too much highs..
    do you have problems with to much highs?
    a friend of mine suggest me to replace the pickups with texas special but i really don’t know what to do.
    i really like gilmours older tone just like in Pompeii,DSOTM and WYWH and Atom Heart Mother.
    thanks and keep going with your side !

    [Thanks for your kind words! Glad you support Airbag too! What pickups did you have before the CS69s? The 69’s do have a bright tone but if you think they’re too bright or that you lack some bass or whatever, you might need to adjust the settings on your amp and some of the pedals. The settings you used on your previous pickups might not automatically suit the new ones. I’m not that familiar with the 212R but try something like this… bass 50%, treble 40%, mids 40% and set the master volume at about 1/3 of the normal channel volume. Also, be sure to set the right height on the pickups. Setting them too low causes loss of the lower frequencies. I don’t thing Texas Specials will help. – Bjorn]

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  71. By the way – for those on a budget and are interested in quality pickups similar to the CS69s ( well a little hotter) – I have been happy with my choice of Bill Lawrence Keystone Singles at $75 for the whole set. He sells them on the side – but it is the real Bill Lawrence ( not his company). Search Bill Lawrence Keystones on ebay if you interested or email me for more info (steve@dipaola.org). I use these on my mim start and go through guitar rig and am happy with the gilmour sound I get (with your great backing tracks). I have nothing to do with BL, just thought your community might be interested.
    -steve
    PS – BL made the pickups for another great blues hero with a unique sound — Roy Buchanan’s telecaster, which is what made me decide to try them.

    [Thanks for the tip Steve! – Bjorn]

  72. zoobandblues says:

    Bjorn, I just wanted to give you a shout out on this great site. Thank You from the bottoms of my bleeding heart. Great job!!!! Oh I heard you didn’t care for the Boss CE-2 that much. I felt your pain. I picked one up used for 30$ and even though it had that distinct chorus, I was not impressed. I felt like it was sucking my tone in the area’s that count, so I sent it to Robert Keeley and got the speedy hi-fi mod for 70$. Now all I can say is holy mother of divine fx’s this pedal is now amazing and showing great sighns of life. Once again cheers and thank you for your time creating this site. If you get a chance check out Keeley’s site and look into it. This is one mod you won’t regret having done.

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words! Your support means a lot to me! Thanks for the mod tip. I know Keeley’s work very well and maybe I should get my CE-2 fixed. I also think that it’s important to know that one won’t get David’s chorus sounds with just hooking up the CE-2 in one’s main chain. That will give you a too distinct chorus. On the PULSE tour, as you know, the chorus was hooked up to only one channel giving the overall guitar sound a wider range… a bit fuller. You wont’ really hear the chorus but you’ll notice if it’s not there. – Bjorn]

  73. zoobandblues says:

    This might sound crazy but maybe check your intonation and if not that I would try them in another guitar. Sometimes if you got a ground wrong in your wiring you might get some weird phasing issues. But if all fails grab your warrenty and tell fender you think your pickups have some microphonic problems and see if you can’t get another set. Good Luck!!!!!!

  74. Rajna Szilárd says:

    I’ve got a stratocaster with a set of CS’69.
    His clean sound is perfect, but there is a problem on dirt channel.
    If I press the G sting to the fret, the sound waves. The H and E1 stings are OK. The magnet of the G string is higher than the E or H.
    I adjusted the height of the pick ups, but the problem wasn’t solved.
    What is the problem? (I’m sure it’s not the string or the amplifier)

    I think it may be an inexplicable phenomenon.

    And what is the solution?

    [Anyone? – Bjorn]

  75. Thanks, since you have brought up that the cs69s can be noisier than most, I have been researching shielding, as I think the effort/money into shielding w/cs69s might be better spent than losing quality by going noiseless (w/ lace or others). guitarnuts.com has a well known tutorial on shielding a strat, and some after market family businesses that sell loaded pickguards (w/ pups/hardware/wiring) like metalshopmusic.com will do extra shielding (ala guitarnuts) if you ask for it (as your guitar tech would for big labor bucks). Also I see a lot of press on new company’s shielded pickguards – axeguardz. The shielded loaded pickguard seems a great option since you also get upgraded hardware (from my MIM stuff) but also a little risky because it is used. Hope this helps those who are inspired by Bjorn and his CS69 clips and guitar work but need to deal with noise related issues ( I’ll try one soon). By the way, I grew up in NYC and was able to see PF ~ 9 times in my youth (still have the tickets/programs I think) – the 1st and 2nd wave DSofM shows at Roosevelt Stadium, NJ ( a crazy old minor league stadium with open seating/no security/people climbing on rafters 100 feet in the air and always ending fireworks), then many repeat shows at MSGarden in NYC from 77,87. 30 years later and I still have a strong recollection of how affected I was first dreamily watching the pig floating above me in MSG, when (first use of directional sound), loud barking dogs abruptly turned my head/awareness along w/ 20,000 fans to a gate that you swore the dogs must be inside of.

    [Thanks for the info and links! Wow! You actually saw the MSG show in ’77???? If I ever get a flying DeLorean that would be the first thing I’d want to see (he he)! My favorite concert by far! – Bjorn]

  76. I recently got a stock used mim strat, $350CA) which I have sepnt some time getting the tuner and setup rock solid, so I am now starting to look for better pups. I like everything you have said ( and played!) about the cs69s. My problem is (being a researcher in 3D graphics married to sound) that I only play the guitar in my studio (bluely but experimental solos mainly as I am a keyboard/alt controller/programming guy) and my studio has at least 4 computers and 3 monitors ( not to mention odd tech gadgets), so the hum issue is already a problem. I’ve read that the CS69s can be even noisier than most. Hence my quandary about getting them.

    I did a quick look around for what people thought about’ less noisy’ alt pups like the lace hot golds, or kinmans and boy, some love them some hate them. I was torn between trying the lace hot golds ( the stratiest of the noiseless?) and going in for a big sheilding job and getting the CS69s. Any thoughts. If I go the full sheilding route it is just about find the best guitar tech around to do it custom, or is there a kit? Thanks for the great site and comments from all.

    [Maybe someone else can answer this one better than me… I don’t have all that experience with shielding stuff. The 69’s can be noisy with this slight hissing and they easily pick up radio buzz etc. It’s no problem but I don’t think I would recommmend them for a studio guitar. The thing about noiseless pickups is that they often lack some of the characteristics of the Strat. Some of the top is missing… In my experience, the Lace is the best sounding. In addition to the ones you’ve mentioned, there’s also the EMG DG-20, which David use on his red Strat. – Bjorn]

  77. Dirk Plantjé says:

    hello Bjorn

    Great site for all the pink floyd fans
    Most secrets seem to be clear now
    Question about my guitar
    I have a Fender Highway strat with stock pickups first serie
    It is not possible to get a decent Gilmoure sound out of these pups
    Is it possible to get the gilmour sound when i upgrade this with the CS 69 pickups and put a MXR dynacomp to it
    My amp is a Marshall JCM 800 combo from the 80’s because i love hendrix too.

    Thanks
    And keep going on with this site i love it

    Kind regards

    Dirk Plantjé

    [Thanks for your compliments! Regarding you guitar, – I’m sure you can get great Gilmour sounds with it but imo I think the pickups sounds a bit too modern… at least for the 70’s stuff. They’re also a bit too hot for my taste but I have only tried them very briefly without my pedals, so I can’t really tell. As you mention Hendrix and obviously want a good Gilmour tone, I definitely recommend the Custom 69’s. They’ll give you that Woodstock and 70’s tone for sure! Please check out my review of the 69’s here. – Bjorn]

  78. Martin says:

    Hi Bjorn, I love your site !!!. I’m from Bs As, I’ve recently bought a home made Fuzz Face to a guy in Argentina, he is doing very good pedals. The fuzz is loaded with two AC128 Germanium transistors. I’m using the fuzz with a Boss ME-8 pedalboard and an SX with EMG active pickups. I’ve found that in low notes the fuzz sounds incredible but in high tones I’ve found it very similar to a distorsion. I’m suspecting I’ve have some bad setting. Do you have any recomedation to get a good tone with my gear?. Thanks very much.

    [Hi Martin! Glad you enjoy the site! With both the EMGs and high settings on the Fuzz Face, it can sound very much like a distortion. For a more typical Pompeii screaming kind of fuzz (Echoes) I recommend a silicon model. Please feel free to send me an e-mail and we can talk. – Bjorn]

  79. Jeffrey says:

    Hi Bjorn! Love and appreciate your site. Just want to add my input, although I’ve not yet tried the 69’s. I’ve been playing Kinman woodstocks for a while now and although they lack some of the single coil magic, they are really good at achieving Gilmours tones from the new album…Ex: with a Compulator, Tube Driver, and DD20 – I can nail that solo tone on Castellorizon. Also, I was really curious about the 54’s, so I bought a set and put those in my 57 RI strat (although mine is ash). The 54’s are excellent as well and I agree that they are great for covering a lot of Floyd ground. I love the early Pompeii tones, so I may have to scratch the itch to try out those 69’s some day.

    [The Kinman’s didn’t convince completely but I’ve only tried them once. To me they sounded a little too bright and as you point out, they lack some of that typical vintage single coil tone. The CS 54 is definitely my favs… great for any Gilmour tone. – Bjorn]

  80. Norman says:

    bjorn could you explain me why the reversed wah wah modification for the ”seagulls” sound would only work with single coil pickups and the switch at the 4th position
    (my guitar is with humbuckers but i have coil tapping on it would it work?) Thanks

    [Some people report that they get the effect with humbuckers and some don’t… I can’t make it work on my humbucker guitars. You just need to try… On a Strat/single coils, you need to use 4th position to be able to control the feedback with the tone knob. Also, I know the effect doesn’t work on some newer wahs. Be sure to use a Dunlop or a Vox. – Bjorn]

  81. Ernest Peske says:

    How to Replace a Pickup video in a Stratocaster:

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/how_to_install_a_pu.shtml

    Have fun :-)

    Ernest

  82. Deck says:

    “Ernest Peske said on April 1, 2007 at 6:10 pm
    “Sherman: Do you have a guitar shop install your pickups? If you do them yourself, are they easy?”

    My 54 pickups were installed at my guitar shop:

    1. I couldn’t see which pickup was bridge, middle or neck.
    2.The bridge has a different output value (described on the package), so they had to measure to know which pickup belongs where!
    3. The manuel didn’t give any indication about how close these 54 pups should be to the strings!”

    Well, my bridge 54 pickup had a red dot on the back, contrary to the middle and neck pups. That’s how I recognised it.

    [Thanks for the input Deck. – Bjorn]

  83. frannois says:

    Hey,
    I just ought some 69’s and I was wondering what kind of wiring (from the fender wiring page) should I make? What have you done ??

    [I had mine installed by a tech. I think you should use the 70’s diagram, but I’m not 100% sure. Try a google search for the diagram – Bjorn]

  84. Ernest Peske says:

    “Sherman: Do you have a guitar shop install your pickups? If you do them yourself, are they easy?”

    My 54 pickups were installed at my guitar shop:

    1. I couldn’t see which pickup was bridge, middle or neck.
    2.The bridge has a different output value (described on the package), so they had to measure to know which pickup belongs where!
    3. The manuel didn’t give any indication about how close these 54 pups should be to the strings!

    … so for 24 EURO my guitar workshop installed everything, recommended!

    Bjorn, I (stil) use Custom light GHS boomers 0.9 – 0.46
    I know you’re using slightly heavier strings (like Gilmour), does this affect sustain / sound much?

    Cheers,
    Ernest

    [Thanks for the input Ernest. The pickups should be installed as they’re shown on the packaging… you need to be very careful when you’re taking them out and remembering how they layed. But, the packaging doesn’t say anything about the height from the strings, as Ernest pointed out, which is frustrating.
    I think that .010 has a slightly better sustain… although I haven’t a/b tested this. They stay better in tune tho and you get a slightly better attack. – Bjorn]

  85. Leandro says:

    Hey Bjorn, your blackie 50’s strat it´s Made in Japan or Crafted in Japan?

    Take Care

    Leandro

    [The Japanese guitars are cut and assembled in Japan. It’s more or less the same as the Mexican “Classic Series” but the Japanese were called “Collectable Series” and they are generally considered to be better guitars. It’s hard to point out exactly what’s different between this one and a Mexican 50’s… but it’s something about how the guitars feels and play… if that makes sence. – Bjorn]

  86. Sherman says:

    Two other questions real quick:

    What do you think of Fender Vintage Noiseless?

    Do you have a guitar shop install your pickups? If you do them yourself, are they easy? I’ve only sodered on a bridge/neck combination switch, nothing past that, really. What do you recommend?

    [I’ve only tried the Vintage Noiseless once and they sounded good but I wasn’t overly happy with them. I think some of the vintage character is missing… maybe it’s just me. I would rather go for Kinman’s. They’re basically noiseless versions of Fender’s Custom 54 and 69.
    I’m afraid I’m really all thumbs when it comes to soldering and anything that’s even remotely related to electronics, so I send everything away :-) There’s a really good tech here in my town and he takes care of my guitars and amps. But I guess it’s easy to change pickups. It’s only a couple of wires that needs to be soldered. – Bjorn]

  87. Ernest Peske says:

    Regarding the B.Y.O.C. Learge Beaver kit:
    where can I buy it? I think this is very, very interesting!

    P.S. – I never noticed any adaptors/power-supply on your gear pictures, showing your pedals. Are they all battery operated?
    My Big Muff for ex. has quit a lot of battery consume. (I made my Muff work with a power supply).

    Cheers,
    Ernest

    [Hi Ernest! I ordered the BYOC from a shop here in Oslo, but I think you can buy them from the BYOC site. The pics of my rig are taken without the power hooked up…. it’s too messy :-)

    – Battery;
    Wah Wah
    SunFace
    Colorsound
    Sovtek Muff

    – 2 Boss 9v adapters in daisy chain;
    CS-2
    BD-2
    DD-20
    DE-7
    Looper

    – 1 Dunlop adapter in daisy chain;
    Dynacomp
    Large Beaver
    Small Stone
    UniVibe

    The Mistress has a EH adapter and the Tube Driver has it’s own power chord.

    – Bjorn]

  88. Sherman says:

    Man, I went to find these pickups and I can’t find them at GuitarCenter or anything, I have to buy them off the internet but they are $200+. So instead I got a new amp since I only have a practice one and I bought a Evidence Audio Melody cable because of your recommendation. Wow, what a huge difference, I love the sound I get. I always check this site for premium equipment before asking anyone else.

    [Hi! Good to know that some of my recommendations are valued :-) I bought my set of Custom 69 off this EBay store for 155$, which is pretty cheap I think. Very fastdelivery and great customer service. – Bjorn]

  89. Peter says:

    I had a look at your effects board page.. impressive! One of the 2 clips you recorded with a RAT (Fletcher mem), and I like that sound very much. What model / type of rat do you have exactly? I couldn’t find anything about it in your gear page..

    [Thanks! I’ve just taken th RAT off my board due to space but it’s a vintage model. It’s slightly cleaner than the RAT 2. – Bjorn]

  90. Barney says:

    off topic question:

    Bjorn, whats the longest cable on your board? The one attached to the volume pedal looks very long. Any idea what the length is? Does it degrade your signal by a lot?

    [Hi, if you look at the new pictures, I’ve gotten a new shorter cable that the one on the desktop image with the guitar lying across. Anyway, the cable running from the DD-20 to the volume pedal is a 5 feet Lyric HG. I have compared it to a short George L’s patch cable and didn’t notice any difference. I guess this has much to do with the high quality of the Lyric and I haven’t tried the same setup with a cheaper cable. It’s just the way I like to arrange my pedals and it requires a long cable… – Bjorn]

  91. David Bebernick says:

    Bjorn, the Fender CS’69s have such a great sound to them. I have those pickups in my late ’80s Fender American Standard Stratocaster. Like Gilmour’s “Black Strat,” my late 80’s Fender Strat, which is Midnight Blue due to finish on the Strat body, is what I would consider as my guniea pig, for I’m always looking to improve or enhance my Strat.

    As I said, the Fender CS’69s have such a great sound to them. Unfortunately, the drawback with these pickups & just about every other single coil pickup is the 60-cycle hum problem. The hum was even more louder in the 2 & 4 positions, but that problem was solved when I took out my CS’69 Middle Pickup & sent it to True Tone Technologies (www.truetonetechnologies.com) & have Ben Trevillian rewind the pickup to be reverse wound/reverse polarity and what a great job he did not only rewinding the pickup but still retaining the sound of the CS’69.

    Another thing I did was that I purchased the thick Full Aluminum Pickguard Shield directly from Callaham Guitars (www.callahamguitars.com) which is the 0.014 thick 6061-T6 Aluminum that Fender used to cover the entire back of their pickguards from the 1959 to 1968. I also painted the inside cavities with conductive shielding paint from Stweart-McDonald (www.stewmac.com), but I still want to double shield the cavities with Copper Foil or Tape.

    Though I do love the sound of those pickups, the Kinman Woodstocks Noiseless Pickups (www.kinman) are still on my wish list.

    Now everyone has been talking about the Fender Custom Shop ’54 Pickups and the Fender Custom Shop’69 Pickups. I want to know how you feel about the Fender Custom Shop Fat ’50s Pickups and also, what do you think about the Dimarzio Area ’58 & Area ’61 Pickups? Thanks again.

    David

    P.S. Here’s a clip of the Dimarzio Area ’58 & Area ’61 in action:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwubC7G0NZM

    And a quick clip of Kinman Woodstocks in a Fender Stratocaster through a Marshall JCM 800.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0oLoKasI8k

    [Hi David! Thanks for all the links and tips! As mentioned in my review, I think the 54’s are perhaps more versatile for all Gilmour eras than the 69’s. But I’m really pleased with the 69s and it’s such a thrill to play the old Floyd songs… the tone is dead on David’s sound on Pompeii. I agree that they’re a little noisy and I’ll definitely check out some of the links you’ve included. My experience with both the Kinman’s and Dimarzio is that they basically sound like the Fenders, only without the hum (as explained in the first clip). I can’t hear much difference between Fender’s 69 and Kinman’s Wondstock (but I’ve only tried them for a very short time). The Dimarzios are a little too bright… at least for my taste. I’ve tried the Area ’61 with both fuzz and treble boost and the sound was earpinching (and not in a good way). The Fat 50’s sounds much like the 54’s only a little hotter. I wouldn’t say “fat” as in more bass, but thay have a slightly higher output than the 54’s making them a little warmer. Still, I prefer the 54’s as they are extremely easy to blend with all kinds of effects. I guess that due to the low output. – Bjorn]

  92. pinkfloydfan1 says:

    i always get confused with rosewood maple necks but i thought ud go for the same as uve got on both your strats longer sustain is it not

    [I guess it’s a matter of taste. Maple necks gives the tone a nice “bounce” and a little more top. Rosewoods adds a little more warmth. I haven’t noticed any big difference in the sustain… that depends much on the pickups too of course. As both my Strats have maple necks, I thought it was cool to have one with rosewood too. – Bjorn]

  93. MikeR says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Great clips. I got a Fender Classic Player’s ’60s strat because it came with the CS69s stock. I remember comparing this giutar with and Amrican Standard. I pulgged in the CP60 and hit those first notes of Shine On with the neck pickup. They were right on. Then I used the bridge pickup with the slolo for Fat Old Sun, and again, they were right there. I bought the guitar soon after.

    Just a couple points from what I’ve been able to gather about the CS69 pups. They make them with the old pickup machines from the ’60s. The machines were originally loaded by Abigal Ybarra, but she has long since stopped. She was making “masterbuilt” pickups that she did wind by hand, but those were $$$. For these pickups, she did “oversight” of the project, she would then initial and date the pups. He son has posted that she no long manages or signs the pickups.

    They are definitly great pups.

    [Thanks for the info! – Bjorn]

  94. pinkfloydfan1 says:

    im surprised your new tele has a maple neck

    [It hasn’t… it’s a roseewood. – Bjorn]

  95. Yaniv says:

    Thanks for the answeres Bjorn, I got another question about the “magic switch”: how does it work with the pickup switcher? when you turn it on, does it neutralize the original switcher? If not, how does it work with it? does it sound the same in neck and bridge positions (because the switch add the bridge to the neck and the neck to the bridge)? how does it work with the middle pickup (does it give you a bridge/middle/neck combination)?

    Thank you!

    [It doesn’t nautralize the pickupswitcher. I guess there are different ways of combinations if you want that, but my “magic switch” only works in bridge position where it combines bridge and neck pickups. – Bjorn]

  96. RyanG says:

    Bjorn,

    What do you use to power your Big Muff? I have both the american and russian models, but the russian one doesn’t have a power input, it only takes 9V batteries.

    [I use 9v batteries… The green Sovtek doesn’t have a power input. The BYOC Large Beaver however has a Dynlop input but it sounds better with a battery. – Bjorn]

  97. Ernest Peske says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    regarding your article about the Gilmour – “magic switch” (=neck + bridge pickup), last year. Did you install this switch yourselve? I was thinking of buying a small “standard” switch, like Gilmour has…
    Ernest

    [Nope… I got my local guitar tech to do it. I’m a real airhead when it comes to electronics and soldering :-) – Bjorn]

  98. Yaniv says:

    Hey Bjorn! I saw your new rig, it is really good! Any plans for a review and the Large Beaver and the CS-2? How different it is from the CS-3?

    I though you got a CE-2… what did you do with it?

    [Thnaks!A review of the Large Beaver is coming… just need to make some recordings. The pedal is AMAZING! The CS-2 is, compared the CS-3, warmer and it has better sustain. I don’t know about the CE-2… I must admit that it didn’t do much for me… I prefer the old Mistress. Besides, we only play 70’s Floyd and I can’t see where I’m gonna use it…. maybe I’ll stick it in for some Airbag stuff. I got so much stuff I want to use, but there’s not enough space in my rig…. – Bjorn]

  99. Barney says:

    Bjorn,
    Which pickups for the ‘ultimate’ Comfortably Numb tone?
    Custom 54 or 69?

    [It’s a matter of personal teste of course, but IMO the 54’s…. – Bjorn]

  100. tim says:

    hello bjorn
    clips sound great,just for a test it would be cool to hear the same clip but with the 54’s then the clip with the 69’s,just a thought.
    tim

    [Thanks! I’ll see what I can do… – Bjorn]

  101. Ernest Peske says:

    I just installed a set of custom ’54 pickups: absolutely amazing! Everything sounds so much better, clean / effects.
    These custom pickups (’54 or ’69) really are great!

    Regarding the set up of my ’54 pickups:
    Approx. how close is the pickup (alnico-metal) to the 1st and 6th string of each pup…? (there’s nothing about this in the manual)
    Mine are between 30 – 40 mm.
    Bjorn, do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks again for this great article!
    Ernest

    [Congrats Ernest! I hope you’re as pleased as I am with both my 54 and 69! I don’t have my guitar at home right now, so I need to check, but the 54 are set a little higher than the 69. Still, the actual space between the poles and the strings depends on how you’ve set the action/height on your strings. I like mine quite high, but others like their to barely clear the neck. – Bjorn]

  102. pinkfloydfan1 says:

    i made abacking track for cluster one your welcome to use it for ur site
    if you wish the drums are a bit off but it sounds pretty decent

    [Please send it to me and I’ll check it out! Thanks! – Bjorn]

  103. ChrisZurada says:

    Nice, Bjorn, good clips. They really show how powerful ’69 are. Thanks a lot for this article. Regards P.S. Check your e-mail ;)

    [Thanks! -Bjorn]

  104. Ernest Peske says:

    Was it difficult to install the ’69 custom pickup set?
    Did you do it yourselve?

    I am also thinking about making a custom switch, like on gilmour’s “blackie”, for blending neck & bridge pickup together.

    Ernest

    [Very easy. You just replace the old pickups… – Bjorn]

  105. Peter says:

    Thanks, so I might need a MXR too! Can I ask you 2 more questions? Which pickup did you use on these CS69 recordings? Neck, Middle, Bridge or a combination? I used to have these pickups too, but I switched to CS54’s.

    Second, is your Big Muff modified in any way, like for example the tonestack?

    Thanks very much. I am realy enjoying your website!

    [Thanks Peter!I used the bridge pickup on the recordings… mostly do that for solos. No, the Sovtek Muff, which I used on the tracks, is all stock. However, I got myself a nice little BYOC Large Beaver Big Muff ’71 “triangle” clone the other day. Sweet! Please check out some new pics of my pedals here. The Beaver is the little silver pedal in the front. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  106. Ritchie Roberts says:

    We are always upgrading, moving around, and changing things as players aren’t we? :)

    I’ve changed a few things too. I don’t even have room on the pedalboard to keep my cs-3 on it. So I just dropped it altogether.

    VHT Valvulator I > Demeter Compulator > Crowther Hot Cake > TS 808 Tube Screamer (Will be replaced by a Timmy in July *sigh*) > Dice Works Muff Diver > Pro Analog Power Driver (DUDE this thing is an awesome boost!) > BK Butler Tube Driver > Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe > TC Electronic Chorus+ > Boss DD-20 Giga Delay :)

    Once I get the pedalboard all tidy and together I’ll take photos. Supposed to get my new pedalboard this week.

    Off my board and used in my little studio: RonSound Hair Pie, Boss DS-1 CMAT Ultra mod, Boss CS-3 Monte Allums mod, Large Beaver modified with so many switches I had to re-house it, 1972 Big Muff Pi, HE Deluxe Memory Man, and a slew of other pedals.

    Glad to hear the 69’s are doing it for ya! And the sound clips are really nice. You have a great tone there.

    -Ritchie

    [Some really nice pedals you have there! Please send me a pic (use my e-mail)! – Bjorn]

  107. Peter says:

    Hi Bjorn, thanks for the infomation. I have an old black big muff. It’s realy a green army one in a black case. My chain of effects is: Boss CS2, Digitech Bad Monkey, Muff, Boss GE7, Delay. Maybe I just have to play louder :)

    How different is the CS2 from the Dynacomp?

    [The Dynacomp is bright with a very deep compression, great for cleans and high gain distortions. The CS-2 is very mild, slightly darker and with great sustain. I use this one mostly for overdrives and some cleans… often in combo with the Dynacomp for a warmer compression…. Shine On, Coming Back to Life etc. – Bjorn]

  108. Peter says:

    Hi, I have some of the same effects as you are using. I was wondering how you get that smooth, transparant and ‘clear’ sound out of your bigmuff with the tone at around 40%? My sovtek muff sounds quite muddy when I set the tone there.

    Is the powerboost the secret here? How do you use that effect in your chain?

    Great sounds you have!

    [Hi Peter! I think much of the secret is to play loud. The Muff cleans up pretty well when you crank your amp. The Colorsound is set to a clean, bright volume boost, which adds a slightly brighter edge to the Muff. I also use a Dynacomp with the Muff. The chain is, – Dynacomp/ Muff/ Colorsound. Instead of the Colorsound, you can use any transparent booster, like the Boss BD-2. Which Muff model do you have? The new black Sovtek and the US reissue has a little more mid tone, which can make them sound sound muddier. – Bjorn]

  109. o says:

    I guess this is a stupid question since it’s not on this site, but…
    Does anyone have a backtrack of Pigs (3 diff one)..?? or know where i can find one,,even if it’s just the solo…?

  110. Ernest Peske says:

    I think, this would be my favourite Fender Custum Pickup Set:

    Neck: ’69 Custom PU
    Middle: ’69 Custom PU
    Bridge: ’54 Custom PU

    Choosing between either the ’54 complete custom set or either ’69 set, is very difficult! I still haven’t made my mind yet. Both sets sounds very, very good.

    Cheers, Ernest

    [I think I agree. Both the 69 neck and bridge pickups sounds slightly more poweful than the 54 but the 54 bridge syands out more than the 69. – Bjorn]

  111. Luciano says:

    P.S.:

    The Airbag stuff sounds great, too.

    Congratulations, man.

    [Thanks! Wer’e working on some new exciting stuff… Stay tuned! – Bjorn]

  112. Luciano says:

    Hi, Bjorn.

    First of all, I’d have to say that I’ve become addicted to gilmourish.com.

    I just can’t get tired of reading everything all over again (the same with Roscoe’s Tone From Heaven).

    Thank you for for sharing all these informations with all of us.

    BTW, he soundclips are great.

    As I’ve never played with neither the 54’s or the 69’s (I’ve just put an EMG DG-20 Set on my Mexican Strat a month ago), I have a question for you: do they sound THAT different from the EMG’s, I mean, isn’t it possible to achieve their (the 54’s & 69’s) sound with the EMG’s?

    Thanks,

    Luciano.

    [Thanks Luciano! I’m very thankful for your support! As you know the EMGs are active and therefor have a higher output and a slightly hotter tone… perhaps best compared to humbuckers, although they have the characteristics of single coils. David’s EMGs also have the EQ booster features, which can’t be simulated by regular pickups… you can get some of the same ffects with an additional EQ unit. Between the 54 and 69, I’d say the 69s are the closest to the EMGs. They’re slightly “hotter” than the 54s. That being said, I have the 54s on my blackie and I have no problem achieving Gilmour’s 80s and 90s sounds (at least pretty close). The 54’s blend very easily with most effects, and IMO they’re much more versatile than the 69’s. The other way around, I would NOT recommend the EMGs for vintage 70’s sounds. They are only suited for that 80’s and 90’s sound… that’s basically why David has started using his old blackie again, because he didn’t feel the EMGs sounded enough like a Strat. I guess this didn’t make you any wiser, but my personal oppinion is that the 69s are suited for 1968-1975 + Delicate and PULSE and the 54s are suited for 1977-present (including Delicate and PULSE). – Bjorn]

  113. Barney says:

    Bjorn,
    Whats your recording rig?

    I read that you added reverb to the clips. Did you add reverb just to the guitar track or to the whole mix (drums, guitar bass).

    [I’ve just mic’ed the amp and fed it into Garagband, – the Apple recording software. Only the guitar track is mixed with reverb. – Bjorn]

  114. Yaniv says:

    Hey bjorn, these sound clips are great!! any chance of you posting more soundclips? a pleasure to hear you play… but with the Sound City this time.

    [Thanks! I’ll try… I rarely have the proper recording equipment available when I use the Sound City. – Bjorn]

  115. Patrick says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Have you listened the Samarium Cobalt pickups that come with the Fender Strat American Deluxe? What opinion do you have of the switch S-1?
    In my opinion the bridge pick up is really powerful and warm(very much strat), and the switch S-1 there gives you the possibility of sound as a gibson Les paul (money only and others).

    [Haven’t tried them… sorry. But thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  116. Pavan says:

    oh by the way i was listening to the clip of TPFE playing Echoes… Does your bassist know how to make the wind noise during the seagull part?

    [Yes… it’s just rubbing/sliding a slide up and down the frets with tons of delay and some fuzz. – Bjorn]

  117. Pavan says:

    Hey Bjorn!!1
    i may pick up these pickups (i know bad pun) some time down the line. I just managed to acquire a Tube Driver off of eBay for $81.00 and i was wondering what kind of power supply it uses… Thanks

    ~Pavan

    [The TD comes with an integrated powerchord with a US plug. – Bjorn]

  118. Barney says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I can’t make up my mind on which pickups to install on my American Standard Strat.

    My favorite tones are on Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Comfortably Numb and Coming Back To Life

    Should I get the 69 or the 54?

    [I would go for the 54s…. they’re the most versatile and they sound great for all Gilmour eras. I have them on my blackie. – Bjorn]

  119. Ernest Peske says:

    Maybe an interesting site including soundclips of Fender Costum ’54 and ’69, here.

    Ernest

    [Great site! – Bjorn]

  120. Sam says:

    I have the 69’s on my 05 standard mexican black with maple strat. it was definitely a better upgrade from the stock pups. i was wondering how your neck pickup sounds. i can remember about a year ago when i put them in that the neck sounded very transparent, and even hallow. but i recently changed the pickgaurd and had to re-adjust the pickup heights. I dont know if i did it right because my strat sounds different than it did when i barely put the 69’s in. should the 69’s be set real close to the strings or far away. i know, my ocd is kicking in..

    [Compared to my Custom 54, the 69 are set pretty close to the pickguard… 0,5cm I think. – Bjorn]

  121. Emm's Audio says:

    Great Clips!
    I hope you got my email

    [Thanks! I’ll answer your mail asap! – Bjorn]

  122. Hey, awesome sound!!

    Can you tell me what settings you were using on your Muff and Dynacomp? Just so I can get a rough idea – esp on Hey You – that sound is awesome!

    [Thanks! Dynacomp, sens 10:00/ output 2:00 and Muff, sust 100%, tone 40%, volume 60%. You can find all of my settings here. – Bjorn]

  123. Hugo says:

    Well.. I have a Neck 69 and it just dont work for me. Mmm.. I reserved any purchase of new pickups until I see what pickups are installed in the Gilmour signature jejeje.. I guess then I will now for sure..

    Great sounds as always Bjorn!!

    [Seems like the Gilmour Strat will have custom Duncan’s, just like David’s guitar. I don’t know what would be the closest, but the story goes that Duncan re-wired some pickups David found in his office… seems to be one of a kind. Anyway, I think the Custom 54 sound much closer to David’s “blackie”. – Bjorn]

  124. Frails says:

    Very good job!! i must say that reverb just never sounds right in the clips though. would love to hear without. Anyway thanks as always YDM!

    [Thanks! The reverb I’ve added is a crappy GarageBand (Apple) effect… It will never sound right.. – Bjorn]

  125. Leandro says:

    Nice Pickups Bjorn! I have been looking for them here in Argentina for quite a while now…..I suppose I´ll buy them in the US if I can.

    Nice Review and soundclips!

    By the way, how do you get that bassy sound with the muff?

    Best Regards, Leandro

    [Thanks! I bought them off an EBay store and got a nice discount deal… check this out. The service was great with fast delivery. Regarding the Muff… that’s basically how it sounds. It’s very bassy. I’m also using the Colorsound PB to give it an extra boost. – Bjorn]

  126. Ernest Peske says:

    …forgot to mention, regarding your soundclips:
    really amazing sound, considering the fact you’ve used a transistor-combo!!
    Ernest

    [Thanks! The Marshall 5210 was something I bought years ago to have at home. I think it’s from 1980-82. The clean sound is very transparent, but it distorts when you push it too much… taht’s no problem when I play at home :-) The distortion channel is like putting on a RAT. Sounds amazing! On the clips I have use a stompbox RAT tho. – Bjorn]

  127. fabien says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    i have the same pickups on a 70’s style strat. The set is great but i find the bridge pickup too high, so i have connected the tone
    What’s is the date written ont your pickups? i wonder that Abigail Ybarra continues wounding pickups, and i have some doubts about the fact that she wounded my pickups which are dated from 2006! is she retired ? ;-)))
    the best sample (just plug and play) i have found for the style sound of the CS 69 is here: http://www.sdpickups.com/audio/red%20house%20clean.mp3, it’s not Fender pickups’ sample, it’s an onther handmade pickups brand, but the sound is the same ;-))

    Thanks Bjorn

    [I think mine says October 2006 and they’re signed AY, so I guess she’s still making them. – Bjorn]

  128. o says:

    I went to buy the Gibson teardrop pick yesterday,,but the guy in the shop said they had stop producing them..
    Do you know a place i can get it ?

    [Hm…that’s strange. All of the shops over here are still selling them. I don’t think it matters what kind of teardrops you use. I have used Ibanez many times and they’re great. Just find som teadrops heavy gauge 1mm… that will do. – Bjorn]

  129. Alex Mircica says:

    This kind of goes against what I thought about Custom 69s, I thought they were perfect for the Animals/Wall type stuff, seems I was mistaken! Hmmm not so sure about what was going to be my new purchase (a Classic Player 60’s Strat), all confused again now!! Thanks though for the info Bjorn!

    [It’s not that they sound like crap for the late 70’s era, but I think the Custom 54 sounds better. There’s a distinctly different sound in David’s guitar during those tours (and albums) than on the earlier tours (and albums) and my theory is that the Duncan’s, which David has installed in his “blackie” was fitted sometime in 1976-77…. just a thought. – Bjorn]

  130. Pinkfloydfan1 says:

    i have these pickups in my red strat there great for pulsish tones to me although i do have to add alot of eq to get the active mid boost great pickups

    bjorn do you buy any chance know any information on the emg ses single coil pickups i thought about getting them fora cheap strat project but i dont know what they are like do u know any info

    regards liam

    oh ye while i will say this i have been in contact with dave kilminster who gave me an exclusive look into his pedal board that he is using with roger on tour you are welcome to use it if you would like to

    [Yes, these have a very scooped mids tone and you need to add quite a lot of mid EQ to get that PULSE tone. – Bjorn]

  131. Joel says:

    Cool Bjorn! CS 69’s are very nice pickups. You should also look into Lindy Fralin pickups. They’re very awesome boutiques, I have them in one of my Strats.

    [Yes I know Lindy… I was considering them, but right now I wanted the Custom 69 as I’m very pleased with teh 54s. I’ve heard wonderful things about Lindy and I’ll definitely try them sometime. – Bjorn]

  132. Ernest Peske says:

    I always wanted to experiment with different Pick ups!!
    I would love Gilmour’s ’70 but also the ’80 sound.
    So, you did only replace the Pick Ups, were they expensive?
    I just wonder how this would sound on my New American series Stratocaster from 2004, without changing the electronics?
    The ’54 sounds interesting as well…
    Now, I will listen to Echoes from Pompeii again :-)
    Thanks Bjorn!

    [I only changed the pickups… which of course came with their own better shielded cables. You don’t need to change the rest of the electronics to make them work… As a rule I would rcommend Custom 69 for 1968-1975 era and Custom 54 for 1977-present era. -Bjorn]

  133. Sylvain says:

    Nice present ! Thanks for the clips !
    Is there a way to hear these pickups without any effect in order to hear what kind of clean sound they have ?
    A+

    [Thanks! This is that I couldn’t justify the sound I got from my Marshall amp when I tried to record a clean track. I’ll see if I can record something with my Sound City but as I said, the best reference is Echoes from Pompeii. – Bjorn]

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