Sometimes you want THAT sound, but a new guitar isn’t in the budget, or you love your guitar but want more sonically – swapping your pickups and possibly reconfiguring pots and wiring can make a huge difference. And those with boutique taste on a beer bottle budget can get what they’re after with a little research and a great repair shop.
In fact, most of the staff at Mass Street has had replacement pickups installed in at least one of their guitars – (you can sometimes check these guitars out yourself with our ‘Pickup Test Drive’ guitars in the store). It’s an easy fix for getting something more out of your favorite guitar or making it sound brand new. Some of our favorite pickups for upgrades are Grosh, Tom Anderson and of course Lindy Fralin.
A customer recently brought in their already-very-cool Fender American Deluxe Strat and wanted to see about different pickups. The guitar originally had a single coil each in the neck and middle positions, and a humbucker in the bridge, all used with 250k pots. The customer thought maybe he could get better sound with boutique pickups and after talking with Matt, they settled on the Grosh Fat 60s combined with the 327 Humbucker. Along with the pickups though you have to think about the wiring and the pots. Matt has done upgrades like this before and knew he could take this strat to a whole new level.
After removing the Strat’s pickguard and innards, he set to making a full pickguard assembly for the new pickups, wiring, pots, and switch. Matt’s tweaks allow the new pickups to be used in conjunction with the correct valued potentiometers and capacitors – 250k for the single coils and 500k for the humbucker. No tone loss and it all sonically matches better now. It’s wired so each lives up to its full sonic potential.
With the specialized wiring, Matt was also able to use a ‘Super 5 Way’ switch, allowing the 4th position to now be used as a coil tap combining the middle Grosh Fat 60 single coil with half of the Grosh humbucker. The 5th position is all the 327 humbucker, and it rocks.
In Matt’s own words, “It sounds like a million bucks.”
If you’re interested in new pickups, or just curious about options, give us a call at 785-843-3535.
Top – finished pickguard from the front
Left – the back of the new pickguard assembly, before Matt wired it up to the guitar and input.