Perhaps your thinking about new pickups for your strat. Maybe you heard about Fat 50s from a friend, a forum or went to a local jam session and are after something more out of your Stratocaster. No mater you reason for considering Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s Stratocaster Pickups here are a few things to consider. Hopefully you’ll find this review by Pickers Parts of Fender’s modified 50s pickups to some benefit.
Fender’s Custom Shop Fat 50s offer the player that incredible 50s tone but with a little more bite. The increased windings on these pickups provide the player with a tone that has increased mid range presence via a tighter bass response unlike their Original ’57/62 which is a close replica to a vintage Fender pickup. You may not notice much out of the neck but you’ll see an immediate difference in the higher output of the middle pickup, which is rewound and has reverse polarity (rw/rp), and offer the player hum cancelling in positions 2 and 4. Another immediate difference is the bridge pickup which holds its own in output.
Unfortunately for the price, the pickups are machine wound. (Check out http://pickersparts.auctivacommerce.com/Nicos-Vintage-Pickups-C32949.aspx for Hand Wound Pickups for your stratocaster by Nico’s Vintage Pickups for $140 per set.) It is commonly known that hand wound pickups offer a little more in dynamic fullness and yield a warmth just cannot be matched by machines. Even Leo Fender himself preferred hand wound pickups to the much more “efficient and cost effective machines”.
That being said, they are unmistakable Fender in tone and provide the player trademark “50s bell tone” and “quack” in the notch positions. The uniquely calibrated set is as follows:
Middle Rw/Rp 6.3k
How does this pickup set compare with others on the market? There are none others calibrated quite like it. Most pickup sets which are calibrated offer either equal resistance in the neck and middle, with the middle rw/rp OR have an increasing resistance from Neck to Middle to Bridge. Seymour Duncan SSL-1 vintage stratocaster pickup is wound to 6.5 and is noticeably hotter than just about any Fender pickup.
The Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s is truly a Fender pickup with a “little bit” more attitude. A really little, little, little bit which is not necessarily a bad thing for true vintage Strat enthusiasts.
You can find Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s Strat pickups at www.PickersParts.com where they offer these and other Fender pickups in a variety of custom setups wired to your electronics switching desires with the looks you want.