Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s Strat Stratocaster Pickup Review

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:

Neck 6.0k

Middle Rw/Rp 6.3k

Bridge 6.2k

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.


2 thoughts on “Fender Custom Shop Fat 50s Strat Stratocaster Pickup Review

  1. See if you fine gentlemen can help me out. I got a American Standard Stat. I love shred, blues, metal, and all that, so I tried the YJM Fury picks up for the Neck and Bridge. I left the middle one stock. Don’t get me wrong, I WAS able to play metal with the pick ups as they were, but wanted an extra punch. The fat 50s are incredible… except for the noise, like always. Now, I only use the middle for clean balad tones. But there is still a hum. The bass response and chime enchants me and I have been deilberating that in spite of all the noiseless alternatives, I fear that the quality of the Fat 50s would still blow any of these out of the water and hence regret pulling it out. I am told I do not need to do this with clean tones, and it is true, it hardly shows. But to my satisfaction and for gig, recording purposes, if I still hate the hum no matter how slight, what would be the BEST alternative to the CS Fat 50’s pick ups? Vintage Noiseless? Anything in Seymour Duncan? I am sure I am not the only one with this dilemma, but for the sake of technicalities, has anyone found a substitute? I am referring of course just to the middle pickup. Thanks
    Silent backplates dont work for the middle pick up in question, it is RWRP

  2. Thanks for your comment. While we side with your opinion that it is simply difficult if not impossible to replace the incredible tone of a vintage alnico single coil pickup. We favor them too. But the hum as you’ve mentioned can be troublesome if it can be rooted out. For a solution we recommend two alternatives.

    – Seymour Duncan
    STK pickups either the 4 or 6. You can get them calibrated so they still offer quack. But they will be similar to the tone of the Fury as the technology is similar if not the same.

    – Lace
    While we are not fans of the Sensor series due to the ceramic magnets, many players like them. However, our choice is their Holy Grail pickup. These are made with Alnico magnets and do offer incredible tone both clean and over-driven.

    We hope this helps. Thanks!

    Pickers Parts

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