12 Best Stratocaster Pickup Reviews 2020 (Great Brands for Strat Pickup)

Best Stratocaster Pickups & Best Strat Pickup Brands

Best Stratocaster Pickups & Best Strat Pickup Brands

One of the most popular stratocaster in the market is the Fender Stratocaster. But, a surprising thing about this guitar type is that since its inception in 1954, many people have altered the pickup design on their strats.

Against this backdrop, it is imperative to look into the reasons why there have been numerous changes in the Fender Stratocaster pickups. What is motivating fans of this electric guitar brand to change their pickups. 

What are the Best Stratocaster Pickups to Buy?

2) Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups

  • Easy to install
  • Clear sound and warm tone
  • Excellent five positional designs
  • White vinyl design
  • High quality

1) Fender Strat Hot Noiseless Pickups

  • Warm and punchy tone
  • Bluesy feel
  • 3 pieces of pickups in a set
  • Clean, bright and very full tone

3) Seymour Duncan California ‘50s Strat Pickups

  • A set of 3 single-coils design
  • Classic bright vintage tone
  • Wax-potted design
  • Charming and glassy tone

The Stratocaster pickup

First, you must understand what a strat pickup represents. Well, a standard single-coil pickup usually consists of a set of magnet wrapped up in a thin wire. These pickups are shorter than Telecaster pickups and are not mounted onto a plate, plus they also have a much higher output.

What necessitate Strat pickup changes?

When your strat pickup starts tugging on your strings, it’s because it is getting wane and there is a need to replace it. The sound quality is another reason why so many Fender fans are changing their pickups. Strats pickups are originally designed to create a smooth, bright, crisp, clear and bell-like sound.

However, when you start noticing a hum on the tonal rendition of your play, then you know there is a need to change the pickup. Like every other single-coil pickup out there in the market, strat pickups are also prone to hum, particularly when you start turning up the volume and distortion level.

Again, if the overall output of your strat is getting low, then you know there is a need to change your pickup.

What to consider when buying a strat pickup

When shopping for your strat pickup, think about the Alnico magnet/slug wrap design. While a strat pickup with Alnico V will offer you much balance and high level of tone articulation, it doesn’t help you from getting tugged on the strings. But, with an Alnico 2 pickup, string tugging issue will be a thing of the past, but not all of them offer perfect balance like their Alnico V counterparts.

Another aspect to look into is if you want to buy in a set or individually. While a single-coil pickup will cost you less and save you a fortune, buying a set often comes with bonuses like the inclusion of mounting hardware, which is not mostly available when you buy an individual pickup.

Lastly, you may want to consider the brand name behind the pickup you are buying. But, frankly speaking, most of the brands in the market have almost the same pickups in appearance, qualities and overall functionality. It is just a thin line of variation that separates them. Therefore, whether, you are going for a Fender, DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, EMG, Gibson, Harmonic Designs, and more, every single pickup sound authentic in their respect.

12 Best Stratocaster Pickup Reviews and the Best Stratocaster Pickup Brands

1) Fender Strat Hot Noiseless Pickups

The Fender Strat Hot Noiseless Pickups offers enduring versatility across different sound applications.

Using the Hot Noiseless pickup design for the neck will give you warm, charming and punchy tone with a bluesy feel all over it. But when you employ the bridge version of the Hot Noiseless pickup, be ready for a screaming sound with a high gain.

Fender features three pieces of these pickups in a set. Therefore, when you buy one, you get three, which you can use for your strat neck, middle and bridge. They are white, and the tone is clean, bright and very full.

The pickups feature the famous Alnico 5 magnet plus their enamel coated magnet wire. These add to the overall output of the pickups. When you buy a set, you get the mounting hardware. However, when you buy individually, you won’t get any mounting hardware.

2) Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups

Even from a standoff, all fans of Fender would love these pickups. They are the pickups that add that 1960s vibe to your Stratocaster whenever you require it. It would be challenging to find a competitor that can boast of better quality and reliability than what Fender has up its sleeves. The qualities they deliver are perfect with strat requirements.

Like you would expect, the pickups have excellent five positional designs that ensure they can cope with more solid stuff. They offer a perfect setting for your bridge, middle and neck requirement. They feature the popular Alnico 5 magnet that is wrapped about with Formvar wire, together with its overwound bridge touch for a hotter output.

This is genuinely a screamer. They are easy to install, has beautiful, clear sound, and the tone it provides can turn your cheap strat into a blasting monster. The white vinyl design further makes them suitable on any strat. The attention-grabbing warm sound makes them a great option anytime.

3) Seymour Duncan California ‘50s Strat Pickup Set

The California ‘50s strat pickup from Seymour Duncan is a set of three single-coils design. These pickup set are calibrated and they are perfect for players who love to play something unique with their new instrument.

The pickups deliver a classic bright vintage tone that reminds you of the great sound that rules the airwaves during the 1950s. Each of the pickups in this set incorporates the famous Alnico 5 magnetic rod design, laden with special Formvar magnet wiring. By this magnet design, the guitarist is treated to a charming, glassy tone with an incredible chime to it.

The pickups are versatile in performance; thanks to their wax-potted design that ensure squeal-free playing. If you want something that will enhance your funk, blues and rock music renditions, use these pickups. The note definition is excellent, even as the chords reads out nice and the lead tone offers a bright and cut-through band mix.

4) Fender Pure Vintage ’65 Strat Pickup

For those guitarists who are on the look for a set of pickups that will deliver warm vintage-pattern tones, the Fender Pure Vintage Pickup is a sure option to consider.

The pickups feature an enamel coated magnet design that ensures they remain durable and active across different musical style application. Fender includes Alnico 5-level magnet construction that further enhances the excellent tone dynamism you get from this pickup.

Any string type connected through these pickups will surely enjoy comfortable balance in volume because of the staggered pole pieces. The construction also includes a fiber bobbing and period-correct cloth wire for excellent durability and stability.

With a 1-year manufacturer warranty, you can rest assured that what you are investing in will be durable and result-oriented.

You will love the one coil design and the balanced, clear and crisp tone it generates.

5) Seymour Duncan STK-S4n Classic Stack Plus –Neck Pickup

Seymour Duncan is a reliable name to behold when it comes to selecting neck pickup. The STK-S4n Classic Stack Pickup features as a single-coil humbucker construction. What this means is that the pickup is strictly for use with the neck region of your strat. It is designed to take out hum and ensure that your strat have and enjoy that traditional single-coil tone.

The STK-S4n pickup is an excellent choice for guitarists who love to play pop, country, surf, rockabilly, classic rock, ska, and blues. The pickup circuit features a tunable negative hum design that ensures you enjoy the best in traditional tone rendition. This pickup comes pre-tuned from the factory, meaning you don’t have to take the stress of having it retuned.

But hey, when we said it is just for your neck, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it on your middle and bridge settings. However, you will have to buy one at a time. The three conductor cable included allow the player to split the single coil mode, and the fact that you can also use it with rosewood and maple fingerboards shows how versatile it can be.

6) Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Flat SSL-4 Pickup for Strat

Here comes Seymour Duncan—one of the best guitar pickup makers in the history of the world. The SSL-4 Pickup from Seymour features extreme power that twice exceeds the power of a traditional single-coil pickup.

With the name of the manufacturer carefully crested below the 6-quarter inch diameter magnets, this pickup is genuinely a high output single-coil design. It is the type of pickup that’s suitable for classic rock, blues, garage, and traditional metal and nu-metal, as well as heavy rock musical rendition.

It delivers a fat, punchy sound that resembles a P-90. Cranked it and it will scream with extreme power. Lower it, and it will provide a clean volume. The powerful coil winding on the polished magnets helps the pickup to render greater sustain.

There is no way you are not going to fall in love with the 1/4 inch diameter magnet, including the great sustain at the bridge and neck region.

7) Wilkinson Lic White ST Strat Vintage Voice Single Voice Pickup

If you are looking for a beautiful set of pickups to customize your strat, these pickups from Wilkinson are your best bet.

They are not only affordable but also serve as nice replacement pickups for guitarists whose original pickups are going bad. The surprising thing about these pickups is that, despite the fact they feature a ceramic body design, the sound they create exceeded expectation.

It is even amazing that these pickups excel far better than some original pickups on some strats.

Another nice aspect of these pickups that is worth mentioning is that the ceramic magnet construction makes them durable and with high resistance. At the Neck and Middle levels, the resistance level measure 5.8K while the Bridge has 6.1K resistance level.

These are classic single voiced vintage pickups that feature 6 chrome mounting springs and screws. Although they didn’t come with any installation instruction, they aren’t that difficult to set up.

8) Fender Generation 4 Noiseless Stratocaster Single-Coil Pickups-Set of 3

The Generation 4 Pickups is another excellent set of 3 pickups from Fender. These Noiseless pickups are not just called what they are for the fun of it. Instead, they excel in being the best in providing that authentic vintage style fender tone that flows alongside its quiet performance.

These pickups offer a truly spectacular sound that looks like that of a single-coil pickup. The sound they provide is crisp and clear from the onset. There are three in a set, and each is designed with a low tight end that makes them suitable for achieving overdriven tones and burst.

The Generation 4 Noiseless pickups deliver punchy mids and high ends that can power through whatever mix they are put under. Mimicking a cold fusion design, these pickups are great for pop and rock musical tone rendition. You could not have gotten something better in its category.

9) EMG SA Active Single Coil Guitar Pickup, Black

While the EMG brand is famous for their humbucker strat pickup designs, they also excel in the area of single-coil pickups with excellent results. This particular model is an active single-coil pickup with a load of top quality design. The pickup features an Alnico 5 magnet, which means you can expect and enjoy a well balanced and articulate tone.

From the moment you mount this pickup, you will be greeted with that unmistakable strat sound. The EMG SA features a bright and airy sound with a rich bottom end to the overall feel. While enjoying the ultimate balance in tone and flow, the mid-range rendition offers even better warmth.

It creates a unique creamy and sublime blues-tone that is not only clear and strong but is also very expressive. The tone output from the EMG SA pickup adds further glamour to the overall tone of your amp. If you need it raunchy and rowdy, then get the EMG SA Pickup today.

10) DiMarzio Area 67 Single Coil Pickup

The best thing you can do for your strat is to get it a nice looking pickup that doesn’t just work but also delivers in appearance. This pickup from DiMarzio surely fit that description!

The DiMarzio Area 67 Pickup features a white body construction that grabs attention even from a great distance. The pickup also features the best of Alnico grade 2 slugs/magnets. By this design, you can rest assure that this pickup will not constitute a rebel or nuisance by tugging on your guitar strings like a thug in Chicago.

Another useful aspect of this pickup is that it allows you to comfortably get closer to your strings without causing any trouble for you like the way some of the Alnico 5-made pickups does.

Lastly, we found that the pickup sounds great in the middle pickup section of your strat. The sound is fantastic and completely hum-free.

11) Seymour Duncan SL591 Little White Bridge Strat Pickup

Seymour Duncan returns with another top quality pickup—the SL591. This time, the pickup offers a nice choice for people who love to play country music, funk, blues, jazz, heavy rock, and classy rock musical style rendition.

There are 4 solid conductor hookup cables that accompany this pickup. With these, you can have a balance in volume and level of resistance. The Seymour Duncan SL591 pickup comes as a single-coil voiced –sized humbucker pickup with adjustable pole pieces for fine-tuning the string balance.

The Duncan Little SL591also allows the guitarist to dial in the precise amount of punch you need. You can also use this pickup on a maple and rosewood fingerboards. The adjustable design and dynamic response have seen its increasing use by popular musicians.

12) Lace Sensor Blue-Silver-Red 3 Pack S-S-S Pickup Set

Black is beautiful, and that is what these Lace Sensor Pickups offers. The pickups are available in three colors namely; silver, blue and red. So you have a nice array of colors to choose according to your guitar appearance.

The Red pickup and its sensor design allow the player to have a fat, punchy humbucker-style tone rendition at the bridge. As for the silver option, it delivers a fat single-coil sound with amazing midrange and encouraging output.

The Lace sensor blue guitar pickup option, in turn, delivers a bit more of higher output in line with the warmer humbucking sound of the ’50s.

The pickups have a 3000 inductance, peak frequency configuration. With the inclusion of a three-inch data CD, you will be able to know and utilize all that pertains to Lace diagram, wiring and color functionality.

Choosing the Best Pickups for Stratocaster

Notwithstanding the style you loved to play, adding a new and reliable single-coil pickup to your strat can change the tone of your guitar for good. It makes no difference whether you’re playing a premium made fender in America or an entry level Yamaha; with a new strat pickup, you can resolve any tone that you crave.

The strat pickups we have covered above are not by any means the entirety of what is there in the market. However, they represent the best you can find that will deliver the tone and balance you need from your electric guitar.

2) Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups

  • Easy to install
  • Clear sound and warm tone
  • Excellent five positional designs
  • White vinyl design
  • High quality

1) Fender Strat Hot Noiseless Pickups

  • Warm and punchy tone
  • Bluesy feel
  • 3 pieces of pickups in a set
  • Clean, bright and very full tone

3) Seymour Duncan California ‘50s Strat Pickups

  • A set of 3 single-coils design
  • Classic bright vintage tone
  • Wax-potted design
  • Charming and glassy tone

If there is any question, suggestion or something else in your mind that you may want to tell us, just let us know in the comment session below, and we will respond to you quickly.