Early 70's Grey Bobbin Strat Pickups - Views/Experiences ?

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SchmoSchmo Frets: 26
Just wondering what the general views are on the early 70's Grey Bobbin pickups...I have no experience of such vintage pickups but have often wondered how they'd compare to this modern age of vintage re-creations etc.


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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 6420
    tFB Trader
    Tone is not about DC resitance readings etc, but p/ups from this era are Fender's weakest output - However they are popular due to the late 60's models that Hendrix played (at least the big headstock models) - Less mids, which delivers a 'scooped' voice that appears to emphasis the highs and lows - Lush and clear 

    Others make replicas of such pick-ups and they will/should compare favourably, without any appropriate price hikes
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 4144
    I tried an original 69 strat years ago, found the pickups very thin.
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  • I have a set of GFS grey bottom vintage staggers in a box. I had them installed in my previous strat but haven’t bothered to mod my current strat, so they’re sitting waiting for me to get bored of the stock pickups. 

    About the grey bottoms - I loved them in my previous strat, best sounding/feeling pickups of several sets I tried. Really lively and characterful. Loved the bridge pickup. Didn’t love the fact i’d Gone for the non-reverse wound middle pickup - there was no way of avoiding buzz.
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  • I’d consider selling you them as I’m try to raise some money for gear
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  • SchmoSchmo Frets: 26
    Thanks to all for your feedback, much appreciated. I guess the only way to assess is to buy a vintage set and compare but its a costly business...
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 15811
    I quite like them, but you may find the in-between sounds a bit weedy if that bothers you. 
    I prefer 3-way switches so don't care much about the cheesy quackers.
    :)
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  • SchmoSchmo Frets: 26
    p90fool said:
    I quite like them, but you may find the in-between sounds a bit weedy if that bothers you. 
    I prefer 3-way switches so don't care much about the cheesy quackers.
    :)

    Cheers for that - I'd definitely want a 5-way, as I dig them cheesy quackers !
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 1876
    I like the ones on my 74 Strat (neck & middle are grey bobbin, flat pole pieces, the bridge pup is something else). Low output, sweet clear tone. 
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5006
    tFB Trader
    Low output, more scooped than earlier pickups, Can be a bit thin, very prone to going dead - due to the slack tolerances between the magnets and the flatwork allowing moisture into the centre of the coils and corroding them. Also the slack magnet fit allows magnets to move and snap core wires.
    If you have a nice set treat them carefully, they are less robust than earlier Fender pickups.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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