A rounder, fatter tone for bridge position Stratocasters
I’ve always been in two minds about the Strat bridge position. Unlike the Tele with its copper plated steel baseplate, the strat bridge position can sound bright, very bright in fact – and some would say too bright (especially in those 70s CBS era strats where corners were cut even on the use of coil wire).
I didn’t want to go down the root of fixing a tele style baseplate to the flatwork of the strat pickup, nor did I want to fatten up the tone by a high level of overwinding as that would give a higher output. I wanted to keep the essential characteristics of the pickup but just warm it up somehow, making it more pleasant on the ear.
The thing about pickup makers (like myself) is that they can obsess over the simplest of things and warming up the Strat bridge became one such obsession.
I tried a number of things but in the end decided on individual circular copper baseplates directly attached to the underside of each pole magnet to slightly shift the resonances towards the lows a little, which along with the flat stagger Alnico 2 rod magnets help to give the new pickup the warmth I was after.
I called it the “Extra Width” and designed a Strat set of middle & neck to compliment it. You can find the full details & spec below.
Here’s how it sounds, wonderfully played by Session Guitarist James Deane through a Fender® Hot Rod Deluxe – Let me know what you think.
Click to Play:
… and this is what James had to say about it:
“The Extra-Width Bridge pickup sounds fantastic; crystal clear yet without the ‘ice-pick’ treble of the pick-up I was replacing. I really like the fact it responds to my playing and it comes to life with a bit of overdrive. Thanks very much for making my guitar warmer and clearer.”
- James Deane, professional Session Guitarist, Producer & Engineer
“Extra Width” Stratocaster Pickup Set
A great Stratocaster pickup if you want to balance the early ’60s strat tone with a more blusier feel.
Magnets: Alnico 2
Coil Wire: 42AWG
Lead Wire: Vintage Cloth Pushback
Bridge Output: 6.8k
Middle Output: 6.3k
Neck Output: 6.1k
A flat-pole hotter-wound Stratocaster pickup for a fatter twist on the classic Strat tone. Still with snappy highs, a fatter mid-range with rounded bass. Scatter wound with wax potted coils and flat Alnico 2 magnets. Higher output. Vintage style cloth covered lead wire.
The Bridge pickup has individual copper baseplates under each pole to slightly shift the resonances toward the lows which combined with the hotter wind, helps to create a warmer bridge tone.
The Middle Strat Pickup can be RWRP for hum cancelling in positions 2 & 4.
Thanks for reading.