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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Custom Shop 54's

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bluesmama

usa

Mar 1st, 2000 01:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Just installed a set of Custom Shop 54's in my ash/maple board, MIJ, 68' RI. FDP'ers have reported how notoriously BAD the stock pups were on these otherwise fine guitars. I'd looked at
57/62's, and decided I'd liked the vintage sound, but was steered to the 54's by Shane Nicholas at Fender. Shane was right on...the 54's are a fantastic pickup.

Not as hot as TexSpecs (although the bridge pickup is wired "hotter" and can be pretty biting), and not as bottom heavy, IMO, as Fat 50's, the 54's are a perfect blend of beautiful, balanced, chimey strat sound. They have a nice fullness with mids and bottom end, with round and ringing highs, at all volumes. These pups have colors galore! You can roll off the tone knob in all positions and get a variety of tonal variations which I can't believe are coming out of my 68RI. My tech wired the hot bridge pup so that the tone control works directly with the pup, so you can dial in(or out) some of the brittle highs on an agressive attack.
All notes ring equally in a chord, no one string sticks out. What I really love is the blossom each note gets: chords, softly picked notes, notes picked with a thumb, as well as those picked agressively all ring and sustain beautifully, and the notes decay naturally..(something I felt that the Vintage Noiseless lose). They are fairly quiet, but hey, they are single coils! I'm also really impressed with how the pups respond to the nuances you can dial in with your amp. I run them through a Blues Jr. and I'm only beginning to tap the colors possible with these pups. Overdriven, the sound full and don't lose any of the above described qualities. I like them so much I'd put them in another strat!!!
If you like warm,beautiful, glassy, Fender strat tones, these are the pups for you. Kudos Fender...with these installed, I'd put my 68RI up against the most well made American Vintage or American Deluxe strat...

Hach

Canada

Mar 1st, 2000 05:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nice review bluesmama.I liked the sound of the
57/62 pups,but I wanted to be sure I was getting
all I could from my new guitar.
I felt the guitar was lacking the brightness that I had become accustomed to with a strat.I wanted the guitar to cut through alot more when overdriven,and that is why I replaced them with
texas specials.I miss the 57/62's because they
looked so cool in the guitar but great tone is important as well.
Thanks for your help,bluesmama.

Ditch Gator

USA

Mar 1st, 2000 07:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

One of the best kept secrets in the Fender line of pups!!!
Nice review bluesmama.

Stew

Corona, CA

Mar 1st, 2000 11:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

When I first purchased my set of CS 54's, I thought they were too bright, shrill. Then I swapped out the .22 cap for a .01 cap. What a difference. I took the neck from my MIM Classic 50's Strat, replaced the body with a solid one piece Swamp Ash in nitro vintage blonde and made my own Closet Classic Strat. I get asked all the time, "What year Strat is that" and "Those must be original vintage pickups". I think these pickups shine in an Ash body.

bluesmama

usa

Mar 2nd, 2000 01:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Stew, you're so right...they simply shimmer in my ash '68.

Hach

Canada

Mar 2nd, 2000 04:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I forgot to ask, do these pickups have bevelled magnets?

bluesmama

usa

Mar 2nd, 2000 05:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hach, the magnets are bevelled.

Pete Cosenza

Ventura,Cal

Apr 5th, 2000 10:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

where do I get mine?
do we NEED to change the capacitors too?
I wasnt planning on it
by the way whats a capacitor?
Hey bluesmama. You the one with your name on the bluest guitar?

bluesmama

usa

Apr 6th, 2000 01:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Pete, mine sound great without the capacitor change, but my tech said that at some time I should probably replace the ones I've got (MIJ68RI strat), as the electronics from that model weren't the greatest. As far as where to get them, I think Am. Musical Supply and Musicians Friend has them if you call, and Smart Parts (see the links page) has had a really good price on them recently. ANd hey, don't cha just love that desert sunset finish on my sig strat?
Bonnie :^)

Pete Cosenza

Ventura,Cal

Apr 10th, 2000 08:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I love the finish and I think I love you. Still married?


Pete Cosenza

Ventura,Cal

Apr 28th, 2000 02:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

why is this thread killed???? Come on people more on the pickups ... can I get them for a tele? bluesmama you didn't really answer my question. the real bluest guitar momma wouldnt just fool around with such vagueness.. and I was wondering why you are such a promoter for the products....sure you dont get a little $$ on the side. Jees girl did you notice how Keith (mr VICE president) went off on the rant when I hit the nerve about his ever constant salesmanship. Please tell me the truth.....What kind of pickups are in the desert sunburst??
anybody else like the custom shop 54s How much do I have to pay for the bobbins and wire this time????

Don Miller

Alaska

Apr 29th, 2000 09:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I got one in the neck position of one of my teles...and I like it alot...I used the "bridge" pup of of the set...wanted something a little hot...and I had plans for the mid and neck pickup...it balances real well with my Duncan Broadcaster bridge pickup...good articulation, wide range of tonal colors...I have a toggle wired to switch it in and out of phase with the bridge and it's clear and strong enough to overcome the thin nasal out of phase sound and gives me an almost strat-ish mid-slightly out of phase sound...I'm gonna put the other two in a 2-SC, bridge humbucker strat I'm working on...

I got mine on eBay for less than what they list for in Musicians Friend and similar catalogs...

Hach

Canada

May 12th, 2000 09:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My CS 54's have arrived and I had them installed in my '57RI strat earlier this evening.
They are very beautiful and expressive sounding pickups. I'm very pleased with the extra quack in position #2 and the sweet responses heard while picking softly.

I then switched to the drive channel on my Hot Rod Deville.
What I heard was clarity with colour. These pickups soaked up plenty of drive yet retained all basic character and sweet tonal response.

I think I'm going to enjoy these pickups for a long time to come!
Thank You, bluesmama, for your strong recommendations for these pickups.

Hach

bluesmama

usa

May 13th, 2000 06:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Way to go, Hach!

JasonB

Maine

Jun 10th, 2000 04:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey Bluesmama , are you really Bonnie Raitt? I saw you on tv the other day.

hrapunov

USA

Jul 3rd, 2000 01:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi,
Is there some place on-line where I can go to hear what these pickups sound like? I'm interested in the CS '54s, but would like to compare them to the '57/'62s as I'm sure I can't buy one set, try them and if I don't like the sound return them for exchange once they are installed.

Thanks

T-Bird

USA

Sep 5th, 2000 01:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

hrapunov,
I don't know of anyplace online where you could hear a good comparison of pickup tone. I can say that I tried the 57/62 pickups (in a 57 RI) and I like the '54s better. I've got them in an Am Std Strat (maple), and they are very sweet. The bridge pup is very nice, too. Chimey 50s strat tone. Fender really got it right with these pickups.
t-bird

lone_jordan

U.S.A

Sep 8th, 2000 12:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was just wonderin' which pick-up is on the Jabs Matthias signature Strat, is it the CS 54's or CS Fat 50's?(on the neck and middle) can anyone help? Thank you.

Hach

Canada

Sep 8th, 2000 03:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

lone jordan, Frontline reads Custom Shop 50's single-coils with one Seymour Duncan JB.
My guess is Fat 50's, FWIW.

Hach

lone_jordan

U.S.A

Sep 8th, 2000 09:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hach thanks for the response, but on the new frontline(Muddy Waters on the cover)it says on the Dick Dale signature Strat that it has Custom 50'S pick-ups and I know for a fact that he uses CS 54's, so maybe Custom 50's is the CS 54's.I am thinking of putting CS 54's on my alder body strat with maple neck, I wonder whats the effect on an alder body as oppose to ash?

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