FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

WD Music

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Apex Tube Matching



Musician's Friend

Guitar Center

Advertise here

Amplified Parts

Antique Electronics Supply

Jensen Loudspeakers

* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder



Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Best Strat for surf tone?

Previous 20 Messages  

Glendale, NY

Jan 26th, 2016 07:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

I guess until I can afford another guitar(JM), I will practice on my MIM Strat. I do have the 3 single coil pickups, yet ceramic. Actually, the specs say ceramic magnets, if that's different. Don't know if the are Hot or not as Davis mentioned. And do not know the difference between ceramic and regular. I am only learning to play. Thanks all.

(This message was last edited by AlohaEd at 10:00 AM, Jan 26th, 2016)

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Jan 26th, 2016 09:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ceramic pickups have a single wide black (or painted other color) ferrite bar magnet across the bottom of the coil bobbin, with six steel pole pieces inside the coil bobbin.

Sometimes a ceramic pickup has two skinnier ferrite bars

like this.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Jan 26th, 2016 09:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

Traditionally, Strat pickups have six alnico (ALuminum + NIckel + CObalt alloy) polpieces; each polepiece is an individual magnet. Depending on the pickup, all the poles are "north" up, or "south" up.

Like this.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Jan 26th, 2016 09:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

Purists generally go for alnico because that's what Leo Fender originally used.

One type of magnet is not better than the other, tho.

There is a tonal difference, but it's not as detectable by the human ear as some guitar snobbos might have you believe. The "detectability" is more present to the player only--in how the pickup responds to picking dynamics.

Alnicos generally exhibit a smoother response than ceramics. If you're playing rock and metal, ceramics generally are punchier.

If you're a screw sniffer, you can get down in the weeds with alnico alloys; there's alnico 1, alnico 2, etc.

There are also other magnet alloys and compositions, like cunife (copper + nickel + iron) and neodymium, but these are not that prevalent in pickup construction.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Jan 26th, 2016 10:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

"FWIW, Los Straitjackets use their signature model DiPinto Galaxie guitars"

A good friend is a bit of a gear nut and also a great surf player. He own a DiPinto Galaxy IV and I've had the chance to play it. Great surf guitar and not all that expensive. He also own a couple of Reverends which handle it well. He by the way does not like Jazzmasters or Jaguars, go figure.

There are a couple of Danelectro models that surf well.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Jan 26th, 2016 05:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

No offense taken. Tone is 100% subjective :o)



Feb 9th, 2016 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

Outstanding YT video...

I sure wish I knew that guy's settings on his delay rig!!!



San Clemente, CA

Happy Sunsets, tahitijack
Feb 15th, 2016 11:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you are really interested, visit Surf Guitar 101 dot comm. You'll find an endless supply of advice, opinions and sometimes hot debate over what works and does not. I play rhythm guitar in an instrumental surf music band. My rig rundown is a sonic blue Fender Classic 60's Player through a Fender Deluxe VM. I changed the pups to Fender noiseless vintage. The pic guard is white pearloid. I tend to play clean with a touch of reverb and delay/chorus on a few songs. Our lead guitar plays a Fender Jaguar through a Cyber Twin. He just bought a Dick Dale model Strat and is finding the muting more difficult and his pic is striking the middle pup. As others will tell you instrumental surf music is filled with almost endless possibilities. Enjoy the ride!

(This message was last edited by tahitijack at 01:03 PM, Feb 15th, 2016)


Columbus, Ohio

Mar 2nd, 2016 09:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

I prefer a classic 50s Strat because I prefer maple fretboards. It also comes in Surf or Seafoam green so you look cool as well!



A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever.
Mar 5th, 2016 02:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

While I am in agreement with most of these posts, and you can surf almost anything, I passively sought a surf tone for that genre for the past twenty years, and can state that my 2004 Custom Shop '60 Time Machine relic with the original three-way switch and 11-52s comes closest to the strat-based tracks on most of my large collection of surf LPs.

Contributing Member

South Florida

Mar 5th, 2016 07:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

After watching those youtube clips I now know what I want to do with the rest of my life. I wanna be a surf guitar master!

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Strat, Tele, Strat, Tele...hmmmmm
Mar 5th, 2016 09:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

When you can play good surf music on a Flying V, then you've got it.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Mar 23rd, 2016 07:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Fender Classic 60's Player through a Fender Deluxe VM"

tahitijack, nice to hear of someone else playing the oft-dissed VM Deluxe. Being a Bandmaster fan, I bought a Bandmaster VM for gigging and I'm working at coaxing some good tones out of it. Some speaker and tube changes, and just learning how to dial it in. And yes, a Strat (maple fretboard works best, lol) thru the VM with some reverb and a touch of delay makes for great surf tones.



Apr 22nd, 2016 07:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Although this is a demo of Kinman noiseless pickups, the great surf tone here is 99-44/100% the player's talent, attack and trem technique.

Surffy drippy strat tone!

Indiana Mike


Apr 22nd, 2016 07:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

I bought one of these a while back. They are no longer available but can be found at fairly good prices because (I think) people didn't care for the heavily checked laquer finish. I swapped an American Standard Charcoal Frost body with the vintage style 2 point trem. I don't know any surf stuff but if I was going for that sound, this is the guitar in my stable that I would use. It has a very twangy (but meaty), sixties sound.

1966 Limited Edition Strat


Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Aug 8th, 2017 06:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

It must be a disease, at 70, I'm into surf music. I know that Laika song, and just worked up Pacifica by Los Straitjackets. Just a standard strat for me in the bridge position and a working trem...

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Best Strat for surf tone?

Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:

Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2019 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved