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FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / Is it my imagination or do these 90's Standard Strat pups sound second rate?


Austin TX USA

Gain is my co-pilot...
Dec 18th, 2016 01:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

I was given a MIM Standard Stratocaster from the mid-90's in new condition however it doesn't compare in timbre and tone to other Teles and Strats I own - It sounds kind of cool and sterile. Is this common for these models from this time? I suspect they are ceramic magnet pups, I'm not sure exactly how that affects the timbre.

Anyone with more experience help me understand what's up with this otherwise fine guitar? Thanks.

Modal Magic
Contributing Member

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Jan 29th, 2017 12:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

I had a similar problem with a '96 MIM Standard. Changed the pups to '57/62s, sounded different but still lifeless. Did a good set-up, made no difference. Changed the neck with another MIM Standard neck, improved it a bit but still not that good. I eventually fitted a Classic '50s neck and the guitar suddenly came alive. Everything improved, more resonant, touch sensitive and lively. The pups must've loved it 'cause hey sounded awesome. I never did put the OEM ceramics back in though. I've had a number of MIM Standards fitted with the ceramic pups and the above mentioned guitar is the only one that sounded flat and lifeless.

FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / Is it my imagination or do these 90's Standard Strat pups sound second rate?

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