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.

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Jensen Loudspeakers

Apex Tube Matching


Amplified Parts

Antique Electronics Supply


WD Music

* 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 / Reverse Wound Middle Pickup



Jul 11th, 2017 09:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

hello all! I have a Fender American Vintage Series '70s Stratocaster Reissue made in 2011 but it seems to me there are a lot of noise. I know pretty much about the single coil's noise and I love it. I have 3 different Fenders and this one has a lot of noise. So I was thinking to do a "Dummy Coil" installation with my trustable luthier but according to him I need to know if Fender follow the same default manufacturing of 70's decade and didn't do the Reverse Wound middle pickup.
Thanks in advance


Cincinnati, USA

Jul 11th, 2017 02:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

You or your luthier can easily determine the polarity of the magnets using a magnetic compass.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Jul 11th, 2017 05:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

To elaborate on what amphead said, if you hold a magnetic compass (not a smartphone) up to each pickup the needle will point north or south depending on the polarity.

It doesn't matter which direction it points (north or south). If all three pickups go the same direction, the middle is *not* reverse wound/reverse polarity.

If the bridge & neck go one way and the middle goes the other, the middle pickup is RW/RP.

Hope that helps.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Jul 12th, 2017 09:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

Without a compass, if the guitar quiets down with the PU selector switch in the 2 or 4 position, middle/bridge or middle/neck, the middle PU is RWRP. This is assuming you have a 5 way switch in the guitar.



Jul 13th, 2017 06:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

And contrary to some internet bs, holding a metallic rod (screwdriver, drill bit, etc.) over the pups will not work.



Jul 13th, 2017 09:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

hello all! Many thanks for all these hints, very helpful! Just for the record, the 2 and 4 position
of the select switch doesn't quiets down... I will do the final test using a compass but I'm pretty sure there is no RW on the pickup. So my question is: is it a really good idea do the Dummy Coill installation? I'm so afraid to change something in this 100% original American Vintage. Does it worth do this? Is it possible to change something in the sound/tone? Once again thank you so much and rocks on!

Contributing Member

Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Jul 14th, 2017 07:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

I could be wrong, but I don't believe that that AV 70's Strats had RW middle pups. Is the guitar noisy while playing it or just when not playing. If the latter, try turning the volume on the guitar down to 0 (or close) when not playing. Most if not all of the noise should go away. If not then there's likely something other than the pups causing the noise. Good luck.



Jul 14th, 2017 08:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Use a "process of elimination" by trying the same guitar in different amps, different guitars in same amp, different electrical circuits etc., in an effort to isolate the problem. Flourescent lights, tv's, refrigerators are all notorious for noise issues. Try a humbucker guitar in your amp without changing anything else.



Jul 14th, 2017 10:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

The noise can be notice even when I'm playing, but not in all houses, I mean in my home is normal, im my studio too, but in some places is terrible (probably the eletrical circuit is not good) but I cant know this before the gig in some new rockbar. Also with the second Fender with Hot Noiseless is 100% quiet in each of these places. I have 6 different Marshall's (JCM, DSL, CODE, MG, MK) and happens the same thing, in my home is good enogh but in some places not... And I do have a Gibson with humbucker but I love Fender Strat...


Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Jul 14th, 2017 04:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Aryan, The dummy coil installation is intrusive, as in an extra rout horizontally under the neck pickup. Also the wiring needs to be altered to add it to the circuit.

It might be easier in the long run to just purchase a RW/RP pickup and install it in the middle position with the associated wiring changes. At least there is no removal of wood to make room.

Edited to add that it might work just fine in a swimming pool routed Strat with a large open area under the pickguard, but in a strat with three single slots, you would be removing wood.

(This message was last edited by jay1vinton at 06:55 PM, Jul 14th, 2017)

Contributing Member

Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Jul 14th, 2017 05:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

You probably know this already but just in case not: RW pup in the middle position will only give you noiseless in the 2 and 4 positions. If you primarily play in 1, 3, or 5 then you'll still have a noise problem.


Tennessee, USA

Go forth and make a joyful noise.
Jul 14th, 2017 09:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

Buddy Holly and Jimi Hendrix didn't have RWRP pickups. Plus, as Viera noted, performing this will only reduce the noise in positions 2 and 4.



Jul 15th, 2017 09:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

Dummy coil: I was interested in this a while back. I posted here on the FDP with several questions. For a couple of different reasons, I did not really feel comfortable in pursuing it any further at this time.

However, that is not meant to discourage anyone else from doing this. Fender has used it on their guitars. Suhr and Music Man use similar systems. Youtube is full of videos on this subject. With all of that, if done right it must work.

Routing the body: From what I have seen this is NOT required. The coil can fit in the existing Strat cavity.

Contributing Member

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Jul 15th, 2017 11:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

A dummy pickup coil in the cavity might fit but it won't work great unless it's facing the same direction and orientation as the existing pickups. To be fair the Music Man dummy coil is the size of a control pot and the Suhr system uses a flat coil on the backplate, and there are electronics requiried to make them work right and even then for most people it doesn't result in total noise-free operation.

Personally, I think noiseless pickups are the best way to go. No routing, no extra electronics and battery to fit, easy wiring and installation, and a strong market full of great sounding choices.

(This message was last edited by DrKev at 02:14 PM, Jul 15th, 2017)

Contributing Member

The rain sounds like

a round of applause
Jul 16th, 2017 05:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

Another thing you can do is install a 4-wire stacked humbucker in one of the positions, and use a pull-on pot to switch it between SC and HB modes.

This gives you a standard Strat scheme in SC mode, and you have humbucking operation to use as a "parachute" when noisy power in a club makes SC operation too noisy.

This scheme saved my bacon back in my band days, because I love the sound of the Strat.



Jul 16th, 2017 07:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hi all my only doubt here now is if I make the Dummy Coil installation the tone of my great American Vintage will be the same? I have another Fender with hot noiseless is good but not better than the American Vintage... and thats why I`m so worried to change something in the guitar that can be influent on the final tone. Anyway thanks for all these helpful messages you guys are awesome!

Purple Valley
Contributing Member


Jul 16th, 2017 09:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi aryan. I think the truth is, yes, there always WILL be a compromise in tone, to some (?) degree. This is why everyone doesn't use noiseless pups or dummy coils.

If your other guitar has Fender Hot Noiseless pups, you have a good idea of what a noiseless strat pup can sound like. There are others available, like the DiMarzio Areas, but IMO, they all are a compromise solution.

If it were me, I might just find a good set of noiseless pups to use as my "road guitar," and get another to use for recording, and when the noise isn't so bad.


Richmond, VA

Jul 17th, 2017 02:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have an early 70's strat without the RWRP middle p/u. BTW, the Suhr backplate "dummy" coil will only work with non-RWRP middle p/u. I installed the Suhr system and have been pleased with the results. I am very picky about tone and shared aryan's concerns about degrading tone. It may have the very slightest effect, but it is very subtle and I can't say that I can really tell any difference, and it does work very well in reducing hum in all the positions. This system comes with a small piece that contains two adjustable screws, you are supposed to set them for maximum hum reduction and then leave the piece buried in your routing. I found that these adjustments, while maximizing hum reduction, also acted a little like a tone control. So, I had my guitar tech install it in my pick guard so that I could adjust with a small screwdriver easily anytime (the pick guard is not original to the guitar so I didn't mind cutting a small hole for this and mounting the piece there) This way, I can set the system for minimal effect on my tone and leave it there most of the time; if I ever play somewhere where there is a lot of 60 cycle hum I can adjust as needed to cut down on the hum. Most of the time I just leave it on the minimal effect on tone settings and forget about it. When needed, I would estimate that it cuts out 70-90% of the 60 cycle hum.

(This message was last edited by caseycash at 04:24 AM, Jul 17th, 2017)



Jul 17th, 2017 11:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

I totally got it! I think I will follow the Purple Valley's suggestion (in fact it is what I'm doing so far) using the Noiseless in road and the Great Vintage to record... just in the end of the day when I remember all the benefits of the American Vintage like comforatble, tone and other I feel a little bit sad...


Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Jul 19th, 2017 02:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

I was speaking of my one strat style guitar with a dummy coil installed. It's an older 85 Kramer Classic.

It mounts Seymours in the three holes as stock, and one dummy right under the neck pickup, and it's not aligned with the others, it sits horizontally. It's not a swimming pool rout and there was woodwork to get it installed from the factory. IT works.. to a point. There is stilly 60cycle, but only quieter. Yet, It's not a Fender and Fender probably does it differently.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Reverse Wound Middle Pickup

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