6 Best Strat Pickups 2020

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If you’ve ever considered that the sound your guitar produces isn’t quite right, you can’t get the tone you’re looking for, or something feels lacking, then upgrading your pickups might be the answer.

Unless you are an expert, choosing replacement pickups might seem a little daunting. Take a look at our guide to choosing the best Strat pickups and you’ll be reaching those unique notes in no time!

Points to Consider

  • Why Would You Need Strat Pickups? If your money didn’t quite run to buying an American Stratocaster, or the original pickups don’t match your personal playing style, then replacement Strat pickups can totally transform your less inexpensive guitar, giving it a new lease of life and a superior sound quality.
  • Considerations Before Buying. Knowledge of how a guitar works is pretty important if you are planning on any kind of modifications. Make sure you have a good understanding of what pickups are, their purpose, and where they are go, before you begin tinkering.

Before deciding on new pickups, listen to the sound they produce (there are great resources online) and read reviews.

  • How Hard Is It To Fit New Pickups? It’s not amazingly difficult. However, if you struggle, look out for online tutorials that can talk you through step by step. If you are really unsure and don’t want to risk anything going wrong, you can take your guitar to a reputable repair shop.

Top 6 Strat Pickups Complete Table

PictureNameNumber in PackPriceRating (1-5)
Number in Pack
Rating (1-5)
1. Fender Original '57/'62 Strat Pickups3$$4.8
2. Tonerider TRS1 Pure Vintage Strat pickup set3$$4.8
3. Fender Custom '69 Stratocaster Pickups3$$$$4.7
4. Fender Custom Shop Pickups Strat Texas Specials3$$$4.7
5. Seymour Duncan Custom Staggered SSL-5 Pickup1$4.3
6. Fender Vintage Noiseless Stratocaster Pickups3$$$$4.3

Three Best Strat Pickups Reviews

1. Fender Original ’57/’62

It’s not a total surprise that Fender has several contenders in our best Strat pickup table, with the Original ‘57/’62 taking the overall top spot.

If you want to upgrade your guitar so you can belt out a sound that is similar to the classic American Stratocaster, complete with robust lows and bright highs, then you won’t be disappointed. Helping to get rid of any muddiness and replacing it with a very clear, mellow vintage resonance, these pickups have an almost piano or bell-like quality.

If you are wary or unsure about how to fix new pickups, these include detailed instructions of how to attach them. They also come with “aged-white” plastic covers, which gives an additional vintage feel to complement their sound.

Swapping out your original pickups for these Strat ones will make your guitar feel reborn! These seriously can’t be faulted – good value for money (especially considering what you actually get for the price), stand proud with the reliable Fender reputation behind them, and are easy to install. What more could you need?

2. Tonerider TRS1 Pure Vintage

Coming in closely behind the Fender Originals are the Tonerider Pure Vintage Strat pickups. Although perhaps less well-known than the afore-mentioned giants, the British relative- newcomers certainly stand up to the competition in terms of sound and quality.

The TRS1s are Tonerider’s most popular Strat pickups and offer an alternative vintage option which is both high-quality and affordable. Inspired by original pickups from the ‘50s, they feature similar magical magnets and coil structures to those found in the earlier classics. The sets are also wax-potted to reduce feedback, have calibrated winding and high-grade “smooth-top” pole-pieces.

The clever design enables the Tonerider TRS1 Strat pickups to successfully reproduce an accurate vintage sound which is reminiscent of the heady early ‘60s (think Clapton and Knopfler). With a well-rounded, warm tone, along with a noticeable chime, these create a resonance which is mellow and clear but without the harshness sometimes found in other Strat pickups.

If you’re looking for Strat pickups that deliver, are great value for money and are made to a high specification, then you can’t go wrong with these.

3. Fender Custom ’69

Although these Strat pickups are by far the most expensive in our top six, the old adage of getting what you pay for couldn’t ring more true.

The Custom ’69 pickups are designed to the high standards synonymous with the Fender name; they are all wax-potted and made using cloth lead wires and fiber bobbins.

The quality of sound produced is inimitable, with an undiluted, clear, bell-like chime that reaches the purest of highs, ensuring that the unmistaken vintage Fender tone is reproduced every time. The pickups suit a mellow blues style of play, along with some classic rock, although you may struggle if you are looking to get hold of a loud, heavy metal sound.

Slight negatives include the fact that they don’t include vintage-looking covers and the pickups themselves aren’t labeled (making it harder to understand where to install them). However, if your aim is to replicate the sound of Hendrix, you want quality over quantity, along with the reassurance of a world-renowned brand like Fender, then these Strat pickups have your name scrawled all over them!