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Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

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  • Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

    Hi from New Zealand. I have a standard strat (MIM) that has the following pups in it. Neck - SSL-2 Vintage Flat , Middle SSL52-1 Five Two (Awesome!) and a APS-1 Alnico 11 Pro Staggered in the bridge. Now the thing is I can probably get hold of (cheap)what has been described as Fender Custom Shop Texas Special p/up for neck (blue dot - whatever that means)
    Would it be a good idea to swap out the Alnico 2 Pro for the Texas Special ?
    Any ideas of what it would end up sounding like ?
    Thanks in advance for any advice given. Regards.

  • #2
    Re: Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

    To me, and I know Lew ( a well respected board member) feels the same way, the SSL-1 is what the Tx Special wishes it can be. The APS-1 is the same as the SSL-1 w/ a diff mag. It nails that vintage tone perfectly. I think that what you've got going on now in your Strat is a great combo, and I would keep it. If you're looking for a little more feef in the bridge position, get Antiquity Custom bridge. I'll let Lew and Curly take over now. By the way, welcome to the board. You'll love it here.
    This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections. - St. Augustine of Hippo

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    • #3
      Re: Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

      Some guys love Texas Specials..My experience with them has been "harshness" and too midrangey in my strats...The Duncans eat these pickups for lunch...I use the Duncan single coils now pretty exclusively whenever I need single coil tones...

      John
      Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

      Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

      Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

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      • #4
        Re: Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

        Bad idea. Pass on the Texas Specials and keep the Duncans!
        John Cipollina August 24, 1943 - May 29, 1989

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        • #5
          Re: Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

          Originally posted by STRATDELUXER97
          Some guys love Texas Specials..My experience with them has been "harshness" and too midrangey in my strats...The Duncans eat these pickups for lunch...I use the Duncan single coils now pretty exclusively whenever I need single coil tones...

          John
          Listen to this man!! He's got skills...

          In my limited experience, I have to tell you that, like any pup, the guitar that you put it in makes a huge difference, as does your amplification.

          For example, I had some Texas Specials in a Fat Strat...hated them. Moved them to my '76 strat. Hated them. Moved them to an '87 Korean strat...AWESOME! I think this illustrates what I'm talking about. IMHO, I like the fat '50s pickups better than the TS pups, if you're set on going for Fenders. They sound really good in my '75 Strat...I get muy Hendrix tone from them as well as super cool overdrive tones.

          I have ZERO experience with the SD singles though. So I can't comment on those.

          Lew's posts (and others) have about convinced me to try the SD antiquity pups, though...I wonder where I could get some of those...hehehe

          Darn GAS!!!

          Farkus
          2007 Strat ('78 bridge, a2 Pro neck)
          1976 Strat (Antiquity 1 set)

          Fender, Mesa, Marshall Amps

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          • #6
            Re: Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

            Originally posted by SARUM
            Neck - SSL-2 Vintage Flat , Middle SSL52-1 Five Two (Awesome!) and a APS-1 Alnico 11 Pro Staggered in the bridge.
            Sounds like what I use in my Strat, but I have a Custom Custom in the bridge.
            My thinking on this is the SSL-1 (or 2) gives the Best Strat neck tone out there. If the highs are too snappy make it an APS. The 5-2 is there to support the other pickups in the "notch" positins (2+4). The CC is the "smooth as butter" humbucker. It was born to be put in the bridge of a Strat.
            From neck to bridge--- AlNico 5--5/2--2
            There is a method to this and it worked great.
            I have TX's Specs in my Roadhouse Strat and would not take them out (since it was a gift from my wife and would be like de-virginizing a virgin). However, if I were to take those out it would be the Texas Hots and Custom Bridge

            But only you can tell what you really want. The Texas Specials have been dogged way too much . They are just pickups that sound different
            Dom L
            Dom L
            Tone Member
            Last edited by Dom L; 05-31-2004, 01:47 PM.
            1997 Roadhouse Strat
            2005 Eric Clapton Strat
            2007 Martin 000-28EC
            2007 Parts-o-Caster

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            • #7
              Re: Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

              The APS-1's are smokey and sweet and sounds great overdriven and clean, the SSL-1's are more bubbly and have more of that snappy quack.
              They both sounds like great old strat singlecoils.
              Lots of classic tones in both versions.

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              • #8
                Re: Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

                welcome!

                as suggested above, just pass on the TS neck - mixing Fender and SD pups is a headache!

                for a rundown of reviews of SD vintage strat pups, see the vault:
                strat pups

                I have a Fender TS strat, and a few with SD's. I agree with the posts above - the Texas Specials are OK for clean or dirty chording, but IMHO, sound harsh when pushed for solos.

                your current pickups are probably fine, although I prefer the APS-2 in the neck, and a hotter A5 pup, such as a SSL-5 'Custom', or SSL-3 "Hot" in the bridge to deal with weak strat bridge tone.

                for a few of my clips, see my site:
                http://www.bluestheater.net/guitar-stuff.html

                Peace
                "music heals"
                facebook

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                • #9
                  Re: Alnico 2 Pro or Texas Special ?

                  Sounds to me like you have the guitar set up correctly. I think the APS 1 is the best vintage pickup especially for the strat bridge position. I have tried TX Specials in a few strats and they sounded harsh to me especially in the bridge. The APS one has a sweeter tone and eliminates harshness without losing your highs.

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