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Thread: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

  1. #1
    Super Toneologist IMENATOR's Avatar
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    Default Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    Long story short I was surprised on how good the stock pickups of my 2008 MIM Strat sound. Not vintage clean but muscular and loud, they drive the front end of my SS-20 crunch channel just the way I like it, like my Charvel with Duncan Distortion bridge and Full Shred neck. They are loud and thick with all the single coil vibe and the noise, but I use a ISP Decimator G-String ii and bye bye to the noise (that pedal is a god send). And the neck deserves its own thread, I play this guitar as often as my Charvel SoCal O_o.

    So I want to get me a set of the very same pickups for another Strat I have how ever I could not find them new in the Fender web site so I think I need to buy them used. I found a used set on sale dirt cheap that was part of a guitar which serial number is legit but according to Fender's webiste it is described as 1991-2006.

    So my question: Are all the MIM Stratocaster Ceramic pickups from 1991-2006 the same specs as the ones from 2008? Do you know what was the difference?
    Who took my guitar?

  2. #2
    Tone Member shadowfire90's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    I've found a lot of the mexican fender pickups to be quite consistent. 5.2 - 5.5k dc resistance i remember. Never anything beyond 6k. The inductance was around 3H to 3.5H which compared to the more vintage stuff I'd get in the inductance was half that at best.

    I got one pickguard off a guy about 2 years ago where it was built very similarly. two thin ceramic magnets. One before the poles, one after. With a similar yellow glue where it held onto the 6 pole pieces but I remember the pole pieces had circles in them. Sort of like the ripples in a pond where you throw a rock in it. It was a bullet or affinity strat.

    Locally their resale value was not great so this is good news if the seller is legit. Usually people would give me mexican strat pickups for free. The only way I'd have to put them up on ebay with all trendy overpriced parts to get rid of them. I used to get so many of them I would just test to make sure they worked and toss them in a drawer as I'd get a lot of them and to me anyways I've always found them consistent.

    however lets see what other people say as second or third opinions are great

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    Taken from a 2006 Fender MIM Strat fully loaded pickguard I have on my drawer: n=6.57, m=6.69, b=6.72
    Measurements were taken from the pickup wires at the switch and the back of the tone pot with all the ground wires.
    Two bar magnets (have no idea of what kind) glued each side of the poles.

  4. #4
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    Not sure about changes to those pickups over the years...but IMO, they are fine pickups. They are a lot like fixed-pole, narrow P-90s. Not quite as hotly wound, so they're a bit brighter...but the powerful ceramic mags glued below the bobbins give them a strong output. If you you like a "beefy but not muddy" Strat sound, they are a great choice IMO, especially since they are DIRT cheap to buy pulled from MIM Strats.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

  5. #5
    Super Toneologist IMENATOR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldr View Post
    Taken from a 2006 Fender MIM Strat fully loaded pickguard I have on my drawer: n=6.57, m=6.69, b=6.72
    Measurements were taken from the pickup wires at the switch and the back of the tone pot with all the ground wires.
    Two bar magnets (have no idea of what kind) glued each side of the poles.
    You mean like measuring from the output jack of the pickguard while everything is assembled? Those are very close to the readings I get from my 2008 MIM Strat, I think that answers the original question.

    Interesting thing, the seller posted similar readings for the pickups so I think those are consistent spec wise.


    What really got me into these pickups was the bridge pickup, in the past every alnico 5 single coild was just too brigth and twangy. The ceramic bridge is way less bright/twangy and sounds really good for classic rock and some hard rock.

    Last weekend I even installed Duncan SSL-6 neck and STK-S6 bridge in my other Strat, the duncan in the neck I dig it but the STK-S6 in the bridge is much brighter and twangy (good for other kind o) but most important less output so it does not drive the front end of my amp. In order to get a good high gain sound I had to switch to the lead channel of the SS-20 but honestly the crunch channel being pushed sounds better imho.
    Who took my guitar?

  6. #6
    Super Toneologist IMENATOR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    Not sure about changes to those pickups over the years...but IMO, they are fine pickups. They are a lot like fixed-pole, narrow P-90s. Not quite as hotly wound, so they're a bit brighter...but the powerful ceramic mags glued below the bobbins give them a strong output. If you you like a "beefy but not muddy" Strat sound, they are a great choice IMO, especially since they are DIRT cheap to buy pulled from MIM Strats.
    That is exactly how I would describe them too, beefy but not muddy, really versatile.
    Who took my guitar?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    Quote Originally Posted by IMENATOR View Post
    You mean like measuring from the output jack of the pickguard while everything is assembled? Those are very close to the readings I get from my 2008 MIM Strat, I think that answers the original question.
    No the pickguard is off the guitar. It's from the white/yellow solder on the switch (plus) and the back of the first tone pot (minus).

    I didn't like them so I swapped the whole pickguard to STK-S7 neck and Screamin Demon bridge. Not what I was looking for (specially STK-S7 in neck position). I now have STK-S4 neck and STK-S7 bridge and now I like it. A very balanced set, volume and tone. Can play pop, blues, classic rock, 80's hard rock.

    First mod to do on a Strat is to move the tone pot from middle to bridge. This helps a lot regarding ice-pick.

  8. #8
    Ultimate Tone Slacker zionstrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    Quote Originally Posted by IMENATOR View Post
    Long story short I was surprised on how good the stock pickups of my 2008 MIM Strat sound. Not vintage clean but muscular and loud, they drive the front end of my SS-20 crunch channel just the way I like it, like my Charvel with Duncan Distortion bridge and Full Shred neck. They are loud and thick with all the single coil vibe and the noise, but I use a ISP Decimator G-String ii and bye bye to the noise (that pedal is a god send). And the neck deserves its own thread, I play this guitar as often as my Charvel SoCal O_o.

    So I want to get me a set of the very same pickups for another Strat I have how ever I could not find them new in the Fender web site so I think I need to buy them used. I found a used set on sale dirt cheap that was part of a guitar which serial number is legit but according to Fender's webiste it is described as 1991-2006.

    So my question: Are all the MIM Stratocaster Ceramic pickups from 1991-2006 the same specs as the ones from 2008? Do you know what was the difference?
    I was also surprised when I got a mim strat in a trade. I had planned to trade it right off or if I kept it to upgrade the pups, because I knew they were ceramic. other than Joe barden's I've had very little luck with ceramic in the past.

    I was very surprised to find wonderful tones in 5 4 3 2 positions. Relatively thick but keeping plenty of high-end chime without any brittleness.

    So I've surprised myself and kept it and kept it stock.

    One day I might try to figure out how to use a strat bridge pickup by itself, but for now it's a great guitar.


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  9. #9
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are MIM Strat ceramic pickups pre-2008 the same as the post 2008?

    Quote Originally Posted by zionstrat View Post
    One day I might try to figure out how to use a strat bridge pickup by itself...
    You set up your rig so the the middle pickup is your middle of the road tone – your "home base," go-to position, which you play on most of the time. You also run your neck and middle pickups kind of low, and your bridge as high as you can get it without running into Stratitis. Then (not counting the notch positions, which I despise) you can use you middle pickup most of the time, but click one brighter or one darker in tone whenever you want. Used this way, the three Strat pickups complement each other perfectly IMO.

    The Strat bridge pickup is also magical when used with added breakup via channel switching or effects stomping. Kind of like the bright switch on a Jaguar – gets rid of mud when playing under heavy breakup.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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