Monty’s ’54 strat set is our recreation of some of the first sets of strat pickups to enter production. As with all our original series pickups, these pickups are modelled off the original pickups from vintage guitars that we’ve been fortunate enough to get our hands on (including a rather well known 0001 serial number strat).
Like all good mid 50’s strat pickups, Monty’s ’54 set has a mid-range character that borders on the telecaster-esque, providing a fatness that perfectly complements the snap of a maple fretboard without ever losing clarity or harmonic content. This mid-range also means that these pickups can really drive an amp when you need them to, giving a wonderfully fat, clear drive sound with more than a touch of vintage twang.
The Stratocaster took a few years to arrive at the spec that we all know and love. One really interesting feature that we’ve seen in some (really) early Strats is the use of 100k pots, rather than the typical 250k pots. We’ve tried installing some in conjunction with our ’54 set and it massively beefs up the sound, helping nail that incredibly warm early ‘50s strat tone. We’d recommend giving it a try! (Don’t worry though, they still sound mindbogglingly good with 250k pots.)
True to the originals, these pickups feature magnets bevelled by our own fair hands and our painstaking recreation of the original ’54 magnet stagger.
Like all our strat pickups (and just like old Fender pickups), our ’54 pickups are only partially potted. This keeps the centre of the coil free from wax, resulting in increased clarity and responsiveness.
In the original prototype design for the Stratocaster, Leo Fender included plain steel baseplates on all three of the pickups. Whilst these got removed from the design before the guitar entered production, we’re also making these pickups available with baseplates for anyone looking for an authentic pre-production strat sound. We also offer the option of having a baseplate on the bridge pickup only. I would pretend that this is in some way authentic, but it isn’t. It’s just a cool mod that fattens up the bridge pickup a little.
Scatterwound using period correct 42-gauge Heavy Formvar wire:
Neck- Alnico V, 5.2k
Middle- Alnico V, 5.4k
Bridge- Alnico V, 5.7k