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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've got a Fender American HH Stratocaster, with the usual Alder Body, Maple Neck, and Rosewood fretboard. It came equipped with these Fender branded "Sidewinder" and "Black Cobra" humbuckers, which sounds OK. I'm thinking of picking up a new set of pickups and obviously the options are vast and a wee bit confusing. What I do know is I think I would like the bridge pickup to be passive with a medium/high output but with a warmer tone. Research points me towards AlnicoV pickups for a warmer tone.

Anyone have any recommendations? Would a ceramic magnet pickup still work for giving me the output I want or would that most likely make the guitar a bit more shrill?
 

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Guiterrorizer
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Have you adjusted the pickup height?
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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Magnets in isolation dont hold tonal properties, it's just typical internet guitar myth 101. I would recommend just going on models as they're advertised. Dimarzio and Duncan make some great medium output balanced pickups that you can try without delving into things that are overly niche and boutique. Have a look at their websites, they're really helpful for people in your position, with "pickup pickers" etc where you put in your criteria and it will give you some suggestions.
 

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Thread Killer
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You could also consider some hardware changes. In my experience, a brass block can have good results warming up a bright guitar. I don't think there's an X=Y relationship though, some guitars will respond really well, others you'll hear no change.
 

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Yeah, I'm not sure I buy the alnico vs ceramic warmth thing... I've got a humbucker with ceramic mag (Railhammer Chisel) and many others with Alnico's (including another Railhammer (Alnico Grande)), and I'm not sure there's a difference. Now, there's absolutely a difference between Alnico 2, 5, 8, etc. Those are rough magnetic strength units.

Bottom line, Alnico5's (what I typically go for) are warm, in my experience.

There are things you can do to warm-up your current pickups, maybe changing out your pots, using a different cap on your tone pot, etc. I think the "coldness" in pickups comes from poor quality components and poor solder joints, and sometimes just from your speakers.

What's the rest of your chain look like? Pedals, amps, cabs?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I'm not sure I buy the alnico vs ceramic warmth thing... I've got a humbucker with ceramic mag (Railhammer Chisel) and many others with Alnico's (including another Railhammer (Alnico Grande)), and I'm not sure there's a difference. Now, there's absolutely a difference between Alnico 2, 5, 8, etc. Those are rough magnetic strength units.

Bottom line, Alnico5's (what I typically go for) are warm, in my experience.

There are things you can do to warm-up your current pickups, maybe changing out your pots, using a different cap on your tone pot, etc. I think the "coldness" in pickups comes from poor quality components and poor solder joints, and sometimes just from your speakers.

What's the rest of your chain look like? Pedals, amps, cabs?
I'm plugging straight into my Boss Katana 50 MkII right now, no pedals(yet)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You could also consider some hardware changes. In my experience, a brass block can have good results warming up a bright guitar. I don't think there's an X=Y relationship though, some guitars will respond really well, others you'll hear no change.
Do you mean the tremolo block? My Strat has a stainless steel hardtail bridge.
 

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Thread Killer
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Yeah, the trem block, the majority of standard blocks are made from a softer Zinc Alloy material. Obviously the whole thing is subjective and many internet posters will tell you that it doesn't make a (difference despite never having done it themselves). I've done it to maybe 7 or 8 different guitars and always recorded A/B's to be sure I'm not fooling myself, the results have been variable between total revolution and subtly pleasant.
 
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