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Fender CS '69, CS '68 Left hand and stock AmSe Strat pickup demo

Here's a couple clips I just put together using a American Series 2005 Strat with a Fender Custom Shop '69 in the neck position, a Fender '68 Left Hand pickup which is similar to the CS '69 except the magnet poles are reversed to emulate Jimi Hendrix's tone as he played a right handed Strat backwards and it gave him a unique twangy tone, and using the stock AmSe bridge pickup.

Strings: Ernie Ball Rock n Roll gauge except first 2 replaced with .12 .15 .17 .26 .36 .46

For Fender Custom Shop '69 Pole Stagger and Measurements Click Here

The first sound clips are played plugged directly into a Boss BR864 Recording Mixer using it's COSM modeling Clean tone set at 50% bass, middle, treble, with almost no clipping to demonstrate how each of the 5 positions sounds clean. It gets a bit old trying to play the same thing 5 times in a row but I guess you have to compare the different pickup positions 1-2-3-4-5. I don't know how all the other pickup demos do it exactly the same each time. I didn't but tried to come as close as possible. The first table is broken into positions and the second is running through all 5 positions at once. Notice on Position 4 using the CS '68 Left Handed pickup with the reverse poles a'la Jimi vibe how combining it with the right handed AmSe stock bridge which is kind of like a Texas Special at 7K. Combining the '68 reverse pole pickup with the stronger pole right handed pole pickup gives it a very different twang to it that takes some getting used to. Also, on the last clip playing the AmSe in bridge switch back to the CS '69 neck towards the end for comparison purposes between the two opposite ends.

Pickup Comparison Clips
CS '69 Neck Position 5
CS '69 + CS '68 LH Position 4
CS '68 Left Handed Middle Position 3
CS '68 + AmSe Stock Bridge Position 2
AmSe 2005 Stock Bridge 7k Position 1

All 5 Positions in one clip...

Positions 5-4-3-2-1 in order
3.13MB file size

CS '69 neck positions Overdriven, Uni-Vibe style of Jimi Hendrix - Robin Trower

CS '69 neck position overdriven jam
7.37MB file size

Here's the same CS '69 pickup in my own having fun style of Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower plugged into Fulltone OCD, Fulltone Soul Bender Fuzz, Voodoo Lab Proctavia, Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Wah, SweetSound Ultra Vibe, Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man into a Marshall JCM 900 head out through a 2x12 Cabinet loaded with a Celestion G12H30 Anniversary and G12T 75  "12 inch speakers mic'd into the Boss BR864 Recording Mixer. I'm no recording expert or pro. I was just jamming so please forgive any bad timing, mistakes, etc. The only time the Soul Bender was used was to it the unending Jimi note to kick it over the top. Almost all of it was played with the CS 69 pickup in neck position except for maybe a few seconds when I kicked it into the bridge position and then back to neck.

Custom 50's Neck & Middle + Tex Mex Pickup in Bridge Demo

Clip 1 Just using Fulltone OCD into Marshall JCM 900 Amp
3.3 MB file size

Clip 2 Using Fulltone OCD + Sweet Sound Ultra Vibe (Uni-Vibe Clone)
2.5 MB file size

Clip 3 Using SansAmp Original with Boss Br864 Recording Mixer

This is the same pickup combination used in the Robin Trower Signature Stratocaster except that the middle pickup isn't reverse wound like the Trower Strat for hum canceling in position 2 & 4 but the tone is still pretty much the same in my opinion.

The custom 50's pickups came from a '56 Strat Closet Classic and the Tex Mex bridge pup came from a new set. Guitar 2005 AmSe White Strat, maple neck, Callaham bridge, into Fulltone OCD into Marshall JCM 900 Amp head into 2x12 Cabinet loaded with Celestion G12H and G12-T75 speakers. Recorded with Shure SM48 mic into Boss BR864 Recording Mixer.

Below are some clean sounding clips where I have the guitar plugged directly into the Boss BR864 Recording Mixer and using a COSM Modeling Clean Amp, Fender Twin Speaker Cab Simulation, Noise Suppression tuned off and bass-middle-treble set to 50% with everything else flat.

Polarity Correction Required!

Someone at the Fender forum listened to my original sound clips and said it sounded like my bridge pickup was out of phase. So I did some research on the polarity of these pickups in question.

I discovered by a simple polarity test suggested by Dazco on the Fenderforum.com site  Determining Pup Phase before installing as I had originally incorrectly installed them due to the fact that the custom 50s pickups are North Polarity while the Tex-Mex neck & bridge pickups are South Polarity. Thus, I have 2 sets of sound clips below. The first, with the bridge pup wired out of phase and the second table after the correction. Notice how twangy and thin it sounds in Position 2 on the out of phase example in Table 2. I had the same problem above with using a CS 69 in neck, CS 68 left handed pickup in middle and AmSe Standard Strat bridge pickup. The CS 68 & CS 69 were both North Polarity while the 2005 AmSe Strat is South Polarity which gave it a weird sound in Position 2 (Middle & Bridge Pickup). Here I thought it was because the CS 68 has reverse pole heights to get the left handed Jimi vibe but that was not the case as only the poles were reversed, not polarity.
Here were the Polarity results of several pickups I tested
Various North vs. South Pickup Polarity Measurements Here!

Fender Custom 50s + Tex Mex Pickup Comparison Clips

In Proper Phase
Table 1

In Phase with Tex-Mex leads correctly reversed
CS '50s Neck Position 5
CS '50s Neck + CS '50s Middle Position 4
CS '50s Middle Position 3
CS 50s Middle + Tex Mex Bridge Position 2
Tex Mex Bridge Position 1
5-4-3-2-1 Cycle Down then in reverse Position 1-5

Out Of Phase due to South Polarity Tex-Mex and North Polarity Custom 50s Pickups
Table 2

Notice the difference in tone between Position 2 in the above table correctly wired and the out of phase wired setup below in the same position.

Tex-Mex Out Of Phase due to polarity being South reversed but wired the same as North Polarity CS 50s
CS '50s Neck Position 5
CS '50s Neck + CS '50s Middle Position 4
CS '50s Middle Position 3
CS 50s Middle + Tex Mex Bridge Position 2
Tex Mex Bridge Position 1
5-4-3-2-1 Cycle Down then back Position 1-5

NOTE: To listen and compare Robin Trower's latest and unquestionably greatest tone, playing his new Signature Strat on the new "Living Out Of Time" DVD that every self-respecting guitar player must have, check out a couple of his video clips out on Youtube:

Bridge Of Sighs

Too Rolling Stoned

Day Of The Eagle

New! Custom 50s Neck Positions with CS '69s in middle and bridge positions

Here is a new clip using a white Fender Classic 70's re-issue Strat with maple neck with a Custom 50's Bridge pickup left over from above set and custom '69 pickups in middle and bridge position. The CS50s bridge pickup measured at 5.91k as compared to the CS50s neck and middle which both measured in at 5.44k. However, with the CS '69s both measuring around 5.8-6.0k they balanced out perfectly and rounded out the flatter midrange of the stock CS 69 pickup which to me lacked the blues tone fullness. Click here to listen

If you're a pickup junkie like me, a good friend of mine custom winds Fender type pickups to spec from any era and can customize to suit. Check out his site here

Robin Trower - Rex Theatre - October 6, 2006 My Pics & Info here!

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