Well, they are wrong. There is a variety of Strat components out there that make all the difference in how you will sound, and one of the key components are pickups. If you are looking for a clean, sharp, loud and clear sound, the best option would be to arm your axe with a set of noiseless pickups.
But even then, a variety of options arises. There are quite a few options to choose from and each of them presents a significant audio difference.
We decided to sift through the market and bring you the 4 best noiseless Strat pickups on the market:
Fender 130328 N3 Noiseless Strat Pickups
First up, we’d like to bring up the classic option. Not quite as hot, yet nowhere near as mild, this is the set that defines the noiseless standard in our book. If we were to jot down the specific vibe we are looking at here, we’d say that ’57 or ’62 American vintage Strat pickups produce the same type of groove.
The pickup (see full specs) is packed within a sealed box and comes with original Fender instructions. The thing you should pay attention to upon opening the box is that not all pickups the same, as each one is specifically crafted for bridge, middle, and neck positions.
The build quality is, of course, on high level and the item is quite reliable, but if we were to focus on the sonic aspect a bit more, these could easily be comparable with the classic sound of late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. That same mixture of warmth, brightness and raw vibe is what you can expect from the N3 series. These are easily among the best noiseless Strat pickups for the money.
Fender Strat Hot Noiseless Pickups
- Fender Strat Hot Noiseless Pickups, Aged White, Set Of 3 Electric Guitar Part
- Price: $134.97
- Price as of 08/06/2020 17:52 PDT(more info)
If you need to inject your sound with a pinch of gain, we recommend testing out the Hot series. Based around the same audio concept, these pickups are perfect for blues rock, hard rock, and the staple brand of classic rock music.
Overall, the pickups are warm and fuzzy like any other noiseless pickup, but it’s the bridge pickup that makes the difference in the overall mix. Loaded with gain to the max, it serves as the perfect counterpoint to the sonic vibe of the remaining two pieces. The point here of course is in the overall sound and not in individual pickups.
Many Fender aficionados agree that this is perhaps the best set of pickups to pop into a Mexican Stratocaster and make it sound as close to the real deal as physically possible. That extra punch of gain seems to fit the Mexican fella like a glove and you can get an amazing sound of classic Fender the world raving about.
Fender Vintage Noiseless Strat Pickups
- Fender Vintage Noiseless Stratocaster Pickups, Black (099-2115-006)
- Price as of 08/06/2020 21:04 PDT(more info)
If you’re the kind of player who carries the staple mark of Fender, the one that shaped and refined the world of music as we know it, you would probably absolutely adore the sound of the Vintage series.
This series just singes the tune of the bands and artists that shaped the rock world. All those guitar icons praised for organic Fender Strat sound, the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, and similar esteemed gents – well, this sounds like a set of pickups ripped from their guitars.
These pickups (see full specs) are renowned for exceptional clarity and the ability adapt well to a variety of amps, so you should know that your final sonic output will significantly vary based on the amplifier you decided to plug into.
On the technical side, it is worth noting that these pieces utilize the beveled edge Alnico V magnets, along with standard enamel-coated magnet wire. Fender maniacs love the clarity and elegance of these puppies, and there’s a good chance that you’ll fall for ’em too. These should be on anyone’s list of the best noiseless Strat pickups.
Fender Jeff Beck Hot Noiseless Strat Loaded Pickguard
- Fender Jeff Beck Hot Noiseless Loaded Pickguard White Pearl/Aged White
- Price as of 08/06/2020 21:04 PDT(more info)
If you want the full authentic Fender package, it’s always a good option to buy the entire loaded pickguard. The Twilight pack features the Hot Noiseless pickups, along with the original pickguard, switch, and CTS pots.
In the sonic department, we are looking at that same warmth and fuzz, but what we like about this batch is that you get a full refreshment of your guitar with all the original parts included. And the price is not significantly higher than a standard set of pickups.
The cool thing about this is that the little parts we listed, and which are all included in the package, can often cause a variety of problems and make you think that something’s wrong with the pickups and leave you unsure about what needs to be fixed. Well with the big package, you simply take the whole piece off and just attach the new one. It’s simple and it’s super effective!
What to Look for in the Best Noiseless Strat Pickups?
The thing about this area that makes it a bit funky is that all the items were made by Fender for Fender guitars. And this means that the majority of products are high-quality since the company would hardly want to jeopardize such huge brand as Stratocaster with questionable items. With that said, the 4 listed items are the best pickups in our opinion as they offer the most variety, best value for money, and high quality output.
General things to keep in mind while buying this type of pickups is to make sure that the level of buzz is as low as possible and that even with gain and treble knobs set to higher values, the level of noise is on the lower side. Apart from that, it’s all a matter of personal preference, so feel free to arm your axe with any of these bad boys!
Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel. Email him