This pickup set has been developed specifically for Jamie West-Oram from the incredible band, The Fixx.
Although Jamie is best known for his Schecter Woody and Suhr guitars that use EMG pickups, he has used a variety of guitars over the years to create his signature stereo chorus sound, and most recently has been using a stock Fender Custom Shop 62 reissue.
Jamie has been a regular customer at Eternal Guitars for set-up and fret work for a few years, and when he brought in his custom shop Strat recently for a re-fret we began to discuss pickups. Jamie had been reasonably happy with tone of the Custom Shop pickups that came as standard and they were actually pretty nice, but once we began discussing tone it became clear that as good as the pickups were, in an ideal world Jamie would prefer if they could do offer a little more oomph.
I felt confident that we could improve on the stock units and perhaps offer a little extra spice without sacrificing the overall vintage vibe of the guitar. Jamie's main concern was output the Custom Shop units were vintage repro and they were suitably low output, so Jamie asked if we could develop a pickup set that would retain the clarity and brightness of tone he needed for his signature sound, but add a little more meat and presence.
For us, the early sixties Strat pickups were some of the best ever made so we started with our own very popular Timeless 60s Style Strat pickups as a template, and then tweaked magnet heights to offer a decent string to string balance but retained a vintage stagger (crucial for that inherent Stratty-ness) and then began to experiment with different windings. We used forbon flatwork with our own unbevelled Alnico 5 pole magnets and vintage gauge 42 AWG coil wire with cloth covered hook ups.
The resultant set is balanced tonally but not calibrated in the usual way. After a little more research & development, we settled on a spec that set boosted the output on the bridge and neck units but keep the middle one vintage spec wound to ensure that the mix positions retained clarity and didnt muddy up which was particularly important to Jamie.
Jamie was very pleased with the pickups and although the original plan was to load them on to a spare pickguard so he could swap between our pickup set and the originals, he liked ours so much that we abandoned that plan. In fact, he loved them so much that he has named the set The Fixxers and has recorded this fantastic <a href="http://www.eternal-guitars/blank21">video</a> demonstrating the tones on offer.
Bridge 7.2k, approx.