The Psychedelic Strat single coil pickup set will transport you back in time about 50 years. Some of the biggest songs of the genre from that time comes from Cream, The Doors, The Beatles, Donovan, Iron Butterfly, Tommy James, and so many more.
And sure, Jimi is in there. To be certain. But that’s a pickup evaluation for another time. LOL! Either way, if you have an interest in Psychedelic Strat single coil pickups, you know the music we are talking about here.
Single coil pickups are a wee bit of a departure for me, but they are slowly being put in to in to the mix. So please bear with, as I gain more footing within this realm. The Psychedelic Strat set is a bit of a happy accident, as Custom Shop Manager MJ had some on-hand at one of her appearances.
And yes, I did ask if the Psychedelic Strat set is identical to the Jimi Hendrix set. HaHa! I know this is a popular question and it does need to be asked. I mean, we are talking about a company that has a fair share of models that are clearly directed toward certain artists. The JB. Pearly Gates. The 78. You get the idea.
As near as I am being told, the Psychedelic Strat is more about capturing the late 60s Stratocaster single coil vibe. Meanwhile, the Jimi Hendrix set is a recreation of a specific set made for Jimi. Marketing? You decide.
The Psychedelic Strat set is advertised as being made of “period correct” materials. By the mid-60s, CBS bought Fender. The hand wound formvar wire that Fender used for about a decade was put aside by CBS in favor of plain enamel wound by machine. I’m not saying that is what Duncan is using on the Psychedelic Strat set. Simply implying. LOL!
For this evaluation, I’m using my 1990 American Standard Stratocaster. The pickguard is set up with the Mojotone Solderless Strat Harness, so install is a snap. CTS pots and Switchcraft parts are in use. Guitar tuning is E standard with 09-42 strings.
On a clean amp setting, they are clearly putting the best single coil characteristics on point. Snappy and clear. If you are looking for something closer to a late-50s or early-60s single coil tone, the Psychedelic Strat set has a bit of an overtone of slanting a smidge more toward woody and away from glassy. Positions 2 and 4 have the nice quacky quality that you’re going to want.
This is where things get hairy. And I am talking about the dirty amp channel. My history with many off-the-shelf single coil pickups are why you generally read so much content from me about humbuckers. HaHa! But holy cow, the Psychedelic Strat set should have been available back in the dark ages of when I first started playing. LOL!
I am using the same dirty amp settings that are put to use on every humbucker you read about here. A relatively high-gain high-energy vibe. The Psychedelic Strat holds it together where garden-variety mass-produced single coils melt into a puddle on the floor. The lows stay together will excellent definition across all positions. Highs are present and clear. While the mids are a little relaxed, they walk a fine line between being balanced and avoid being exceptionally scooped as many single coils can be.
For grins, I flip on the “Jose Mod” feature on the dirty channel and the Psychedelic Strat set really shines. Which is to say that the right amp settings and the right playing style can put this set on the door step of shred mode without breaking a sweat. I consider it a nod to the versatility of the voicing of the set.
Check out this demo video:
How about some specs:
Psychedelic Strat Single Coil Set
Bridge: 6.453 K, 2.186 H
Middle: 6.003 K, 2.273 H
Neck: 5.87 K, 2.203 H
Magnet: Alnico 5
The Psychedelic Strat single coil pickups are available individually or as a set. You have the option of whatever cover colors are available that will include white, black, cream, parchment, and many more.
For reference, this Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Psychedelic Strat single coil pickup set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. Real cabs used were Marshall 1960B cabs loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s and G12M Greenbacks.