Filling Out the Frequency Spectrum
Strat-lovers who want some supplemental low end grunt have been dropping in aftermarket pickups for many years. Stacked humbuckers, blade rails and overwound pickups do the job, but they always seem to rob the Strat of its tonal identity and sound unbalanced unless a full matching set is installed.
The pickup scientists over at Mojotone have finally come up with a cure for the common ailment of Stratocaster Anemia with some very cleverly designed hybrid pickups. The Two-Face Strat Pickups utilize adjustable pole pieces with bar magnets to read the wound bass strings, while keeping the traditional Alnico rod magnets in place under the treble strings. This endows any Strat with a smooth, tight and focused lower-midrange that plays better with overdriven and heavier gain settings. This is achieved while preserving the chiming high end content that the Strat is known for.
Punk to Funk to Junkshop Blues
The Stratocaster bridge position is commonly known as the thinnest and weediest tonal area in the realm of electric guitar. The 10k Two-Face Strat Pickup acts like an emergency callout construction crew and fortifies this often feeble tone-zone with a rock-solid frequency foundation. Fat, smoky midrange-cut supports a swirling glassy top end that allows complex chords to cut through effects and distortion alike. The tone is perfect for that early SoCal punk octave-lead that Rikk Agnew coined on those classic Adolescents, Social Distortion, D.I. and Christian Death records. Strat loyalists will be glad to know that the between-pickup positions retain that quack-attack that only a Strat can do. You can still funk it up like David Byrne and make your guitar percussively peck apart a passage, or get that sickly-sweet chiming clean in the style of Chris Bell of Big Star. Finger pickers and blues hounds will love thumbing out a gritty rhythm on the lower strings and clawing defined leads out on the unwound strings. The middle and neck positions predictably add girth, but retain that strident, P-90-style midrange that usurps the often-flubby lows of a traditional Strat pickup. Perfecto.
What we like: Mojotone have found a fantastic solution for an age-old problem. The ability to add heft to a Strat’s voice without erasing its sonic signature is something truly unique and special. The build quality is top-tier with vintage black and white cloth leads and fully vacuum potted coils to boot. Apart from the adjustable pole pieces, there is no deviation from the classic Strat pickup aesthetic. Mojotone offers pickup covers in white, black, mint green, parchment, cream and even aged white, so new pickups don’t ruin the look of that vintage Strat. Another thing that must be mentioned is the fact that even if you buy just one pickup, it won’t offset the tonal continuity of the other pickups in the same way a stacked humbucker would. Let’s say you are happy with the middle and neck pickups of your Strat, but just want to add some beef to the bridge position. The Two-Face Pickup will give you a massive tone upgrade for a minimal amount of dough in this instance.
This toneful marriage of ceramic and Alnico proves that opposites not only attract, but also make a perfect pair. These bilingual, split-personality pickups can turn a Stratocaster into a truly versatile tone-machine.
Concerns: If you are the second guitarist in a band with a Strat-slinger, you may be out of a job unless you start writing the majority of the riffs!