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Fender Pickups Guide

Fender has made pickups since the 50´s. but not always sold them retail. If you are not fuzzy about boutique pickups, Fenders own does the job well.
Keep in mind that there are also hand-wound Custom Shop versions of some of these available. They are usually made for Custom Shop guitars and any on sale on Ebay or elsewhere are from CS guitars. But Fender does sometime issue out a limited amount of them for sale on their website. CS version usually have date, signature. (COA also if sold at Fender Website) and cost more. What is listed here are basic over-the-counter machine wound pickups.
Pure Vintage series are aiming for period correctness. similar bobbin, wire, magnets etc as the original pickups.
Custom Shop series are machine wound in USA. Aiming to bring some of the hand-wound CS models for world wide retail at lower cost.
The Standard series are machine wound in Mexico. A mix of both full price and budget friendly pickups, and comes in various bobbin and wire materials.
Noise
less: Fender used Lace Sensors back in the day. They eventually developed their own line and introduced the first model for sale in 1998.

Handwound Limited Retail: A small selection of Custom Shop handwound pickups that was released for sale in limited amount.

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When looking for pickups, Inductance is equally important as ohm readings on a pickup. Higher inductance means heavier string pull. Also factor in magnets used in pickups. When you sum Ohm+Henriest+Magnet together they give you a good indication to how vintage or how hot they will be. But not necessarily how they will sound. What type of wire wound has also minor factor to say for the sound of them. Either Enamel or Formvar wire or the newer Polysol coated wires.

Magnets: Alnico 2: Second weakest -  Alnico 3: weakest - Alnico 4: second strongest - Alnico 5: Strongest

Pure Vintage Series

Pure Vintage '54 (Ltd Edition)

STYLE: Low Output Pickups

DC: Around 5.8k on each
INDUCTANCE: 2.6 Henries

RWRP: No

MAGNETS: Beveled Alnico 3 | Staggered

FLATWORK: Black volcanised Fibre

​WIRE: Heavy Formvar

LEADS: Cloth wire
COVERS: Repro of Beveled bakelite in white Polystyrene plastic. 

Markings: "54" written in silver sharpie all three pu´s.

Discontinued

Model# 099-2244-000

Produced in a limited run of 1,954 sets  in 2006 during their 60th anniversary. These sets that are sold out today. Fetches higher price second hand. OCGW has a small stock of them as of 2023

Very Buddy Holly-ish tone of these. Low wound, Great bright glassy cleans if you desire it. Similar to Duncan SSL-1, Gives you all the quack you want. Not the strongest bite on bridge, but they were not made to be.
Comes with 50´s high beveled rounded covers that imitates the early bakelite covers that is hard to find on their own in plastic.

Custom Shop Series

Custom Shop '69

STYLE: Low Output Pickups

DC: Around 5.4k on each
INDUCTANCE: 2.1 Henries

RWRP: No

MAGNETS: Non Beveled Alnico 5 | Staggered
FLATWORK: Grey Fibre Bobbins

​WIRE: Enamel

LEADS: Cloth

COVER: White

Markings: Signed: AY+Date in blue/black pen until 2011. After that they only had silver Custom Shop stickers

The CS69 is  the lowest vintage output pickup and has a glassy clear top end, Scooped mids and punchy lows. Sounds absolutely best on clean. Probably the first model in this line as the early ones up until 2011 was dated and signed (but not wound) by Abigail Ybarra. Raise them high enough and they are getting close to Seymour Duncan SSL-1. Needs plenty gain to break them into distortion Think SRV on these ones if you aim for that. Suitable for Pop and jazz if you play them low and clean. Versatile pickups that find favours in som many players but they are NOT for everyone.

Standard Retail Series

Fender Tex Mex

STYLE: Hot Output Pickups

DC: Neck: 6.5k | Middle: 6.4k | Bridge: 7.4k
INDUCTANCE: Neck: 2.75h | Middle: 2.75h | Bridge: 3.7

RWRP: Yes

MAGNETS: Non-Beveled Alnico 5 | Staggered

​WIRE: Polysol Coated  Wire
LEADS:  PVC coated wire

FLATWORK: Plastic mold bobbins
COVERS: White

Markings: Written in white : B:50657 M: 50658 N:50659

These are a flatter response set of pickups. Must not be compared to Texas Specials as they are vastly different but aiming for the same performance with the overwound Bridge.

Glassy, bright and sparkly vintage tones on the cheap. With a high output bridge for rowdy tones. Probably the best affordable upgrade of pickups Fender has in production. Featured on Jimmy Vaughan Sign Strat.

Noiseless Series

Vintage Noiseless (Gen. 1)

STYLE: Vintage Low Output

DC: 9.8k On All
INDUCTANCE:  3.0H on All

MAGNETS: Beveled Alnico 2  Staggered

​WIRE: Polysol Magnet Wire
LEADS: PVC coated wire

COVERS:  Aged White
MARKINGS: Pickups taken from guitars are unmarked. Retail can have markings. White pen 766 767 & 768. Etched numbers: 05526 but can vary.

The 1st gen. noisless came in 1998 after several years of Fender using Lace Sensors.
These was introduced later as Vintage Noiseless. and are still in production.
These are perhaps the darkest sounding of them. Warm but not quite stratty.

Telecaster Pickups

Fender Pure Vintage '52

STYLE: Low Vintage Output

DC: Neck: 7.2k | Bridge: 6.6k
INDUCTANCE: Neck 2.4h | Bridge: 3.8h

MAGNETS: Alnico 3

​WIRE: Enamel
Polepieces: Flush mount

Bobbins: Fiber

Wire: Cloth wire
 

Dubbed more or less as the original sound. This is purely a vintage common spec pickups for those who not craving for anything special. Often compared up with Nocaster 51´s. These are similar. Low bottom end but with slightly more brighter neck pickup. Apparently these were revoiced in 2012. The earlier was warmer in sound.

Handwound Limited Retail

Custom Shop 60/63

STYLE: Vintage Output

DC: Neck: 6.20k |Middle: 6.45k | Bridge: 6.47k
INDUCTANCE:?

MAGNETS: Alnico 5

RWRP: Yes

​WIRE: Formvar

Polepieces: Staggered, Non Beveled

Bobbins: Black Bobbins Fiber

Wire: Cloth wire
 

Model #: 0992330000

Throaty sound is what knocks around when trying to name these.
Released in few quantities in 2020-2021-ish

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