Top Stratocaster bridge pickups to improve your tone

Top Stratocaster bridge pickups to improve your tone
Share this article on

The position of the bridge of the Stratocaster can be a bit conflicting, so today, we bring you the best options, the top ten of Stratocaster bridge pickups.

The Stratocaster bridge pickups

For many people, position 1 of the Strat is usually skinny, without kick and with a lot of highs. Some, like Eddie Van Halen, solved it by putting a PAF pickup on their Frankenstrat. But as we all know, there are people who want a fat sound, but maintain the Strat aesthetic, or do not want to route and change the pickguard and knobs that may require a different format pickup such as a humbucker.

There are also those who enjoy Strat audio as it is and look for options of that classic audio in pickups of better quality than the originals of their electric guitar. Without a doubt, when upgrading or improving your musical instrument, the most effective accessory is guitar pickups.

For all those different types of guitarists, we show you the best Stratocaster bridge pickup options on the market. The guitar pickup options that we show you consider price and sound, and different brands of manufacturers so that you have the option that suits your budget and musical style.

List of the best Stratocaster bridge pickups

  • Dimarzio Area 61 – Strat tone without hum
  • Lindy Fralin Vintage Hot – A Boutique Pickup
  • DiMarzio Super Distortion S for Strato, Rock Out!
  • Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickup – Classic and Affordable
  • Seymour Duncan Twang Banger – a Tele on your Strat
  • Klein 1969 Epic Series Stratocaster pickup – Woodstock vibe
  • Seymour Duncan SL591 Little 59 – a PAF in your Strat
  • Fender Pure Vintage ’65 Strat pickup, for Surf-rock
  • Seymour Duncan Vintage Staggered SSL-1, the vintage preferred choice

Dimarzio Area 61 – Strat tone without hum

Strat Singlecoil pickup

Dimarzio has managed with this alnico II pickup to obtain a classic Strat audio, with all the definition and dynamics of a true Singlecoil in a Hum Canceling pickup thanks to its double superimposed winding. Ideal for guitarists accustomed to playing on stage and require being able to play at volume without noise or interference from lights.

These pickups are ideal for anyone looking to keep a pure Strat tone but play with a good amount of saturation.

Sale price in online stores: USD 79.99.

Lindy Fralin Vintage Hot – A Boutique Pickup

Fralin Vintage Hot, one of the best guitar pickups for Stratocaster bridge

Lindy Fralin’s flagship of Strats pickup has become one of the best and most desired pickups for guitarists with vintage audio for almost 30 years.

These single coil pickups are made with Formvar 42 gauge copper wire wound by hand with Alnico V magnets and have a few extra turns for extra kick. In this way they obtain a bright, open and balanced sound. There is also the option of including a baseplate like Telecaster pickups. This gives more output and fatter tone to the pickup. If you are looking for a vintage audio with good brightness, bass, dynamic and with an extra output, this is the ideal option.

This pickup is the one for those who want a vintage tone with good shine and dynamics.

Sale price in online stores: USD 95.

DiMarzio Super Distortion S for Strato, Rock Out!

Humbucker pickup for strat

The Super Distortion, as the name says, are pickups to push your amp right and get good distortion out of your guitar amp. These Stratocaster bridge pickups have plenty of power and punch.

The Super Distortion humbucker was possibly the first to start with the idea of replacing guitar pickups in bulk. Although its peak was in the 80’s, it is still valid today and is considered a classic for those who seek to play with a lot of saturation and compression. Examples of guitarists who used it are Kurt Cobain, Phil Collen from Def Leppard and Paul Stanley from Kiss among many more. This is the version of the Super Distortion is Strat format, hence the “S”. With this you get the audio of the original but without having to make any modifications to your Fender Stratocaster.

This pickup is ideal for the guitarist who plays heavy styles and requires a well saturated drive.

DiMarzio Fast Track 1 – hum canceling pickup

Dimarzio Chopper, an all-terrain pickup for the bridge of a stratocaster

The Fast Track 1 is an ideal ceramic pickup for anyone looking for a pickup that plays well with the drive, but without killing the Strat spirit. It is a pickup with more mids and bass than a classic one, but it maintains the brightness quite well. In addition, Fast Track 1 is Hum canceling, and is spliteable -coil split- to be used with push-pull potentiometers, which allows it to handle distortion well, such as clean and dynamic audios. It has twice the output of a standard Singlecoil.

This pickup is perfect for those who play mostly crunch, and allows for decent cleans.

Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickup – Classic and Affordable

Strat Singlecoil pickups

This popular pickup is Jimmie Vaughan’s signature model. Fender Tex-Mex are only available for sale for the entire set. But their excellent price doesn’t detract them much from the value of just one of the other Strat bridge pickups on this list. They are the lowest range of Fender, but their price-quality ratio is excellent. They have classic Strat audio with more output. 

These pickups are great for anyone looking for classic audio with a bit more output. Their affordable price makes them ideal for upgrading a mid or low range guitar.

Seymour Duncan Twang Banger – a Tele on your Strat

Strat Singlecoil pickup with Telecaster Vibe

Utilizing a Telecaster-like construction with hot vintage Tele-style winding, mounted with Alnico 2 magnets and a copper-plated steel baseplate, the Twang Banger is a Stratocaster bridge pickup that provides extreme twang. It has midrange and bass similar to that of a Telecaster, but the shape and size are that of the Stratocaster. Your Alnico 2 gives you round highs and fat sound. It is a good option for those who need to keep the singlecoil tone but with a warm audio and fatter tone and hotter output.

These Stratocaster bridge pickups are ideal for those who rock rock with fat cleans and crunches.

Seymour Duncan apst from 1 TWANG Banger

Klein 1969 Epic Series Stratocaster pickup – Woodstock vibe

Klein Epic 1969, one of the best guitar bridge pickups.
Klein Epic 1969, one of the best guitar bridge pickups

These pickups have the classic Strat tone and chime from the time of the legendary Woodstock recital. With these pickups you will get the tone of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and David Gilmour, that audio with an excellent string attack and strat bell. Boasting top quality construction, true to vintage specs the Klein are Strat bridge pickups that will never disappoint. Handmade with Alnico 5 magnet and flat enamel cobra wire. Additionally, they are offered with “reverse stagger” at no additional charge for right-handed Hendrix fans.

If you’re a fan of Woodstock and Hendrix audio, these are the Strat bridge pickups for you.

Sale price in online stores: USD 90.

Seymour Duncan SL591 Little 59 – a PAF in your Strat

Mini Humbucker for Strat

This is another option for anyone looking for a vintage humbucker tone without having to modify their guitar or change the pickguard. This Seymour Duncan is a Strat version of the classic PAF 59 Humbucker. Waxed, with ceramic magnet and adjustable magnetic poles, it allows a perfect setting to find the desired shade. It works perfect for playing with distortion just like a humbucker pickup, making your guitar a more versatile tool, spanning a wide variety of musical genres. 

These bridge pickups are ideal for transforming your guitar into an HSS Stratocaster, gaining versatility of use without deep interventions on your instrument.

Seymour Duncan SL59-1B Little ’59 for Strat® Bridge.

Fender Pure Vintage ’65 Strat pickup, for Surf-rock

Fender Pure Vintage '65 Strat

From vintage-style singlecoil construction to fabric-covered wiring, all Fender Vintage Pure pickups are wound based on vintage specifications. These pickups are the ones used in the old American Vintage 65 series. They feature the power, clarity and surf-rock Stratocaster sound of the mid-60’s. Like the Fender Tex-Mex only the complete set is sold.

This model is ideal for those who play mostly clean and surf-rock style.

Sale price in online stores for the game: USD 120.

Seymour Duncan Vintage Staggered SSL-1, the vintage preferred choice

Seymour Duncan SSL-1, a classic of the best Stratocaster pickups

The Seymour Duncan SSL-1 is one of the best mid-priced classic pickups. This model has stepped poles, for vintage style radius guitars, more curved, 7.25 “or 9.5”. But if you use guitars with a flatter back, it has a model with flat magnetic poles, the SSL-2. This set features the center pickup with reverse winding and polarity. What is popularly known as RWRP. In this way in positions 2 and 4 the noise -hum- is canceled.

With a late 50’s audio it is a classic Strat pickups, with fat sound, brightness, dynamics and good output. If you want something classic and do not want to overpay, it is the ideal option.

This is the pickup of choice for classic and purist guitarists looking for a traditional Strat tone at a mid-range price. These are also John Frusciante’s favorite pickups from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Seymour Duncan SSL-1 Pickup for Electric Guitar

Sale price in online stores: USD 59.

Conclusion and summary of Stratocaster bridge pickups

There are tons of pickups, and there is no perfect one for the Stratocaster bridge position, but each one satisfies different needs and personal requirements of each guitarist. As you can see, you can get heavy tones with a Dimarzio Super Distortion S or PAF tones with the Duncan Lil 59. If you want a classic vintage 50’s tone, the Seymour Duncan SSL-1 is a classic, if you need an extra shine then the Fralin Vintage Hot is the one you need, and if your budget is limited, the Tex Mex is the option. When your favorite bridge audio is that of the Telecaster, the Twang Banger will turn your Strat into a Tele with the Twang and kick.

In case your idea is to achieve the Woodstock tone, the Klein Epic 1969 is perfect, if you play Surf Rock from the mid 60’s then the Fender Pure Vintage 65 Pickups is for you. Finally, if you are a guitarist who needs to sound good clean and with drive without the annoying hum of singlecoils, you have several options, depending on what audio you want, if you want to maintain the classic tone, the Dimarzio Area 61 is the solution, if you are looking for something Between a single and a humbucker Fast Track 1 is the star. Have you already found the pickup that is for you?

Related Articles: Top tips for improving a cheap electric guitar.

For more information and other tips, head over to Guitar Quarter.

You can share opinions or also chat about this and more with other musicians in our comments section.

Share this article on


We are a team of guitarists, bassists and ukulelist who are passionate about teaching music, testing instruments and equipment related to guitar, bass and ukulele.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *