I bought a set of the Ironstone Hybrid Strat pickups a number of years ago and have been suitably impressed having previously changed my pickups a few times in that guitar. Recently I purchased a Freeway 10 way strat switch which I fitted into this guitar (Japanese Fender Strat about 1984). The results are amazing and the Ironstone pickups and the Freeway switch work perfectly together.
I have always been a big fan of passive pickup switching (the Freeway and my own Gilmour plates) to truely exploit the possibilities of 3 normal Strat pickups. Be it parallel / series, blend controls, ‘hidden’ combinations, or phase changes, there is a wide world of possibilities out there to explore with a little internet research. Cheers
Just recently bought the Telecaster Vintage pickups as replacements for the “ceramic” ones in my SX VTG series thinline Telecaster. I did a good bit of shopping around online as I had replaced Fender pickups with Wilkinson pickups on a previous Fender Telecaster. I got rid of that Tele as I just couldn’t get the sounds I wanted. I had use Ironstone pickups in my Fender Strat so I was aware of the quality………………..However with these new Ironstone pickups in my Tele are the business. The clean sound from the neck and neck+bridge settings are super, the bridge pickup is very twangy clean and with a decent amount of overdrive all pickup combinations sound great.
Just replaced the stock pups in my Squier Classic Vibe 60 Custom Tele which were ok but a bit meh.. Wow what a difference – open, full and lovely – hooray !
Excellent and personal service from Tony – novel these days but very welcome – Thankyou !
Customer service has always been a big part of Ironstone Craig. Enjoy the ‘new’ Tele!
Excellent pickups in my opinion. I bought them for a self-build Strat. I spent about a year doing the guitar, pure tung oil finish on the body etc. all the nonsense that you do, because you can on a self-build. I picked these pickups because they really seemed to fit with what I was after and they have delivered with bells on! The fact that they are realistically priced is a massive bonus. I would urge anyone to have the confidence not to go automatically with one of the expensive, big brand options.
Always good to hear ‘long run’ stories John. We all know how guitar projects go! Anyway, glad you got exactly the tone you were after, and of course I would echo your comments about the big brands. Solid quality pickups of course, but at a price. Cheers, Tony
Super chuffed with this!..arrived on time, excellent communication, top drawer build quality, and the pickups (Platinum) are just sublime! Fitted to a circa 1980 Daion Performer (Japanese strat copy), this plate provides a huge palette of very usable tones, not just D.G, but quite a few other famous strat players come to mind as you play about with the switching options. Unbelievable at this price! Top job Ironstone!
As you say John, dispite the scratchplate’s famous namesake, the tones it can produce extend into many other artists / genres. I have always been a big fan of series pickups configurations, which are something of a revelation to players used to standard Strat tones. A customer once described the version that these plates have (via the mini toggle switch) as a ‘wide humbucker’, which I think captures the vibe very well. Enjoy!
I upgraded a 1980`s Sunn Mustang with a set of Ironstone Gold Strat pickups. So now I have a
guitar with a neck I like that sounds really good. 5 way switch / 3 volumes. Pickups wired to the pots then to the switch. For a Strat type guitar it seems pretty quite in terms of hum. I don`t believe pickups need to cost a fortune in order to achieve a great sound, after all it is a roll of copper wire and some magnets. These Ironstone pickups prove the point. I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and would look for other pickups in their range should I get round to doing any more projects. Pete Buckland http://www.bucklandnixon.com
I bought the Jazz set to try in my 2012 American Standard Jazz which came with custom shop 60’s as standard. My new Ironstone pickups took little more than 15 mins to fit and I was impressed by the build quality and attention to detail of the units. The enclosed fitting accessories were very much appreciated. Soundwise the new pickups have a clarity of tone that really impressed me. I usually use the neck pickup on full and vary the bridge volume for different tones. The interaction between the two pickups is remarkable and there is a much broader range of tonal variation than I had before. There is also a decent output and a good clean thumping bass tone with flats sounds fantastic. I can’t fault the tones available and in particular the sonic clarity of the pickup set. They are also very much quieter than the CS60’s ever were! Astonishing value for money, well done Ironstone.
Firstly, I must say what great service I had from Ironstone. Delivery was really quick and Tony was very helpful.
I bought the Ironstone Gold Alnico V pickup set to replace the pickups on my 1993 Cheri Strat ( made in Korea ).
The result was that the Cheri sounds better than my USA Fender Strat Plus.
More ‘Stratty’ than a Strat you could say.
The Ironstone pickups are lively, responsive and produce that recognisable Strat ‘Quack’ in the 2nd and 4th positions on the 5 way switch.
Excellent product, value and service.
Fitted my telecaster pickups yesterday, what a difference it is night and day, the tele was my 3rd favourite guitar to play it has now become my number one go to guitar. Thank you tony and all your team for making such fantastic pickups available at a price that everyone can afford, super quality and sound, i love them.
Great tone, great quality, and great value is what we are all about Andrew. Enjoy! Cheers, Tony
I’ve just installed these in a 98 squire and I’m well impressed. I thought the stock pickups were decent until I wired these up!
Bright and lively with no harshness(even with 500k pots), sweet mids and bass, middle position have ‘that’ sound in spades. Plenty of output without any loss of clarity. Have them running with a series switch and they excel with this mod. All in a very happy customer!!
Thanks very much for the praise Eoin. I use the series mod as part of my Gilmour plates, and folk often comment what a great (yet quite rarely done) mod it is for a single coil guitar.
Hi Tony, I am so pleased with the Ironstone Telecaster pickups that I wanted to let you know and give you some background information. I have 16 guitars, half of which are post-2000 USA Fender Telecasters. All my guitars are in excellent condition so I wasn’t sure if a relic guitar would just be a passing fancy. I’d been impressed with the Vintage brand guitars and bought a new Icon Series V62 Telecaster as a surplus stock item direct from JHS for less than £200. It had a blond, machine relic’d finish but the guitar played very well and I had bought it as an experimental relic project. I stripped, re-finished in Fiesta Red nitro and custom relic’d it. I upgraded all the electrics but the pick-ups weren’t delivering the sound that I thought the guitar now deserved. I had read-up about the Ironstone Tele pickups. They had good reviews and the spec sounded ideal for my 60s blues/light rock style. So I bought a set of the Ironstone Tele pickups that were on offer as “relic” (minor cosmetic blemishes), fitted them, tried them and loved them. They are just the sound that I was after. The best thing about them are the three distinct voices of the two individual pickups and then the pairing of them together. They were easy to set up to be well balanced. The tone is strong and can sing, croak or quack with control adjustments. I fitted a new orange drop .033 capacitor, as you recommend for your Tele pickups (replacing the more usual .047 capacitor). Combinations of the subtle, graduated volume and tone controls give such a wide variety of sounds from the 3 different pickup switch settings. So the guitar is now the best of what was there originally (alder body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, aged hardware and great playability); the look and feel I had in mind of a medium relic’d Fiesta Red and aged mint green pickguard; and the sound I wanted to hear of sweet singing vintage, slightly dirty blues and a great range of tones and colours. Thanks for the pick-ups, they are high quality and great value. I definitely recommend them to others and they will be first choice for my own future projects.
Just received and installed these pickups in my 1984 Fender USA Strat,
As a professional musician who writes and records original music ,
the sound from these pickups are excellent, better than the originals in my opinion.
Great pickups .
Thanks for the positive comparison! Always great to hear from an experienced ‘ear’.
Impossible to fault. The sound from my set of Gold pick-ups on my home built ‘S’ type is wonderful and versatile. The bridge pick-up sounds like it’s straight off the old Animals version of House of the Rising Sun, the centre and bridge pick-ups give a mix of Hank Marvin, Clapton, early Pink Floyd and Mark Knopfler – all for less than £50!!!!! I’ve got two more builds in the pipeline – will be back for more 😀
That’s quite a star tone line-up Andy, but exactly the Fender artist era the Gold’s are designed to replicate. Look forward to hearing from you for those future projects.
Thank you very much for the excellent craftmanship! My 25-year-old Fender stratocaster has never sounded this vivid and versatile! The combination of the hybrids and Gilmour wiring really makes me want to keep on playing this strat. Sparkling highs to higher output… it’s all in there. Thanks!!!
Alexander Heytens – Belgium
Its great to hear of a cherished older instrument getting a new lease of life Alexander.
Jätte nöjd med dessa mickar. Perfekt balans mellan strängarnas volym, enormt klart ljud, även med avrullad tonkontroll. Min favorit ljud är 100% stallmick, 80% halsmick, full tonkontroll. Knorrar fint och lagom tjockt. Kan garantera att mer prisvärda mickar inte går att få. Tack Tony! Mvh Fredrik Sandberg från Sverige.
Fredrik from Sweden writes (according to Google translate!); Very happy with these pickups. Perfect balance between the strings’ volume, enormously clear sound, even with unrolled tone control. My favourite sound is 100% bridge pickup, 80% neck pickup, full tone control. Grunts nicely and thick enough. Can guarantee that more affordable pickups are not available. Thanks Tony! Regards Fredrik Sandberg from Sweden.
Just thought you might like an update on the classic Tele pickups .
Been installed about three weeks now and they have properly settled now along with the bespoke wiring i put into this build.
The sound of this guitar is now very difficult to describe because with the various set-ups i have it is continually surprising me.
Definitely no “One Trick Pony”. The depth of sound is incredible.
Love them, absolutely love them.
Tone is such a personal thing Martin, we all respond and describe it differently. But I think ‘depth of sound’ is a very precise and accurate way of talking about the Ironstone Teles. Enjoy!
Got ANOTHER set – this time for my fretless bass! Great job.
Here its sample – NO EQ, No Compression, Just some reverb…
Beautiful little sample Tomas. Classic bass riff sounding wonderful on the your fretless.
Subject: Classic Telecaster Pickups
As promised my review of the classic Telecaster pickups:
Ordering was typically easy and delivery was typically expedient, which I have come to expect from Ironstone. Tony is consistently adept at communication, which makes you, as a buyer, feel instantly valued.
I have a set of Ironstone Strat Silvers in my oldest guitar (35 years old) and some Platinum’s in my Gilmour Black Strat Homage, so I had great expectations of the Classic Telecaster pickups.
Just for reference: the subject guitar is a Voodoo basswood body with Flame Maple top and rosewood fingerboard. This combination is pre-disposed to sounding bright and up-front. My other Telecaster is the classic Alder/maple neck recipe, with Tonerider TRT2 in the bridge and Fender USA Classic pickup in the neck. This offers a good yard stick for comparison.
The Ironstones are slightly down on output by comparison but, when the balance is redressed by a lift in gain, they offer up something of a revelation:
The neck pickup is crystal clear and warm when played clean but adds a bluesy roundness when overdriven.
Combining neck and bridge brings an almost acoustic feel when clean and a classic 70’s rock rhythm guitar flavour with some overdrive.
The bridge pickup clean is a little bright but when the dirt is applied, this translated to a stonking 80’s AOR sound. Plenty of spank and growl when firing off power chords and soaring highs for soloing.
Against my other Tele, these pickups seem to offer a very clear and honest take on what a Tele should sound like.
Obviously, every guitar is unique so results will vary but I am extremely impressed with them, especially considering the the set cost as much as the bridge Tonerider in my other Tele,
All in all, for the money, you would have to spend considerably more to better them. Yet another fantastic sounding product from Ironstone that won’t cripple your wallet.
Top marks again.
This e-mail was sent from the Contact Us form on the Ironstone Pickups website
Thanks very much for your comments Martin. In particular, highlighting the softer issues of what it feels like to be an Ironstone customer, which is something that was always at the heart of the business model. The AOR tone is not one I get asked about often, but is a great example of the variety of classic tones the Ironstone Tele’s can deliver.
Same tonality as Fender American Pickups 003-3753-000 BUT… A LOT, LOT quieter!!! Fenders being sold now…
Personally I` d suggest installing “normal” cables instead of (placebo) cloth covered and spend more on pickups covers 😉
Cables WONT give you better sound – better quality covers look… better(?)
Comments much appreciated, and good to see such a positive comparison to the significantly more expensive Fenders. Cables (and covers!) are very much in the eye of the beholder / customer in my experience, but I understand your points of course.
Like many other people during the pandemic I have spent some time building a guitar from a Thomann kit. I was really impressed with the Telecaster kit quality…particularly the neck. I fitted some locking Wilkinson tuners, brass bridge saddles and Ironstone Vintage pickups. The guitar is now one of my favourites…creamy neck sound and bright choppy bridge sounds…together they make the perfect combination. Many thanks Tony..please keep up the good work.
You are not the only one to have used the lock-down to carry out that ‘always wanted to’ guitar project, I can assure you. My questions and queries mail box has never been so busy. So its great to hear that you have got such a fantastic result from the project!
The stock pickups in my SX JB75 sound great but go microphonic when used with multiFX (problem doesn’t occur with earphones).
I installed set of Ironstones – see https://youtu.be/E9cF_TWZEp0 for installation and basic testing.
On their own they have amazing punch. Thru the effects pedal one can dial in even more amazing tones. Around 20 mins in I put the bass Infront of speaker – virtually noiseless. Thru pedal it’s only when I turn the tone right up I get the infinite sustain thing going on. Really impressed with these pickups – cannot praise them enough.
Great pickups even at twice the price.
I hope Covid finishes soon so I can play them live. I think the audience will love the booming bass and punch.
All of the Ironstone pickups range is wax potted to reduce microphonics, one of the curses of single coil designs. But its also possible to ‘over’pot pickups which leaves them sounding rather dead and ‘breathless’. I like to think the Ironstones have it just right!
Top class work. I got the Gilmour plate with hybrids in all black and could not be happier. Placed it on a black 2003 m/n squire standard. The guitar sounds class now with a great tone. No buzzing or unwanted noise. Lovely clean tones and the floyd tone through my wee vox vt20+ sounds amazing. Just love playing again even more. Communication from Ironstone was great with an update on the work being done. I recommend Ironstone to anyone. I’ll defo be back.
The Customer Service is as important as the product in my opinion, and its great to hear how pleased you are with both. Your comments about the plate delivering ‘no buzzing or unwanted noise’ mirror many Ironstone customers (plates and pickups). I am an engineer by training and that gives me a different perspective on build techniques and components to the traditional manufacturers. My aim is to deliver the best tones possible, without noise. Cheers, Tony
Amazing! I upgraded an old Mexican Jazz Bass with these as only one pickup was working. I chose these as they are pretty much the same specification as the Fender CS60 Jazz Bass pickups, but 65% cheaper. After doing some comparisons and spectrum analysis through my DAW, and properly setting the pickup height, I can confidently say that the Ironstone pickups are equal, if not better than the CS60s. They’re well rounded, punchy and simply have that classic Jazz Bass sound. Highly recommend these for any Jazz Bass upgrade, amazing value, quality, build, and assembly, they should really cost a lot more. Customer service is also great, Tony is really helpful, and honest about what his pickups can achieve.
What more can I add Eamon! Thanks for the detailed comparison, which will hopefully help others with their choices too.
If anyone is on the fence about getting this, don’t be. I received mine today. I’ve been playing guitar for over 30 years and my guitar now looks and sounds better than anything I’ve ever played before. The price is a steal. I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan and this black Pickguard plus the platinum pickups and custom Gilmour wiring and switch is the business! Such a bargain and high quality workmanship! Very fast service from Tony. You can’t go wrong folks. Buy it now!!!
I’ve just fitted a set of Ironstone Platinums to a new build, using standard wiring with a treble-bleed mod. They are by far the very best and versatile pickups I’ve ever played. From glassy but shivering clear, bell-like top to a gut punch bridge; warm, rich vintage. I thought the Pure Vintage Toneriders that I fitted to my son’s old Rock School Squier were good, but these are in another league. All the clarity maintained rolling back because of the treble bleed; every position detailed and distinct. I would say they are at least on a par with my MIM Strat if not slightly better. Thank you for your help and superb customer service Tony. I would recommend Ironstone to anyone wanting to upgrade or build. Already planning my next project…
Absolutely brilliant pickups for that Hank Marvin sound. Would highly recommend these to anyone
Thanks for the recommendation Keith!
this is my telecaster build with your pickups in check it out
Great follow up video to your earlier comments. Nice to see an all hand build job too.
And your own logoing on the pickups too?
Just purchased these pickups and man, what a transformation, budget project turned out fantastic, the sound is awesome, I’m a helix user and don’t matter if you play clean of stack effects the pickups deliver, the drives are great and the bluesy tones on the neck pickup is great, thank you for a great service and great price, this won’t be the last time I buy from here,
Thanks Stephen! Transformation is a word I love to hear in terms of an upgrade with Ironstones’. I have always maintained that a decent set of pickups is the easiest and cheapest way of turning a stock budget guitar into a stunner. Enjoy!
Just fitted the Gold pickups with bridge blender to my Squier Affinity Strat and I now have a much greater range of sounds and tones. Really great! Best of all was the fantastic customer service I received from Tony. We had an initial discussion to determine which combination would give me the sound I wanted. I went for a fully completed scratchplate to minimise the soldering etc as that would probably be beyond my abilities! Just left me with 3 wires to solder and job done! I can’t recommend Tony and his products highly enough if you’re looking to do an upgrade. You’ll be in expert hands all the way through the process. Patient and friendly throughout even when I was asking lots of (probably daft) questions! Thanks again, Tony.
Asking questions is of course how we all learn, and a big part of the Ironstone package is making sure customers are making the best choices for what they want. That goes for selecting the right products and of course getting them fitted correctly to get the best performance. Cheers.
I’ve just installed the new JB pick ups on my Fender ’77, didn’t really know what to expect. WooW, the sound is AMAZING!!
I’m really surprised by the variety of sound, punchy and vintage. I would recomend it to all. Try and you will be very pleased.
for this price it’s unbelieveable. Thanks a lot.
Ironstone’s aim has always been maximum vintage tone at a great price. Enjoy!
Fitted the Strat silvers yesterday and I’m astonished at how good they really are, I’ve used/tried many p/up’s over the last 30 years some £££ and some not and the Silvers are remarkable for clarity and overall tone. Not brittle or harsh in anyway, they just seem to ooze real tone with a very nice warmth that speaks. I wired them up using a push/pull on the neck to allow it to be brought into use along with the bridge for that tele middle sound or have all 3 at one time, with the push/pull in the down position it works as standard 5 way Strat. EXTREMELY pleased with the purchase and great value. EXCELLENT. Thanks
Thanks of course for your comments Brian. Always good to hear from customers with a lot of experience with different guitars and pickups, who appreciate the nature of the Ironstone range. For me the Silver has always been the ‘sleeper’ of the range. Its the least expensive, but delivers so much for the vintage warm ‘Classic Rock’ vibe.
I hate to be repetitive but these Pups are jawdroppingly excellent.
Fitted to an £80 Chord Strat copy project (good wood and neck, dreadful all else!) and I’ve got a guitar I simply cannot put down!
The definition and clarity of each of the PUPs in each of the Strat five positions is remarkable.
Off to order another’s set for my Squier Strat.
Simply put you don’t need to pay more!
Astonishing, well chuffed,
Jawdropping, Astonishing (repetitively). I can think of no better compliments John! Cheers
Worth waiting for”
So, after hanging on financially and then waiting a little longer for Ironstone to relocate, I finally ordered my Gilmour Scratch Plate.
Ordering was as simple as it’s ever been and dispatch was pretty fast (less than a week between order and delivery).
I already had a set of Silvers in my standard wired scratch plate installed in my Black Strat.
I had always thought them to be really good but wanted a little something more…
My Gilmour scratch plate is, I guess, a typical order of Platinum pickups with cream knobs, covers and switch tip.
The finish of the assembly is top notch, very tidy with well soldered joints and quality components.
It took me roughly 30 minutes to install and get tuned up.
First I noticed that there was absolutely no hum or any other nasties.
Second, I noticed that on first strum, the output was up on the Silvers.
Having played around with the settings and pickup heights, I can say with alacrity that the sound is awesome.
The depth of tone is fantastic and the clarity and separation from the individual strings is very striking.
The most noticeable thing is the extra bite when you dig into the strings with the pick if you’re playing a little dirty but you also get a sense of this when playing without a pick.
So far, I haven’t been able to put it down
For £110, built to order and delivered, you simply can’t beat this scratch plate.
And as for the Gilmour sound?
It definitely delivers.
As Martin rightly says, these plates are all hand built to order. And yes, a black plate, Platinum pickups and cream knobs etc is my most popular order. Something do do with a certain Black Strat I guess!.
And I would reiterate, if you are looking for versatility, clean to dirty, the Ironstone Platinum’s (and Hybrids) are where you should look.
I bought a used pair, jazz bass. I didn´t really need them, but I have kind of a pickup fetich, so I bought them. I have 9 Jazz Basses, so I have tried a lot of pickups, all the expensive brands too, Fralin, Nordstrand etc…
These are excellent pickups. I put them on a Fender Roadworn, and they will stay there..
It sounds just right, and on level with all the expensive brands. I highly recommend them !
Thanks for the compliments Jens. Always good to hear from customers pitting Ironstone against the bigger names with such great results.
I finally found the time to install the new Silver pups I’d ordered and – wow! I’ve had three different sets of pups on this guitar – including some of Fender’s own custom ones – and none of them really got me the tone I wanted.
When I’d completed the install (it was simple), and re-setup my guitar I plugged it into my small Laney Cub tube amp. Within seconds I had the chimey tone I’ve been looking for. I’ve not gone much further than that, really, as I’m enjoying practicing with this revelatory clean tone. I’ll eventually get to try more ‘Gilmourish’ tones, but I’m having too much fun at the moment to try.
I don’t know what makes your pups actually sing but, to me, they are the real deal. And at the price, they are a steal.
The company also offers exceptional service, and is a model on how to do it right. My guitar and my ears thank you!
I am really liking the fact you are taking the time to just appreciate the classic rock vibe of the Silvers before diving into more complex tones. Its a fact that the Gilmour tone is built on a very clean base. The layering of effects depends on that clean start point!
Pickups arrived on Saturday past, and though I’d never done any soldering before, I hoped it would be pretty straightforward to install them. Thankfully it was!! I’ve had the Tokai Strat ST50 since ’84/’85 and it had been modded once before by a friend who swapped out the bridge pup for a ‘Schaller’ of some kind. Other 2 were originals but since they didn’t match I’d fallen out with the guitar over the years; and with now trying to re-kindle my interest in playing it was causing me issues.
So now I have 3 matched pups, and with a couple of setup tweaks, I can at least now have a proper go again. I always used to simply use the bridge when playing, but now with your pups installed, I always look to the neck first, cos now this is where the guitar sings!! So happy I looked to you for replacements, and extremely pleased with the results!!!
Good to hear all has gone smoothly Alan, and delighted you are so happy with the (extremely versatile) Platinums. Tokia Strats are wonderful instruments and positively beg for quality pickup upgrades to do justice to the build quality of the day.
I built my grandson a custom guitar for his 10th birthday, my basic spec was a thin body, light strings, low action, locking tuners and a sound so clear and pure it would make fish weep with emotion.
It took many months of research to get it right; I ended up with a strat shaped body that was 4mm thinner than standard, 2x500k tone pots with a 473 orange drop 250k volume, fender locking heads, dunlop 7-38 strings over a set of Ironstone Hybrids.
The sound is absolutely beautiful. after tuning in for the first time i was blown away by the clarity. I am not really certain what i was expecting, whatever those expectations were they were genuinely surpassed. no hum, no crackles, pops or whines; just pure tonal utopia.
Imagine sitting outside on the porch in a rocking chair whilst the area around you is deep with snow, log fire crackling inside, in one hand is a large mug of kopi luwak coffee with maybe a slug of penderyn gold in it, the other clutching a blanket made of vicunas wool around your shoulders, the air makes your skin tingle with cold as you smell bacon cooking on the stove ready to fit between a couple of doorsteps of fresh homemade bread… that moment there is what it is like to hear these hybrids for the first time.
I kid you not, there are no metaphors that can match that moment (unless you like coffee and bacon). for anyone considering new pickups, get a set and give them a go. Any issues regarding the pickups or indeed in my case a general electrical conundrum, was met with kind and considerate expertise from Tony. If there are “better” pickups out there then my guess is that you certainly won’t find them in this price range; but better is merely subjective and therefore irrelevant.
The hybrids in my grandson’s guitar are more than one could have ever hoped for and cost less than the machine heads. Given a choice between the two, for me the greater value is in the pickups.
I am now looking at another guitar project and if all goes well I shall be picking Tony’s brains again about single coils masquerading as humbuckers….
so if my review appears a little vague, I like them very much indeed and would definitely buy Ironstone products again.
As to whether fish wept, well, the sea levels have risen and lately rivers have been bursting their banks locally. Some people have put it down to global warming, in our house we know Ironstone hybrid pickups are the cause…
best wishes to you and thank you very much.
I shall be in contact soon if I secure the guitar I am after, if not it will be whenever the next project starts.
I think Andrew, the most holistic sensory review I have ever received. Many thanks and I look forward to discussing the joys of ‘wide humbuckers’ as another of my customers dubbed them!
I have had a Vintage Modified Squier Jaguar Short Scale Bass for a few years now – it was my first bass. The P pickup is killer but the Jazz pickup is notoriously weak plus picks up hearing loop in church where I play.
The ironstone pickup cures this – amazing tone but you will need modify bass to fit it. New Jazz pickup is much closer to P bass output.
Jazz pickup and has got me back in love with this great bass.
Recently I wanted that J bass tone again. So I decided to try an Ironstone J bass pickup. I got the bridge/neck plus noise cancelling set just incase the fit in Jaguar would be an issue (I would have gone to guitar shop and bought the cheapest jazz.bass that fitted them).
I made a small template of new neck pickup and carefully extended the existing arches in Jaguar using a Dremel type tool – that worked out quite well – not too shabby.
The first thing to notice is the pole pieces are different spacing to original Jaguar Jazz pickup. Actually they seem to be MUCH better aligned with the strings than the original.
The tone of this new pickup is amazing. Well worth butchering a Squier for – I mean the bass is cheap.
Put a new set of strings on, followed Dave’s World of Fun Stuff to setup Jaguar (originally I adjusted pickups too high because I forgot one has to fret the last fret when measuring pickup height).
Really great tone coming out of the J Bass now. And having a lot of fun playing the short scale again.
Thanks for manufacturing these awesome pickups. I think I will be looking for a cheap 2nd hand full scale Jazz bass so I can get another neck pickup and install rest of the set there.
Many thanks for so much detail Stephen. Hopefully it will encourage / inspire others to have a tinker!
These pickups are fantastic value for money – a no-brainer upgrade for a Squier Telecaster with stock ceramic pups. The neck pick up in particular is sublime in conjunction with my AC30. A cheap guitar I could take or leave is re-born!
Platinum pickups. Installed and working great, I love the tones across all three.
As a retired music guitar shop owner for 30 yrs. I’ve heard a lot of pickups believe me but holy smokes nothing like what I’m about to tell you about. It’s hard to describe what it was like when I plugged in my guitar with the new Ironstone Hybrid Alnico V’s just installed but let me try:
Bell like quality, crystal clear claity with each and every string so well defined, a chime like sound, superbly balanced between the lows- mids and highs nothing dominated, the punch was there when I stepped on the gas, and when I went through the 5 switch positions every click of the switch brought a different tonality to the guitar. If rates weren’t so high I would have called Tony to personally compliment him on these 3 jewels
that now inhabit my guitar.
I knew the quality was there when I opened the package and saw and felt the Hybrids. Tony was extremely quick to respond and very supportive to my questions. My experience with this company reinforces once again that bigger is not better, it’s quality and good customer service that matter and Ironstone excelled in both. At 74 yrs of age these are the best bang for the buck I’ve ever witnessed. My satisfaction with Ironstone Pickups is OFF THE CHARTS !! To Quote Arnold Swartzenegger “Ill be back!!” Buy a set, I promise you, you won’t be sorry !
Thanks for all of the comments Gary! A big part of the string definition you mention relates to the pole piece stagger pattern. Its hand set to a pattern that I have developed over years of tinkering to get the very best string to string balance. You are also (rightly) dispelling the myth that a high output pickup can’t do very decent cleans. Cheers
I’ve got 2 gold single coils in the neck and middle and a humbucker in the bridge on my Squire Affinity Strat and after a bit of adjustment they sound just great. Fantastic pups for the price. I really like the typical strat ‘quack’ in position 4. The service was great and ironstone are a delight to deal with.
Great product, affordable and great service, does it get any better!
Thanks for all the praise Mark. Much appreciated of course.
Hi Tony, I installed the humbuckers in my LP (copy) and man what a beautiful sound. I especially like the warm fat sound that the pup in the neck position gives. As before, I was never dissapointed in the quality and the service! Thanks a lot! Best regards, Ad Kooij
As I often say, customer service is as important at Ironstone as tone.
Fitted Ironstone Gold Strat set to a Westfield Strat for a customer and wow!
Both of us were blown away by the difference these pickups made. Great quality for a stunning price, with brilliant service and speedy delivery too. Thank you Ironstone – I’ll definitely be coming back for more!
That’s the Ironstone ethos; “Some of the best guitar pickups for value, tone and customer service.” Enjoy, and look forward to hearing from you again – maybe trying some of the other Ironstone styles.
This was my fourth set of pick-ups that I bought from Tony. After a three Strat sets: Gold, Hybrid and HSH, This time I wanted to upgrade my recently bought Tele clone. As with the previous sets, this time also it was a great improvement. Very nice sounds as well from the neck as from the bridge pick-up. And as always fast delivery. Thanks Tony!! Best regards, Ad Kooij
Service always as important as great sounding pups here at Ironstone Ad!
Bought these as replacements for the Duncan Designed SC101’s that came stock in my Squier Vintage Modified 70’s Strat, and all I can say is WOW! It’s as if the guitar has been un-gagged! There is so much more clarity, warmth (without being dark), and space around every note! They have completely transformed an already good guitar into a GREAT one! Honestly, I’m amazed, and at this price, with the great service from Ironstone – unbelievable value! Buy them, don’t think about it, just buy them!
James, ‘un-gagged’, what a great descriptor for many of Ironstone’s customers reactions! There really is no need to pay mega-bucks for great tone, and glad to have another very satisfied customer. Cheers, Tony
can’t tell you how impressed I am with these pups – wonderful balanced cleans, it just sings with gain and distortion , my Vintage Fillmore Strat is transformed. – a very happy bunny I can’t put my guitar down.
That’s the Platinums David, super resonsive to playing style and versatile across the range from clean to grit!
Just fitted a set of Golds to a ’96 Squier Affinity and the difference is night and day. The original icepick-ups had those horrible piercing upper mids that I had to tiptoe around, but these capture that lovely late 60s sparkle where the top end is sharp but clean and always palatable; you can dig in hard, even on the bridge, and the sound will cut through without setting your teeth on edge. They sound incredibly close to the pickups on those classic player ’50s strats, but I’d say they might even be a little closer to the real thing. Honestly, these have absolutely no right to be as good as they are for the money and I can see myself trying a set of silvers next.
Oh, and bonus marks to Tony for being so helpful with everything 🙂
The Affinity was probably fitted with stock ceramic (bar) magnet pickups, great at delivering an uncomfortable, thin, scratchy tone. The Golds are based on Alnico V magnets and low resistance winding, delivering bell-like clear warm vintage tones. And always happy to try to help with pickup selection etc of course. Cheers, Tony
Amazing value and tone. The vintage telecaster pickups are superb. Cannot recommend them highly enough. Also great customer support from Tony. Brilliant! I’ll be back.
Great tone and customer service is what Ironstone’s all about Dan. Cheers!
I recently recommissioned my faithful 1981 Ibanez Musician MC-150, that came with Ibanez Super 88 humbuckers. To my todays’ taste, those original pickups, while not bad, sound much too treble-heavy, so I decided to swap them for Ironstone humbuckers, looking for more warmth while keeping a vintage tone for that vintage guitar. That was a good idea! The twangy sound of the MC-150 (due to its neck-through-body build, I guess) is still there, but with much more warmth and roundness than before, and more power, too. These Ironstone humbuckers pickups have the perfect vintage rock tone, and they are an incredible value for their price.
Vintage tone at a great price is what the Ironstone range is all about!
Hi Anthony, I installed my HSH set finally in my partscaster, and I must say they sound impressive, especially the humbuckers. The output of the singlecoil is much lower than the humbuckers, is that normal? All in all I am very pleased with them. I hope brexit (if there will be one) will not raise the shipping and customs costs too much. That would be a shame. Thanks again for wonderful affordable pickups!! Best regards, Ad Kooij
Thanks for the positive comments. You are comparing here mighty 15.5 KOhm humbuckers to an 8.5KOhm single coil, there is definitely going to be a difference in output levels! But what you can do is play with pickup height adjustments (i.e. raise the single coil / lower the humbuckers) to adjust the volume balance when switching between them. See https://ironstone-guitar-pickups.co.uk/guitar-pickup-adjustment/
It is indisputable that, despite being the original relatively easy and cheap to build electric guitar designed over 60 years, the Telecaster remains,with good reason, the best selling guitar design in the world. The bonus for would be owners on a budget is that, as a result of modern computer based building techniques, there are some excellent well made Telecaster type guitars imported from the Far East available at very affordable prices . I recently purchased a beautiful ash boded example which I am very happy with. Although the stock Chinese made ceramic pick ups were passable ,the sound improvement after installing a set of Ironstones was nothing short of amazing . As well as having a distinctive Tele tone they are very versatile and are excellent with both valves and digital amps and overdrive.
When it comes to after market Telecaster pick ups, buyers are spoilt for choice of product with prices ranging up to well over £200 for a set. Do not be put off by the absolute bargain price of these. These seriously rock and are as good as any and better than most of the much higher priced competition.
I can also highly recommend the helpfulness of the designer and owner. He had no hesitation in slightly amending the neck pick up wiring to suit my needs and make series wiring easier.
As you know David, we always do our best to help and accommodate requests where its viable. The Tele is indeed a rather underestimated instrument in some circles, being only 2 pickup. But with a bit of clever switching, its amazing what tones are possible (especially if you are a pro player!).
Fitted these to a Squier I’d picked up cheap on gumtree, the difference is astounding. They sound fantastic. Really can’t fault them, particularly at that price.
A decent pickup upgrade is the quickest, and most cost effective guitar upgrade to give any stock guitar John. And as you have found out, the Ironstone’s tick the decent / outstanding box too! Cheers.
I bought this pickup set for my self-made Strat that I assembled starting just from a basswood body and a Korean maple neck. What to say, these pickups have an unbelievable tone. It’s nothing I would expect from a set that is kinda cheap. The bright and natural tone of Alnico V and the rich harmonics of the pickup are just like (if not better) than every other original Stratocaster’s pickup I’ve ever tried.
Also I’ve got to say, Tony is a wonderful person: the neck pickup I bought had a wiring issue and, even if I had bought them since one month, he immediately sent me another one for free. Great customer treatment, better than any other online shop I experienced.
Best wishes for this business, since it sells great products and It’s totally customer friendly.
Good luck from Italy!
Hi Federico, Thanks of course for your comments, and you are absolutely correct that customer service is at the top of our priorities (along with great vintage tone). Unlike some of the bigger suppliers, Ironstone is small enough to still give that personal attention. All the best from our base in rural Rutland, England.
I love my American Special Jazz, but I thought the sound could maybe be improved with new pickups. I felt the bass just lacked a bit of ‘bite, growl and clarity’ (I’d used an active bass before, so perhaps I was expecting too much from the ASJ). Read a few online reviews, and landed here. Due to the price of the pickups, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect…I decided to try them anyway. Sent a few emails back and forth to Tony for advice, then ordered a set. Damn!! These pickups have BROUGHT THE BASS TO LIFE!! I was truly amazed. They haven’t really ‘changed’ the sound of the instrument, just brought out EVERYTHING that wast there already…just ‘hidden’ (if that makes sense?). Consistent across the strings, highs and lows are spot-on. They can be really subtle, but have some REAL attitude when pushed!
I cannot recommend these pickups enough, and Tony is a GREAT guy to deal with!!
Thanks of course for the great comments on the pickups. And very pleased to hear the customer service side is appreciated as well…very much part of the Ironstone ethos! Cheers, Tony
Finally finished an Iceman style guitar with a set of humbuckers. After figuring out that I had the plug in wired backwards i turned the guitar on and what a difference! Beautiful tones and notes came forth. I took the guitar to a local shop where there was a person who could really play. He was impressed with the pickups and I enjoyed the sounds coming from the guitar!
Always something very satisfying (and at the same time slightly annoying) about handing over your guitar and having another player making it sing! But it happens to us all, and now you have maybe heard more of what the Ironstone’s can do.
Hi Tony, I bought the Hybrid set some time ago, and installed them last weekend in my Squier. I wanted to make a Clapton-ish Blacky, so you recommended the Hybrid set. I also included from http://www.singlecoil.com the modification to make an active strat with a piezo pre-amp. It sounds wonderful!! I’m very pleased with the result. Thank you for your advice and these pickups. Best regards, Ad Kooij
If customers are after a specific sound and are unsure how to get it, I would always suggest a bit of pre-sales advice. Even though tone is very subjective, there’s a certain level of ‘physics’ behind any artists sound that helps to get to the best solution in terms of pickup choice. Cheers for the comment Ad.
I was recommended to Ironstone by a friend who was very, very happy with the Silver pickups. I bought the Golds for a cheapish Tokai strat that never sounded any good with the stock pickups, or with another set of Alnico pickups I fitted. All I can say is that they have made the guitar a joy to play. I play mainly classic 60’s and you are absolutely correct when you say that they are great for capturing the Shadows sound. It’s opened up a whole new area of music for me to explore. I have a Les Paul clone that I’m also not too happy with so it looks like some of your high output Humbuckers will be ordered soon.
My view ( as a trained engineer) has always been that pickups are 80% of a guitars tone. So long as the basic guitar is mechanically sound (Tokai’s are great), a good new set of pups works wonders, as you have found! Cheers.
Ordered a set of Vintage Silver Strat Pickups on a Sunday, they were despatched Monday and arrived Wednesday, with good communications from Tony meanwhile. Brilliant service! Took my time fitting them as I’m usually a bit impatient and also decided to change my pickguard and backplate on my cheap-and-cheerful Guild copy Strat and mod the wiring/switching while I was in there. The original pups were absolute rubbish ceramic things but the guitar itself was rather nice with a lovely neck and superb low action. The new pups, through a boss me-50, are fabulous! The guitar sounds like a really expensive model, with clear, precise notes coming through even the wildest effects. Before, it was just a mish-mash of noise. These pickups are better than those at three times the price, including those from the big F. Can’t recommend this product and company enough.
Many thanks for all of the positive vibes Paul. For me the Silvers are the ‘sleepers’ of the range, the least cost, yet great cleans and well able to hold their own against those ‘other’ more expensive brands. Cheers, Tony
My mate from Wales kept suggesting that I should get a Telecaster for some time and that’s what I did; I’ve bought a great Tele style guitar that is just a fantastic playable axe, BUT the stock pickups were sounding very muffled and thin. I might be new to teles but I know what Tone I need and since my Strat already has the amazing Ironstone Silvers in it with a 7-way switching I knew where to go to pimp my Telecaster! Off to Tony’s!
I ordered this 5 way Tele harness set with his pair of Tele pickups. Got it in no time from UK to Denmark!! Fast shipping and well packaged! Tony was also helpful via email as I had some extra questions regarding the harness.
After I loaded my tele with this set/harness, I gave the Tele a spin but could not find the tones I was looking for. Wrote to Tony again and he suggested focusing on pickup heights. I did that and after some fine tuning the heights I have found My Tone!
The treble bleed is not my tone so I took it out (personal taste). I also dislike 50’s wiring so re-wired it to normal Tele wiring (personal taste and easy to do).
This guitar is now my go to! It covers all from twangy tele tones to shwangy fat humbucker like tones on the Neck-Bridge is Series! The N+B in Parallel is just so musical, love it with chords/arpeggios! What surprised me positively is the bridge pickup which normally should be very sharp and trebly and in my book something I never use, but in this case, the Ironstone Te bridge is very warm yet cuts through anything in the mix!
Im now looking to get a Humbucker in the bridge for my Strat that has the Silvers in, as I do miss a proper Humbucker tone for live performances where noise canceling is needed. So far Tony’s ST and TE pups have made me enjoy music making/playing so much I can not imagine his Humbuckers doing anything less than that. I trust Ironstone and hope Tony will start making some P90’s and Mini Humbuckers soon (maybe a Goldfoil too) 😀
Thanks for all of the comments and compliments. No immediate plans for P90’s or single coil size humbuckers at present though.
I installed these in my squier Tele as the stock ones were lifeless. The punch, and unmistakable Tele tones you get with these are incredible for the price. You can adjust volume, and tone for an added variety of sounds on top of what you already have. I was unsure how to wire them to begin with, but Tony was more than happy to point me in the right direction, and was simple in the end. I’m looking into upgrading another guitar with humbuckers next, and will go with Ironstone again.
Upgrading pickups can be a bit daunting first time round, but a decent new set can give a stunning transformation, and Ironstone is always willing to give advise (together with a mass of free online technical support articles and diagrams).
I have used both the humbucker sets and one of the stratocaster sets in my own guitars and found them both to be excellent. There is absolutely no reason to spend three or four times as much to get big name pickups when these are available. My bandmates love the sound of them and have suggested I put them in all my guitars. They knock the socks off the stock Gibson SG pickups in my Tribute and the Burstbuckers in my Epiphone Custom Shop SG. I run a business repairing guitars (String King Guitar Works) and it’s great to be able to recommend these to my clients.
There is, of course, nothing more satisfying than to have folks who really know their guitars, both players and techies recommend pups from the Ironstone range. And I think I am at least unusual, if not unique at these sort of prices, to be offering a high resistance humbucker driven by Alnico V as opposed to ceramic magnets. Its a winning tone combo to my ears at least!
I’ve had a set of these pickups on my second strat, a 2016 MIM, for a couple of years now and have been really impressed. I have been gradually trying to improve my first strat – a 92 MIM – and having gone through the obvious stuff like better trem block and wiring harness I decided to get another set of Origin vintages, and they sound just as good in that guitar. It’s obviously no fluke. There’s a subtle shimmer to the sound, especially in the in-between posititions, that is really excellent.
No fluke indeed Owen! Because each pickup uses a different magnet pattern to its neighbour, when you add 2 together you get a very special mix of magnetic tone influences. That’s the magic.
Platinum set just fitted to my 80`s Korean Squier strat and what a difference they have made !
The guitar sings and rings like never before,thanks for all your help and advice Tony.
80’s and 90’s MIK Squiers are some of the nicest instruments to play out there.
Glad to hear the new Ironstone’s have lifted the ‘stock tone’ to where it deserves to be.
The project was to upgrade my daughter’s cheap strat copy to sound a bit more like the real thing.
This included locking tuner pegs, quality strings and, most of all, Ironstone Gold pickups. The process was straightforward and they have transformed the guitar and it now sounds amazing. The Golds give a crystal clear bright sound and are several times louder than the old pickups. I am more than happy with the result.
Brillint pick ups installed the vintage silver strat pick ups and i am blown away they sound so good .i will be coming here for more pick ups next time .
Thanks Peter. Blown away is exactly the response I design these for! I hope you will indeed join my repeat customer club. Cheers, Tony
2 Platinum alnico V single coils and a 15.5k alnico V humbucker installed in a Yamaha Pacifica . . . it’s like having a completely new guitar ! I’d lived with the original pickups in the pacifica for a few years but as many will testify they’re somewhat lacking in character so following a bit of research on the net I contacted Tony who provided some excellent and helpful advice. The pickups arrived in France 4 days later and there was no problem installing them thanks to the supplied wiring diagrams. The difference was immediately obvious. Oh yes ! Instead of the rather lifeless original single coils I now have a variety of sounds that are much more expressive and so much wider in range and responsiveness, likewise for the humbucker which blends in very well in terms of overall sound and volume. It’s been a few weeks now since they were installed I absolutely love the improvement. I had been debating whether to invest in another guitar to get the sound I was looking for but honestly, for the very modest cost of a set of these pickups, this was definitely a better choice. I really can’t thank Tony enough for his good advice and excellent customer service from start to finish. Outstanding result and so happy I’ll definitely try the tele replacement pickups next. Cheers Tony, keep up the good work !
Thanks of course for all of the positive comments Eugene, and I’m pleased to say they mirror what many Pacifica users tell me. I don’t advertise the HSS combo on the site, but if anyone is interested, please contact me and we can sort out a set. Cheers,
Love the way these pickups have improved the tone of my 50’s reissue Mexican strat. They retain that classic 50’s vintage chime but give you a lot more crunch when you crank things up than the Fender pickups did. I have a partscaster build planed and that guitar will definitely get treated to a set of Ironstone pickups too.
Looking forward to your next project then Steve!
My oh my! I had a friend suggest Ironstone Silvers for my new Strat project! Was looking at many affordable pup makers but reviews of this particular pup set was very promising! Im located in Denmark and it took no more than 3 days for the package to safely arrive. Tony even helped me via email with some questions I had. The tone of these Silvers is very dyna,ic which is of utter importance to me as I play clean with just a bit of drive. The bass sounds huge but without being boomy and the treble is silky clear without ever being too harsh! Just fantastic! Thank you Tony and soon I’ll be back to get a pair of those Tele pickups you have (btw looking at the 5 way TE harness as well, wonder if the TE Pickups are included in that harness price? Its not stated clearly on your web page, or maybe I missed that info somehow 😀 )
Thanks for the praise of the Silvers Dusko, and yes, the Tele 5 way set is complete with a pair of matched pickups. Bargain!
i purchased the Jazz pickups some time ago and fitted them to a Self build Jazz bass, great sound, punchy and vintage.
I recently purchased a Squier Modified 70s Bass as my main bass and wondered what would the Ironstone pickups sound like, Wow what a difference from the standard pickups, real vintage and more punchy when compared like for like.
I then upgraded the Pots to Varitone and CTS Volumes and again great boost in the tone.
I have since purchased the Dummy Coil from here as well, bt unfortuantly cannot fit the coil inside the control cavity, not enough space under the pots with the Varitone pot installed which is a shame a trying the coild outside of the cavity did make a difference to the background noise the pickups make so would of liked to use it, but no matter, its there if i can find somewhere to fit it.
I did a quick measurement between the normal pots, the bottom of the cavity and the Dummy coil, and found that the Dummy coil would not of fitted simply because the cavity has been routed out 1mm too shallow to allow the coil to fit under the pots normally which is a shame.
Shame about the routing spacing for the dummy Barry. It does make quite a difference to hum levels. But glad you are so pleased with the JB pups of course.
I have installed these fantastic pickups onto a cheap -previously rather dull sounding- 2017 squier bullet hardtail. It now sounds beautiful; these pickups have real depth of sound and astounding clarity. I accidentally wired the pickups to the selector in the wrong order, so the neck pickup has no tone control! Whilst I may reverse this at some point, it has revealed a tonal color in the neck pickup that manages to be at once all of bold, extravagant and yet incredibly refined. This suggests to me that these pickups would have even more to give with an upgraded wiring harness, which is simply astonishing considering how good they already sound. I am no connoisseur of expensive boutique pickups, so I can’t really make any comparisons of this sort. What I can say is that -with pickups of this quality being made at this price- I don’t feel any inclination towards being able to do so.
Your Silvers have transformed my Squier Affinity, which had slightly harsh ceramic pups as standard. It’s now sounding much rounder and fuller. Lovely clean vintage tones and at such a good price. Why pay for marketing hype?
You are my marketing John! Cheers, Tony
Put some humbuckers in my Iceman copy that I made. I’m like Leo Fender. I can make them but I do not play guitars. I have a three way switch and was really impressed with the three distinct sounds. I had a professional play the guitar and he liked it so much, took pictures of it and asked me if I was going to make him one! I love the sounds.
Well I have to say I’m not the greatest player either! But you don’t need to be Kirk Hammett to appreciate great Humbucker tone, so I’m glad the ironstone’s are appreciated. Tony
Ordered the gold pickups in September and converted a black Squier strat with a rosewood fretboard into a kinda red Hank Marvin strat with ‘gold’ hardware and a maple neck. Installed the pickups and… wow what a nice sound! It sounds wonderful to my ears and the price is very nice included the small extra to send them to the mainland. Thank you so much!!.
Value and tone is what Ironstone is all about Ad. Glad you are so pleased with the Golds, and don’t forget to tell your mates about us too!
I’ve had the HH set in my Frankenstein Jazzmaster for 2 years now. The only thing I would add to my original review is that I’ve changed the volume pot on the bridge pickup from a 500k to a 1 Meg with great results (neck is still 500k). Depending on what style your playing, that might be a useful suggestion.
Hi Aaron, and thanks for the update. 1MOhm pots are a great way to preserve every ounce of treble. No need with a Strat, but high output / resistance humbuckers respond well to this (relatively unusual) value. Thanks for the tip.
Bloody Hell What A Difference?
Before I fitted the Ironstone pick-ups, I’d already changed the electrics in my Tele with a Suntan Mylar Tone Capacitor .022µf and replaced the pots with CTS 250k pots.
They improved to sound with the original pick ups but they still sounded too trebly and too fierce for my liking.
Once the pickups arrived, I took out the old ones, installed the new and what a difference!
Talk about night and day?
Depending on where the tone control is, the bass pickup can sound P90 like.
If you’re after the sound of, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, by Queen, Another Brick In the Wall, Have A Cigar, by Pink Floyd and Paul Wellers, You Do Something To Me, this is it!
If it’s a Peter Green, Garry Moore you’re after:
Add an Overdrive, followed by a Compressor, as that’s the way I like to place them. An old black Marshall Gov’nor and an even older MXR Dyna Com, and it’s Les Paul, ‘Still Got The Blues’ sounding. Turn the Compressor up full and the notes hang on for ever.
All that is on the bass pickup!
The Treble pickup still as the treble you’ll ever need but a lot ‘sweeter’ sounding. Turn down the tone and it thickens up nicely into a humbucker like sound, with loads of sustain.
Beautiful sounds by the lorry load!
Who needs a Les Paul?
Telecaster vs. Les Paul…..interesting tone battle!
Bought a second set of Tele pickups. A real musician was giving lessons to a friend of mine. Saw the guitar and asked to play it. He just had to have it saying the sounds were incredible! I told him where I got the pickups. All the way from England! So, like most who build things, there are things that they would like to change or do. The second one is done and the sounds are great! Just like the first one.
International acclaim Dean, Excellent!
The guitar is a 1985/6 Jap built Strat. It’s previous owner had done unspeakable things to it.
After tearing it down, I realised the body was clean, virtually scratch free and all of the body mods made to accommodate a weird pickup, would be covered by the scratchplate.
In the past I’ve used Ironstone pickups as first choice – let’s face it they’re pretty damn fine! So I ordered the ‘top of the shop’ version of the Gilmour modded plate. Simple to fit, and within a hour of receiving it I was being amazed, and loving the sheer flexibility, from fingerpicked clean, to overdriven down and dirty. Tried out now on amp modelled Cube 80, hot valves with my Marshall JCM 900, and Orange Tiny Terror, and Rockerverb 50, also my THR10 practice amp. It does the job, fantastically well – in fact, I’m in need of getting into the studio with it now to use a bit of volume!
Huge thanks to Tony for helping me save one of those now very sought after Jap Strats – as I’ve already said – ‘It’s a keeper!’
As Richard says, my top of the range, mixed magnet Origin pickup equipped plate, as befits a classic guitar like his. And always rewarding to help a guitar back from the grave! Cheers, Tony
I took a bit of a risk with the new pickups because the bass already sounded good. It’s a vintage Fender Jazz with a classic, vintage jazz voice but I thought the old pickups lacked punch and really struggled when the tone was rolled right off. They had also become a bit microphonic. The new Ironstones have delivered everything I had hoped they would, the neck pickup growls hard, the bridge pickup barks and together they are perfect. The sound is now so clear that I now have the luxury of rolling the tone off to get my sound just right. Even a complete tone roll-off delivers something usable. I couldn’t have hoped for better and I can’t imagine any Fender Jazz sounding any better than this. Nothing of the vintage voice has been lost and every element of tone has been improved. I also love the case that they came in, the old pickups live in there now.
Vintage tone is what Ironstone is all about Mark. And glad the case has come in useful too!
Absolutly rollickinly brilliant preamp that I have fitted to an Epi Les Paul.
The overdrives are rich and full and not at all raspy. Really decent pre-amp its really useful. And its really small and quite easy to fit. Thank you Tony, All we need now is one that does delay and chorus!!!
I think that’s called a stomp box Colin!
I bought the Jazz Pickups a few months ago, but didn’t manage to fit them for a good few weeks. This was due to me still building my project bass. It’s based on a Jazz bass but has a floating one piece maple bridge and a neck set back at 3 degrees. The body is 5 piece with black Limba wings and a Meranti centre block in a Maple sandwich. Apart from the ironstone Pickups, I also used CTS pots and vintage cloth wiring. Without being able to compare the pickups with anything else, and not knowing how the project would turn out,I suppose it was all a bit of an unknown quantity. However having played it for a few weeks, I need not have been concerned. I am more than happy with the pickups and the bass as a whole. The sound to my ears is just lovely with a great smooth vintage tone and fantastic sustain. Several people have complimented me on the sound and agree with my assessment. The pickup choice just seems ideal, and I am more than happy to recommend for both tone and price. I am glad I came across Ironstone…hmm think i feel another project coming on!
Hi Stewart, thanks for the glowing review. As you say, a new set of pickups can feel like a leap of faith. At Ironstone we are always happy to offer as much advice and support as we can to get you to tone you want. Enjoy!
I am absolutely blown away with these pickups, the clarity is amazing, my tech often swaps pups out for me, (typical “are these better”), I have tried pups from many companies but always they seemed to fall short in some ways, my tech called round today after fitting Ironstones to one of my Teles. Plugged in, instant WOW, everything I was looking for was there, I can’t find a tone I don’t like, not put it down for the last 3 hours, I’ve been back in the 50s for the afternoon. The balance is perfect, so perfect that I have listed my MIM Tele on a few sale sites, this one is a keeper, I have been following Ironstone for a while and I’m so pleased with these that I will recommend them to all my buddy’s.. Thank you Tony for some amazing pickups, you have converted me. Cheers, John.
Thanks John. New converts (and their buddy’s!) always very welcome.
Ironstone Dummy coil user experience (Steve Flacy);
“My observation is that I do not hear much volume reduction. What I do hear is a slightly different tone adjustment. Less treble rolls off when I turn down the bridge pickup and less bass rolls off when I turn down the neck pickup. All this is within totally workable ranges and the bonus is that rolling back the bridge pickup produces a more usable sound than before. The only way to describe it is that the B-string thump, for which I used to have to have the bridge pickup fully on to achieve, is still there when I turn the bridge pickup down a bit … but a bit of edge is rolled off the higher notes. I like it. The only other thing I’ve noticed is that when I turn a volume knob all the way down, right near the end there is a volume floor drop. Since I never fully favor one pickup, it is not a problem.
For your reference, the bass I installed the Ironstone Jazz Bass Dummy Coil is a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass V, made in Indonesia by Cort. To remind you, I had previously replaced the stock pickups in this Squier Jazz to supposedly hum-cancelling pickups, a no-name pickup ordered from China. They reduced the hum somewhat but did not eliminate it. The Jazz Bass Dummy Coil did.
“Just some feedback to say, I have just finished some shows with your pickups, hands down the competition need to be concerned!! They are brilliant!! I am using the pickups in a custom 64 Fender jazz bass with a twelve position varitone, which really brings out great tone for all styles of music. Better than anything I have tried over the past thirty years! Look forward to do more business with you.
“Many thanks for the Jazz Bass pickups you sent to me via eBay. I fitted them last weekend and went for a rehearsal with my guitarist friend ( wedding gig coming up in September), from the very first note we noticed the huge improvement in tone and sustain over the standard factory fitted pickups. I play a Fender 70 s re-issue Jazz Bass made in Mexico, so I assumed that they would have a reasonable pickup quality fitted into them. My amp is an Ashdown MAG300 with two 4×10 cabs. It took only one song for us to be grinning like fools and singing the praises of your awesome pickups! They have a fantastic clarity yet deliver a powerful bottom end, I could hear all the tones that my bass is supposed to produce and they gave a whole new and very professional sounding lease of life to my bass.
Thank you again for your fabulous pickups, the wedding gig is going to sound epic!”
I installed the Gilmour Scratchplate with Platinum pickups into a Kit built Guitar with a very resonant Ash body. The the improvement and tonal palette
is now astounding, I’m very busy exploring all the new sounds and possibilities that I have in combination with my Amp.
A big thank You to Tony and all involved in the in the high quality of the product and the top service in sorting out a postal problem.
I chose these pickups for my Fender classic 70 Jazzbass.
The quality is top. The sound is excellent with a very good vintage tone !!!!
For the price, the kit is complete with screws and rubber tube and springs.
Perfect, I highly recommend !!
Bought these pickups installed them they sound great £39.95 for four pickups the only gripe which is not a complaint is they seem be a little bit quieter than the Hybrids don’t know why got the pickups as high as i can set them has anyone else noticed or is me.
The plus side they are great sounding pickups.
The Golds are around 5.7 kOhms resistance, the Hybrids 8-9 kOhms. So the Golds give very clear bell like tones, and that is at a somewhat smaller output level than the Hybrids. In contrast, the higher resistance hybrids give the capability of great ‘driven’ tones, whilst still delivering decent cleans. Cheers, Tony
Bought Tele pickups. Finally finished the guitar. Installed the pickups. Plugged in the power cord and…SILENCE! It was wonderful. Strummed the guitar in the center switch position. Wonderful! Strummed the guitar in the neck and then the bridge. Wonderful! That Tele sound was great!
I’ve just bought the Gold and fitted them to an old strat copy that had lost its vibrancy through old age ( just like me ) switched on the amp and was bowled over by the sound and what a sound it was, no matter what position the selector switch was in, nice and warm to hard and cold and as a shadows player the sound was amazing. I have bought other copies and they have cost well over £200 and still they cant get the sound that these babes have, now I feel like going back on the road again they are absolutely amazing and so incredible they cost this little.
Now don’t get me wrong this is an honest appraisal of these little monsters and believe me I am in no way connected to the firm but thanks Guys and especially Tony for the help you gave me.
Many thanks Ray. These are designed to do one specific tone job really, really well, and its good to hear that is appreciated!
Purchased these hybrid pups having had great success with lots of different Ironstone sets in the past.Once again this set comes through strong ,great tone through the various switch positions .The guitar this set is fitted to is a long bodied Gretsch Billybo type ,this meant the standard wiring length for strats were going to be short,Through a few easy emails this was sorted with longer tails being set to the pickups. I first tried Ironstone pickups about a year ago and now Ironstone is my default pickup manufacturer as the quality of sound produced equals and often surpasses some very expensive boutique type pickups I’ve tried. Do you’re self a favour try them out. Cheers.
Many thanks Graham, and always happy to help out if I can. To see more of the hybrid build process, check out my blog; https://ironstone-guitar-pickups.co.uk/building-single-coil-pickups-hybrids-part-1/
Good customer service. I have finally installed these pickups and am nicely impressed. I went with a .47nF cap. These pickups have a really cutting high end allowing me to hear all the nuances (sliding over each fret, the string tapping against the fretboard, the fingers hitting the strings, etc.). The pickups in my cheap starter guitar are incredibly muddy and bassy in comparison. The Ironstones also sound a bit louder and fuller than a great set of Duncan Designed single coils I have – could be due to higher output and louder mids. They have a lot of bite with the tone fully open, but dial it back a bit and they are clear and glassy for softer music. Very responsive to dynamics.
The Platinum’s are arguably the most versatile Strat pup in the range, so thanks for your praise which testifies to that!
I decided to try this pickups first of all for their really super competitive price, i have a fretless jazz bass with humbuckers , and i was searching search a true vintage style alnico V single coil.These pickups are great, a really vintage sound jazz bass with a very nice dynamics to the fingers touch, they sound fantastic with my fretless.
They are very well made , with lot of attention to the details, they came with all the accessories for mountig and also something more ( plastic covers , neoprene cushion foam , screws and also a rubber tube and also with springs!! ) all into a very nice plastic box, for their cost they are near to be a miracle!!
I highly recommend this jazz bass Ironstone pickups, they sound very nice, are very well made and have a really outstanding value.
Many thanks for the comments Marco. I try to provide a complete kit as you have found!
I have just finished my latest scratch project (my take on the chambered Gretch Billybo). I installed these pickups into the guitar on the strength of my earlier experiences using the Ironstone strat (silver and platinum ) sets and also the tele set. Once again I am delighted with the quality of the Ironstone products, The pickups produce a fantastic range of powerful sweet tones, I also coil split them to give a wider choice of sounds and this has worked out great, its nice to have this option with the pickups.They also look great to boot.so all in all a brilliant set of pickups at a great price. Highly recommend Ironstone pickups. Cheers.
Always good to see returning customers Graham!
Ordered a set of these vintage gold pickups and put them in a old strat copy guitar and they have transformed the guitar I play a lot of shadows songs and the sound is brilliant highly recommended
Gold Stars galore for the Gold Strat Pick-ups. They are way better than those fitted on my 2012 Standard American Strat. The bridge pick is brighter and cleaner sounding. The Middle and Neck Pick-ups are the same too. They were “muffled” sounding before, and no amount of height setting helped. I have to say that these new Pick-ups have given ME and my Strat a new lease of life. Many thanks Tony for sending me FOC Cream covers when I had messed up and ordered white ones. Service like this is so refreshing……just like your PUPS.
Customer service is a big part of Ironstone as you have seen Bob!
I put the Gilmour scratchguard (Platinum pickups) into a 2002 Squier Standard Strat.
First of all, the scratchplate assembly was absolutely immaculate and arrived in less than a week – Tony’s communication throughout has been first class and gave me confidence to choose the Platinums. A genuine pleasure to deal with.
The important bit though, is that I’ve now got a Strat that sounds ‘proper’ and gives amazing versatility – not just the extra switching options but the responsiveness of the pickups. Having a guitar you don’t have nagging doubts about is a huge boost to confidence in playing – the only trouble is, the frets are already well-used and given that I haven’t picked up another guitar since getting the scratchplate a couple of weeks ago I’ll probably need a new neck in a year’s time!
I can’t claim to be a great guitarist, but the difference this has made to the sound is very, very obvious and in the best possible way. I suspect that I’ll be back for more from Ironstone at some point in the future.
Many Thanks Nick. Ease of installation is a big part of these plates. I aim to deliver the most tonal variety for the least amount of end-user installation effort!
Hi, fitted these pickups to a new thinline tele and once again am delighted with the results, purchased these having installed a set of silver and a set of platinums in strats recently and cant see past this companies products.This is the first telecaster pups bought from ironstone and they are great , I think the neck pickup in particular sounds fantastic with the bridge one backing it up perfectly,well done once again ironstone. cheers.
Hi , just like to add my piece to these reviews, I have built solid bodies from scratch in years gone by and spent lots on pickups etc. Having lots of fun upgrading squire strats for friends and family in the music scene just now. I used the Silver set for the last one and on the strength of the results have just installed the platinums in a Gilmore lookalike for my son. I’d recommend any of these strat pickups as an upgrade for your guitar. I bought a new USA standard Strat a number of years ago from a highstreet music shop and use this as my bench mark. Now the sound of a guitar is subjective to the individual but in my view these pick ups though sounding differant are every bit as good in all departments,subjective as i said,The term often used is great pickups for the price ,(wrong) These pickups are great pickups full stop .but also when you weigh up the cost of american fender pups against the Ironstone pups its a no brainer,so if you swithering on buying any of these sets go ahead youll be rewarded in the end product. ps got a few tele projects coming up and i know where ill be getting my pickups from.cheers.
Thanks for the praise Graham, and looking forward to helping you on the Tele projects too.
Just fitted the silver strat pickups to a fender mix and match ,well impressed by the tone of all three in various switch positions,,so much so I have just ordered a platinum set minutes ago for another project.So congratulations to the tech team for terrific pups at a very keen cost. Cheers.
Bought a set of telecaster pickups for a Squier Affinity. They were easy to fit and really improve the sound of this guitar.
Tony is great to deal with and is happy to help if you have questions. The pups look well made and arrived very quickly after ordering.
At their current price, they are a no brainer for a budget upgrade and I like to support UK companies that do things right.
Thanks for the compliments of course, and yes, customer service is a very big part of what I do here at Ironstone.
I was thinking about buying a friends USA made Fender Highway One Strat’ but remembered that some time ago I had fitted a set of ‘Ironstone Silver Series’ into a guitar I was reworking for a friend and how they transformed the guitar and how pleased he was when he got it back. So I purchased and fitted a set of ‘Gold Series’ in the Fender Squier I am using at the moment, and was amazed just how good the guitar sounded!! the Gold set are even better than the Silver set. So I saved myself a good few hundred pounds just by fitting new pick-ups, as the Squier sounds so much better!!! So the moral of the story is the guitar of your dreams might be the one you already have, it might just need a better set of pick-ups fitted, and you won’t get a better set of pick-ups at anywhere near the price of ‘Ironstone’, you get quality and great value.
I bought a set of hybrids a month or so ago and they’ve had a lot of use. They are wired up to run as singles, in combinations of series and parallels and with bridge in or out of phase. They’ve made a cheap partscaster project into a guitar I find hard to put down. I like them so much I’ve ordered a second set to upgrade a 97 squier strat. Great communication, pickups arrived quickly and well packaged. A very satisfied customer.
Thanks for the feedback Paul. And great to see passive switching embraced to add real variety to the humble single coil! Cheers, Tony
These pick ups are excellent. The difference they’ve made to my Les Paul in looks and sound is top notch. Can we have an extra 2 inches of wire on the neck pick up though ? I’m rebuilding my Telecaster soon, so I’ll be contacting you guys again.
Thanks for the compliments Keith and your cable length comment noted for future batches.
Look forward to hearing from you re the Tele build, and check out the Ironstone 5 way Tele set too. Cheers, Tony
Just bought the ironstone silver for strat. The guitar I have is a Fender Squire Standard strat. I was not happy with the pu having tried adjusting, adding an orange drop capacitor. So I decided to try the Ironstone Silver pu. I replaced the fenders today, and wow what a fantastic difference in sound and quality. I am as pleased as punch and I will definitely be buying some other produts from Ironstone in the near future. TRY them you will be amazed.M
Thanks Michael! That’s answers a question I often get asked; ‘will your Ironstones really make a difference compared to the original manufacturers pickups?’.
Ok bit of context first, I’m a middle aged, advanced beginner/beginner intermediate player and as well as spending as much time as I can spare practicing I’m also interested in buying cheaper, second hand guitars and doing a bit of modding. This was my first go at replacing the electronics in a cheap, secondhand homemade tele and the results have been incredible! The set is beautifully made with quality parts, not the thin, possibly single stranded wire and weedy switches/pots that seem to come as standard in low end guitars. Once plugged into my amp the first thing I discovered is the sheer presence of the sound. Not just volume (although I think I could join Spinal Tap now on that score alone) but the clarity of the notes without any break up or unwanted distortion (this was through my clean channel). The range of tones is also impressive and something I need more time to fully explore but the 5 way switch is a huge advantage over the standard 3 way.
So all in all I feel that I now have a great sounding guitar for under £200 in total and I’ve learnt that this is definately the way to go for those on a budget who want to sound like they’re not!
The customer service was also second to none, so I’ll certainly be back next time I find a bargain used guitar that needs some help being heard!
Glad to hear you are so impressed with the tone of this set. And yes, careful quality component selection is at the heart of Ironstone’s way of doing things. Enjoy!
I bought a Ironstone bridge and a strat silver neck pickups which I combined with a 4way switch, and added a trebble bleed.
I’m amazed with these pickups. Powerful and at the same time clear. Very warm and full sound neck, very crisp bridge. In séries their great.
Have to thank all the advice and suggestioneds Tony gave me.
I’m very pleased. Extraordinary value for the price.
Thanks for the comments Vasco and always happy to help and advise customers. Cheers, Tony
I’m usually a fan of Kent Armstrong pickups – as I was on a tight budget I decided to try the Ironstone Silver and I’m really impressed with them – I was looking for a warm tone and I’m totally happy (Comparing them to an American Standard strat I actually prefer the Ironstones!)
Excellent product I would recommend them without hesitation.
These pups are amazing. I bought mine a long time ago and have only recently been able to fit them (project was put on hold when my first child decided to show up) . I was dubious because of the low price, but I must say that I was astounded when I first heard them in my squire strat. I have found so many different sweet spots for different styles. They really do give you such sweet tones. And as for the price, I almost feel guilty buying them! Absolutely amazing! I am going to fit them to every guitar I own, now lets see about some ‘buckers for my SG
Thanks for the comments Andy. And tell your mates so they can feel as guilty as you too!
Many thanks, this site is really practical. https://happywheelsrr.wordpress.com
Last week I bought an old Korean Squire Strat. Lovely neck but everything else was truly horrible. The stock pickups were astonishingly bad and so noisy but at £40 it was worth a punt. I replaced the electrics and bought a set of Ironstone Golds, thanks to the good reviews. Wow! I cannot believe the transformation. No noise and the pure typical Strat tone. I don’t know how you do it at such a good price. Thank you so much.
Shame I’m only coming back here now after about 2 years, been enjoying my strat so much! I started my ” black strat” project and searched for an easy solution to the pups and associated wiring loom etc, you can imagine how excited I was when I found Tony ! I’ve actually documented the build, which other readers may find useful, you can find it here. http://www.welcometomywebspace.com/theblackstrat/index.htm So why am I posting now? After all this time? Well I’ve sold my “black strat” and have just acquired a Squier Vintage Modern 70s black strat and while the fitted Seymour Duncan’s sound good….they aren’t as good as Tony’s , so it looks like I’ll be back for another complete gilmour set up from Tony.
Hi again Ian, I had forgotten how good your ‘Build Blog’ is, so I have popped a link to it on the website Gilmour plate page for all to see! And of course thanks for the praise re the SD comparison. I’ll look forward to hearing from you. And what happened to the SRV / Gallagher plans…Tony
“Simply the best thing that happened to my strat in 20 years. Excellent.” (From German eBay customer cyycco)
AMAZING…..As a returning customer I would like to congratulate Ironstone on producing a fantastic choice of amazing pickups. They do exactly what they say they do, and are up there with the best. Anyone thinking of upgrading should seriously consider Ironstone…I have just installed a set of Platinums to my ’78 Strat and just can not describe how good they are. Thank you once again.
Thanks of course for the praise. The Platinums (along with the Golds) are my best sellers, the most versatile Strat pups in the range.
I’ve been performing research on your web-site and will have to say Appreciate it! The material has been dead on target. I’m also thinking about online education if you have time to generate more information on the matter. Once more, Many thanks!
I think your web page is wonderful! I found the specific information I was trying to find and the routing was a snap. Me and my friends are furthermore interested in blues beginner guitar lessons if you ever feel as if writing about the subject. Once again, Appreciate it!
Very pleased with the HH set. Purchased them on the strength of the neck pickup sound in the site demos, but it’s the middle position sound that stands out for me as being worthy of the 5 star rating – it almost has a kind of sweet, vinyl-like character to it.
Many thanks for the comment; its not often the ‘both humbuckers together’ position gets a mention, so glad its appreciated! Tony
I’m loving your thinking on this (but that pointy droop headstock has GOT to go). I’d give it a go in a trice if MY strat mashup didn’t have a Danelectro lipstick in the middle and if it didn’t sound so flippin’ nice (the tele bridge and strat neck ones are all present and correct).
What do you think/hope would happen if you removed the earth from the tele pickup…apart from a great deal of fizz?
And what about a Filter’Tron in the middle for ultra coolness?
The beauty of these ‘virtual guitar’ programs is that you can indeed just decide to ditch a look and it costs you nothing! I agree one of the many ‘trons in the middle humbucker slot makes a lot of sense….magna, super, duo take your pick. I did think seriously about having a lipstick in there, but I just ran out of pickup slots and the humbucker all coil tapped in the middle just gives so may options.
There is a Strat / Tele comparison page under support on the website that shows the different magnetic field effects of pickups and the Tele is very very different. What I was thinking of experimenting with was keeping the main bridge assembly earthed, but removing the earth from the bottom of the Tele bridge pup. I’m thinking it would give an interesting Tele / Strat hybrid tone?
I bought the control plate and pickups to try to add a some life into an otherwise dull and muddy sounding cheap telecaster copy, you may ask why bother but the actual guitar itself is rather nice. Well fitting the parts was really easy, the instructions are great, the look and feel of the parts is also really good. As to the sound, well the range of tones available is really very impressive and have really brought some vibrancy the guitar, with a good balance of bass through to treble, I’m delighted with results.
Thanks for the review, and very glad to have breathed new life into (clearly!) a much loved guitar. Once again this proves my theory that with the right electrics, even a humble guitar can become something exceptional. Tony
never realised you had a blog. Just popped on to buy another (should that be YET another) set of golds and saw the blog so I thought id say hi.
If there is anyone reading this and cant make up their mind, press the buy button. you wont regret it! Im not sure how many sets of these pick ups I have bought but its probably into double figures now. I can only speak for strat pick ups as that is all I have bought, but Tony is a top bloke to deal with. He made me two oppositely wound sets of silver strat pick ups for my 6 pick up strat project. No extra cost… just sorted it for me. Since my first set of ironstones I have never used anything else. Most of my builds feature Golds although I have also used silvers. Cant recommend them highly enough
Keep up the good work mate
Thanks very much for the recommendation and comments Ian.
Always a pleasure to hear how pleased returning customers are of course. And if any of you are wondering about that 6 pickup Strat project……
hi, tony i recently bought 3 strat alnico v golds & i love them? i left a comment in august, i was just wondering on how to upload some clean sound samples from them, on to your channel? if possible . thanks!. paul.
Glad to hear you are so pleased with the Golds. The sound clip players on the site are apps that I place on the pages via the website editing process. So sound clips can’t be directly loaded. But I’m more than happy to include some clips from you if you simply email me the mp3′ to either of the email addresses shown on the ‘Contact Us’ page on the website. Cheers, Tony
Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this post. It was inspiring.Keep on posting!
another great read Tony, keep them coming!
Will do Chris! I have been playing with dummy coils on a Jazz Bass too, renowned for their hum pickup. I have got a circuit that will add a single coil to a normal Jazz Bass twin blend pot set-up that’s quite cool. Tony
Hi Tony, Great blog! I would like to use the treble cut circuit to tame the brightness of my middle and neck pickups. I’m doing this to match the tone of the bridge pickup which is slightly darker. I still want to use my master tone to control all the pickups at once but I just want the pickups to be better matched in brightness. The pots are 500K. Do I need to wire a resistor and cap in series or parallel? Any idea of which values I should use? At the moment they are fairly close. Within 3 numbers on the knob/dial. Thanks for any help that you can give me.
Hi Dan, Glad to hear you liked the Blog. If I understand you correctly, what you want is indeed possible (I assume you want to keep the master tone control active for all 3 pups), with the re wired 5 way giving more treble cut to the Neck / Neck+Middle / Middle / Middle + Bridge combinations). You are effectively lowering the resistance of the tone pot by shunting a resistor in parallel with it for those 5 way switch settings.
Start by isolating one half of the 5 way as I have described. Its easier in your case as you have a single wire from the tone pot to reposition if needed. Now the fun!
Referring to the same number scheme I have used before, connect pins 7 and 8 together and then to the guitar earth. Now connect a single resistor (start with a 1MOhm) between the wiper (middle) terminal of the tone pot and the 5 way switch wiper terminal 5. So now the Bridge 5 way switch position will give treble cut as normal based on the normal master tone setting. All the other 4 switch settings will have a reduction in the effective value of resistance of the tone pot and thus a greater level of treble cut. The value of the additional resistor is a guess. increasing its value (say 2MOhm) will lessen the level of treble cut. Hope that helps. Cheers, Tony
Fitted the Golds to my USA Strat Plus that had Hank Marvin Kinmans on and I seem to have got the vintage sound back I was missing, I can recommend these, you won’t be disapointed…
Bought these pups to uprate an old Squier jazz bass I picked up and the end result is very good indeed..Plenty of punch and good note clarity even with the flat wound strings that I use for blues/country rock.Well constructed and with a comprehensive fitting kit,choice of springs,foam,or rubber tubing and screws these pups are very good value.
just fitted these golds into a fender sunn mustang,& I must say they sound class! they take me back to the 60s, they have that clear vintage tone, i found myself playing all that old surf music- dick dale, hank marvin,etc, even jimi’s little wing sounds great with these pickups, i’m more than happy with these classic pups, thanks to all at ironstone for their great work in producing such great pickups at a decent price, keep up the great work, thanks again, paul.
60’s bell-like vintage tones is what the Golds do best! Glad its appreciated. Cheers, Tony
I am a convert. Had the new pickup from Ironstone for quite a while before I fitted it to the Les Paul. Because of strange string spacing I have a neck hummie in the bridge position. Its a combination problem as I like roller bridges and the spacing on the one I got was a bit narrow. Its a 60’s neck so that isn’t a problem but it is with pickups. Tony suggested the neck spacing and it fits!
As for the sound…well its pretty amazing really. From the old gibbo ‘zebra’ pickup which must have been badly made and dull and thin sounding I now have all the fatness and woody tones that I should have had to start with. Without set up, that is fit and play it was fantastic. After proper set up its amazing. Try the ‘ah’ position on mid toggle with the volume down a fraction till you hear that ‘ah’ sound…sort of open up with a vowel sound…wonderful in fact the best I have heard. Really sings and holds for ages. Out of phase with the neck pickup is lovely. That eerie Peter Green sound, sort of hollow and yet singing. Very nice. Now ordered a push/pull pot to keep that and get the ‘normal’ sound as well.
I rate this pick up highly. I was very impressed and it takes a lot to impress me. Compared to the Gibson for quality and price there really is no comparison there. Here you have quality and a really ‘workman’ price tag for all of us working musicians.
Thanks Tony…but it might take me the same length of time to do a neck swap though.
love the platinum pups!!! they are hot with plenty of bite… but not harsh – nice and glassy, well balanced and transparent. if clear as a bell doesn’t apply exactly let me reverse it: if i ever get a bell i want it to sound like that…:-)
I had purchased some Ironstone pickups a couple of years ago for a strat and was very impressed with the sound from them.
This project was to upgrade a Squier Standard Strat. After a brief conversation with Tony to sanity check my plans I decided to go ahead and order the Gilmore scratchplate with Hybrid pickups. It arrived a few days early and when I opened the boxed it looked amazing. Tony is an electrician by trade and his soldering work is second to none. I was very pleased that I had decided to order the scratchplate and leave all the soldering to him. I fitted the plate to the guitar the following weekend. The sound is just as amazing as the build quality of the plate. I can get all those distinct “Pink Floyd” strat sounds that I had grown up hearing and have been so heavily influenced by.
I would certainly recommend this to anyone who wants to supercharge a stratocaster.
I finally put my set of Platinums into a Strat copy I got for next to nothing (just to tinker with), and the results are way beyond anything I expected. With a new trem block and these pickups, it sounds simply amazing, I can’t put it down. I have my eyes on a cheap Tele as my next modding project, so I’ll definitely be a returning customer. Thank you!
Hi Peter, Always love to hear the ‘can’t put it down’ comment!
This is my second set of the ironstone pickups i have they transformed my squire into a pleasure to play my second project was to try and build a 1964 stat in theory all from Ebay I got an old squire burst body a new mighty mite v neck and the ironstone Gilmore scatchplate and the results are exactly what I have always wanted inspiring
Thank you again,
These pups have breathed new life into my ailing and ageing Squier Strat. Can’t believe such great service and kit for the price. It’s now a pleasure, once again to pick it up and play. A great deal of trouble was taken to supply what I wanted as opposed to what somebody wanted to sell me. A truly refreshing experience, if you are looking for new pups you won’t go wrong with these guys.
Thank you once again
Bought a bridge pickup as a replacement for mine that had broken. Sounds excellent. Just the sound I was looking for. Would reccomend this to anyone.
Don’t be put off by the price. There’s a difference between a value pickup and a pick that’s great value. These pickups are great value. They are beautifully balanced, with great attention to detail. (The extended D & G magnets on the bridge make a massive difference). Early eighties Japanese Tele, great to play but rather lacking any tone. I fitted the V and III onto a baja switch and turned this guitar into a smooth, warm dream that at a flick of a switch quacks, bites, growls or roars. They’re that versatile, absolutely delighted to have resurrected my beautiful guitar into a jack of all trades – master of all.
Had some noiseless pups £££’s in my 83 MIJ and they wasn’t good at all, got these platinums for a project, but decided to dropped them into the Mij instead, I also made a couple of other small minor mods… Wow.. Talk about brace yourself..! the thing absolutly sings, why hasnt anyone mentioned the sustain, or is it just me, what is it with pickups & manufacturers that makes such a big price gap.? I’ve got Texas Specials in another Axe and the difference is.. Err, well.. Just consider these has an alternative Strat upgrade, I’m sure they’ll make any Strat sound good.. Bad bits, don’t like the way they look from yhe top, nor do I like the way the covers fits over the pups, but hey, as I’ve already said, its the sound the make, they are in my fave guitar and the sez it all…
Hi Gary, Thanks very much for the positive review of the platinums. I’m also interested to hear exactly what it is about the look / fit of the covers that you don’t like? I use pretty standard after-market covers. Cheers, Tony
It is actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.
At Ironstone, we believe sharing this sort of technical support info is all part of the service. Thanks for the comments.
You need to take part in a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the
web. I will recommend this website!
Many thanks for the nomination, and glad you are enjoying the site!
“just letting you know how the pups worked out, I love them, they’re punchy, clear, crisp, have a beautifully rich tone, and the highs are like liquid crystal. For double the cost, I don’t think I could’ve found a better set. Nice one!”
“I just wanted to drop you a quick email to let you know that I’ve had the hybrids installed for a while and have tested them out on a few amplifiers. Your pickups are simply wonderful. I’ve never heard my old Tokai Jap strat sound so good. Screaming, edgy treble from the bridge. Classic warm bell-like clarity from the neck. And I’m loving the Ritchie Blackmore Deep Purple tones I can get from the middle with some overdrive. The real test for me in a strat is how much tonal difference there is between neck and middle and middle and bridge. The hybrids are fantastic in this respect. Both combinations give that great ‘hole in the middle’ out of phase sound but both tones are very distinct. Clearly your hybrids are exquisite when it comes to translating the tone of the guitar through an amplifier. Excellent work! I’ve actually just bought a cheap Korean strat copy to put another set of Ironstones on. This time I’m going for Golds. Expect another order from me in a couple of weeks.
“Just finished a Tele build with pickups from yourselves and gave it its first proper play today. Really pleased with the result, strong and spanky neck pickup and broad, rich tones from the bridge. My favorite setting is right in the middle of the two. Thanks for an amazing set of pickups, they’ve exceeded my expectations.”
what are the 4/64, 5/64 and 6/64 figures in metric plz?
Hi Clive, just a quick response to you comment about pickup height adjustments. 4/64 = 1/16 = approx 2mm, 6/64 = 3/32 = approx 3mm. These are of course for guidance only, use your ears for the most accurate final adjustments to suit your tone preferences.
No probs Chris. And you found Gravatar.com too! Tony
“A+++ very quick delivery, great bit of kit, very helpful and good communication”
“What an amazing gadget. works perfectly, like a guitar supercharger.”
“Great service with offer of customer support, will use this ebayer again”
“arrived perfectly packaged and looks good! can’t wait to try it!”
“Quick shipping, item as described. Great.”
“This is my second purchase of this amazing piece of kit. My first was fitted to a Parker Dragonfly which I modified (a quad rail humbucker fitted at the bridge)… it has taken a very good guitar and transformed it into an awesome instrument. At first I was a little concerned and anxious about drilling an extra hole into such a pristine top but it was definitely worth the stress! The result is stunning.
I have also installed a similar Artec pre-amp into one of my Strats but, although the Artec is good, your product is streaks ahead… and because it has positive clicks between the overdrive variations… it is much more user-friendly from a player’s point of view. So, as both a luthier and a player, I will be recommending your kit to my future clients and upgrading some of my existing stock with the Ironstone pre-amp.”
“Just installed the guitar pre amp into a Tokai Les Paul, along with a Gibson and a Seymour Duncan pickup, I have to say the result is just amazing.”
“I got the pre amp working and it sounds fantastic, really makes the guitar sing you can hear the notes clearer and there seems to be more sustain as the signal is stronger. The various tones are great as well giving a nice gritty blues tone, what a brilliant device. Thanks once again for all of your help with fantastic service, that makes all the difference.”
“… all I can say is” WOW” the pickups and tone controls are just amazing, what a difference they have made,
in fact my mate will soon be contacting you about a set for his Tele.
I bought a £70 guitar from ebay as a project and put these pickups in plus the controls and in my opinion, it sounds better than any guitar costing 5 times that.
The 5 way switch gives you a greater variety of tones, and the sound is so good,
I can’t put my guitar down. I just want to say thanks again.”
“I thought I’d update you after some playing around this weekend. My initial thoughts are still there – this is an incredibly versatile setup.
I’ve installed the set into an Alder bodied Tele with a heavy Gotoh bridge. The result is a very warm and rich sounding Tele – not too much twang but plenty of presence. The quality of the components in the Telecaster 5-way set is second to none. Everything slotted together
well, and despite my reservations about my soldering skills I managed the 7 joints easily enough (5 on the switch and two on the jack).
With everything assembled and plugged in I was delighted that everything worked first time. One of the most surprising things is the
amount of sustain available, the Gotoh bridge will help but those Alnico V magnets add something of their own to the mix.
The different tones available are a revelation. I have only got a Squier 50s Classic Vibe Tele of my daughter’s to compare it against;
we both thought that sounded pretty good until we heard this. (also see footnote)
Position 1 (bridge and neck in series) gives an amazingly full sound, something not too far away from a humbucker.
Position 2 (just the bridge) gives more of a twang, but it’s a lot fuller and warmer than the Squier.
I can see me spending a lot of time on this setting!
Position 3 (pseudo bridge out of phase) is still surprisingly rich, it’s definitely a thinner tone, but has a bit of bite.
Position 4 (bridge and neck in parallel) seems more harmonically rich than the normal middle setting.
Position 5 (neck only) has much more depth than the Squier, but without some of the bridge pickups warmth.
The tone control is a significant improvement on the standard setup. Why aren’t they all made this way?
All that is left is for me to thank you for such an incredible set of pickups and switching. It’s opened my eyes (and ears!)
to what is possible. When you compare what you get for the price with anything else that I’ve found I don’t think this setup
could be bettered without spending twice as much.
Next time I have a project on the go I will certainly be back for more. It has been a pleasure dealing with you. It’s rare to find someone so attentive and caring in this age where most people hide behind impersonal emails. I wish you well in your venture! “
Ironstone suggested how to use the treble bleed on the volume as yet another tone dimension.
Select position 1 for example for the big fat tone , then back off the volume a quarter turn. Suddenly with the bass / mid volume cut but the treble coming through you have a sort of treble boosted version of the original!
Customer comment; “I’ve just tried that setting – you’re right about the treble boost. Brian May on a Tele!”
“The tone pot works great and gives me that little edge!”
“Thought I’d send you an update.The gear arrived on time, thanks.My local dealer installed it last week and it sounds fantastic,in fact the guy who installed it wanted to keep it..!!
I’ve used it at home on a practice amp and can’t wait to try it out properly. I’m still trying to work out the various pick up configurations, even whilst looking at your helpful diagram.I guess it would be more useful to just use my ears!
I couldn’t be more pleased with the results of your efforts on this, it has changed the sound of my Strat beyond recognition.
I would have to spend a serious amount of money to get the same results from any other guitar.As it is, I’ve spent less than £130 on the whole project..!!”
“The scratchplate arrived yesterday and it was very well packed. Fitted it last night and had a quick play on it. I am very impressed with the sound (Ironstone note; Gold pickups), very clear, very clean just what I wanted and perfect for Shadows music.
I also like the other pickup combinations lots of choice great sounds. It has breathed new life into my strat – its like having a new guitar.
Thank you very much can`t wait until the weekend to try it out properly. Great job well done”
“the black strat is now finished . . I have gigged it a couple of times. I must say the improvement in clarity, tone, overdrive and feel is amazing . . back the vol pot off a touch . . Hank Marvin ! wind the vol pot right up . . SRV ! brilliant . . thats just the strat wiring too . . .
In the ‘Gilmour position’, a little delay, Big Muff just starting to crunch . . . shine on and comfortably numb sound probably as near as I will get . . turn up the gain on the strat and the intro to Sorrow is . . . well . . . Gilmour ! (so I’m told.)
As I thought, in the humbucker mode, amazing deep south, jangly, screamy . . . scary to be honest ! Brill with Freebird solo.
I’m totally impressed and will be using Ironstone for future projects . ..”.
From the Harmony Central review; “I just couldn’t be happier with my purchase. For all those out there with a Squier strat or similar then this is the upgrade that you need to transform that guitar into something special. I went for the silver pickup option which gives a real vintage sound with the ability to get hotter when you need. Ironstone also have even hotter pickups in their range for that SRV sound and I’m willing to bet that they will sound equally good. Tony (who is Ironstone Pickups really) is a super chap and will go out of his way to get you exactly what you are looking for (he made the bridge pickup specially hot for me). I can’t recommend these pickups enough, don’t be put off by the budget price these are serious bits of kit. Get them now before everyone else finds them and the price shoots up.”
“All I can say is Brilliant, I installed the plate into my 1996 squire strat and wow what a difference. I was considering buying a Fender strat ,not now. A friend who is a blues man tried it out . It took me 4 hours to get the guitar back, and as for the price I don’t think it can be beaten. Thank you for the beautiful tone.”
“The scratchplate arrived safe and sound. Got it soldered in this afternoon and absolutely love it, the depth of tone compared to the stock pups is huge. the cleans are glass like and sound awesome. Many thanks indeed for a great product” (Platinum grade pickups)
“….you may remember me having a Gilmour set-up with platinum pickups in it. Well I have had my hands on it since Xmas now and after extensive jamming would like to thank you for an amazing set-up! The guitars played through a fender blues junior amp and no matter what I’m playing the variety in the pickups and the extra switching options mean the guitars so versatile its unbelievable. Have recommended your pickups to everyone that will listen! The modest price tag does not do these pickups justice, and you can quote me on all of that!!”
Looks and sounds perfect. Gilmour tone out of the box. Thank you!
In one word, awesome!
Great item good price sounds like Floyd a1++++
Great seller, great communication, great product! Sounds AMAZING! Thanks A++
A1 ebayer can’t fault,, excellent item amazed at the tone!! and quality
looks fantastic, work out the component costs, this is a bargain. great trade
Great product! professionally made. Good communication, prompt dispatch good p&p
Excellent communication, fast delivery and well packed !
excellent easy smooth transaction and sounds brilliant A++++++++++++++++++++++
Perfect Product, perfect service & communication, wunderbar!!!!
Great item, very well put together. Packed very securely and quick delivery !!A+
Fast delivery, amazing bit of kit, many thanks! A++++
Awesome Seller – looks amazing!!! And talk about quick delivery!!!
<([ GREAT ])> Very well made pickguard – good communication – 1A
“Prompt delivery, well packaged, an absolute bargain price”
“very good item at a very reasonable price and fast service, thanks”
“arrived today well packed, fantastic value, will definitely save (ebay) seller. cheers”
“pickup just arrived, the sound is exactly what I’ve heard on expensive PAF pups”
“just installed the humbucker on the bridge… nice sounding pick up, dark and loud.
it matches well with an old Duncan design on the neck. and the clean sound impressed me a lot… thank you….”
“…the humbucker in the treble position giving a truly amazing account for itself, the pup height had not been adjusted prior to cutting loose but was duly done once we stopped the blood flowing from our ears. A really amazing sounding pup and eventually balanced really nice with the single coils. Tony and Ironstone many thanks for an amazing sound….”
“..I’ve had your hummies in my LP for a week now and love the sound !!…..one adjustment I have had to make to my amp for sure, is to turn the master volume down, these guy’s are hot !!!……these pups have also given better scope to adjustment of string and pickup height/angle….so like my Strat, I am still very much experimenting with the sound/tone before deciding on which settings I prefer…. in fact the problem I have now is which guitar I want to pick up first as I am enjoying playing both at the moment…..maybe soon I will be ordering new pups for my Telecaster (the forgotten guitar !!)….all in all I am delighted with both the Platinum single coils and the Humbuckers….brilliant sound/tone and great value for money……so glad I found Ironstone Pickups when searching the web !!!! “
“They have become my favourite pick up, I’ve never used a pick up that suits not only my playing but to get the exact sound I’ve always wanted from a guitar, my band has just recorded our first ep I used the first ironstone on it:) it sounds so big!
Thank you for making such an awesome pick up”
“..just fitted the pick-ups and they are great, I just turned a £100 Tele’ into a £400 Tele’
in 20 minutes…..I have’nt stopped smiling since I put the soldering iron away and plugged
the ‘Ironstoned’ guitar in!!! all the best and thanks.”
“Don’t be fooled by the (low) price. Top quality, great sound”
“Thanks for the prompt delivery, fitted them today, one word fantastic,
would highly recommend these pickups to anyone.”
“micro d’excellente qualité , envoi rapide , merci”
“es lo que esperaba”
I fitted the Tele bridge pickup you sent me today and i’ve got to say it sounds fantastic
and just the sound I was after….well done mate!! I know where to come next time i need pickups….keep it up”
“this is the best Telecaster Neckpickup I ever used ! At the Moment I can compare with Fender/Squier/Duncan Design
and 1 from France; but this one sounds the best. A warm harmonic voice !”
” The tone is truly incandescent and the dynamics are vibrant and as lively as one would hope without any semblance
of undue brashness or sting……..The IronStone pickups have to take most of the credit for the new (old?) tonal signature of the guitar……. Like the true Tele pups of the 1950s, these use the same Alnico magnets, wire gauge, and have the same DC resistance: the Bridge
model even has the same extended magnet pole piece beneath the D and G strings.
I am also highly pleased that this exercise of chasing improved vintage tone was accomplished without any major expense.
In fact the whole exercise cost very little thanks to the immodestly low retail cost of the excellent Ironstone pickups…….. “
“I’ve fitted them (Ironstone Tele set) in a Tele thinline,now it sounds like a thinline !!!!! It had Duncan’s in it when I bought it !!!!!
Why try and make a Tele sound like a Gibson ?????? The pickups are just what I wanted ,vintage sounds with a little umph !!!!!
They are pretty well balanced in volume, the bridge being sparkling and bright without being harsh , a real problem with the duncan !!!!
The neck is mellow, but not muddy, but you can still hear the woody tones !!!!
For the price, I would recommend them to anyone wanting a Tele to sound like a Tele !!!! Along time ago I owned a 57 Tele, but the thinline now sounds like I remember the old Tele sounded. Once again thanks for the help”
“absolutely awesome, better sound than a Mexican fender”
“Ironstone Strat pickups, platinum grade, just fitted to my ’79 USA Strat. Firstly the reference to
my other three Strats has to be considered ,a genuine s1 with noiseless fender p/ups, and one
fitted with Tonerider vintage p/ups. My 3rd is a custom made swamp ash bodied/maple neck one,
fitted with golden age p/ups all s/c and high quality, so I know what a great pickup sounds like.
Musical fidelity from these platinum s/coils is equal to all the former types , with a character
of their own. They embody the classic vintage tones of the best fender ever made, faultless and
very very good value at £30 a set …… definitely not a one trick pony, when you
open them up full & o/d the amp, they retain warmth, clarity & smoothness. I can recommend these. “
“I finally installed the Platinum series that I got on ebay to my old Mexican Strat and followed your tips on wiring and pots…
All I can say is OH MY GOD!!
I got the sounds of a top dollar strat and I can’t even face playing my trusty ‘ole Les Paul!!!
Your pick ups are truly awesome, thank you but I don’t think I can thank you enough.
Fantastic product, good price, great service, fast postage and an excellent website, no guitarist can ask for more.”
“Well, fitted the pups myself. They are great. just like getting a new guitar. I have a friend who has a USA strat. I can’t tell
the difference in tone between mine now and his. Your pickups are great and so affordable. Keep up the good work.
You can quote me on this” (MIM Strat upgrader).
“Received the Plats this morning had a busy day so had to wait until this evening to pop them in!
Good God! They are outstandingly good! Truly speechless.”
“….I managed to get the those Platinum Pup’s in my Strat at the weekend, and I am impressed !!!…
definitely seem to be an improvement on the stock Fenders straight away……crystal clear Strat tone’s from all positions……
no ‘muddy’ tones when driven, in fact the tone is so clear I am having to adjust my settings on the amp to suit and I’m finding
sounds the guitar never had before !!……I am still experimenting with the sound at the moment,
but I am well pleased with what I have heard so far and excellent value for money !!…..as many reviewers have said, I would have been pleased with them even if I had spent two or three times as much…….a great product !! “
“Beautiful set …Meaty lows and defined highs…Real fat strat sound with beautiful defined mid freq and much responsiveness to player’s touch. I installed this set to my 25 years old Pacifica with rosewood fingerboard and alder body… now sounds like a real “texas beast”.
I have many strat style guitars with several sets of great pickups but… really impressed by your great products that have their own character.. Not a reproduction like many others.Good work! “
“Firstly, I’ve gotta hand it to you, they do exactly what it says on the tin!!! Secondly, why on earth anyone would spend hundreds of pounds on pickups now is beyond me! I started with a ‘P’ serial MIJ Squier with a really fantastic neck. I changed out the basswood body for a new 2 piece alder one sprayed in 3TS nitro by my own fair hand – this made a huge difference to the brightness and depth acoustically. I had been playing the guitar for a week or so with no electrics (or even a guard) and it really sings; the fit, feel everything was perfect.
The ceramic pups on those early Squiers always seem to lack definition and get muddy with distortion, so I decided I wanted some alnicos and via ebay found the Ironstone webpage. Having browsed the site and read some fantastic reviews I settled on a set of Plats – who wouldn’t want SRV tone for 30 quid!! 2 days later they arrived. I already had my guard set up in anticipation; CTS pots, cloth wiring, .047uf cap, treble bleed for Vol and Switchcraft jack; the pickups took me all of 10 minutes to install (loving the rubber risers btw). Another 10 and she was back together, strung up and ready to rock. I spent a few minutes getting the height right then I let her have it!
Let me say, cranked up through a clean channel these pickups have balls! Big fat hairy ones! And it isn’t from a distortion stand point, they are just incredibly punchy – it’s as if they rip into the amp and pull the notes out!! Add a bit of dirt and…WATCH OUT!! Then by backing off slightly on the volume and softening them with the tone you find your crystal clears. You can go from ‘Texas Flood’ to ‘Lenny’ just by using the controls on your guitar. I’m not saying that these pickups will make you sound like SRV but BY GOD do they help. I now have the SRV tone that I’ve been chasing all these years and a guitar that I would put up against anything on or off the market!
I can’t recommend them enough and and I’m dying to try out the rest of the range.
THANK YOU IRONSTONE!”
“I’ve finished the “Gilmour” type strat project today using your platinum pickups and WOW!!! What a sound!!!
Just what I was after from my Strat! Rich warm tones to beautiful clean to snarling overdrive..
They sound awesome through my Marshall valve amp!
So so pleased! I will recommend your pickups to all. I’ve bought pickups in the past that cost £££ more and they’re not a patch!
Thanks for all your help and advice over the past few weeks. Please post my feedback on your site/ ads if you so wish”
“Received and installed in a great playing standard Squier strat, only let down by thin sounding indonesian pickups.
Your Ironstones produce an unbelievable sound for this price (or any price!). I have genuine Fender 54 pickups in my favourite Fender Japan 54 re-issue stratocaster (built in 93) costing £129 a set and Fender Texas Specials in another Japanese Fender Sratocaster, which cost £149. Very difficult to hear any difference in quality comparing the Ironstones with the Fenders, which is amazing given the price difference. This either says a lot about Ironstone or a great deal about Fenders profit margin! I buy and rebuild a few Stratocasters
each year (not of course valuable genuine vintage USA strats-mostly japanese built) and will be using
Ironstone pickups for any future requirements. Thanks again.”
“…your (Hybrid) pups are so good it’s almost criminal”
“Amazing value. Beautifully rich, detailed tone. Loving them already”
“Gotta thank you for these pickups, I was in 2 minds over buying these or paying the extra to get some Fender Tex Mex’s but I’m very glad I chose these! Anybody looking for a hot sound that can pull off both modern and classic rock should not think twice, otherwise they’re just paying the extra 70 odd quid for a box with “Fender” on it. I’ve been playing for almost 15 years now, all my guitars and gear are from well known brand names and these Hybrids have definitely impressed me.”
“…I must say I’m really impressed with the change – I’d read a few heated discussions on the internet about the influence of pickups in improving tone and I must say I was cautious about spending money on something that could have made no difference – I am really happy I went for Ironstone Hybrids! They really offer a much richer tonal quality than the standard ceramic bar magnet pups on the vintage Squier I’ve been rebuilding. Combined with a couple of new orange drop capacitors, the output of the guitar is now much more refined – big bass / middle tone and less high end ‘twang’ on the bridge – each setting has it’s own defined character, rather than just generic top middle and bottom tone. Clean and clearer with reduced single coil hum when you need it – crunchy when you crank the volume up a bit!
Love them… they make my budget guitar sound about £300 better”.
“Well I’ve fitted the hybrid pups into my Fender Strat and OMG, what an unbelievable difference, they are simply awesome. Each one has its own unique and very impressive tonal quality especially on a clean sound, they sound just as good as any vintage Strat I’ve heard and I’ve heard a few. I can’t wait to take this axe to the next band rehearsal so I can crank up the volume. I am extremely delighted with these pups, thank you ever so much I now have 2 very contrasting sounding guitars which is gonna be great for the band. Keep on rocking!”
“The new scratch plate and tone pots arrived and I got stuck in and put it all together – I used cts pots and 5 way switch, 22 uf capacitors (as recommended in your tech instructions) and cloth covered wiring from a Fender parts supplier in the States, I also copper lined all the body cavities to shield against hum – from the reviews on your pickups I decided to go the whole hog and do it properly.
The result is absolutely astounding – the bridge pickup has bite and amazing treble with a fullness of sound that I would not have believed possible at twice the price you charge. The middle and neck pickups (which of course are via tone controls) have a range from sparkling treble to warm, rich, bluesy tones – now I know why my guitar HAS tone controls! – previously with the cheap ceramic pickups there seemed little point in adjusting them – they ranged from a harsh biting sound to a muddy mute. Now when I back the volume off a little the sound remains clear – no longer does it sound like there is a blanket over my speaker! – wind it back up and you are rewarded with a lovely rich, warm, overdriven sound – these pups have got big balls!
Thankyou – I could not be more pleased with my Hybrid pickups, my guitar has been transformed from a nice old strat copy to a really nice instrument with a tonal range that is seriously impressive.
I’ve been singing the “pickup praise” to everyone who will listen – (at least one mate will be buying a set soon) – to those visiting your eBay shop or website and maybe thinking “they cant really be that good, at that price – can they?” – I would say this – you will not find a better set of pickups at anything close to this price – stop thinking about it – do yourself a favour and order a set NOW before the price goes up! – the only questions you should be asking is which of the Ironstone pick ups do you prefer the sound of – and how soon can you get ’em!
Tony, thank you once again for your personal attention, service and quick dispatch, your pickups are everything you (and others!) claim them to be – I do hope that your business goes from strength to strength and that one day soon Ironstone pickups are recognised as THE upgrade that must be done.”
“I am the proud owner of a set of your hybrid strat pickups and I wanted to let you know how happy I am. I have installed them in my silver series strat and it has transformed the guitar, amazing tone it sounds like a strat is meant to sound, the balance from the bass strings to the treble strings is perfect, before it would wimp out and the the treble stings would not ring out and they were dull and life less, now it is perfect. I am over the moon that I choose your pickups to go in my guitar, they are so strong and clear and defined, they cant be faulted.”
“I have been researching pick ups and what would give me the tone and sound that I wanted for sometime, I have looked and listened to many types of amps/guitar combinations, sound bites etc with a massive range of prices, I am truly astounded with the results of fitting your pick ups to my guitar!!! I have fitted them to a classic vibe Squire 50s Strat, the original pick ups were ok, but your pick ups are outstanding The sound I am getting through a Blackstar HT5 Mini stack is incredible – it is certainly is up there with the best of the Fender Pick ups!! Many people will not believe it, but I can assure these pick ups are the business. Many thanks for such a great product.”
“I recently bought a set of your hybrid strat sets on the special offer page of your website. They were actually bought for a friend as I owed him some money and knew he needed some pups for his strat build. Anyway …
Having had a run through with these pickups I’m really excited about the tone (and price!). I’ve owned tens of strats over my 35 years of playing in bands and some have been really nice sounding, but your pickups must be up there as the most unique and classy I’ve used. This includes one off Fender Custom Shop pickups that are wound specifically for certain custom built guitars. I’ve always liked the glassy, almost acoustic sound that Rory Gallagher had on some of his earlier recordings (the studio version of A Million Miles Away intro being one example) and never been able to quite get the same quality-though, by using a treble booster I’ve come close enough.
But then, quite out of the blue along came your hybrid set! For the record, they are fitted to a rosewood board strat.
The tone has that certain metallic quality not unlike the mid position on a telecaster, or the glassy sound of a good lipstick type pickup.
The strat twang is there without the harshness that’s present on some low output strats. There’s a great separation between the notes too. A rounded, defined bottom end and a great stratty mid frequency that gives that SRV quality and helps the guitar stand out in the mix in live situations. The sound is fluid/liquid like. Unique yet still obviously stratty. Classy!
One more point I’d like to add is that when a strat sounds as glassy and defined as this it can sound a bit raspy and thin when overdriven. But I found these pickups to be really up to it when distortion/overdive was added. The mid frequencies seem to come to the fore and creates a nice creamy/rich sound. Incredible! Great at any price, but a real treat at this price. Congratulations Tony-you’re showing that some of the boutique pickup makers are charging too much! Your hybrids have more colour than the slightly higher output, but dry sounding Bareknuckle Irish Tours Pickups I have. (but they do sound great overdriven!)
I’ll be buying some hybrids for myself soon-once I sell the Bareknuckles. (And will be pocketing the change!)”
“I played a gig with your alternate spec Hybrid strat pickups the other day and I was pleasantly surprised.
We arrived at the gig quite late so had to play without having a soundcheck. I was a bit worried as my amp and pedals were all
set up for use with my (absolutely cracking) Custom Shop strat. It usually takes a bit of tweaking to get a sound I’m comfortable with, but on this occasion it was a case of plugging in and starting the set straight away! Guess what …. The hybrids were great. They
had a great springy sound, with the top end cutting through nicely. They have the classic strat sound that reminds me of the earlier strat sounds of rock. I’ve noticed too that the strings on the strat actually sound brighter and newer than they did with a set of Bareknuckle pups with the same strings! (yes – too tight to change the strings when I changed the pups!).
Great – very versatile pups. I’m really glad I got them – the guitar feels more alive and resonant now (Maybe it’s because your pups have less of a magnetic pull on the strings than the high output Bareknuckles?).
Great buy – I look forward to my next bash!”
“Got the Hybrids and Tele set today, thanks. The Hybrids are quite simply superb. Incredibly versatile. I use a a Duo Tone set up and the cleans with no load at all are incredible. Then you ramp them up and they go beserk; as you back them off you can get just about anything you could possibly want. There’ll be a set of Duncans and some Tex Mexs on Ebay soon if anyone’s interested.
Off to monster up the Tele now!”
“Just to let you know that I did my first gig with these pickups last week with my blues band…….really good, well impressed with them.
I have played Strats Gibsons and other high end guitar through Fender amps for nearly 40 years, and have never had such a
good sound for the blues lead solos for single coils !!.
I put them into a new Tokai TST50…..£650 quid against nearly £2000 for my custom strat……..”
“These (Platinums) are the 2nd set of pups I’ve bought from you. First purchase (hybrids) was based on your price,
customer feedback and extensive explanation of what you make and what you sell. All this was info was lacking from
other products in the same price range..
I currently own 3 strats and have probably had another half dozen thru my hands over the past 30yrs.
I also worked in guitar retail after leaving school.
Here is the point – your’re pick ups are amazing (well the hybrid ones I first purchased). I’m discovering tones that Ive only heard on the classic hendrix/gilmour/SRV recordings and never discovered on any of the strats ive owned. I cannot rate them highly enough,
cannot over state just how good the range of tones is and am fully set to upgrade all my strats to your pups over coming months.
I’ve spent £50-90 upgrading single pups (not sets) before now, and been less impressed.
I wish you the very best in the future – and I expect to be hearing more references to your brand in the future.”
“Just to let you know how I got on installing the Hybrid pups. I dug out my Korean Squier Strat Deluxe from its case where its been untouched for the last sixteen years.The guitar is still in immaculate condition. After a few adjustments and a new set of strings the tone was a bit thin for my liking., so I thought I would get some better pups.
Found your site, bought some Hybrids and fitting was a breeze. Plugged in, turned on the power and COWABUNGA!!! I am absolutely blown away by the variety and quality of tones I can achieve. The guitar has become alive, I can`t put it down.
For me they cover the whole spectrum of tones I need, Hank Marvin, the Ventures, Buddy Hollie, Chuck Berry, Mark Knopfler, SRV, Gary Moore and Slash to name but a few. I am absolutely delighted and can highly recommend these pickups.
Regards from a highly satisfied customer.”
“Just wanted to say thanks – I received the pickups today. I installed them tonight, and I’m astounded at how they sound!
To be honest, I bought them thinking ‘ they might be rubbish, but its only 30 quid, and I just can’t believe how great they are. They’re a serious rival to Seymours”
“MATE how good are these pups just fitted them I cannot believe it they are FAB”
I recently purchased a set of your ‘Gold Grade’ pickups for the Fender Stratocaster to replace the Fender Custom Shop ones that I never really liked (shame, as they cost a fair bit!). Anyway, getting to the point, I installed yours, and as soon as I played the first note, I thought to myself “These are the ones”. They sound great. I haven’t got the legendary VOX AC30 amplifier yet and only have VOX’s cheaper transistor amplifier (Valvetronix), and it sounds exactly like Hank’s 1989 sound already, so what the hell’s it going to sound like with the AC30 cranked up? Love the pickups and would recommend these to anyone. You should be proud of yourselves making such brilliant pickups, at such affordable prices! Thank you so much for your pickups
“I replaced my AXL designed EMG’s which had no tonal quality at all. The difference is unreal! Great clean strat sounds (Hank sound) and superb tone and sustain. I can’t believe how good they are for the price. I have used over priced DiMarzio’s and Kent Armstrong’s in the past but they don’t even come close to the Gold series pickups from Ironstone. I am particularly impressed with the sustain, fantastic sound at an affordable price.”
“I bought a set of your Gold Grade pick ups for my Mexican Fender Stratocaster and have them installed in my guitar.
The sound is amazing it transformed my strat, it now sounds like a 50’s strat. I am very very pleased with the pick ups and still cannot believe that they are so cheap.”
A Squier upgrader…”I replaced my old Squier pups with your replacements, my god what a transformation it has made, its turned this tired old korean/jap strat into a new monster, they bloomin great! Excellent reproduction, great crunchy vibes on middle pickup, fantastic finger picking on bridge pickup, and lovely mellow tones on neck pickup”
“Good full output, very well balanced and really quiet. The sound is more than terrific.These are real Stratocaster pickups, they are clear and if you what a stratocaster sound, these pickups give that on the clear, the crunch or the lead channels…. but you will recognize the
vintage stratocaster sound, what ever you play, period. If you play a good Stratocaster, with these pickups you’ll get the sound a stratocaster should have… you will hear the sound which originally the Strat was made for.”
“The pups arrived today and they are truly awesome. They have changed my old guitar which had ceramic ones from rather average sound into a magical sounding one. I am sure that the angels took notice as the sounds soared off into space”
Another customer quote; “lovely clear vintage sound ! website fantastic for wiring and setup instructions”
” I replaced my AXL designed EMG’s which had no tonal quality at all. The difference is unreal! Great clean Strat sounds (Hank sound) and superb tone and sustain. I can’t believe how good they are for the price.
I have used over priced DiMarzio’s and Kent Armstrong’s in the past but they don’t even come close to the Gold series pickups from Ironstone. I am particularly impressed with the sustain, fantastic sound at an affordable price”
“amazing pups! exudes rich tones, honestly transformed my old squier strat”
“…just wanted to say thanks – I received the pickups today. I installed them tonight, and I’m astounded at how they sound! To be honest, I bought them thinking ‘they may be rubbish, but its only 30 quid, and I just cannot believe how great they are.
They’re a serious rival to Seymours!”
“..the pickups made their debut last weekend. I normally use Lindy Frailin in my JV Strat,
your alnico pickups are superb, lovely bluesy tones, they are staying in!!!!!!!! “
“I recently fitted some Ironstone gold pickups to one of my Strats and i am delighted with them. I have two other Strats,
one fitted with Reflex Red Active pickups and the other with Seymour Duncans. I thought these sounded pretty good but the
Ironstones are better at a fraction of the price. many thanks for a great product.”
“Just a quickie to say again how delighted I am with the Gold pickups. I replaced the ones in my 1991 Mexican Strat
(which were good) but yours kick them into a cocked hat, particularly for Shadows sounds:
I have recommended them to a couple of people over the last week and they will be ordering accordingly:
I honestly don’t know how you do them at this price – £30 EACH would still be a bargain:
They are responsive, very tonal without hum and the mid / bass range is bright without any dullness or wooly-ness:
Thank you once again, they have given my guitar and me a new lease of life:
I am chuffed to little nuts, and being a Yorkshire man, that’s not an easy thing to be”
“I have just had my Squier guitar sprayed ‘Fiesta Red’, and fitted your classic Alnico vintage Gold grade pickups.
Wow, what a beautiful sound coming from my guitar now, so clean and warm tones, true “Shadows Sound”. I can now turn the gain up on my VT40+ without any hiss / buzz / hum, now sounds like a Vox AC30. Don’t know how you get that amazing sound of the Shadows from these pups at an amazing price. Would recommend anyone wanting “The Shadows Sound”… you should buy these pups.”
“I’ve finally fitted the gold alnico pups. I play in a shads tribute band and planned to use the guitar fitted with the pups as a back up.
I ended up playing it most of the night my main guitar is fitted with avn kinmans,
work that out folks !! Your alnico v5 golds are fantastic thank you very much.”
“Got the pickups,followed instruction video.soldered up. plugged in, and transformed a cheapo squier to a top range strat sound.
Big problem though, can’t seem to turn it off, just want to hear that fantastic shadow/60/70/ sound all the time. makes me sound like hank/knoffler or clapton. I fitted the pups to the cheapo squire instead of my other special edition squier as the cheapo has a more delicate tremelo arm and slightly thinner fret board, also much lighter and now sounds amazing, a real honey sixties sound. will buy another set
for the S.E. and no doubt it will sound just as good. I have had many fender strats, paid good money, none sounded anywhere
as good as this. I also tried changing pickups, and re-wiring etc. still not the sound I wanted.
You could fit these gold pickups to a cornflake box, string it with some elastic bands and the sound would make you weep with emotion, they are fantastic. Thank you, ironstone, rutland, wonderful price, wonderful service. wonderful pickups.
You deserve top feedback, these are the best.”
“Great pickups – best I’ve heard for pure vintage strat tones! A+++++”
“Just installed these beauties into my main Strat. Absolutely superb!!!….. ;-)”
“My pups arrived this morning, I fitted them this afternoon and all I can say is wow!
I’m blown away by the warmth and clarity of these! Awesome product, excellent value, and great customer service. Thanks!”
“The Silver Pickups have transformed my Highway One Stratocaster into the Strat I wanted! If you have a Highway One Stratocaster, the Silver pickups will be a revelation, excellent advice, service and product, a tick and a gold star for Ironstone'”
“Last night I installed these pickups in a 1979 USA hardtail Strat. It’s one I’ve rebuilt out of all genuine parts(but no pick-ups up to this point .I thought I’d try a set of your pickups (a few mates have them and had been really impressed) before spending £200 on a set of 1979 Fenders. These are truly awesome! A little bit hotter than standard so I just wound the pickups down into the body a bit further than usual. I’ve just done side by side comparisons between this guitar and an all original 1978 hardtail. In a pure listening test I can’t tell the difference (and I’ve been doing this a LONG time)! I’m well impressed.”
“Fitted the Silvers to No 2 this morning and the sound is absolutely exceptional. In 50 years of playing and listening I can honestly say I’ve never heard a better sounding Strat, and this is a home assembled partscaster that cost about £160 in total. That probably sounds like an exaggeration but I’m absolutely serious. These pickups nail the sound I was looking for perfectly. Great string definition, extraordinarily expressive, clear as crystal. Nicely responsive to height adjustment to dial in the tone to exactly what you need. I’m gobsmacked.”
“After using the pickups I bought from you over six months ago I got to admit they are as good as any branded name ones.
They are the best, bell like tones crystal clear but will drive when needs be…..I have used about half a dozen other sets
inc fender,rio grande,texas spc, and at the moment on one strat i have yours and on the other suhr pickups,
and yours are as good as if not got the edge on others”
Some comments from eBay customers:
“es lo que esperaba”
“Thanks for the prompt delivery, fitted them today, one word fantastic,
would highly recommend these pickups to anyone.”
“Don’t be fooled by the (low) price. Top quality, great sound”
“incredible pickups, at an incredible price. incredible!”
“Fender tele pups well made sounds like the real quackers”
bonne transaction bon vendeur!”
“venditore affidabile, tutto ok!”
“fast service, great pickup (Bridge), nice and blusey,thanks”
“Super sounding pickups and great guy to deal with”
“brilliant gear & service A++++++”
“Fast shipping. Fantastic item. AAA+++ seller”
“Fast delivery. Great pickup upgrade for my telecaster. Excellent seller. Thanks!”
“Great pickups & fast delivery . thanks. A +++++”
“Top seller , a pleasure to deal with , exceeded expectations.”
“V good prompt well packaged better than description sound great thank you”