Vintage Strat Pickups Hybrid Alnico V

(22 customer reviews)


Strat Pickups Hybrid

“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”


Ironstone’s Strat pickups Hybrid set is an Alnico V configuration featuring a heady mix of vintage style pole piece stagger, 43 AWG windings (as the Texas Specials) and a very potent high winding resistance pattern.

The combination gives a real Fender 60’s / 70’s early CBS era sound palette, from a ‘sabre sharp’ bridge tone to a really meaty bass by way of an almost Led Zep III electro-acoustic sounding Middle.

These top end pickups feature a hand set ‘quasi vintage’ pole piece stagger and a full 25 minute wax potting using a 20/80 beeswax and paraffin wax mix.

NOTE FOR LEFT HAND PLAYERS : The Hybrids are not recommended due to their asymmetrical stagger pattern.


Stratocaster Wiring Colour Code:

Bridge = Blue     (magnets are ‘South Up’ i.e. attract a compass North)
Middle = Yellow  (magnets are ‘North Up’ i.e. attract a compass South)
Neck = Red        (magnets are ‘South Up’ i.e. attract a compass North)


Please note: The price above is the UK total price including standard Royal Mail postage. Non UK customers will be advised of an additional small postal charge during the checkout process (see Shop page for current charges).

EU customers; regretfully, following the EU import VAT regulation changes of July 2021, we are unable to support direct website sales to EU countries (EU countries will not be accepted at the checkout stage). 


Vintage Strat Pickups Hybrid Alnico V

The top end Ironstone vintage Strat pickups Hybrid Alnico V style features resistances of 9.0K Ohm ‘Super Hot’ Bridge and 7.7K Ohm Neck and Middle configuration. The tone is not so much an artist as an era! Think classic late 60’s, early 70’s Fender & artist like Hendrix, Gallagher & Trower.
Like all of the Ironstone Stratocaster pickup range, the Hybrids share the ‘family’ warm vintage tone set. The resistance configuration of Ironstone’s Strat pickups Hybrid set means makes them the hottest pickup in the range, with that whopping  high output bridge. But like the Platinums they are also able to give very good clean tone if played with a little sensitivity. Because of their excellent responsiveness, they are superb all rounder. As a result of specifically tailored pole piece stagger, there is a wonderful volume balance across the strings .
The hybrids also benefit from Beeswax / Paraffin wax potting for 25 minutes like the best vintage pickups.
As all of the Ironstone Strat pickups, the Hybrids come complete with all required mounting hardware (and are also supplied with a length of latex mounting tubing for you to cut to your own requirements), and colour code wiring identification.
They are available with either White, Cream (Aged White), or Black covers.
Replacement cover sets are also available in White, Cream (Aged White), or Black. These enable easy updating of guitar colour schemes or when moving pickups to another guitar body. See Stratocaster pickup covers
To see the stages of constructing a set of Hybrids, check out the Ironstone Blogs;

Strat pickups Hybrid: related links

See Wiring Diagram I See Guitar Pickup Adjustment I See Sound Clips
For all things Stratocaster check out Strat-Talk, the world’s No.1 Stratocaster authority!
For all things Squier check out SquierTalk, the world’s No.1 Squier information source
Finally, for all things Fender, check out The Fender Forum

22 reviews for Vintage Strat Pickups Hybrid Alnico V

  1. Alan Woodhouse

    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.

    • Anthony Partridge

      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

  2. Andrew

    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.

    • Anthony Partridge

      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!

  3. Gary Zalimeni (verified owner)

    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 !

    • Anthony Partridge

      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

  4. Federico Bentivoglio (verified owner)

    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!

    • Anthony Partridge

      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.

  5. Ad Kooij (verified owner)

    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 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

    • Anthony Partridge

      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.

  6. Graham Horsham (verified owner)

    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.

  7. Paul Edwards (verified owner)

    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.

    • Tony Partridge

      Thanks for the feedback Paul. And great to see passive switching embraced to add real variety to the humble single coil! Cheers, Tony

  8. Andrew Blackie

    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

    • Tony Partridge

      Thanks for the comments Andy. And tell your mates so they can feel as guilty as you too!

  9. Tony Partridge

    “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.

  10. ChrisAdmin

    “…your (Hybrid) pups are so good it’s almost criminal”
    “Amazing value. Beautifully rich, detailed tone. Loving them already”

  11. ChrisAdmin

    “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.”

  12. ChrisAdmin

    “…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”.

  13. ChrisAdmin

    “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!”

  14. ChrisAdmin

    “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.”

  15. ChrisAdmin

    “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.”

  16. ChrisAdmin

    “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.”

  17. ChrisAdmin

    “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!)”

  18. ChrisAdmin

    “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!”

  19. ChrisAdmin

    “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!”

  20. ChrisAdmin

    “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……..”

  21. ChrisAdmin

    “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.”

  22. ChrisAdmin

    “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.”

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