Late 70s/Early 80s Fernandes Strat copy from Japan. Stonehead or stone logo. Pickups are reported to be copies of the schecter F500T pickups,
some info found on the world wide web
Opening up the cavity to do some minor wiring work, revealed to my surprise, a push/pull pot on the volume control and single coil pickups with 3 wires.
why 3 wires?
The original Fender single coils, the ones that vintage strat purists go nuts over , had a certain amount of winds of wire around the coil. Compared to a Gibson humbucker, a strat sound is rather thin and bright. So back in the day, before the advent of modern high gain amps. it would be much harder to get a heavy distortion out of a strat.
Winding more turns of wire around the coil can result in more output and a fatter midrange focused voicing, which to some extent is the logic behind “hotter” wound pickups. But you rarely ever “gain” something without sacrificing something else, and in this case, you lose that “single coil sound”
why not both?
A tapped pickup, like these, are essentially a coil with a set number of winds for standard single coil and then extra turns added in series. Hence the 3 cables connecting to ground, normal single coil output and the extra wind.
Wired to a push/pull pot means you can switch between standard single coil wind and add the hotter extra winds.
Measured DC – will report back soon.
so…how does it sound?
As a set, in normal single coil mode, they sound stratty enough, however when compared to some other strat pickups, they miss out on quite a bit of top end chime and glassy’ness. Overall, not hugely dissapointing, but still not good enough to blow me away. If i have to play a strat, i want it to be the most stratty strat to strat on.
With the extra winds engaged, as expected, kicks up the mids and output. The bridge pickup and inbetween positions are great, especially for rockier vibes but sadly, in comparison, the hotter neck position doesn’t quite do anything for me.
some clips –