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Fender Noiseless Pickups - Reviewed up close and personal

Updated on December 10, 2010

Hey everyone, I just wanted to give a review of the Fender Noiseless Pickups. I've now had the Noiseless pickups for my Telecaster for about a year and a half, and so far I love them. Now as many people already know, when it comes to electric guitars, pickups are a HUGE part of your sound and your tone. This should be very obvious as they literally turn your string vibration from your guitar into an electric signal that's fed to your amp. Of course, the type of wood, size, density and cut of the guitar counts for a lot as well in terms of tone and sustain as well, but the pickups can range from super hot active pickups that squeal, to nice soft even sounding pickups for cool comping. So what's great about the Fender Noiseless pickups? Let's have a look.

Fender Noiseless pickups are ideal for anyone playing a Stratocaster, telectast or strat/tele style guitar, whether it's made by Fender or not.  If you own one, you may have noticed a consistent hum when you're plugged in.  Turn on some overdrive or distortion and that hum can be intolerable.  That's where the Fender Noiseless Pickups come in.  They effectively reduce your hum AND maintain your tone.  I always used non-noiseless pickups because I was worried I wouldn't have that same vintage Telecaster twang with the noiseless pickups.  Luckily, for those who crave vintage noise without the hum, Fender also has the vintage series of noiseless pickups.  I have found them so far to be just as good as any custom shops vintage pickups, just without the added noise.  Fender uses 5 beveled alnico 5 magnets and enamel coated wire for quality construction.  You can also opt for the hot vintage noiseless pickups, which provide more DC resistance for a screaming bridge sound with some high gain, or a bluesy tone on the neck.

There are also options with the Fender Noiseless Pickups, besides vintage, regular and hot vintage.  You can choose the Fender SCN pickups.  This stands for Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups.  There pickups combine traditional magnets with samarium noiseless cobalt and offer a noiseless but more unique sound.  I personally do not own these, but I have seen guitars that are equipped with SCN pickups and they are a true to life replication of that snappy strat sound and are the way to go for players who prefer high gain or just want the truest strat tone they can get.

My overall opinion is that single coil pickups sound great, but have an inherent problem and the Fender Noiseless Pickups have the solution.  I can only speak to the vintage and hot vintage noiseless pickups, but I have no doubts about the SCN or regular noiseless pickups.  So far mine have performed well.  I would almost want to use the words "life changing".  Practices are manageable as I don't have to roll my volume off every time I'm not playing or hit my tuner pedal and gigs are better as the audience doesn't have to endure my guitar hum between songs.  If you have experiences with these pickups, please comment with your thoughts and feel free to get in touch with me.  Also check out my website for more reviews of guitar gear at My Guitar Time!


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