Which Fender Stratocaster Has Semour Duncan Pickups?
The Fender Dave Murray Signature Stratocaster
The most well-known Fender Stratocaster that comes with Seymour Duncan pickups is the Dave Murray signature model. This Strat has three Seymour Duncan pickups including two Hot Rails at the neck and bridge, and a single JB Jr. in the middle position.
Dave Murray used to have a black signature model with two DiMarzio humbuckers and a vintage Strat single coil pickup between them. That guitar was available between 2009 and 2014, and it definitely had a menacing look to it. But the current version that replaced it has Seymour Duncan pickups at all three positions.
Here's how it breaks down:
- Neck: Seymour Duncan Hot Rails for Strat SHR-1N
- Middle: Seymour Duncan JB Jr. SJBJ-1N
- Neck: Seymour Duncan Hot Rails for Strat SHR-1B
Add a Floyd Rose R3 bridge/locking system and you have one of the more aggressive Stratocasters on the market, getting you the Seymour Duncan tone element without having to do any mods or adjustments to the guitar.
Here's a full look.
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It's surprising that so few Stratocasters come with Seymour Duncan pickups, considering the long-winded roster of Strat-style single coils that Seymour Duncan produces.
Most of the time people will buy these pickups to modify a Stratocaster they already have. This means they would replace single coil pickups or, perhaps a humbucker if you're dealing with an HSS Strat.
This is probably the shortest path to a Stratocaster with Seymour Duncan pickups, especially if you already have something like a Fender Player Strat or something in the middle-to-low Strat price ranges. You can simply buy a new set of Seymour Duncan pickups and have them installed.
While the Dave Murray signature is at a manageable price, it's still more expensive than the mid-range Strat models.
Another advantage of modifying an existing Strat is that you can mix and match single coils.
This is clearly what Dave did with his Stratocaster.
If you prefer, you can also just buy sets of three. Either way, you'll have options.
What do Seymour Duncan pickups sound like in a Stratocaster?
The sound you get out of a Strat/Seymour Duncan combination will depend on the exact pickup set in question, along with the type of Stratocaster. Though, generally, you're going to get more of a "wail" sound and a distinct bell-like response that sounds really nice for pensive high-end soloing.
This demo gives you a look and listen at the SSL-5 and SSL-1 pickups in a Stratocaster:
The Hot Rails in Murray's signature model are going to be warmer and more aggressive than the SSL-5 and SSL-1. Murray's wheelhouse is metal, albeit more of a classic metal/classic rock style, but the Hot Rails are still going to give you a lot more grit and fullness.
There are enough Seymour Duncan Strat pickup options to get essentially whatever sound you want.
Though we still wouldn't recommend Strats for metal.
Read more: Are Stratocasters good for metal?
Conclusion and Questions
If you want to get your hands on a Stratocaster with Seymour Duncan pickups and without having to do any modifications, the Dave Murray signature model is our top recommendation.
Then again, installing pickups isn't all that hard to do. Plus, if you have a local guitar repair shop, they can do it for you and it shouldn't be too expensive.
Read more: How to install/upgrade guitar pickups
If you have questions about the Murray Strat or Seymour Duncan Strat pickups, feel free to leave them in the comments section.
We'll help out as much as possible.
Written by Bobby Kittleberger on Pickups & Roundups
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