Artec Alnico V Rail Pickup

New Pickup Installed

I already made a demo video comparing this pickup to the stock pickup of the Fender Mexican Standard Strat in the bridge position.

I was intrigued by this pickup after doing some searching on Ebay. There are a lot of low-priced rail pickups on Ebay and some are so cheap that it leaves no risk in buying one just to discover if it’s any good or not. As far as I can remember this model was the only Alnico-magnet rail pickup in that affordable price range.

Measuring in between 11k – 12k DC resistance (often quoted as a statement of the pickups output, but not entirely accurate), it appears to sport a medium output for such a pickup. The Seymour Duncan Hotrail has a DC resistance of 16.6k, so quite a bit more wire there and it’s a ceramic magnet, so the overall output of a Hotrail is likely to be significantly more than this pickup.

That suits me because I don’t like high output pickups that much. I prefer old-school, lower-output humbuckers of the early years, just like I prefer low to almost medium Strat pickups because they have more dynamics and character to their tone to my ears.

So with the desire to have a more humbucker-like tone for the bridge position without going “metal” and within a very strict budget I figured the spec of this pickup might just work out.

The short answer is that it has worked out – very well I think. It is significantly different to the typical Strat bridge pickup to effectively be a different guitar tonally, whilst still allowing me the familiar comfort of playing the best-designed electric guitar in history.

I will feature this rail pickup in a video at some point, but for now the demo of the same pickup in the Mexican Strat explains things well enough. It does sound a little different in my Vintage Modified Strat, but that’s always going to happen.

In summary, this pickup gives me something close enough to a traditional type of humbucker tone. I wouldn’t say it sounds like a PAF, but it has clarity, a full midrange and not too much bass. It doesn’t get muddy-sounding, but definitely pushes the Strat into more Gibson-esque territory, which is great for certain classic rock covers at gigs, where a Strat is the best guitar for handling all the other styles of music.

For the price (about £15) – it’s a winner!

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