The Most Versatile Pickup Combination Ever?
All the tonal options you may ever need
For it’s 2015 range, Fender has clearly focused on versatility. If the range tells us anything, it’s that the company is pitching their newest models as ‘all things to all players’ on account of the myriad pickup configurations on display. You see, everyone knows a Strat has three single coils and a Tele two. You’ve probably also seen Strats with humbuckers, aimed at a harder rocking crowd. What these new models do though is give you all of the above, at a price point which makes them a very attractive proposition indeed.
The 2015 Mexican Standard features a pretty recognisable HSH (humbucker/single coil/humbucker) configuration which meets the needs of many a player already. Nothing new there. For riffers, shredders and the palm-muting brigade, there is more than enough juice in the bridge ‘bucker to satisfy even the fiercest gain-freak. The middle single coil ensures the option is still there for cleaner activity, while the fat neck humbucker is crying out for some warm, bluesy licks. However, what if your sound requires you to revert back to something more classically ‘Strat’? We all know the famous, clear Strat quack, but surely that’s now unattainable after they went and stuck two souped up humbuckers in? Wrong. The tone pot on these guitars now doubles up as a push/pull coil splitter, which activates just the outer pickup of the two, for both neck and bridge, opening up all kinds of more traditional Fender tones.
It’s quite a bold claim to say it’s the most versatile pickup combination ever, we know. And we’re not normally so quick to resort to hyperbole, but on this occasion the facts stand up. If you count all of the different variations, you’ll see there are now nine different pickup combinations you can choose from, all on the same guitar. You have the standard Fender five, and then on top of that there are single-coil variations of positions one, two, four and five. Clearly, there’s a sound for everyone here.
It’d be easy to write off the new models as being decidedly un-Fender like. Lots of black finishes, rosewood necks and humbuckers. But look beyond that and you’ll find a set of well-built, tonally versatile guitars which give you plenty of bang for the buck.