Based in Richmond, Virginia, Lindy Fralin is known for creating some of the best vintage-style pickups around. The key to their success is the meticulous and comprehensive way they build their pickups as every single creation is hand-wound one at a time using the highest caliber materials and quality control. And while they might not be as well known as the Duncans and Fenders of the world, the quality and sound of their products can easily stand toe-to-toe with the best of them. Today, we're taking a look at a few of our favorite models from the boutique manufacturer.
The company’s best-selling set to date, these Strat-style pickups are wound with 42 gauge Heavy Formvar wire and have beveled magnets and cloth leads. The neck and middle pickups are average 50s specs, while the bridge is as hot as possible with this wire. Slightly hotter than stock Fenders but not as aggressive as the Texas Specials, Fralin’s Vintage Hot pickups allow for more chimey harmonics that highlight the upper frequencies. When paired with a classic tube amp, these babies produce a very lovely growl. It’s pretty clear that the company didn’t mind sacrificing a bit of output for that prominent top-end and clarity.
While these are far from the first or last Hendrix-inspired pickups out there, they are certainly some of the most era-accurate sets around. From the identical wiring to the reversed pole pieces, fans of '60s guitar legend will definitely love the sound of the Woodstock 69 set. Tonally, this set delivers that well-known, punchy late ‘60s blues rock tone that ruled the era, albeit with a little twist thanks to the reversed poles. Whether you like your Strat sound clean or a little dirty, you'll find plenty of rich, melodic vintage single-coil tone throughout. For those of you out there who crave that classic Hendrix Strat tone, the Lindy Fralin Woodstock 69 set is an easy recommendation.
Those looking for a bit of the vintage ’50 Telecaster twang with modern output strength should definitely check these out. While the bridge might be a bit brighter than you would expect, a simple EQ configuration will subdue the extra tone into a subtle sparkle much more appropriate for the moody stylings of the blues. On the other hand, if you’re looking to be a bit more of that country feel, the brighter mids are definitely a welcomed feature of the pickups, with just enough twang and plenty of resonance. The strong output ensures you get a fat chunky bite when you want to add a bit of rock to your twelve-bar guitar tune and can masterfully handle maxed out settings without any noticeable slip. For those of you looking to keep that signature Tele twang while beefing up the tones, this is the perfect set.
Sometimes, you don't want to mess with the classics. You just want that pure, unadulterated sound that defined an era -- although you probably wouldn't mind if that sound came in a high-quality, hand-built wrapping. That's what the Fralin Stock Tele set is all about, bringing players that unmistakable '50s era Telecaster twang. Aside from the tone, other era-specific details include cloth leads, black fiberboard bobbin parts and more. For players out there who are searching for nothing more than that pure, rich, classic 50s Telecaster sound in a high-quality, hand-wound package, the Lindy Fralin Telecaster Stock set was literally made for you!