Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Stratocaster Pickups

When Fender Custom Shop introduced the Texas Specials for Stratocasters, they flew off the shelves. Even with all the products that have come along since, Texas Specials are still worth looking into.


Review: Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Stratocaster Pickups

Published 04:08 am

When Fender Custom Shop entered the aftermarket guitar pickup market, the Texas Special Stratocaster replacements made them famous. Since then, they have branched out and produced several other different sets for the Stratocaster. Many other manufactures such as Seymour Duncan have also provided some competition in the market. The Fender Texas Specials are still a great choice and have been around long enough to have the bugs worked out of them. The Stevie Ray Vaughn tribute Stratocaster also comes stock with these pickups.

The Texas Specials were based from original Stratocaster pickups. They were then over wound to a degree to obtain a high output and deeper tone. The primary application for them is blues, however they can be versatile for almost anything but heavy metal. The midrange tone of these is very strong, so if you don't care for that, drop the mids on your amp and that normally adjusts the tone very well. I prefer to play country, so these weren't very impressive to me at first until I started working more with the amp than the guitar to get the tone that I wanted. I use a Twin Reverb and once I dropped the middle on the amp, it worked great to get the scooped mids and bright strat sound.

The guitar that I use came equipped with a set of Texas Specials already installed in it. It is a Mexican made, "Player's Strat", shoreline gold. The guitar on the box is almost identical to the one I have. I got the guitar used, and the upgraded pickups added to the cost but it was worth it. Overall, it's got the Strat tone that I wanted; however, the amp has to be adjusted to the guitar for the dial in. These pickups sound very thick and hefty on the midrange, which threw me off because I am used to playing Telecasters.

Overall, after getting used to the increase in the midrange, these pickups really add great tone that stock pickups don't normally deliver. The low end with these is much better than stock, as well as the high end. I like the thumping low end for playing country, which Telecasters can deliver with no trouble. For me to move to a Stratocaster, I needed better pickups that could that. These Texas Specials really bring out all the tone a Strat is capable of. The high end created by these is much more clear and defined than the normal Strat pickups. It takes a while to get used to them, but once you get used to them, they can be very useful.

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My other Strat is a standard made in Mexico model with stock pickups that are nowhere near as deep and powerful as the Texas Specials. I don't plan to upgrade that one because the lower output suits my country needs perfect. If I want to play some blues or classic rock, I find that the Texas Specials are much more geared for that purpose. With just a little bit of overdrive, you can't beat these for a blues or classic rock tone that's within range of the masters. A lot of people say they sound similar to the guitar Stevie Ray Vaughn used but I disagree. It's close, but the tone is more dependent upon the choice of amplifier and well as the settings.

Something to consider when upgrading to Texas Specials is the choice of amp that you use. I prefer Fender tube amps so I will use those for examples. A Deluxe Reverb normally begins to break up at around four on the volume. That can be good or bad, but if you want clean, Texas Specials will cut down on your clean volume. A Twin Reverb, it won't really matter because they stay clean up to ten. A Blues Junior, the high out put really actually helps the tone quite a bit, but it's not really that clear for playing without distortion. As for the Hot Rod series, Texas Specials work very well with those and have a lot to work with setting wise. My recommendation is to find a shop, and try a guitar that has these installed before making a decision.

Upgrading pickups in a guitar can be serious business money wise. There are a lot more choices now than even a few years ago. Texas Specials have been around a while but are still worthy of consideration. If nothing else, try a few different guitars with different pickups and decide from there which one you like the best. Adjust the amp more than the guitar when you try one with Texas Specials just so that you can hear what all they are capable of. Being that these are authentic Fender products, you can be sure that they will perform as well as you!

Bestselling Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Stratocaster Pickups Products in 2022


Fender Custom Shop Pickups Strat Texas Specials (Set Of 3)

Fender Custom Shop Pickups Strat Texas Specials (Set Of 3)
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2022
  • Enamel-coated magnet wire for warm vintage tone
  • Staggered pole pieces for balanced output
  • Alnico 5 magnets for more focus and enhanced dynamics
  • Reverse-wound middle pickup to eliminate hum
  • Overwound calibrated pickups for scorching output
  • 1 year Warranty Included
  • Alnico 5 Magnets
  • Enamel Coated Magnet Wire
  • Reverse Wound/Reverse Polarity Middle Pickup
  • Plenty of Midrange Chirp, Crystal Highs and Tight Bass
  • Its a Set of 3

Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Stratocaster Bridge Pickup

Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Stratocaster Bridge Pickup
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2022
  • This is the pickup that redefined the Texas blues sound
  • Texas special pickups boast plenty of midrange chirp, crystal highs and tight bass along with increased output
  • These overwound calibrated pickups use Alnico 5 magnets and enamel coated magnet wire
  • Includes all mounting hardware
  • Bridge pickup only

Fender Texas Special Prewired Stratocaster Pickguard - 3-ply White

Fender Texas Special Prewired Stratocaster Pickguard - 3-ply White
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2022
  • Custom shop Texas special pickups
  • Enamel-coated magnet wire for warm vintage-style tones
  • Staggered pole pieces for balanced output
  • Alnico 5 magnets for focus and Enhanced dynamics
  • Reverse-wound middle pickup to eliminate hum

Fender Tex-Mex Telecaster Single-Coil Pickups - Set of 2

Fender Tex-Mex Telecaster Single-Coil Pickups - Set of 2
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2022
  • Set of two single-coil Telecaster pickups
  • Overwound for tight, clear bass, crisp highs and maximum output
  • Alnico 5 magnets
  • Installation hardware included

920D Custom Shop Texas Special Loaded Pickguard Fender Strat 7 Way PA/WH

920D Custom Shop Texas Special Loaded Pickguard Fender Strat 7 Way PA/WH
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2022
  • BEFORE YOU BUY: PLEASE check the seller. 920D Custom Shop pickguards are hand wired in our shop in Fort Smith, AR and are sold EXCLUSIVELY by Sigler Music. Any other seller claiming to sell 920D Custom Shop loaded pickguards is misrepresenting his product.
  • Original CRL Switches
  • Quality Components from CTS and Bourns
  • Gavitt Vintage Wiring
  • Easy Installation

Fender Custom Texas Special Stratocaster Guitar Pickup Set w/Free Wiring Harness

Fender Custom Texas Special Stratocaster Guitar Pickup Set w/Free Wiring Harness
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2022
  • Alnico 5 magnets and enamel coated magnet wire
  • Genuine Fender product
  • Overwound for increased output
  • Midrange chirp, crystal highs and tight bass
  • CTS 250K Pots

Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Pickups, Set of 3

Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Pickups, Set of 3
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2022
  • Set of 3 single-coil pickups designed in collaboration with world renowned guitarist Eric Johnson
  • Hotter output bridge pickup than vintage-style pickups
  • Highly dynamic, and balanced output for maximum versatility of creative expression
  • Alnico 3 and alnico 5 magnets
  • Reverse-wound middle pickup to eliminate hum

Fender 4-Position Custom Shop Telecaster Pickup Selector Switch

Fender 4-Position Custom Shop Telecaster Pickup Selector Switch
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2022
  • Whether replacing a worn switch or just adding tonal variety to your favorite instrument, Fender offers high-quality switches with knobs and mounting hardware
  • Used on many Custom Shop instruments
  • Allows you to change your Telecaster pickup wiring from Series to Parallel for increased output and a fatter tone with the flick of a switch

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