Best Strat pickups: upgrade your tone with a new set of pups

Close-up on a a pair of Stratocaster pickups
(Image credit: Future)

Whether you’re upgrading an old guitar, or you just fancy switching things up a bit, swapping out the stock units on your S-style guitar for some of the best Strat pickups is a surefire way of livening things up with your tone.

With its three single coil pickups, the Strat has become one of the most popular guitars in the world, having been used by legends from every corner of music imaginable. Its unique bright, glassy, chimey tone can be heard on countless classic records over the decades. Most Strats have a 5-way pickup selector that allows for very different sounding combinations and is part of what we love about it.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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Richard Blenkinsop

After spending a decade in music retail, I’m now a freelance writer for Guitar World, MusicRadar, Guitar Player and Reverb, specialising in electric and acoustic guitars, bass, and almost anything else you can make a tune with. When my head’s not buried in the best of modern and vintage gear, I run a small company helping musicians with songwriting, production and performance, and I play bass in an alt-rock band.