|Unboxing the Benson '63 Pickups.|
Fortunately the strat wiring is very straight forward, especially with these import 5-way switches. With just the 3 hot wires to take from the switch motherboard, and a common earth to remove from the back of the first tone pot, the Stock pickups were quickly removed and replaced.
|The Stock Pickups ready to be removed from the pickguard.|
|The Benson '63s dropped straight in.|
|All re-assembled and ready to rock!|
So how do the Benson pickups sound? Well, there is no question that the sound of the Benson pickups is a vast improvement over the stock offering. That is not to say that the stock pickups sound bad at all. Being a little gun-shy over such an important demo, I cajoled my friend Jonathan from Sydney rockabilly bank Rock Cat Rock to do some demos for me. When he first picked up the strat he remarked at how good the Stock pickups sounded.
But there is no doubt that the Benson's sound an order of magnitude better. The sound is fuller with a much better dynamic range. Highs are clearer, with a beautiful crispness to the sound. The string attack sounds just beautiful and the mid range is there in abundance.
We recorded two sessions. One with the Stock pickups, and then again with the Bensons. I have turned these sessions into 3 demo videos. The first shows the stock pickups, the second the Benson's, and the third provides a side-by-side shootout of the two. Although I don't have a great set-up for recording, I hope that the videos provide some illustration of the difference in the two. The guitar is being played clean into a Fender Deluxe Re-issue tube amp.
Pitbull Stock Pickups
Benson '63 Pickups
Stock vs Benson Shootout
So there you have it. My Ash Stratocaster is now a rock and blues beast thanks to Adam at Pitbull and the wiring gurus at Benson. Awesome stuff!