I'm currently in the process of upgrading the pickups in my MIM Stratocaster. Since I've already purchased a neck pup and a humbucker for the bridge, I'd like to buy the middle one in isolation.

I've noticed that very few vendors sell the middle pickup separately. Interestingly, I've read on a few websites that in a lot of pickup sets, the neck and middle pickups are identical. Is there any truth behind this claim?

  • On the original Strats, from '50s/'60s, I thought all three pups were the same - the different sound is from their positions on the body.
    – Tim
    Mar 31, 2015 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


Yes, in the old days all three strat pickups would have been the same, wound on a simple machine. As tastes progressed it became fairly common to buy an add on bridge pickup with more windings, for a higher level and "heavier" tone, or even a humbucker - but the neck and middle tend not to be different in construction.

However there's one thing in your case; the middle pickup these days can often be got in reverse wind/reverse polarity configuration. If you can get one of these for your strat it will sound the same as a regular middle pickup, but it will also cancel hum when the pickup selector is at the "in-between" position between neck & middle. (It won't cancel hum when used at bridge & middle in your case, as your bridge position pickup is already a humbucker.)

So, you might like to see if you can get a RW/RP pickup from the same maker as your current neck pickup, so the turns match for hum cancelling. But otherwise, any single coil will do fine.


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