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OT: Fender N4 pickups in the Elite strat vs V-Mods in the Pro


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Any opinions about the tone of the N4 pickups in the elite vs the Tim Shaw V-Mods in the pro? All other things being equal, of course I'd rather less hum and buzz, but not if it doesn't sound good. Haven't found an Elite around here to try (Boston area).


Anyone here who's played both?

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I have tested out the N4s - they were surprisingly good in fact. I have a set of N3s and tried out many AmDlx Teles with them in there... but the N4s really sounded much better.


... with that said, the V-Mods... I was really caught off guard with how great those sounded to me; especially the bridge.


Definitely try out both; I have the same stipulation as you - I go noiseless ultimately no matter what.

(In fact, in my Teles I rely mainly on Barden Modern-T sets, plus DiMarzio Area Hot T bridge/Area T neck set with an area Strat middle on my Dlx Nashville).

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I purchased both the Tele Elite and the Strat Elite with the N4's.  I originally got the Tele Elite and I was so impressed with the N4's I traded my Strat with Lace Sensors in on the Strat Elite.


They tend to be a bit hotter than standard pickups, but that may also be due to the way they've wired up the S1 switch on the tone bypass on the tone knobs.  But they have a lot more presence and dynamics than what I've had in the past on my Strats.  I had to dial back some of my cleaner presets due to the output of the N4's, but not by much.  If I don't use the tone bypass they tend to be pretty close.  To be honest I haven't really yet explored all the 10 different pickup options using the S1 switch pn the Strat since I just picked it up on Saturday.


The Tele Elite is simply a monster!!!  It's got some real grit to it so doing stuff like gritty Keith Richards or Pete Townsend sounds with some nice tasty punch to it is pretty easy to achieve.  Very clean and crisp twangy sound as you would expect if you need it to go that way.  I haven't yet found any use yet for the S1 switch, but I'm sure I will at some point.  I'm just having a blast with the N4 pickups because they're really responsive.


It took me a bit to get used to the compound radius fretboard and C to D neck contour, but now that I'm used to it I love it.


All I can tell you is, the Tele N4's and other elite featues were impressive enough that I felt I needed them on my Strat as well.


I did play a bit with the Strat Pro when I was looking at the Tele Elite, but I can't say it impressed me the way the N4's did.

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... and sorry; I somehow missed the fact that zooey was specifically asking about the Strat pickups, and I went on to discuss the Telecaster versions.

Sorry about that.


Perhaps there's some relative commentary in there... although the pickups are quite different between the two models of guitar.

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Went to the GC one exit from work on my lunch hour, and suddenly they had an Elite and several Pros. Played the Elite and one of the Pros, some things were clear, others less so. Mostly I agreed with the opinions shared by folks here and on TGP.


- The Elite was set up so poorly it almost doesn't count. Action super high and with too much relief, especially weird with 9s on it, not a lot of fun. Fender really shouldn't​ ship a guitar like that, especially in that price range.


- The Elite neck is interesting and cool, as reported. Not positive what I think of it in the end, need to play more on one, but it's very different from every other strat I've ever played. Thinner, more modern maybe, different shape in general. All other things​ being equal, which they're not, yeah, I'd do that. I think, maybe.


- Pickups are tricky to think about. The N4s on the Elite were a little duller and had less bite than the V-Mods on the Pro, but they definitely weren't bad, not at all. Noise is tough to judge in that environment of course. Again need to play them both more.


- The S1 switch is not my joy, as others said. Shame, because I have a lot of fun with the coil switching options on my current guitars.

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