Lipstick Pickups


Hi Steve,

I am having Bilt make me a guitar with lipstick pups. I can’t get a hold of anything vintage. Do you have a recommendation for a modern winder?



Rick, CO

4 Thoughts on Lipstick Pickups
    8 Oct 2021

    I don’t know of any exact modern lipstick repro’s, but ill look into it and check back.
    All I can say for sure is you don’t want standard Strat replacement sized pickups.
    I think a lot of the goodness of the stock Dano/Silvertone lipsticks is due to being overly long.
    If you start them in the existing strat cavity rout bass side, they extend way past the high E on the treble side.
    Keeps the melody string proud as they used to say.

    I’ll let you know if I find some good ones.
    keep an eye on Reverb too, they do come up. .

      12 Oct 2021

      Hey Steve, do you think the lack of tone control on your white Strat plays much significance into the tone of that guitar?

      29 Dec 2021

      Hi Steve

      Thanks so much for the reply. I appreciate it. If you find any more options let me know. Very helpful with the info about the length of the pup!



    13 Oct 2021

    Hmm. .
    Trick question!

    The tone control’s missing because I can’t play a Strat with three knobs on it, I just take too big a swing when things get going and bump/crash the normal first knob position.
    So from a physical technique perspective, yeah, the missing knob effects the tone because it allows me to hack away with abandon which normally sounds a lot better than playing timidly, careful not to bump!

    The significant factor in the sound of those electronics is the backwards/independent wiring of the two 250K volume pots along with whatever the impedance of those lipsticks are.

    The Silvertone lipsticks normally used 1Meg pots.
    I just left the stock 250K Fender pots in, and I think the loading is advantageously weird when you back them off.

    The volume controls lose so much high end when you combine them and turn them down, there’s no need for a tone control.
    It’s gloriously dark and/or veiled, depending.
    The lossy loading thing sounds way better to me than a standard tone control.

    I’ve tried to replicate that scheme on a couple different guitars with a couple of different pickups with little success.
    It works on that Strat with those pickups and those pots, but that might be about it.

    Anyway, the three-way switch and two volumes doesn’t need a tone control with those pots and PU’s, and the extra real estate allows more freedom of motion for my right hand.
    That’s what’s going on there.

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