Pickups closest to early GIlmour tone?


What pickups will get me closest to David Gilmour's tone from the early 70's without shelling out thousands for the real deal? I"m thinking about putting together a 70's custom more or less period-correct Strat so any input will be appreciated.
Thanks.  :icon_smile:
The pickups matter for squat; just use a decent set, Fender Custom Shop SRVs/Fat 50s, Rio Grandes, Fralins, whatever; as at the time he was playing a '70 black Strat with a '57 maple neck, a set of Fender Custom Shop '69s would probably be the closest thing to the original you would pick up without spending thousands needlessly for vintage gear.

I will reiterate, the pickups, as long as a decent set are used, mean NOTHING!!!! Go Google on his gear, he has a smorgasboard of pedals, some custom made, TWO effects rack and at least one effects technician. Much has been made about his EMG endorsement, if you have his new live DVD he plays it on a couple of songs, doesn't really sound a lot different that the black axe with whatever PUs are in it now. The kid playing guitar touring with Roger Waters nails the sound dead on (see Live 8???) playing what appears to be a vintage Telecaster.

It's mainly about TECHNIQUE.

You can approximate the sound if you play in that style with Strat -> Wah -> Overdrive (setting varies) -> Chorus -> Delay (varies) -> Flange (on occasion) -> Distortion (sometimes) -> tube amp; not necessarily in that order.... But you have to have the playing technique.... If you can't play blues seriously you'll never get Gilmour
Thanks for the advice, it'll be a big help. I'm wondering about something though. According to the Warmoth website, vintage Strat necks have a 7.25" neck radius, which is hard to bend strings on because it is so rounded. How did Gilmour bend away like he did in the 70's then? Also, how did he use the whammy bar so much and stay in tune without a locking trem? Just looking for some insight here. :icon_smile:
You practice 8 hours a day and build up your hand strength and you can bend strings regardless of fingerboard radius. If you're worried about it, order a different radius, that's not going to affect the sound anyway.

I owned a '57 Strat 30 something years ago, another MAJOR difference is that it has a HARD V symmetrical back contour, about .950 at both 1st and 12th frets, and I think they also came in a 9 or 9.5" radius, maybe that was later. You can get an exact repro '57 neck from MusiKraft, but Warmoth doesn't offer that contour. Closest thing would be the Clapton tapered V contour. I've used that neck on a couple of builds and you either love it or hate it, no in between, and most players don't care for it much as it feels really "different".

Working on your playing technique is more important than trying to exactly duplicate the axe. If David handed you HIS guitar you wouldn't suddenly start sounding like him, and conversely if he plugged a $399 Mexican Strat into his rig, he wouldn't sound any different either. Play serious blues in dive bars a few years and inject "space element" and Voila!

well heres my 2 cents. I have a guitar set up with the EMG David Gilmour pickups.  I play a lot of his stuff, I get my closest sound with that guitar and a bit of delay, It really does sound good.  I cannot get the same sound from my other guitars.

So while I agree with Jack on much of what he says, especially about your technique. having the correct pickups is a big help.

as far as his use of the trem, He doesn't use it much, and by much I mean he doesn't depress his very far at all.  I have studied most of his work, he loves to bend strings alot. Most of his stuff is simple, yet still creative, and played with feeling. I am a big fan of his, he's a genious in my book. I never used my index finger to bend till I started playen his solos, that was tough for me to build the strength in that finger.
Get the new DVD I never realized he eschewed the pick and used his fingetip to pick some of those solos.
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