Fender Pure Vintage ’57/’62 vs ’59 vs ’65 Strat Pickups

There are three sets of pickups in the Fender Pure Vintage Stratocaster range:

  • Pure Vintage ’57/’62
  • Pure Vintage ’59
  • Pure Vintage ’65

These pickups all have an alnico V magnet and “vintage” output, so what is the difference between them? In this article I’ll be comparing them in-depth so you can figure out which is the best for your Strat.

Quick Comparison

The Fender Pure Vintage ’65 pickups have a brighter tone and higher output compared to the ’57/’62 pickups and ’59 pickups. The Pure Vintage ’57/’62 pickups have the lowest output and sound slightly brighter compared to the more mellow ’59 pickups.


  • ’65 (brightest)
  • ’57/’62
  • ’59 (warmest)


  • ’65 (highest)
  • ’59
  • ’57/’62 (lowest)
Magnet Alnico V Alnico V Alnico V
 DC Resistance5.6 k5.9 k5.9 k
Inductance3.0 h2.2 h2.6 h
 Magnet WireFormvar-coatedFormvar-coatedEnamel-coated
 Wax PottedYesYesYes

Here are links to the pickups on Amazon so you can check the current prices:


All three of these pickups use alnico V magnets which is the strongest type of alnico. Alnico V has a higher output, more bass and treble and less mid-range compared to alnico II which sounds warmer. This EQ balance is what contributes heavily to the vintage Strat tone.

Both the ’59 and ’57/’62 set have formvar-coated magnet wire, whereas the ’65 pickups have enamel-coated wire. Enamel-coated magnets sound warmer whereas formvar-coated magnets sound brighter with more treble-response and clarity.

The difference is hard to tell but the Pure Vintage ’65 Strat pickups sound brighter and more articulate compared to the ’59 and ’57’/’62 pickups which sound more mellow. This is only really noticeable to my ears when there isn’t any distortion.

When comparing the ’59 and ’57/’62 I noticed that the ’59 set sounded the warmest out of the two whilst the ’57/’62 set had more cut and brightness. This is because the ’59 set has the most bass-response, causing it to sound a bit more mellow and warm.


In terms of output, the Pure Vintage range are all fairly similar however out of the three, the ’65 pickups have the highest output, followed by the ’59s and then the ’57/’62 set.

This means that the ’65 set sound a bit more gritty and distort more easily compared to the other pickups. The ’57/’62 pickups sound the cleanest out of the three, whilst the ’59s are somewhere in the middle (but a bit closer to the ’65 set in terms of the output).

Check out my comparison between low and high output pickups to learn more.

Sound Demos

Check out these sound demos from Fender of all three pickups so you can listen to the differences. They’re all using the same amp settings and electric guitar.

Pure Vintage ’57/’62

Pure Vintage ’59

Pure Vintage ’65


Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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