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City Limits

A fat, full Texas tones neck and mid mixes with a hotter bridge.  A rich bass and tempered bell-like trebles make this a set for the bluesman and rocker alike!

Neck 6.0k / Mid 6.1k / Bridge 8.9k

(12 customer reviews)

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Incl. 20% VAT. Ships from our UK warehouse.Ships from UK. Import duties may apply.Ships from UK. Import duties may apply.(Duties and taxes included)Ships from UK. Import duties may apply.

The City Limits set is designed to offer guitarists a hotter Stratocaster sound with unrivalled versatility. The neck and mid pickups are wound to emulate the sought-after “overwound” late 50’s-style pickups that vintage collectors have found to have a rich piano-like bass and thick trebles – a tone that has become known as the “Texas” sound.  The bridge pickup, however, is a departure from the standard winds and is overwound with lighter gauge AWG43 gauge wire to approximately 9.0kOhms for a more modern soloing sound when used with gain or distortion, without a harsh top end.

Due to advances in string technology and the wider range of modern guitar necks, the City Limits set uses our unique “Modified Vintage Stagger” polepiece magnet array allowing for near perfect string-to-string balance on the greatest range of instruments possible.  Get them in any Strat and find that hotter, fatter Texas tone you’ve been waiting for.


Covers: All singles and sets come with white covers as standard. Any Fender compatible cover can be used (52.4mm, or 2 1/16in).

Polepiece Spacing: All position are 52.4mm, or 2 1/16in, just like the originals.


Stratocaster (Metric)

Stratocaster (Imperial)


3 Single Coils / 1 Vol / 2 Tone / 5-Way Blade

3 Single Coils / 1 Vol / 2 Tone / 5-Way Blade (Bridge Tone Mod)

City Limits NeckCity Limits MiddleCity Limits Bridge
MagnetAlnico 5 RodAlnico 5 RodAlnico 5 (E-A-D), Alnico 2 (G-B-e)
StaggerTR Vintage ModifiedTR Vintage ModifiedTR Vintage Modified
Hookup WireVintage BraidVintage BraidVintage Braid
Winding DirectionClockwiseCounter-ClockwiseClockwise
PolarityNorth Pole UpSouth Pole UpNorth Pole Up


12 reviews for City Limits

  1. Telephonic

    Genuine Alnwick sound, NO cheap ceramic magnet tone here, has been wax potted and scatter wound, so highly responsive to strings without excessive feedback, and some beautiful harmonics. Individually labelled on underside to avoid confusion and output matches listed specs with the hotter bridge, lovely boutique tone and response expected from pickups 2-3 times the price £80 sterling. All E-e pole piece distances are 52 mm which is the newer fender style spacing and not the older or vintage spacing of 56 mm. very happy with this, so may consider replacing my tele pickups with a tone rider set next.

  2. Tom Sweetnam

    Stunning sound from these PUPs bright clear and def that texas sound combined with a tone shaper set give amazing variety on a strat

  3. Mb

    Pickups sound great, quite a lot of 60 cycle hum but not an excessive amount. Doesn’t come with mount springs though but they cost like £3 to get a full set up. Great choice

  4. Lord D’Ansell

    better than fenders own. got rid of the strat treble annoying
    sound. on bridge pu.

  5. Jac van Hammen

    I couldn’t believe my ears!

    I am a proud owner of an original 1994 Fender Stratocaster Special Edition, one of only 100 made, that came with pre production Fender Texas Special pickups, just like the Stevie Ray Vaughan Strats.

    That particular guitar sounds amazing, just perfect.

    I put these Toneriders in a Mexican Fender Stratocaster and I really couldn’t believe my ears, they sound basically identical! I sent two clips to musician friends and they told me the difference is so minimal that they couldn’t tell them apart.

    So, if you’re into that Texas Special Stevie Ray Vaughan sound, these pickups will give you that sounds for 70-something quid!

    Would I buy them again? Well, why not, if I’m in need for a set of pickups within a couple of days, like if I have a guitar I want to sell for example. Otherwise I will get a set of custom made pickups from Planet Tone for about the same money.

  6. Terry Johinke

    I have used Tonerider pickups in Teles and Strats since 2009 as recommended to me by Kelvin Ho in Singapore. I love the a# peckups for Telecasters and the City Limits A5 in my Strat. I buid Telecasters nd a maestro loves the sound – tuned to G – pure Keith.

  7. wigglenut (verified owner)

    Switched out the wilkinsons in a budget strat for a tonerider city limits neck an mid, paired with a octane humbucker. Super happy with the product and the customer service. Great stuff.

  8. Stefan Chinell

    Tonerider City Limits may be THE best value-for-money Strat pups out there, if you want that classic rich shimmering ringing Strat sound, At least that is how I feel.

  9. rblievanos (verified owner)

    I bought the bridge City Limits for my Strat because a wanted more output without losing the looks and tone of a SSS Strat. I made the right call. With classic Strat wiring, The pickup might be a little too bright, but with the bridge pickup tone mod, It really shines. It is articulate and very high output for a single coil. It really stands out from the other two pickups (my Strat is a 2017 Classic Vibe 50s, with Alnico III pickups in middle and neck) It’s very good for lead tones. And it reaaally loves a Big Muff for that high gian tones ala Golmour or Frusciante.

  10. Greg Riddle

    I bought these for my Stratocaster because it has fender noiseless in them, just didn’t like the sound. So I took a listen, and bought the Tone riders. Let me say this now for all of you that read that the bridge is thin sounding and bright, yes it is. That one pickup alone has taught me sooo much about using my tone control…I roll it just like my volume knob. Another thing, I’ve used high dollar amps (I have a hand wired 64 Princeton) and the harmonics that come from the guitar and the amp are jaw dropping. Now lets move on to gigs…I do two shows every weekend either a club, bar , casino, whatever and I bought a 300 dollar katana 100 watt solid state mkii amp. I just needed a plug and play, something that if it died I would just turn it into a coffee table. Anyway I have had more guitar players come up to me scratching their heads saying “that is the best strat tone I’ve ever heard, how are you getting that through the Katana”? our band plays Rock country just about everything or anything the crowd wants. Its very simple these pickups are the key. I roll my tone back (that’s why its there, and on telecasters Leo fender made the tele where you were supposed to roll the tone knob back a bit) so these pick ups allow me to Rock and roll, Like Stone temp pilots, then gear back down to Tom Petty, then over to Keith Whitley or Garth or Waylon….then back to Foo Fighters.
    I have never been happier with a set of pickups in my 45 years of playing. I will repeat that, I have never been happier with a set of pickups in my 45 years of playing. I am going to go Tone Riders in all my mules (guitars) I am that pleased. I’m sorry Tone Rider folks but I do not tell the other guitar players my secret. If ive got the best strat sound they have ever heard then, thats great!!! The guys complimenting me are high dollar pickers too!! Nashville cats, serious top dudes. So when they walk up and see me with a cheap Katana they are expecting to hear a cheap sound. I love to watch them when that sound catches them. They start looking close….then at a break they come over to investigate. “How are you getting that tone!” “Those fender pick ups sound hot”…….but I’m not saying a word. TR City Limits all the way!! finally I want to thank you guys for making such and outstanding product so affordable. DONT CHANGE A THING PLEASE!!!! my tele is next I’m just not sure what kind of TR I want in it yet….any suggestions send me and email!!! Thanks

  11. Andrew Walton

    Amazing pickup set ,
    Got these cos a lot of reviews said they sound amazing and good value for money. So I ordered a set for my 2008 classic Vibe . Holy moly , these are incredible! Thanks Tonerider .

  12. Massimo C.

    I’ve used a City Limits set for years and I can say that those are great pickups, independently from the price.
    The build quality is great, they even have vintage braided wire.
    The sound is well balanced and the bridge pickup is slightly hotter than a regular strat pickup but still has great clarity and bell-like tone.
    I have a custom wiring, so I can put neck+centre and bridge+centre in series (try it, it sounds great) for when i want an even hotter sound.
    I mostly play Surf music, but those pickups are great for a lot of genres that don’t require a ton of distortion

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