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For players who like unrivalled clarity and brightness and great dynamics, the Surfari set is a great match made with Alnico III magnets.

Neck 5.9k / Mid 6.1k / Bridge 6.4k

(14 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.

A reproduction of earliest strat tones, but with some modern updates.

Like some original 1954 and 1955 Strat pickups, the Surfari set from Tonerider pickups are made with Alnico III magnets – offering nice sustain and a bright, warm, compressed attack.  For players who like unrivalled clarity and brightness and great dynamics the Surfari set is a great match.  We’ve been privileged to have found a great following for the Surfari sets among the Hank Marvin fans – from Midnight to Apache – this set will get you very close to one of the “Holy Grail sounds from guitar history.


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)

Surfari NeckSurfari MiddleSurfari Bridge
MagnetAlnico 3 RodAlnico 3 RodAlnico 3 Rod
StaggerTR Vintage ModifiedTR Vintage ModifiedTR Vintage Modified
Hookup WireVintage BraidVintage BraidVintage Braid
Winding DirectionClockwiseCounter-ClockwiseClockwise
PolarityNorth Pole UpSouth Pole UpNorth Pole Up


14 reviews for Surfari

  1. David Mcmillan

    more than satisfied with picups would rate them as best i have had and i have had most of the big brand names and then some.clarity and tone exceptional i cant praise them enough and if any of you guys out there want the original fender strat sound you need to buy thes pups far superior to any of the others and the price to suit the average guy and not overpriced like most of the name brands

  2. Jerome Sutton

    Totally happy with these once again. I have bought 3 sets for three different 50’s style set ups so far, and the fun just never stops. With pickups like these and the amp that I use (see vintage plus review) I can totally blow away the theory that solidbody tonewoods and their varying densities don’t make a difference! (Body woods/weights after routing and sanding; light swamp ash 1.65kg, dense ash 2.4kg and dense alder 2.3kg; all with maple necks and identical wiring, 250kpots and .047 pio capacitor)

  3. Johnny London

    These pickups give a Mexican standard stratocaster a personality transplant. They produce beautiful deep but clear tones. The chime you get when you hit a chord is very pronounced on the neck pickup. The bridge is not harsh. Positions 2 and 4 of the pickup switch produce beautiful textured classic strat tones. (I play through a peavey valve King tube amp. Your mileage may very according to your equipment.)
    To summarise:
    Absolute classic. Blown away by these pickups. My first ones I have put in my strat and probably my last. They excel at clean tone. Haven’t bothered testing high gain as that isn’t what I play.
    The pickups themselves are very well built. Wax potted and cloth gum wrap. Cloth insulated wires.
    (With my Mexican strat I got unpotted, unwrapped ceramic pickups with plain wire. The stock pickups were very plain and aimed at high gain players, and don’t really add much to the instrument.)
    I can categorically state that for clean tones these pickups are a bargain.

  4. Mr. M. Kostyrka

    Yes, I can recommend these. I purchased these as an upgrade to put into a Musicman Cutlass guitar, which is basically a Stratocaster with a few refinements. They are supposed to simulate Fender 54 style pickups which use alnico 3 magnets giving a very low output which translates into a very musical bell like sound which has the ability to cut through other sounds well on a track. They do definitely have a lot of cut but also will mellow up as you move towards neck position and dial the tone down a bit. The other great plus is even output across the strings- nothing as irritating as having a weak signal on a string, usually top E. These pickups do seem to be vey popular, well priced and my guitar tech likes them. This is my third set of Toneriders for various guitars I own or have owned, a good set being the Alnico II Humbuckers for my SG guitar which are give a PAF type sound which is an early type of Gibson pup giving quite a musical bell like sound- I can vouch for this as I’m generally not a lover of humbuckers, but the Alnico IIs are almost as musical as good single coils.

  5. Billymrharvey

    Just got these to replace my 2007 USA fender Highway 1 pickucks and I can’t stop grinning.Previous pickups were fender played inside a mattress,now my neighbours think a drunken Mark Knopfler,with broken fingers and fallen on hard times has moved into my flat….Get them,light years better than the Fender cotton wool dispensers I was using….5 stars!

  6. toddy01

    Fitted these to my USA 83 Fender strat to replace the texas specials it came fitted with. What an improvement. Crystal clear sound even on gain channel. Cost £25 less than Fender pickups and are 100 times better. These give the perfect vintage sound for my style of playing( Blues and R&B). Already got a set of these on my 92 Jap strat and I wouldn’t change them if my life depended on it. Tonerider surfaris are the best strat pickup out there. Come with original style woven wire covers, very easy to fit.

  7. JNurmi

    This was the second time I fitted these on my “Parts-o-Strat”-project. This time – havin’ rosewood-fingerboard and 1-piece mahogany (!) body – this set is “spot on”. Snappy, but warm top end. Extra-plus for rubbers instead of springs. However, the set sounded very nice also with swamp ash/maple/hardtail-combination. There’s magic in Alnico III’s – they work in Tellys too.

  8. Buddy Kuhn

    I’ve used numerous other brands of pickups; Duncan, DiMarzio, stock Fender, etc. For the smooth Strat tone that I prefer, the Surfaris cannot be beat. They retain plenty of quack and also work well with medium to high gain, particularly in positions 2 and 4. I get many compliments on the tone these pickups generate, mostly from players using much more expensive boutique pickups. The Surfaris are a big favorite of mine!

  9. rblievanos (verified owner)

    Bought a middle Surfari for the HSS Strat project a friend is building. I had experience with the Alnico III pickups in my 2017 Classic Vibe 50s wich are VERY SIMILAR in construction, DC Resistance and Alnico III as the Surfaris. The middle and neck pickups are very similar sounding, Very articulate and with a nice chime in the upper mids frequencies. Very classic Strat sounds. The bridge pickup can be a little too bright and thin, even with the tone control mod, But i guess it’s just the nature of the beast. I recommend the Surfaris neck and middle with a City Limits bridge for extra versatility.

  10. Jerry S.

    Fantastic pickups! I have these in my Strat for over 18 months and love ’em! The best Strat set I ever owned. Like many here, my search for tone ended after I installed a set of Tonerider Surfaris in my MIM strat. They replaced the ’54 set that came with it. The Surfaris set is just right in every way, sounds great with whatever amp, speaker or effect pedal that I throw at it. I finally fell in love with my Strat and the tones it produces! You just can’t go wrong with these. My verdict, these sound tons better than any boutique strat pu I ever owned or played. Hands down!

  11. Padmanava Das (verified owner)

    Finding a good pickup for replacement of a stock one is next to impossible in India. I play mostly The Shadows/Ventures and others of Rautalanka genre, and wasn’t satisfied with the pups of my Squire Deluxe Strat. I ordered a bridge Surfari, and after receiving it replaced it myself.
    The change is unbelievable! With two delays and some reverb, you can get very very close to Hank Mervin’s tone.
    Congratulating Tonerider for the wonderful work.

  12. Johnny (verified owner)

    I purchased these for my Squier CV 50’s that now come with Fender designed alnico V pickups, which are ok, but the build quality is nowhere near the quality of Toneriders. These pickups are more to my pleasing: very bright, excellent note seperation, respond very well to picking dynamics. The RWRP middle in positions 2 and 4 are true himbucking, though these are fairly quiet (but not silent) single coils. I very much like the tone, and use a 0.22uf cap on my master tone control, which never gets muddy through the full sweep. These pickups sound great clean, and are nice and raunchy with a fuzz pedal. Surfaris are a very versatile single coil pickup set, and I highly recommend them.

  13. hitmeup (verified owner)

    Put a set of Surfari in a Squier Sonic Series Strat. Holy smokes. I’m totally blown away with how great they sound compared to the stock pickups. Also the build quality is nice as well as fast shipping. Over all great experience.

  14. Murray Pung (verified owner)

    The Surfaris have delivered that glassy Strat quack that I pined for years. The definition on the low end is incredibly, and the output is consistent across all strings. I swapped out the factory Lace Sensors on a 90s Strat Plus, which never really did what I was after (they’re awesome for gain, but that’s not what I’m into). I can’t believe I’ve finally found that classic Strat tone, and for such a low price. If you want high gain, maybe there are better options, but for super clean to overdriven Strat tones, these are single coil heaven.

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