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Kōkako Strat Pickup

Single Kōkako Strat Pickup NZ$129 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$112.17

Set Kōkako Strat Pickup NZ$339 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; NZ$294.78

AlnicoV – Neck 6.15 KOhms, 2.79H, Middle 6.15 KOhms, 2.79H, Bridge 6.64 KOhms, 3.08H

The Kōkako Strat Pickup is is strongly influenced by the Fender Stratocaster pickups of the 60’s but with a little more. It has a full yet clear bottom end , smooth highs and clear mids. It’s aimed at players who love the sounds of Frusciante and Hendrix.

If you take an early 60’s Fender Srat pickup, add a little bottom end, take a wee bit of treble off the top and add a touch more power then you’ve got the Kokako.

The magnets are specially made alnico 5’s with my own stagger to suit modern string gauges and fretboad radiuses.

The Kōkako Strat Pickup Story

The Kokako set was spawned by a few things coming together in November ’22.

For a while I’ve been offering my Bellbird Strat set with various winding options – 5% under, 5% over or 10% over wound. I’ve been playing with a 10% over wound set in one of my own Strats and for me they have ‘that’ vintage Strat tone that’s perfect with a little dirt be it fuzz or overdrive.

I was sent a Strat pickup to re-wind and the customer told me his ideal sound was Hendrix.

I’d just read an article saying how Seymour Duncan had wound some pickups for Hendrix and the spec of those pickups looked very similar to the 10% over wound Bellbirds.

That got me thinking.

The same day a customer contacted me wanting advice about my pickups and which one would be best for a John Frusciante sound.

Well, it’s the Bellbird +10%.

Kokako Strat Pickup

I thought this was too good to let go.

I could have left the pickup as a version of the Bellbird but decided it needed its own life.

The Design

Here is a short video in which I explaim my thinking behind the Kokako pickup design.

My Strat pickups are named after native New Zealand birds like the Bellbird and the Tui; I chose the Kokako because its song reflects the tonal characteristics of the pickups. I wanted a bird that has a song fatter and fuller sounding than the Bellbird but not as aggressive as the Tui – so Kōkako Strat Pickup it is.

Here’s the original Bellbird pickup

And YouTube demos of all my Strat pickups

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updated 22 Sept 2023

Kōkako Strat Pickup