Impersonator E56

Impersonator E56 with Kinman’s Gen-2 technology. We changed the name from A56 to E56 (E for enhanced) which better describes this pickup (7-Aug-18).

Frequently seen Forum comment “Noiseless Strat pickups don’t have Fender highs, snap and crispness” Until the advent of our Gen-2 models that did have an element of truth in it, but not anymore, Kinman Gen-2 pickups are the real deal. Click below and listen to see if it’s true ….. see if this Kinman sounds like a 1950’s Fender pickup when it was new.

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Impersonator E56 ….. iconic Zero-Hum scooped BELL sounds from 1956

A nice old ’56 Strat – an Iconic model with excellent presence & bell, but now there is the Kinman Impersonator E56 (Enhanced 56)

Impersonator E56 with Kinman’s Gen-2 technology. We changed the name from A56 to E56 (E for enhanced) which better describes this pickup (7-Aug-18).

Frequently seen Forum comment “Noiseless Strat pickups don’t have Fender highs, snap and crispness” Until the advent of our Gen-2 models that did have an element of truth in it, but not anymore, Kinman Gen-2 pickups are the real deal. Click below and listen to see if it’s true ….. see if this Kinman sounds like a 1950’s Fender pickup when it was new.

News flash Apr-2021: Now with our new Synergy baseplate that allows switching off Hum Cancelling as well as switching to ‘Synergy‘ mode.

Frightened City

Outstanding sonic characteristics: You will get archetype Non-Aged with scooped lower midrange which characterizes wonderful old Strat pickups. You’ll also get pristine crystalline highs and 1956 bell ring, exceptional presence and bite, sharp snappy dynamic thwack attack and fantastic twang full of piano mid-tones. The E56 has exceptional clarity / presence in the neck position, in fact you will have rarely experienced such clarity previously.

Additional benefits: You will also get longer sustain and minimized fret buzz with this pickup and if that’s not enough you’ll also get authentic Knopfler-esque quack from positions 2 & 4 as well as Zero-Hum in all 5 positions. Balanced G-3rd string loudness, Alnico-K** rod magnets for low string pull and no Strat-itis pitch warble plus longer sustain.

Signal chain requirements: Any old cable won’t do. It is essential to use a low capacitance cable to get the incredible performance of this pickup.

Enjoyability factor on a scale of 1~10: Eleven or twelve with the best Fender non-noiseless being 10.

Waxing the Lyrical: Genuine 56 pickups are some of the most iconic Strat* pickups ever, renown for their exceptional twang, bell-like ring and extra bite in clean mode). We changed the name from A56 to E56 (E for enhanced) which better describes this pickup (7-Aug-18). The Impersonator E56 is one of our supreme Strat* models, but it’s not the only one of the amazing new generation-2 hum-cancelling pickups coming from Kinman, The KING of noiseless.

Loudness: Moderately loud and strong, louder than our Impersonator E69 and a 6.3K Fender pickup.

Tech stuff: The Gen-2 models have taller magnets and taller coil with Kinman’s patented magnetic focusing device incorporated. In concert with a squashed 600 Ohm hum-sensing coil all these new features produces non-aged sound. As of 10-Sep-2018 the pickups that have narrow and intermediate magnet spreads incorporate our new Gen-2+ technology which restores the slight but noticeable loss of attack & presence when the magnets are placed closer together to align with strings off a narrow spaced twin Pivot bridge. More technical info below.

Comparison to others: You will find this remarkable new model sounds pretty much like a genuine 56 Stratocaster* did when it was new in 1956 …. just superb. You will also find this is one of the most lively and juicy Strat* pickup we make, it’s so alive and juicy it outshines a lot of non-noiseless single coils. We have a selection of very nice Strat pickups here and side-by-side comparison with our E56 reveals a startling contrast, when adjusted close to the strings the E56 produces lushly rich highs with a wonderful harmonic corona but the Strat pickups sound what we can only describe as a little blunt (lacking sparkle).

Applications: Use to best advantage for low and medium gain applications where you need the archetype Stratocaster* sound, tone & feel and nothing less will do. Great for Surf, Instrumental, Country, Blues, Soft Rock, Reggae, Indie, early Clapton, Hendrix and Shoegaze …. the endless list goes on and on. The kind of terrific sound Stevie Ray Vaughn gets at 1:10 on this clip

And in Chris Rea’s solo in It’s All Gone in his album ‘On the Beach’ @ 2:45

Graduated set of 3: The Impersonator 54 produces a similar sound that is more mellow (warm), this and that it’s louder makes it a great match in the bridge position.

Works well in any Kinman Goodbye-Soldering Harness.

Some people will call these noiseless Stratocaster pickups but Kinman prefers to describe them correctly as Zero-Hum Stratocaster pickups. That’s because there are 2 types of noise, Hum which is cancelled in the pickup and Buzz which can only be minimized by shielding the wiring cavities (refer to >Technical >Perfect Guitar >Shielding for newer guitars

Technical Stuff

Under the Hood of E69 you can see the taller upper coil and the squashed lower 600 Ohm Hum sensor. What you can’t see is our patented Magnetic Focusing device inside the tall coil.

Impersonator E69 nomenclature

Introduced 2-August-2018

Patents  5,668,520    6,103,986    8,791,351 B2

To cancel hum we add a sonically transparent 600 Ohm Hum Sensor coil to the bottom of the pickup which is designed with a low profile coil so it doesn’t make the pickup too tall.  This Hum Sensor is extremely efficient and uses big wire and low turns count to minimize parasitic coil capacitance so it has no impact on the high frequencies as they pass through.  The Hum Sensor is so transparent it can be disconnected without causing any difference to the sound of the pickup (except it will have hum of course).  Additionally, the low profile Hum Sensing bobbin allows us to make a taller string sensor which in turn and in combination with a Patented magnetic invention allows the pickup to produce non-aged sound.  That is ….. bright and sparkly with varying degrees of mid scoop just like the best old Strat pickups had when they were new.

Kinman, like no other noiseless Strat pickup, has broken through the compression / transparency barrier.  Now you can compare Pickups with hum to pickups without hum. Introducing the new T-100 generation hum cancelling Stratocaster pickups, the world’s first non-aged hum-cancelling Strat pickup.  T is for Triumph and 100 is 100% single coil sound.

This new model represents a major milestone in the evolution of Fender type pickups as it has taken about 26 years of inventive and innovative thinking to achieve. The Kinman P-90 Hx and this new model Strat pickup re-affirms Kinman as the King of noiseless.


  • Standard Kinman cover without height extender bushings included.
  • Available in White, Black, Aged White.
  • With and without Kinman logo.
  • White covers can be tinted with food stains such as Coffee and Tea.
  • Generic covers will not fit Kinman Strat pickups.  We sell replacement covers in three colors.

Connection means available

  • Bare wires for soldering.
  • Kinman connectors for plugging into any Kinman Goodbye-Soldering Harness.


Pot & Capacitor values

  • Best with 250k Ohm (measured minimum) volume pot.  Less punch and more bright with 500k.
  • Tone pot is usually the same value as the volume but for a little more top end brightness can be 500k, 1meg or a No-Load.
  • Stock pots can actually measure as low as 175k.  Pots in our Goodbye-Soldering Harness are guaranteed to measure no less that 250k.
  • Normal tone cap value of 0.022uF, 63 ~ 100 volt Polyester.  Smaller uF value lessen the severity of Treble cut, higher values increase it.
  • The voltage rating of Caps is not important but 63 ~ 100 volt have thicker lead wires that result in a neater job.

Magnet spreads we normally ship (ensures magnets align with the strings in each position)

  • Narrow 49.5mm – Neck
  • Intermediate 51mm – Middle
  • Standard 52.5mm – Bridge
  • Option to specify your magnet spreads of sets and singles in our ‘After-Payment’ Additional Questions‘ email we send you.

Magnet Staggers

  • Normal improved Stagger to suit 7″ ~ 14 inch uniform radius fretboards including USA Custom Guitar Compound 7-1/4″ ~ 9-1/2
  • Flat Stagger 14″ ~ 20″ for specific compound radius fretboards (Warmoth 10 ~ 16 inch and Post 2010 Fender Deluxe 9 ~ 14″)
  • Option to choose your magnet stagger for sets and singles in our ‘After-Payment Additional Questions‘ email we send you.

Hook-up cable

  • 2 conductor shielded is standard.
  • Middle pickups when supplied with a K9 or neck pickup with a TK4 harness have 3 conductor shielded.
  • 3 conductor by request with Order.
  • Custom lengths by request with Order.

Output Polarity: 

  • in-phase with Gibson and Copy humbuckers
  • in-phase with all other Kinman pickups
  • opposite phase to Fender Strat (match phase with 3 Conductor hook-up cable)

Mounting hardware included

  • 2 x 6-32 UNC Pan head mounting screws.
  • 2 x Silicon Rubber tube springs.

Baseplate options

  • Standard Strat squashed triangle (image above)
  • Parallel sides like EMG (image on the OVERVIEW Tab)

We highly recommend consulting the Install Guide in the Technical section even if you think you know it all.  Kinmans’ require specialized knowledge and sometimes there is updated info.  There is also a handy wiring diagram available.

We also highly recommend consulting the Adjust & Set-up page in the Technical section so you get the best out of your Kinman pickups.

** Alnico-K is a unique proprietary Alnico rod magnet developed by Kinman in 1985.  It is Alnico-5 but has 40% less string pull than Alnico-5 so sustain is longer and there is much less clatter from string crash and no Strat-itis string warble.

* Fender and Stratocaster and Strat are registered Trade Marks of Fender Musical Instrument Corp, Inc.  Kinman is not associated with FMIC but they kindly permit us to refer to their Trade Marks to reference our products.


IMPERSONATOR E56 Zero-Hum Pickups-Demo

Comparing Impersonator E56 with Suhr v70

Kinman impersonator E56 front pickup test


Steven Whitchurch
UNITED KINGDOM | 10-Jul-2020

The Impersonators have knocked it out the park and sound better than my original 62s and 97% of my mint original 57s. These pickups have the air and the top end sparkle that I crave, and with no hum. That’s a stunning achievement given the laws of physics and the fact that other brands, even the big ones like Duncan, DiMarzio and Fender themselves, have not been able to match these Kinmans.

Michael Wingate
UNITED STATES | 01-Jan-1970

First off let me say the set of E56 pickups I received are absolutely phenomenal. They put my Suhr V60s to shame. I also gotta say the authentic Knopfler quack is so astounding with these E56. Anyway thanks, can’t say enough about how blown away I am.

I am also very satisfied with the K9 harness and it’s build quality and convenience.

Terry Perry

Thank you for the SRV set (3x Impersonator E56). This set has a very unique sound. Just the right amount of sparkle, thwack, upper mids, and not too much low end. All string response including the plain are even and balanced. They are bright and vintage at the same time. I don’t believe it’s the guitar, it’s the unique sound of the pickups. The SRV set is exactly the sound in my head for this particular guitar. It was what I call a wild-ass educated guess. They are unique to my ear in that they have the things I like in a vintage tone with out the things I don’t care for like the clanky crashing sound many true 52 / 54 vintage Fender pick ups have.

Paul Rossiter

(Technical assistant to Hank Marvin and creator of the TVS Echo unit)
I put a set of Impersonator 54 and a set of Impersonator E56 into my 2004 American Strat and a Mexican Strat and they sounded great in both. I did a lot of detailed comparisons with Fender CS54’s (through my Vox AC15) with the Impersonator 54’s and the original Shadows recordings and am completely blown away! You have certainly achieved your goal of nailing that early tone in a noiseless pickup. The 56’s have that bite of the early sound without any of the harshness that sometimes is evident with the Fender CS54’s, particularly in the bridge position. In comparison the Impersonator 54’s are just a very slight touch more mellow (which Hank likes) but still full of life and air. Needless to say they are both perfectly balanced and there is no hum or noise. These pickups completely transformed the Mex Strat with it’s original horrible bright, tinny sound of the original Mexican pickups. Gary Taylor and I spent the afternoon recording Blue Star with the 54’s and they absolutely nailed the sound of the original. Stunning stuff! Both the Impersonator 54 and the Impersonator E56 pickups are superb and without hum, an incredible achievement! I take my hat off to you.

John Schloz
Texas, USA | 25-Jan-2017

Ok guys, I admit it…I was a little nervous about the Clapton set. I’ve had the Woodstock set for a couple of years and they’re soooo good I pretty much stopped playing my other guitars. Would the A56’s be as good?… Hellyeah!!!!! I’m just blown away!! Just wanted you to know these are THE BEST pickups ever. I’ve been playing for 35 years and always been a humbucker man. Now, I’m looking to Kinman-ize a Jaguar, a couple of Tele’s and a Danelectro. Thanks for the OUTSTANDING pickups. I am singing the praises of Kinman to all my guitar buds here in Texas. Now let’s see, Broadcaster set for the two teles, jaguar dano …man, my wife is going to kill me.

Tarek Makky
Flywheel, USA | 25-Jan-2017

This is a review in regards to the new Impersonator A56 set for strat. I have a John Mayer signature strat that I replaced the pickups in with Lollar Blackfaces and loved the upgraded sound. Then I decided to try out the A56 pickups as I was sick of noise problems in old buildings. These A56 are beefier, spankier, more even, and more dynamic than the Fender Big Dippers or the Blackfaces I had tried. Its been said before but I’ll say it again, these pickups are not only SILENT compared to my other single coils, let alone my humbuckers, but they SOUND better than the other single coils, by far. I would still install these pickups even if they weren’t noiseless. That’s how good they are. I have a full set in a guitar and have just ordered two more for a fat strat. Perfect combination of technology, vintage sound, and usability. Well done Kinman and you have earned a customer for life.

Martin Stewart
USA | 25-Jan-2017

As I said, when we played the show a couple of weeks ago it was our first in a long time (18 months) due to personnel changes and my drummer breaking a finger. However, no one had heard the new guitar. The reaction I received from people was pretty amazing, players and general public alike. The dynamics from the clean tones are huge, very bell like with a wonderful natural sustain, a recording doesn’t quite capture it in all honesty. The lead sounds just soar. For me the balance between the pickups is very good, no ice pick to my ears, sweet soaring lead…seriously my tone really is great.

Beau Cottle

I’ve had time to put these pickups through their paces and they are fantastic! Thank you so much Joe for your help.

Belgium | 16-May-2016

Impersonator A56 & Gilmour set: thank you for transforming a good guitar into a great, expressive polyvalent quiet and inspiring instrument. Long live Kinman!


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