Alternative to Joe Bardens for Telecaster

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Page, Oct 11, 2005.


  1. Page

    Page Member

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    I sold my set of Barden Tele pickups a while ago but now have the ideal guitar for them. My Anderson Hollow-T really needs something like the Bardens but as they're out of production I'm looking for an alternative. Of course I should never have sold the original set but we've all done something like that. Anyone care to recommend a subtitute?
     
  2. El Jimbo

    El Jimbo Member

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    I haven't heard Bardons...are they like are traditional twangy tele pup or fatter?

    My first three electrics were teles...I love 'em. So far my favourite pups are Kinmans AVn-60's...just fantastic, classic tele style pups irrespective of noiseless design or not.
     
  3. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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  4. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Member

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    semour duncan antiquity or antiquity II's
     
  5. al carmichael

    al carmichael Member

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  6. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    Not sure if they're on his site, but WCR, http://www.crcoils.com, has a new Tele set out that kills. I've heard a pair in person, and another TGP member, GuitarsFromMars, swears they killed his Barden's as well. He sold the Barden's, put in the WCR Tele pups and never looked back. I've heard this from two sources now, plus my own ears. I'm not a Tele man, but I liked what I heard over the Seymour Antiquities in the same Tele. FWIW
     
  7. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Am I the only one who always felt that Barden's were way bright and at times harsh? Always took me major tweaks on the amps

    Harry Jacobson
    www.harryj.net
     
  8. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    Sorry, I've been cross posting this audio clip a bit, but I feel it just ooooozes tone IMHO anyway... Well my Mom would agree too :)

    It is my chambered "Tele" http://www.harryj.net/PT1.JPG
    with the Dimarzio Protrack in the neck and Virtual Hot Tele in the bridge. I had the neck pup in parallel mode for this clip, when in series mode it is far more "PAF" like.


    http://www.harryj.net/tele_blues.mp3




    Harry Jacobson
    www.harryj.net
     
  9. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

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    Several years ago, I used Barden pickups in both Teles and a Strat. Even though I used them, and liked them, I have to agree they can be very, very bright, and they did require their own amp settings. I found that it got to be a chore when gigging with a Barden-loaded guitar and a non-Barden-loaded guitar. The amp settings for each were nowhere near the same, but I'd often forget to tweak the amp when I switched guitars. I eventually gave up on Bardens, simply because they were too bright.
     
  10. jayn

    jayn Member

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    Do you really think that's an ideal match to start with? When I had an Anderson Hollow T it was super bright. When I had Bardens in a fairly mellow sounding Tele, they were bright. Sounds like a painful combo to me unless your amp is very dark :) .

    That said, I had a chance to play my Barden-equipped Tele back to back with a Lawrence-equipped Tele (non-blades) and the Bardens sounded way better (the Lawrence pups just sounded a little flat afterwards).

    If I was in your shoes, I suppose I'd try the fattest sounding Kinman Tele pups that I could find.
     
  11. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Uh-huh,Big Mouth Satan Dude,I was told not to spring these quite yet,BUT-I sent Wags a copy of Roy Buchanan's'Second Album' on Polydor with the admonition that if they didn't sound spot on,not to F___in' bother...well,he bothered and I popped 'em in(Broadcaster set#1)and they absolutely stunned me-all the tone,chime,harmonics and balls of Nancy(Roy's '53 Tele) without the 60 Hz racket that single coils are known for...these are shielded to within an inch of their respective lives and I sold the Bardens for a premium to pay off some bills-I have to say the Bardens were MY benchmark for over 15 years,but Wagner has somehow managed to get the original tone of a 1948-1953 Broad/Telecaster without resorting to parlor trick or smoke/mirrors...OK,the bad news-they are a pain to wind and cost accordingly(350$ a set),but Wags seemed to think there MIGHT be a demand for these...I told him to quit eating so much red meat-but the ol' bastige just will not listen... :D
    The construction is spot-on vintage Fender with impeccable grounding and machining to a fare-thee-well.All Tele Hounds,pay attention-these are quieter than the Bardens were!
    Cat's out of the Scumbag,
    GFM
     
  12. Bonedance

    Bonedance Member

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    Have you taken a gander at the Dimarzio Fast Tracks or Choppers? I don't know how they compare tone wise to Bardens, but they may be an option.

    For great sounding, low cost noisless, the Virtual Vintage tele pups from Dimarzio have sure done the trick for me. The Hot T bridde is a very ncie sounding pickup. Capable of nice spanky twang, yet morphs right in to P-90 territory with the tone control rolled down a bit.

    For more girth, the Tone Zone T is a real beaut. In split mode, it's very twangy. Full on bucker mode is very phat.
     
  13. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    I've not heard the WCR's but none of the other pickups mentioned really sound much like a Barden. I've not heard anything yet that does. I'm not sure what is meant by the WCR's "killing " the Bardens means exactly, but certainly there are many very good sounding tele pickups being made.

    If the WCR's sound just like a '53, then they don't sound like Bardens. In fact, if they don't buzz they don't sound like a '53 either... You can't have it both ways!:D

    In the right guitar, Bardens are magical....listen to Kirchen's tele for example. He can get any kind of tone under the sun with that guitar. They can be too bright in the wrong guitar. I like to match pickups to particular guitars, so I can't generalize too much. Bardens are still my favorite non-vintage style tele pickup, Hamels are currently my favorite vintage style, and there are a ton of pickups that work just fine besides those.

    You don't say what wood your hollow-T is, but if it is swamp ash/maple, the Bardens may not be the best choice. My hollow -T was pretty bright to begin with. I'd start by trying to figure out exactly what you *don't* like about the stock pickups, and go from there. Otherwise it's pretty hard to recommend anything.
     
  14. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    I posted a clip using the pro track and virtual vintage hot tele bridge pickup in an earlier post on this thread. Both kill, but not as bright as Barden IMHO

    Fast track 1 is a great pup a bit closer to a single coil tone
    I do love the Tone Zone T, and I agree that it splits beautifully I have yet to try a chopper, cruiser is one of my favorites... lots of clips on my site

    HJ
     
  15. Don Rusk

    Don Rusk Gold Supporting Member

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    The Joe Bardens are some of the hottest pups I ever played,,,, only thing that puts out more: Joe Mama ;)

    I think alot would depend on the woods of t he Tele you were comparing with too...


    Ive been very happy with an old Duncan vintage stack bridge and a TVJones filtertron in the neck,,, lots of useful variety.....
     
  16. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    You can have it both ways-Leo Fender didn't use the shielding or winding techniques that are available today...Wags has built enough stuff that when he says it can be done-it gets done...part of the appeal of my 1st batch set of Bardens was that Joe and Danny used 'Nancy',Roy's '53 Tele as a benchmark for tone and output-I was hanging with those guys as we had mutual friends in the D.C. 'burbs-let me tell ya,Bardens mistakes didn't sound bad either...I don't disagree with you about wood choice-Swamp Ash and maple necks are it for me.I will say that if you haven't heard the WCR set don't knock'em before you try 'em-they are as close as one will get and I have only been using this set about 6 weeks on the gig and in the studio...I have played or owned at least 20 Teles built before 1958 and played a whole lot more...We live amidst a plethora of choices and Joe is no longer winding for the public-WCR is my choice for the Vintage Tele or Broadcaster sound...Oh and I have heard Bill Kirchen about a babillion times at the Sunset Grill in Annandale-good player and I can get the same tone and more from the WCR's than I could get from the Bardens...
    Tone to Ya,
    GFM
     
  17. Page

    Page Member

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    I really appreciate all the suggestions. For those who asked, my Hollow T is Alder with a rosewood board neck. The only improvements I want to make are in the electonics. Both my Andersons have linear pots with the 'vintage voicing' which has forced me to play using a volume pedal because its easier than getting the sweet spot on a linear pot. Rather then just change the pot I'm going to upgrade everything.
    I listened to the stock pickups a decided that they're not quite getting there and as my benchmark was my set of Bardens in a Japanese Tele I thought i'd start there. As they're unavailable I put a post here for suggestions. I've been investigating a S90 by Harmonic Design, which is a tele shaped P90 type pickup and a Lollar Charlie Christian which sound from their descriptions as though they may fit the bill.
    I'd welcome hearing from you if you have tele pickups for sale, just mail me.
     
  18. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    I'm not knocking anything....re-read my post if you think I am. You'll just have to forgive me if I am somewhat skeptical of claims of "nailing" certain tones, or "killing" another pickup. Joe used Nancy as a model for his pickups too, but you know, I don't think they sound like Nancy and I don't know anybody else that does either. They sound great in their own right but they sound like Bardens.

    Now you claim that you can cop the same tones as Bardens *and* Nancy with the WCR's with less noise than Bardens. Maybe that's true, but it's a mighty big claim, and you are apparently buds with Jim so not entirely unbiased. I've used Jim's HBers before and they are very good. I have no doubt that his new tele pickups are very good also. All I am saying is that they sure have a lot to live up to from your review and I remain skeptical but optimistic.:cool:
     
  19. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    If you've tried Bardens and that is your benchmark tone, they are certainly worth a try, especially in an alder/RW Anderson. Why not just pick up a set off ebay? They will cost more, but you may as well start there. If it's not up to what you remember from your other guitar, you can always just sell them for the same price. Otherwise you may as well just try the WCR's since GFM says they can nail the Barden tone as well.

    I doubt the S90 would sound much like a Barden. I suspect it would be fatter with more mids and less highs. The Lollar CC would require some routing in your Anderson, you may not want to do that.....
     
  20. Page

    Page Member

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    If I could find a set on Ebay, I'd buy them but they seem to be getting harder to find. If anyone on TGP has some to sell, I will certainly buy them.
     

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