Anyone else think Texas Specials are off?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by scott1568, May 13, 2008.

  1. scott1568

    scott1568 Member

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    I have an SRV strat with the Texas Specials it came with. I like the bridge P/U just fine especially after I installed a base plate, but the neck pickup doesn't sound like traditional Fender strat to me. It certainly doesn't sound like SRV in my opinion. I am not trying to be SRV, I bought the guitar for it's neck profile a long time ago, but I really liked that woody neck pickup tone he got.

    Does anyone agree? What did you use for a replacement? I think the Specials are overwound, so should I stay away from pickup set up that way?

    thanks
     
  2. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I hated the Texas Specials I had in one guitar. They were terrible.
     
  3. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    If you lower them down in the pick guard a bit, perform a treble-bleed mod on your guitar's volume knob and turn the volume down to 5 or so (4-6 - adjust tone control to taste), and use them with a black-panel or Vox-ish amp pushed with an overdrive (or cranked), they work well. Check out Henry Garza of Los Lonely Boys - he gets a killer tone with them.
    For amps with a big mid-range hump to begin with... not so much....

    jb
     
  4. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I always thought they were more a marketing exercise ("Texas!!!!" SRV!!!) rather than a decent pickup design.
     
  5. ReddRanger

    ReddRanger Member

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    I agree with this. The one set I had in a Strat for a while sounded good when they were set lower. I didn't do the trebble bleed, but they worked well with a rosewood fret board. I tried them in a maple board Strat and did not like that combo.
     
  6. scott1568

    scott1568 Member

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    I did lower them once a little and noticed an improvement. I always run the volume and tone to max and then set amp/ pedals to that. I think I will try experimenting with your advice though thanks.
     
  7. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    In my experience with Texas Specials, they seem to be more sensitive to the wood around them and to their height adjustment than any other pickup I've tried in a Strat. A few years ago, I tried the same exact Texas Special set in several Strats and they sounded like pooh in some while they sounded excellent in others. But the Texas Special neck & middle pickups do generally sound better to me somewhere around 1/16" above the pickguard...but it takes a little while to find their sweet spot because the pickups seem to interact with each other more so than other Strat pickups I've tried, even if they aren't switched on at the time.

    FYI...I recently purchased a set of Texas Specials to try in a few of my current Strats and I think Fender accidentally sent me a set of (Mayer's) "Big Dippers" because the neck pickup only reads 5.8k on my meter, and spec is supposed to be 6.2K...go figure. BTW, they sound excellent in one of my current Strats, especially that under wound neck pickup. Maybe I just got lucky...for once in my life ;).

    However, while I like the Texas Specials in some Strats, the Van Zandt Vintage+ set sounds closer to the SRV sound than any other non-vintage Strat pickup I've tried. The stock pickups in my old '64 Strat nailed that SRV tone though...but I'm sure that old wood had something to do with it too ;).
     
  8. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I had a set in an Am Std back in the mid 90's and liked them just fine. I haven't tried them in anything else, though.
     
  9. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong...

    In the days when pickup winding wasn't an exact science, some pickups would come out "overwound", more windings than normal. This made them hotter, and some people really liked it. Some people were even trying every Strat they could get their hands on trying to find ones with overwound pickups.

    The Texas Special is simply an overwound pickup. This is what I always heard. In any case, I have a Texas Special Strat, it's one of my favorites, and I use it to play SRV songs with great results.

    FWIW, I believe Mark Knopfler's Strat has them too.
     
  10. StratTone

    StratTone Member

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    Yeah they deffinetly missed the mark with the TS. I have an SRV as well and would like to put different pickups in it. I did find that TSs do sound good in beat up squires though. haha
     
  11. stump

    stump Member

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    I've got them in my 1997 Roadhouse Strat and have no issues with them. I just lowered them a bit.
     
  12. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    dont do it for me either

    fralin blues specials are a better bet:Spank
     
  13. scott1568

    scott1568 Member

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    OK I've been playing around with the height screws through Guitarport tonight. A little adjustment does make a big difference. I'm going to wait to the weekend to experiment with my amps before I run out and buy another set for now. Thanks
     

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