Anyone put a tele pickup on a strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by garyh, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. garyh

    garyh Member

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    I'm wondering if I put a tele bridge pickup on my strat, would it sound like a tele? I like that bite from a tele but I don't know how much of a tele's sound comes from the pups. Does the bridge play more of a role in the tone, or the strings through the body, different body mass, etc.?

    I can't afford a tele right now so am contemplating a pickup change if it will do the job. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    Gary
     
  2. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

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    As an aside, several manufacturers - notably Harmonic design - make strat retrofits purportedly designed to sound like a tele.
     
  3. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I played a Suhr strat setup this way, sounded real nice. Still not a tele though, not as thin sounding but a tele still sounds different.
     
  4. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    The CS 54 bridge pickup gets into that territory. My tech was amazed at how close it was to his Tele and started riffing country licks that sounded pretty close.
     
  5. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

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    Of course, fitting a tele bridge pickup into a strat will require some routing. Robin guitars fit their strat-styled guitars with telecaster pickups. I think that in addition to the plate on the bottom of the pickup (there on teles, not on strats), another impact on the tone is the way that steel bridge that the tele pickup mounts to affects the magnetic field of the pickup. I've not played all the strat pickups with baseplates, but have played a couple, and not quite achieved tele-ness. Definately better than the stock strat bridge, but still not quite there, for me.
     
  6. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    This one dude name Lowell George did one time...
    Some consider him a good player.
     
  7. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I think the metal bridge plate contributes alot to the twang and attack in the tone, as do the brass saddles on the vintage style Teles. Harmonic Design makes one that fits with no routing, Scott's pickups are top shelf and worth a try. Lowell George (Little Feat, RIP) was famous for having put a Tele pickup in the bridge position of his Strat, sounded cool but not exactly like a Tele....
     
  8. DaveG

    DaveG Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a Strat set up like that for a while. It didn't take much to get the Tele bridge pup to fit the body, just some very minor clearancing. It took more time to file out the pickguard to get the pup to fit than it did the body.

    It sounded great, beefier than a Strat pup, but not quite 100% Tele. Most guys that played it didn't notice that it was a Tele pickup; they liked the sound, and wanted to know what kind of Strat pup it was. It was a fun experiment, but I doubt I would do it again... I'd rather just own two guitars! :D
     
  9. Walter Broes

    Walter Broes Member

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    I used to have a rosewood neck strat with two tele lead pickups, one in the bridge, and one in the neck position. It was surprising how much that guitar still sounded like a strat.
     
  10. KBR

    KBR Member

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    Made a 3 pup Tele bridge pickup Strat and it was the closest I ever heard to SRV's #1.
    BIG sounding, I may do it again, the pups were Van Zandt flat pole tele bridge pups.

    I also have owned about 5 Strats w Tele bridge pups and a Strat pup or two, I make alot of different featherweight Strats and Tele, and wish I could post em...
    maybe some one will post em for me, someday?
     
  11. Redbell

    Redbell Member

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    Rio Grande makes a strat pickup call a "stelly" that folks RAVE over.
     
  12. garyh

    garyh Member

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    Thanks for all the the great suggestions. I have some thinking to do.
     
  13. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    If you want to try a relatively cheap & easy experiment you could just start by adding a baseplate to your Strat's bridge pickup. Fralin makes a premade one which you can get through any number of online retailers & even on eBay. It's cheap, easy to install, and easily reversible. It's not quite the same as a dedicated Tele'esque pickup which was designed that way from the get-go, but it's something to consider.

    Another thing you may want to look into is to wire up one of the tone controls to the bridge pickup. That'll give you more control over the tonal characteristics of that pickup as well.

    But if you just want to go the replacement-pickup route & don't want to spend an arm and a leg Duncan just released one not long ago called the Twangmaster (I think) which is a Strat-sized Tele pickup. They're quite reasonably priced from what I recall and so far I've read great things about them, but haven't tried one yet so no personal experience unfortunately.
     
  14. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    The Duncan is the Twangbanger- overwound Alnico II with a base plate. It does get into "tele territory" ; nice & thick (but still twangs) for a bridge pup & gets growly (great for blues) with a little OD. It fits right into a Strat pup hole. Nice pup!
     

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