Best Tele pickup for country

c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
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4,058
I am buying a Fender Esquire, I thought it would be cool to own an Esquire instead of the standard Tele. I want to put in a really nice twangy country pickup in the bridge. I've been debating about which pickups. The Fralin Stock Vintage and the Duncan Jerry Donahue have come to mind but what bridge pickup would you guys suggest?

Chad
 

gls500

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
760
The Lollar Vintage.

Instantly remind me of Pete Anderson's tone with Dwight Yoakam. Bakersfield all the way.
 

Unburst

Member
Messages
4,215
There are a lot of great Tele pups, including the two three already mentioned.

Just to throw a few more irons on the fire:
Hamel
Fred Stuart Blackguards
O.C. Duff

And, imo, Fender makes some pretty nice Tele pups themselves, Original Vintage, Nocaster and Texas Special are all worth investigating.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
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32,653
Originally posted by c_mac
I Duncan Jerry Donahue have come to mind
Chad
I use one of those and it sounds much like the sample on the Duncan website, so if that is country to you, try it. I think it is about as middy as I would like a Tele to be if I wanted to retain the classic character.
It also rocks quite nicely.
 

AaeCee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,274
I use and love a Jerry Donahue bridge in one of my teles. Plenty of twang, a hair more meat and sustain than some others. Also particularly well balanced string-to-string. A good all arounder.
 

charley

Gold Supporting Member
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3,333
I have Rio Grandes in my 68 thinline and the thing is a monster. Serious Attitude. Serious Balls. High output, twangy, and spanky as hell.

Listen to a clip at http://www.charleshenrypaul.com/rocknrollmp3.html

That's my 1968 Thinline Telecaster with Rio Grandes through my Two Rock Custom Reverb and 1x12 cab loaded with an Eminence Tonker. Mostly clean channel, solo on gain channel.
 

drolling

Member
Messages
6,102
Nothing wrong with the p-up that Fender uses in their 52RI. Plenty twang.

If you're considering noiseless designs, I just put a Kinman Broadcaster (AVn 48) in the bridge of my thinline. Thick & meaty but still lots left on top. Really cuts thru'..
 

Grap

Member
Messages
1,144
Another vote for the SD JD here. Not shrill at all with plenty of output. I've had one in my MIJ 50's Tele for years.
 

pokey

Member
Messages
3,061
Originally posted by pbradt
Alan Hamel Black Guards. The top of the Ziggurat. Nothing better.
I'm sure they're wonderful pickups, great reviews and all. Only problem is getting ahold of a set. It took a month to get a response and since then it's been 3 months and not a peep from Ron Ellis. I went with a set of Fralin Broadcaster hybrid's from Angela Instruments instead and really like them. Nice sound, reasonably priced, and available. I have Rios in another tele and they are nice, but for me the fralins seem to nail the sound I hear in my head.
 

Chicago Slim

Member
Messages
4,055
I would miss the neck/bridge sound for country. Some times I use the neck pickup alone for jazz, or the bridge only for rock. I have other guitars that sound brighter with the bridge only, but for real twang I'll use both pickups.
 

dave251

Member
Messages
330
IMHO, the Tele bridge plate is of more importance than the pickup itself. Needs to be stamped steel, with three adjustment saddles.

If your Esq. already has this................never mind....
 

Bonedance

Member
Messages
480
Originally posted by gls500
The Lollar Vintage.

Instantly remind me of Pete Anderson's tone with Dwight Yoakam. Bakersfield all the way.
Whew!!!!.......I'll go a big thumbs up on the Lollars. Are they "THE BEST"!?? I really don't know, but they certainly have what I consider to be excellent, classic tele tone. They also respond to the guitars volume and tone controls better than most pickups. I've not had the pleasure to try Rolphs, Hamels, Stuarts, Wolfe, Tom Short, ext, but I would venture a guess they are fantastic. Fralins are excellent. Tony at Electrokraft wound some of the sweetest vintage style tele pups around a few years back.

Some other pups I like for tele include: The Dimarzio Twang King set. Great price....killer neck pup. The bridge pup is on the polite side, but still a great sounding, cost efffective set. I also like the Virtual Vintage tele set from Dimarzio. The Hot T bridge is a corker! The neck pup does not ahve the chrome cover, but sounds very good. Fender Original Vintage are also very nice pickups. A3 mags and great tone. Most of the Duncan line is very good. JD bridge pup is very nice. A lot of people love the Broadcaster...while it's not a fav of mine, you can't argue with success. For classic country though, the 54's would probably be the best bet.
 

57special

Silver Supporting Member
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4,804
Well, you can't beat a good original...
I like the Lollar specials for a slightly hot bridge sound, and the Vintage neck is very sweet.
I'm kind of embarassed to admit it, but i got some hamels w/out a great deal of trouble, though you don't want to go in there expecting great customer service. Ron Ellis was pleasant when he contacted me. The good news/bad news, is the pups sound great! The neck pup is better than 98% of the vintage tele pups out there (pre 68 or so), and the bridge is a real nice balance between agressive and twangy. Not quite as good as the best Vintage bridge pups i've played (missing some craziness, somehow), but very close, and better than yer basic mid 60's bridge pup tone, IMO. The neck, though, is wonderful.
 

Possum

Member
Messages
10
If you play country all my tele pickups have been fine tuned with the help of a country player named Steve Rhian who plays/records/tours with Daryl Dodd in Texas. I wanted to work with a pro with really educated ears and who is living the working musician's life, so was lucky to find Steve.

We just finished working over my tele brdige Ice-House Standard Lead and here is what he had to say about it after playing it live at their shows:

"It's a real winner Dave! Sounds just great gong through my stage amp. All of what I want to hear and none of what I don't. I compared the brightness factor to my Joe Barden tele bridge and yours is not as bright. So I liked that about it right away. And, I've got it pared with a Barden neck and it matches up very nicely with regard to output. Using my pedals and driving the amp, I was able to get some real nice hamonic overtones which bloomed into some very musical feedback. Great tones and nice low end which wasn't boomy and didn't mud out at all in the mids. As far as the brightness is concerned, I thought it had just the right amount. Not screechy, nasaly, thin or tinney sounding. Real nice balance with a touch of sweetness. Responsive to picking dynamics and had a nice aggresive edge when pushed. It just seemed to react the way I wanted it to depending on how I played it. "

Anyway, visit my website and go to the tele area if you want to hear sound clips by a blues player (me), wish I could play country but am miserable at it....Dave
 




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