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Classic T: Tele Neck or P90?

Musachi

Member
Messages
175
Looking for opinions here - I play everything from rock to blues to jazz to prog...want a T style guitar, but not sure about what to do with the neck pickup. What's your view and why? Thx!

Josh
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,733
If you are using a high output bridge pickup, go for the P90. Tele neck pickup if you are using a standard-output Tele bridge pickup. Reason being that a P90 has a stronger signal with more midrange, which may not balance with a Tele bridge pickup.

My preference is to remove the metal cover from the neck pickup or use a cover that has a slot to expose the polepieces. This allows for for a clearer sound.
 

fitz

Member
Messages
2,637
How about a mini-humbucker instead of the standard tele or P90? I think that would pair nice with a slightly hotter bridge pickup and still be able to give you some pretty nice mid gain bluesy tones and still be able to do jazz. The mini-humbucker is one of my favorite pickups.
 
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thrashmetl

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,522
Not a P-90. I find P-90 neck pickups muddy even when matched with a P-90 bridge. Next to the thinner Tele bridge the contrast is 10x worse. Trying to figure out a wiring situation that works for this combo is a nightmare.

Now before I give you my recommendation, keep in mind that my handle Thrashmetl is one that I've been using for about 20 years now and doesn't reflect the music I listen to much anymore. I'm all about old school sounds and blues.

Now, on to the recommendation. The Dimarzio DP240 Minihumbucker. It is an absolutely perfect match to my 10k, A3 Broadcaster style bridge pickup. The volume and the gain of the pickups are perfectly balanced. The Dimarzio is not excessively baddy or muffled sounding at all. Lastly, it works like a dream with 250k pots, Dimarzio actually recommends them.

I have tried every neck pickup out there in the neck of my Tele, the Dimarzio is the only one that worked, AT ALL! I've had it in the neck of my Tele and the honeymoon never ends, it is truly the perfect neck pickup for a Tele.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
I think the DiMarzio Area T neck pickup is not only the best Tele neck pickup, it might be the best single-coil neck pickup period.

Having said that, I have two Teles and 'the other one' has a TV Jones Magnatron. It's a nice blend of minibucker and single-coil tone, essentially a Filter 'Tron with rod magnets instead of pole screws.

I think a P90 would be muddy compared to the bridge. If you set the amp up for good bridge tone, the P90 will be mud. If you set up for a neck tone, the bridge will break glass.
 

b_goatman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,389
Pete Biltoft at Vintage Vibe built me a set of pups, based on similar requirements as yours: I've been very happy with them.
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,420
Of your 2 options, I'd go P90 no question! I find most tele neck pickups pretty dark and useless.

Agree with the above post on the mini, however, I'd go with a vintage voiced alnico instead of the dimarzio ceramic, like a lollar, Klein or Fralin firebird pickup wound to about 6k. I know what I'm talking about on this, and if you try this you'll thank me later. I use 500k pots (yes even for the tele bridge pickup) and EQ the amp accordingly and use my knobs.
 

Rick51

Member
Messages
3,737
A vintage-type strat pickup is real nice in a Tele neck position. Take it a step farther, a Don Mare Stelly gives you that with a Tele bobbin and cover, fits a stock Tele.
 

Bluesdaddy

Member
Messages
981
I would prefer a P90, full humbucker or mini bucker myself.
My main tele is a 52 hot rod with a mini bucker ...Works perfect. Especially in the middle position.
 

Befuddled

Member
Messages
699
With all the talk of mini buckers I think a firebird pickup is worth mentioning. A little brighter than a mini to keep with the tele vibe
 

p.mo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,469
Keep the regular Tele neck pickup, but your best bet is to get a matching B/N set that is a proven combination.
 

Gclef

Member
Messages
3,648
the harmonic design vintage plus neck pickup is built like a p90 in a tele neck form. running a treble bleed and 500k pots makes it super versatile. the matching bridge pickup is no slouch either.
 

jimmyj

Member
Messages
5,558
Either a minihum or if you want to use a vintage style bridge pickup (great for R&R, imo) use a vintage style neck pickup that's rw/rp and install a 4way switch. That added series position resembles a minihum plus you still have the 3 traditional Tele tones.
 






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