Closest substitute for Fender/ Seth Lover "wide range" pickups?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by tiltrite, May 29, 2007.


  1. tiltrite

    tiltrite Member

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    My favorite guitar is my friend's 1973 telecaster deluxe, which I have the good fortune to be babysitting while said friend is in China. The neck on it is absolutely perfect for me. I was going around and around about how to clone this guitar. In lieu of plunking down $2.5 to $3.5K for another '73 deluxe, some folks around here persuaded me to first try buying a MIM '72 deluxe reissue and upgrade the electronics.

    So I went to my local guitar-o-rama today and tried out a few of their '72 deluxe reissues, and one of them really got close to the feel of my friend's '73, so I bought it. (The three different '72 reissues I tried out all had noticeably different weights, neck feels, and tones, so I'm glad that I was able to try out a few rather than ordering one online and hoping for the best.)

    Although the electronics on the one I bought sounded the best of the three I tried, I imagine that I will get some even better tone if I do go ahead and upgrade the electronics.

    So, what is the currently available pickup that most closely resembles the tones of the Seth Lover wide range pickups found on these early 70's deluxes? If such an animal doesn't exist, what pickup would get the closest? Every once in awhile the originals spring up on ebay, but for some pretty crazy prices (like $400+ EACH!!!:messedup) I'd like to find something currently available that goes for under $300 a pair.
     
  2. JingleJungle

    JingleJungle Member

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    IIRC Rio Grande makes a drop in replacement for the WR routing.
    It must be pointed out though that apparently the secret recipe calls for CuNiFe mags in lieu of AlNiCo or ceramic....

    Anyway...setting pretty on a stash of original early 70s WR guitts myself (tele DLX, Custom, Thinline + a Starcaster) I can attest that the original p.ups do have that "something" going for them!

    JJ
     
  3. Casey

    Casey Member

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    Some Lollar Imperial Low Winds might be nice.
     
  4. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    I couldn't find one.

    There's a couple of threads here with a lot of info regarding the Wide Range pickups. As was pointed out to me by Mr. Lollar himself and I quote, "75% of the sound of those pickups is in the magnet material used which is no longer available". He could rewind them to 70's specs, but it's not going to get you there. The Rio Grande HB may sound great (i"ve not heard them), but they wont be the same.

    It cost me about $400 or so in trades to pick up a real set and it was well worth it to me in converting a new MIM 72' reissue thinline. I actually like this guitar much better than about 95% of the vintage ones I have played. Even with the cost of the pickups factored in, it's a much cheaper route to getting a great guitar.
     
  5. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    +1 on the "I couldn't find one." If the magnet material really is available, there is a market there waiting for someone to tap into it!
     
  6. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    Somebody needs to do this and make it available in the Fender Wide Range as well as normal PAF sizes.
    :drool
     
  7. Doodad

    Doodad Member

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    Seymour Duncan has a supposed "reissue" that Seth Lover signed off on a few years before he died. I have no clue how close they come only what mine sounded like.
     
  8. tiltrite

    tiltrite Member

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    Looks like I might have to bite the bullet and spring for an original. Well, I basically live on the bridge pickup so maybe I'll just buy a single WR pickup, and use something else for the neck pup.

    What years was that particular rare magnetic formula used for the WR pickups? So far I've seen them from 1972 through 1975.
     
  9. ChazMania

    ChazMania Silver Supporting Member

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    I recently sold my 73 Tele Deluxe but it did NOT have the original pickups in it. I looked for them or alternates for a long time. I had it for sale on here and a guy had a 73 Tele pickguard with original WR for sale, big bucks from what I recall, like 800-1000. So I sold the guitar as I never used it.
     
  10. tiltrite

    tiltrite Member

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    I tracked down and bought an original CuNiFe WR pickup (which cost almost as much as the guitar.) The RI guitar definitely comes very close to the feel of the original '73 I have, and after having it now for a couple days, it really doesn't sound half bad with it's RI electronics. I could live with it, but that would be against the GASSER credo :crazy. It will be a few day before the original WR arrives and it should be fun to hear the difference once I pop it into the bridge position of the RI guitar.
     
  11. Al Nico

    Al Nico Member

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    Have you tried replacing the stock 250K pots with 500K (or even 1Meg)?
     
  12. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    I looked for several months before I came across the pair I picked up. There just are not that many floating around out there and the few I have seen have been as much as double what I paid. Hard to say whether it's worth it for everyone, but I can say that it made this 72' thinline reisue a much, much better sounding guitar. I haven't gotten around to putting the right pots in it yet and I'm hoping that will be even mo betta.
     
  13. Garrett Bagby

    Garrett Bagby Member

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  14. jhc

    jhc Senior Member

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