For those that have tried Fralin Stock Tele Pickups, anything better?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JKoeth, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    I have a 52 Reissue Tele that I love. I've got Lindy Fralin Stock Tele replacement pickups in it. Bought them from Callaham which means they were cryogenically treated for less feedback. A huge improvement over the originals for sure. I've also got brass compensated saddles from Callaham.

    I was attracted to this particular Tele because it sounded warmer and fuller than American Standards to me. However, the neck pickup is a tad bit dark for me.

    I'd like to replace the set. Vintage sounds are what I'm into.

    I also tried the Kinman Broadcasters a few years ago but they didn't seem as full so I went with the Fralins at the time.

    For those that have tried the Fralin Stock Tele Replacements, what did you find better?

    Lollars? Suhrs?
     
  2. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    Hamels. Da best on da planet.
     
  3. LightninBoy

    LightninBoy Member

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    I have a set of Fralin stock Tele pickups in a Grosh. Just to give you an idea of where I'm coming from, I bought this guitar mainly to serve in a 'vintage rock' type role - mainly for Zeppelin covers, but wanted to retain the Tele snap - just not too much of it. I swapped them for Fralin SP43's and Suhr Classic T LP bridge, simply because I like to experiment with pickups.

    Both of these sets were decent, but I wound up switching back to the Fralin stocks. The neck pickup is warm and articulate, excellent for blues in mine. You may want to consider swapping out the cap in your 52ri before changing pickups. Could be that a .022 or .047uf cap would fix your problem with the neck pickup. Having said that, I don't think you could go wrong with Lollars or Suhrs if the switching the cap doesn't help - I'd recommend Lollars if your using it primarily for vintage tones.
     
  4. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    I couldn't find a Hamel site. Where can I find them?
     
  5. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    Alan Hamel has no web site. You can contact Ron Ellis at t2ellis@pacbell.net and he will fill you in. Alan's a one-man shop. he builds.

    If you're willing to pay the money ($240 for a set) and wait the wait (he IS a one-man shop) they are the best on the planet.

    You can hear Hamels here

    and here

    the Strat in the instrumental does NOT have Hamels but the Tele does.

    All the guitars except the baritone in "Call Home" have Hamels.
     
  6. MojoHand

    MojoHand Supporting Member

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    Go here:

    Telecaster.com

    ...and do various searches for "hamel," "stuart," "oc duff," and "black guard." You will get more info and opinions than you can imagine. Whether it will help you choose, I don't know... it mostly just makes my head spin. Hamel and Stuart are the "must have" pickups du jour. OC Duff makes a reportedly accurate recreation of Roy Buchanan's "Nancy" pickups. A lot of people like Duncan Antiquities, a lot of people like Lollars, and, frankly, a lot of people like Fralins. There's probably not all that much difference at the end of the day (though the acolytes of unobtainium will swear to you that <insert brand here> sounds like nothing else). The main thing is to find pickups that suit your particular guitar and please your particular ears. In doing that, no one can really guide you and you'll just have to try them for yourself. The RIGHT way to do this is probably to buy about 5 or 6 different sets of highly regarded pickups and try them all in your guitar, one after the other. But no one ever does that...
     
  7. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

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    if you want a slightly brighter tele neck pickup - try the lollar vintage neck and keep your Call/Fralin bridge

    I agree the Hamels are killer but I've been waiting for OVER 7 months for a set. Ron Ellis keeps saying he's "expecting several sets in a few weeks" - I respond GREAT - then I never hear from him again. Until I email him and the I get a response that he's "expecting several sets in a few weeks". It has just gotten RIDICULOUS:mad:

    I want Hamels but I dont fell I should have to BEG - repeatedly !!

    If he does ever contact me again - I'll buy a set but there IS alot of other very capable winders out there
     
  8. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

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    I just emailed RON again - reminding him that I gotta be at the top of the list after 7-8 months

    we'll see....
     
  9. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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  10. blackburncustom

    blackburncustom Member

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    Hi,
    One on the very small list of tele neck pickups that are actually usable and not at all muddy is the Nocaster by Fender's custom shop. Bridge pickup is great, too. I have a set in my "baby": a solid rosewood tele I made for myself.
    Peace,
    Dave:p
     
  11. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

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    Completely agree. The Vintage Plus neck pickup is perfect, very usable. They don't have a chrome cover, the only potential downside.
     
  12. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    I've used Hamels / Suhrs / Fender Cunetto 10K Nocasters / Fralins / Harmonic Design Mini-Strat / Fender Texas Specials

    I was never crazy about the Cunetto 10k Nocaster wind. Too harsh and too much bite for my ears. Not a lot of personality across the tone pot but it did sounds pretty killer played through a dimed amp.

    The Texas Specials were bush league.

    The Harmonic Design Mini-Strat is a stellar pickup. Nails the Strat tone but it didn't work well with the bridge pickup that I had in the guitar {which was the 10K Nocaster}. I pretty much had the Mini-Strat in my tele for two years and used it almost exclusively. I removed it to try the Hamels.

    The Hamel bridge pickup was the most unique and had a very warm sound with a P90 sizzle. It's a gorgeous and versatile sounding pickup but not as much chime as Fralins. The Hamel Broadcaster 50's style neck pickup sounds great for jazz but I found it too flat for blues.

    The Suhrs are fantastic. John really has a good ear for voicing pickups. I did find the bridge to be a little bright but it's still a great sound. Nice hollow neck tone and the pickups together worked extremely well together. I would have kept the Suhr's and called it quits but I wasn't totally sold on the neck pickup but overall a warm and percussive set of tele pickups.

    I've never owned a set of Fralins that I didn't fall in love with. The set that you own is pretty slick but my all time favorite Fralins {for a tele} are his blues special set. The neck without the cover is closer to the clarity and punch of a strat and the bridge pickup is beefier and more musical to my ears. The midrange sounds fuller and the pickups played together are the best I've ever experienced. Smooth and sweet pickups and my favorite set to date.

    I think I have an exceptional sounding Telecaster and out of everything I've ever used the Fralins fit the personality of the guitar the best. Some pickups sound brighter and some sound pretty bland but the Fralin Blues Specials sound perfect. It might not be the same for another guitar, though.
     
  13. SLG

    SLG Member

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    Yes, it is. I have Fralin Blues Specials in my '52 Tele and my American Deluxe Tele. They are truly excellent pickups. Definitely my favorite Tele pickups. I prefer the slightly higher output and fullness over a stock 50's blackguard pickup.

    I have the Lollar Vintage pickups in one of my Teles as well. They are very good pickups as well. They give me a more traditional Tele sound than the Fralin Blues Specials.

    I wouldn't have any reservations recommending either Jason's or Lindy's pickups for your Telecaster. I'd like to try the Hammels, but 6+months and $200+ for a set. I don't see that happening.
     
  14. Improviser

    Improviser Member

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    A friend of mine has those Fralins in his '52 reissue. After hearing my Tele with Seymour Duncan Antiquity bridge and Dimarzio Twang King neck pickups (fantastic sounding, and well-matched pair), my friend will be replacing his pickups with the same.

    Geoff
     
  15. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    I've found the Lollars to be very good, especially the bridge. I've not played Fralin tele pups, though i've tried and not liked his strat pups. I found them shrill. I love some of his other pups , though. The Hamel pups are very , very good. The bridge is very good, but what kills me is the neck vintage plus pup. The lollar neck that i tried in the same guitar was good, but not as good.
    I'm getting up the motivation to try out the Hamel and Stuarts in my 67 tele. I DO know that the 67 and it's original pups sounded clearly better than Lollars or Hamels in a very good replica guitar, but perhap the "old wood" played a large part in that.
     
  16. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a set of Fralin Steel Poles in my tele, and my serach for the perfect tele pickup is over. My tele is a swamp ash/maple neck combo that is pretty bright. The Steel Poles balance the brightness out quite nicely. I think that it is a good cross between a regular tele pickup and a p-90. The bridge still has some twang to it, but its not as trebly as before. The neck is killer! Fat tones with just a hint of Telecaster spank.

    I'd leave the Hamels alone. Horrible customer service and no pickup is worth the BS you have to put up with. Just go over to the TDRRI to see numerous customer complaints.
     
  17. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    Great replies fellas!!!! Thank you so much and keep 'em comin'!!
     
  18. Bonedance

    Bonedance Member

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    For vintage sounds, you would be hard pressed to find a better sounding set ( IMO of course! ) than Lollars. Of course, Fralin, Novak, Tom Short, Aero, Lynn Collins, J Rolph, Cam Atkinson, Truetone, et cet, all wind great pickups.

    I've also been very pleased with Duncan Antiquites, Dimarizo Twang Kings & Dimarzio V V's in various teles.

    I have a set of vintage wind Electrokrafts that will raise your blood sugar the moment you hear them....they are that sweet.

    I have no doubt the Hamels are fantastic, but after reading numerous details of mis ( or lack of ) communication and broken promises....no thanks!

    A buddy used Harmonic Design Vintage plus tele pups and has seen no reason to change for many a moon.

    A ton of great options out there.
     

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