Humbucker in neck of telecaster

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Paul Conway, May 23, 2020.

  1. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

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    This seems to be a time-honoured move. Anyone here done it? Does it work well or are there volume/tone balance issues with the single coil in bridge?
     
  2. Lonnie00

    Lonnie00 Member

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    The 90s MIM Tele Specials worked well IMO. Looked good too. Here's one in the fairly rare red burst.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    I've tried it and didn't like it at all, but ymmv. The last thing I want is a neck pickup that is noticeably hotter than my bridge pickup. I think a much better option is to use either a LP Deluxe mini hum or a Filtertron, they'll balance much better with a single in the bridge.
     
  4. vashondan

    vashondan Supporting Member

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    Love my Seth Lover. Its that two much love?
     
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  5. bossaddict

    bossaddict Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Works better in the body, IMO.
     
  6. ant_riv

    ant_riv Supporting Member

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    Lol
    My tone increased tenfold when I moved it from the neck to the body.
    Intonation got better also.

    And I agree that a Seth Lover balances very well.
     
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  7. COYS

    COYS Supporting Member

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    Yes it's a time honored move, and yes there are volume balance issues.
     
  8. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Silver Supporting Member

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    If you're looking at a new guitar or thinking about routing a Tele body, maybe a mini-humbucker or a Firebird pickup would be a better match? I have a partscaster with a Firebird at the neck and while the balance isn't perfect, it's within a range where picking dynamics alone can get you there.
     
  9. Madison

    Madison Member

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    I've had a couple like that but prefer an uncovered Fralin blues special for a tele neck. Raise it up high and its powerful, like a strat.
     
  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Member

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    As others have posted you actually have two issues.

    Volume balance which isn't all that hard to resolve with pickups that can approximate the right out put and are adjusted correctly.

    Tonal balance is the more difficult of the two IME. I use a humbucker size P90 in the neck of one of mine and went through four different bridge pickups to get to the one I felt blended best tonally with the neck when played together.

    If that's not a concern then chose those that sound best solo but when you combine them that's when conflicts come into play. I may replace the P90 with a humbucker but if I do it will be a very different version than many would think of.
     
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  11. Benz2112

    Benz2112 Supporting Member

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    Why limit yourself? You could put just about anything in a tele neck, a p90, a tron, Charlie Christian, Dynasonic, gold foil, etc etc. The aftermarket has given the average person the ability to get creative.
     
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  12. patshep

    patshep Supporting Member

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    I had a G&L Bluesboy with a Seth Lover in the neck that was incredible, that is a guitar I should have not let go, never went out of tune, never needed a setup, that neck humbucker was soooooo sweet
    it was a semi hollow though
     
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  13. monty

    monty Member

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    You can fiddle with pup height to solve some of the issues. Sometimes works. My Tele Custom is one that worked, sounds great in all positions. Having the 2 tone-2 volume set up helps also.
     
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  14. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I have the SD Mini hum in the neck of my Tele... sounds perfect to me. :aok

    (No volume issues with the mini IMHO)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  15. El Rey

    El Rey Silver Supporting Member

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    It is a good sound
     
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  16. TinFingers

    TinFingers Member

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    Like monty, I have a 72RI Tele Custom with 2 volume and two tone knobs. That configuration is a fantastic solution for balancing the pickup output.

    Of course, I had to spend a lot of time fighting with that guitar to find a tone that satisfied me. Installed a 1 Meg tone pot for the stock, dark-sounding neck HB. Installed a treble bleed mod to preserve that tone when the neck volume is lowered. And installed an SD Jerry Donahue bridge pickup for a little more output and low end.

    But that guitar screams now. I love it.
     
  17. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    I think it's a very good idea if you split the coil. That way you have a HB, a single coil and you keep the twang sound from the bridge. What's not to like?
     
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  18. Daytona57

    Daytona57 Member

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    I had a Pro Tone Fat Telecaster with SD Hot Rails Telecaster bridge pickup, push/pull single coils.

    I adjusted the OEM neck humbucker volume, by varying the pickup height, achieving somewhat parody with bridge pickup. Using a boost into the neck humbucker, produced a very nice sound.

    This is an excellent sounding guitar and my son liked it so much, I gifted it to him as he plays a lot of high gain music.

    YMMV
     
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  19. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    i agree on all accounts. unless you play neck only blues or change the bridge pickup to be even more output.
     
  20. 55GibsonLPJR

    55GibsonLPJR Member

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    I really love the wide range pickups and I went for a custom “low wind” for the neck of my tele= It’s perfect
     
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