Humbucker in neck of telecaster

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

  1. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    Love a HB in the neck position of a Tele. Never liked the neck single coil. BTW: HB in the bridge position is also great.
     
  2. saddletramp77

    saddletramp77 Member

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    As others have stated it can work beautifully with the right pickup pairing. eg; low wind/output PAF style, that or get a beefier bridge pickup. And I also agree re; mini humbucker or filtertron being excellent matches. The Fender Hot Rod 52 Tele is a superb example.

    All Keef aside, for the longest time I never understood why someone would even want a PAF in a Tele until I played one. Surprisingly it was fairly recent and naught more than the stock Fender American Performer HS Tele. At the very least they did an excellent job of pairing the stock pickups. I can’t say I know what a Shawbucker(Mr Roboto?) is but it works quite well in that build. For anyone curious about dropping a humbucker in the heck of a Tele, trying that one out at your local shop is worth it for context.
     
  3. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Gold Supporting Member

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    I have one because Keith, but I never use it.
     
  4. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    I’ve done it. I don’t actually think it sounds good at all... But I think it looks cool :)

    Since I never use the neck pickup live anyway it doesn’t really matter.
     
  5. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Yes, a humbucker in the neck (and the bridge) works beautifully. If I need to bring a single cutaway to a gig, I'll take a 2-humbucker Telecaster in place of a Gibson Les Paul anything every time.
     
    monty likes this.
  6. ifallalot

    ifallalot Supporting Member

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    I had a Nash T52 with a neck humbucker and it was great. I’m pretty sure they were Lollar pickups and the volume balance was perfect. I basically lived in the middle position
     
  7. Rossi163

    Rossi163 Supporting Member

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    If the neck humbucker is fairly low wind and bright sounding it can be magical in a tele. Especially the two PU's combined. Then flip to the neck PU for solos and it's go time!
     
  8. ballynally

    ballynally Member

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    The OP might opt f a Firebird style minihumbucker like a SM1n by Seymour Duncan(Fender Hotrod teles used to carry those.Go Google or Utube.)
    I had one f a while in a tele. Really good for blues and keeps the sparkle. I eventually changed it to an A3 standard SD neck pickup as it blended better w the bridge.
     
  9. Borealis

    Borealis Supporting Member

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    monty likes this.
  10. JayFi

    JayFi Silver Supporting Member

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    My experience with my MJT Tele is that you will want a hotter bridge pickup to get the balance right. Mine is set up with Dimarzios; I have a PAF Master in the neck and a Chopper T in the bridge. 500k pots with a resistor on the bridge pickup so that it see 250k.

    It's arguably my most versatile guitar. I play in a cover band that does a mix of rock and funk, FWIW.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    jamester likes this.
  11. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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    A bright, low wind PAF in the neck and a hotter bridge pickup will balance nicely and give a wide range of tones.

    I really like the Dimarzio Area Hot T for the bridge, hot enough to balance with a neck 'bucker but still looks traditional and retains some Tele flavor..
     
    Ben Furman and Paul Conway like this.
  12. hank57

    hank57 Silver Supporting Member

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    Imperial Low-wind, TV Jones Power-tron, mini humbucker, all these made my tele extra fun. But also love a straight Telecaster neck pickup just as much.
     
  13. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

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    Yep. It may have to mean...another Guitar. ;)
     
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  14. ChipOnly

    ChipOnly Member

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    Hard to balance in terms of output and tone. My first electric was a 72 custom and it's been persistent issue for that guitar, but part of that is RI WHRB issues too - I eventually replaced them both and am mostly happy.

    All depends on what's in the bridge, really. I think something like a firebird pup or filtertron would be a better choice than a typical PAF to pair for a regular vintage output tele bridge in terms of output and tone, and I think you end up with a guitar with a more unique voice, too. Besides the 72 I mentioned, the only tele I have with a humbucker at the neck (Duncan Jazz) has a lil 59 humbucker in the bridge. That, of course, works great. But it's function of what's in the bridge, not the bucker at the neck.

    It's cool if you can pull it off, but pulling it off will likely require some experimenting. As long as you are going into it with that caveat, rock on
     
    Paul Conway likes this.
  15. JohnnyBGoode

    JohnnyBGoode Member

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    I use a very low output one in my Tele's neck (5.6k). Sounds great, still has more output than the low output Tele bridge pickup (7k).
     
  16. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^

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    I’m not a fan as i don’t really like neck humbuckers in most situations. I would like to try a humbucker sized wide range in the neck for better clarity, but at the end of the day I prefer Esquires.
     
  17. Urobouros

    Urobouros Supporting Member

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    I have a 65 T-top paired with an overwound single coil in the bridge and it's perfect :aok
     
  18. TL;DR

    TL;DR Member

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    My tele is the only guitar I have ever owned that I haven’t changed pickups. It came with TX specials and makes me happy. I agree that if you needed a bucker, get one that splits well. I have a Fralin Unbucker in my PRS neck, and it is as advertised.
     
  19. john guay

    john guay Supporting Member

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    I prefer a P90 to a humbucker or mini humbucker in the neck position. I have a tele thinline with Budz pickups in this configuration and sounds great. Good balance in volume and tone. I also like a Strat pickup in the neck position on a tele.
     

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