Is there a Genuine Fender and a Custom Shop version of the Twisted Tele pup?

grateful.ed

Member
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2,183
Just picked up a Twisted Tele pup that's new in package and described in ad as "Genuine Fender".

I also saw some described as "Custom Shop" but they were not in packages, and were about twice as much.

Are there 2 versions? Or is the CS version just taken out of a CS guitar?
 

Devin

Low Voltage
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I beleeev the box for these and many other fender pickups says "Custom shop" on it.
 

docfox

Member
Messages
371
For a while there you could only get the "Twisted Tele" pickup in a CS guitar. It was not available any other way, and if you found one for sale it would have to have been removed from a CS guitar. It would have come to you without Custom Shop packaging (like the ones you saw). You pay twice as much 'cause they are real CS "Twisted Tele" pups.

Not sure whether this has changed, but I'm a little suspicious. Perhaps Fender has now started to sell them as aftermarket items? Maybe somebody out there knows...
 

Tele Jr.

Member
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121
That's a good question.

I haven't been able to examine a CS vs non CS version of the Twisted Tele pup side by side myself, but I've heard about some differences that are obvious enough to suggest they are different.

I've heard that if you look at a TT pup from a Baja Tele vs a CS Tele, for example, you will note that the wires are different colored on each, which would be the easiest way to identify one vs the other.

Other differences I would expect to typically exist would be fairly predictable. Fender CS pups will typically have a so called carbon fiber bobbin vs a plastic bobbin for a non CS unit. Also the CS version is known to have the primo nickel/silver cover on the neck pup which I strongly suspect the non CS version would not have.

Jr.
 

docfox

Member
Messages
371
Interesting that the package says "PICKUP ASSY TWISTED TELE NK", but doesn't say "Custom Shop" anywhere on it. And I haven't seen CS pickups come in a cheapo plastic parts bag like that either. Strange. It may be real Fender, but I think it's a new regular production pickup.

I swapped out a TT pickup from a Masterbuilt Tele and still have it. Forget what color the 3 wires were - I'll check when I get home tonite.
 
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grateful.ed

Member
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2,183
It looks like there are two "types"....found this on another sellers ad. I'm wondering if the differences Tele Jr pointed out are the case here. This ad says the windings and components are identical.

This is the pickup featured in the Fender Baja series with taller poles and higher output. Great sounding, these pickups were designed to provide a beefier Strat-like sound in the neck position. They use taller magnets and heavier wire to accomplish that.

NOTE: These pickups are made here in the US, in the same building as the Custom Shop Baja pickups. All the specs match, the windings and components are identical, but they are not made in the custom shop. Also, although there are three wires, it is definitely a single coil pickup. The extra wire should be wired to ground to provide additional shielding. We bench tested one of these pickups and it reads 5.95 ohms.
 

Tele Jr.

Member
Messages
121
That quote seems like it may be a little misleading...

The TT pup for sale now does seem to be like the one found in the Baja.

But duly notable is that the Baja is held out as being CS designed, not true full blown CS. Calling it that is misleading.

Also just because the ohm reading is similar does not also confirm that all of the specs including the bobbin or cover materials are also identical to the true CS version as found on CS guitars.
 

vortexxxx

Silver Supporting Member
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10,508
Fender once stated that the custom shop and the regular version are the same other than the wire colors.
 

docfox

Member
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371
The wires on my swapped out TT are B/W/Y. No green. Like I said, I pulled it out of a CS Masterbuilt (built in '03 by Todd Krause). It's such a great pickup that I know I'll put it back in someday...
 

John Hurtt

Gold Supporting Member
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18,975
I believe that Alan Hamel was the original designer of the TT pickup, and when he left Fender it's my understanding that the pickups built afterwards were slightly different than the ones he made.
 

jayn

Member
Messages
980
I believe that Alan Hamel was the original designer of the TT pickup, and when he left Fender it's my understanding that the pickups built afterwards were slightly different than the ones he made.
If I understood correctly, that is what he told me a number of years back. He also designed the original Relic Nocaster bridge pickups to get as close as he could to what he wanted to hear in such a pickup, but Fender would not let him use the alnico III magnets that he used in his own pickups. Fender reversed course on the Nocaster pickups later.
 




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