most versatile tele pickup arrangement

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jrm, May 1, 2008.

  1. jrm

    jrm Member

    Messages:
    2,772
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Hello friends:
    I am putting together a dream tele in my head as I embark on a build in the next month or so. I am trying to figure out my pickup configuration and thought I would bring it to you for some input.

    I am mainly a humbucker player. I've got humbuckers in all my guitars (except for the strat), but love what a single coil can bring to the table. I am also aware that there is a lot of magic in the single coil in the bridge of a tele. That seems to be where some of the mojo resides!

    Originally I thought about throwing a humbucker in the neck and keeping the bridge single coiled. However, would I get better versatility out of putting a humbucker in the bridge that I can split? That way I can set up the tele to give me split coil sounds or humbucker sounds?

    Looks like maybe Rio Grande makes a pickup for the bridge that is well suited for this. What are your thoughts? How should I set my tele up for max versatility?

    Thanks!

    P.S. I am sure this has been discussed ad naseum, but I can't fidn the appropriate threads. If you would just prefer to point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it!
     
  2. Will Chen

    Will Chen Member

    Messages:
    5,589
    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Allen, TX
    Hum cancelling Strat neck, hum cancelling strat middle, hum cancelling tele bridge, piezo saddles.
     
  3. Will Chen

    Will Chen Member

    Messages:
    5,589
    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Allen, TX
    BTW - Those dual single coil Rio Grande's sound great. A little more high end than a traditional humbucker but split is without question a true single coil.
     
  4. playon

    playon Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,865
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    Washington State
    [​IMG]

    I have a more traditional vintage-style Telecaster but if I need real versatility this parts-caster is what I use. Harmonic Design Z-90 in the neck, and Super 90 in the bridge, these are single coils but they are very quiet and sound clear and big, with lots of output.The secret to this guitar is that the bridge pickup is tapped and the guitar is set up with a 4-way switch. When the switch is all the way to the right, it's full winds & has the fat singing P-90 vibe, one click to the left and you are in hot twangy territory, then the middle position is the lower-wound tap combined with the neck PU which is nice and chirpy, the last position is the neck pickup alone. It's not the prettiest thing in the world but I can cover just about anything with this guitar. Scott at Harmonic Design does not advertise the tapped Super-90 option but he will make you one if you ask, for a small upcharge. I think mine cost $125 or something like that. It's nice to have the adjustable poles on the bridge pickup too.
     
  5. rnib2u

    rnib2u Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Fralin Unbuckers are good in the bridge for splitting. 2 single coil pickups in one space, with one of the single coils with more winds that is used when the pickup is split. Not as much of a power drop when the pickup is split. When it is split, it sounds like a P 90. You can get it wound to your specs from Lindy. Cool pickup IMO.:RoCkIn
     
  6. Tinman

    Tinman Member

    Messages:
    1,949
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    Rockford, Illinois
    While I'm not exactly a Tele purist, to me what you are proposing isn't going to result in a guitar with the Tele "mojo" that you're seeking. In my opinion, split pickups are a compromise. Yes, they do the humbucking thing well, but I don't think they do the single coil thing as well.. If you really want a Tele vibe, put a regular old Tele single coil in the bridge, at least. Its more versitile than you may think. If you like Rio Grandes, the Muy Grande Tele bridge pup does a lot of things well.
     
  7. B_of_H

    B_of_H Member

    Messages:
    4,547
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    Jayhawk Country
    I have a nashville style tele (mim) that was my first decent electric guitar.

    I have blues specials in there right now but I'm planning on putting a humbucker in the bridge soon. It should be able to do everything I want sonically then.
     

Share This Page