Neck humbucker in a tele? (full/mini/etc...)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jrm, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. jrm

    jrm Member

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    Hey fellas:

    So I am building a tele and I think I want something different than a single-coil in the neck. Of course, that leads me to a 'bucker of some kind.

    I've enver used a mini bucker before... what would be the advantages/disadvantages of one of those?

    Overall I'm lookign for a guitar that can get a great rock tone, and still clean up nicely and play well with others.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    -jon
     
  2. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    Personally - I like a tele neck hum that fattens up the tone but stays clear and out of that typical muddy neck hum rutt. I really like WCR various PAF Humbuckers - they are articulate and clear.

    I have a fender full range humbucker in my 70's tele that I am partial to.

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  3. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a Suhr Tele custom built. It has a Suhr SSV bucker in the neck and a Dimarzio VV Hot T in the bridge. This guitar can do hard rock to jazz, plays and sounds amazing, all while being noiseless. It's one of my main gigging guitars. When I put it on, I don't take it off. Both pickups on is a perfect blues, soul and R&B tone.

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  4. teleman65

    teleman65 Member

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    I like a decent PAF type pickup in the neck of a Tele.
    I have a T-Top in the neck of my '72 Tele and it's perfect for me.
     
  5. iowa

    iowa Supporting Member

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    You might want to consider a p-90 in the neck of your tele. I have one in my aerodyne and I really like it. It has more beef than a s/c but none of the muddiness you often get with neck h/b's.
    And position 2 with both pickups is....dreamy.
     
  6. Bhodie

    Bhodie Member

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    I put a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover in the neck of a Tele Deluxe (already routed for humbuckers so the only thing you have to do is drill out a little where the "legs" of the pickup hit the body.. the route is not deep enough)

    Sounds awesome..
     
  7. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    I have a Rice Custom with a Truetone PAF in the neck and Van Zandt flatpole single coil in the bridge with a Superswitch (4-pole, 5-way design). When tapped, the pickup is actually "half-tapped" - the low fequencies come from both sides and the high frequencies from the screw side only. The switch also selects the capacitors and pot values - .044 & 250k for the single coil settings and .022 & 500K for the humbucker settings.

    All kinds of stuff under the control plate - 500K resistors in parallel with 500K pots changing the value of that pot to 250K and two .022 capacitors in parallel making the value .044. Just don't ask me how it works or how it all fits under the plate. But over the past two years, this guitar has churned up quite a bit of interest among players wanting to know how it produces the tones and sounds that come out of it.

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  8. kebotrans

    kebotrans Gold Supporting Member

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    My Tele has a Lollar mini Hum It is a great match.


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  9. auffredou

    auffredou Member

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    Dont want to hijack the thread, but I came here to start a thread asking a similar question! I really like the sound of the 52 Tele Reissue Hot Rod guitars with the mini humbucker in the neck. I have a 2008 American Standard tele, and I know they are routed for humbuckers, but is there a way to put a mini humbucker in? And would there be a pickguard that would fit with the right screw holes?
     
  10. robyogi

    robyogi Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a tele with a HB in the neck. When switching b/w the neck and bridge, I've always found the HB too bassy to match the bridge. Unless you can trick it out like zombywoof's tele (very cool, BTW), I think the controls - the values of the pots and caps - seem to work better for one or the other. I'm going to switch the HB to a brighter pickup and see how that works out. It's nice to have the versatility in one guitar, but the tonal difference is too great, to my ears anyway and I don't have the skills to do all the trickery. I think the key is to have a bright, non-muddy pickup in the neck.

    auffredou - you should be able to find a mini-HB pickguard from Fender or Warmoth that will fit your tele. Also, some builders make mini-hums inside standard HB sized covers that you could try. Would a filtertron style pickup work? I think TV Jones makes one. And Curtis Novak makes a filtertron in a HB cover. Dimarzio makes the EJ HBs, which are supposed to sound sort of like a Gretsch or mini-hum, depending on who you ask.
     
  11. Chris Rice

    Chris Rice Member

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    I have an early 70's Gibson minihumbucker in one of mine, paired with a Voodoo TE60BL.
    Mini humbuckers are typically brighter than full-size humbuckers and have a lower output.
    This makes a better match with most tele bridge pickups.
    The old Gibson minis are not all created equal, my favorite new mini is Lollar's.

    Old photo:
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  12. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    :drool That's one bitchin' guitar, and I'm not really a Tele guy. Whoa!


    Peace,

    jb
     
  13. Tweedledee

    Tweedledee Member

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    I'm quite partial to mini humbuckers in the neck position of Teles. It's a modification I've done several times and I'm quite happy with the results. My favorite one is the Seymour Duncan SM1-N "Vintage" - the same one in the Hot Rod '52 Tele. Very articulate and punchy, great midrange bite, extremely smooth when you back off the volume a hair, and it pairs well with a standard Tele single coil bridge pickup.

    A P90 in the neck position of a Tele is also a great option.

    Here are a few of the Teles that I've modded with mini buckers in the neck.

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  14. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    The Fralin P-92 works particularly well in the neck of a Tele. It is fat, rich, articulate, clear, great snap and wide range. It eliminated the mud associated with pickups in this position. It's my favorite!

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  15. jrm

    jrm Member

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    This is all great info fellas. Thanks so much! Keep it coming!

    I keep hearing that it can eb difficult to balance out the neck and the bridge with regards to volume. Would it be possible to install 2 concentric pots so each pickup has it's own volume and tone control to help balance things out? Or is this just adding more complications?
     
  16. Chris Rice

    Chris Rice Member

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    It can be done, and can help. It becomes slightly fiddly in use, but not a problem if you aren't a bigtime knob user (swells are difficult on concentrics).
     
  17. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    I consulted with Dan (Danocaster here on TGP) about this when he built mine. I never considered concentric pots, but we came to a solution that I think works just fine.
    First try balancing pickup outputs closely. Dan had Peter Florence do an underwound Humbucker for the neck and an overwound single for the bridge. Next, and this was a stroke of genius IMO, we decided to connect the tone pot to the bridge only. This eliminates the extra loading on the neck, and allows the stock 250k volume to be used, and functional with both pickups.
    All 3 pickup positions are very usable, and it gives me a great combination of tones. Highly recommended if you are considering a humbucker in the neck of a Tele

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  18. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    Thanks - wish I could take the credit but it all goes to Chris and Rich Rice who figured how to make this thing work and would not end it to me until it did.
     
  19. Vibro

    Vibro Member

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    A mini-hum might be just the ticket to balance the bridge, but you should look into a TV-Jones Gretsch pickup.
     
  20. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    +1 on the TV Jones. Fantastic and unique sounding. I have a TV Jones Classic in the neck of a tele-style axe, and it sounds great. Very good clean tone and surprisingly great ROCK tone. At least I was surprised; those who know Gretsch-style pickups know they can rock.

    I haven't paired one with a Tele bridge, but in my head it sounds great.
     

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