Next Best Thing to Tele Neck Humbucker?

Hoodster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,251
I have a MIM ’69 Thinline with the stock neck pickup and a Duncan Broadcaster in the bridge. Every time I pick up that guitar after playing my Fat Tele (which has a full size Duncan 59 in the neck), I really wish I had something more potent in the Thinline neck position.

I definitely do NOT want to rout the Thinline for even a mini humbucker, so please keep suggestions to pickups that will fit in a traditional Tele neck slot. Basically I’m looking for something loud, punchy, and clear – which in my experience rules out overwound single coils like the Duncan Quarter Pounder, which tend to get muddy. I’m looking for something in a stacked humbucker, rail, or side-by-side like the Lil’ 59.

Any suggestions much appreciated.
 

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,427
Hey, go on the G&L user group, GuitarsByLeo.com/gldp, and see if the guys there suggest the MFD single-coil from the G&L ASAT Classic. it's a single-coil, but it's not anemic like some Tele neck pups are. it's not muddy, either.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
41,016
the dimarzio area t neck is loud and almost biting, like a trad tele neck ran through an eq boosting the treble, and is dead silent hum-canceling.

+1 on the g&l, those MFDs squeeze a lot of output out of not much coil wire, giving volume without mud.

the fralins with the exposed poles are also strong without being muddy, even the way overwound ones.
 

WahmBoomAh

World Crass Guitarist
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,709
I have an old Lawrence with the long bar pole piece ,,, might be a strat pickup ..It sounds to me like what you`re talking about
 

bc-cosmo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,347
I like the Fralin Blues Special in the neck--definitely a Tele neck pickup, but has many of the tonal qualities I love about Strat neck pickups. Those MFDs are great too. You might also consider the Harmonic Design Vintage Plus for more of a P-90 vibe.
 

progholio

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
443
I am in a similar boat, i have a nice tele that i don't want to chop up and trying to find pickups that can hang with a humbucker.
So far i have tried Rio Grande Muy Grande, nice hot tele sound but still not enough output and a little to ice picky for me.
I had a set of Bardens, definitely fatter, nice bell like tone and retains the tele sound but sounded weird and thin to me when using any gain. Great for a clean amp on the verge of breakup.
I currently have a set of GFS Lil' Puncher Hot Lead set, they are only ok, will drive an amp with gain but sound sterile and lifeless to me, all midrange honk, no beefy lows or sweet highs.
I have a set of Bill Lawrence 298/290's that i will try as a last ditch, i'll keep you posted.
It's too bad Duncan doesn't have a neck pos Lil' 59 or Cool Rails, those work fantastic in my strats.

Good Luck

I have a MIM ’69 Thinline with the stock neck pickup and a Duncan Broadcaster in the bridge. Every time I pick up that guitar after playing my Fat Tele (which has a full size Duncan 59 in the neck), I really wish I had something more potent in the Thinline neck position.

I definitely do NOT want to rout the Thinline for even a mini humbucker, so please keep suggestions to pickups that will fit in a traditional Tele neck slot. Basically I’m looking for something loud, punchy, and clear – which in my experience rules out overwound single coils like the Duncan Quarter Pounder, which tend to get muddy. I’m looking for something in a stacked humbucker, rail, or side-by-side like the Lil’ 59.

Any suggestions much appreciated.
 

progholio

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
443
A good option might be to sell your thinline and get a MIM 72 Tele deluxe Thinline reissue with the humbuckers.

I have a MIM ’69 Thinline with the stock neck pickup and a Duncan Broadcaster in the bridge. Every time I pick up that guitar after playing my Fat Tele (which has a full size Duncan 59 in the neck), I really wish I had something more potent in the Thinline neck position.

I definitely do NOT want to rout the Thinline for even a mini humbucker, so please keep suggestions to pickups that will fit in a traditional Tele neck slot. Basically I’m looking for something loud, punchy, and clear – which in my experience rules out overwound single coils like the Duncan Quarter Pounder, which tend to get muddy. I’m looking for something in a stacked humbucker, rail, or side-by-side like the Lil’ 59.

Any suggestions much appreciated.
 

Dave Orban

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
16,881
Talk to Don Mare (DonM on the board here)...

I have a set of his Roy Nichols wind Tele pickups, and the neck pickup is OUTSTANDING!
 

Hoodster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,251
Just an update -- after much research I decided to give the 4-way switch another try, this time with a set of pickups better suited to the application. I put in a set of CS Nocasters with the Fender 4-way, and I've got to say that the tone in the new series position is FAR superior to what I got with the Bill Lawrence pickups. The Nocasters are an incredibly well-balanced set of pickups, and as other reviews indicated they are ideal for the 4-way switch. The series position gives you just enough of a volume boost to really punch up a solo, and the tone is meaty and gutsy without any trace of mud. I haven't compared them directly yet, but I think this might be an even more usable set up than the full neck humbucker with the 5-way switch I have on my Fat Telecaster.
 

ptdesign

Handmade sonic art
Messages
1,736
The cool rail is a fantastic neck pup for a tele. Just put in the Dimarzio cruiser neck last night. Not happy.

First thing and 69 ri needs is to get rid of that rediculous 1meg vol pot. Ice pick!

Yea, series puts out some fat tone.
 

fuzz_factor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,429
Just an update -- after much research I decided to give the 4-way switch another try, this time with a set of pickups better suited to the application. I put in a set of CS Nocasters with the Fender 4-way, and I've got to say that the tone in the new series position is FAR superior to what I got with the Bill Lawrence pickups. The Nocasters are an incredibly well-balanced set of pickups, and as other reviews indicated they are ideal for the 4-way switch. The series position gives you just enough of a volume boost to really punch up a solo, and the tone is meaty and gutsy without any trace of mud. I haven't compared them directly yet, but I think this might be an even more usable set up than the full neck humbucker with the 5-way switch I have on my Fat Telecaster.

I love the 4 way switch in my Tele. I've been thinking of changing out the pickups for some Nocasters. Really good to hear that this combo works well with a 4-way.
 

59Vampire

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,619
Just an update -- after much research I decided to give the 4-way switch another try, this time with a set of pickups better suited to the application. I put in a set of CS Nocasters with the Fender 4-way, and I've got to say that the tone in the new series position is FAR superior to what I got with the Bill Lawrence pickups. The Nocasters are an incredibly well-balanced set of pickups, and as other reviews indicated they are ideal for the 4-way switch. The series position gives you just enough of a volume boost to really punch up a solo, and the tone is meaty and gutsy without any trace of mud. I haven't compared them directly yet, but I think this might be an even more usable set up than the full neck humbucker with the 5-way switch I have on my Fat Telecaster.

Can you explain the 4 way series and paralell wiring optiions on the 4 way? What is the sound difference?
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
41,016
you get the same 3 sounds as a normal tele, but the 4th setting puts the two pickups in series, which turns then into basically one fat humbucker spread out over the guitar.

the sound is like the regular middle setting, but louder than the other settings and with more bottom and less top.
 

fuzz_factor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,429
you get the same 3 sounds as a normal tele, but the 4th setting puts the two pickups in series, which turns then into basically one fat humbucker spread out over the guitar.

the sound is like the regular middle setting, but louder than the other settings and with more bottom and less top.

Exactly! And, IMHO, a very useful mod if you use a Tele to play hard rock.
 




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