PUs: Don Mare vs Cavalier

ash

Member
Messages
403
I currently have got a set up Don Mare Hayrides in my Tele, and am thinking of upgrading to Cavalir Lion King and Nocaster.

Has anybody had a chance to compare these 2 and could share some thoughts?
 

urQuill

g.f.a.
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,262
I don't know from personal experience, but I did have the impression that it wasn't really possible to upgrade from Don Mare's Tele pickups ... what do you hope to gain from the change? Not that I could help you, I'm just curious ... always collecting for that future Tele project.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
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Never tried the Mares, but I do have the Nocaster and Lion King in my tele, sounds killer!
 

Erswell

Member
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559
I don't know from personal experience, but I did have the impression that it wasn't really possible to upgrade from Don Mare's Tele pickups ... what do you hope to gain from the change? Not that I could help you, I'm just curious ... always collecting for that future Tele project.

Hope not - got a set on order! And what a top bloke to chat to (apologies for OT comments)

Interested in what youre after but definitely not questioning the never ending search - its a gear forum after all!
 

urQuill

g.f.a.
Silver Supporting Member
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3,262
Well ... I did go listen to a few of the demos on the Cavalier website, and holy smoke those are some great sounding pickups. The players who did the recordings are waaaaay too good tho'
 

ash

Member
Messages
403
When I started to put together my Tele about 2 years ago, Cavalier PUs were recommended to me the most here, but they had waiting times of around 1 year, so I went with the Don Mares. While I really dig the neck pickup, I find the bridge pickup to be a little brittle, and was hoping to get something a little more balanced.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
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30,087
Cavalier PUs were recommended to me the most here, but they had waiting times of around 1 year,
:huh , never been any waiting lists for Robs pickups AFAIK, he usually takes care of orders within a day.
 

ash

Member
Messages
403
:huh , never been any waiting lists for Robs pickups AFAIK, he usually takes care of orders within a day.
Damn, you are right, I mixed things up. Ron Ellis PUs were the ones with waiting times. Any idea how they would compare?
 

108

Member
Messages
2,847
Neither are better. They're just pickups. You're not going to upgrading by going with Cavalier. I have had teles pickups by both fellas.
 

bigben55

Member
Messages
3,490
I'm a huge fan of Cavalier pickups. But I wouldn't call them upgrades from Don Mare pickups. They're both expertly wound custom pickups. It's all about the tone you're looking for and what best gets you there
 

e-flat

Member
Messages
1,739
Rob @ Cavalier was kind enough to wind me an A3 / 43AWG neck pickup that should be here Friday. Should be around high 7K-8K. This will be used for a "Tele conversion" in a guitar which is currently set up as an Esquire w/ a 10K Onamac Broadcaster A3 bridge pickup.

I have a set of Mare DoNocaster A3 pickups in my main Tele, but they are vastly different beasts (6.4K bridge, 6.1K neck). Such beautiful pickups.

So I can't do an apples to apples comparison, but I can report back with a general reflection on quality of the Cavalier neck if you like. Rob @ Cav has been terrific to deal with, btw, and Don Mare is a great guy.

You really can't go wrong!
 

AceBSpankin

Prince of Ales
Gold Supporting Member
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4,839
Don is awesome
Rob is a condescending know-it-all
I have Don's Hayride set and it is pure vintage Tele
I don't have any Cavalier pickups
2-cents
 

108

Member
Messages
2,847
This is funny to me because my experience has been the opposite. Don was rather curt although friendly, basically suggests information found on his website and no more. Rob, however will freely chat and talk about minute details of tone and construction, and if you can't find something you're completely sold on through his website, will wind something to your specifications and needs. Both guys mean well, make fantastic sounding products at top notch quality. If I wanted a particular vintage era, I would probably lean towards Don. If I wanted something more precise, I would go with Rob. I currently own Cavaliers. I don't currently own any Don Mare's, although I have in the past and can only speak highly of the pickups.
 

bigben55

Member
Messages
3,490
Rob spend 35 minutes on the phone with me, at 4pm on a Sunday, helping me trouble shoot MY install mistake. He couldn't have been nicer about it. I'll keep buying them.

Oh, and all 3 Cavalier pickups I've own sounded amazing.

Don is awesome
Rob is a condescending know-it-all
I have Don's Hayride set and it is pure vintage Tele
I don't have any Cavalier pickups
2-cents
 

Scott_F

Member
Messages
2,984
I was hanging out with Don 17 years ago when he was first really getting started. He was absorbing knowledge from others and adding his trial and error experience. It was fun to watch. It was like pickup rainman stuff. Had to be there.

I can attest to his overwhelming passion to make the best Tele pups on the planet. I've only tried one set but you won't find any better. If you find the bridge brittle have Don rewind it. Nuff said.
 

hank57

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,779
I'd do some pickup height adjustments before removing the Mare. Mare pups are really really great. A lot can change by adjusting pickup height and I'd look for removing what you perceive as brittle then adjust the neck to compliment the bridge.
 

urQuill

g.f.a.
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,262
I had that same thought. When I used to gig with a Les Paul, I'd set up everything- pickup heights, and later amp settings - around the neck pickup first and then adjust the bridge to balance the neck. But maybe a Tele needs the opposite approach?

... or perhaps a second Tele is what's really required here ;)
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
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30,087
When I used to gig with a Les Paul, I'd set up everything- pickup heights, and later amp settings - around the neck pickup first and then adjust the bridge to balance the neck.
I've never understood that approach, as most spend most of their time on their bridge pickup, at least when you're playing rock. I always set things up around the bridge pickup, humbucker or SC.
 

urQuill

g.f.a.
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,262
It just depends on how a player wants to get there, I suppose. I'll switch pickups and work the controls mid-phrase ... I'm lost on guitars with only one pickup. I wonder if players who mostly use the bridge pickup would have a larger tonal palette to play with if they one day tried incorporating the quirks of the neck position into their initial set-up.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
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30,087
I wonder if players who mostly use the bridge pickup would have a larger tonal palette to play with if they one day tried incorporating the quirks of the neck position into their initial set-up.
Who say they doesn't? :)

But setting up your sound around the least used pickup just don't make any sense to me. I'm a notorious pickup changer and use the neck pickup a lot, but the backbone is the bridge, so it wouldn't be very useful for me to set up the sound to suit the neck pickup best.
Playing mostly strats and a tele, I most often find the neck falls in line nicely when it sounds great on the bridge pickup. May be different with LP's of course though.
 




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