SPECIFIC tele p/u's query

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Winklin, May 8, 2015.

  1. Winklin

    Winklin Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    I've got a set of over-the-counter Fender Nocasters in a mexi 50's Classic tele.
    They sound good.

    The Nocasters have tight lows, a pretty flat mid response, and a bright top end.
    In a perfect world, I'd ask for a little bigger bottom, slightly more aggressive mids, and a slightly burnished top end. Same relative output would be fine, but they DO need to be RW/RP as a pair.

    I know there are tons of tele p/u posts on here, but the recommendations are all over the place, often because the OP doesn't really detail what he/she is after.
    Here's hoping with some specific parameters I can narrow down all the offerings out there.

    BTW, I play classic rock thru an Excelsior (rehearsals and small gigs) and a boutique 25 watt EF86/KT66's gutted and rebuilt Bassman combo RI. Kind of a Vox meets tweed thang.... very cool.

    Thanks for any advise!
  2. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Lindy Fralin Blues Specials are in that ballpark.
  3. AceBSpankin

    AceBSpankin Prince of Ales Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Dakota Territory
    Call Don Mare, go to his site, get the number and call!!
    Everyone here will give his/her favorite.
    Don and you talking together will find a perfect solution.
  4. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2004
    Washington State
    Cool sounding amp! I designed & built an amp based around ef86 & ef184 parallel preamps hitting a Tweed Pro sort of power section. Tweed + Vox rules ;) Maybe I can chime in since I'm a Tele fan, too.

    As for the pickups, your description of a "burnished" top end REALLY makes me think that you might like Don Mare's DoNocaster PUs. 6K4 bridge , and I think the neck is 6K3... Both Alnico 3. The neck position is a thing of beauty... Deep & full ... A smokey bell. funky & soulful.

    The neck by itself as well as neck & middle together are both brassy with that "burnished" sort of sound (good term, BTW). The bridge PU has beautiful twang & low string definition that can growl if you want it to. Strong midrange presence without any nasal attributes. Perhaps more than any other PUs I've tried, it pays to sit & play these over time & dial in pickup height. Very sensitive.

    These definitely are NOT hot pickups, but man... If you dig a pentode preamp like the EF86 and the way it breaks up then I do believe you will dig the DoNoCasters. Gorgeous medium / low output pickups.

    Don also offers the Hot Bakelites which are a 6K7 bridge and a different neck PU (A5? ) but I would highly recommend checking out that Neck PU from the DoNocaster set (I think he calls it his "53" neck PU) even if you decide on a different bridge PU. Incredible.
  5. Winklin

    Winklin Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Eb --

    Very kind of you to reply in such length and detail. After 2 recommendations toward Don Mare, I'll put him in pole position.

    The DoNocasters sound very interesting, but sadly just about EVERYTHING he's got on his site has a degree of temptation.

    To try and put an even finer point on things, I'd like my bridge p/u to have bold, piano-like bass notes, enough midrange that I retain note clarity in colored chords (I'm NOT a jazzer, but I find my stock Nocasters to be a bit too passive in defining midrange tones), and a sweeeeet top end. Silkier and less strident than what I'm using now, but still able to cut a bit. Not too worried about top end cut -- it's a tele, after all.

    My ideal neck pickup is a bit scooped in the mids (allowing the 2 p/u selection to favor the mids produced by the bridge p/u), a tight low end with appealing definition -- not TOO warm -- and more sweeeet top.

    I use the 2 p/u position 70% of the time, as I play mostly rhythm in my act. I absolutely LOVE jangle, but a complex jangle. I use just the bridge p/u for harder rock numbers and want it to be able to grind well without getting brittle, and give me a great low end CHUNK for palm muted barre chords and the like.
    I rarely use the neck p/u alone unless I'm doing a very bluesy solo, and even then it's more of a change-up sound than anything I rely on to carry me thru a tune.

    I think I'm going to take AceB's suggestion and try to speak with Don on the phone or by email. He's making it hard to decide just what set or combo would get closest to my goals by offering so many versions of tele p/u's.

    Finally, regarding my Bassman build:
    There's a guy named John Harris who lives out here in Alameda, CA. A fine guitarist, he's also an electrical engineer by trade, and has been building amps for a few years. I was fortunate to be introduced to him and asked him to rebuild my Bassman 4x10 RI with what he calls his Ming circuit.
    It's now a single channel, single input amp. V1 is the Ef86 (ALWAYS loved that tube) with a 12-something-7 as a phase inverter. The output tubes are a pair of KT66's.
    He kept the original OT and PT from the Bassman. His tone circuit is borrowed from Mark Sampson: Treble, Bass, and Cut. Single Vol control. The Treble and Bass controls are unique in that from zero to noon they increase their respective frequencies, but past noon to dimed they ADD GAIN to those frequencies. They're extremely effective and highly musical. The Cut knob works off the output section like a Vox, and really helps tame any spikeyness I might run into..... especially if I've got the Treble full up for it's added gain.
    I use 4 Jensen C10R's for a stout low end, even when compressed.

    It's a pretty loud 25 watts, which means for a lot of my gigging (and all my rehearsals) I use my Excelsior with the popular Emi Legend 1518. It's a first edition Excelsior that I made the speaker swap on, based on what seemed most popular here on TGP. It serves me well, but it's not nearly as much fun to play as my Harris. I can put you in touch with John via a Pm or something if you'd like to know more about his amps.

    Anyway, just about out of steam now and this is probably more than anyone wanted to know anyway.
    Any other suggestions on tele p/u's welcome!
  6. tuj

    tuj Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    The only real spec I can go by is the DC resistance. Everyone's opinions of highs and lows and mids are subjective; no one I've seen publishes a frequency response graph from a 'reference' guitar. Maybe there out there, but I'll bet individual variations in mass-produced pickups still show up. ...anyway...

    What I like are Onamac Windery Vintage 54's. They are not overly aggressive, they clock around 7.5k on the meter, the neck is slightly hotter than the bridge, which leads to a nice balanced sound when both pickups are on. I love mine, totally transformed the guitar.

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