tele neck pickup recommendation thread

Messages
11,597
I've got a heavily modified Fender MIM 50's Classic Telecaster. Story goes that a friend bought it as a backup to an MIA Tele he already had. Gave it compensated saddles, locking tuners, and new Duncan pickups. He put a Jerry Donahue in the bridge and routed the neck for a '59. He then sold it to me at a great price.

I took the '59 out. The guitar has 250k pots, and the '59 was just too syrupy. I replaced it with a chrome covered GFS Mean 90. It's a great pickup, and I'll put it into another guitar. But it balances terribly with the JD in the bridge, which sounds exactly the way a tele bridge pup should.

I really like the look of the chrome Mean 90 in the neck. The guitar has a translucent white finish with a black pickguard, and i really like how the Mean 90 keeps that chrome tele look. But its just not doing it for me in this guitar. I'm not stuck on keeping a humbucker sized pup there either. So if you think a strat or traditional tele pup will work better, I'm all ears.
 

gkoelling

Member
Messages
17,279
Have you considered 500k pots and keeping the 59? Just run a 250k resistor from the bridge pickup lug on the switch to ground.
 

gkoelling

Member
Messages
17,279
Oh, I don't know what a mean 90 is but is that pickup looking for 500k pots?

Otherwise maybe a Mare S-Telly or Charlie Christain would do the job.
 
Messages
11,597
Oh, I don't know what a mean 90 is but is that pickup looking for 500k pots?

Otherwise maybe a Mare S-Telly or Charlie Christain would do the job.
the Mean 90 is from Guitarfetish. great pickup i'll definitely keep it around for another guitar. but it likes to be closer to the strings than the JD does, and i'm not getting the balance between pickups i'm looking for.

i'm actually considering going for the SD APS-2 to complete the JD set. at least i know it'll balance well.
 

Tele71

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,316
Just a suggestion:
I have one Tele with Lollar CC in the neck spot and it is great. Have another with a Gibson mini in the neck. Both with 250K pots and bot sound great, very ballenced with the bridge pick ups in both guitars. The one with the CC has a Don Mare in the bridge and the other a Bill Lawrence single blade. The CC I have to keep pretty far away from the strings or else it dosen't balance at all. Both guitars cover the gammit and are sweet sounding guits.
 
Messages
11,597
Try a GFS Dream 90. It's a lower output version of the Mean 90 and makes a great neck pickup.
i thought about that. but i'm not sure they're low enough output, at 8.2k. the JD is only 7.8k as it is. probably want something around 6k in the neck, right?
 

funkmaster

Member
Messages
1,081
Dimarzio makes a really nice neck pickup for tele. Its called a Twang King. But if your looking for noiseless I would go with the chopper T. Heres an example of the Twang king in the neck position

 

CitizenCain

Member
Messages
4,819
i thought about that. but i'm not sure they're low enough output, at 8.2k. the JD is only 7.8k as it is. probably want something around 6k in the neck, right?
Yeah, neck pickups get loud in a hurry. You might want to give Vintage Vibe an email and ask Pete if he can wind a nice low output covered P90 style for you. He has some great humbucker sized P90s, actually all his stuff is great. I'd bet he could wind you up just what you need.
 
Messages
11,597
Yeah, neck pickups get loud in a hurry. You might want to give Vintage Vibe an email and ask Pete if he can wind a nice low output covered P90 style for you. He has some great humbucker sized P90s, actually all his stuff is great. I'd bet he could wind you up just what you need.
i emailed Bryan Gunsher, the BG Pickups guy. i've never bought anything from him before, but i've spent a couple of years talking pups with him on HC. he has taken the time in the past to break down exactly what's going on with certain pickup types, and i have no doubt we'll be able to nail what i'm looking for.
 
Messages
374
Man, the stock neck pickups on the Fender Classic Series Teles are great. Really clear and punchy and bell-like. In my opinion, having anything 'bucker-y in the neck of a Tele is just a total PITA and not worth it. They never quite balance right, the pots never quite work for both. It's always just a huge struggle for not much of a payoff.

I say just throw a regular Tele neck pup in there. You can get those stock Fender neck pups all day for like $10 or $20 (or less sometimes!), because people rip them out without giving them a chance. Listening with their brands and not their ears, I guess.

It'll be outta phase with the Duncan, but just wire the hot wire of the neck pup as the ground and the ground to the switch and you'll be good to go. I just matched one with a Fralin Blues Special bridge pup this afternoon and it sounds killer.
 
Messages
11,597
Man, the stock neck pickups on the Fender Classic Series Teles are great. Really clear and punchy and bell-like. In my opinion, having anything 'bucker-y in the neck of a Tele is just a total PITA and not worth it. They never quite balance right, the pots never quite work for both. It's always just a huge struggle for not much of a payoff.

I say just throw a regular Tele neck pup in there. You can get those stock Fender neck pups all day for like $10 or $20 (or less sometimes!), because people rip them out without giving them a chance. Listening with their brands and not their ears, I guess.

It'll be outta phase with the Duncan, but just wire the hot wire of the neck pup as the ground and the ground to the switch and you'll be good to go. I just matched one with a Fralin Blues Special bridge pup this afternoon and it sounds killer.
hmmm...i do have the original pickups. i'll need to get a new pickguard and mount the pup to the guard, but that should be easy enough.
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,383
Hard to beat a Lollar Vintage T neck. I have tried the Mares and find the Lollar much more appealing to my ears. The Mares have a sterile factor to them as compared to the Lollars.
 

CitizenCain

Member
Messages
4,819
i emailed Bryan Gunsher, the BG Pickups guy. i've never bought anything from him before, but i've spent a couple of years talking pups with him on HC. he has taken the time in the past to break down exactly what's going on with certain pickup types, and i have no doubt we'll be able to nail what i'm looking for.
I've heard great stuff about Bryan's pickups. Never had a chance to try any myself. I have used Vintage Vibe before so I know how nice they are. I'll bet Bryan can do the job for you too. Let us know how it turns out!
 
Messages
374
hmmm...i do have the original pickups. i'll need to get a new pickguard and mount the pup to the guard, but that should be easy enough.
Stock, they screw to the body not the guard, so you could screw it in with no guard just to see if you like it. If you do, set the height, slap a vintage style guard on there and you're done!

I've got one of those white 50s Classic Teles too. Right now it is an Esquire with a Duncan Broadcaster, but it was great bone stock. I think they are one of the best Teles Fender makes at any price.
 
Messages
11,597
Stock, they screw to the body not the guard, so you could screw it in with no guard just to see if you like it. If you do, set the height, slap a vintage style guard on there and you're done!

I've got one of those white 50s Classic Teles too. Right now it is an Esquire with a Duncan Broadcaster, but it was great bone stock. I think they are one of the best Teles Fender makes at any price.
can't do it anymore. the area has been routed for a humbucker. the route is now too deep to mount the pickup to the wood. so a pickguard mount is required.
 






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