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Tele neck-pup Question:

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,725
You Tele die hards, help me (I'm a strat die hard but dig the other side :) ):

Why have you chosen either a bucker over the sc pup, or chosen to keep the sc as your neck pup?

For reference, I have two strats, both SSS and dig them as they are. So I am playing with the idea of a neck bucker in a tele. Part of me wants something different from the Strats (so not tonally redundant), but part of me says sc-neck-tone clarity and "piano bass" is pretty dang addictive (and I have LPs so I have the bucker thing covered). Please share your thoughts/preferences of either neck-pup choice. Thanks!!

Edward
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,984
Easy answer for me- I needed something that was hum free. That said, full buckers in the neck position were too muddy for me. I was leanin towards a mini bucker, but when the chance came to grab a vintage firebird bucker, I took it. It's got plenty of power with far less mud than a full bucker and way less hum than a SC.

Also, I wanted something that could balance out with the hotter tele bridge pickup when I played in the middle position (both pickups on) - now, that's my fave position!
 

friend33

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,928
One of my 3 teles has a Lollar low-wind Imperial paired with a Special-T in the bridge - my favorite all-around combination to date.
 
Messages
2,190
I'm actually having a Mark Jenny tele built, and I'm going with Duncan Antiquity neck/Jerry Donahue bridge. Sort of a Keef nod, but I thought it would be more versatile as well. We'll see.
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,632
I'm actually having a Mark Jenny tele built, and I'm going with Duncan Antiquity neck/Jerry Donahue bridge. Sort of a Keef nod, but I thought it would be more versatile as well. We'll see.
I recently just got hip to the Jerry Donahue bridge, and it's AWESOME. Fat, full, nice 3D quality, and just enough chime and twang on top. You can run your tone on 10, no problem, no harshness at all.

Personally, I think one of the best bang-for-your-buck Tele neck single coils, as far as tone and clarity, is the Dimarzio Twang King. Super nice.
 

lumco

Most of the roads I travel are muddy
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
994
Seems like I have tried every SC neck pickup made, Barden, Lollar, Voodoo, Fralin etc..have found the most useful for me is the L. Fralin Blues Special but I have 1 Tele set up with a Voodoo Tall Neck pickup that works well also. Probably many I haven't tried that sound as good. Never a humbucker for me though..To much of a stuck-in-the-mud Vintage Tele look and sound.
 
Messages
2,190
I recently just got hip to the Jerry Donahue bridge, and it's AWESOME. Fat, full, nice 3D quality, and just enough chime and twang on top. You can run your tone on 10, no problem, no harshness at all.

Personally, I think one of the best bang-for-your-buck Tele neck single coils, as far as tone and clarity, is the Dimarzio Twang King. Super nice.
That's good to know. A recommendation from personal experience is better than 20 crappy YouTube vids.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
Plenty of good reasons to go either way. A great Tele neck pickup can be round and warm like a great Strat neck pickup. I have a buddy w/ a '68 Tele and that neck pickup sounds great. I have a hybrid Stratotele -- strat body and neck, trem bridge, Tele routing and pickups -- and the Fralin Blues Special is an outstanding pickup in there...like a Strat pickup in a Tele size (but uncovered), one of my favorite pickups ever for any position. But I recently built a Tele with a Seth Lover in the neck because I wanted a single guitar with which I could do round, jazzy neck tones, hard rocking humbucker tones, and the full range of Tele bridge position tones. It took a little work to find a pot loading scheme and bridge pickup (Don Mare 0038) that worked, but now I have an extremely versatile guitar. The one thing missing from that axe, however, is the great Tele middle position, which I do miss. But depending on the pairing of humbucker and single -- especially if you stick with a vintage output single -- you can get a middle position that almost sounds like two different guitars playing in unison. A standard Tele set up with a great neck pickup and 4-way switching is also an excellent, versatile set up.
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,725
Great thoughts, all. Keep em coming!

Hey chervokas,
I've heard about the 4-way switching: is one of the positions series? That may be a good solution for me ...stick with a sc neck pup and make one position series. Anyone with thoughts on that?

Edward
 

Wileyone

Member
Messages
293

street

Member
Messages
338
I love the the tone of a good Tele neck pu.
Very different than anything I can get on my Strat.

For a bit of change I also got a tele with a p90 in the neck.
Now that's a lot of fun.
 

Bikedude

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,911
Great thoughts, all. Keep em coming!

Hey chervokas,
I've heard about the 4-way switching: is one of the positions series? That may be a good solution for me ...stick with a sc neck pup and make one position series. Anyone with thoughts on that?

Edward
Dude, check this out. I'm having my Tele routed for a Fralin UnBucker Neck, and a Fralin Blues(Bridge) with a 5way tonestyler switch. Uses a combination of 250K, and 500K pots when you split the "unbucker". I should have it next week. check out www.acmeguitarworks.com Just another option to look into.
 
Last edited:

IceTre

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
873
Way back about 20 years ago when I bought my American Standard Tele I replaced the neck PU with a Fender Lace Sensor Silver. Love it. Warm, fat and rich but still has a bite. Sounds great for blues-type leads by itself. But I love how it sounds combined with the bridge PU; with both pickups on. I great a beautiful chimey bell-like tone that way. btw I kept the stock bridge PU because, hey, that's the Tele twang thang, man!
 
Messages
9
Have a Peter Florence single at the bridge and humbucker in the neck... could not possibly be happier. Beautiful tones in all four positions. Better than a dream come true. I'd be interested in one of his neck singles but only in a second guitar. No way on earth I would trade the humbucker he built.. its simply too sweet!
 

pbradt

Senior Member
Messages
8,382
A Tele is supposed to have a SC neck pickup with a nickel-silver cover. So I do. Lots of folks like buckers, I do not. At least none I've tried.

I think I'd like Ron Ellis' bucker, Lee Roy sounded great with it on the boat and I'd probably like Duncan Seth Lovers.

Course, I'd want them in a Gibson, not a Telecaster.
 

monty

Member
Messages
22,737
I thought about throwing a bucker in there, but as a Strat lover I also need that sound in a Tele.
 

Donbo

Member
Messages
40
This was a great question to ask, and well worded, such that it answered several lingering questions for me for many years. I've always wanted to experiment with my Tele's with regard to a 'bucker in the neck, but never had the guts to have one routed, which pu to choose, etc. I've also always been concerned about a bottom end that would be too muddy for my taste. I guess the real answer is to...GET ANOTHER TELE...just to be absolutely, positively SURE...
 

Bikedude

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,911
This was a great question to ask, and well worded, such that it answered several lingering questions for me for many years. I've always wanted to experiment with my Tele's with regard to a 'bucker in the neck, but never had the guts to have one routed, which pu to choose, etc. I've also always been concerned about a bottom end that would be too muddy for my taste. I guess the real answer is to...GET ANOTHER TELE...just to be absolutely, positively SURE...
That's why I hor rodded my RW tele. I would never mess with my 52AVRI Thin Skin, but the RW Tele, is a different story.
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,725
Well so much for a consensus ...lol! Which I knew I really wasn't going to get :D

But I got lots of thoughts, and I very much appreciate all your opinions! I'm not concerned about the route as I'm not carving into anything "special," not to mention many teles have a large routed space anywhoo. But I think my heart leans more toward the sc at the neck. Thanks for all the thoughts, all ...the final analysis I think has helped push me over to that side.

Edward
 




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