Tele pick up recommendations?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Notwerk, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Notwerk

    Notwerk Member

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    Hi, newbie here. Picked up a MIM Tele and really like it, but was thinking about switching the pickups for the following reasons:

    I like the warm sound of the neck pick up, but I wish it had a touch more clarity. Opposite with the bridge, I like the brightness, but sometimes it's too much. I guess it's a bit "ickpicky." Wish I could roll back the trebs a notch or two and have a bit more midrange. Basically, a bit better balance.

    Overall, I still like the sound. It has a lot of character. But I'm looking to get a bit closer to the ideal. :)

    I play mostly rock (no country).

    Which pickup do you guys think fits the bill?

    I've been looking at Rio Grande (Tall Boy?), the Fender CS Nocasters and some others.
     
  2. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    GVCG lollar alnico 3's nail the tone you speak of (or so I hear) but they are $250 for a set.....:eek:
     
  3. Notwerk

    Notwerk Member

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    LOL. I think the Lollars might cost more than my guitar! Thanks for the suggestion, though.
     
  4. Barge Concepts

    Barge Concepts Member

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    If you want custom pickups, and are willing and able to afford it - try Steve Kersting. He's always the first on to admit that his pickups are pricey - and he's right - but IMO they are worth the money. Great product, great guy to deal with, and a no hassle exchange/refund/rewind policy. He'll also take trades as part of the payment.

    Staying handwound, but on the cheaper end of the spectrum, try Dirty Dog Pickups/ House of Wayward Guitars. I haven't try this guy out yet, but I've heard nothing but good things. Do a search on ebay - he's been running specials on hand wound pups, cheaper than what's listed on his page.

    And, the dirt cheap option - GFS. Not up to the quality standards of the handwound/boutique market, but LOW prices, good customer service, and a good product for the money. Lots of options here.


    Good luck! I hate buying pickups - too many options, and no real way to try them out ahead of time...
     
  5. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Gold Supporting Member

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    Really like my Kinman Broadcasters.
     
  6. royd

    royd Member

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    Add Peter Biltof at http://www.vintagevibeguitars.com/ to the list... try one of his P90ish pups in single coild size for exactly what you describe... and they are very affordable.
     
  7. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    I've got a pickup suggestion for you, but try this first:
    Swap out the 250k volume pot for 500k and ungang the tone pot from the volume control, rerouting it from the bridge pickup to the selector. The higher value volume pot puts less load on your signal when it's full up, allowing more highs from both pickups. Rerouting the tone pot also removes some signal capacitance from the neck pu- more clarity- while still allowing you to dial in the needed amount of treble bleed from the bridge. (Playing a Tele means learning to work that tone pot.)

    Pickups: I like the Duncan Antiquities. Series II ('60s- a bit brighter) at the neck and Series I at the bridge. And they hum-cancel when both are selected.
     
  8. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    High output Lindy Fralins. THe neck pup is uncovered. You'll never need a Strat again...
     
  9. twangbanger

    twangbanger Supporting Member

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    diggin the fralins, Look on his site and call him for a recommendation. I've got two different tele's w/ them in there and they both sound great!
     
  10. tastylicks

    tastylicks Supporting Member

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    The Fralins are very nice. I put a set of Blues Specials in my tele to replace the Fender Noiseless it came with. Totally different guitar. The neck pickup(uncovered) is clearer, and the bridge way hotter than the Noiseless. I actually think my Noiseless bridge might have been a dud, it was so thin and crappy sounding.
    For harshness in the bridge pickup, consider rolling off the tone knob a bit just to nice it up. I think it's nicer to have the capability to have a loud, edgier sound and just reign it in than to have a pickup that is too quiet to begin with.
     
  11. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    I think it's hilarious that people are giving suggestions of pickups that are as much or more than the guitar...:jo

    I have a set of Dimarzio Virtual Vintage that I'm in love with. They have twang and bite but no noise. They're fat like broadcaster pickups too. The neck is uncovered so it has plenty of clarity. I too, like tastylicks, use the tone control a lot to back some of the bite out of the bridge PU. But its real nice to be able to bring the twang back in when I need it. I played a gig with a fiddle player (guitarist too) that's plays with Clint Black, Brooks and Dunn and others that really dug my tone. Guess that's pretty cool... Dang that guy could play!!!

    The VV's only cost me about $120 too, it makes me realize I'm going to start with Dimarzio each time I may want a pickup swap.

    Good luck!
     
  12. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    The regular Lollar stuff is really good, you don't need to spend $250 just because the pickups have Alnico 3 magnets in them :NUTS .

    I'm in the process of making some sound clips for Jason Lollar's site and I really dig his "52 T" and "V" seriesTele pickups. The 52s are Alnico 2 like the early Fender telecasters had in them, the "V" models have A5 magnets like the later 50s and 60s guitars. They both sound great, the A5 is a little more clear, twangy and sharp -- I favor the 52's slightly smokier tone a bit, but it would depend on what guitar you were using and what sound you are after. Here's a clip of the bridge pickups, both pickups were installed in cheapo made-in-China Squire teles:

    http://home.comcast.net/~playon/52_T_BRIDGE.MP3

    http://home.comcast.net/~playon/VINTAGE_T_BRIDGE.MP3
     
  13. modestrocker

    modestrocker Member

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    I have texas specials in a mim tele I bought of ebay. Sounds really good, they are only like 90 bucks too.
     
  14. teleking36

    teleking36 Supporting Member

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    Price-wise, Fender CS Nocasters are great. I've got them in my Am Std. Tele and they give a great balance in both the bridge and the neck (although I favor their bridge's tones more). I can cover a lot of material, and I mostly play roots-rock/alt-country stuff. It can do twang if i need it but it really does a great job of balancing out and getting some nice early tele rock tones.

    I think i paid $100 for my set. you can get them used for aorund $85-90 and new from $100-115.
     
  15. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    Fralin Steel Pole bridge and Fralin neck. Tone control for the bridge.
     
  16. Notwerk

    Notwerk Member

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    I thought about the CS nocasters, but I'm having trouble finding a place that has them in stock. Were they discontinued?

    I'm leaning toward a Rio Vintage Tallboy in the neck and a halfbreed in the bridge. Good idea?
     
  17. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    I had a tallboy Tele neck pickup once. It was noisier than any other Tele pickup I've tried (as in hum) and sounded OK but not stellar. The bobbins etc. on Rio Grandes are made in Korea, for what it's worth... after that experience I don't rate the RG's that high as far as quality.

    I agree that the CS pickups are a good deal.
     
  18. threm

    threm Member

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    Thanks for the clips!
    The first one sounds brighter to me.
    Isn`t that the opposite of what you say above?
     
  19. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    Perhaps "bright" isn't the right word to use, it's more of a different texture. The "Vintage" pickup is slightly more scooped and detailed sounding, very crisp on the top end. The "52" model is a bit warmer, to my ears. Compare the end of the clips where I'm banging out the chords... the Vintage retains more clarity, while with the 52 the notes break up and blend together a bit more, it's a slightly darker sound to my ears.

    I can hear this stuff a lot better playing the original wave files through my good monitors... MP3s are are really a compromise when talking about this kind of detail, and if you are listening on cheaper computer speakers it may be hard to hear. Maybe we should use shorter clips but with a higher quality MP3 resolution, or even a WAV file.
     
  20. threm

    threm Member

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    I`m listening to some small plastic PC speakers. The Adams in the next room would do them more justice. :eek:
    I`m gonna get a couple of tele pu`s (a MIJ JD tele and a 83`JV Squire)and these Lollars seem to do it right!
    Are there matched neck pu`s?

    2.30am here and off to bed.
     

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