Tele, with HB in neck, or no?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by myke232, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Silver Supporting Member

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    My American Deluxe Telecaster HH FMT has two humbuckers and the neck position sounds great. Playing the neck humbucker clean is just wonderful on this guitar and all of the other pickup combinations are excellent for gain tones.

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    I have a Fender American Elite Tele with the Fender N4 Noiseless pickups and they are really nice for gain tones. The N4 in the neck sounds very nice when clean and has serviceable Jazz tones but is not as well suited for Jazz as the humbucker in my FMT.

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    Lindy Fralin makes a really nice one.

    https://www.fralinpickups.com/product/p-90-humbucker-cover/
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  2. majorledhead

    majorledhead Supporting Member

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    I have a Lollar Firebird in a Revelator Tele. The creamy overdriven tone and the crazy amount of note definition under extreme gains conditions makes for a formidable sonic hammer. That being said, my #1 is a black guard, and I wouldn’t trade them single coils for nothing.
     
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  3. Snake_charmer

    Snake_charmer Member

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    Lindy Fralin Big Single.
     
  4. Toneforages

    Toneforages Member

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    I have a pretty amazing light resonant tele.. have had humbuckers in the neck of that guitar off and on for a couple years.. Seth lover, lollar, etc.. I used the 500k pots and different wiring.. Definitely has a great quality if you can get it balanced, or somewhat balanced.. My lasting fave though is not really a humbucker, but humbucker size and it is the Lollar charlie christian pickup for a humbucker rout.. Its a big airy fantastic sounding guitar now.. I dont ever see that coming out, with the incredible harmonic design bridge pickup (that pickup has a resistor on it so it "see's" a 250k pot).. FWIW
     
  5. metropolis_4

    metropolis_4 Member

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    I never liked the SH Tele pickup combination until I tried a Tele Custom with the wide-range humbucker in the neck, and separate tone/volume knobs for each pickup.

    That worked beautifully. I think having Gibson style controls is key. Pull down the volume of the neck a bit and pull down the tone of the bridge a touch and you can balance them perfectly!
     
  6. CS'56

    CS'56 Member

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    Last year I bought a new Danocaster. When I spoke to Dan, I told him I wanted a PAF style fat/jazzy sounding humbucker in the neck and an aggressive tele bridge pick up. He then mentioned to me the issue that we would have going with a 250k or a 500k pots.
    I wasn’t aware of that and didn’t know what to say so he then he asked me which pick up do I think that I will use the most? I told him the neck pick up. He said OK, I know what to do. I did not ask him what he was going to do. When I got the guitar it sounded exactly like I asked, fat/jazzy neck tones and aggressive bridge. He put in a Voodoo TE60 in the bridge and a Lollar El Rayo in the neck. The pups are very well balanced.
    After reading this thread. I pulled the control plate and to my surprise he did not use a resistor and the pots are 250 K. I’m not sure what he did to make it work.
     
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  7. bigfoamfinger

    bigfoamfinger Supporting Member

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    I personally never liked that layout. I also think it would be more useable with the HB (coil split) in the bridge position instead of the neck
     
  8. 3940bigdaddy

    3940bigdaddy Supporting Member

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  9. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    The Lollar El Rayo has A8 magnets and is far from a PAF style pickup. It is much brighter and punchier. You can indeed get away with this setup if you use a bit hotter bridge pickup. But when you use a true PAF style with a regular T bridge, like what Dan said, you must decide which is the more important pickup. Then it is fine to use a resistor on the bridge with 500K pots. The bridge will sound fine to most but not as good as it would under normal circumstances.
     
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  10. jpervin

    jpervin Supporting Member

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    No to the neck HB in a Tele...unless I can sound (and play) like Ed Bickert (R.I.P.).
     
  11. CS'56

    CS'56 Member

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    Going by the description on Lollar's website, I would have never chose this pickup. However, it sounds nothing like their description. It's not bright at all. It sounds nothing like a single coil. Is that because pairing the Lollar with the 250k darkened the sound of the pickup?
     
  12. Frosted Glass

    Frosted Glass Member

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    I’ve played Tele deluxes and customs. Prefer the HH deluxes
     
  13. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Yes. But maybe in a good way. An El Rayo with 500K is a nice, bright, punchy humbucker. I like to use them in place of a JM pickup on a Jazzmaster. I like to use a minihumbucker in the neck and 250K pickups. Same idea really. The most important thing is you got what you wanted and there is more than one way to achieve the goal.
     
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  14. ToneGrail

    ToneGrail Member

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    One style of music the SH Tele really lends itself to is Motown. I played in a Motown tribute act for a few years where I was playing most of my rhythms on the bridge on the 2 and 4 beats using a semi-clean tone. When it came time to take a solo, I'd flip over to the neck bucker for those soulful bluesy solos without having to adjust anything or step on anything. I'd get extra gain, volume, and a round sustaining tone just by flipping a switch. When my solo was done I'd just switch back to the bridge. Very convenient.

    That being said, I totally didn't mind the volume jump when switching to the neck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
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