To Pot or To Buy

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Higain, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Higain

    Higain Guest

    Hi,

    I have a 1974 Fender Telecaster and a 1969 Fender telecaster. Both of them have microphonic pickups in both positions. I love their clean sounds, but cannot use them with even medium high overdrive at live volumes.

    First question: Should I avoid potting these because of resale value issues? (assuming the word about potting in wax actually works)

    Second question: Would it be better in terms of results, as well as resalve value, to replace the pickups and store the originals?

    Third question: Which pickup maker do you guys like for telecasters. Van Zandt, Lindy Fralin, or John Suhr pickups?

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. guitarplayaman

    guitarplayaman Member

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    I would think you would want to keep those pickups just the way they are. You also might want to think about getting soem beater guitars to user on your gigs. Playing vintage guitars just ain't worth it. Lindy Fralin pickups rule!
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    What's the point of owning a cool vintage guitar if you don't play it? Why buy something inferior instead?

    IMO waxing a pickup does not change the originality of the guitar in any way (apart maybe from the fact that you will have to unsolder the pickups to get them out and do it, which some collector types get hung up on). Waxing does work.

    The only problem is that removing the microphonics might change the tone in a way you don't like as well - it can make the pickups sound less 'lively' too.

    If you're leaning towards replacing the pickups, try Duncan Antiquity IIs - they're more heavily waxed specifically for higher gain playing and are based directly on late-60s Fenders.
     
  4. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Speaking strictly from a vintage originality point of view, I would definately not pot the pickups. It will change the tone and the pickups will no longer be considered original condition. These are not in the same league, but consider a real '52 tele pickup or a real LP PAF pickup....their value would be greatly reduced had they been repotted at some point, vs left totally stock.

    IMHO, yes, absolutely.

    But before you do, consider trying a couple of other things with the stock pickups. Try using rubber tubing instead of springs for the height screws. Try putting some foam padding (mouse pad,etc) under the pickups to minimize vibrations. Try rubbing some wax on the underside of the bridge plate. These may bring your microphonics down to an acceptable level with the stock pickups.

    I've tried lots and lots of tele pickups, including all those you've mentioned. IMHO the best vintage style pickups available today are Hamel and Stuart's. The best price/performance vintage style pickups are the Duncan Antiquities. The best non-vintage noiseless pickups are Bardens. All IMHO, YMMV....
     
  5. Higain

    Higain Guest

    Guys, Thanks for the thoughtful replies! That is helpful. I don't plan on selling these guitars, but would like to retain their value as much as possible. I also don't want to buy more guitars (now, that is). I think I will store the original pups so that they can be reinstalled if necessary and go with some newer ones.

    I am not familiar with Hamel and Stuart. Is that one maker or two? I could not locate a website for this company.

    Any opinions on Harmonic Design for tele pups?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Higain

    Higain Guest

    ...forgot to say fullerplast, thanks and I will try those solutions first.
     
  7. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Alan Hamel and Fred Stuart were previously with Fender Custom Shop. They started out as a team making A&F pickups, but parted ways. Both still make the pickups however, and I suspect in a very similar fashion. Neither has a website, but seek and ye shall find. Here's where you can get some Stuarts:
    http://www.virtualvintageguitars.com/stuartcustomguitars0005.html
     

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