February 20th, 2006, 11:46 AM
I've got a 50's parts Tele all built except for the pickups. At the moment, I'm bewildered by the range of good choices out there. My favorite recorded Tele tone, hands-down, is Robbie's bridge tone on "Rock of Ages." Thought I'd see if any Band fans around here can match that tone to a specific pickup?
I've tried the SD Broadcaster in another guitar and I recall it sounded quite good. Any other good options that aren't too costly?
February 20th, 2006, 03:55 PM
The Duncan 54 Tele bridge with staggered polepieces is very good at getting the Robbie Robertson tone from that era (a Tele with a maple neck and a bridge with steel saddles also would help).
February 20th, 2006, 05:55 PM
Thanks for the idea. Just out of curiosity, why that one instead of the SD Broadcaster? Is it thicker-sounding than the B'caster?
February 21st, 2006, 09:04 PM
I find the Duncan 54 to be less thick and midrangey and to have more treble and bass than the Broadcaster. I play with a lot of the Robertson-style pick harmonics, and they sound a lot closer with a staggered pole pickup like the 54 than with a flat pole pickup like the Broadcaster. Also, the Broadcaster magnet is a larger diameter than the 54 magnets, which probably contributes to the thicker sound of the Broadcaster. A couple of alternatives would be the hard-to-find American Vintage Reissue 62 Telecaster bridge pickup (only available used or from Guitar Parts Resource), or a Duncan Antiquity II. I'm sure you also could buy a staggered pole, 1960s style Tele bridge pickup from Lollar, Fralin, OC Duff, Rolph, Hamel, Stuart, True Tone Technologies or any one of the many Fender-style pickup winders.
Wild Rice Chris
February 22nd, 2006, 01:54 AM
I agree, Duncan '54 is a great choice for that type of thing. And jkats's description/comparison to the Broadcaster is spot-on.
February 22nd, 2006, 01:59 PM
Excellent! Just the kind of info I was hoping for. Those 54's might be the ticket.
Wild Rice Chris
February 22nd, 2006, 02:10 PM
The Duncan neck pickup is fairly dark-sounding and does not hum-cancel with the Duncan bridge. A better choice (in my opinion, of course) would be the Fender Original Vintage neck, which has a clearer treble-response and hum-cancels with the Duncan bridge.
If you want to spend more money, there are always other alternatives. One of my favorites is the Van Zandt Vintage Plus set. KBR (a member here and good guy) is a dealer. My '54 is in a box, while the VZ is in a guitar. 8)
Now isn't this fun? :wink:
February 22nd, 2006, 09:36 PM
I agree with Chris on using a Fender AV 52 rhythm pickup with the Duncan bridge. I use the AV 52 rhythm with a Duncan Jerry Donahue bridge pu (not a Robertson-soundung pu) in my Thinline and with a Duncan 54 bridge in my MIJ 62 Esquire Custom (and also with a Fender AV 62 bridge pu in my MIJ 62 Tele Custom). Just make sure that you reverse the black and white wires from the rhythm pickup when you wire to the control plate, and at the pickup, rewire the bare shield wire that's soldered to metal pickup cover by moving it from one pickup lead eyelet to the other -- Duncans are wired like the earliest Fender pickups in terms of winding direction and magnet polarity, so that when you mix Duncans and Fenders, the pickups are reverse wound and reverse polarity. The good thing is that once you do this, the pickups will be hum-cancelling in the middle position. (BTW, to Chris, I'm looking forward to installing that Allen OT in the BMR combo -- the money order is in the mail!)
Wild Rice Chris
February 22nd, 2006, 11:25 PM
Ha, I didn't connect you over there to you over here. :lol: Small world (at least on the internet :wink: )
Thanks for adding that bit about the wires, wouldn't be very Band-like out-of-phase...
March 3rd, 2006, 02:04 AM
Thought I'd check in and say thanks for all the recommendations. I decided to go with the AV '62 set, partly based on the descriptions and partly because they seemed to be a great value (although I'm sure the Duncans are too). I just installed them and, in a word, they're perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. Crisp highs, rumbly lows, and middling output. They seem to do well clean and with moderate drive. All around, fantastic pickups for under $50 a piece! Cheers!