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Old February 25th, 2012, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Which pickups in which guitar -alder Tele & ash Esquire

I recently got a new alder/rosewood CVC Tele with a SD hot rail in the bridge for a good price so with the money I saved I'd like to upgrade the bridge pickup (or maybe both). I also have an ash/maple Esquire that I've been thinking about replacing the pickup in. I've pretty much decided on SD Broadcaster (or JD?) and CS Nocaster but my question is, based on wood type, which pickups for which guitar? I was thinking the Broadcaster for the Esquire and Nocasters for the Tele what do you guys think?

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Old February 25th, 2012, 05:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh, be careful. Put CS No-caster pups in an alder bodied guitar and it will...

Burst into Flames!!! :^) :^)

I think your ideas are sound. I don't think the body woods involved have anything we can document to do with why these choices will work. They just do. I'd upgrade the control panel and all the wires and jack while you're at it - that is proved to help.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by boris bubbanov View Post
Oh, be careful. Put CS No-caster pups in an alder bodied guitar and it will...

Burst into Flames!!! :^) :^)

I think your ideas are sound. I don't think the body woods involved have anything we can document to do with why these choices will work. They just do. I'd upgrade the control panel and all the wires and jack while you're at it - that is proved to help.
Will definitely replace almost everything while I'm in there (the pots and wiring in the CVC have some of the sloppiest soldering I've ever seen). I understand most people will put nocasters in an ash (or pine) body maybe for vintage-correctness but I feel like the Broadcaster will balance out the high end in my Esquire and the Nocasters will be very smooth and musical in the Tele.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 07:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boris bubbanov View Post
Oh, be careful. Put CS No-caster pups in an alder bodied guitar and it will...

Burst into Flames!!! :^) :^)

I think your ideas are sound. I don't think the body woods involved have anything we can document to do with why these choices will work. They just do. I'd upgrade the control panel and all the wires and jack while you're at it - that is proved to help.
Agree. I look for acoustic resonance, regardless of the wood, which I really don't care about, aside from weight and appearance, which aren't that important to me either. Whatever small tonal differences might exist between ash, alder, pine, or mahogany, can be manipulated/enhanced/neutralized or whatever with pickups and other hardware choices, IMO.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Others will disagree, but I've found body (and fretboard) wood type makes up a very fractional percentage of a guitar's tone in comparison to the pickup type.

I say choose the pickups you like and don't worry about the wood.

Regarding the Broadcaster vs. JD, see the other current thread in this folder.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What I'm saying is that these two guitars both have very distinct acoustic properties and I want to choose the best pickup to accentuate these qualities.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 02:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Lol. Theres a 5 mile long thread from '06 going to 10 I think, discussing wood tone w the vast consenses being theres no difference.It decays into sillyness.Since you asked, you hear it, and its important. I'm w you and the 10%.There is a hugh tone difference in wood and matching p/ups is important.Any species can have a high or low, lively or dead tone, but they still sound different.I've never heard a Swamp Ash body without POP and never an Alder w. I think attack and decay is where woods differ, not resonance or sustain.I haven't heard the CS Nocasters, but a Broadcaster is wonderfull w the Maple Ash combo unless its sound is off the charts weird compared to most.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 02:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you that's what I was looking to hear. I'm not trying to start a debate all I'm saying is there's a vast difference between my two guitars and I can't help but think it's not a coincidence they're two totally different wood combinations. The ash definitely has more top end pop and the alder/rosewood is a bit more 'warm' with more mids (and amazing acoustic resonance, but I'm not putting that on the wood) I just want to match pickups accordingly
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Old February 27th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm not trying to start a debate either, but just out of curiosity are you saying that you have already tried the exact same pickup in both guitars? Otherwise I'm not sure how you can be certain that there will be an audible difference between the two guitars' amplified tones.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 04:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've bin giving this a lotta thought .................................................. ...
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Old February 28th, 2012, 01:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm not trying to start a debate either, but just out of curiosity are you saying that you have already tried the exact same pickup in both guitars? Otherwise I'm not sure how you can be certain that there will be an audible difference between the two guitars' amplified tones.
I have tried many p/ups in many guitars.Once you hear how different guitars change the tone of a pickup and different p/ups changes the tone of a guitar,you get an intuative feel for which p/up belongs w which guitar.Only rarely have I seen where a pickup sounded the same in 2 different guitars and less times where a guitar sounded the same w different p/ups.It has to be a very unique body or p/up to dominate the sound. Usually its a combo of the 2.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 04:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm researching this all right now.

I have a '52RI (all maple) that has Mare's Supersports in it - both A5
I'm building a parts caster <7 lbs alder tele - and it won't be back from
Mark Jenny for 6 weeks -and I want the pickups ready to try..

So I'm thinking the Supersports might be happier in Alder - as alder
is supposed to warmer so their full tone would be well utilized.
And that the Ash would be happy with pu's of that
era w/ at least an A3 bridge -ie. early 50s Blackguard/Broadcaster - Mares' Donocasters or Ellis/Stuart Broadcaster - depending how thick I want it.

That's the TDPRI politically correct way right? Guess I can always mix and match later.

Last edited by kenoflife; May 31st, 2012 at 07:06 PM.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 08:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Generalizations do not apply, each piece of wood is different. I used to think ash/maple had a brighter tone, but then had an alder/rosewood tele that was super bright, so I now believe that generalizations (ash is brighter, alder is darker) just don't apply, each body/neck combo will have it's own distinct sound. If your ash/maple is brighter, and you want to tone it down, then do so with a pickup set that is a bit darker perhaps. If a guitar is dark, use a trebly set. Not rocket science.
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