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Old December 22nd, 2012, 12:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tele Neck Pickup Question

I want a new neck pickup for one of my Teles, I'm using a Seymour Duncan Little '59 at the bridge position and I like it, not too happy with the stock Fender single coil at the neck though.

For the neck I want a single coil that goes well with the Duncan and has sort of a Jimi Hendrix/David Gilmour kind of vintage sound, more Strat than Tele, kinda glassy but with dirt and punch, not too thin or too muddy and also clicking with my dirt pedals (Proco Rat, Maxon OD808, Boss BD-2).

I was thinking about the Duncan SSL-1 Strat pickup but maybe there are better options for the Tele? Any ideas?

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Old December 22nd, 2012, 01:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Grab a Twisted Tele neck off ebay, you'll have the tele look, and a more strattier sound. Strat pup will work, but you'll need to carve pickup rout and pickguard. In either case, the '59 is a more powerful bridge pup, so you'll probably need to keep the neck pup high, and bridge lower, for a good volume balance.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 03:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sascha View Post
I want a new neck pickup for one of my Teles, I'm using a Seymour Duncan Little '59 at the bridge position and I like it, not too happy with the stock Fender single coil at the neck though.

For the neck I want a single coil that goes well with the Duncan and has sort of a Jimi Hendrix/David Gilmour kind of vintage sound, more Strat than Tele, kinda glassy but with dirt and punch, not too thin or too muddy and also clicking with my dirt pedals (Proco Rat, Maxon OD808, Boss BD-2).

I was thinking about the Duncan SSL-1 Strat pickup but maybe there are better options for the Tele? Any ideas?
At ~$50, the Wilde (Bill & Becky Lawrence) NF (Noise Free) L280TN was designed exactly for that type of tone. It should work well with the SD '59. Becky would know. Maybe, give them a call next week.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 03:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A Joe Barden should work well with that.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarJonz View Post
Grab a Twisted Tele neck off ebay, you'll have the tele look, and a more strattier sound. Strat pup will work, but you'll need to carve pickup rout and pickguard. In either case, the '59 is a more powerful bridge pup, so you'll probably need to keep the neck pup high, and bridge lower, for a good volume balance.
The neck pickup is always the most powerful due to greater string excursion there. Should have no problems adjusting to balance against any single-coil tele bridge pickup.

A strat pickup should fit without woodwork, and if you take its cover off, ought to fit through the pickguard, where it will catch the top string ;)

Strat pickup probably not as powerful as tele neck pickup especially the twisted, the strat pickup cover does prevent them being raised as high.

The Barden tele neck pickup is a humbucker and will blow a single-coil tele bridge pickup out of the water.

Thing is, that "stock Fender single coil at the neck" is the one everyone and their dog copies in one way or another.
So before you give up on it, have you tried adjusting its height?
Which type Fender tele neck pickup do you have there?
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 03:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So before you give up on it, have you tried adjusting its height?
Which type Fender tele neck pickup do you have there?
It's a stock Fender classic 50's Tele neck pickup, tried with the height and even took off the cap and all, but I just don't like the sound, it's too jazzy in my setup, I want something with more "air".
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"air" is commonly refereed to in the audio community as above 15kHz. No Hi-Z pickup delivers that range. At ~2.4H, I'm pretty sure a typical Strat neck pickup is higher wound/inductance than a typical Tele neck, which I think is normally below 2H. The L280TN is 2.4H. Like an early 60's Strat neck, it has more low end punch and upper mid bite.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 11:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narcoleptigon View Post
At ~$50, the Wilde (Bill & Becky Lawrence) NF (Noise Free) L280TN was designed exactly for that type of tone. It should work well with the SD '59. Becky would know. Maybe, give them a call next week.
After YEARS of dick'n around with pickup swaps, two of my American Teles are loaded with Bill's Tele pups. The man is an American ICON to every genre of our fledgling music scene!

I have a maple neck/alder body and rosewood neck/poplar body Tele with the L280TN in the neck for both. They both sound deliciously different.
In the bridge positions, I have an L290TN and the other a L298TL. Either of these two bridge choices parallel or exceed the 57 Classic humbucker I have in one of my other Teles at the bridge.

Bill is still Bill and will give you ONLY the best!
No, I'm not a relative ... just very content with a world class aftermarket product for once
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 02:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sascha View Post
It's a stock Fender classic 50's Tele neck pickup, tried with the height and even took off the cap and all, but I just don't like the sound, it's too jazzy in my setup, I want something with more "air".
Imo - you had best change the guitar. The tele neck pickup is supposed to be jazzy. This a function of where the pickup is (under the "24th" fret) and the tele's body.

Some teles have got a kick like a mule on the neck position but if you roll them back you do and should get that jazzy tone. Others just sound fluffy, you can put the best pickups in the world into these and they will still sound fluffy.

Which I is I always like to try the guitar out before buying it, that one, not some other in a box.

Could it be your signal chain and/or amp?
Get rid of the pedal?
Try another amp?
Compare to another known-good tele on your rig?

There may be something amiss with your guitar like loose bridge plate or loose neck. The latter is quite common - strings at concert, loosen the neck screws a bit and drop it tail-first onto the carpet from as high as you dare (6in for me), check neck alignment and tighten the neck screws. This seats the neck nice and hard against the body, known to improve tele tone.
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Old December 31st, 2012, 08:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The Barden tele neck pickup is a humbucker and will blow a single-coil tele bridge pickup out of the water.

Just installed a Barden neck Tele pup with a Keystone in the bridge. Kept the bridge at Bill's recommendation and put the Barden at his recommended starting measurement and it has a nice balance, with the bridge pup being just a little louder.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had a lil 59 in mine and it overpowered the neck so I put in a PAF humbucker.
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