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Old July 13th, 2013, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fender Broadcaster PU Vs. SD Broadcaster PU

So I've had a Seymour Duncan Broadcaster and I love it. It snarls and bites ( not as much as my Nocaster). Just got a Baja today with the CS Broadcaster At first listen it doesn't seem to be as rude as the SD. So I just wanted to hear you guys compare these two bridge pickups.

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Old July 15th, 2013, 05:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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They're completely different animals I believe, the only thing the have in common is their name. The Duncan is made with thicker 42 gauge wire, wound to something like 7-8k, and the fender one is wound with thinner 43 gauge wire to about 9k.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 05:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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tele and esquire vintage style bridge pickups all share the same footprint and build, and most are commonly built with a5 rod magnets and 42awg coil wire in vulcanized fiberboard flatware (NOT plastic bobbins). in that scenario, it's the coil wire turn count that will dictate the tone. less turns = less dcr = more treble and less mid-range, and in some cases that will lead to ice-pick-in-the-ear syndrome as the treble is boosted. more turns = more mid-range and less harsh treble. in these scenarios, dcr is a valid indicator of turn count.

the duncan broadcaster typically has under 10,000 turns of 42awg wire for about 7.8k dcr, and offers a good blend of twang that won't make yer ears bleed. as the turns increase, the twang will decrease and the mid-range will bloom.

those "nocaster" and "broadcaster" pups created with 43awg can't be an apples-to-apples tone comparison to all the 42awg types - they're quite different.

lastly, you will not understand pickup "tone" by reading words or listening to mp3 sound bytes. the acid test is when a pup is in yer guitar, with you playing, through your rig. wish it was easier/cheaper, but it ain't.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My Baja's "CS Broadcaster" (that's what its spec says) is 8.16k and it spanks, snarls and twangs like a good'un.

Now if we were to put it in another perfectly good Baja, it would sound quite different.
I have done this with a set of humbuckers around three other guitars and the difference in voice and tone is remarkable, same applies to any pickup. The sound is the guitar first, then whatever the pickup brings.

The difference between the OP's SD and Fender Broadcasters could simply be down to the guitars they are in. The only way to tell would be to swap them over. Are they adjusted to their best sounding position? - they often want a little tweak there.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 09:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My Baja's "CS Broadcaster" (that's what its spec says) is 8.16k and it spanks, snarls and twangs like a good'un.
....
what coil wire gauge? what type of bobbin material(s)? this is important.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 10:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As far as I know the Baja's Custom Shop Broadcaster bridge pickup uses 43 gauge wire. Has a vulcanised fiberboard bobbin.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 11:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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as i suspected ....
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Old July 15th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is interesting. I'm slowly learning the insides of these animals. Thanks Rob and the rest of you fellows. So is the Fender CS Nocaster pups made with .43 wire with more turns than the fender CS broadcaster? That would account for the mids In the Nocaster compared to the other?

Also can someone give me a rundown on what bridge pickup types were used in teles in the 50's. if someone can do this in chronological order or send me to a site that can that would be awesome.

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Old July 15th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How's she play brother?
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Old July 15th, 2013, 12:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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there was an early period where leo used 43awg for the bridge pup in his "broadcaster" and "nocaster" tele guitars - yes, the name can be interchangeable, as a result of the gretsch (drums) law suit. most, if not all, of the later tele/esquire bridge pups reportedly used the ubiquitous 42awg coil wire. a coil's dcr is the result of the bobbin coil wire turn count. the same turns of 43 and 42 wire will result in a higher 43 wire dcr than the 42 wire. they will sound very different to most folks and only you can decide what that result means to your playing and music. with that tele bridge pup, 8k dcr of 43awg is WAY more treble oriented than 8k dcr of 42awg coil wire. i vastly prefer using 42awg wire for all the pickups i build, save for the small footprint tele neck pup bobbin - i like twang, but i don't like ice-pick-in-the-ear treble, nor do i like using a tone pot as a crutch of sorts to tame that treble. as always, this is very subjective sonic stuff and ymmv. enjoy whatever works best for you.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 01:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yo pat the baja is awesome. Just getting some answers to the different broadcaster pickups I have in the baja and in my MIM standard. Are the current Nocaster pup from fender made with 43 or 42?

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Old July 15th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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what coil wire gauge? what type of bobbin material(s)? this is important.
Really?

I have no idea other than they're the stock "CS Broadcaster" fitted to a UK market Baja06. I know it's MIM but the spec sheet says "CS Broadcaster", not "CS designed". I posted it up once upon a time long ago.

Besides, I though my post opined that the guitar itself probably makes more difference. I've actually put the same pickups (HBs) in different guitars and got some every different results to prove that. What was bright in one guitar was decidedly dark in the next, same controls, similar bridges, not the pickup's fault.
Two notably good tele bridge pickups are going to be more similar than not, they're going to sound like good tele bridge pickups.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Rob, thanks for your viewpoint, interesting. I have to say that the Broadcaster pickup in my Baja does not sound icepicky, it has a bit of bite but the sound is full with the tone control rolled off a tiny bit.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 02:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's too bad that Fender doesn't sell their Broadcaster pickup separately like they have started doing with the Twisted neck pickup.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 03:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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why deal with a pickup that requires use of a tone pot, and probably one sporting a hefty cap to boot, to tame the pup's inherent ice-pick treble? ditch that crap in favor of a pickup that sports more winds and more mid-range from the get-go, that won't require use of the tone pot, and in fact will now allow a no-load tone pot, that will deliver fat twangy tones that are associated with what folks seek out in 50's teles and esquires but are hard to find. this is not rocket science. there is NO mystique involved, NO mojo, NO magic components that involve silver or cryogenics or titanium. it's just simple logic and simple materials and a good design/build process.

a tele/esquire bridge pup with between 9,300 and 10,500 turns of any insulation 42awg will deliver the goods, every time, sans the ice-pick. don't matter what flavor alnico rods are used, either. there are plenty of these kinda pups to be found, but not from fender (afaik) these dayze. and no, ya don't need to pay out big buck$ or take out another home mortgage or offer up yer first born child, either.

one can lead a horse to water, but ....

i need a few cold beers ...
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Old July 16th, 2013, 04:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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one can lead a horse to water, but ....

i need a few cold beers ...
I think there may be a 'Beer for My Horses' joke in there someplace...


So Rob, curious as to your feelings on when we get into BG-1400/Preb-B1 territory comparatively.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 04:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Dogfootblues, do a forum search for Cavalier Lion pickups. Very highly regarded by many forum members. I replaced my SD broadcaster with one and have since put one in my other tele. This sounds like what you may be after. There are probably some good sound clips in there as well.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 05:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think there may be a 'Beer for My Horses' joke in there someplace...

yep!

So Rob, curious as to your feelings on when we get into BG-1400/Preb-B1 territory comparatively.

sorry, i dunno what those are.
..........
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Old July 16th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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No icepick from my Baja's Broadcaster, plenty of grunt, snap, sizzle and fatty twang or whatever-else you want to call it, full range and high output too - it's a pretty good example of exactly what a tele bridge pickup is supposed to do in fact.

And it has a tone control, which I consider essential on any guitar, although mine does now have a TBX+47nF. Its upper half adds a little treble and bass boost as it interacts with the inductance of the pickups, from '5' down to mud it is pretty much a normal tone control.

The no-load doesn't really add anything except a loud pop as it disconnects and leaves the gubbins on the hot side which adds the characteristic sizzle noise, you can rearrange that to the cold side and it sounds more like a normal pot. A normal 250k+47nF at '10' has a cut-off above the upper hearing range of a bat, it's getting on for long wave radio ;)

Icepick by my definition is not simply too much treble but where the pickup is so close to the strings that vibration in the magnetic field is at a maximum and is effectively saturated, you cannot get any more signal current out. Unfortunately this sounds like fingernails being scraped down a blackboard, extremely unpleasant.

One other thing that causes 'orrible screeches are iron filings or frits stuck to the pickup poles, they are in the environment e.g. from brick dust, they vibrate with the strings and are sensed by the pickup, they sound horrible too (remove with Bluetak)
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Old July 16th, 2013, 07:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob DiStefano View Post
why deal with a pickup that requires use of a tone pot, and probably one sporting a hefty cap to boot, to tame the pup's inherent ice-pick treble? ditch that crap in favor of a pickup that sports more winds and more mid-range from the get-go, that won't require use of the tone pot, and in fact will now allow a no-load tone pot, that will deliver fat twangy tones that are associated with what folks seek out in 50's teles and esquires but are hard to find. this is not rocket science. there is NO mystique involved, NO mojo, NO magic components that involve silver or cryogenics or titanium. it's just simple logic and simple materials and a good design/build process.

a tele/esquire bridge pup with between 9,300 and 10,500 turns of any insulation 42awg will deliver the goods, every time, sans the ice-pick. don't matter what flavor alnico rods are used, either. there are plenty of these kinda pups to be found, but not from fender (afaik) these dayze. and no, ya don't need to pay out big buck$ or take out another home mortgage or offer up yer first born child, either.

one can lead a horse to water, but ....

i need a few cold beers ...
The man knows of which he speaks. I don't own one of his pups, but I intend to one day. If for no other eason than just to try one. I already have "Broadcaster" style pups in my teles but not his. So...as I said be on the lookout Rob
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