Broadcaster bridge pickups... any fans? please share your views on them

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by DHart, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I understand that Fender American Standard Teles from 2012 to around 2015 were produced with the CS Twisted Tele at the neck and the Broadcaster at the bridge.

    Thinking about setting up a Tele with a Twisted Tele neck pickup and a Broadcaster bridge pickup. I'm pretty familiar with the Twisted Tele neck pickup, but would like to know more about the Broadcaster bridge pickup.

    Would there be enough tonal difference to choose between a Broadcaster bridge pickup and a Nocaster bridge pickup, or would those two sound nearly identical?

    Tele bridge pickups that I have and am familiar with are Cavalier 51/52, Dimarzio True Velvet, Cavalier Fat Lion, Dimarzio Area-T 418.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  2. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think there would be a great deal of difference really. I haven't done an A/B comparison but have played both and can't recall anything that really stood out.
     
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  3. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The best test is to go to music stores and try out the Baja 50s Telecaster. That has a Twisted Tele at the neck and a Broadcaster in the bridge. Of course it won't replicate the exact tones you'll get from your specific body, neck, etc., but it will give you a general idea.
     
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  4. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc Tele-Holic

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    Real broadcaster pickups have very little magnet strength which warms the sound but lacks punch of the nocaster pickups. The 43 wire on the broadcaster is also a bit more compressed sounding than the 42 on later nocasters and Teles.

    People get fooled by the dc resistance of broadcaster pickups and think they are super hot, which is why dc means very little, at say 9k. A nocaster at 7.5 to 8k Ohms are the hottest of the true vintage pickups.
     
  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It was playing a 50s Baja in a store that made me realize the perfect combo TT/Broadcaster was what I was looking for. Put them in my MIM BSB FSR RC and have never looked back. The combo is just right for my blues/ blues rock. Beware, I believe there are CS knock offs out there.
     
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  6. Mudman32

    Mudman32 Tele-Meister

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    Loved the broadcaster bridge. Hated the twisted tele neck. Not enough of a tele neck tone for me. Too stratty. The bridge pup wasn’t nearly as gnarly as a nocaster but had good twang.
     
  7. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I have a take-off set of CS Twisted Tele neck (with the white wire, vs. the green wire used on the MIM version) and Broadcaster bridge, inbound. They were apparently removed from an American Standard Tele. So, these are not vintage version pickups - they're recent production. I'm looking forward to hearing how they sound in my Mystic Red American Standard Tele.

    I'm expecting a bit of a Stratty tone from the TT, and that's ok as I've got all the other bases well covered with other guitars.
     
  8. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    all vintage fender guitar bridge pickups built between late 1949 and early 1951, no matter what leo's label - spanish guitar, esquire (1 and 2 pickup models), broadcaster, nocaster - were 43 wire over a3 mags. it wasn't until around the spring of '51 that don randall coined the "telecaster" moniker and then began the phasing out of the 43 wire to 42, but over those same a3 magnets, and eventually a5 mags replacing the a3's in late '51 to early '52. therefore, speaking about the initial fender bridge pup offerings means 43 over a3.

    the immense and nearly unpredictable pickup variable was two fold - the coil wire turn count and the coil wire winding tension. if DCR is of any value, its results for that time span varied Enormously, and solely due to those varied turn counts and winding tension, where increased winding tension thinned the coil wire and upped the DCR value for the exact same turn counts - thinner wire increases resistance. but the common denominator is the coil wire turn count, and almost always regardless of the coil wire tension and its resulting DCR metered value.

    DCR values for leo fender built pickups was all over the map, and early on, in the mid to late 50's, dad and i realized that the better fender treble tone we enjoyed usually came from significantly higher resistance coils, whilst the lower resistance coils were the ice-pick-in-the-ear-bleed ones we absolutely didn't like. there were a LOT of low turn count fender pickups produced, in fact it was most of them. our hard to find "holy grail" fender bridge pickup had a Significantly higher turn count that added a measure of "girth" and "fatness" to the treble (aka "midrange"). not a lot, but just the "right" amount. tweaking the coil wire turn count for a standardized footprint bobbin is predominantly what produces varied levels of passive pickup treble. it ain't rocket science.

    so all of this is about treble frequencies. all these passive transducers are born with the most amount of treble they were designed to deliver. it's always about the treble. you can't add it, only remove it. when introduced into an onboard guitar circuit, capacitance begins to shunt treble to ground. there are as many levels of treble as there are pickup models. choose treble wisely for the music you intend to create.
     
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  9. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Such a great post - clear and educated - your wisdom is always appreciated. thank you
     
  10. RossL

    RossL TDPRI Member

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    What is a TT neck pickup? How does it compare to the neck PU in the 52 reissue?
     
  11. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Great post as always, Rob. Thank you for shattering the "mystique" of vintage pickups with actual scientific knowledge once again.
     
  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The best sounding Fender Telecaster type guitar I have had or played was a 1953 I owned for a short time before It went to live with Nacho. Nacho’s words to me after he played on it...}thank you, Wally! this is a tone-monster guitar!”

    Fwiw, the bridge measure 6.85k and the neck measured 7.25k. That was a magic guitar, ime.
     
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  13. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Love the 50’s Baja broadcaster pickup. Can’t comment on anything off that spec.

    2012 model strat got the Fat 50’s too. A good year!

    All previous ideas of boutique pickup swaps went out the window once I plugged the Baja in. I’ve got expensive Bare Knuckles in a few other guitars so the Broadcaster def. wins on its own merits.

    I tried lots of teles at all prices and the Baja had the tones I wanted for edgier punk, blues and rock. (And the best neck ever)... I’m not a country player.
     
  14. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Twisted Tele neck pickup is taller than a standard Tele neck pickup because it uses longer Jazz Bass magnets. That makes it tall enough, and gives the form enough space, to wind it with X turns of 42 gauge wire instead of the traditional 43 gauge. IMO the tone sits between Strat and Tele neck pickup tones. It's more defined and uncompressed than a traditonal Tele neck tone, like the 52 RI, although the latter pickup has a bit more definition than an original one due partially to its nickel silver cover.
     
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  15. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Speaking of definition, I've become a really big fan of articulate definition, rich tonal complexity, and clarity. I play a very clean style, which makes hearing detailed definition fairly easy - particularly since I don't play in a band.

    Recently, I've been carefully comparing a variety of Tele bridge pickups (Cavalier 51/52, Fat Lion, & Huge Lion, Dimarzio True Velvet & Area-T 418, Fender MIM Vintage Tele & MIM Hot Standard) with some Strat bridge pickups (Fat '50s, Custom '69s, and DAllen Voodoo '69s).

    Among these samples, I find the Strat Fat '50s, Strat Voodoo '69s, and Strat Custom '69s to have significantly more harmonic richness and bright detailed clarity than the Tele bridge pickups exhibit.

    Not that the Tele bridge pickups aren't clear and bright - just that I hear more detailed, rich, harmonic detail from the Strat bridge pickups.

    This was a little bit of a surprise to me, because I've never done such a close, comparative listening experiment. And the results were very interesting.

    As a result, I have a Tele that I'm planning to install a Strat Fat '50s bridge pickup into. I think the resulting combination with a Cavalier Lioness at the neck position should yield some really cool tones - especially in the middle position with both pickups on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  16. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Great information and history, Rob. Thank you.

    Do you know what wire thickness and magnets Fender used for the Broadcaster and Nocaster bridge pickups in recent years?
     
  17. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    not a clue. noting variances in fender products over the years and over their ownership, i wonder if they could even answer that question. not that it's a bad thing, it just is what it is in the corporate world.
     
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  18. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah... I thought about asking Fender, but figured I'd try to mine the brains here on TDPRI first.

    Whatever they have in the Broadcaster bridge pickup (7.3k) from the 2012 American Standard Tele sure sounds great, for what I like to hear. Sounds quite a bit like your 51/52, with perhaps slightly less compression - I think.

    Do you think it's likely to be 42AWG given the 7.3k DCR?

    I suppose determining the A3 vs A5 question would be nothing more than guesswork?
     
  19. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    to call a modern build fender style pickup a "broadcaster" means that it needs to follow the the build regimen that leo used from early 1950 to january 1951, which is 43awg coil wire around a3 rod mags. if those two core components are not present then the name "broadcaster" has nothing to do with a true vintage fender broadcaster pickup. DCR is meaningless since the fender bridge pickup for their 1950 spanish guitar, esquire, broadcaster, and 1951 nocaster had a very wide range of completed resistance, from at least 5.5k to 9.5k (+/- who knows what).
     
  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The best ‘tele’ pickups I have ver heard were in a 1953, all-original Blackguard that Nacho deemed a ‘tone monster guitar’ after he received it. 6.85k ohms on the bridge and 7.3k on the neck.
     
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