Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Cavalier for taming shrillness in 52 AVRI?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Pants, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Pants

    Pants Tele-Meister

    340
    Jan 12, 2011
    Austin
    So I scored a 52 AVRI Coppercaster a while ago, and after playing it for a while, I think the bridge pickup is a bit ice picky for my taste. I honestly never thought I would say that about any guitar---usually I wish my bridge pickups had more treble on tap. But this has a thinness or stingyness to it that's not pleasant to my ear.

    Here's what I think I need: a replacement bridge pickup that tames the ice pick while still giving me that twangy "BRRRANG" sound hitting an open chord through an EL84 amp (I use a Mesa TA-30 with a Gold if that helps). I live on the bridge pickup, so this is pretty important to me to get right. The BRRRANG is non-negotiable for me, but I want more girth behind it. On the high strings especially.

    Another point of reference at the opposite end of the spectrum: the stock bridge pickup on the 2 MIM Standards I used to have, as well as the stock bridge pickup on my old Classic 50s, were way too bassy for me---not nearly twangy enough. So I'm hesitant to say I want something actively bassier... I think I just need something as lively as the AVRI bridge pickup, but less shrill.

    I started looking through Cavalier's offerings (shout out to @roknfnrol for the incredible demos) and am very intrigued by the Hydra Lion. Being able to select among, say, the Huge Lion, Nashville Lion, and Bakersfield Lion, would be amazing, and would seem to give me the control I want over 'level of twang.' Would that pickup fit the bill in y'all's experience? I play music that sounds like early Wilco, R.E.M., Petty (R.I.P.), Big Star.

    Thanks for reading my ramblings. Looking forward to y'all's insights.
     
    roknfnrol and Bruxist like this.

  2. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    I can't speak on the tapped pickups, though I think that'll be my next purchase.

    The Nashville is the bee's knees though. I think it sounds like what you're describing.
     
    FrontPU, 4pickupguy and El Tele Lobo like this.

  3. Pants

    Pants Tele-Meister

    340
    Jan 12, 2011
    Austin
    Thanks, that's great to hear. That's my sense too---the Hydra is really just tempting just in case the Nashville is either too little or too much for any given context.
     
    lineboat and El Tele Lobo like this.

  4. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2012
    My Tele has a Huge Lion, and I can't say enough good about it. It's so darn close to a P90 it's unbelievable. To have one tapped for another flavor could only make it better, and I didn't think that possible!
     

  5. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Yeah, that would do it, although I'd favor a fat lion over a huge for that combination. The huge gets out of traditional tele territory, in that you lose the twang. That's what I understand from my conversations with Rob when I bought my fat lion(s). The fat is exactly what it says it is. The Nashville and fat will give you what you need, no doubt.
     
    LAGinz likes this.

  6. archetype

    archetype More tone than talent Ad Free + Supporter

    670
    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    We've got to get some basic questions out of the way. Are you using the amp's tone tone controls to get closer to the sound you want? Are you using the guitar's tone control? That's an essential part of Tele tone shaping. The tone you want might be in your 52 right now.
     
    BopT likes this.

  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    My Fender OV bridge pu (same as the oem 52ri) has that cutting ability, but it fattens up real nice if I back off the tone a little. .047 tone cap. The Fender Nocaster bridge pickup doesn't cut that way, but it does fat very well.
     
    BorderRadio and BopT like this.

  8. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    The tone control doesn't bring the capacitor into the signal until you're basically at 4 or below, which means you're not losing any highs until then, just taming the resonance. If your pickup sounds edgy because the resonance is too sharp and you're not using the tone control, you should use it rather than look for another pickup. That said, if it sounds "too muddy" for you at all amp settings at that point, you should investigate other pickups, and the Cavaliers would be a great place to go if you want to stick with a traditional Fender-style.
     
    BorderRadio and RoyBGood like this.

  9. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    I have the triple output, 2 taps that is, Cavalier AlNiCo 3 bridge. I like the normal and underwound best. The overwound doesn t seem to lose highs, which would have been ok since the other taps are bright.. Its similar in sound to the Fender Nocaster, so if you find it shrill you might find it so too. On my '52RI I just turn the tone down if it seems to trebley. Great tone control, usually I never use them , but the '52's sound great.
     

  10. Pants

    Pants Tele-Meister

    340
    Jan 12, 2011
    Austin
    Thanks for all the help, everyone! To everyone who is recommending a Nocaster-type: this is interesting info. Bears more investigation. My only encounter with a Nocasterish pickup was with a Baja at a GC, and I found it a bit too dull in the treble for my taste. Sounds awesome when others play it though.

    I dial my amp in differently for each guitar, yes. The 3 other Teles I've owned were way too bassy and dull sounding for me to ever reach for the tone control, so that's definitely not something I'm used to. I suppose I have a mythical golden standard in my mind of (my memory of) a '72 standard Tele I used to play occasionally, which had a perfectly twangy bridge pickup that didn't require any tone control rolloff. That would be my ultimate. The selectable output on the Cavalier Hydra would be extra icing on the cake on top of that.

    This is fascinating info, thanks. I will have to play with the tone control more; I wasn't encouraged by my first experiments with it, but I'll keep at it. Forgive my ignorance: what is resonance in this context? Is it a distinct tonal quality from frequency/which frequencies are accentuated?
     

  11. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    There is a resonance that forms (almost always) in the upper mids from the interaction between the pickup’s inductance and the cable capacitance, which (almost always) causes a huge increase in impedance. The controls on the guitar, basically being variable resistors wired in different ways, do a lot to tame this resonance, but often not enough. If the resonance falls between 3-5 kHz on a bridge pickup, especially if it accentuates a lot, we hear that as bright, edgy, shrill, etc. The sharper the resonance, the narrower and more extreme the boost is, making it very hard to balance with the rest of the response.

    Many players try to set their amps with the guitar’s controls all the way up, then find it muddy when they turn down the controls. This is often because their amp settings were compensating for the uneven and unpleasant response from the pickup.
     

  12. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    The '52RI has the Nocaster as the bridge post 2012 doesn t it ? The specs are the same.
     

  13. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    Maybe so. I don't have the year by year knowledge. I do know that OVs were the oem pickup in the 52RI initially and for many years.
     

  14. chrisr0712

    chrisr0712 TDPRI Member

    30
    Oct 6, 2003
    Madison, MS
    Baseplate is different on the Nocaster (zinc plated) and 52ri (brass plated)
     
    Teleterr and LAGinz like this.

  15. noah330

    noah330 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    Instead of changing pickups I would probably lower the treble side of the pickup. Many times that can make as big a difference as changing pickups.

    YMMV
     

  16. Pants

    Pants Tele-Meister

    340
    Jan 12, 2011
    Austin
    Thanks again for the insight, all. I played around with a few things and was still not digging the bridge pickup. After an email conversation with Rob, I ended up going with a Nashville. Can't wait to get it... will update when I get it installed.
     

  17. BlueCajun

    BlueCajun Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    501
    Sep 24, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    I'm sure you'll be pleased with it. I have Lion King/Nashville Lion combo in my #1 and love all three positions.
     
    SPUDCASTER and El Tele Lobo like this.

  18. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    I have this set also in my number one and I love it. They are my favorite set of pickups... Even beating out a much more expensive set of Porters, which I also like very much.
     
    SPUDCASTER and BlueCajun like this.

  19. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    I have both of these plus the SRV Tiger in the middle of my Deluxe Nashville. Versatility plus!
     
    BlueCajun likes this.

  20. Pants

    Pants Tele-Meister

    340
    Jan 12, 2011
    Austin
    Figured I would post an update. Got the Nashville Lion installed and am really digging it. I am not used to having such usable treble. No matter how shrill and annoying a high-on-the-neck chord or arpeggio I play, it never icepicks. Very nice. It took me a few minutes to get used to the girth of the Nashville---this thing has some solid mids and plenty of bass, much firmer than I expected. But that's turned out to be perfect for my purposes.

    It has the low end definition I liked in the Classic 50s bridge pup I used to have (yet none of the muffledness I didn't care for), plus the high-end "snap" of the OV '52 bridge pup that I loved so much (yet none of the icepick). Plus a character all its own. Unsurprisingly given Rob's track record, I am a very satisfied customer!
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.