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difference in bridge pickups - '60s and '50s Classic Series

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by yegbert, May 14, 2005.

  1. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 28, 2004
    Maryland (US)
    Fender's parts lists identify 0055216000 as the part number for the bridge pickup in these Classic Series models:

    '50s Telecaster®
    '60s Telecaster®
    Highway 1™ Telecaster®

    I have SD pickups in my '50s Classic, but I still have its bridge pickup and I've tried it in my '98 Squier Standard. I was looking for something different for the Squier, so I bought a bridge pickup from gtrwrks that came out of his '60s Classic, because it had raised and staggered pole pieces. I'm pleased with the '60s Classic bridge pickup, but I'm intrigued by this difference in parts when Fender lists them as the same part number.

    Here are some pictures of both pickups for comparison:

    '60s Classic top view:
    [​IMG]

    '50s Classic top view:
    [​IMG]

    '60s Classic bottom view:
    [​IMG]

    '50s Classic bottom view:
    [​IMG]

    The difference in polepiece height is obvious. The '60s heights:
    6th @ 1/32" raised above the flat
    5th @ 1/32"
    4th @ 3/32"
    3rd @ 2/32"
    2nd @ 1/32"
    1st @ 1/32"

    Both bottoms have 048610 molded into the casing, which I believe is common to several pickups, maybe all Tele bridge pickups in MIM Teles? The '50s has the most significant digits of the pickup part number hand written in white marker, 55216. The '60s doesn't have any other numbers on the bottom, and has a couple of spots of what appear to be wax globs. Otherwise the pickups seem identical in appearance.

    My impression is that the '60s Classic pickup provides more clarity on all the strings, and better balance across the strings, than the '50s Classic pickup.

    Anyone else here have one of these bridge pickups in a '50s or '60s Classic or Highway 1, that has the raised and staggered polepieces instead of flat ones?
     
  2. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    I owned both a 50's Classic and a 60's Classic. The 60's Classic pickups sounded alot better no need to even want to change them.

    If you do a search thru this forum you will see in the past I have made jpegs of the fender parts lists and shown how all these guitars use the same pickups but they all sound so different.

    Fender really shouldnt have the same parts number for a pickup with raised poles as they do for one with flat poles they are completly different sounding pickups.

    What would happen if someone came into the store where they bought their 60's Classic a few years ago and the bridge pickup had gone dead, they place an order with that part number and get sent a 50's Classic flat pole it would sound way different and in my opinion not as good.

    Fender does strange things that make no sense.
     
  3. Stan Martin

    Stan Martin Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 22, 2003
    MA
    what happened to the base plate?

    I noticed that both of these pickups are missing the copper clad steel base plate. Is that how they come or were they removed for the pics?
     
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  5. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    THats how the NIM pickups are no baseplate.
     
  6. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 28, 2004
    Maryland (US)
    my theory

    Since my earlier posts in this thread, I've seen or heard about from other TDPRI members, a few '60s Classic Teles. All had the raised/staggered polepieces.

    I've also noticed that the MIM '69 Thinline reissues and MIM '72 Custom reissues in a store near me, and several ebay ads for bridge pickups from those models, all had a similar looking pickup.

    So my theory is that the raised/staggered pole bridge pickup in the '60s Classic Tele is part number 005-3676-000, the same as Fender identifies as the bridge pickup in the MIM '69 Thinline reissue and the MIM '72 Custom reissue.

    Guitar Parts Resource has a bridge pickup attributed to that part number, and a neck pickup 005-3678-000 on a page together here identified as Classic series Fender pickups.

    (I wish more dealers selling Fender branded pickups online would show the Fender part number in their listings like that!)

    The one from that dealer and mine look enough alike from these pictures:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The '60s, '69 Thinline and '72 Custom are all in the Classic Series. The original Teles those are modeled after would have had raised/staggered pole pickups. Similar to the way Fender used the Classic neck 53678 and the Classic flatpole bridge 55216 for several guitars in the Classic Series, I'm guessing they developed a single raised/staggered pole pickup for the appropriate guitars in that series.

    And I'm guessing they just made an error in their parts lists, that incorrectly shows the 55216 flatpole pickup being in the '60s Classic.

    My '60s Classic bridge pickup shows around 6.4k ohms DC resistance:
    [​IMG]

    Anyone here have a bridge pickup from a '69 Thinline reissue or a '72 Custom reissue, that you could look at and measure its DC resistance, to compare to mine?
     
  7. inertian

    inertian Tele-Holic

    589
    Mar 17, 2003
    Lindenhurst, NY
    Bridge Pickup from MIM '69 Thinline

    The bridge pickup from my '98 MIM '69 Thinline looks exactly like your '60s Classic bridge. Measures 6.23 K ohms.

    However...according to Fender, its not the same pickup (see my old chart, below):

    [​IMG]
     
  8. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 28, 2004
    Maryland (US)
    Re: Bridge Pickup from MIM '69 Thinline

    Thanks inertian, that's what I was looking for.

    Given the variances that are to be expected from one pickup to the next of the same part number, and from one ohmeter to another (and mine's an old analog)...

    I think our two pickups are the same part number(53676), and Fender is putting them in the '60s Classic Teles.

    How did you create the jpg of the table? I have a similar one in a spreadsheet I made using Excel (Office XP), but I haven't figured out a way to export it to some format like jpg that would be readable by typical web browsers.
     
  9. inertian

    inertian Tele-Holic

    589
    Mar 17, 2003
    Lindenhurst, NY
    IMHO, you are absolutely correct.

    There are too many similarities for the pickups not to be the same. Plus, the Fender website is somewhat notorious for having errors in their specs.

    The jpg of the table came from an Excel worksheet that I copied and pasted to Photoshop, then saved as a jpg file, and uploaded to Photobucket to share. There probably is a more direct way to do it, but I don't know it.
     
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