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Don Mare tele pickup question

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by jfs95, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. jfs95

    jfs95 TDPRI Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    New York

    I'm looking for input in choosing between the different Don Mare tele sets. I realize I could simply call Don and ask his advice, but I'd prefer to ask here before bothering him.

    I'm choosing between his Donocaster, Hot Bakelite and Hayride sets. I play country (not really rockabilly, but more modern country. Think Zac Brown Band or Keith Urban), and wondering which of these sets best nails those clean country leads. Amp is a Two Rock, set very clean.

    I've heard that Alnico 3 is great for country, but Don's site seems to suggest that the Hayrides are best for country style -- and those are Alnico 5.

    For anyone whose played these sets, any thoughts as to which best nails clean (modern) country leads?


    SPUDCASTER Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2010
    whitebird, idaho
    Welcome to the forum!

    Just go right to the source. Call Don. He won't steer you wrong.
  3. jfs95

    jfs95 TDPRI Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    New York
    Thanks. I definitely plan on calling him if I don't get any responses here. I know he is a one-man operation, so I try not to bother him unless I really have to.
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  5. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2009
    Everyone here is going to have different opinions and their own biases. My sense is that Don would rather take a few minutes on the phone to make sure you're getting what you want, and you'll be pretty stoked about what you're getting. There's a questionnaire on his site that will help you get your thoughts together before calling him if that helps.

    FWIW, my Donocaster set was recommended because I was looking for a sweeter, somewhat mellower Duke Levine-type sound. They nail it and I love they way they sound, but I think you're after a different tone.

    Edit: By the way, welcome to the forum!
  6. Southpaw Sam

    Southpaw Sam Banned

    Feb 18, 2013
    I don't have the Hayride set just his ZepOTone Live set, BUT I do remember Don saying that the Hayrides are the quintessential "Bakersfield" tone which I associate with Don Rich (Buck Owens old guitarist). I would imagine that would place Pete Anderson guitarist for Dwight Yoakam under the same "Bakersfield" category.
  7. Tony Reid

    Tony Reid Tele-Meister

    Sep 25, 2006
    I have all 3 sets. I think it would come down to a choice between the Donocasters and the Hayride sets. You could probably describe the Donocaster set as an A3 version of the Hayrides; or Hayrides as an A5 version of the Donocasters!. They have similar outputs. Both would be good for clean country. Depending on your setup (maple or rosewood board neck; brass or steel saddles, amp and settings) as well as your playing style, you could get different nuances out of each set.
    The Donocaster are a bit more smokey sounding; the Hayrides a bit more crisp - but these qualities could be enhanced or diminished by the rest of your gear and playing technique.
  8. Southpaw Sam

    Southpaw Sam Banned

    Feb 18, 2013
  9. Groberts

    Groberts Tele-Holic

    Dec 22, 2009
    A friend just installed a. Setof hit bakelites in his ash/maple Hahn228 Tele. Very impressive pu's. I lean more toward Indy rock, Tom petty, Keifer tones and these kill. If I wanted country twang however I think another one of Dons sets might twang a little more. Like the Hayrides perhaps?
  10. jamblehamblebum

    jamblehamblebum Tele-Meister

    Sep 8, 2010
    morecambe uk
    those hayrides do sound awesome on that clip . the ultimate tele tone surely?
  11. Crawz

    Crawz Tele-Meister

    Nov 10, 2011
    Snowden, Wa.
    I'd expect you'd have a great experience in working with Don for whatever you choose. Yes, not easy to commit and make that decision. I had a very recent set of Donocasters loaded into a Tele Custom. These have worked out to be a wunnerful choice. One that's proving to please many pair of ears.

    I think the above posts are on the money. I'd reinforce just plain old ringing and involving Don in the process. If after speaking there's still a shadow of doubt in your choice... send him recordings (or links to them) of things that display well what you're hoping to achieve. I'd believed Donocasters were the solution going into things. Then after listening to my deal and others his affirmation served to seal the deal. He knows his pickups well and I'd place your trust in his best call. Perhaps Hayrides would the way to go in your case. ? Can't comment on them as I've no experience there. But I tend to think that you'd find yourself having the latitude to get whatever you wanted out of Donocasters... and on no level sense you were coming up shy of your goal/s with them.
  12. JTM45blues

    JTM45blues Tele-Afflicted

    May 14, 2003
    I had Hayrides and OC Duff Buckaroos in the same guitar it was no contest, for Bakersfield tone the Buckaroos left the Hayrides in the dust.

    As for the poster and asking about modern country, I suggest using whatever pickup that the modern players you like uses and go from there.
  13. Groberts

    Groberts Tele-Holic

    Dec 22, 2009
    Bakersfield tone and Modern Country? are they more similar or different? Maybe Modern Country allows a bit more overdrive, but you still have to have a classic Tele twang ...don't you?
  14. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 22, 2003
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