Improving the Fender Blacktop neck HB

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by navigate40, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. navigate40

    navigate40 TDPRI Member

    Jun 26, 2018
    SE FL
    Hi Everyone

    I bought a Fender FSR Sea Foam Pearl HH tele with two Fender Blacktop (BHK) HB pickups. They sounded OK, but, eventually replaced them. The bridge pup was fine, but the neck seemed a bit muddy.

    I always thought the pups were serviceable, so saved them for future projects. Recently, put one in the neck of an HB/S tele project. Still sounded a little and found a solution that I think improved it greatly. Very pleased.

    I put the bridge pup in the neck position. Not sure it matters, but, wanted the neck to be hotter and brighter.

    Changed the pots on the guitar from 500 to 250k. I *think* the stock FSR HH tele came with 250k pots, but this is now in a different guitar, built from scratch. Tone improved (to my ears) with the 250k pots.

    Big thing: Took the cover off! After playing the guitar as above, for a while. It struck me that the tone could be improved further. IIRC, Antigua and others have stated that the covers on these BHK pups are not as electrically, magnetically transparent as American made ones. I compared the removed cover with a Gibson one and the Fender (BHK) and that seemed to be true.

    BIG difference in tone. Now, the pickup is very good. A keeper. It is the guitar on the right.


    The white tele is eventually going to be have an HB sized Jazzmaster type pup in the neck. An SD Quarter pounder is in the bridge. That should sound great. If not, the Fender Blacktop HB pairs well with the SD qtr pounder now, and will just go back to that.

    And, by the way, swapped the pau neck I had on the white tele, with the maple on the Sea Foam Pearl (Surf) make it more of a surf rock guitar :) [for the curious, it has a Fralin Strat Blues in the neck, Tonerider Rebel 90 (HB P90) in the bridge].

    Hope this is helpful info for some.

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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