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

In praise of Cavalier Pickups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by IgnatzMouse, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    +1 on Mike's vids. I probably upped his few count considerably when I was agonizing over which Lions to choose for my number one. He really did a great job with his videos. Not only does he showcase the pickups well, he's just a great player and really enjoyable to listen to. I've done some Cavalier demos of my own, but they pale in comparison in my opinion.
  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    I concur. Rob's pickups are remarkably quiet. I have no shielding in my guitar and I still get very little, if any, noise with them. Just fantastic build quality and customer service... And he turns them around remarkably fast also.
    Geo and Grux like this.
  3. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2014
    Not really adding anything new here, but I'll join the chorus.

    I bought a 2016 50's Road Worn Tele half a year ago. I love my other Tele with Keystones, and it covers the traditional Tele tone very well. I wanted another Tele with more output and mids than the traditional, mostly for Rock and Blues. The Road Worn delivered and I've been gigging with it a lot. The stock Tex Mex pickups are surprisingly good IMO, but there have been a couple of things lacking. I like the oomph and mids of the Tex Mex neck pickup, but it can be too dark for some applications. I never play it without the tone control all the way up. The Tex Mex bridge pickup, on the other hand, can get a little muddy on the bottom, but can be harsh on the top at the same time.

    So after going over Rob's website again I decided to order a Fat Lion bridge pickup and a Fat Lion King neck pickup just to see. Wow!

    Higher output and mids like I wanted, but with clarity and enough treble on tap, all without getting shrill. I know Rob's site says the Fat Lion isn't best for twang, and I'm sure that's true, but I'm thrilled with the fat twang I'm getting playing down near the bridge. Just lovely sounding Tele pickups that add the mids and oomph while still sounding like a Tele. And the great service and reasonable price are much appreciated too. Rob's the man.
    Mitch T and SPUDCASTER like this.
  4. jwp333

    jwp333 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Jul 17, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    All good stuff. I have fat lion/fat lion king in a thin line. I have a Nashville/Fat, tiger strat and lion king neck in a Nashville style tele. And I have a 50's neck and mid and an SRV bridge in a strat style which I'm really liking right now.
  5. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    I bought a couple. Great pickups and a super nice guy too.
  6. Billnchristy

    Billnchristy Tele-Holic

    Sep 21, 2017
    I've got a Nashville lion and lioness king in this tele

    That lioness is a nasty lady
  7. Tdel10

    Tdel10 Tele-Meister

    Jul 31, 2016
    Wheeling WV
    I've kind of been planning, in the back of my mind, to use a set of cavaliers on my next build.

    I've yet to hear a negative word about them.... Anywhere.

    What I want is for a Nashville style Tele(meaning 3 pickups, not his Nashville wind pups... Just to be clear) a huge/fat bridge, whatever he recommends in the middle, and a huge neck.

    I want this Tele to have a permanent frown. I think that combo might do the trick
    theprofessor likes this.
  8. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    I don't understand that either. It provides plenty of fat twang. Maybe Rob just has Yankee ears. ;)
    Chicago Matt likes this.
  9. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Yup! I concur. The Huge can even twang on my guitar... especially rolling the volume back a bit.
    His tapped offerings such as the Twin Lions are truly a no compromise "best of both worlds" solution.
    Chicago Matt likes this.
  10. Amby

    Amby Tele-Holic

    I'm new to Cavalier pickups and can't believe how good the 51/52 sounds. A great pickup made by a great guy!
  11. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 27, 2012
    Northern California
    Love seeing all these nice words regarding Rob and his pickups. I have pickedup (lol) many tips and tricks from the man. His willingness to help other winders is something I can't thank him enough for!
    FrontPU, lineboat and Amby like this.
  12. LAGinz

    LAGinz Tele-Meister

    Sep 27, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Is that Fat Lioness pretty quiet , or does the lack of a cover inevitably lead to more noise ?
  13. jimbo735

    jimbo735 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 19, 2011
    You Guys are gonna make Him Blush!
    Ive always enjoyed reading what he has to say.
  14. Billnchristy

    Billnchristy Tele-Holic

    Sep 21, 2017
    Both pickups are about the same noise wise.
  15. asatbender

    asatbender Tele-Holic

    Mar 18, 2003
    Calhoun, GA
    Which set would be good for Brad Paisley/Jimmy Olander/Mike Campbell tones?
  16. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    In my humble opinion and experience with Robs pickups, I would say, depending on how heavy or light handed you are, any of Lions starting with the Bakerfield, Nashville and if you have a lighter touch even a Fat will get you into Olander territory. Paisley to my ears has a more aggressive Esquire or Broadcaster growl kinda vibe. Really cant go wrong with any of them. Call Rob and let him know what you are after, he'll hook you up.
    FrontPU, El Tele Lobo and Nickadermis like this.
  17. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    I love this!

    I have more to add to this thread. About a year ago, I replaced a Seymour Duncan Antiquity II bridge pickup in my Telecaster with one of Rob's Nocaster Lions, and it is exactly what I was looking for. I still had a Seymour Duncan Antiquity in the neck position.

    Then, a couple of weeks ago, I played a Nash T-57 at Guitar Center (used), and I loved the sound of the neck pickup. It was exceedingly clear (yes, a Tele neck pickup was clear)! I found out that the neck pickup in that guitar is a Lollar Vintage T. I thought, "Well, Rob can make that." So I contacted him, and what I ended up with is an underwound Lion King neck pickup, made with 42AWG instead of 43AWG, as spec'd on his website. It has the nickel-silver/chrome cover (not brass, as traditionally) and measures 6.15kΩ.

    I absolutely love it, and I can't stop playing my Tele. I have it set down pretty low, and it's super clear and articulate. To add to that, I put in a treble bleed today, and I wish I had done that a long time ago! So I can play jazz on the neck pickup, but I don't have to have jazz tones on the neck pickup unless I want to. On occasion, I roll off the tone a tiny bit, but mostly it's full up (I use a .033 radial film tone cap).

    It's been a real pleasure dealing with Rob. He is always communicative and answers my questions and has really demystified the Telecaster pickup market. As I've said elsewhere, a wine pickup on a beer budget.


    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Broke out the partcaster for this last weekends gig. It's loaded with a Fat/Bakersfield Lion and a SRV Tiger neck.

    Not too much territory that can't be covered with that combo.

    Rob's my go to guy for the pickup end of the Tele.
    FrontPU and El Tele Lobo like this.
  19. PaddyPaul

    PaddyPaul NEW MEMBER!

    Sep 4, 2018
    Perth, Western Australia
    Hate to be as repetitive as a Barry Manilow boxset, but I'd like to join the never-ending praise chorus for Cavalier pickups. I recently gave a long-unused CIJ Tele a shot at redemption with a refret, a total servicing of electrics, a general clean-up - and, crucially, a set of Rob DiStefano's Cavalier pickups. I wanted the well-recommended attack-dog Huge Lion at the bridge and Rob paired it with the (relatively) softer Fat Lion at the neck for the workhorse I had in mind.

    The result turned this benign old Tele into a tone machine of blues/rock with fat clear distortion coupled with sweet/mellow BB tones. The middle setting is incredibly flexible with touch the key to all of the above. I usually play straight into a Blues Junior with occasional light Boss OD-3 as a boost.

    Rob is a champion at his job and a champion bloke. His prices, by the way, are incredibly reasonable. The highest praise is not enough (he prefers Guinness).
    FrontPU, lineboat and El Tele Lobo like this.
  20. Brian J.

    Brian J. Tele-Holic

    Nov 12, 2012
    rob is the man, and his stuff rocks
    FrontPU and lineboat like this.
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