Looking for a particular bridge pickup sound

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Crawldaddy, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Meister

    Dec 12, 2006
    Hey guys,

    I currently have a Fender Baja 50s Telecaster BSB blackguard. Love the sound, but I decided to buy up parts and put together an all-nitro version of this guitar, and eventually sell off the Baja because I don't really use the S1 switch too much.

    Thing is, I really like the bridge pickup in the Baja. I'd love to sell the Baja as all-stock.

    What would you recommend as a pickup that would be as close as possible to that Baja bridge pickup sound?

    I'd like to stick with single coils, so please let's avoid any humbucker suggestions.

  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    I forget what pickup came in what year Baja but bear in mind that the guitar is part of the sound, so if you put another same model pickup in a new build it's not really going to sound the same.
    To my ear, sometimes part of what I liked actually went with the guitar, not the pickup.
    A pickup relates to eq and clarity, while the guitar relates to attack, sustain, and also effects bass clarity somewhat.

    It would be a shame to lose a sound you like to gain a finish you like.

    Also I believe that the pickups in the Baja changed over time, not always for the better.
    At least the neck pickup was originally superb then became only good.
    Not sure about the bridge pickup.

    Someone will probably know what the Baja pickup is, or google search for that info.
    eclecticsynergy, Zepfan and DHart like this.
  3. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

    Mar 27, 2011
    La mesa
    It looks like they come with a broadcaster pickup. You could pick one up on Reverb, buy direct from Fender, or get an independent winder to make one. I know cavalier makes one.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    telemnemonics and jvin248 like this.
  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
    SD Broadcaster
    Crawldaddy likes this.
  5. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA

    The bridge pickup that you like is most likely the Fender Broadcaster bridge pickup, about 7.3k resistance, 42AWG wire gauge, A5 magnets.

    I think you would be quite happy replacing it with a Cavalier 51/52 pickup, about 7.8k, 42AWG wire, but with A3 magnets. I have both of these, and the tone from them is quite similar. The Cavalier Nashville would be another which you would probably find to be a reasonable replacement.

    As telemnemonics mentions, the guitar itself can impart its own tonal quality on any given pickup, so don't expect EXACTLY the same sound, but you will likely be pleased with the similarity.

    Other Tele bridge pickups with around 7.5k DCR are likely to give you a close-enough similar tone, such that with a tweak or two to your amp settings would make up any difference.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    El Tele Lobo and Crawldaddy like this.
  6. EddieLocrian

    EddieLocrian Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 7, 2014
    You said Badger, here he is:
  7. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Meister

    Dec 12, 2006
    I hear you; I've been very conscious to ensure that the partscaster build effectively has the same spec bar the nitro finish. It's a purely self-indulgent pursuit, and I make no excuses for it!

    That said, I am aware that body and neck play a huge part, so the specs are pretty much ash body and one-piece maple neck.

    That's cool to know, thank you for laying out the specs. I've had no experience with Cavalier, so it would be interesting to see what they would recommend.

    I am a Lindy Fralin fan, so maybe I might email both companies and see what they respond with.
  8. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

    Nov 28, 2016
    I have Fender Broadcaster (the Baja pickups) in one of my teles. As well as I have Fender Texas Special and Nashville Cavalier. I think they are all on the same ballpark.
    TLR_ likes this.
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !

    Spend time measuring the the pickups and controls, 'blueprint' them. The wood/etc is just a framework to hold the bits that make the toanz....

    Critical is measure with a meter the pickup actual kohms, the volume pot kohms (across the outer lugs), less important but still useful is the tone pot kohms and any capacitor measurements (but that take a more expensive meter).

    Then find your replacements that measure close to those actuals.

    Measure current pickup heights to the strings as a starting point, but you may need to go slightly higher/lower if the magnets you get are slightly stronger/weaker.

    Then A/B the two guitars when you get done building the new one and tweak pickup heights.

    Cavalier, Rose, Lawrence/Keystone, and those 'Garage' or starts with a 'B' or something wound pickups that I see talked about, ... as popular pickups around here. You can even try ebay import pickups (Oh ! the Internet will melt down) if you get matches to the measurements.

    After that, the Oak-Grigsby 4-way switch is the key to the Baja, those run around $11 online. If you buy a used MIM Standard and put a 4-way in it you are well on your way. Then it's just tweaking a couple of bits.

    You have a fun project.

    El Tele Lobo and TLR_ like this.
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