Mate for Lollar CC pickup

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Gorquin, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Gorquin

    Gorquin Tele-Meister

    Feb 2, 2013
    I have a recently purchased Tele with a Lollar CC pickup in the neck position. The bridge pickup is another brand and although it sounds good the volume level mismatch is too great.

    I know there are those who have tried other bridge pups with the Lollar CC so.....

    I'm looking to keep the bridge position "chime" because I do a lot of Beatles, Petty, Byrds, Gin Blossoms etc. but I need the output to be closer to the Lollar CC so it's not an insane difference in volume when switching.

    What say you?

  2. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

    Oct 26, 2010
    The Lollar BS ! It matches perfectly.
  3. mateo2006

    mateo2006 NEW MEMBER!

    Apr 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Probably way too late to be of any help but ... you never know.

    I also have had a trouble finding the appropriate bridge pickup for that lovely Lollar CC neck pickup. Made with thick 38 gauge wire and an alnico V magnet it is pretty unique and the output resistance really tells you nothing about the pickup. It rates very low (3.2 K) and yet is very loud. This is the primary stumbling block of finding a good matchup for it.

    Tim Lerch's videos have really helped sell these babies and you can hear him using the CC pickup in combination with the powerful BS pickup and with Lollars '52 tele bridge.


    The BS pickup is often represented as a CC pickup but it actuality it predates Lollar's try at the CC pickup and is made entirely differently. It has a ceramic magnet and I believe is wound with 40 gauge wire. It really is only a match in output. According to Lollar the place it really shines is for distorted tones for people looking for a lot of sustain. Kind of the opposite of the strengths of the CC neck pickup. Still, most people seem very happy with the pairing. Not requiring a special bobbin or unusual wire like the neck pickup it seems a bit expensive for what it is.

    Previously I had a Tonerider Blues in a pine bodied telecaster. It is rated around 6.5K. It had decent twang and was nice combined with the tonerider neck pickup. A really nice - "I seem to really hear both pickups at the same in middle position" kind-of-thing.

    When I placed the CC pickup in it, it lost that and really just created a different middle position sound, rather than seeming to hear both pickups at the same time, which is fine. However, since we hear things relative to one another, even with the neck pickup set really low in height, the bridge sounded hopelessly anemic when switching from neck to bridge. I often change positions during solos and the difference in volume and 'girth' really makes this tactic quite untenable. Keep in mind, when mated with a similar neck pickup the Tonerider bridge sounds just fine.

    I decided to try something different and got a small handwinder from the north of England, John Anthony Blakey of JAG/Baytone pickups, to do one of his CC bridge pickups for me.
    It is wound using 43 wire and also uses an Alnico V magnet and is rated at around 8.5K. I loved the "Tuxedo-look" and it is a great match visually with the Lollar pickup in the neck of a white tele. I inquired about the ceramic magnet option, due to my desire to get a good match volume-wise, but Mr. Blakey said that the Alnico magnets imparted a sweeter high end so I went with that.

    It is a great pickup and sounds kind of like an 'idealized broadcaster' pickup to my ear. It still has plenty of twang but a softer high end. A very good looking and sounding pickup.

    ...but unfortunately still not a great match in volume or tone for my desired applications. If you wanted a real Jekyll and Hyde instrument or use the bridge for bright soul and reggae rhythms and country lines and then switch up to a fat neck pickup for substantial sounding single note jazz lines, this combo might work for you. Tim Lerch shared the fact that he often uses a boost to make up for the difference between his Lollar 52 and the CC Neck. But for a nice dual voiced guitar sound that could travel a lot of traditional tele ground, the original Toneriders would have worked great. I was looking for fat clean sounds for jazzier applications in a tele format.

    I think you need something with fairly high output and a stronger bass/low mids to match up well with the Lollar CC neck pickup.

    I have heard quite a few people who put SD Quarter Pound for Tele pickups in the bridge with their CC neck and been happy with that.
    I was kind of surprised as these have a DCR of 17 and seemed a bit too powerful for CC pickup, but apparently that is not the case. Some complain that the SD QP is a bit too dark but the CC pickup is certainly not bright as tele pickups go, either. It is possible to get these tapped as well which is pretty cool.

    Others have sought out similar solutions from Cavalier Lion series pickups which are also avilable in a wide variety of tappable options:

    Anyway, I am popping this JAG pickup (whose customer service was excellent BTW) out of my tele and will probably go the safer route of trying out the BS bridge pickup which Lollar recommends next.
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