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Need Tele pick up advice

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by jazzpicker, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. jazzpicker

    jazzpicker TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    I bought my 3rd tele off craigs list this week . It is a natural, maple neck very clean American Fender Telecaster 1998. I was surprised at the amount of buzzzz when hooking the guitar to a small practice amp and experienced less when playing through my Mesa Boogie. I've done most of the guitar things that players like to do except upgrade pickups. (You can see where this going).
    I am dying to spend more money and was wondering if swapping out the stock Tele pickups for a new set of Fender noiseless pickups would be a reasonable move. If there is a better type of pup Please give me your advice. I have never installed pups but can build computers install car radios and solder.

    Is it worth changing pups to get a quieter guitar? Can the average tinkerer install pups without frying the guitar and amp? Are the fender noiseless pups a good choice for a rock n roll and jazz player? Will most pups fit the guitar without a severe mod (router).


  2. Danos

    Danos Tele-Meister

    Jan 17, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Could it be an issue with your guitar lead? I had a similar problem a while back, turns out the lead was shot, tried another, problem solved.

    It might not be the case with your issue, but it's worth eliminating that possibility nonetheless.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013

  3. Telecatasin

    Telecatasin Tele-Meister

    Oct 3, 2012
    NSW Australia
    Pickups should only be a problem if they are not grounded properly.

    If you want a good all round pup, try Voodoo TE 59, I use them, they growl when you dig in. They will fit any standard telecaster, Best to get someone to install them for you if you are unsure, but if you can solder, just get a wiring diagram and you should be fine.

  4. cocoboudin

    cocoboudin Tele-Holic

    Oct 4, 2010
    I think the same, it could be the ground or a wiring problem. In my opinion you should use a tester and check all your solderind joints. Cocoboudin

  5. DSharp

    DSharp Tele-Holic

    Apr 26, 2003
    Southern Indiana

  6. jazzpicker

    jazzpicker TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    I've changed jack cords without lowering the buzz, all internal connections are intact and clean. I think the practice amp seems to be the biggest cause of noise combined with the tele . I have used the guitar with both of my mesa boogie amps, with the noise cut by 75%. I've have played guitar all of my life and don't think the buzzz is abnormal for for a 15 year old single coil pick up guitar.
    I was hoping to maybe increase the tone quality while getting a quiet guitar at the same time with a pick up replacement. I also wanted to become familiar with changing out pups.
    I was snooping around you tube and it seems there were quite a few people installing and demonstrating the Fender noiseless pups but after searching this forum didn't see so many. I appreciate all advice and suggestions especially about good types of pup upgrades. I primarily play jazz and rock.

  7. thinling

    thinling Tele-Meister

    Mar 3, 2012
    New York
    You might want to try humbucking pickups rather than the noiseless. There are many types that fit in the regular single-coil size, I think some jazzers use the double blade type. Someone here might have suggestions? The wiring is fairly easy to do - use 60/40 rosin-core solder and don't burn anything!

  8. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    I purchased the 'Fender Vintage Noiseless' pickups, a few years back. I installed them in my Best Tele, only to give this Tele to my young nephew. I had this Tele back in my possession recently to do some setup work on it. Man O'l man are those pickups sweet ! I really have a new appreciation for those pickups. Yes..they are quiet and sound like vintage 60s 70s Tele pups..I should know..I have enough pickups to compare them too.

    In all my go arounds with different pickups, I see myself going back to these in the near future for my go to Tele. Here's a few video demos I made with this Tele and the Vintage Noiseless pups that they are sporting. I used all 3 of my amps for the demos...The Mustang IV..the Blues Tweed Deluxe and the Hot Rod Deville 212.

    Great choice if you go with these in my opinion..good Luck ;)

    Mustang IV amp with Vintage Noiseless pups

    Blues Tweed Deluxe with Vintage Noiseless pups

    Hot Rod Deville 212 with Vintage noiseless pups


    Attached Files:

  9. ShadowChancer

    ShadowChancer Tele-Holic

    Apr 14, 2012
    Central Scotland

    Just fitted these to my mim tel and am astonished at how quiet they are and into the bargain they sound amazing and come in at a very reasonable price , the noisless pups have been described to me as super dull , but I cannot objectively comment as I have not tried them , go for tone riders and if you are a jazzer the neck pup will blow you away , I got Hot Classics , can honestly say thay work . but a good sweep of your signal chain could yeild astonishing results , I change leads in my home studio on a regular basis as you dont notice the subtle degradation over time , suddenly your sound is not so good . could be your problem

  10. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 8, 2010
    I put a set of Dimarzio Area T pickups into my 68.

    The neck p/u is better than the original and the bridge is so close I wouldn't know the difference if I didn't have both of them. I do jazz standards, Blues, Rock, retro R&B.

    The original bridge p/u was a bit hotter and the Area T both have a bit of hi-fi sound but it's nice not to have the buzz & hum...I can input my PC recording with silence.

    I didn't see any point to replacing a Fender p/u with another Fender p/u --- so when I change I usually go with Dimarzio or Seymour Duncans.

  11. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Meister

    May 25, 2006
    i used to have a vintage noiseless in the first i was happy...but the more i got into the nuances of the pickup i wasn't happy...its hard to explain...the highs just seem dry(some call it hi-fi) and the midrange doesn't seem can get convicing tele tones but not authentic tones. I went for the area t which is much closer imo. There's plenty of better options other than the vintage noiseless...bill lawrence, seymour duncan etc I even liked the lace sensor better than the vintage noiseless...bad move fender

  12. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2010
    Sounds to me that the problem is with the cheap practice amp. If everything is fine playing through your main amp, I wouldn't bother changing pickups (unless of course you want to experiment with other sounds, or you feel you want to completely get rid of noise). I'd also advise shielding all the cavities, I did that to a friend's guitar that was so noisy it wasn't useable, and it solved the problem!

  13. jazzpicker

    jazzpicker TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    Thanks for all the input I've learned a lot with this thread. I ordered some copper shielding tape from ebay and will try shielding and grounding the pup cavities and the back of the pick guard to maybe reduce the buzz before replacing the pups. Has anyone had success with shielding?

  14. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2010
    Yes! My friend's guitar wasn't useable until I shielded it. The place where he used the amp was noisy anyway, but once I shielded it the guitar became useable.

  15. jazzpicker

    jazzpicker TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    The copper tape came in a few days ago and I shielded the neck pup without soldering or grounding the pup. Last night I was practicing using the small noisy amp and couldn't hear any noise. I am very satisfied with the stock pups, they are the ones that made the Telecaster famous. I'll keep the guitar like it is and not worry about changing anything.

  16. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    As long as you're on a hunt if you're looking for quieter single coils without going the noiseless (I call it soul-less) route you might want to look into Bill Lawrence's/Wilde Keystones.

    If those aren't what you're after they also offer a variety of noiseless models that are among the best anywhere. IMHO they're far, far better than anything Fender has to offer.

  17. cocoboudin

    cocoboudin Tele-Holic

    Oct 4, 2010
    Cavalier Lion Set from Rob Distefano

  18. Vox66

    Vox66 Tele-Meister

    Jun 27, 2011
    New Jersey
    I was thinking about a TE59, I had a TE60 that was just okay. What other pickups would the TE59 compare too?

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