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

question about Joe Barden pickups (how to tell old from new ones?)

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by appar111, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. appar111

    appar111 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 8, 2006
    Hey guys-
    I just picked up a used Fender '52 reissue tele a couple weeks ago and it had Joe Barden pickups in it when I got it. I'm not sure when they were installed, but the bottom of the bridge pickup says "DM 1/06/03".

    When did Barden stop making them originally before they started production again? Not sure if I'm going to keep them in the guitar or sell them, and I want to make sure I price them accordingly. I think the new ones go for about $300 for a new set? I've heard the old ones are a little more valuable?

    Any wisdom you can bestow on me would be most appreciated-- thanks in advance!

  2. Steve_U1S

    Steve_U1S Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    So I did a quick bit of research - it appears that the original JBP (Joe Barden Pickups) ended in 2004, and the new entity Joe Barden Engineering arose soon after it seems.

    If that date is as expected, by that timeline it was made later in the original Joe Barden days in 2003.

    I'll link the article - it's a Music Zoo interview with the President of JBE, from 2009 (and in it he says that JBE is about 4 years old...)

    I'm a fan; most of my Teles and T-Types have Bardens in them (JBE ones).

    Hope this helps with the dating aspect.
    I'm guessing 'DM' is the initial marking of the person inspecting/finalizing that pickup.

    As for value... I couldn't say.
  3. appar111

    appar111 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 8, 2006
    Thanks for the info, Steve!
  4. Phil_Gtr

    Phil_Gtr NEW MEMBER!

    Jul 2, 2012
    Hello appar111 !
    I don't know much about the Telecaster pickups from JBE, but I have quite an unpleasant experience with their Stratocaster pickups.
    I bought a set of S-Deluxe original "Joe Barden" pickups at the Musik Messe Frankfurt around 1993 - 1994 (I can't remember exactly), and they worked fine until the bridge pickup ceased to function about 3 years ago.
    So I replaced it with a more recent JBE copy of that pickup ... BUT IT STOPPED WORKING AFTER A MONTH OR SO OF USE.
    For Strat PUs, before, the Joe Barden PUs used to have their wiring terminals soldered to 4 metal pins running through the base plate of the PUs, but now, the JBE model have a totally flimsy assembly where the wires leaving the coils are EXPOSED and wrapped around the exterior of the base plate.
    What happened to me is that, the wires of the other PUs, which run alongside the bridge PU as they leave the PU cavity to enter the control cavity, one of these wires rolled against the base plate and the coil of the bridge PU and broke the wiring coming out of the bridge PU.

    So, in short, JBE PUs sound fine, but they have a rather poor build : the coils aren't protected and can be hit if the E string is hit hard and goes under the upper plate of the bobbin of the coils of the PUs, and the wires leaving the coils aren't protected at all and are also subject to damage.

    Conclusion : I bought a set of Lawing Zexcoil Convertible pickups which are noiseless, sound better, and have a very good build with pickup cover. And I sold the old Joe Barden Middle and Neck PUs ... and I'm good to go.
    I guess the Lawing Zexcoil for Tele are also great PUs.

    I hope you find the PUs you need.

    Best regards.
    Zexcoil likes this.
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