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Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by fakeplastic, Dec 4, 2018.
Sounds good to me.
I truly believe it is difficult to find a bad telecaster pickup.
Even the Mexican Fenders are quite nice. But my favorite are the CS Nocasters.
Between Duncan and Dimarzio its kind of like picking out my favorite double mint twin.
I tend to buy a lot more used guitars than I do new ones. So I often acquire guitars that the previous owners "upgraded the pickups!" and they changed out the stock pickups to SDs. I haven't really come across a used guitar with Dimarzios yet. However, the SDs are always too muddy to me. I end up yanking them and putting in a particular import factory that sells on ebay through various and changing sellers which sound more hand-scatter-wound to me (and capacitance measurements have proven that out, bonus they are less than $15/set). So when I see someone write in their guitar description "upgraded to SD pickups!" I automatically insert 'downgraded'. Some people love them and that's ok. I hear the founder is a great guy. But those pickups are often (a few have been 'ok') way too muddy.
So I'd suggest spending time mining the Dimarzio models to find something. Or even chase the Cavalier/Rose/Lawrence/etc small boutique pickup winders -- that might be more fun.
I've had and enjoyed both. Both companies make excellent products, IMHO, and have good reputations for customer service. I haven't ever needed service from either one. I will agree with the previous point that the visible branding on some of the Duncans is obnoxious, but there's none at all on many of the models.
DiMarzio Twang King and True Velvet. Fantastic tele pickups.
DiMarzio vs SD is an 80's concept. With players like Tonerider, Donlis, Tone Emporium and BYO all offering comparable quality at at least half the price, that two party system is an antiquated concept. And unlike DiMarzio and SD, they don't plaster their name on the tops of their pickups, so your guitar won't look like it somehow fell out an 80's hair metal magazine.
I think comparing SD/Dimarzio to those companies is apples and oranges. From a consumer's standpoint, you can go to SD/Dimarzio and see that they each have 10+ different Tele pickup models. Everything from vintage winds, to modern hot noiseless designs. Tonerider and Donlis have what like 3 options each? While I don't necessarily dispute that there are more affordable and decent pickups out there now compared to the 80s/90s, the big boys have a much bigger selection, and arguably more interesting designs (because they have more resources).
Seymour Duncan's IMHO.
DiMarzio True Velvet is my favorite Tele bridge pup
Most of the overlap between DiMarzio and SD is in the vintage range anyway. When you get into the niche pickups, their offerings become unique unto themselves. They both have stacked humbuckers, and there aren't many of them in the lower priced tiers, but I think that's about the extent of where they're competitive, apples to apples.
I'm going to keep this simple.
I love the SD Jerry Donahue set.
I love the Dimarzio Twang King set more.
If a Tele needs new pickups, the Dimarzio Twang King set is my first choice.
If a Telecaster has Seymour Duncan Donahues in it, it doesn't need new pickups.
Some "acetona", sorry, don't know the name in English will erase the name.... "nails color remover" works as well
I have been using Dimarzio Twang King and recently changed to SD Broadcaster.... none of them are bad at all but... I am considering going back to Twang King. At least in my SG, yes a SG with Tele pickups. I think SD broadcaster sound thinner, just a tad, but I miss something and will go back to Twang King.
I mean Bridge pickups, my guitars all have a humbucker at the neck position
I have far more Dimarzio pickups than I have Duncan pickups... I guess that says something about which I prefer.
I love the Dimarzio Area T pickups... they sound awesome, are totally noiseless, and the price is great. Slam dunk easy choice in a Tele.
I like Dimarzio PAF Master humbuckers also - I have them in neck position of two Teles and bridge position in a Strat.
Dimarzio has a number of other pickups that I am really interested in checking out, as well.
Duncan... I don't know... sort of 'meh' for me, I guess - not sure why.
Thanks for mentioning those alternatives. I will probably try something from Tonerider and Emporium.
I agree, it’s an easy fix. I just don’t see the need to even bother to do it. Acetone is the name in the US. It is mostly sold as “Nail Polish Remover” (for the ladies fingernails).
I’ve used DiMarzio and SD on my Tele, honestly it’s not the brand, but the specific pickup that matters. I’m more of a rock Tele player than a twanger, but it still has to have good Tele character.
I liked the old DMZ Pre-B1, but it got a little noisy in crappy bars, with a little gain. Sounded nice and ballsy while you were playing, but I needed to manage it between songs.
I didn’t like the SD Hot lead Stack at all, (long story how it even got there) and swapped it for a Vintage Lead Stack (STK3) that’s really great. Both are SD Noiseless and dead quiet.
I have an SD Lil 59 in a HSS Strat, that is pretty good for that guitar, but for me it would be too much for a Tele. I’ve used DMZ HBs in an SG and was happy enough, and like the SD set in my current Les Paul. Maybe I’m easily pleased, but to me it’s the output, the magnets and the character- not the brand.
If I had to do it over I’d try the 36th Anniv HBs in the Gibson guitars, and the Areas in the Tele. I see no need to change anything I have though. None of those pickups were available when I swapped out.
Check out the Duncan Tele Quarter Pounder demo on YouTube by Rodney Gene -- great tone and, as usual, terrific pickin' from RG.
I totally get this. I fight the power by using Brasso to take the logos off of the pickups I don't want logos on. Comes off cleanly with no scratches.
I have a Duncan vintage Tele stack in my Tele bridge, and it plays nice with the neck Gibson mini-humbucker. 500K CTS pots and Jensen paper in oil cap(s) really open things up. Great sounding bridge pickup for country twang with no hum. I painted over the SD logo on the pickup with flat black model paint.
Whatever pickups you use, I find on Teles that you need to over exaggerate the volume balance between the neck and bridge for a good middle tone - in other words, make the bridge much louder than the neck. And they should be in-phase, despite the benefits of noise cancelling from OOP. You get the clarity and chirpiness instead of a “bland compromise”.
Regarding the use of acetone to remove the logo from pickups, acetone destroys various plastics. Way back when I ruined a pick guard trying to remove some painted on graphics with acetone. The the plastic a pickup cover or bobbin will stand up to acetone is fairly risky, especially if you did spend more than $100 on the pickup. If there is a bad interaction, and best the plastic loses it's glossy appearance, at worse it will warp the plastic and leave visible streaks where the acetone has been wiped across it.