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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Tell me about Tex-Mex pickuups, please

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Old Tele Hack, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Old Tele Hack

    Old Tele Hack TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    50
    46
    Mar 31, 2017
    Virginia
    Mornin' all - I'm considering a natural finish swamp-ash MIM Tele w/Tex Mex pickups. I've never played a guitar with those pickups, and would appreciate an explanation of what they are, and what that means tonally.

    Thanks!
     

  2. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Mar 17, 2003
    Trenton, OH
    The Fender Tex Mex pickups get a lot of love and hate as well as "meh" opinions too. They seem to be all over the board with regard to what folks think about them. I personally like them; both Strat and Tele models. They're a little louder and fuller than a standard or vintage model. They can be raw and smooth. They're well-made and quiet for single coils. I have a set in my Strat that bought specifically for my Strat because I like their tone.
     
    Kebmel likes this.

  3. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I have them in my 50’s Road Worn tele and they are absolutely divine. As stated above they are often loved/hated those most of the hate I see come from the Strat ones...
     
    Butch Snyder and Dismalhead like this.

  4. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    My experience is only with the Strat Tex Mexs, but it's a positive one. I just bought a set for my newest Strat partscaster. Watched a lot of A/B demo videos comparing them to Texas Specials, 57/62, Gold Lace Sensors, etc; and decided they're for me. Also got one a while back for the bridge of my MIM Strat and have loved it for a few years now.

    They're brash and ballsy, higher output and they sound great distorted. Definitely good for blues and rock. Kinda the opposite of that thick syrupy Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, or Clapton tone. Think Kenny Wayne Shepherd. I'm a classic rocker, and the tone fits me to a tee. Clean they're nice, but IMO they sound a bit on the thin side compared to say Texas Specials. Still very pleasant though.

    I've heard the Tele bridge is a bit ice picky but have no experience with them.

    Just bought the set for my new Strat - $65 with free shipping from Musician's Friend. Still can't figure out why they're so cheap. At least with the Strat, they hold up well against any other pickups. Definitely a big step up from stock MIM Standard pickups.
     

  5. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Mar 17, 2003
    Trenton, OH
    Agreed - I really like mine.
     

  6. Old Tele Hack

    Old Tele Hack TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    50
    46
    Mar 31, 2017
    Virginia
    Thanks all - much appreciated!
     

  7. Equus

    Equus TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    46
    Sep 27, 2017
    Indiana
    I have a set in one of my strats also. I like them. I can get the bridge to really twang with em. A big improvement over the stock MIMs that came in it. I am going to have to admit I do like my 57/63s a little better.
     

  8. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Would you call them "hotter" or "more aggressive" as compared to current (2017) MiM stock pickups for strats?
     

  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    I have a '99 MIM. The stock pickups are pretty high output. I actually had to lower them and raise up the Tex Mex in the bridge to get a good balance. I would say the Tex Mex is more aggressive though, with a bit more growl.

    I think they've changed the stock MIM Standard pickups though since then, so I have no idea what they're like in comparison.
     

  10. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Tex mex Bridge PU is a sleeper that i have been adding baseplates to for a very long time. Net result is a major improvement in the way the PU responds with vs without.

    I dont personally care for the neck Tex Mex and favor a MIJ neck PU with the bridge baseplated PU together.
     

  11. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    I think for a custom build there's better options. I dislike the Tele and Strat set. Honky and thick without any finesse or goodness. If you're going to play through pedals all the time OK.

    Far prefer plain old OV pickups, whatever they sell them as today. Much better all-rounders. For fatter tones, Broadcasters.
     

  12. Kebmel

    Kebmel Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2008
    45 south
    I recently put a set in my Squier CV 50's Strat and they sound great
     

  13. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Meister

    386
    Oct 26, 2010
    Nonurbana
    I have a 2001 Nashville with them, two teles with a strat in the middle, and I love them. Bridge alone can scritch my Don Rich itch, and you can also get Wind Cries Mary until baby angels cry on the 2-hole. Great versatility. A great guitar for gigs, I’ve found.....
     

  14. Howie22

    Howie22 Tele-Meister

    103
    Oct 1, 2015
    N Carolina
    I had them in my Nashville

    The bridge seemed to handle dirt well. More of an overdriven bluesy pickup. Not so much good for doing the clean twangy tele thing

    The neck pickup was just mud
     

  15. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Mar 17, 2003
    Trenton, OH
    Hmmm, not really my experience at all; except for the bridge pickup. It did do clean twang nicely; but with attitude. Neck pickup was very clear; again, with attitude.
     
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  16. JL_LI

    JL_LI TDPRI Member

    Age:
    67
    86
    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I'm not a fan, but that's beside the point. You should play any guitar you're considering through either your own amp or one you'd like to own. When I'm tying out guitars I look for a Deluxe Reverb because it doesn't color the sound and I know how to set it. What you read here can be very useful but it's no substitute for playing the guitar. A guitar is more than the pickups. Playing it will let you feel how much it weighs and how it plays in addition to the sound. You should also play some similar guitars. You may find something you'll like more than what you originally had in mind.
     
    rich815 likes this.

  17. markjames

    markjames TDPRI Member

    Age:
    56
    53
    Mar 27, 2017
    UNITED KINGDOM
    I've got a 50s Road Work Tele..... Loaded with Tex Mex..... They sound brilliant!
     
    rich815 likes this.

  18. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    I like them for rowdier tones, but find them at the edge of going past not being able un hot the guitar response for less rowdy use. If i worded that close to correct. ;)

    That said, the bridge PU with no tone circuit stays alive more and adequately when vol rolled off at the guitar without the tone circuit for un-hotting purposes. I have a few guitars set up this way, switch or tone circuit only in when using with both PUs
     

  19. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Well put. Some of the most severe criticisms of these pickups has me scratching my head because it’s certainly not my experience. I often want to reply: try another amp or maybe at least adjust your pup height.
     

  20. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    I haven't used them for tele, but I bought a set of strat tex mex about a month or 2 ago and i think i can access them very well at this point after swapping them back and fourth between 2 very different sounding strats. Not sure how this will translate to tele, but what I found was they are very much like a good strat pickup except that they have a softer attack. What i found over and over again trying them in those 2 strats and comparing to van zandts and even trying the middle and neck pickups in the bridge is that the softer attack makes them great in the bridge and mediocre elsewhere. I thin in strats at least that may have a lot to do with the very mixed reviews.

    My final evaluation is i love the bridge because it has ALL the goodness you want but without near the overbearing top end that strats and even teles can have in the bridge position. It displays ZERO softness in the attack in the bridge like they do in other positions. So I love them in the bridge, wouldn't even consider using them in other positions. I called them mediocre for no bridge use but i'm tempted to say lousy. I wouldn't hesitate to try them in a tele bridge nor would i hesitate to put them in a strat bridge again. They're excellent for that. I think I may not alone in this either because i noticed a lot of people recommending them in the bridge more than recommending entire sets.
     

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