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Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by msmith886, Aug 11, 2017.
Does anyone know what pickup Vince Gill uses in his famous 53 tele?
Vince Gill probably does.
Sorry, couldn't resist. I would like to know this myself.
Yeah figure he would but since I don't know Vince personally that doesn't help.
Ive read somewhere a while ago that the bridge is stock , and that the neck pu died years ago...
In a brief search the articles and videos I saw, he did not indicate there were any changes on that guitar. It may be original other than he states multiple refrets.
Yep, it is the original 1953 Fender pickup. What a great tone!
tele/esquire bridge from '52 to '64 =
A5 .187 rod
42awg coil wire
average wind = 6k to 7k
I always thought Vince's tele had a stock bridge. It's a very unique guitar in the sense it isn't an overwound pickup but it's not as trebly as a typical Telecaster that wasn't a Broadcaster or Nocaster. It is a very sweet/warm sounding guitar and I've always thought it was the best sounding Blackguard.
Stock bridge pickup. The neck pickup was dead for many years and Vince played it with just the bridge pickup for a while. Now the neck pickup is either a Duncan replacement or a Duncan rewind of the original neck pickup.
Have you seen this?
I think he covers quite a bit of it here
Roll back you tone a little, get a Little Walter amp, practice your A$$ off and you might get close.
Always figured Vince's '53 had an Alnico 3 wound bridge pickup (or, more specifically per the Blackguard book, an Alni 3, no Cobalt). Most of the '52's did, right?
This is my best guess as well. I don't think Fender went to A5 pickups until a few years later (perhaps some vintage experts will weigh in). It's likely an A3 pickup, scatter-wound in the 6.5-7K Ohm range.
As far as Vince's bridge PU being less "trebly," I suspect it has every bit as much top end as any typical PU of that era, but Vince's preference for rolling back the tone control means that the recorded sound we hear is always a bit softer and rounded on the top.
Rob at Cavalier explains how in 51/52(somewhere) they went from A3/43 to A3/42 wire then mid 50's went to the A5/42 combination.
I have one of his 51/52 Lions. Great pickup, by the way.
Not affiliated with Cavalier, just a happy customer.
I love my 51/52 Lion too - great pickup.
Best guess at achieving the Vince Gill tone is to find a pickup with Alni magnets, not Alnico (i.e. No Cobalt). I believe that the Blackguard Book revealed that the early Telecasters had pickups with Alni magnets. Not sure who makes pickups with Alni these days other than Ron Ellis. Maybe Fred Stuart?
a3's are alnicu where "cu" is copper and not "co", which is the cobalt in alnico a5 mags. a3's don't magnetically charge as high as a5's and will offer lower gauss rates, but since it's magnetism that matters and not the magnet's composition, a lesser charged a5 can simulate an a3, which is why a lot of the old 50's a5 pickups that have lost magnetism might seem like a3's. from '52 on it was pretty much a5 and 42awg for tele/esquire bridge pickups.
Exactly! I seems few people know this (and I didn't until a few years ago...)
Funny, how people over-analyze, looking for "magic" tweaks and such, when all it is is the tone control rolled back a little. The simplest solution is usually the right one.
Linked here is part of a great discussion from years ago, featuring Nacho, Don Mare and others. The general consensus is/was that A5 didn't become prevalent until the 2nd half of 1954.