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Vince Gill 53 Telecaster Pickups??

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by msmith886, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Kingpin

    Kingpin Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Here
    AJ Love likes this.

  2. telerocker1988

    telerocker1988 Tele-Afflicted

    May 2, 2010
    Illinois
    I've heard Vince say that it was a sweeter sounding Tele than most, and that most of his other Teles are bright. I would assume if it was just the tone control, they would be the same. I like to think it's just a one off miracle that happened that it's just a little better than the rest. It sounds amazing. He does utilize the tone control, and I've known about that. But I don't think that's 100 percent it either. I just think the bridge pickup and maybe the wood makes it a warmer, smoother sounding Telecaster to my ears. If I was a Tele pickup maker, that's the bridge pickup I'd try to copy more than any other.
     

  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    I've just been trying to learn the solo from Liza Jane, gotta say he can play, and his tone is exactly what I think good Tele tone through an amp 'on the verge' is. He's my pick of the Hendrix of Country, or maybe that's selling him short, and Hendrix is the Vince Gill of Bluesy Rock....

    He's got great dynamic control, and just makes it look so easy. I suspect lots of perspiration to add to the inspiration.
     

  4. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    The thing I like about Vince's playing is it's uniqueness. It's just a different perspective and approach to tone and the way his mind chases the melody. I think it is more organic than say Brad Paisely and soulful. Now Brad gets the vote for uniqueness but his playing is more accessories to a song and Vince needs to express his thoughts through melody. Both great players with completely different approaches.
     

  5. judgew

    judgew TDPRI Member

    60
    May 16, 2010
    Danville KY
    I had a 53 in the shop for a few weeks in November - Was so impressed with the original bridge pickup - I played it thru my 69 prinecton reissue. Tone on 6T 5b - never heard (in my hands) a sweeter pickup. I had 2 teles to compare it to -one with keystone bridge ( brighter/thinner) and the other with Fralin blues specials (much darker). Appreciate the detailed magnet information. Would love to find a repro with that tone - anyone making a pickup even close to these?
     
    SnidelyWhiplash likes this.

  6. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Detroit
    The bridge position Fralin in my MIM is nasty.

    But, when you roll the tone back just a hair, it's a great pickup.
     

  7. VikinginLA

    VikinginLA Tele-Meister

    141
    Sep 15, 2013
    Los Angeles
    I saw him at the Stagecoach festival a few years back. He is a great player indeed, and beautiful tone out of any instrument 1463160_10152979300987655_2696746852307315797_n.jpg played
     

  8. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Give Cavaliers 51/52(A3/42) a try. I also have a PV58 that the tone rolled back a bit and through an AC15C1x, will get you pretty close. I would assume the PV58 is A5/42, maybe? I'd quote DCR's, but not sure that means much sometimes.

    Vince will probably sound good no matter what he picks up. I think it's called "touch".

    Again, I have no affiliation with Cavalier. Just a happy customer.
     
    AJ Love likes this.

  9. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI
    Here's that Cavalier 51/52 bridge pickup that Spud mentions above. While I admit I haven't personally owned or played this pickup, to my ears the tone does approach the Vince sound, especially in the last 10 seconds of the video... Just my opinion

     

  10. Amby

    Amby Tele-Holic

    I've got a Cavalier 51/52 and imho it gets near to that early sound. Rob did a great job.
     

  11. judgew

    judgew TDPRI Member

    60
    May 16, 2010
    Danville KY
    The cavaliers look and sound interesting - at a good price.
     

  12. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI
    I've been doing more research on this topic lately. The top 2 bridge pickups I've found to achieve the Vince tone are:

    Ron Ellis '52T
    Don Mare 4709 (Joel Foy pickup)
     

  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
    Sweet that's how I want my 50s Teles to sound.
     

  14. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI
    There is a little bit if "harshness" or perhaps better worded "hard edge" to that tone in the Cavalier video, it doesn't have the bell tone sweetness that I've become accustomed to with the Mare & Ellis (& Hamel) pickups that I think better nail the early 50's tones I like best.... But as I said I think it does approach the Gill sound. Vince's '53 rides right on that edge anyways, especially when cranked live like in the Crossroads videos... It could just be the video itself or the amp, any number of factors...just my opinion
     

  15. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    the only true way to get vince gill tone is to own his brain and fingers. the rest is just the usual rhetoric nonsense.
     

  16. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    [​IMG]
     

  17. Kingpin

    Kingpin Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Here
    I have a Hamel Std., and Ellis '52 and a Klein Epic '52 in various Teles. They are reasonably close in overall tone and output. If I had to pick one closest to Vince's '53, I'd say it is the Klein, which has that slightly extra mids/sweet top end thing. The Hamel has a little more snarl, and the Ellis is cleaner sounding.

    That said, I agree that there are a number of factors that have a big impact on Vince's sound beyond the Tele pickups (and, obviously, his technique). A clean amp (I liked his Rivera setup best--not a fan of the Little Walter he uses lately) with Brit-style speakers, A CS-3, DD-3, and LOTS of reverb all play a big part. He often likes to add some barely noticeable overdrive in too, like the Sparkle Drive, to fill out the mids, depending on the song.
     
    AJ Love likes this.

  18. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI
    Kingpin. Great post!

    Can you elaborate on the Ellis being "cleaner sounding"? What do you mean by that? I have a Hamel Broadcaster and it has plenty of snarl, but then Broadcaster pickups in general tend to have that quality. I've also heard it described as "hair on the notes". By "cleaner" in regards to the Ellis, are you saying it has the twang and traditional Telecaster sound without the hair and snarl?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018

  19. Kingpin

    Kingpin Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Here
    The Ellis has great clarity and balance from string to string (works great in my B-Bender). It's a very traditional sounding Tele pickup, neither scooped, nor overwound.

    It so difficult to describe these things with words, but I would characterize the Ellis as "articulate" and a little less prone to "snarl" than the Hamel. Both are great pickups though, just comes down to personal preference.

    As for the Kleins, I found this video on YouTube that gives a pretty good side-by-side demo with a stock pickup. The fatter mids and softer top-end you hear are pretty in sync with my own experience.

     
    AJ Love likes this.

  20. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI
    From a similar thread 11 years ago!
     

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