Will changing the Nashville PU's to Fralin PU's make much difference?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, May 16, 2019.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay TDPRI Member

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    Guys,


    I'm still torn about which Tele to go with (American Special or Road Worn), but I stumbled upon a deal for a 2006, close to mint Nashville Tele that I couldn't say no to ($400.00, with Fender Hard Shell Case), and I figured if I don't like it, hopefully I can always re-cop my initial investment.


    I have found that compared to other Tele's I've heard, that while the Nashville bridge pu sounds good, it doesn't have the bite/brightness that I've heard on other true Tele's (I consider the Nashville to be somewhat of a Tele and Strat hybrid).


    As the Nashville 5 way switch can't play the bridge and neck pu at the same time, I called Lindy Fralin (a SUPER nice guy, btw!!!) to discuss some options, and after asking me some questions, he suggested that I go with his Stock Tele and Strat pu's, and a push/pull pot that will be wired to allow me to use the bridge and neck pu's at the same time if I want.



    So I have a few questions...................................................................................



    Will the new Fralin pu's/push/pull pot make a HUGE, or a minimal difference in the Nashville's sound?


    Should I not like the conversion, will the modifications increase or decrease the Nashville's re-sale value?




    Thanks in advance,
    Jerry
     
  2. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Changing PUPS is subjective. Personal. You may like it , someone else, maybe not. You may find YOU don't even like it. I'm pretty sure there are many here on the board that have changed pups and didn't like them and put the stock pups back in, after spending a couple hundred bucks !

    Should you make the mod, don't get rid of your stock pups, should you part with the guitar put the stock pups and stock pot back back in.
     
  3. stanger

    stanger Tele-Meister

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    That's excellent advice!

    I had a Fralin humbucker on a jazz hollowbody I loved more than the guitar. But that doesn't mean I would automatically love one of his pickups on a Telecaster, though I probably would be pre-disposed to liking it.

    There's no harm in experimentation, as long as it doesn't screw up the guitar. Changing pickups is something that is best done by someone who knows how to do it. So if you don't, have it done, and try to find the best guy you can to do it.

    The Nashville Tele really doesn't provide the full tonal variety you can get from 3 pickups. Adding the push-pull pot is Lindy's way of increasing the versatility, but it won't give the lead pickup any more bite.

    It's not a bad idea for increasing the guitar's tonal range, but if I was to swap a Fralin for the lead pickup, I would probably buy the other 2 from him to go with it and go with Fralin all the way.

    That's going to be the best balance and match. Every manufacturer has his own way of doing things with the pickups they make.

    A more predictable swap would be to replace the pickup with another Fender.
    regards,
    stanger
     
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  4. DekeDog

    DekeDog TDPRI Member

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    I can't comment on your plan, but I can say I have Fralin's in a jazz bass, an ES-335 type (P-92s), and a Tele (Steel Pole 42s), and not only do they sound better to my ears, they sound a LOT better... richer, denser, brighter, and articulate without totally changing the character of the guitar.
     
  5. Cclause1973

    Cclause1973 TDPRI Member

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    AFAIK, the Nashville's of that era had the tex mex tele and strat pickups. Some people like them just fine, others not as much. They do ok with gain imo, but too me are a little bland, dull and harsh all at the same time. The Fralin's would most likely be an upgrade.
    My experience with pickup swaps in relation to value upon resale is it may add some value, but rarely comenserate with your cost.
    Pickups are such a personal thing

    Sent from my LG-M327 using Tapatalk
     
    G.Rotten likes this.
  6. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Big fan of Fralins on everything, but you have to like a bright and articulate pickup. Everyone has a different ear and different desires tone-wise so what I like might be the opposite of what you like. Fralin makes fantastic stuff, so it will be a quality item, but can't say if you would prefer it or not. Only trying it will answer that question. The good news is that a Fralin set do hold value and could be sold off later for probably 70% of what you would pay for it new.
     
  7. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

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    One of the best pickups I have is a Fralin P-92. I know that has little to do with the OP's question, but Fralin knows what he is doing. IMHO.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Nashville has hot pickups right? Tex Mex IIRC. That's why it's not so bright. If you like bright than get a lower wind pickup. Fralin or Fender or other.
     
  9. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would recommend you consider cheaper yet equally good pickups such as Cavaliers, for example.
     
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  10. Digiplay

    Digiplay TDPRI Member

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    Hi Chris!

    I'm new to the wonderful world of guitars, so I have to ask why? :)
     
  11. DekeDog

    DekeDog TDPRI Member

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    Whether you buy from Lindy or not, call him up and talk to him. Chances are, he can build you whatever you want by modifying his existing models. The price won't change.
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You could turn up your treble.

    There is lots of confirmation bias involved in loving swapped pickups, IMO. And as others noted, lots of continued swapping despite “loving” the new ones.

    Rabbit hole.

    A better starting place -

    Do you know how to adjust pickup height and tilt to optimize them?

    Do you know what value pots are in the guitar?
     
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  13. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Holic

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    I would think that adding (hundreds of dollars worth of) Fralin pickups to a $400 MIM tele would only increase the resale. Am I missing something?
     
  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Mods are generally at best a wash or at worst detract from price. They are idiosyncratic. What you see as worth $100s of dollars I might see as something I have to pull out and resell or put in a drawer.
     
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  15. Digiplay

    Digiplay TDPRI Member

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    Hi Mark!

    1) No, but I have an open mind, and I'm willing to learn :)

    2) How do I find out what value pots are in the guitar?

    To answer my own question, I'm guessing to take the control plate off, and tell you a color/printed number/etc. that are on the pots? :)
     
  16. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have a 2017 Deluxe Nashville. Couldn't bond with the noiseless neck pickup.

    Went with a set made by Rob DiStefano @ Cavalier Pickups. Also had him make me a new control harness.

    The noiseless pickups had 1meg pots. The new harness has 250k pots, 5 way CRL switch and a Bournes push/pull to engage the bridge/neck option.

    The pickups were the Nashville Lion(bridge), SRV Tiger(middle) and a Lion King neck. Great sounding "Tele" combination with the added Strat flair.

    Rob's price point, quality and service is truly hard to beat.

    I'm not affiliated with Cavalier, just a satisfied customer.

    A lot of good choices out there. Good luck, have fun.:)
     
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  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    As Antigua Tele has shown, most single coil pickups are pretty straightforward. There’s no magic dust involved....so no reason to buy some of the most expensive pickups out there when you can get identical performance for a lot less. JMHO...
     
  18. Digiplay

    Digiplay TDPRI Member

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    I talked with Rob today, and WOW, what a COOL guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    I wanted more treble/high end than what the stock 2006 Nashville Tex Mex bridge pu (it's not a noiseless pu like the newer Nashville's have) offered, and Rod suggested I go with the Bakersfield.


    That being said..............................................................................................................


    As MilwMark informed me, I might try adjusting the bridge pu height/tilt, but as I told him, I don't know how to do that PROPERLY :)
     
  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Take it to a good shop. Has it been set up? If not, get it set up. Tell them what you like and don’t like about how it Playa and how it sounds. Play it before you leave and have them tweak if it’s not right. From there you’ll have a good baseline to tinker.
     
  20. Digiplay

    Digiplay TDPRI Member

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    Yes, it has been set up, and IMHO, its intonation is better, the action is great, but it still sounds the same Mark :)
     
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