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

Your favourite Tele pick ups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Chris Vee, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. nic'o'caster

    nic'o'caster Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Apr 10, 2004
    Middle Earth
    So many good pickups ! It's incredible how various tones you can get with a Tele compared to a Strat. After playing dozens of excellent pickups, if I had to pick a winner for the neck it would be the Don Mare Big Box : it's glassy like a good Fender pup from the mid sixties when tapped and full, clear and juicy at full tap. And for the bridge I would choose the Fred Stuart Blackguard, there's some magic in this pup.
    Edit : The Twang King set is still running high in the classement !
    LAGinz likes this.

  2. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

    May 30, 2017
    Recently installed the Cavalier Nashville Lion & Lion King set in my classic vibe custom. I'm in love! That set oozes tone and is so expressive with varying attack. I put them on a 4-way switch. I'm finally getting that ultimate country twang I've been searching for without that icepick harshness. The two pair so well together in parallel position two (my favorite position), but the crunch that comes from that set in series position four is killer and reminds me of my old SG. That set on a 4-way switch just opens so many doors that were previously locked with that same tele. I highly recommend!

  3. Tommyd55

    Tommyd55 Tele-Meister

    Sep 25, 2013
    Southern Missouri
    I have a SD Jerry Donahue for the bridge, uses alnico 2 rod magnets so it takes just a little off the edge, makes it sweet. I find it to be very musical and it has plenty of that Tele snap.
    I have paired it with a Harmonics Design Mini Strat in the neck..
    They seem like they were made for each other imo and the HD is a top notch neck pickup on its own.
    Balances very well and has a great usable #2 position sound to boot..
    Been using this setup for over 2 years now.

    I do have to admit though. I am really gassin on this rig Lindy is playing here... beautiful classic looking vibe going on there.. The creme pickups set off the binding and the body color all look like they were made for each other.. This vid is driving me nuts lately.. Love that sound.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    Amby and El Tele Lobo like this.

  4. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    I never see anyone mention the Velvet Hammer bridge PU (by Red Rhodes). For me the VHTBX is THE PU that has that great emmons sounding high end w/o the ice pick.

    His son was making them as of a couple of years ago. I dont know the current status.

    I have a regular ol run of the mill Kent Armstrong in the neck and it is such a good compromise, I havent found anything else that sounded better.


  5. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Recently installed this set also and share your enthusiasm.
    Bruxist, FrontPU and brobar like this.

  6. Strebs

    Strebs Tele-Meister

    Dec 24, 2015
    Birmingham, AL
    I love the EMG T sets. But I'm torn between the EMG and the DiMarzio Velvet T at the moment. I haven't met a person who doesn't love the DiMarzio Velvet Ts.

  7. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    The answer's going to depend on whether your going with single coil pickups or some sort of humbucker and what type of music you want to play.

    I like rock; I guess today it would be defined as classic rock. High energy pop-ish stuff that might even edge over to metal or hard rock. Oh, I like jazz too so I want to be able to roll the tone back and be able to play autumn leaves or something jazzy too.

    The pickups I've found that work for me are the Tonerider Classic Plus single coils. I'm using a Fender TBX tone control with a 4-way switch and I've swapped out the neck pickup for a Fender Twisted Tele but that is primarily only because I had it on hand. The Tonerider neck is quite similar. This combination produces a very balanced tone in all 4 positions. The pickups play very well with each other and that's what I was looking for.

    I've had a Dimarzio Chopper T (rail humbucker) in the bridge of my guitar and although it was a great rock and roll pickup, it never seemed to play well with the variety of neck pickups I tried. I'd still like to try it with a humbucker or PAF in the neck to see how that balances out.

    You'll see a lot of mention of Don Mare, Wilde Bill (Lawerence) and Rob's Cavalier pickups. I'm more than certain you'll get stellar results from any of those. I'm planning on a new build for a friend soon and I'll be leaning towards the Cavaliers for that one.
    kookaburra, FrontPU and El Tele Lobo like this.

  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Afflicted

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I never liked the Tex-Mex bridge pickup in my MIM Nashville Tele. I replaced it with a Texas Special. When I got an Am STD Strat the lack of character of the TEX-Mex middle began to bother me. I really fell for the sound of the Elite Tele so I replaced everything with gen 4 noiseless and just love the sound. It's rich when I need it and can be thinned out to a more stereotypical Tele sound by backing off mid and bass gains on my amp. I need to repurpose the TX Special bridge pu. Maybe a new Esquire build or maybe combine it with a P90 or mini HN.
    asnarski likes this.

  9. jmr102855

    jmr102855 TDPRI Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    United States
    After years of trying dozens of Tele pickups I think the SD Jerry Donahue bridge and the Fralin -15% P90 neck I have in my favorite tele are here to stay.
    Tommyd55 likes this.

  10. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    Happy to hear this - I have underwound Fralin P90s ready to go in a new non-reverse firebird partscaster.

  11. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    They are both equally good.

    Keystones are like the ultimate vintage tele pickup and Microcoils are more like the ultimate modern pickups.

    I like microcoils a little better because they truly allow you (more than any pickup I've ever used) to dial your tone in at the amp. You can pretty much get em sounding like keystones but they will go places that Keystones can't in terms of cleans.

    Nothing can sound as clean as the Wilde Microcoils.

    It is patently impossible, from what I understand and have experienced.
    Derek Kiernan likes this.

  12. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Hendersonville, TN
    Cavalier - Various Tele bridge/neck
    Fender - I'm okay with the vintage style and Texas
    Lollar - Tele Vintage and Special T
    Rose - A2 telecaster & A2 P90

    Humbucking - Gibson Classic '57s and SD Seth Lover
    P90 Rose and Gibson
    4pickupguy likes this.

  13. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Meister

    Feb 11, 2013
    Two favorites:
    Stock pups in a white CV '50's. A3 magnets and wound big. 4-way switch gets it all.
    DiMarzio Area Hot T bridge. A2 magnets, DCR 9.2k. Goes from twangy clean to juicy overdrive all the way to super hot and nasty, fiery, pinch harmonics spittin' demon, ala Rev. BFG. A GFS Mini- hum currently resides in the neck of this Butterscotch CV '50's. Nice contrast but subject to change.
    After reading all these posts, I want a set of everything.

  14. Amby

    Amby Tele-Holic

    Sorry to digress but that is one cool looking guitar that Lindy Fralin is playing in the previous vid.
    Tommyd55 and El Tele Lobo like this.

  15. CyrusF

    CyrusF Tele-Meister

    Nov 12, 2016
    I really love the MFD pickups that come in G&L guitars. I play in an Americana band, (blues, rock, folk, country) and those pickups kill for that stuff. If you were playing punk or pop, they would be nice for that too, but they wouldn't be my first choice for anything super heavy! You can buy them from G&L directly for about $60 each, I think, and they're direct replacements for standard Tele pickups. They're a little more robust in the low end than most Tele pickups, with a really open, extended high end. Lots of harmonic content!
    Golem and El Tele Lobo like this.

  16. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 13, 2011
    Southcentral Pa
    I have several sets that I like, but let me qualify this by saying you need to let your guitar tell you what pickups it likes best. Experimentation is key!

    My tele's sound good with Rose Westerlands, Fender Nocasters, Keystones, and a CV 50's A3 bridge combined with a CV 50's A5 neck pup.

  17. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    Your favourite Tele pick ups are the ones that resonate at a frequency most to your liking.
    Bruxist and songtalk like this.

  18. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    Out of every named one I played I like the 58 bridge and the twisted tele neck

    I like early Blues music and found those pups to have most feeling

  19. cabra velha

    cabra velha Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Jan 21, 2016
    estados unidos
    My current main tele has a HD super 90 in the bridge that barks like a savage dog, for more vintage diversions I've always relied on the SD broadcaster or antiquity variations thereof.

  20. Nick Strings

    Nick Strings TDPRI Member

    Aug 21, 2017
    Just got my barnwood guitar, from a local builder, he slanted the bridge, do you guys think ill have issues with this, the pickups are GFS P90s, tje guitar is made from 100 year old barnwood from my father in laws barn
    Bruxist, Zeonoid and El Tele Lobo like this.

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