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1971 Telecaster Neck pickup cover material

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by variantboy, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. variantboy

    variantboy Tele-Meister

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    Can I (relatively) safely assume that the cover on a 1971 telecaster neck pickup was brass?

    Is there any reason to think that it could have been any other material. It is my understanding that nickel silver and other materials are something that's only come into "vogue" in the 90s and later?
     
  2. variantboy

    variantboy Tele-Meister

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    Maybe it's my best bet to ask Fender ? Perhaps they might know.
     
  3. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    Just tap the top of it with a screwdriver while the amp is on. If the sound is clear and bright like the bridge, it’s German silver. If it’s dark with a rolled off tone sound, it’s brass.
     
  4. variantboy

    variantboy Tele-Meister

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    I'm honestly surprised that there isn't - somewhere, in the form of someone - who would know this right off. I'm not a pickup expert - but in the way that people understand what magnet materials (A3, A5) were being used in what years - it's odd that it's not known what material was being used for covers in what years. interesting. Hopefully someone will chime in.
     
  5. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm 50 and this is the first time I've heard anyone ask this question. Perhaps that's why the cover material is not common knowledge. Maybe most folks don't really care or haven't thought about it. Hopefully someone answers your question.
    I'm curious why you're asking. Are you trying to confirm your guitar has the original cover? Are you contemplating changing your cover to a different material to change the tone?
     
  6. variantboy

    variantboy Tele-Meister

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    I am also 50, and the fact that cover material is noted on almost every single aftermarket pickup maker/winder/creator/designer's website materials (pretty much these days - nickel silver is first choice as it's known that brass takes away clarity and high end), and the fact that it's been discussed with some frequency and depth on message boards going back ... well as long as I can remember... I think I might disagree that people don't care.

    I have a friend with a 71 tele - that to me sounds and plays amazing to me when he is generous enough to let me enjoy it - and every time I play/hear it (going on now more than 15 years) I want to have that sound in my "arsenal". The neck pickup is a little on the dark side, and the bridge pickup is super bright - and it's got the 1Meg pots, of course.

    I have been trying to do a build of my own to emulate that guitar - as to buy a real '71, in this day and age, is particularly expensive. I've measured resistance values on my friend's guitar - but as we all know - that is only a very small and arguably only so informative a piece of the equation. There's also the wood, the weight, the pots, the caps, etc..etc.. I'm just trying to nail all the factors.
     
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