3 pickups > 1 Pickup > 2 Pickups???!!!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by stephent2, May 26, 2019.

  1. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    In the last two weeks my guitar has gone from 3 pickups, to an esquire, to a traditional 2 pickups guitar and here are my impressions.

    Three pickups: This is how I built the guitar and had played it that way since 2015,.. don't get me wrong the guitar sounded great but I missed that chime and overtones I kinda expected in a good single coil t style geetar.

    One pickup: Couple weeks ago I removed the middle and neck pickups and played the guitar on a couple gigs and around the house. I'd done this before, build one guitar as an esquire, played a gig and installed a neck pickup asap. I'm not a one pickup guy, I spend most of my time in the middle or neck position and maybe 15% of my time on the bridge pickup. With one pickup, the sustain increased and I was getting overtones that I hadn't heard on this guitar, nice.

    Two pickups: Yup, this is where I want to be. Lush sounds, all the tele chime and overtones i was hoping for, a fantastic sounding guitar.

    Why would 2 pickups be better sounding to me than 3?? Something we know about stratocasters,.. too much magnetic string pull from the larger magnetic field created by the three pickups.

    Now, there are always caveats. If you play in a high gain situation, you may never hear or detect a difference between 3, 2 or 1 pickups. I play into (really good) low gain tube amps and I can pick up the differences in sound.

    A story w/ a happy ending.

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    IMG_7111.jpg
     
    Random1643, Dan R, bravescoob and 4 others like this.
  2. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    All a matter of what gets you there! Its about finding your voice on guitar. I love the look of that tele with the white pick guard.
     
  3. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks, I'm diggin' the traditional look. BTW, it's a mint green pickguard, just seems to belong.

     
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  4. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's why it's good to have a Strat, a Tele, AND an Esquire.
     
  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is this a poll?....'cause if so, I vote "middle" pic, with the "middle" pickup and tortoise 'guard. My #1, (avatar) was a normal two pickup Tele that I added the middle p/up, although I kept the standard three-way switch for the bridge and neck, and have a mini-toggle to kick in the middle. This way I get the "regular" two pickup sounds, and add the middle when I want.
    BTW.....my ears don't detect any change due to "magnetic" pull by the middle.....although I have the height pretty low......;)
     
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  6. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    You've voted w/ your own guitar, glad you're happy.

    Like I said, there's gonna be folks who can't hear the difference,... and there's folks who'll want to argue, folks who'll want to know if I also changed strings and could that be what I'm hearing,..

    the middle pickup adding string pull was something I discovered before I began building electrics. in the late 70s I install a DiMarzio super distortion HB in the middle position on my Kramer 250G, ruined that guitar. All the detail was gone from the single coils. "Magnetic" pull sucked up the upper harmonics.

    So it's been a known thing in my world, but seldom do you get to play the same guitar w/ all the different combos of pickups and that just drove home the point.

    But, hey, I'm happy for all the three and four pickup folks out there and by no means am I dissing those who enjoy more than two pickups.

     
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    +1 the reversed control plate ;)

    Did you put a 4-way switch in there for series? That's my favorite Tele mod.

    .
     
  8. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    +2 the reversed control plate!

    I've tried the 4 way switch and it's not for me. I'm mainly on stage when I play electrics, I like to go between the three positions without having to adjust the volume control and I've found the 4th position (both pickups in series) a bit too much output to make that possible. Again, that's just me.

     
  9. Andy B

    Andy B Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Just having the third pickup there changes the magnetic field of the other 2 pickups.
     
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  10. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    added to the magnetic field and increased the string dampening

     
  11. bravescoob

    bravescoob TDPRI Member

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    Classic SS always my fav
     
  12. Dan R

    Dan R Friend of Leo's

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    I'd just like to say that the telecaster is the perfect guitar. I don't personally see any benefit from a 3 pickup or 1 pickup version. Esquires are very cool, but I want a neck pickup there when I need it. JMO
     
  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mine started as a 3-pickup, and went to a traditional 2-pickup. It's staying that way. DSC_0013.JPG
    52040666_10213769329003383_6283726867048431616_o.jpg
     
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  14. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The idea was to have a few "Strat" sounds and if that's what you want, the 3 pickup tele works, but you don't gain anything w/o giving something up.

     
    Dan R likes this.
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