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50's vs. 60's tele bridge

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by ZenDog, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. ZenDog

    ZenDog Banned

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    Okay, so a number of companies make 50's and 60's models.
    In this case, I'm dealing with GFS.

    what are the (alleged) differences that make a 50's
    tele bridge a 50's and a 60's a 60's?

    GFS sent me a 63 pro series, instead of a 50's pro series
    as I requested. I might just keep the 63 vintage model.
     
  2. piece of ash

    piece of ash Friend of Leo's

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    UP TO 54 - BRASS SADDLES
    LATE 54 TO 58 - STEEL SADDLES
    58 TO 68 - THREADED SADDLES

    from "The Fender Telecaster" Duchossoir
     
  3. deluxe5D3

    deluxe5D3 Tele-Meister

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    As far as Fender P/U's go, to generalize, the 60's were wound to a less DC resistance i.e mid 6k range and used smaller dia. magnets, yielding a brighter, twangier sound, A.K.A the "Bakersfield Sound".. the 50's are associated with a chunkier, more rounded tone

    With GFS, the differences between their 50's & 60's Pro series seems to be more cosmetic that sonic, as they both use the same AL 5 mags and wire and share the same DC resistances. the only difference seems to be the white cord wrap ( v.s black cord wrap on the 50's) and raised G & D poles on the 60's series...
     
  4. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

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    I assume you mean bridge pickup. The GFS 50's & 60's pickups have little in common with Fender bridge pups from the 50's & 60's. They are nice sounding pups, but the add copy is way off.
     
  5. ZenDog

    ZenDog Banned

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    Yes, the bridge pickup. I didn't realize my post was so vague until I re-read it.

    I suppose I shouldn't be so surprised that differences are purely cosmetic
    seeing as how their ads are so vague. The GFS tele bridge descriptions are all basically the same except for the changing of a few words.
     
  6. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    When you think of the difference between 50s and 60s pickups.

    60s tele sound - Don Rich with Buck Owens.


    50s teles sound - Its more a raw twang sound.
     
  7. ZenDog

    ZenDog Banned

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    All this, and their hot 60's is fat and punchy.

    I guess I'll just try the darn thing
    and if it sucks, I'll send it back for what they should have sent to
    begin with. Assuming it actually sounds any different.
     
  8. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had the GFS hot 60's and their fat 50's. The 60's is supposedly wound with 43 AWG rather than the standard 42 AWG, so it has a higher DC resistance, about 10.5k. However, it doesn't sound much hotter or different from the GFS 50's, which is about 7.3k and wound with 42 AWG. Both are fairly twangy and don't sound particularly overwound. Both have A-V magnets. Both have raised but level poles and brass base plates, which is not vintage correct for any era of Fender bridge pup. As far as the general diferences between 50's & 60's pickups, the 50-54 Fender's have flat and level poles and the windings and DC was very inconsistant. 50-53 are supposedly A-III. Some are fatter, some aren't. 55-59's are not much, if any, different from 60's pups. Both are bright & twangy, staggared poles, A-V magnets and wound in the low to mid 6k. I have a 58 tele and used to have a 68 tele. There is no appreciable difference in the sound of the bridge pups for either guitar. When people generalize about the fatter sound of 50's vs 60's Fender bridge pups, that generalization at best applies only to the early 50's.
     
  9. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

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    Found these 2 clips with the GFS Pro series Pups...sound good to me..



     
  10. ZenDog

    ZenDog Banned

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    Spankd,

    That's very helpful,and clarifies the matter.

    But to those who say Don Rich = 60's, you will find this amusing.
    From GFS:

    Here's the great early Tele sound, made with authentic materials- Plain Enamel wire, Fiber bobbins, Sand-Cast Alnico 5 rod magnets set to the correct 60s vintage stagger, even push back cloth wire.

    The Alnico V slugs are hand-magnetized, to as accurately as possible match the exact gauss of the vintage sets we used as inspiration. We've potted them in a paraffin/beeswax mixture- and they're just the sweetest, purest, most responsive Tele pickups you've ever played.

    These are tight and STRONG... the heavy Formvar wire and grey-fiber bottom bobbin yield a really strong Tele bridge sound- lot's of Nashville Twang mixed with plenty of good, strong Tele ROCK. The 63s can drive a Marshall amp just fine, and work great wit pedals. You don't lose any clarity but gain the hard, spanky Tele midrange early 60s teles are famous for. Match with the pro series neck pickups to create a noise canceling middle position sound.

    They are packed up in our "Professional Series" box complete with nickel plated stainless steel mounting screws, silicone rubber springs and wiring instructions.

    Doesn't sound like Don Rich to me!
     
  11. deluxe5D3

    deluxe5D3 Tele-Meister

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    Seems to be a contradiction here..first it says they use "Plain emamel wire", then 2 paragraphs down, it becomes "Heavy Formvar"...?? 2 different animals entirely..

    I've used GFS p/u's in the past, and they are decent sounding, but the ad copy is over the top...
     
  12. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, I don't think I'd use GFS as the gold standard.
     
  13. ZenDog

    ZenDog Banned

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    That's mighty charitable of you. I was thinking more along the lines of pathetic.

    I'd use no one as the "gold standard", way to many variables.
    Before moving away from Texas, I had many opportunities over the years
    to frequently play many vintage instruments. The variation in tone amongst any given type of guitar (I'll stay with telecasters for now) was profound.

    My thing with GFS is to try to determine what is actually what with their pickups, as I like to use their low prices in order to cheaply experiment. Unlike
    Duncan, Dimarzio, Van Zandt and Rio Grande (which are what I generally use, and know what to expect from those companies) but as deluxe5D3 stated, their ad copy is so out of hand that trying to make heads or tails of GFS does pickup wise is a tall order. They might actually sell more pickups if they'd give the hyperbole a rest and write specific, straight forward ads for each pickup model.

    Are you goofballs at GFS getting any of this?
     
  14. phillip lee

    phillip lee TDPRI Member

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    I was willing to spend the extra dough on Fralins Vintage for my Thinline build so I knew whatever else I did on the guitar it wasn't the pickups fault.
    I've resisted GFS because I don't like swapping things like pickups no more than I have to.
     
  15. ZenDog

    ZenDog Banned

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    I'm not refering to swapping in order to get things just so, or whatever you choose to call it. I'm experimenting for the sake of experimenting. It's realitively cheap, and fun.

    If I wanted to "get it right" I'd just go with the Duncan, Dimarzio, Van Zandt or Rio Grande I mentioned previously. I purposely avoid Mare and Fralin because I think their prices are artificially inflated. Just my opinion.

    On edit: for clarity's sake, I should mention that my two primary gigging gigging\recording guitars are Duncan and Dimarzio equipped.

    I will say that GFS has nailed it with their Fatbody Alnico neck pickup. But unfortunately you have to try it to find what most already have. Their (GFS)description is useless.
     
  16. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

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    For clarification, my rant was directed at the older GFS 50's & 60's pups. I have no experience with the newer "Professional series" pickups with the grey bobbins, staggered magnets and white string wrap. I do note that they still use the brass base plate, rather than copper plated steel.
     
  17. deluxe5D3

    deluxe5D3 Tele-Meister

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    Zendog, I would keep it and try it...then post back and give us a review on how it sounds.. there is not much out there on these pro series and I am curious..
     
  18. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know if that's true or not. I do know that with the Fender Classic 60s and Classic 50s that are being made now, the opposite is true. The Classic 50s bridge pickup has a brighter tone... much more "Don Rich". The Classic 60s bridge pickup has a much rounder, fuller tone. These guitars are supposed to sound like the old ones...
     
  19. zvonik

    zvonik TDPRI Member

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    I bought both a couple of years back. Nice looking pickups. I got the 50's first and it was too glassy. Flat highs out to where dogs hear. Not harsh, just too highly pitched. I wanted a early Redd Tele sound which I hear as mid-range pitched. I bought the 60's because I was thinking (lazy) that higher resistance is lower pitched. The 60's is lower sounding by an octave (or less) but it's probably because the windings are 43 gauge versus 42 gauge for the 50's. The cross section difference in gauges is about proportional to the rise in resistance but the windings are all closer to the core which increases inductance and lowers the spectrum while the higher resistance de-Q's the center. In other words, more mid-range. But it was not enough to get my ears to Redd territory.

    I found a permanent article on here that covered base plates and I realized that the copper base plate did pretty much nothing. I bought a copper covered steel bass plate and that did it. Pickup dropped another octave (or less) and was nicely sounding like Redd's earlier guitar on youtube and was just what I wanted. Going to GHS 11 gauge strings and a heavy Fender pearl pick sealed the deal. YMMV.

    The price on either pickup was low compared to boutique pickups. The build quality appeared to be nice with an authentic look. I'm a bit agnostic about pickups. Same gauge wire, same magnet, same winds, same base plate, same ... and it's going to be pretty consistent sounding.

    What you really have to consider is how do you want to sound? I had a goal in mind (or ear) and I was base-lining on a neutral amplifier. A sixties Fender amp with original capacitors will want an extremely bright pickup. A clean solid-state amp will like a dark, low pitched pickup. A long effects string may need a lot of treble to get through (Andy Summers?). Danny Gatton sounds like a resonator guitar to me and I appreciate his playing but I would get tired of the sound if I owned the guitar.

    I did all of this a while back and may be remembering some details wrong but it all reads right at this moment.

    edit1: http://www.tdpri.com/resources/tele-bridge-base-plate-materials/
    Mr. Lawrence's post about base plates.

    edit2: http://www.tdpri.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-49607.html
    Expands and discusses Mr. Lawrence's post above in the archives.

    edit3: http://www.tdpri.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-153425.html
    Discusses 42 versus 43 gauge in the archives.
     
  20. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    Why the hell are they using 43awg for 60's bridge pickups?
     
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