54 Tele Neck Pickup

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by tports, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. tports

    tports TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakland
    I know this is going to start some controversy, but here is my dilemma: I have a refinished 1954 Black guard. Love the feel, the weight, the bridge pickup, almost everything about it except ... the neck pickup sounds weak and anemic and is not balanced with the bridge pickup. I was flirting with the notion of a replacement pickup, but for God's sake, it is a Blackguard and that seems inherently wrong. I would love to get more umph out of it and not have to be drastically adjusting the volume when I switch pickups, which I do frequently. I also wish it did not sound quite so dull and muffled. I am more of a player than a collector, but I don't want to do anything that will severely diminish the value of the guitar. Any advice?
     
  2. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    967
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Paris, France
    It’s been refinished, the pickups have been desoldered in the past. I don’t see why you should not swap the pickup for what you like. Just keep the old pickup in a box and don’t lose it.
     
  3. telecasterbill

    telecasterbill TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    California
    I have a '54 blackguard, and the neck pickup was dead, so I had Lindy Fralin rewind it. As a bonus, it now works in the in-between position. But it still sounds a bit dull, the cover is nickel plated brass and weighs about 5 pounds, that kills the high somewhat. I had a '61 Custom Telecaster with a lighter cover and it sounded a lot clearer, as did a Fralin replica.

    In your case, I would get a nice replica in proper phase and put the original aside as Lowcaster said.
     
    Fretting out, SheldonP, Jim W and 2 others like this.
  4. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,098
    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland.
    What is the Kohm reading on the neck pickup? Sounds like it may have a short somewhere, might need rewound.
     
  5. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,666
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    portland, or
    It's the way they were wired back then ...a good tech can convert it to modern spec ...
     
  6. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,016
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Sou Cal
    Call Rob Distefano at Cavalier Pickups and explain to him everything you have said here.
    He’s a legendary pickup winder and he will steer you toward how you should solve your problem.
    Just Google Cavalier Pickups, he’s easy to talk to, you will learn something.
    Good luck,
     
  7. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,896
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    Don Mare winds a '54 spec, brass cover I think? middle position sounds phenomenal
     
    baiff likes this.
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    18,831
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Shall we assume you already raised the neck pickup as high as reasonable and the bridge pickup isn't right up at the strings?

    It's a basic fact that the old brass covers dull the tone, but if the pickup is otherwise healthy it should have volume.
    I'd agree that it's worth putting in a pickup you like, but I never use the neck pickup anyhow and instead play Esquires.
    Could just leave it there and not use it.
    Could get it rewound.
    Could have a nickel silver cover put on it when getting it rewound.
    First world problems are a bear...
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  9. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    222
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Location:
    France
    If it needs a rewind then do it. A crappy sounding pickup is of no use to anyone. If it's wound right it can be loud and bright. The neck pickup on my 55 is as loud as my bridge pickup and it's as bright as a strats neck pickup
     
    BopT likes this.
  10. TwangToInfinity

    TwangToInfinity Tele-Holic

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    951
    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Location:
    Twangville
    charging the mags keep the pickup stock in a way
     
  11. tports

    tports TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakland
    Thanks everyone for all your responses. Lots of useful ideas for me to digest. Very much appreciated.
     
  12. mojavedesert

    mojavedesert TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Location:
    Joshua Tree, CA
    Yes, recharge the magnets, easy and doesn't change the "original" component.
     
    BopT likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.