70s Tele Pickups Tone?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Dave_11, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. Dave_11

    Dave_11 TDPRI Member

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    I'm wondering if I can get some feedback on 70s Telecaster pickups. I'm talking about the traditional 2-pickup Tele configuration. Did they change at some point in the early/mid 70s like the Strat pickups did? If so please take your pick of which type or compare/contrast. I'm wondering...

    1. Tone. How would you describe the tone of 70s pickups?

    2. Are there any pickups available now that replicate that tone? Or would I even want to?

    The reason I'm asking is that I just bought a 90s CIJ TL-72 (70s styled Tele) and am not that impressed with the pickups. The bridge sounds very "meaty" without much Tele twang, and the neck is really muddy. Maybe this is "70s tone"? Anyway, I'd like to switch them out for something else and am curious about 70s Tele tone. I have a set of Pure Vintage 64 pickups that I'm going to swap in this weekend. Not sure how those compare to stock 70s pickups.
     
  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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  3. Dave_11

    Dave_11 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the links. Greg has tons of demos, but it's kind of hard to hear the tone of the guitar through all of the effects.
     
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  4. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Yea, those are usually over the top..lol

    another mid 70s


     
  5. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Not sure the Norm's video was any better for a 70's tone. Or at the least being able to decipher it.

    Just put in the 64's and be done with it.:) I think you'll like those.

    I don't remember standard 70's Tele's being dark and not twangy. Maybe the opposite for the bridge pickup.

    Not sure when neck pickup covers went to nickel silver? Always a complaint of "dark" neck pickups with the plated brass covers.

    Most of my friends were putting HB"s in the neck position then. Or buying Customs or Deluxes with the WRHB's.

    I stuck to my old 50's Tele and Supro amp during the 70's.;)
     
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  6. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    1Meg pots will skew the vids. I have a pair in my '72 but just had them re-wound and I'll find out if the 1Meg's do the trick once the guitar is done with it's makeover. Otherwise, I think the 70's was pretty good for Tele pickups in general.
     
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  7. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    I have a '76 Tele Standard that I bought in '77.

    I replaced the stock pups, as they were weak (low output; no sparkle), with the original DG designed Joe Bardens in 1990-91.

    BIG DIFFERENCE!

    They're still there, today.
     
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  8. buddyboy

    buddyboy Tele-Meister

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    I've owned a bunch of 70's Tele's. I found the pickups to be:

    1. Pretty bright and a bit thin sounding. They sound great with some hair on your tone though. Really cool edgy twang.
    2. Sort of lack push and punch and sort of one dimensional.
    3. Mating them with the typical 1970's 1 meg. pots found in Fender is a big part of the spank.

    They are decent but sort of "Garden variety" sounding. You'll notice this if you compare them to a modern pickup.

    Here's a vid of Dave Gregory using his 1976 Tele during his time in XTC. This guitar was used quite a bit on their "Black Sea" album.

    Go to 4:15 for "Generals and Majors:

     
  9. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    Those pure vintage 64s should make you happy.
     
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  10. Dave_11

    Dave_11 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks to everyone - I appreciate all the input.

    I put in the 64s this weekend, but they just didn't do it for me. I had these in another Tele and didn't care for the tone either. I thought it might have been the guitar, but after not liking them in two guitars I think these just aren't for me.

    So I swapped in a set of Classic Series 50s pickups and I really like the tone. This guitar has had a lot of bottom end to it with all three pickup sets, and I think that really lets these Classic 50s pickups shine.
     
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  11. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Which Tele Players tone to you like and maybe folks can home in on something for you?

    Zillions if options including wound to your preferences.
     
  12. K-Line

    K-Line Tele-Holic Vendor Member

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    6k range for bridge, standard neck output, 1 meg pots. Like walking on glass.
     
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