And the top 3 Tele neck pickups are...

jackal

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I put various strat pickups in the neck position of my Teles, but for a tele sized pickup, Fralin Royal T is #1, followed in no particular order, Keystone, microcoil, Barden, any of the 5-2 pickups. My latest build I used a DiMarzio B1 strat pickup and I like it a lot.
 

Teleguy61

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for bright, clean, sparkly clear tone?

Please present your nominations for what you think are bright, clean, sparkly neck pickups for a Tele. (No muffled, dull tones please.)

I'm considering Dimarzio's DP172 Twang King neck pickup, but want to consider top competing options.


OC Duff Big Boy--
http://www.ocduffpickups.com/bigboy.html

It works.
 

EsquireOK

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Whatever pickup came in my American Vintage '58 reissue Tele is about the best Tele neck pickup I've ever heard. It's neck pickup like, but not muffled or muddy.

It's really close between that one and my G&L MFD neck pickup in my ASAT Classic. That one somehow has a lot of push, yet remains clear.
 

DHart

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Lots of great suggestions, guys... thank you.

Right now, I have an Area-T neck in one of my Teles (and I agree... the Area-T is a fantastic sounding pickup - and noiseless!). And in another I have a Cavalier Lioness in the neck position - again, wonderful pickup! I've also got several Strats and a Tele with Strat pickups, so that base is very well covered. Another Tele has an Antiquity II Mini Humbucker at the neck. Yet another Tele has a Dimarzio PAF-Master humbucker at the neck. These all sound great.

What I haven't tried yet, and I'm interested in, are the Twang King, Keystones, Twisted Tele, Lion King (much like Lioness but slightly softened?), and TV Jones.

So many great choices out there! We are blessed.

I am a big fan of Dimarzio pickups, and the Twang Kings get so many great reviews, perhaps that's a good place to go for my next Tele neck pickup choice. Keystones have been recommended so many times as well, but they always seem to be behind in production. Not that I'm in a big hurry. I think I've narrowed it down to either Twang King or Keystone. Need to think on this some more.
 

DHart

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Get a five cent 0.047uF cap like is on your tone pot, and wire it in series with your hot lead of the muddy pickup to the switch. This dramatically cuts the capacitance of the pickup windings converting any old muddy pickup into a clean bright player. You can test with higher and lower caps.

This is an interesting idea.

Just to confirm that I understand you... you run the hot lead from the muddy pickup to one lead of the tone cap, then connect the other lead of the tone cap to where the hot lead of the pickup previously was on the selector switch? So the pickup's hot signal goes from the pickup, through the capacitor, then to the control switch?

Would a .022uF cap make the pickup even cleaner/brighter than the .047uF? Or the opposite effect?
 

65 Champ Amp

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for bright, clean, sparkly clear tone?

Please present your nominations for what you think are bright, clean, sparkly neck pickups for a Tele. (No muffled, dull tones please.)

I'm considering Dimarzio's DP172 Twang King neck pickup, but want to consider top competing options.

If I'm playing on my bridge pickup, I usually roll the tone pot back to the sweet spot. When I switch to the neck pickup, I will usually open that pot up a bit to bring more treble out of that pickup. I rarely open the tone pot all the way, even on the neck pickup, which means it can get plenty trebly and sparkly.

Do you not do that? Are you saying your neck pickup is too muffled and dull after adjusting the tone pot?

I guess I don't get it. Unless you have the vintage wiring that has that dull tone wired in??

Another thing I don't get is putting Strat pickups in a Tele. Yes, the neck pickup on a Strat is a great sound ~ one I use a lot on my Strat, but a regular Tele neck pickup is a thing of beauty.
I use Fender '62 RI and Fender Blackguards by the way, and love them. But even the pickups that came in my Japanese Squier are great ~ no mud unless I twist that tone pot.
 

wabashslim

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Do you not do that? Are you saying your neck pickup is too muffled and dull after adjusting the tone pot?

I guess I don't get it.
The original Tele neck pups were pretty dull and country guys began pulling the covers off to get some zing out of them. If you want to experience that sound for yourself get a Seymour Duncan Vintage Tele (I think it was). Unless that pickup was defective from the factory it was the dullest, muffliest pickup I ever had, and it lasted in my guitar about 15 minutes. No amount of pot/cap fiddling was going to bring that thing to life.

Just to confirm that I understand you... you run the hot lead from the muddy pickup to one lead of the tone cap,
No, you use a cap LIKE the tone cap, not the tone cap itself. I've done this on P90s & humbuckers in Les Pauls sometimes to balance things out, but - it will cut the bass & low mids to an extent, depending on the cap value, but it cannot add highs that aren't there to begin with. It only alters the high/low balance, maybe giving the effect of more highs.
 

guitarmikey

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Even simple "vintage" pups from japanese made Tele 62 may fit to your needs. (Not those that came with Texas Special inside)
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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I am sporting EMG Active T pickups in my jam night guitar. They provide me with plenty of classic Tele with more power, as you never know what kind of amp you will get at open mic.
 

Tapatio

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I'm surprised how many people like the TK. I've got it as well and like it more than any of my other neck pickups. I have the Chopper T for the bridge, which I like a lot too, and they play very nice together.
 

Sparky2

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I installed a new neck pickup on my Tele.

I don't think I'm doing this right.

:(

tele neck pickup.PNG
 

SnidelyWhiplash

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The original Tele neck pups were pretty dull and country guys began pulling the covers off to get some zing out of them. If you want to experience that sound for yourself get a Seymour Duncan Vintage Tele (I think it was). Unless that pickup was defective from the factory it was the dullest, muffliest pickup I ever had, and it lasted in my guitar about 15 minutes. No amount of pot/cap fiddling was going to bring that thing to life.


No, you use a cap LIKE the tone cap, not the tone cap itself. I've done this on P90s & humbuckers in Les Pauls sometimes to balance things out, but - it will cut the bass & low mids to an extent, depending on the cap value, but it cannot add highs that aren't there to begin with. It only alters the high/low balance, maybe giving the effect of more highs.

On a vintage type Tele neck pickup with the " dull " cover, try wiring it with no tone control. You may be amazed by how lively it can become. I know I was.
 

telemnemonics

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Two things make the basic bright design Tele neck pickup sound dull, as intended by Leo who presumed a guitar sound should be a steel guitar sound, and the neck pickup was for bass accompaniment.
The brass cover dulls the tone, but some modern replacements use nickel silver.
The 43awg wire with more winds also dulls the tone.
A 42awg wound nickel silver covered Tele neck pickup is bright and sparkly.
One can certainly wind a dark neck pickup with 42awg so its not that wire gauge has a tone. It’s just that you can’t fit enough 42awg on a stock Tele neck bobbin make a dark pickup.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 




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