And the top 3 Tele neck pickups are...

65 Champ Amp

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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.

Mr Fender wanted the Tele to be useful as an electric bass as well as a regular six string electric guitar. (It predated his electric bass). That was why Telecasters came with the wiring circuit that when the neck pickup alone was selected, it had capacitors that removed all the highs making for a dull thud.
All '50s Teles came with that wiring, and I'd wager that if and when country players wanted more treble out of their neck pickups, that they had the wiring modified - modified into what we now know as the modern Tele wiring, which gives the full range of tone control when the switch is on neck only. If removing the cover on vintage Telecasters was common back then, one would expect to see them on the vintage market, and I never have. swapping the vintage tone circuit for the modern is/was extremely common. But The vast majority of twangsters simply stuck to the bridge pickup.
Maybe you're thinking of removing the ash tray cover from the bridge to get more twang and bite out of the lead pickup.

Sounds like maybe your dull and muffled pickup had a brass cover instead of NS???

I'd still like to hear from the OP if he is using his tone knob...
or if his Tele has the old vintage "dull dark thud" wiring ...
because I have not experienced any plain old Telecaster neck pickups, with modern tone circuits, that cannot get nice trebles.
 

Jim622

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I have a pair of Area Ts in my Tele. I am very happy with them, but I have an SD Vintage 54' in my Parts/Esquire. I love that sound in an Esquire.
 

BorderRadio

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Very cool pickup. But what is that guitar?!

My own self-branded partscaster. It’s a CVC body, which are routed for HBs and can almost take the Dyna unmodded. I had to route a channel for the magnets and modify the pickup cover so it could live close to the neck like it *should*.
 

wabashslim

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Mr Fender wanted the Tele to be useful as an electric bass as well as a regular six string electric guitar. (It predated his electric bass). That was why Telecasters came with the wiring circuit that when the neck pickup alone was selected, it had capacitors that removed all the highs making for a dull thud.
I'm familiar with the early 50's wiring but I'm not talking about the wiring, I'm talking about the pickup with modern wiring, actually my own wiring scheme using 500k pots, switchable tone caps and the usual stamped plate. That SD Vintage was very un-sparkly but I doubt Seymour would put a brass cover on it unless that was the original design.
 

Mosstone

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The GFS Fatbody is probably my favorite Tele neck pickup of all time, but it does sound very much like a Strat neck pickup... I also really like the stock pickups (Tone Riders) in my CV '50s Tele, and the Custom Shop '51 NoCasters that I put in my double-cut Tele sound fantastic. Both of those sets have great neck pickups. Tight, clear lows... not muddy.
 

65 Champ Amp

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I'm familiar with the early 50's wiring but I'm not talking about the wiring, I'm talking about the pickup with modern wiring, actually my own wiring scheme using 500k pots, switchable tone caps and the usual stamped plate. That SD Vintage was very un-sparkly but I doubt Seymour would put a brass cover on it unless that was the original design.

Maybe try the standard wiring scheme?
If more than one pickup is sounding un-Tele like, it could be the wiring, not the pickups.
 

telemnemonics

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Wow!
I never saw the guts of those.
Are the long poles solid alnico?
I looked them up and see that the small screws operate as elevators to raise and lower the pole pieces, very cool, and those are some long magnets so probably deliver a powerful focused belt to the strings.

Seems like they measure pretty hot but maybe they are a thinner wire and not as hot as the 9k or so resistance suggests. Odd given the roomy well filled coil assembly.
Looking at pics of the const and reading specs I'd think it was a dark powerful pickup, more than a bright clear pup.

But all the Gretch sounds seem pretty bright and clear.
So what's up with this one?
Maybe they are generally mounted far from the strings?
I've generally seen Gretch as "the other guys guitar", even though a nice orange 6120 has always looked pretty hot from a distance.

Here's a Novak repair of an old one.

http://curtisnovak.com/pickups/repairs/Gretsch-DynaSonic/index.shtml
 

BorderRadio

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Wow!
I never saw the guts of those.
Are the long poles solid alnico?
I looked them up and see that the small screws operate as elevators to raise and lower the pole pieces, very cool, and those are some long magnets so probably deliver a powerful focused belt to the strings.

Seems like they measure pretty hot but maybe they are a thinner wire and not as hot as the 9k or so resistance suggests. Odd given the roomy well filled coil assembly.
Looking at pics of the const and reading specs I'd think it was a dark powerful pickup, more than a bright clear pup.

But all the Gretch sounds seem pretty bright and clear.
So what's up with this one?
Maybe they are generally mounted far from the strings?
I've generally seen Gretch as "the other guys guitar", even though a nice orange 6120 has always looked pretty hot from a distance.

Here's a Novak repair of an old one.

http://curtisnovak.com/pickups/repairs/Gretsch-DynaSonic/index.shtml

Solid AlNiCo V. The low end really whomps, very bassy but not muddy if you adjust them right. I hate these terms about Dynas, but these are ‘Strat neck pickup on steroids’ in this Tele. The modern ones have the Stratitus problem when brought too close to the strings. TVJ T-Armonds relieve this problem, as do the hard to find modern DeArmond 2000s, both of which have shorter magnet poles. This modern Gretsch Dyna is about 8k (44ga?), and underwound compared to many vintage varities.

Vintage DeArmond 2000s are great, one of my favorite pickups. I have a vintage NOS 60s bridge in my Gretsch Streamliner. It kills, and it’s not dark at all, nor is it ice-picky compared to a Tele on set on stun. About 10k.

5242F8BC-2555-4484-A69F-FF192B7383B7.jpeg
534B7640-B817-4968-8DC4-C7257EB6883F.jpeg
 

tele_savales

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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.

You don't want muffled or dull tones?
 

telemnemonics

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Solid AlNiCo V. The low end really whomps, very bassy but not muddy if you adjust them right. I hate these terms about Dynas, but these are ‘Strat neck pickup on steroids’ in this Tele. The modern ones have the Stratitus problem when brought too close to the strings. TVJ T-Armonds relieve this problem, as do the hard to find modern DeArmond 2000s, both of which have shorter magnet poles. This modern Gretsch Dyna is about 8k (44ga?), and underwound compared to many vintage varities.

Vintage DeArmond 2000s are great, one of my favorite pickups. I have a vintage NOS 60s bridge in my Gretsch Streamliner. It kills, and it’s not dark at all, nor is it ice-picky compared to a Tele on set on stun. About 10k.

View attachment 573355 View attachment 573356

Durn, I'd call that a secret weapon.

So is the only Gretsch pup Fender uses the filtertron?
Seems like the Dyna would be a no brainer for Fender to put in a Fender.

Years ago I convinced a buddy to take a really low offer on a Schecter Tele as a trade in on a single pickup '50s single cut hollow Gretsch with Anniversary plaque, and that might have had a Dyna in it?
He was in a Rockabilly band (Cheater Slicks) and I thought he really needed to not walk away from the deal over $100.
As I recall I didn't like that pickup, but maybe it was just the wrong time or the hollow body.
 

Sollipsist

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Another vote for the Keystones. If they were twice as expensive, they'd still be more than worth it.

I didn't have much of a wait for mine - they came in about 10 days, which was a lot less than I'd expected. Have they been having more slowdowns recently?
 

BorderRadio

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Durn, I'd call that a secret weapon.

So is the only Gretsch pup Fender uses the filtertron?
Seems like the Dyna would be a no brainer for Fender to put in a Fender.

Years ago I convinced a buddy to take a really low offer on a Schecter Tele as a trade in on a single pickup '50s single cut hollow Gretsch with Anniversary plaque, and that might have had a Dyna in it?
He was in a Rockabilly band (Cheater Slicks) and I thought he really needed to not walk away from the deal over $100.
As I recall I didn't like that pickup, but maybe it was just the wrong time or the hollow body.

Nah, didn’t Fender use a DeArmond rehash on those Tele Jrs? IIRC they were the DeArmond 2ks, not the same, more like a P90, but they looked the part. Original Coronados used a DeArmond too. Not to forget those CS Gretsch/Tele hybrid things.

The thing about the Dyna/DeArmond is they require a medal in patience to adjust the stock housing. Sure the poles are Uber-adjustable, but the coils themselves require shims and careful guitar geometry planning. In the Tele case, careful routing—one more 1/4 or 1/8 inch and I’d route to the back fo the guitar. They can be squealers too, not high-gain friendly.

That Annie had to be post-‘58, and by that time Gretsch wanted to make their pickups in house and not use DAs. Filtertrons on the Annies, before the Hilotrons showed up. Ed Ball is the best guide here, who knows what they were given a Gretsch could be customized from the factory.

Anywho sorry thread, but this Tele with a Dynasonic neck and a TV Jones Starwood bridge is incredible. The cleanest clean, the sparkliest sparkle. Biggest bass. No lie...
 

whoanelly15

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I stick with vintage Fender sounds.

Fender Original Vintage '52
Fender Pure Vintage '64

IMHO, both sound just the way a Tele was intended to sound. I only play clean, so YMMV.

Can’t believe we got to page 3 before somebody mentioned the 64 neck pickup! Nothing dull about that one at all.
 

AWG42N43

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I have a set of the Rory Gallagher '59 Esquire pickups in a MIM ash Tele that have to be my favorites. (I know it is an Esquire set but apparently he had a neck pickup in his).
 




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