- Oct 21, 2014
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.
From what I understand, both the Twang King and Keystone (for sure the Keystone, b/c I owned one) are stratty sounding tele neck pickups...I believe that's true of the Twisted Tele also...its claim to fame if I recall...
If you're wanting a new flava, I would give the Lion King or Fat Lion King a look. I own both and really like them. The Lion King is a traditional style tele neck pickup, but...well, BETTER. Not sure how to explain it. Rob seems to have fixed issues of muddiness, lack of clarity, insufficient warmth and just plain dullness all in one fell swoop. Easily one of the best traditional-style tele neck pickups I've played to date. The Fat Lion King adds more warmth and midrange...without sacrificing clarity...to get you into a...IDK...to me, it sounds like a mini humbucker kind of vibe. Bigger...without being overly bloomy or bassy. Great for blues and jazz. Don't let the words "warmth and midrange" scare you off from it...it has plenty of clarity and brightness at the top of the dial, even with standard 250k pots. And even down near the bottom of the dial it doesn't die a fuzzy, muddy death like so many neck pickups do when you turn the tone down more than 50%.
The Sunday 23T is a little different than the Lion King...hard to say exactly how...just a different character...but is also very, very nice. It's lively. I think the Lion King, Fat Lion King and 23T are my all-time favorites to date.
No affiliation as I said.
I have demos of both Cavaliers and the 23T on my YouTube channel...and there are better players than me out there who have demoed them also. Give them an honest look before you decide.
If you DO want another stratty-sounding neck pickup, by all means try the Keystone (it's excellent) or the Twang King or Twisted Tele (heard great things about them). OR, take a step further and try Rob's Fat Lioness. A demo recently went up of it by Visual Guy on YouTube that's VERY tempting.
Good luck. The quest (and the con-quest) of/for pickups is a wonderful thing. But don't get overly obsessed with it. If you're decent with a soldering iron, they come out as easily as they go in...and (especially if you buy stuff used or on sale) often sell for close to what you pay for them. And at the end of the day, it's all about the music you feel inspired to make. I personally try to always buy something new that I haven't tried before. There's a few I'd buy again...but short of having to replace something, I like going into new territory. Hope whatever you settle on leaves a smile on your face!