Back to DiMarzio Chopper T.

GreatDaneRock

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Posts
1,161
Location
Central FL
Hello. My first telecaster happened less than 2 months ago (see thread here) and it's been an adaptation process, a good one. I must preempt the post here by saying that I'm a rock, hard rock, metal, alternative rock, classic rock, and blues guitar player. I gravitate to these styles more than any other. I come from the world of mahogany HH guitars with 24.75 scale length and 12"-16" radius. I've finally accepted I'm a "humbucker in the bridge position" guitar guy, pointless to fight this. I do use the neck pup quite a bit and love a single coil there. My HH guitars have coil tap and the neck HH get's tapped 100% for cleans.

So, my used 2011 MIM LPB Standard Tele came to me modified with a Chopper T in the bridge, 500K pots, .022uF cap plus special (odd) wiring (many in here commented it looked like a Fezz Parka style wiring scheme). I was happy with the sound but not 100%, dunno why, maybe I was still adapting to the 9.5" radius, the slab of alder wood a Tele is, etc. I did swap some key parts to make it a great guitar IMO: Wilkinson compensated brass saddle bridge and original fender locking tuners. I also tune my guitars to Eb so I set the guitar for 10-46s.


I was told here to try and put the Tele back to "original specs" by getting a vintage single coil bridge pup, try and experience the real Tele Twang! I got an original fender vintage 52 bridge pup on Reverb, plus I also bought a premium fully assembled wiring harness with 250K, .047uF cap, traditional wiring scheme. In they went. The neck pup is still the stock ceramic one, it's not great, not horrible either, but it will soon get swapped for a vintage 60s Alnico V one.

Anyways, the swap went well and twang was there in spades... But I'm not a country player and all that added chime and brightness was not my thing, as beautiful as it sounded.

So today, after not playing my Tele for a month or so, I decided to put the Chopper T back in but keep my new premium wiring (250K pots, .047uF cap). I'M SOOO HAPPY I DID! The guitar sounds killer, really does. I think the 250k pots did the trick. The only mod I can see myself doing in the future is the neck pup plus a 4-way wiring harness.

So, Chopper T for the win. Maybe I should listen to Kotzen and try the Twang King in the neck and be done. I know Richie does prefer 500K pots but I really like the sound I'm getting out of 250K ones. Any opinions on this Chopper T/TK combo?

GDR
 
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Jim622

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Posts
4,322
Location
Philly
Good pick up. I had one in for years, recently I just wanted to try a change. I had an Area-T in the front, so I replaced the Chopper T with one in the bridge. I'm really liking the change, just different from what the Chopper gives you.
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,578
Location
Near BWI Int'l
I've actually never had a Chopper T, but intend to someday try one. I've got a Fast Track T that I've had for twenty years now, yes it's got plenty of twang and bite, but IMO DiMarzio really did that one up right.

Out of much of what DiMarzio's made in the last twenty to thirty years, I tend to like most of it, especially their drop-in stuff for Teles and Strats. I think the Twang Kings are great, and I recently got a True Velvet T set, which seem like a slight variation of the Twang Kings.

...I've also got a set of Area T pickups in a Tele, and really like them. I had a Virtual Vintage Hot T in the bridge of that same Tele, and it's a great rock pickup IMO - kind of nicely straddles the fence between trad Tele bridge pickup sounds, but with some more mid punch. I'd say that pickup is one of the better compromises between Tele and LP Jr types of sounds.

Most of my Teles will take a Strat pickup in the neck slot, so I've been considering trying a Chopper T at the bridge, with a Cruiser at the neck slot.

...I also like that it's pretty easy to find a lot of these DiMarzio pickups either used, or on sale.
 

Peregrino69

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Posts
1,355
Age
53
Location
Amsterdam
No opinions on the pickup. But looking at your style catalogue up there, do go for the 4-way pickup. I'm pretty sure you'll find the serial connection immensely useful :)
 

zippofan

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Posts
1,889
Location
Pennsylvania
I don't know about the Chopper-T, but the Twang King is one of my favorite Tele neck pickups. Mine's pared with a Fralin Blues Special in the bridge and it sounds terrific. The True Velvet is a sweetheart neck p'up too, that one's paired with a Florance TE-50.

Before I tried the DiMarzios I didn't use the neck pickup, they were always muddy. I bought the Twang King after the recommendations here, and they were spot on. Same with the True Velvet, which I found used for a steal.

DiMarzio knows how to wind a great Tele neck pickup and the Pre-B1 bridge in my Talman is good too.
 

DHart

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Posts
5,940
Location
Scottsdale, AZ USA
I don't know about the Chopper-T, but the Twang King is one of my favorite Tele neck pickups. Mine's pared with a Fralin Blues Special in the bridge and it sounds terrific. The True Velvet is a sweetheart neck p'up too, that one's paired with a Florance TE-50.

Before I tried the DiMarzios I didn't use the neck pickup, they were always muddy. I bought the Twang King after the recommendations here, and they were spot on. Same with the True Velvet, which I found used for a steal.

DiMarzio knows how to wind a great Tele neck pickup and the Pre-B1 bridge in my Talman is good too.

I'm a true fan of Dimarzio pickups, myself.

One of my Teles has a set of Area-Ts and they sound great!

I've got their PAF Masters in several different guitars - clean, crisp, sparkly humbuckers, those!

Just installed a True Velvet bridge pup in my Deluxe Nashville, which is paired with two CS Fat '50s Strat pickups.

And I have a Twang King neck and PAF Master humbucker waiting to be installed in a Tidepool-finish Tele Player body that arrives next week.

Dimarzio are awesome! And nicely priced. I bought the Twang King neck and True Velvet bridge on Amazon prime last week... low price and free 2-day shipping. Great way to buy pickups! And Dimarzio has a generous 30-day exchange policy if for any reason you would prefer a different pickup that they offer.
 

littlebadboy

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Posts
1,899
Location
Midwest, USA
I'm poor, so the closest I could get was Artec coil sized rail humbucker in A5 on bridge paired with GFS overwound vintage repro to 250k cts vol pot and 250k no load tone pot circuit. I like it a lot! I use the no load mode when I am using the rail humbucker and it really screams!
 

setlow

Tele-Meister
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2003
Posts
189
Location
Brooklyn, New York
Long time tele player and DiMarzio user here. The guitar in my picture is an ESP MIJ Ron Wood tele and the bridge pickup is the Chopper T. It stands up to the HB in the neck, blends well in the middle position and works for rhythm and lead. Great rock sound. I think the Twang King set is a real winner. A vintage sound plus. Great for country or roots Rock. Like the set, and used the TK bridge in a California Fat Tele and it took it to another level. Used the Virtual Vintage set in my 69 Tele. Played in a lot of bars with it and the tone plus the lack of ground buzz always brought a smile. Also used the PreBs bridge a long time ago, which is overwound and a screamer. All good pickups for a working guitar player. Different flavors. Season to taste.
 

Andy B

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
2,648
Location
Castle Rock, Colorado
Update: My Sunburst Tele now has a Chopper T in it replacing a Lace Hot Tele. The Lace is a great pickup but not quite the sound I get from the Chopper. The Chopper has that midrange presence I’ve really come to depend on.
 
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kookaburra

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 11, 2012
Posts
2,196
Location
Phoenix, AZ, States
A Tele that was sold had the Chopper and a Virtual Vintage neck. The neck was uncovered, Dimarzio no longer makes it.

Excellent sounding guitar! Mostly played rock and blues with it. Love the Chopper, as well as the VV. Just a nice bright kicking sound. I also had a push pull pot to run the Chopper in parallel. Worked like a charm in giving me more of a trad Tele sound. Dimarzio recommended parallel, as they though running one coil would be too thin.

The Chopper left with the Tele, but a friend ended up with the VV, where it resides to this day in his Tele.

I occasionally think about grabbing another Chopper.
 

Chunkocaster

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Posts
9,725
Location
In space with Ziggy
I've got a double bound tele custom that I put the chopper t in along with the twang king neck. It's also got a control plate and harness taken from a 2015 kotzen tele. The twang king works well with the chopper, if you go that route you should consider adding the boost switch mod. I'm pretty sure the Kotzen uses a 250k alpha pot.
 

WaylonForever

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Posts
8
Age
43
Location
Little Rock, AR
Hello. My first telecaster happened less than 2 months ago (see thread here) and it's been an adaptation process, a good one. I must preempt the post here by saying that I'm a rock, hard rock, metal, alternative rock, classic rock, and blues guitar player. I gravitate to these styles more than any other. I come from the world of mahogany HH guitars with 24.75 scale length and 12"-16" radius. I've finally accepted I'm a "humbucker in the bridge position" guitar guy, pointless to fight this. I do use the neck pup quite a bit and love a single coil there. My HH guitars have coil tap and the neck HH get's tapped 100% for cleans.

So, my used 2011 MIM LPB Standard Tele came to me modified with a Chopper T in the bridge, 500K pots, .022uF cap plus special (odd) wiring (many in here commented it looked like a Fezz Parka style wiring scheme). I was happy with the sound but not 100%, dunno why, maybe I was still adapting to the 9.5" radius, the slab of alder wood a Tele is, etc. I did swap some key parts to make it a great guitar IMO: Wilkinson compensated brass saddle bridge and original fender locking tuners. I also tune my guitars to Eb so I set the guitar for 10-46s.


I was told here to try and put the Tele back to "original specs" by getting a vintage single coil bridge pup, try and experience the real Tele Twang! I got an original fender vintage 52 bridge pup on Reverb, plus I also bought a premium fully assembled wiring harness with 250K, .047uF cap, traditional wiring scheme. In they went. The neck pup is still the stock ceramic one, it's not great, not horrible either, but it will soon get swapped for a vintage 60s Alnico V one.

Anyways, the swap went well and twang was there in spades... But I'm not a country player and all that added chime and brightness was not my thing, as beautiful as it sounded.

So today, after not playing my Tele for a month or so, I decided to put the Chopper T back in but keep my new premium wiring (250K pots, .047uF cap). I'M SOOO HAPPY I DID! The guitar sounds killer, really does. I think the 250k pots did the trick. The only mod I can see myself doing in the future is the neck pup plus a 4-way wiring harness.

So, Chopper T for the win. Maybe I should listen to Kotzen and try the Twang King in the neck and be done. I know Richie does prefer 500K pots but I really like the sound I'm getting out of 250K ones. Any opinions on this Chopper T/TK combo?

GDR

I myself went with the 250k pots on Dimarzio's recommendation but I did use the premium wiring as well. Haven't played it yet but ill let you know soon because it still needs to be wired. I love country so I wasn't sure if the Chopper T was the best choice but I also wanted something more versatile to play rock and blues as well. Ive been reading up to see what other people feel about theirs. Thanks for the thread. I also have a mojotone quiet coil pickups but im saving them for another build since they need 500k pots.
 

GreatDaneRock

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Posts
1,161
Location
Central FL
I myself went with the 250k pots on Dimarzio's recommendation but I did use the premium wiring as well. Haven't played it yet but ill let you know soon because it still needs to be wired. I love country so I wasn't sure if the Chopper T was the best choice but I also wanted something more versatile to play rock and blues as well. Ive been reading up to see what other people feel about theirs. Thanks for the thread. I also have a mojotone quiet coil pickups but im saving them for another build since they need 500k pots.
I've since removed the chopper t, as it wasn't giving me the amount of bite/edge I was looking for. I ended up going with a GFS little puncher XL wired hot at 15.5 k. Killer. Soon to pull the trigger on a Xaviere guitar loaded with rails for both bridge and neck.

Oh, Tele also got rewired with a combination of 250k and 500k pots (can't remember which knob is what). It really sounds killer now.
 

uriah1

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Posts
26,723
Location
Around
I have the chopper T in my rock tele with a lil59 bridge. Works nice.
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,578
Location
Near BWI Int'l
I myself went with the 250k pots on Dimarzio's recommendation but I did use the premium wiring as well. Haven't played it yet but ill let you know soon because it still needs to be wired. I love country so I wasn't sure if the Chopper T was the best choice but I also wanted something more versatile to play rock and blues as well. Ive been reading up to see what other people feel about theirs. Thanks for the thread. I also have a mojotone quiet coil pickups but im saving them for another build since they need 500k pots.

I've been running 250K pots with a Chopper T and True Velvet T neck for awhile now. IME, that pretty much tips the scales towards the hotter/fatter rock sound of the Chopper T, with a very bright sound full of detailed overtones for the True Velvet T neck, which is great for blues, and whatever clean stuff you might be doing.

IMO, I really don't want to go up to 500K pots and then have the True Velvet T neck just be ridiculously bright. I'm already cutting back the tone pot a bit with it, to approximate the treble attenuation I'm getting from the Chopper T.

I've got an Area Hot T in an Esquire'ish parts build with 500K pots. It's just a bit cleaner/twangier than the Chopper T, at least when used with 500K pots. I honestly didn't care as much for the Area Hot T with 250K pots, because I just couldn't get the right amount of top end detail out of it.

The Chopper T really does seem to be specifically suited for rock, IMO. It just feels and sounds like the perfect cross between a Tele and Les Paul to my ears, kind of providing the necessary whatever that either one of those might be missing on its own - the Tele might be a bit too thin, and the Les Paul wouldn't have just the right amount of treble.
 




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