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Beatin that same old horse: Need pickup recommendations

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Hack, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Hack

    Hack Tele-Meister

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    OK guys, I've searched, I've read threads (some of them several times), I've checked out the manufacturers websites, I've listened to soundclips . . . but I still need more info, so I've joined this discussion board to see if I can find an satisfying end to my tone search . . . here's the deal:

    I have a '69 Thinline RI that I want/need to mod some. I am the lone guitar in a three piece alt country band, and need the best of all worlds - tele twang and character for leads, p90 presence, fatishness and tone complexity for rhythms. I play mostly clean with a little compression . . . most "edge" comes from pusing the amp and attack, although I use a little overdrive from my Rt 66. Just trying to give all the context here, as tone involves all this stuff (as you know).

    So, something like a bridge pickup that will give me p-90 presence without sacrificing too much Tele character and twang. I don't want to turn the guitar into a Les Paul Jr. Does this pickup exist?

    I've been seriously considering:

    CS nocasters and broadcasters (I hear the old 10K pups are great, but where the hell would I get one?)

    Seymour Duncan Broadcaster

    . . . and more recently, due mostly to what I've read on this board . . .

    Bill Lawrence Keystones

    Tonerider Hot Classic


    I would especially like to hear from those of you who have actually used these pickups and who are trying to acheive a similar bell-like, jangly-yet-rich tone with twang for the lead breaks. Thanks in advance - Hack
     
  2. surfco

    surfco Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 on the keystones!
    Affordable and awesome tone.
     
  3. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

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    I have Duncan 5/2s and a 4 way switch in my '69 Thinline RI and couldn't be happier with them. They do that bell-like, jangly-yet-rich thing well, and they do it without being harsh or abrasive.
     
  4. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

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    I know that many people are of the opinion that the Seymour Duncan Quarter-Pound pickup has a sound that is very similar to P90.I have one Quarter-Pound in one guitar and a full set of Schecter F500T pickups in one of my Strats.The F500T is very similar to the QP pickup.In my opinion the Quarter-Pound and the F500T are very good pickups.
     
  5. Hack

    Hack Tele-Meister

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    What are Duncan 5/2s? That's one I've never come across.
     
  6. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

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    5/2s

    I've always found it interesting that they're the "Nashville studio" pickups, when I really can't stand the "Nashville studio" sound. I guess it makes sense though...they sound good, they're versatile, they're not too peaky. I really couldn't be happier with them.
    I've also got a 5/2 bridge pup in my '72 Custom RI. Did I mention I like these pickups?
     
  7. Hack

    Hack Tele-Meister

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    Well, turns out I had S. Duncan pickups (Broadcaster) on my other tele and didn't even know it, so I decided to go with Keystones on my Thinline, as I've read some really wonderful reviews about them, plus I could afford them? Took about three weeks to get them . . . I'll put 'em in this weekend and see what I have! Looking forward to an A-B comparison agaist the SD Broadcasters
     
  8. microphonic squeal

    microphonic squeal Tele-Meister

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    I have found, suprisingly enough, that stock '69 Thinline RI (original bridge pickup and 1 meg pots) sound great with distortion. They grind like no other. The stock set up is not the best for clean tones, it is too ice picky. The ice pick comes mainly from the 1 meg pots. replace them with 250K pots and you are 90% of the way there. If this is still a little too bright, you could give the no-caster pick ups a try. This is what I ended up with in my '69 Thinline and I like it alot.
     
  9. caliban335

    caliban335 Tele-Afflicted

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    microphonic squeal is correct about the pots. 250k pots and the Keystones should get you where you want to go. That should be a great guitar when you're finished with the mods.

    I'm having a set of Baja pickups installed in my 2nd '69 Thinline RI. I'm also having the pots changed and replacing the 3-way switch with a 4-way so I can have the pickups engaged in series.

    Let us know how it goes & good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  10. guitarman823

    guitarman823 Tele-Meister

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    I put Texas Specials in my Highway 1 and I love 'em. As for my new mim...I know they get a bad rap being ceramic, but the stock pups sound great to my ears. Don't plan on changing them.
     
  11. Hack

    Hack Tele-Meister

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    Update:

    First, a little context.

    I am the only guitar player in a alt-country band, so right off, a telecaster has a lot of ground to cover that it really may not be all that well suited for. With that said, I should say that I often also use my Gibson ES 135 or my old Jazzmaster, both of which have p-90s in them. I play clean for the most part, with a little compression from my VS Rt 66, but I do kick in the TS-808 OD circuit sometimes. I play through a blackface Bandmaster head with a 2x12 cab, loaded with Weber speakers. I don't play real loud, usually no more than 4 on the volume.

    So I put the Keystones in my Thinline and they sound good, but I'm just not as impressed with them as so many other people are. They do have a beautiful tone, but the bridge seems to lack character to me. I vastly prefer the old SD "Broadcaster" pickup I have in the bridge of my other tele. Punchier, more mid-range, but still very much that classic Tele sound. To me, the Keystone sounds kind of - uh - whimpy?

    It may just be I need to mess with adjusting it more, which I intend to do. I have it backed down quite a bit at the moment, but I had it closer in to the strings earlier. Not giving up yet.

    Used my old, Broadcaster-loaded tele on the last two gigs and it just sang; got lots of compliments on the tone. Maybe its just a matter of different strokes for different folks.
     
  12. BluezyBruce

    BluezyBruce Tele-Holic

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    Rumpelstiltskin pickups, 50's blackrope at 10K.

    Go the website and listen to the sound files. They are like the nocaster bridge scatter wound hotter then Fenders, and a good price too.
     
  13. ZZB3

    ZZB3 Tele-Holic

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    I have a Seymour Duncan Broadcaster in one tele and a Seymour Duncan Jerry Donahue in another. Both are great. Both twang great and work for a variety of styles with the Donahue just a little thicker in sound. The Broadcaster is mated with a Duncan Vintage rythmn which gives a great middle position and the Dunahue is mated with a Duncan strat neck pup which has a good middle position but not as tele sounding as the traditional tele neck pup. Have fun, Wayne
     
  14. Hack

    Hack Tele-Meister

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    I was just re-reading some of the earlier posts on this thread, and saw that there were a few recommendations to use 250k pots with the Keystone pickups to fatten them up a little . . . I'm going to try that. Might do the trick. Also playing with the idea of putting on a Jazzmaster neck. The long scale and rosewood board might make for an interesting enhancement, but one variable at a time.

    More updates to come.
     
  15. Rouse

    Rouse TDPRI Member

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  16. MrDJoers

    MrDJoers Tele-Holic

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    That's exactly how I felt about them. Very overrated imo, but for the price everybody should try them just in case they do like that sound.

    Another thing- Rouse was right about Lollar Specials. I have them in my #2 right now. Not quite a p-90, but thicker and punchier than the Keystones.
     
  17. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    Lollar Specials were my first thought also when I read the original post just now.
     
  18. JG806

    JG806 Tele-Holic

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    Yes to Keystone neck pup. No IMO to the bridge pup. I currently have Keystone neck and a Dimarzio True Velvet T. I'm really happy (for now). A 4 way switch gives a fat juicy buckerish sound.
     
  19. Hack

    Hack Tele-Meister

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    So i guess I'm not the only one who has felt this way about those Keystones. That makes me feel better - the way people rave about them I was wondering what I was doing wrong.

    With the Lollar pickups - thanks for the tip. Actually, I have a p-90 in the bridge position of my Gibson ES 135 and love it. I'll check him out for the Tele.

    still thinking of swapping out the pots first, though, just to see what happens. I don't expect it to be a silver bullet fix, however.
     
  20. benbo

    benbo Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't get me wrong, I like Bill and Becky very much but I have honestly never liked his pickups. Lollars on the other hand are tasty. He makes some very nice sounding pickups. Just my .02 worth
     
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