Best tele pickup for a parts caster.

Tommy Biggs

Friend of Leo's
Jun 17, 2010
Northern NJ
But let's not rule out a P90ish bridge PU for rowdy use I've learned.

I got a Pre-B1 Dimarzio years ago, and never took it out. And a non base plated tele bridge PU was never anything I thought I'd possibly like. I expected a failed experiment.

Generally I've always stuck 8.5 9k max in a vintage bridge Tele. That Pre-B1 changed things in my perception.

I do suggest opening up the tone circuit with them hot PUs, or bypass option via push pull, yada.

Side note: with by passed tone circuit the Pre-B1 at 1/2 throttle [guitar pot] still in a well working range, not muted etc.
Pre- B1 was my first Tele pickup change! (Back when it was the Pre-BS)
I would probably still be playing it, but my brother borrowed my Tele and when I got it back there was a new pickup that I hated.

Frisco 57

Jan 8, 2012
Arlington WA
In my various partscaster Tele builds over the years, I've used pickups from Fender, vintage Fender, Seymour Duncan, Fralin, Van Zandt and Cavalier, and they all sound from good to great with lots subtle differences. I would add to the many pickup recommendations here, to build a good quality tone and volume circuit with good pots, ton caps and switches. Oh and don't be afraid to use them.

I think playing a Tele is not necessarily a "set it & forget it" deal.


Feb 29, 2004
Portland, OR
I once pulled a set of Floral MIJ Tele PUs to replace for a Nashville player. We put a Donahue and I forget what the other was, and I moved the tone pot to the jack. I did not think it was an improvement per se. But not my barrel of monkies either..

I put them in a quick build to test a stainless fretted Warmoth fat Tele neck I got, slapped onto a CV pine body... and that was 10 year ago. my #1 as it turns out. Which annoys me no end with 1/2 dozen DIY that are pretty nice. Stainless only going forward for me since. The PUs are pure Tele pre CBS to me. Vintage side of spectrum.

Don't rule out anythig until you've actually ruled it out.

aTel-Lex Music

TDPRI Member
Feb 9, 2022
New York
I'm getting ready to built my first tele and I'm trying to find the right pickups. I like the idea of the twisted tele for the neck, but the bridge pickups I'm seeing paired with it are usually described as hot. My experience with teles is pretty limited. I like how other people sound but I have trouble taming the high end. I'd like to find a bridge pickup that's compatible with the twisted neck pickup as far as being balanced volume wise. I play blues and classic rock, clean to moderate over drive and I'd also like to be able to play open chords with good balance string to string. I may find I'll have to pass on the twisted tele neck pick up if I don't want a high out put set, and that's fine, I'm just trying to avoid building a tele that's shrill and harsh without turning the volume and tone down to halfway. Thanks in advance
I’d go with Barden’s hands down