Bootstrap pickups: Palo Duro or ???

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Grendel2000, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    @koolimy
    What I want is a sound that:
    - SOUNDS LIKE A TELE
    - Is articulate and open when players at lower levels / gain (this is what's lacking in the stock MIM pickups IMHO)
    - Has some decent "grunt" / "drive" / "growl" when pushed

    My strat has CS '69s and I really like them, with the exception of the bridge pickup which seems weak and thin to me. Since the CS '69s are kinda underworld / vintage, I thought I'd like this guitar to be a bit more aggressive compared to the strat.

    That said, I don't want it to go "too far" in the other direction either. I don't have any interest in metal or other heavier genres. I also don't play country, although I do like some "twang" at times.

    So I guess that's what I'm aiming for is a versatile setup to cover things from sweet sounding and articulate cleans up through crunchy rock. I want it to have some "oomph" - as much as is reasonably possible without going so far that it no longer sounds like a Tele or loses articulation and clean tone quality / "sweetness".

    I had thought the Pretzels would fit the bill based on the outputs shown on the site, but I realize it's not as simple as just looking at these output ratings (see below). The bridge on the Pretzels is so much higher output I assumed this set would be more aggressive overall (compared to the Palo Duro's and Original recipe) and might therefore be my choice, but I've liked what I heard from the Palo Duros quite a lot.

    PRETZEL TELE
    - Bridge: ~9.9kOhm
    - Neck: ~5.6kOhm
    - 42/43 AWG pure copper wire with ruby enamel insulation
    - AlNiCo 5 magnets, flat top

    PALO DURO TELE
    - Bridge: ~6.4kOhm
    - Neck: ~7.2kOhm
    - 42/43 AWG pure copper wire with ruby enamel insulation
    - AlNiCo 5 magnets, flat top

    ORIGINAL RECIPE TELE
    - Bridge: ~6.4kOhm
    - Neck: ~7.2kOhm
    - 42/43 AWG pure copper wire with ruby enamel insulation
    - AlNiCo 3 magnets
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Lower-wind pickups can "grunt" with the right amp and/or pedal. The question becomes whether you want that sound all the time or not. It's easier to add grunt than to take it away. Also easier to add treble than take it away. So it's a balancing act. Higher winds offer more of a mid-push than lower-winds as a rule...but pickups don't happen in a vacuum as it were...they happen in a signal chain. And what's in that signal chain matters. A low-wind pickup going into a tweed style amp (a pretty mid-focused amp, as a rule) may work for you. The same pickup going into a blackface amp (mid-scooped) might not. How much versatility do you need? If you have a blackface or silver face style amp and a mid-focused pedal, maybe the low-winds will be the way to go. Or if you're not a pedal guy, maybe the higher wind pickups. At the end of the day, you have to TRY them. That's the frustrating thing. The pickups that sound great in some other guy's YouTube video may sound totally different in your rig. Or at least, significantly different. YouTube videos are great for getting a sense of the character of a pickup, but if you really want to assess how it will sound through your amp, you either need to find someone demoing through an amp like yours...or buy them and do a demo yourself, for the benefit of those to come. And always publish your signal chain!

    Thankfully, Ryan's pickups are inexpensive enough that trying a few varieties won't break the bank. So explore. Have fun. It's the journey...as they say.
     
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  3. Rjelecaster

    Rjelecaster Tele-Meister

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    Great list, has anyone compiled the wire gauge or inductance as well?
     
  4. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    @Rjelecaster
    I updated my post with more info (wire gauge - I don't have any inductance info...)
     
  5. Rjelecaster

    Rjelecaster Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! Perhaps @Bootstrap will chime in. Ive done business with him, great pickups, great guy.
     
  6. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Holic

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    Is it possible the wire gauges for the Pretzel Tele are reversed? A 10K bridge with 42 AWG?

    There is a wonderful feature on the Bootstrap pages where we have the option to select a custom build pickup and have what we think will be better for us. We can choose magnet, wire gauge, wind count and direction. Really good prices also.

    https://bootstrappickups.com/collections/all?page=2
     
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  7. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I have inductance for the Pretzel set https://www.tdpri.com/threads/bootstrap-pretzel-pickup-set-technical-analysis.970308/

    Looking at the vintage set and the Palo Duro set, it appears the only difference it AlNiCo 3 and AlNiCo 5 pole pieces. The pickups with the AlNiCo 3 will be a little darker, because AlNiCo 3 has a higher permeability which causes the inductance to increase. The other difference is that AlNiCo 3 measures around 600 gauss at the tops, AlNiCo 5 measures around 1000 gauss at the pole tops. If you take a pickup with AlNiCo 5 and lower it about three millimeters, it will sound like a pickup at the original height with AlNiCo 3. This is why AlNiCo 5 is associated with snap and brightness, it yields a lower inductance and a stronger magnetic field, all things being equal. IMO, AlNiCo 5 offers more versatility, and that's why it's the defacto magnet, while AlNiCo 2 and 3 were only used during the early 50's. I've read that cobalt was expensive at the time, which is why they temporarily favored AlNiCo formulations that had little or no cobalt. Once the price of cobalt came down, AlNiCo 5 was favored ever after.
     
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  8. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    yeah, he's not very good afa responding to people... but he does offer best bank-for-the-buck there is.
     
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  9. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    For the prices he's asking, his customer service could be a middle finger and I'd still buy. His website has a good amount of technical info, though, more than most provide.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  10. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Holic

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    The times that I did message Ryan I get my reply inside a minute or two. It is like he was expecting me!
     
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  11. Rjelecaster

    Rjelecaster Tele-Meister

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    absolutely, but thankfully that isn't the case
     
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  12. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    Maybe it's an email issue? Dunno, I've used the chat system on his site three separate times and he's been there every time and answered every question I've had (and there have been many)...

    I'd recommend trying that instead.
     
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  13. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Tele-Meister Vendor Member

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    Our email system did suck, and up until a few weeks ago every single message had the exact same generic subject line, so that was terrible.

    But that’s not the root cause of the problem. Over the past year we’ve grown faster than I ever expected, which is awesome! But with our very lean operation it also meant we were constantly behind - behind on filling orders, behind on answering emails, behind on rolling out new products. Even with bringing in some more help around the shop, we were always catching up instead of getting ahead of things.

    I recently decided that I’m just not a very good manager and got in contact with a very gracious mentor who was really enthusiastic about Bootstrap and also has lots of experience managing small businesses. We identified a number of problems and have been improving upon them one at a time. We also came up with a plan for more gracefully handling future growth. The new chat system is a part of those improvements. It’s really quite excellent and I encourage folks to use it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  14. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I threw my comment out in Hope's that Ryan would respond. He did. No harm intended.

    I've got a few Bootstrap pickups. You guys are preaching to the choir.
     
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  15. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't let any of this change your product, Ryan. I always hate it when a wonderful small business has to call in an "expert".....it often means things are never the same! ;)
    I'm really happy for your success (IMHO you deserve it) but I hope you're able to keep your focus on what you've obviously been doing.....a GREAT pickup, with GREAT customer attention and service, at a GREAT (fair) price. Best wishes, as always.
     
  16. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    I chatted today with Ryan (he was kind enough to reach out on a Sunday, even though I told him it could wait until tomorrow on a normal work day) and ended up ordering the following:

    For my Tele: a Palo Duro set.

    For my Strat bridge: a custom wound "Oatmeal Stout" that will be wound to 14k windings (~12k kOhms) to be similar to a Duncan SSL-5 (Alnico 5's, staggered poles, 43 awg wire)

    For my son's Ibanez S521: a set of "Vintage Clean" Humbuckers to replace the stock pickups and give it a bit more of a vintage tone (he likes classic rock and prog stuff from the 70's and 80's)...

    Can't wait! Thanks Ryan!

    @Bootstrap
     
  17. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    UPDATE:

    All of the pickups are now installed!

    TLDR: Every damned one of these things sounds FANTASTIC, and Ryan was simply amazing to work with. BUY SOME - you won't regret it!

    The pickups arrived (a few days late because USPS temporarily lost them... Ugh...) in great condition. I swapped out the Palo Duro set into my Tele first and was SHOCKED at the difference. Much more open sounding and a ton of clarity. As others have said, these are very "sweet sounding". As I wrote elsewhere, the electronics upgrade I made before the Palo Duros arrived (I put in new ObsidianWire electronics - a "Traditional Vintage for Tele" package with 250k CTS pots and a treble bleed circuit). The new electronics combined with the stock pickups had MUCH more output, which was surprising and I did not really like the combination. The Palo Duros are not as hot as the stock ones so the combo of those with the Obsidianwire gets me just about back to where I was in terms of output (which I like) but with all of the sonic benefits of both the new Pickups and the treble bleed.

    The guitar sounds SO SWEET now. Very, VERY nice combo and I'm thrilled with the outcome!

    The custom "Oatmeal Stout" I had Ryan wind (to 14k winds, in order to get it close to a SSL-5) has worked out perfectly as well! I found the bridge position thing and essentially useless with the CS 69 in there. The increased output has added just enough grunt to give the bridge position some life, and it definitely doesn't stick out like a sore thumb compared to the 69's in the neck and middle positions (which I had worried about). I'm still working on getting the balances right with pickup height now. Getting the middle set properly for the neck and the bridge simultaneously (for positions 2 and 4) is taking some tweaking, but no worries... I'm VERY happy with this one!

    The "Vintage Clean" humbuckers for my Son's Ibanez S521 proved challenging, but I got it taken care of finally today. In short, the wiring on the Bootstraps differed from the stock Ibanez Quantum humbuckers (and I'm a neophyte when it comes to guitar electronics). The Ibanez pickups had 3 wires in the bridge pickup and 4 in the neck. The Bootstraps both had 4 wires. The two brands also use different color coding schemes for their wires. Getting all of that sorted out, and using the proprietary stock 5 way switch Ibanez uses was challenging. Ryan helped where he could all along the way - he was amazing! I ended up contacting Ibanez, who also went above and beyond by putting together a custom diagram for me to get the wiring sorted out less that 30 minutes after I contacted them! Other than that, I had to slightly Dremel out the neck cavity to fit in the Buckers with their chrome covers into the guitar. Went fine. So, pickups are in and they seem great! I'm not a huge fan of H-H guitars (hence my Strat and Tele) but these things are MILES above the stock Quantums. They have more clarity and seem warmer. They also aren't as hot as the stock ones I think, so there seems to be much more sonic "distance" between all of the pickup configurations you get on the 5 way switch now compared to how it was with the stock pickups. I think these should work out great for the classic rock and prog stuff my son wants to play, and they look amazing!

    So, in summary, I'm THRILLED and honestly can't endorse Bootstrap more highly! Both the pickups themselves and Ryan's customer service were sincerely excellent. I would not hesitate to but from Bootstrap - this experience has earned my business for bootstrap for life.

    I'm happy to answer any questions if anyone has any...
     
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  18. koolimy

    koolimy TDPRI Member

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    Congrats! Glad that you enjoy the pickups! My experience with the Palo Duros echoes yours... they sound unbelievably good! It's pretty crazy they are this cheap, as I can't think of any pickups sounding that much better than these.
     
  19. SithTracy

    SithTracy TDPRI Member

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    Late to the party as I built my first tele last month out of a stew-mac kit, but I got the bug and am building another from Warmoth (with a custom neck and tele body with comfort contours - AARP member now... need the comforts). Going to try the Palo Duros. Put in an order for some bootstrap pups to try for the future build and some for my strat. Had an inquiry for Bootstrap folks that has gone unanswered... suspect perhaps he is on vacation (small business) or having email issues with his site contact page.
     
  20. JKjr

    JKjr Tele-Holic

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    I just ran into this thread...had not heard of Bootstrap. I have accumulated a few really nice strat N/M sets lacking bridge pickups. I shot him an email(I'm in no hurry; trying to respect his time).
    The sets I'll be matching are some Fralin 1974 rewinds, a set of 64 black and grey strats, and a VH/N plus BS/M Fralin set, so the bar is pretty high. I'm optimistic though. I plan to have our own Rob DiStefano wind one as well, for a set of old Duosonic pickups. I expect them all to be stellar.
    I'm a craftsman of a different sort. While I know little about pickups, all true craftsmen share a common tribute. We can recognize it(or the lack thereof) in others almost immediately. It's the ability to cut through the bs and get down to the job. They are confident in their ability to accomplish what is asked of them..."just tell me what you want. I already know how to get there". Or "of course I'm good at this. It's what I do. It's supposed to look like magic to you". These guys look like the real deal to me. I'll be surprised if I DON'T like them.
     
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