Bootstrap Pretzel pickup set, technical analysis

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Antigua Tele, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast

    The Pretzel set is very much like the Fender "Twisted Tele" set, with a 43 AWG bridge and a 42 AWG neck pickup. In theory, the wire gauge used isn't of much importance by itself, the decision to use one gauge over another is to ensure that the coil ends up being of a certain size for so many turns of wire. This set has very similar value to the Fender Twisted Tele set, both A5 pole pieces, both RW/RP, both bridge pickups measure right around 4.0 henries, the neck pickup 2.0 henries. A typical Tele bridge pickup has an inductance around 3 henries, and a neck pickup around 2.5 henries, so the Twisted and Pretzel sets are relatively extreme on both ends.

    The intrinsic capacitance is not real important to the final sound of a pickup since combines with some unknown amount of guitar cable capacitance to move the resonant peak in one direction or abother, but it happens to be especially different, the Twisted Tele's bridge has a low capacitance (~120pF) the neck high (~220pF), while the Pretzel's bridge and neck both measured from about 160pF to 180pF, making the Pretzel neck a bit brighter, and the bridge a bit darker, for a given guitar cable.

    A new Twsited Tele set costs $160, a new Pretzel set is listed at only $50, and yet they're effectively identical sets. The bode plot reveals that the neck cover is, in fact, nickel silver, and both have premium cloth hookup wire. One small difference is that the Twisted Tele neck pickup has three conductors, a third wire for the cover, allowing for OOP wiring schemes, but a third wire can easily be added to a Tele neck pickup if you want there to be a third wire, so this isn't a big deal.

    Bootstrap Pretzel Telecaster Pickups

    - DC Resistance: 10.3K ohms
    - Measured L: 3.995H
    - Calculated C: 182pF
    - Gauss: 1050G (AlNiCo 5)

    - DC Resistance: 5.41K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.008H
    - Calculated C: 159pF
    - Gauss: 800G (AlNiCo 5)

    Bridge unloaded: dV: 12.2dB f: 5.74kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 4.6dB f: 2.89kHz (blue)
    Neck unloaded: dV: 5.2dB f: 8.17kHz (red)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 5.0dB f: 4.17kHz (green)

    Bode plot:


    Vespa_One, drlucky, RodeoTex and 4 others like this.
  2. vanr

    vanr Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 20, 2003
    I have a set in my Surf Green Squier Tele and they sound fantastic.
    drlucky and bender66 like this.
  3. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Good report, Antigua!

    If I might add a little "non-technical" commentary:

    I love the Pretzel NECK pickup; finding it to be clearer, more articulate, more "full-range", and brighter than Fender's Twisted Tele neck pickup - using the ear test. (Not that I dislike the TT neck pickup - just that I like the Pretzel neck even more.)

    Regarding the Pretzel BRIDGE pickup, I have skipped over that one as, for my personal tone, I prefer bridge pickups that are not "hot" mid-range focused.

    For value and quality, Bootstraps are "le bomb!"

    My favorite Tele pickups from Ryan are:

    Bootstrap Pretzel NECK (A5, 42AWG, 5.6k)
    Bootstrap Palo Duro BRIDGE (A5, 42AWG, 6.4k)
    Bootstrap "Original" BRIDGE (A3, 42AWG, 6.4k)

    Each of these is very clean, clear, articulate, and "full-range" oriented. I prefer more of a "hi-fi" tone from my pickups and these deliver that - at a very good price!

    I don't buy "sets", as I prefer to choose each pickup for individual qualities.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    BB likes this.
  4. garrett

    garrett Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 20, 2007
    Just south of Tampa Bay
    Cool! Thanks for that. I have the Pretzel bridge in an Esquire and it is a great pickup for that meaner, less twangy sound. A total steal.
    drlucky likes this.
  5. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

    Jun 4, 2018
    Toronto Canada
    I have the Pretzel pickups and my neck pickup came with the extra wire. Great pickups.
    DHart likes this.
  6. branbolio

    branbolio TDPRI Member

    Oct 11, 2009
    Anyone else using the Pretzel Pups
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