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Bridge pickup - full, open, sparkle but no ice pick - does it exist?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by don, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. don

    don Tele-Meister

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    @mexicanyella the current pickup is not too ice pick - its too mid heavy so I was going to change to a different pickup and was just describing what I did not want which was ice pick and brittle. That said, I did the reverse of what you described and made adjustments favoring the treble side and it is much better!
     
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  2. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    The choice of pick ups is only one factor in the cure of ice pick. Amp, speakers and even the strings and pick you use are also equal parts of the equation. If you're using a Fender or Fender style amp there is a fine line between Fender sparkle and ice pick. Hemp cone speakers can do wonders and thin picks, bright strings and your own playing technique need to be considered as possible contributors as well. Once all of that has been addressed if the problem still exists there's always these.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  3. dougstrum

    dougstrum Friend of Leo's

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    I would definitely 2nd those and also add the ToneRider hot classic. Any of those are great bridge pickups. Also remember that tone control is your friend;)
     
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  4. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Well, it would be the same if you were going to throw a P90 in there, or a humbucker.

    How bad do you want the excellent tone you're seeking?

    You could just grind out a bit of the forward section of your bridge plate. Or, make a new body with the new pickup placement, and use 6 saddle hard tail Strat bridge.
     
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  5. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    And ditchin' the pick for fingers.
     
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  6. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Fender Custom Shop.png 1. Reverse slant on the bridge pickup
    2. Seymour Duncan Five-Two pickup.

    https://www.seymourduncan.com/single-product/five-two-tele

    "The Five-Two was originally designed for Nashville studio players who wanted a classic Telecaster pickup that could produce a softer treble attack on the high strings while retaining all of the articulate snap on the low strings. We came up with a mixture of Alnico 2 and Alnico 5 rod magnets that delivers the best of both worlds. The Alnico 2 rods positioned under the G, B, and E strings provide a sweetened treble response, while the Alnico 5 rods under the low E, A, and D strings contribute a bright, snappy tone with enhanced midrange and articulation. This combination results in an all-around well-balanced pickup with traditional output that delivers all the twang and pop of a great Tele with none of the “ice pick” treble."
     
  7. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    Brass saddles and an SD Broadcaster are getting there for me. Cutting without icepick.
     
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  8. twangking

    twangking Tele-Afflicted

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    Budz purebred.
     
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  9. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you've got Filtertrons covered...my next suggestion would be 60s style: Fender PV64, OC Duff Buckaroos, Cavalier Bakersfield...but then, I think the Palo Duros are heading towards that. The Buckaroos or PV64 might get you slightly closer.

    You are most likely looking for something low-wind with A5 magnets.
     
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  10. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Holic

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    Thicker strings. Gets rid of a lot of the icepick. Also don't change strings every five minutes like people often do. Let them age and mature like a fine wine ;-) Only when they break (hopefully never) is a good rule of thumb ;-)
     
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  11. don

    don Tele-Meister

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    @Telenator there must be an easier solution - I want better tone but I don't have routing equipment and I already have the guitar so I'm gonna chase pickups for now!

    @MatsEriksson I'm assuming that reverse slant bridge would also require routing but the pickup sounds perfect - I'll check it out!
     
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  12. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    When I think of the bridge being ice picky in any guitar, it’s usually a matter of making sure the tone is balanced with the other pickups - if the neck pickup is too dark, dialing in a good tone with the amp eq and tone control on the guitar results in the bridge being too bright. But on a single pickup guitar like an Esquire, is seem to be able to balance bite, clarity and fullness just by adjusting pickup height and amp settings with most pickups unless they are massively over or under wound - assuming a T-style bridge pickup sound is wanted, of course.
     
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  13. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Ive used these and they do work well, but I usually just angle the amp so the speaker cone is not pointing directly at my head/ears and that works nearly as well.
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah we get stuck with all these pre-made parts that force us to put the bridge pickup where Leo thought it should go, while the aftermarket sells us mountains of mods Leo never thought about, and almost no aftermarket mods focus on moving the location of the bridge pickup around.

    What I find is that a lefty Tele bridge certainly eliminates any trace of ice pick, it's too warm toned on the high E.
    And I also find the low E does not get better to my taste if the pickup moves further from the bridge under that bassy string, I love the tighter piano bass of that location.

    It's the durn angle that causes the high E to be brighter and harder to control the tone of by picking and muting.

    The Glendale Rev Billy bridge nails the balanced tone and even looks classic, with only a little routing to fit.

    For me there is also the Jazzmaster pickup, and of the many available some are much like a Tele bridge pickup, but they have a shorter pole spacing so line up better with the string spacing at the bridge. Takes some routing and modding a bridge or using a half bridge (which leaves a little of the old Tele rout visible) but saves a hundred bucks and looks cool too.

    I've mounted a bridge pickup on movable tabs to really listen to the change as you move it further and closer to the bridge.
    It's huge! and kind of ironic that we keep buying pickups to solve a problem that is in the mount angle.
     
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  15. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I've got exactly that: A Ryu Hydra tapped Fat/Nashville/Bakersfield that I'll put on a standard 3-way switch and use a no-load tone pot. My life has been too wacky busy to put it in my Esquier conversion, yet. Sounds like a Winter projet for me.
     
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  16. don

    don Tele-Meister

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    I've been messing around the last hour or so with the Bootstrap Hot Pretzel bridge pup that is in the guitar now and I'm quite pleased with the change in tone. I've got them at about 4/64 with just a smidge closer on the treble side and a smidge further on the bass side. I changed my Princeton Reverb treble to 6 and bass to 4 and I've got a nice full open chord with some high end thats not brittle. I'm gonna play with this setup a while and try it thru my Soul Food and Joyo ACTONE and compare to my other Teles - great way to spend a Saturday morning!
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd grab a cheap Tele body and live with the reverse angle/ lefty bridge for a while before modding a good guitar.
    The extra cavity routing will still be hidden if you don't like it, but to me that goew too far beyond taming ice pick into Jazzy dark treble.

    There IS a bridge that's "just right"!
    Not going to mention the brand name though, that would be shilling!
     
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  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    18578C52-066D-48D5-A3D5-D3A14BF443AB.jpeg 9B34D000-AC2B-4EC6-B326-3E69A4B4BA7C.jpeg I see you found your happy place for now, but I took a couple of pics of my solutions to the problem you asked about so here they are.
     
  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's funny, many player/ home techs end up angling the pickup the opposite way in desperation when they have ice pickup problems.

    I set my pickups like you describe. closer to the high E and further from the low E, basically by ear so that the same attack gets the same volume from the two E strings.

    I've also read some members here state that the high E has the least volume of all the strings.
    I could not tolerate a low volume high E!

    Moving the pickups further from the strings gets a clearer and brighter TONE, but lower VOLUME.

    Moving the pickups closer to the string brings the volume UP but the treble or brightness DOWN.

    When players lower the pickup under the high E to avoid the brightness, they lose volume and gain brightness, sort of giving up on the extremely useful high E string!

    Part of my goal includes the need for all my tonal range to be available in the bridge pickup, because once I get that perfect, i need no neck pickup.
    We can all learn to tame ice pick tone on the Tele high E with our hands, should we choose to accept that mission.

    However, the slight change of location of the coil, further from the high E saddle, makes the extra effort to play the high E more carefully than the rest of the strings, no longer needed.
    Plenty to focus on and no need to have a high E that's tonally brighter than the others, plus no need to make the other strings darker and more bassy in order to get a warm enough tone from the one offending string.

    That's how I play my stock Esquires: I treat the high E differently to get the tone I want from it while keeping the clear piano bass tone of the low E.

    Note that not only do I not need a neck pickup once the balance is attained, I also do not need a tone control. All my tones come from one pickup and my hands.
     
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  20. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    I’m gonna hammer this for a minute, its possible it’ll turn into a rant, apologies beforehand....
    Honest to god, chances are quite good, that “ice pick” can first and foremost be eliminated or alleviated by how one physically plays the telecaster, and thats also been noted here by some other folks. Please for the love of god start with some experimentation and exploration there. If/when, that doesn’t get it, start with the simplest components first (I’m looking at you early iteration AVRI .02 cap...)dont start with the pickups, chances are that if one has a reasonably good Telecaster the pickups are already kind of good, and especially to figure what is going on with “ice pick.”But again, “ice pickup” is mostly in how one plays a Telecaster. You just have to account, mentally and physically, for the percussive and trebly nature of this guitar. Otherwise (in my opinion) you just start yourself down a road of never ending mods, and wind up with something that isn’t really a Telecaster.
     
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