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Bridge pickup that pairs well with WRHB

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by backalleyblues, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    Howdy all!

    I picked up this Frankenstein telly (see the thread here) about 2 weeks ago, and I finally got it put all together last night. The neck pickup is an original WRHB (dates to 1976 if I'm reading the codes right) and the bridge appears to be a grey bottom standard telly pickup, either 1969 or 1979 (not sure on this). Anyways, while each of these pickups sound fine on their own, they are nowhere near balanced. Further, I had installed 250k pots, which makes the WRHB sound somewhat muddy (still sounds good, but not "the" sound) while the bridge is bright and clear-upping the pots to 500k or 1 Meg is going to bring the icepick on, big time!

    So, in everyone's experience and opinion, what bridge pickup pairs best with a WRHB, both in volume and tone? I have some 500k pots lying around (and a ton of capacitors) and plan on ordering some 1 meg pots shortly. Initial thoughts go to a SD Quarter Pounder, but I'm wide open to other ideas!

    Thanks in advance,
    Franc Robert
     
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  2. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have an OV in my CIJ Tele Custom with an original CuNiFe WRHB in the neck. Hard to match the output of the WRHB and keep the tele bridge sound, but this is a good compromise for me.

    Consider ordering pots from Telenator. He has some special ones that he recommends for the CuNiFe pickups.

    edit: oops forgot Telenator closed. Here’s the tone pot he recommends:

    https://www.dimarzio.com/hardware/potentiometers/1-meg-custom-taper-potentiometer
     
  3. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    You could always do higher value pots and then wire a resistor in series with the bridge pickup so it basically brings to to 250K.
     
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  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

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    Something like a Lindy +5 or +10 overwound for example. Or whichever brand you like.
     
  5. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Here's a test we did with a Kinman Bridge Blaster and one of our WRHB's.

    Before you make any decision, consider that your guitar was NOT made to have a "stand alone" bridge pickup setting. The Tele Custom was made to have Two Sounds. Neck, and Neck/Bridge.

    Putting a louder bridge pickup in it will indeed balance the 3 positions out, but you will lose that magic middle position. A sound you get from no other guitar in the world, (assuming you have a proper WRHB in the neck position,) not a re-issue or some bar magnet, or FeCrCo forgery. The use of 1 meg pots is mandatory if you're going to capture that slick 70's sound.

    If you don't care about the middle position sound, the Bridge Blaster will give you balance across your switch settings, and a great middle position sound. Not quite authentic, but very good just the same.

    And,........with the Kinman oprion, the whole guitar will be noiseless.

     
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  6. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks Telenator, I was hoping you'd chime in on this thread!

    The pickups on this guitar are indeed original Fender pickups, original WRHB measuring 9.76k, and a white rope bridge measuring 6k. I mistakenly put 250k pots in, and while I hear the possibilities, I also see the pitfalls-1 Meg pots would turn the bridge pickup into an icepick with 6 strings!

    Wonder if a tappable bridge pickup might be in order here, with the tap wound to somewhere around 6k, and the full wind to around 10k? Wired 1) WRHB 2) WRHB and tapped bridge 3) Full wound bridge? Any thoughts on that?

    Franc Robert
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Don't fear the icepick! That's what a tone control is for.

    Will you be keeping a 3 pup array?

    I don't know what would mate well with a vintage WRHB other than another of the same. I think you would need a new CUNIFE pickup to balance the output. That being said, if two are good, wouldn't 3 be better!?? I have never seen 3 of them on a guitar. I think tthe new ones are $200 each now - down from $300. You could buy 3 new ones if you took out the old one and sold it by itself!
     
  8. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Another option to consider is a Gibson-style Varitone tone switch to replace the existing tone switch. You could just buy the raw switch and set up the electronics how you see fit.
     
  9. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    Boreas,

    For the moment, I'm sticking with 2 pickups-I might change my mind about that later, but that's-later... :D I'd have to route the pickguard for the middle pickup (and get a middle pickup I like!) but its certainly doable-the body route is already there. I will admit that both pickups on is a beautiful, sweet sound that I can get addicted to, even nicer than my other 2 pickup guitars-only guitar that comes close to that is my Guild Starfire IV, which is another animal altogether.

    The rotary/varitone switch is an interesting idea, I'll have to look into that one... could solve multiple issues there...

    Franc Robert
     
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  10. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Still waiting on my order for a Fender CuNiFe WRHB neck humbucker -- was supposed to arrive mid-Feb but anyone's guess now...
    I have a SD Jerry Donahue in the bridge that will hopefully blend nicely while still standing on its own, and not create phasing issues.
     
  11. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    IMG_20200628_100333.jpg My friend's Custom with original WRHB I built him after various pickups ended up with a plastic bobbin US Standard pickup fitted with baseplate. It is a good match output wise and still retains meaty twang by itself. Measures at 7kohm DCr
     
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  12. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Not much help here but my original 73 custom had the best bridge pickup I have ever had- regular old factory one with 1 meg pots- roll the tone down and it killed them all....now how to find that today? not sure
     
  13. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I bought a partscaster that had a custom vaitone setup in the tone spot. It produced allotta tones from two single coils with a 4-way switch, but wasn't my cup of tea. I view a Telecaster as a hammer, not a Swiss Army knife.
     
  14. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    adjason,

    Are you able to measure the DC resistance on your bridge pickup? Would be good to know, as a baseline.

    Thanks,
    Franc Robert
     
  15. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    bjvbykgbbfo0zzh3kv1y.jpg
     
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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