Budget pickups for classic Tele sound?

Full-Tilt-Tele

Tele-Meister
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Mar 7, 2021
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I've got a very inexpensive good-looking bridge P/U, loaded with all the 'Honky-Tonky' you'll ever want... It's called a 'Mini Humbucker', you can find one on e-Bay, and it won't break you bank.
HumBucker P-U.jpg
 

AKBluesDude

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Plus one for Cavalier. https://evilsheeppickups.com tele pickups in the UK are £119. I've only tried Mark's Strat pickups which are outrageously good. The only stock Fender pickups I'd put in a guitar would be the twisted set, but they are £182. Or as others have said you can monkey around with pickup height and / or use pedals and other gadgets to try and compensate for crappy sounding pickups.
 

Bruxist

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So many people swap out the pickups of their Classic Vibe tele and they are great pickups and would be what I would call "classic tele sound" -- lower output, twangy, and bright.

You probably can find some used cheap, even in the UK, I would think, and you would not be out much if you decide they are not for you.
 

John_B

Tele-Meister
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Jun 25, 2020
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Budget classic Tele sound = Bootstrap Original Recipe set for $49.99 USD. I do not know if they will still be considered as budget once you pay to bring them into the UK.
I believe strongly in Bootstrap. I have purchased at least seven Bootstrap pups.
Send a PM to RomanS in Vienna. I would think he can offer some great suggestions on pickups in Europe.
 

JoeBubbit

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Fatpups
 

Kevin Wolfe

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I’m finally down to a choice of just 3 different pickup manufacturers. If I can’t live with the first choice, what came on the guitar, it gets either Bootstrap or Cavalier.
 

Si G X

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I wish people would come back and say "I went for these, I'm happy with them/not happy with them' so people knew what was going on.
 

telemnemonics

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I wish people would come back and say "I went for these, I'm happy with them/not happy with them' so people knew what was going on.
Good point, but wont help much with pickups when "good" really means "suits my personal taste".

Some will say a hot overwound Tele pickup is good and others will say it sounds muddy.
Some will say a vintage low wind is good and others hear it as ice pick tone!

Funny though that @Xingchoolin posted just once and has not been back?
 

Si G X

Friend of Leo's
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Good point, but wont help much with pickups when "good" really means "suits my personal taste".

Some will say a hot overwound Tele pickup is good and others will say it sounds muddy.
Some will say a vintage low wind is good and others hear it as ice pick tone!

Funny though that @Xingchoolin posted just once and has not been back?

yeah, makes you wonder doesn't it?
 

Trailpro

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Feb 6, 2021
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St Petersburg, FL
Bootstraps all the way. Great pickups. My first set were the pretzels and they sound absolutely killer. Now I'm getting ready to install a set of extra crunchy. Will post results when finished.
 

bertmanphx

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Jan 18, 2022
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Phoenix, AZ
Hi everyone!

I have a HB cheap Telecaster with SD Hot for Tele pickups. They sound ok but I'm after that classic, quacky sound. I've read about Fender Tex Mex, Texas Specials,... but I'm pretty sure there are cheaper alternatives to get that classic, twangy sound, right?
I have Les Pauls, Strats and some super Strats, so now I'd like to have a Tele that sounds like an old school Tele.

I'm based in the UK. Any suggestions?

Kindest regards.
Hmm,
I'd say a Seymore Duncan Broadcaster.
I've had the bridge pickup in mine for 30+ years.
Sounds great!
 

Dostradamas

Tele-Afflicted
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Apr 23, 2021
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Not here

Very happy with this one in 2 esquires.

Plenty hot and twangy straight in and sweet and warm with the tone.

$33 shipped is what I call budget
 

dgregory

TDPRI Member
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Mar 6, 2021
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SoCal, USA
+1 for Bruxist's suggestion. The original Classic Vibe launched a whole "does Tonerider make these or not" discussion that lasted for some time. Picked up a couple of CL'ed sets for $20 a piece and never looked back. For some reason, they're a lot harder to find now at any price...
 

Telenator

Doctor of Teleocity
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Sep 19, 2005
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Vermont
Here's the short answer no one wants to hear.

Each set of pickups will react differently in all the guitars you try them in.
I have a set of SD P90 Stacks that sound like absolute dogmeat in all of my other P90 guitars. But one guitar in particular absolutely shines with them. I can't explain it, nor do I care to. It just works.

My feeling has always been to match the pickups to the guitar. You have a set in your guitar now. Pin point what sound qualities you want to change, and then look at pickups that claim to offer those qualities regardless of their "recommended use." You may be very surprised by your final choice.

I have a guitar with a SD Jazz neck pickup that sounds like mud in my Heritage, while the Jazz Pickup in my L6S is pure heaven.

As long as you don't feel like you have to nail this on the first try, you'll be all set. Make a small time investment and try a few things.
 

warchol

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Posts
144
Hi everyone!

I have a HB cheap Telecaster with SD Hot for Tele pickups. They sound ok but I'm after that classic, quacky sound. I've read about Fender Tex Mex, Texas Specials,... but I'm pretty sure there are cheaper alternatives to get that classic, twangy sound, right?
I have Les Pauls, Strats and some super Strats, so now I'd like to have a Tele that sounds like an old school Tele.

I'm based in the UK. Any suggestions?

Kindest regards.
Bill Lawrence
 




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