Budget pickups for classic Tele sound?

warchol

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Posts
144
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.
Excellent post!
 

jtcnj

Tele-Holic
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Posts
649
Age
58
Location
N.J. USA
I just ordered a set of Bootstrap Extra Crispy for the <$100 Indio Tele.
Mostly from reviews / sound clips here on TDPRI.

4 week lead time, but I'm still somewhat in the honeymoon phase with a cheapy Firefly V.
 

mmannaxx

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Posts
367
Location
Ohio
Well, I don't know that I would describe a regular Tele sound as being quacky, twangy for sure, but quack I associate with a Strat in either 2 or 4 position on the pup selector switch. But the best traditional sounding and inexpensive American made Tele pups I have experience with are the Bootstrap Original Recipe. A fellow who lives relatively close to me in Central Ohio makes them and he does a nice job I think. They punch way above their price class, around $50 for a set the last I saw. They make several variations and Strat pups and I think some P90s and humbuckers as well. worth giving a try in my opinion.
 

spdruce

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2019
Posts
59
Age
63
Location
UK
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.
Alegree old timer Chimer stratocaster pickups are brilliant for the price (£25 each!] they do a telecaster version that is an alnico 5 & 2 mix, definitely worth a look. Or warman pickups are also tremendous value for money. Can highly reccomend warman or alegree
 

Maguchi

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Posts
2,510
Location
Lalaland
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.
Any "Broadcaster" type pickup will give you that classic Tele sound.
 

GrantR

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 29, 2011
Posts
300
Age
68
Location
Aotearoa NZ
I would also recommend Tonerider pickups. Either Vintage Plus or Hot Classics will get you what you want at a reasonable price. I'm just about to put a set of Hot Clasdic's into my HB TE-52. The others i think that are worth considering that are on the 'less expensive' side, are Wilkinson's pickups. I had a pair as stock pickups in the first HB TE-52 that i had years ago. They were really good sounding pups. They changed to Roswell on their guitars for some reason. They're not BAD pickups, but the Wilkinson's were better in my opinion, and really sounded like a vintage Tele should. Wilkinson's are available from a dealer in the UK. Good luck 👍
 

Ronzo

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Posts
1,966
Age
70
Location
South Florida, USA
I have two Teles with Bootstrap Palo Duro sets, and an HSS Strat with Bootstrap Vintage Sparkle neck and middle plus their Vintage Clean bridge. I am well pleased with the sound of all three sets. Ryan, Bootstrap’s principal, is an honorable man to deal with. Great customer focus and service!
 

76standard

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Posts
136
Location
keizer oregon
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.
Tonerider pickups are reasonably priced and have good reviews. I bought a bridge pickup with AlNiCo II magnets that works really well on my ‘05 MIM Tele. Do a search on YouTube for sound clips. Wear headphones or earbuds to get the best idea of the sound. Also take note in the gear chain (amp, pedals-if being used) to get the best understanding of the produced tone.
 
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