Cavalier Nocaster Holy Grail

jageya

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
693
Location
usa
GUYS...IS THERE A GUY ON THE FORUM NAMED JOE..MAYBE...who builds teles with robs pickups? I think i bought 2 esquires from him
 

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
294
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
I began using Rob's pickups since he first introduced his pickups here in 2010 or 2011. I was highly impressed, to the point that I've *never* used another brand since that time. Every guitar I own has his pickups. I like every model I've bought and used. Bakersfield, Nashville, Fat lion and Lioness. He hears the high end frequencies the way I want them to sound, and of course all the other frequencies are as they should be.

So I've installed a Nocaster Holy Grail and Lioness in a G&L Tribute. I expected it to be good, but it exceeded my expectations. In this case, here's a tele bridge pickup that has a thickness/fatness, yet still has twang and bite. It is still clearly a bridge pickup, but it has a fullness that speakers, amps, pedals and Eq have never imparted. It's incredibly impressive. I don't know how the man does it, but boy does he. I've used so many brands of pickups over the years, and through the 90s was known as Endless 'pickup' Mike due to my constantly changing out pickups in my guitars. I truly haven't changed out pickups in my guitars since I began using his. Well, I changed out the Nashville in my Baja for a Bakersfield/Nashville/Fat lion, and stored the original A2 Nashville in a safe place. But I've never gone back to other brands I've used in the past.

Sorry to be such a fan boy, but I'm incredibly impressed, and couldn't be more pleased. I feel compelled to buy spares of all my favorite models, no one else can touch what he does, for my taste anyway.

Oh, and his prices are so thoroughly reasonable.
If you were known as "Endless Pickup Mike" and you stopped trying out pickups once you had Cavaliers, that means a whole lot! Thank you for sharing, because it helps those who are indecisive. I used to be one of those folks too who didn't know what to get, but not anymore. I just recently got a 51 Lion / Nocaster Holy Grail / Imperial Lion (13k A3) too and love it.
 

twangster6

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2022
Posts
3
Age
71
Location
New York, NY
I began using Rob's pickups since he first introduced his pickups here in 2010 or 2011. I was highly impressed, to the point that I've *never* used another brand since that time. Every guitar I own has his pickups. I like every model I've bought and used. Bakersfield, Nashville, Fat lion and Lioness. He hears the high end frequencies the way I want them to sound, and of course all the other frequencies are as they should be.

So I've installed a Nocaster Holy Grail and Lioness in a G&L Tribute. I expected it to be good, but it exceeded my expectations. In this case, here's a tele bridge pickup that has a thickness/fatness, yet still has twang and bite. It is still clearly a bridge pickup, but it has a fullness that speakers, amps, pedals and Eq have never imparted. It's incredibly impressive. I don't know how the man does it, but boy does he. I've used so many brands of pickups over the years, and through the 90s was known as Endless 'pickup' Mike due to my constantly changing out pickups in my guitars. I truly haven't changed out pickups in my guitars since I began using his. Well, I changed out the Nashville in my Baja for a Bakersfield/Nashville/Fat lion, and stored the original A2 Nashville in a safe place. But I've never gone back to other brands I've used in the past.

Sorry to be such a fan boy, but I'm incredibly impressed, and couldn't be more pleased. I feel compelled to buy spares of all my favorite models, no one else can touch what he does, for my taste anyway.

Oh, and his prices are so thoroughly reasonable.
what amp(s)?
 

Endless Mike

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Posts
3,443
Location
Arlington, Texas
Glad to hear that! I’ve putting a holy grail in my clarence inspired tele tomorrow. Along with his 59 strat pickup in the neck. Super excited. Have not tried his pickups before but have always heard good things.
Everyone is different, but I seriously can't imagine you'll be disappointed. Would be interested to hear what you think after you've had a chance to play it some.
If you were known as "Endless Pickup Mike" and you stopped trying out pickups once you had Cavaliers, that means a whole lot! Thank you for sharing, because it helps those who are indecisive. I used to be one of those folks too who didn't know what to get, but not anymore. I just recently got a 51 Lion / Nocaster Holy Grail / Imperial Lion (13k A3) too and love it.
Well, other than that's not the name on my driver's license, that's the glob's honest truth, no kidding. Believe me, it's been a relief. It was frivolous and expensive, not to mention annoying having uninstall and then install new pickups. Imperial Lion? Going to check his page now, I've missed that one. Ya' know, I can't think of a time when anyone ever posted here to say they didn't like Rob's pickups.
what amp(s)?
Fender Twin II (that was modded by my amp tech), Blues Deluxe/Deville, Mesa Express 5:50, Mesa F-50, Fender Twin RI, Fender Pro Reverb (ultra linear) Fender 75 (80s tube model) Rivera Fandango, Rivera Chubster 55, Mesa Mark V
 
Last edited:

Danbgreen

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Posts
70
Location
Brooklyn
My favorite pickup I ever had was a Don Mare Keefer 10k. Bought right from his website for around $100 bucks way before the wait and crazy prices! It was also before I knew to keep it when selling. I had it in a road worn and got tired of the look so I sold it. I only can afford myself one Tele at a time. I have tried Fender OV, Fender Baja set, Fenders Nocasters, Duncan Broadcaster. I recently had a 1st version honey blonde Ash Nashville - converted to a standard 2 pickups with its Tex Mex set, eventually swapped the bridge for the Cavalier Holy Grail. Liked the Tex Mex better, and wound up selling the guitar with orginal pickups and the Holy Grail. Now own a Sage Green Metallic Mexi with a 60s reissue neck, came with that same SD Broadcaster and it’s fantastic in this guitar. Goes to show you that there’s so many variables to sound and the guys (not me:) who really know how to pair caps and electronics to get the most from a specific pickup and guitar woods are the most satisfied.
 

jeffchinn0321

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 31, 2022
Posts
22
Age
57
Location
Wisconsin
I began using Rob's pickups since he first introduced his pickups here in 2010 or 2011. I was highly impressed, to the point that I've *never* used another brand since that time. Every guitar I own has his pickups. I like every model I've bought and used. Bakersfield, Nashville, Fat lion and Lioness. He hears the high end frequencies the way I want them to sound, and of course all the other frequencies are as they should be.

So I've installed a Nocaster Holy Grail and Lioness in a G&L Tribute. I expected it to be good, but it exceeded my expectations. In this case, here's a tele bridge pickup that has a thickness/fatness, yet still has twang and bite. It is still clearly a bridge pickup, but it has a fullness that speakers, amps, pedals and Eq have never imparted. It's incredibly impressive. I don't know how the man does it, but boy does he. I've used so many brands of pickups over the years, and through the 90s was known as Endless 'pickup' Mike due to my constantly changing out pickups in my guitars. I truly haven't changed out pickups in my guitars since I began using his. Well, I changed out the Nashville in my Baja for a Bakersfield/Nashville/Fat lion, and stored the original A2 Nashville in a safe place. But I've never gone back to other brands I've used in the past.

Sorry to be such a fan boy, but I'm incredibly impressed, and couldn't be more pleased. I feel compelled to buy spares of all my favorite models, no one else can touch what he does, for my taste anyway.

Oh, and his prices are so thoroughly reasonable.
Where would one find a saMple of the tone of his pickups and go about buying them?
 

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
294
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
Imperial Lion? Going to check his page now, I've missed that one.
I don't think it's there unfortunately. Rob is such a nice guy that he's willing to wind you completely custom pickups. I wanted a pickup that could cover the early 50's Bakersfield sounds, the holy grail Broadcaster tones (🤤) and a darker thicker sound as well. He called the latter the Imperial Lion I believe. It's essentially the holy grail but with more winds. It is the 43 AWG Alnico 3 equivalent of the Humongous Lion-- basically the maximum amount of coils Mad Scientist Di Stefano can put on!
Ya' know, I can't think of a time when anyone ever posted here to say they didn't like Rob's pickups.
Exactly!
 

Endless Mike

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Posts
3,443
Location
Arlington, Texas
I don't think it's there unfortunately. Rob is such a nice guy that he's willing to wind you completely custom pickups. I wanted a pickup that could cover the early 50's Bakersfield sounds, the holy grail Broadcaster tones (🤤) and a darker thicker sound as well. He called the latter the Imperial Lion I believe. It's essentially the holy grail but with more winds. It is the 43 AWG Alnico 3 equivalent of the Humongous Lion-- basically the maximum amount of coils Mad Scientist Di Stefano can put on!

Exactly!
Yeah, Rob did a custom wind for me some years back, when he was still doing A2 magnets. It was a slightly hotter Nashville. It was in the tele I've loved more than any I've ever had, the one. Sadly, we were moving from Georgia back to Texas and we needed all the money we could scrape up, and the guitar and pickup went. I didn't have time to remove the pickup before sale. I still wince a little when I think about it.

So does the Imperial sound more akin to a P-90 then, or did he manage to retain the twang?
 

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
294
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
So does the Imperial sound more akin to a P-90 then, or did he manage to retain the twang?
To be honest it still sounds like the Holy Grail a whole lot. It's just 3kohm extra of resistance after all, same magnets and wire and all that, just the number of windings are different. It's definitely less twangy and has more bottom end, but it's still twangy like the holy grail. I may add some resistors or something to it to make it sound more P90/Humbucker like, if it's possible. I'll ask the guys at guitar nuts!

the one. Sadly, we were moving from Georgia back to Texas and we needed all the money we could scrape up, and the guitar and pickup went. I didn't have time to remove the pickup before sale. I still wince a little when I think about it.
Wow... makes us remember how privileged we are for having the guitars we love so much. I hope you get the one again in another guitar. I'm sure Rob gets you half of the way there already! Thanks for sharing.
 

Humbuckers

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2021
Posts
69
Location
New York City, NY, USA
To be honest it still sounds like the Holy Grail a whole lot. It's just 3kohm extra of resistance after all, same magnets and wire and all that, just the number of windings are different. It's definitely less twangy and has more bottom end, but it's still twangy like the holy grail. I may add some resistors or something to it to make it sound more P90/Humbucker like, if it's possible. I'll ask the guys at guitar nuts!


Wow... makes us remember how privileged we are for having the guitars we love so much. I hope you get the one again in another guitar. I'm sure Rob gets you half of the way there already! Thanks for sharing.

Is there much of a boost in output going from the Nocaster setting to the 13k setting?
 

Endless Mike

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Posts
3,443
Location
Arlington, Texas
Is there much of a boost in output going from the Nocaster setting to the 13k setting?
Can't speak to that one, but with my Bakersfield/Nashville/Huge Hydra Lion, when going from Nashville to Huge the output doesn't seem to increase, only the fatness, and of course the highs reduce.
 

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
294
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
Is there much of a boost in output going from the Nocaster setting to the 13k setting?
Can't speak to that one, but with my Bakersfield/Nashville/Huge Hydra Lion, when going from Nashville to Huge the output doesn't seem to increase, only the fatness, and of course the highs reduce.
Yeah me neither, there's no boost in output, just a bit more fatness and less highs. But I want a more drastic effect, I think it will be more useful, so I'll try adding some resistors or something to change the EQ of the pickup in that tap. I'll have to ask someone who actually knows what they're doing of course!
 

Tele-Meister

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Posts
294
Location
To'hajiilee Desert
Yeah me neither, there's no boost in output, just a bit more fatness and less highs. But I want a more drastic effect, I think it will be more useful, so I'll try adding some resistors or something to change the EQ of the pickup in that tap. I'll have to ask someone who actually knows what they're doing of course!
Just thought about it again, and I realize it does sound louder. But it's not like a clean boost pedal. There's like a little increase in output, but it sounds louder and fuller.
 

zippofan

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Posts
1,923
Location
Pennsylvania
Fat Lion/Lioness combo in my Squier Thinline, they are great pickups! The only ones I've used that beat them in price is the Bootstrap Extra Crispy for Tele I installed in my eBay partsocaster. I like Rob's pickups just as much as any I've tried including Fralin, DiMarzio, Duncan and Florance 69Thinline_2020.jpg
 




Top