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Country Pick Ups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Wrighty, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    +1 on some of these, but repetition helps solidify the validity ;)

    -Lower pickup height(s)
    -Pick over the bridge pickup or between the bridge and saddles. That's where the Twang! hangs out.
    -Lift your pick 'out' rather than 'across' the strings.

    in this order:
    -Compressor pedal
    -Delay pedal
    -Reverb pedal/amp

    Additional notes:
    -Try with and without a steel base plate under the bridge pickup, the steel plate reflects more magnetic field at the strings
    -Measure and swap Pots 'n Caps. Higher kohm volume pot gives brighter tones, lower uF tone cap lets more sparkle through
    -If you have a super high kohm pickup, that causes heavy muddiness, then a series cap on the pickup hot lead can cut that right out

    Last item is swap pickups. Go for lower kohm and Alnico if you do. Alnico is weaker than ceramic, like lowering your pickups weaken them up.


    .
     
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  2. John_B

    John_B Tele-Meister

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    I cannot resist this thread and I will just cut to the chase-

    #1 Try lowering the pups and dialing in the amp (very good suggestion)...... If that does not work, then
    #2 Replace your tone cap with a Vitamin T .047 paper in oil (tootsie roll) cap.* Pots should be 250K. If that does not work
    #3 Replace the bridge pup with a killer repo. Don Mare, SD Broadcaster, Dimarzio Twang King,ect.

    After 1,2 &3, you should have exactly what you are looking for.

    And I would go with compression! I haven't yet but I am defiantly going to buy a compression pedal.

    I wish Redd or Eugene would chime in and educate (me) on compression.
     
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  3. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted

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    Pickup adjusting discussions are like catnip to me, and I keep a screwdriver out at all times... I'm hopeless!

    For what it's worth a way I have found is this - before spending any money on anything except a small screw driver.

    Set the amp clean and neutral but on the verge of "sparkle", and start with the pickups really low. Raise the pickups evenly until the treble just starts to sizzle. Now back down the bass side until the boom and mud disappears.

    The preceding step depends on how twangy you like the wound strings.

    After that adjust pickups for balance, generally lowering the neck pickup evenly until it stops overpowering the bridge and there is a nice cluck in the middle position. I like a third distinct sound there. Tweaking the neck pickup by 1/4 turns has a big effect on the middle position.

    It's nice to have the bridge position slightly louder than the neck.

    Fine-tune both of them - I usually end up with the neck pickup low but higher on the treble side, and the bridge pickup a little higher and basically even, maybe bringing the bass side up again slightly ( do what it takes to keep the mids present on the bridge pickup without making low notes sound farty ).

    Last step is to figure out how far down you can adjust the guitar volume control and still sound clean and clear, and then raise it when you want the amp to distort a bit.
     
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  4. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Edit: sorry - posted to wrong thread!
     
  5. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    OK, along those lines though, you might up the power with a 6L6 conversion? I don't know how involved that is, but mine is setup that way.
     
  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    My favorite country pickups:
    1. Bootstrap Palo Duros (traditional 60s-era country)
    2. Cavalier Nashville Lion/Lion King (more modern country, but can do traditional too)
    3. Sunday Handwound Custom A4 bridge and 23T neck (traditional, but can do modern)
    4. OC Duff Buckaroos (traditional 60s Bakersfield sound)
    5. Fender Pure Vintage '64 (traditional 60s Bakersfield sound)
     
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  7. Jay Isler

    Jay Isler Tele-Meister

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    You got some good advice here, but if those don’t give you the results you’re looking for you could try an EQ pedal to tame the unpleasant frequencies. Also, the Seymour Duncan 5/2 pickup was developed because B Mason was having the same issue back in the 90’s. But, those pickups are by no means the only set that will give you the results you’re looking for.
     
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  8. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I'll second this. I play primarily country and love them for this use case (in my '06 MiM). I have them wired for series too, and they sound pretty great like that too... have to dial the mids in a bit (pedal EQ), can get a bit squishy.
     
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  9. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    There are many suggestions here about what to do before replacing perfectly good pickups with other perfectly good pickups. I use a BOSS EQ-200 equalizer with all of my guitars. What I find with my single coils is this. Decreasing high frequencies a few dB can eliminate ice pick. Decreasing the lower frequencies will thin the sound like vintage underwound pickups and give you more twang. Boosting mids rather than rolling off the extremes of the frequency spectrum will help push a tube amp giving you some "natural" compression for a more Brad Paisley like tone. Boost high frequencies to help you cut through the mix. I think of this as tone shaping. I use the equalizer with my Telecaster, two Strats, a Gretsch with Filter-trons and a mud switch, and an SG. I can get pretty much any sound I need for country, jazz, alt pop, and more where something was always something off or missing before I started using the equalizer. And best of all for me, no soldering. I see out of only one eye and even with a soldering station and a magnifier, anything I can do to avoid soldering is a good thing.
     
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  10. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    I have had the same Tex-Mex pickups in my Nashville Tele since 2005 when I bought it. I had almost convinced myself to replace them until I realized how much I had raised them over the years for a hotter output. Dropped everything back down to Fender spec, maybe a hair lower, and now it does the classic country Tele sound perfectly. I got the bite & twang back in my bridge and the warm clarity back in my neck pickup. I've been very happy ever since. It made me lower the PU's in my Les Paul as well, and it has remained the same ever since.
     
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  11. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    Even every cheap tele I've played seems to have a good girthy twang in the bridge, heck the guitar in my avatar sounds twangy and it has a TOM bridge. That guitar should be GTG and that amp SHOULD be good for it. Does Fender have some odd circuitry in that model that cancels out the twang that's inherint in every other tele model made?
     
  12. Stan Martin

    Stan Martin Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I'm going another route here, what about string gauge and action? If you want some cluck to your pluck,be sure not to go to heavy on the low end strings. Also who would be your frame of reference for chicken picking tone/style?

    To me chicken pickin' is technique and the "twangy" thing is incredibly subjective. Duane Eddy is twangy,but his setup is not conducive for chicken pickin'
     
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  13. ChickenKiller

    ChickenKiller Tele-Holic

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    Posting to follow along.
     
  14. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    What did you post in tge wrong thread? I’m curious!
     
  15. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    OK, started with pup heights. Couldn’t believe how high they’d got! Various sites and types give different settings but none as high as mine were. Seems 2.5 - 3.0 mm is the average recommendation pole piece to bottom of string fretted at the last fret. Set mine to 3 on low E and 2 on top E.

    Strings were mentioned and I’ve stuck with d’Addario 10’s.

    Using my Frontman 25R at the moment as I’m indoors. Set it to the ‘magic 6’ and,yep, definite improvement in country quotient.

    Next step will be at rehearsals on Friday.

    I reckon that through my ‘68 dL Custom and compressor pedal it’s gonna be a whole lot better. Just in time to pack it all away as where I live goes one tier up on the lockdown rules....................

    Thanks again to all who’ve entered the fray, the support from you folks is really special, no matter what topic, technical, emotional, music or just life.
     
  16. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I can’t remember now, lol! It was on a completely different topic, though!

    EDIT: I just looked up my posts from Saturday and it was a comment I meant to post in a thread about Timmy overdrive pedals. I was explaining the pedal I use and how I use it. I have no idea how I accidentally posted it here instead. I copied the post and re-posted in the correct thread and removed it here.
     
  17. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you, I shall now sleep well tonight!
     
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  18. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    I dig good humorous posts like that.
     
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  19. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Just taken my gear to the rehearsal hall and set it up. Having taken on board all of the advice I’ve been given and set up the Tele and amp, I have to say that the sound is so improved, or, as sound is subjective, a hell of a lot closer to what I want to hear. Tried so far in an empty room so rather echoey, but the ‘twang’ is present and correct and muddy bass a thing of the last. Later tonight I’ll make some adjustments to my Boss compressor, which will add the final ‘countryness’.

    One thing I’ve learned is that once you’re in the ball park, adjustments are subtle, quarter turn not 360 degrees on a screw or control knob. The difference in pup height from where I stated is huge, which illustrates my bull in a china shop approach up until now!

    So, again, thanks to all that have contributed.
     
  20. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    I would add CS '51 Nocasters to your list of bridge pickups. For an AIII its rather powerful and most importantly it has that sweet twang, moreso than the thin chime-y twang of more modern pickups.
     
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