CVC pickup upgrade question

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Guitarzan5150, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Guitarzan5150

    Guitarzan5150 NEW MEMBER!

    Sep 14, 2018
    Hi All,

    I just recently purchased a used classic vibe custom, and I really like how it plays, but not completely sold on the sound. I had previously rented an american special tele, and loved it's sound. My question is, for anyone familiar with both, how close tone-wise would I get to the american special if I were to upgrade the stock pickups and put some texas specials? I like the look and feel of the CVC, but I just feel there's a little missing in the tone. Should I not bother and just sell the CVC and pick up an american special, or will I be able to get close enough with a pickup swap?

  2. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 7, 2014
    I expect you to get really close to the same sound. And yet, I expect you to think that it is not.

    Sometimes sound is between the ears... knowing that is not an American special, will undoubtedly make you think that it sounds different, even if you'd transplant the pickups straight from an American special.

    Also I'm not sure I'd call changing from good pickups to other good pickups is an "upgrade", but that is perception from my side too..
    I wanted to get me a set of Texas Specials, and you just made me order a set to put in a very humble Affinity... is that PAS (Pickup Acquisition Syndrome)?
  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !

    Don't forget that half the tone is by the rest of the electronics system, pots and caps. Swap out whatever is in there for bourns or CTS pots and try different cap values. Try different pot values. Then try changing pickups. If you do it the other way around you are trying to match expensive pickups to inexpensive random electronics.

    Also, lower your pickups to the pickguard and then raise them, set the neck where it sounds best, set the bridge so the volume switching from neck to bridge is about even or slightly louder on the bridge, then raise the middle until maximum Quack at 2 and 4 positions (might be no movement on the middle). If you look at old pictures of famous players their pickups are most often really low in the guitar.

    Or follow along here

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