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Don Mare or Kinman?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by nixpix, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. JamonHamon

    JamonHamon Friend of Leo's

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    I love the Tweed Monster Pickups they sound great on Blackface and Tweed amps best pickups I've ever heard

    Dons winding me a new set for my 52ri
     
  2. abieber

    abieber TDPRI Member

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    I guess you are right Tony, I have already ordered Donocasters and 4709's next is Zeps and then?
     
  3. NeverStock

    NeverStock TDPRI Member

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    I agree - that Zep 1 tone is automatic and spot on with that pickup, and it IS eerie. Don Mare must be a wizard. I'm basing that on one set of pickups, but so many times pickup winders describe what you'll get, and it's close but no dice. This is not close. It's spot on. What Don did with that set is beyond compare - it is Page in a pickup.
     
  4. mrgp52tele

    mrgp52tele Tele-Meister

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    Easy.............Lindy Fralin.
     
  5. Ted M

    Ted M Tele-Afflicted

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    I love Don Mare's Broadcaster pickup. True Tele tone with a lot of punch. Great live or in the studio. I've tried some of his other models and liked them a lot also.
     
  6. blackguard1135

    blackguard1135 TDPRI Member

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    DON MARE'S!!!

    As I've said before, all the names he gives his different models are entertaining and may be helpful in comparing differences and preferences in tone, but

    the best way to get the right set for YOU is to call him; tell him what you're looking for as far as punch, twang, high end, bottom, sting etc., etc. and he'll know exactly what to make for you.

    He made me a set for my #1 Tele: 7.2k bridge and 6.50k neck. I smile wide every time I play it.

    I've used the Lollar Vintage T: a real masterpiece in lush Tele tones—with a bit of AlNiCo V punch; and even the very reasonably-priced Fralin Blues Special: a slightly hotter pickup that cuts through in the mix just right though not as complex as the Lollar or Mares.

    They all got switched out when I got the Don Mares! I know I've raved about these pickups here before but I can't help it.

    The only other Tele pickups I use are Fred Stuart Blackguards. Like Don's they're real gems! Each has its own character, but both represent the best qualities of the best vintage Tele pickups these guys have come across.

    As far as the price: premium handwound pickups are probably the most important upgrade to any guitar. These guys spend a lot of time and effort doing what a machine can't.

    As far as noise. I've never had a problem with it: just turn a few degrees if you hear a hum, or convince the club owner to turn off the neon Bud Lite sign. And if the pickup squeals when you turn it up, enjoy it—it's part of the reason great pickups are great.

    We are playing Teles here, not Parker Flys
     
  7. LTS52TELE

    LTS52TELE TDPRI Member

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    from what I have heard the Don Mare pup's totally spank Kinnman pup's no comparison !!! LT
     
  8. hele52

    hele52 NEW MEMBER!

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    I have friends who have the Lollar Vintage T's in their guitars and I always think they sound great. I love the tele brightness with the great mid punch and bottom that can growl when you need it to. I also think that the real vintage guitars sound great because they are slightly Microphonic which i think is Don Mare's winning point for me.
    I'm looking at getting some tele pickups myself and was wondering which one of his pickups would get in the same Vibe as the vintage T's.
     
  9. Jason Lollar

    Jason Lollar Tele-Meister

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    The thing about microphonics people dont get (this applies to more than just mine too- it often works with any tele pickup) is my strats and teles are made so you can adjust the level of microphonics from hardly noticeable to so much they are hard to handle by how much pressure you put on the springs when you adjust them- a looser pickup will have more microphonics, even a half a turn on the height adjustment screw can be noticeable. If you want over the top shrieking then break the seal between the metal plate on the bottom of the bridge pickup and the pickup itself but I wont warantee it if you do it yourself- better to send it back and have me do it to be safe . Having made thousands or more of tele pickups I think I have come up with the ideal level of microphonics for most people and its adjustable. If you want it almost unmanagable to unmanageable right from the start call and ask for unpotted neck and bridge. If you want less than how they come stock use surgical tubing and or put some foam under the pickups to tighten them up more.
    If you read on my site youll find that the wax helps hold that type of pickup together so its better to have at least a little bit on there than none or the pickup can fall apart sooner than it should. There is a fine balance of coil tension and the amount of wax or you wont get good tone- among other things of course- but getting it consistant- thats something that took me along time to come up with the method- kind of like Dons Rosie Wrap :)
    I never fully explain how or why I do everything in my shop- thats probably why Don may think I use some kind of automated winder on everything in order to cut costs and make everything by mass production- thats way off base. I know a few things about auto winders- coincedentally the newest winder design I have is a commercial winder designed in the late 40's (its mechanically almost identical to a leesona but I dont advertise that) which is totally different than newer machines and I have a wall full of various machines I made like in my book.
    "with the exception of "Smits" those mentioned above are most likely wound on Automated winders! - thus cutting cost and time and allowing mass production"
    No big deal Don- I know Don well enough to know hes just not really thinking about it and isnt meaning to slam anyone in particular- its just Don and his way.
    If you want more insight into what and how and why I do what I do read the articles on my site, the FAQ and the blog. Most interviews I have done have alot of technical details- many are a bit obtuse but its in there
     
  10. prawnik

    prawnik Tele-Holic

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    Jason: a question for you.

    I have the bridge pickup on my '67 Esquire mounted using the little conical springs. Will changing to surgical tubing make the pickup less microphonic?
     
  11. Jason Lollar

    Jason Lollar Tele-Meister

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    It will IF its a problem with the pickup being too loose in the bridge surgical tubing will quiet it down if its new and soft but there are alot of reasons the bridge pickup could be overly microphonic including a warped bridge- if the bridge isnt laying flat- that ashtray thing- it can shriek. Also if the metal plate on the bottom of the pickup isnt sealed on with wax it can be too microphonic, if the coil is wound too loosely that could be the problem, could be if you get the pickup too close to the amp- just about any pickup will shriek if you point it right into the speaker. Could be a tube that only gets the right frequency to vibrate when the bridge pickup is used- hard to say without having the guitar in hand.
    Tele players generally like a pretty lively microphonic tone- they like it more microphonic than other guitar players as a group. Tele guys like to hear that pickup switch go clunk when they use it- that can be more than just how microphonic the pickups are, it can be how the whole guitar is set up.
     
  12. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

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    sometimes the "bridge plate" - that one with the saddles I mean - not the pickups - can get a "air pocket' in there ( between wood & steel) - and no matter what you do to the pickup - you will still get "Tele- Squeal" -

    quick solution here was to:

    1- use wax between the bridge plate and guitars body -

    2- we heated the plate with a "heat gun" and as the wax moved we tighten screws - and was careful not to run all the wax out - from any over heating.

    DM
     
  13. prawnik

    prawnik Tele-Holic

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    Thanks, Jason and Don.

    I am also planning to bust out with a sanding block and carefully true up the bottom of the bridge.

    I emphasize "carefully" because this is an original late 1960's Tele bridge plate and I don't want to bug this one up.
     
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