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Fender N3 or N4 Noiseless pickups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Rockinvet, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    What’s the major difference between those 2 versions of Fender Noiseless pickups? I have the N3s in my American deluxe telecaster but was wondering if I should upgrade.
     
  2. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    There is no "should."
    If you like those N3s, leave them in.
    Get another guitar, needs a set of noiseless, try N4s.
    Should curiosity get the better of you, you may feel compelled to try the N4s, but I'm still not sure if you should.
     
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  3. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank you. It would be nice to AB them
     
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  4. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Not sure about the Telecaster N3's in particular, but I replaced the N3's in my Deluxe Strat with DiMarzio Areas (Pro 54, Area 61). Huge improvement. To me the N3's did not sound like a Strat should, even with 10 options from S-1 switching. From what I've seen on YT, the N4's sound better. For example David Brewster has one of the newer Fender loaded pickguards, and it sounds great on YT to me. Nothing can tell you for sure without trying them in person, though.
     
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  5. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    i had VNs and the dimarzio areas were a marked improvement in both sound and noise (and i actually saved money when i got rid of the VNs). i can't imagine that the different gens of fenders vary in construction that much. i'd like to mess around with kinmans some day (have with jazzmasters), but i can't find a used pair cheap enough. maybe will try mojotone quiet coils soon when i have some extra cash.
     
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  6. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    Well that’s a thought. Maybe Fenders not the way to go.
     
  7. 53Strat

    53Strat Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Had N3's in an American Deluxe and disliked them.
    Replaced them a couple of times and still disliked the sound. Very brittle/bright. In the end I sold that dog of a guitar.
    It isn't always the pickups.
     
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  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I love the N4 noiseless pickups in my avatar Telecaster. I bought them as a loaded pickguard from Stratosphere so I have the factory pots, switch, cap and resistor. I get all the modern and classic Telecaster tones I’m looking for.

    Downsides were having to hog out the control cavity in my MIM for the S1 switch and also having to accommodate the added depth of stacked single coils. Having to desolder and resolver the S1 switch was a pain. I’d use a 4 way switch if I had to do it again.

    Anyway, with the job done, I’m happy. I’ve never played N3 pickups. I wouldn’t think they’re bad, just different.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  9. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fender has now come out with their version 5, which are used on the Ultra Series, and are called Ultra Noiseless. NO noiseless pickups is going to sound like a true single coil, whether side by side like the Bardens, some newer Lawrences, and some Dimarzios, or a stack, like the Fenders, SD Stacks, original Lawrences, and Dimarzio Virtual Vintage/Area series. Of the ones I've tried, I like the Areas and Cruisers from Dimarzio, the original Lawrence L250, and the Fender Vintage Noiseless. I found the N3s to be lacking in highs. But, none of them sound or feel quite like a true single coil, and even if they can get close in tone, they seem to be a bit lacking in the attack and dynamics compared to a real SC.
     
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  10. NiceTele

    NiceTele Tele-Afflicted

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    I've use d the N3 and N4 in Teles and although they do a good job, something is missing for me tonally. I went over to Barden Modern T and they nailed it for me.
     
  11. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    Ouch, that’s the guitar I’ve got. But I like it so far.
     
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  12. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic

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    I had the N3s. I didn't think they were terrible, but replacing them with Wilde Keystones was a huge improvement. Anyhow, I've also had N4s in an Elite HSS. Again, I didn't think they were terribly but I liked what I replaced them with far better.
     
  13. 53Strat

    53Strat Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    They are generally beautiful guitars. Every now and then the combinations of neck thickness/wood and body woods don't work in my experience.

    It does annoy me that Fender continue to put their noiseless offerings in their best models, or should I say in their most expensive models. I've never owned one, from bass through Telecasters and strats where I have been satisfied with the pickups.
     
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