fender nocaster bridge pup vs PV 64?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by fender4life, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Been happy with my 62 custom bridge pickup for years now, but i just kinda feel like a change. I had the nocaster at one time and recall really liking it but for whatever reason i sold it. Never had the 64. Can anyone who has had both describe how they differ tonally? I know the nocaster is A3 and the 64 is A5 and all that, but i'm just interested in how the 64 sounds compared to the nocaster. It seems by the specs the 64 might be kinda bright and thin like i have always found with A5 tele bridge pickups that were over wound by a lot. Is this not the case here for some reason? I'd also be interested in any comparisons between the 64 and the 62 custom i have been using for years.
     
  2. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted

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    I've actually got both of these pickups in different guitars right now. I used to love the Nocaster. I thought they were the best Tele pickups ever. That is, until I tried the 64 pickups. The 64 bridge has a clarity and articulation that the Nocaster is lacking. Now I find the Nocaster to be rather nasally with a lot of mids. The 64's are more articulate - brighter without any harshness at all.

    If you're more into that 60's tone then the 64 is going to sound a lot more in line with what you're used to. The Nocaster is more barky and nasal. It's not bad sounding, but IMO I prefer the 64. I play low gain and a lot of classic rock style stuff.
     
  3. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Friend of Leo's

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    Please know that the PV 64's will be out of phase with other Fender pickups. Most Fenders are North/CCW and South/CW for RWRP, but the 64's are North/ClockWise. When I had it paired with a Fender Original Vintage neck pickup which is North/CounterClockWise it was out of phase. Reversing the wires on the neck pickup will just make it in-phase, not hum cancelling and the wire is soldered to the cover. Same with the Bridge pickup with the ground wired to the base plate. The only option was to take a neodymium magnet and flip the polarity of the magnet on the 64 Bridge pickup, making it S/CW like any other Fender RWRP set.
     
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  4. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    No problem....my neck pickup is reversible, IE: ground is not tied to a cover. But what i worry about with the 64 is how can it not be bright and thin as hell? I mean, i have had A5 tele bridge pickups with 42 gauge that were up to 8k and still were overly thin/bright. Has a tonerider with the same specs and you could slice thru steel with it. How could a 6k A5 pickup not be bright and/or thin? Has anyone used one and also had a 62 custom like i have in mine now? Thats A2 and therefore not overly bright at all. How does the 64 compare? I just hear so much good about the 64 but what i read seems to belie the specs, so i'd really like to get to the bottom of this and understand whats going on.
     
  5. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not sure what you want me to say. I'm telling you they sound great and you're arguing that it shouldn't sound good based on specs of other pickups. They're the stock pickups in the AO60's Tele and were also the pickups from the AV64 Tele. Ask around and everyone loves the sound of those pickups in those guitars.

    I've used the AVRI 62 pickup and the 64 sounds nothing like it. I think the 64's are in the 6-7k range. I like the A5 response as it gives it more edge and "grind".

    I mean, it pretty much sounds like this demo which is the pickup in question:

     
  6. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    I know this is marginally off-topic, but when it comes to clarity.. I have run two separate guitars with the same model pickup.. One with no tone, one with a tone knob hooked up to it. The sound opened up DRAMATICALLY with no tone knob attached. I would swear it was an entirely different model of pickup.

    One cheap upgrade is to maybe try a no-load tone pot. So when it's all the way up, it runs as no-tone. I prefer mine with no tone, TBH.

    Any pickup is colored by the tone pot and cap.
     
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  7. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Not arguing, just trying to determine whether this pickup breaks the rules in that regard or whether it's just another case of those who rave about it use amps that are darker or set them darker or have very different taste in tele bridge tone than me. Thats why i asked how it sounds compared to the 62 because that takes amp differences out of the equation. Let me ask u this....is it a lot brighter then the 62 and do you have to set the amp darker than u would with the 62? I like A5 edge too, it's just that i haven't found one for tele bridge that hasn't been a handful trying to get a full sound w/o setting the amp dark to the point it loses the liveliness. In other words, hard to find the middle ground, and i am trying to determine if the 64 breaks the rules in that regard. I love that driven rhythm tone in the video a lot, but not sure that my amp would sound close to that with a 64 or if the amp is the larger reason for that tone.
     
  8. nic'o'caster

    nic'o'caster Tele-Afflicted

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    I largely prefer the no-load tone pot solution ! It has the same benefit as the pot is completely out of the circuit when set at 10 (when you hear a "click"). On settings 0-9.9 it acts just like any other tone knob. That way you have both solutions available, sometimes it's cool to use the tone rolled off ;)

    I have had several Tele with a no-load tone pot. I liked the sound on most of them but I wouldn't say it's a dramatic difference !
     
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  9. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, i use no loads whenever i do use tone pots. But i generally have better uses for them because even with a no load i rarely ever use them past the click point and they just stay on 10, out of circuit.

    That said, i bought a set locally and just got done playing them for about an hour, adjusting them till i found my preferred height and adjusting the amp to suit them. Hmmm....this is one of the most confusing pickup sets i have ever bought because they are very different from the set they replaced and i prefer several things about the 64's over that set, but i also prefer several things about the 64's over the old set. It's kinda like having a lamborghini and a bently and liking both equally even tho they are worlds apart. So my job i believe is to decide whether the advantages of the 64 set is more important than the advantages of the previous set and choose that way. I'll try and describe what the difference i hear are after setting the amp optimally for them.

    Bridge: obviously being A5 vs the old bridge's A2 gives it a lot more top and it's extended to the highest ranges of treble. The 62 is more balanced while the 64 has less mids. On a bridge pickup that can be tough to deal with. And i am having a harder time dialing it in than with the 62, which is quick and easy with it;'s more balanced sound. The big advantage i hear with the 64 is that being a player who uses a classic rock degree of gain and gets his cleans by rolling the volume down, when i do that i much prefer the sound of the 64. It sounds like the mids become more prominent when rolled down while the 62 gets TOO middy and sounds kinda dull bu comparison. I use a treble bleed by the way. And speaking of that, i'm a bit jaw dropped that with the bleed cap the very bright (on 10) 64 actually seems to lose that brightness when i roll don for cleans and sounds great. The DISadvantage is that it doesn't clean up as much as the 62. The 62 gets much cleaner on 5 than the 64. I have to roll the 64 down another 1.5-2 numbers on the volume to clean up to the same degree. So in short, the 62 sounds much more balanced on 10 with gain and would be my choice if i stayed on 10 all day. But the 64 has a better rolled off clean which is big for me. If I try and EQ the amp so the 64 sounds as balanced as the 62 on 10, then when i roll it down to clean up it doesn't sound great. So my dilemma is which one has the more important advantages? Have a band jam saturday so i will have a much better idea then.

    Neck: This is pretty easy to describe. The TK (twang king) has that thick flutey higher register tone i love while the 64 is lacking by comparison. The clean rhythm tones of the 64 i think i like more, but the bass is a bit fubby compared to the TK which isn't like that in the least. That may however be the fact i removed the TK's cover. When it comes to cleaner tones, that is more important for me when it comes to neck pickups, so i think the 64 may be my choice but I need a lot more time to decide.

    The funny thing is, i wanted to try the 64 bridge and had no desire to try the neck but since they only come in a set i had to try both only to find the neck is the one i probably like more ! But as i said it will take more time to know. And I will likely do what i always do even if i come to feel i like the 64 set....put the old set back in for a reality check. Because i always find that when trying any part, not matter how much i like it i always swap the old part back in because thats when i REALLY hear the true difference. And often i am surprised to find the old part sounds a lot better.

    So anyways, it's definately a good set and cheap too. But i don't hear them as being anything really special like so many seem to think. Just a different flavor of good. Then again maybe in time i will come to feel differently.
     
  10. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted

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    My guitars are almost all single coils so I have my amps set accordingly. I typically roll off about a 1/4 turn on the tone knob when playing on the bridge pickup to control the high end of any Tele I use. I had the 62RI pickup in a guitar previously. I really struggled with that pickup. The output was low and I found it to sound thin. Not overly bright, but just no guts to it whatsoever. I tried playing with the heights and finally pulled it out of the guitar.

    I've got a Tele with the Nocaster set, another two with Don Mare 0038's, and another two have the PV64 (an AO60's and AmStd). The Don Mare 0038 is a much darker pickup by nature. The Nocaster is just... harsher in the highs than the 64. Way more pronounced upper mids in the NC. The 64 just sounds more refined if you can call it that. Less mids, smoother in the highs than the NC. I think it sounds fuller overall than the 62. Generally I prefer the tone and response of A5 pickups over A2's. I don't think the 64 is any more or less bright than most other Tele bridge pickups, but it's got less mids than the early 50's style pickups and that gives it a different tone.

    Let me put it this way, I used to be all about early 50's Tele tones. I had the Seymour Duncan Broadcaster in a couple guitars, my Don Mares, the Nocaster set. That is until I dropped the set of PV64's into my AmStd. Just beautiful sounding pickups. I later ended up buying an actual AO60's Tele (which has the 64 pickups stock) and they sound even BETTER in that guitar. I never touch my amp settings in between guitars so they all play nicely together.
     
  11. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I know some think fingerboard material makes no difference, but to my ear it's the single biggest sonic difference from one fender to the next. I say because what i'm thinking is the 64 set would be perfect for a rosewood board tele and mine is maple. However, i woke up today after playing the 64's all day after buying them yesterday and it seems like my ears have adjusted after a nite's sleep. That happens a lot....i'll play a rather middy patch on my modeler for a day or week then change to another patch for a while. Then when i go back to the middy patch it sounds almost obnoxiously middy to me till i play it a bit, then it sounds normal. Thats just the way out ears work, or at least mine. So i woke up this morning and they sound great to me. I never had issues like you with the 62 tho. I still think thats the most neutral and easy to dial in tele bridge i have used. Not perfect but damn close. The main advantage with the 64 for me is the way it sounds with the volume down for edge to clean. It does that better then the 64. And like you i am a fool for A5 bite. If i can tame it to the point the tone doesn't thin out and still have that bite i'm happy. And the 64 does that because of it's unusually good amount of low end for a 6k wind.By the way, all mine are single coils too. One IS a gibson, but it has P90's. I generaly dial in patches for each guitar so i have a band for each and have re-tweaked my tele patches for the 64's.

    All that said however, the real test comes tomorrow in a band jam. Thats where i often find what sounded good at home doesn't sound good at all at stage volume in a band mix. Fingers crossed because i am really liking them today. By the way, whats with the DCR reading a bit over 6k when the box says 7.4k? Are yours the same?
     
  12. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with you on the type of body and fretboard wood. I mentioned I've got the AO60's - that's alder/rosewood. I've also got a set of the 64's in my American Standard which is ash/maple. I do find they definitely sound different. The ash/maple combo sounds a bit brighter but still very good. That guitar also has the no load tone pot. I usually pull the knob back off the detent when on the bridge. I had actually been on the fence about selling the AmStd but once I put the 64's in it totally woke up that guitar. I have to resist the urge to put them into everything I own.

    Nicest thing about the 64 set is the price. They're an unbelievable value for what you get at that price point and to my ears sound better than pickups at twice the cost. So even if they don't end up floating your boat in the long term at least it wasn't a super expensive experiment.
     
  13. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Plus my neighborhood ma and pa know me from decades of patronizing them and cut me a deal at $103 out the door. So if i had to sell them i could probably do it and only lose about $15-20. But i'm really starting to like them a lot so unless the jam tomorrow reveals the bridge is overbearing loud, i will keep them. I would love to hear them in a AO or classic 60s where i think they would shine like the sun.
     
  14. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Well, had that jam last nite with friends i mentioned above and what i found is the neck is a no brainer....great. Not necassarily better then the twang king in all respects but in some ways it is. The bridge really surprised me. It WAS a bit bright, but unlike any other pickup, it strangely seems to sound less bright or at least no brighter in a band mix than at home at low volume. I was expecting razor blades but no so. It could probably have used some tone control but i generally don't like them and like most guitars i have it unhooked from the cap and was using it for something else. Gonna put the tone function back tho and see how i feel then. (it's a no load pot) But overall i liked it and like i said the low end it has is much beefier than other A5 6k winds, and it proved to be so even at stage volume in a mix.

    The overall impression is my old set was as good in some ways, better in some, and not as good in others. So to me they are overall about equal but i think the 64 set might have the edge because the neck might be a bit better overall and the bridge cleans up in a way i like more then the 62 bridge. If i can find just the right tone cap i think the bridge may just be great. I'll hook it up to the bridge pickup which will affect the bridge AND middle too unless i can figure out a way to make it bridge alone. A superswitch would do it but don't wanna go there if i don't have to.
     
  15. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    not much help here as I have all three sets in different home made teles- nocaster, 62 and 64. They are all really good sounding bridge pickups. Of the three I like 62 the best , then 64 then nocaster....I would leave what you have
     
  16. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    This is one of those posts that i'm writing even tho it's against my better judgement because i hate having to defend myself on subjects dealing with subtle tonal differences that most disbelieve. But I'll just leave the debating to others because i think this is worth mentioning. Since the 64's went in I've been fighting with the bridge pickup, and it's not so much that it's too bright like i first thought. I came to realize it's just got this hard high mid with an attack that's like hitting a brick wall. There was no "give" in the attack. Other then that i felt i'd really like it if not for that. Anyways, when i installed it i didn't use the rubber tubing but instead used springs. I did that because my last pickup seemed to sound slightly better with springs. It was a much darker pickup tho and i think thats why. Thats the debatable part i was eluding to at first....i'm sure most people thing it can't make any difference. To me it does, but i DO feel it's very subtle.

    Cut to the chase....i removed the springs and put the tubing in today because i was getting some microphonic feedback. I was surprised to find 2 differences. The feedback got worse ! No idea why. I slightly tightened the bridge screws lake always just finger tight. So not sure why that is. But the second thing is that hard high mid thing is for the most part gone. I can live with a feedback and will try and rid it other ways, but now i am really liking the bridge pickup a lot more and see why people like it. I have found some other mounting things that were not subtle at all, but this springs vs rubber in a tele usually is very subtle. In this case not so. I guess tho it's usually subtle it just really made a lot of difference in that one area of the frequency range. Whatever it is i like the bridge pickup a lot more now. The neck has been great since day one but i was starting to feel they are not tonally matched well because i had to jump thru hoops with amp settings to get it to sound ok and when i would do that then the neck wold be too muddy.
     
  17. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted

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    It's a shame there isn't a knob on your guitar that could tame high end when you needed it.
     
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  18. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Afflicted

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    So many threads about how to make a tele pickup not be shrill and brite.

    I dunno, might as well just pay a Gibson then. P90 or humbucker.

    Maybe just stick with the pickup you have, and invest in a different amp. My old Ampeg Gemini as well as Victoria 5112 (5f2) particularly love the tele bridge.

    Or try turning your amp up loud and playing very softly.

    Yes, A3/A2/A5 makes a difference, as does 43 gauge versus 42 gauge. But they are all bright, you just have to embrace it. I've gone through a lot of Tele pickups, and in the big picture, they all sound like tele bridge pickups, just slightly different. More bang for your buck as far as tonal variety to invest in amps, IMO.
     
  19. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    No, it's a shame they don't do what I need. I don't like tone controls, and in this case they don't solve the issue at all. They roll off top end STARTING from the highest frequencies to a given point in the freq spectrum lower down. What you get is the higher the freq the more it gets rolled off. So here i am with an issue that was in the high mids and rolling off the top with a tone control also rolls of frequencies HIGHER that the offending area and rolls them off MORE than the offending area making for a dull useless tone. In other words, you can cut the offending area but not w/o cutting a whole lot of other frequencies far more and ruining your tone. I knew that would be the case but tried it anyways removing what i had on the tone knob and putting it back as a tone. Just like i thought it doesn't work for what was ailing it.

    In short, you cannot roll off anything in the middle of the frequency spectrum with a passive solution like a tone control in a guitar without rolling off frequencies you do not want to. Same with a series cap to roll off bass. It rolls off from the lowest frequencies on up to a point where the can doesn't pass anything higher. So if u wanted to roll off 400hz but not 100hz, your out of luck. What I needed and was able to recreate with a graphic EQ is a cut in the high mids. It worked, but i just did it to confirm what i thought. Problem is i'm not going to use a EQ to fix a pickup's unwanted frequency nor would i even if it weren't a PITA because it then ruins the sound of the neck pickup. Soit's no solution. And by the way, even if a tone control COULD do it, id have to roll it up or down every time i switch pickups.

    In any case it sounds better now. That hard attack in the upper mid now has a softer feel and the overall tone is more balanced sounding where before it sounded like a low mid area was a bit overpowering. It's all very subtle, but sometimes that's all it takes to resolve an issue.
     
  20. Turtleneck

    Turtleneck Tele-Holic

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    I can A/B/C between my '52 AV, '64 AV with rosewood board, and a real '71 maple board stock Tele.

    The '64 wins it for the newer guitars hands down. I love these pickups. Fender really did nail it. I play this guitar the most now, and I sold the '52. I found out that I don't prefer the U neck as much as I used to.

    Nothing beats the '71 for sweet tone.
     
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