Fender wide range neck pick up

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by tangoyankee, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. tangoyankee

    tangoyankee TDPRI Member

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    Recently bought a Telecaster Custom. The wide range humbucker on the neck is very muddy with no high end whatsoever. Is this right? What are your experiences?
     
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  2. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    Important question... is it one of the new CuNiFe WRHBs, or one of the lesser reissues from the last few years?
     
  3. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    The WRHBs they started putting in guitars in recent years are not like the originals, and like you, many players don't like them. The originals have pole screws made with an alloy called CuNiFe. They sound tons better.

    Fender just recently reissued the CuNiFe WRHBs. They are pretty expensive, but will sound lots better and fit your guitar.

    No word on why they don't sell just the pole screws. Maybe that would work. IDK.
     
  4. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    The reissue WRHB is just a regular humbucker under that cover. Steel pole pieces with bar magnets underneath.

    The actual WRHB had a very different construction. The poles are threaded magnets within the coils. Many have tried to recreate this but the actual CuNiFe magnets have not been available since the 1970s. Fender now has them in production again but only on the American Original 70s Tele Custom
     
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  5. ZenGuitarist

    ZenGuitarist Tele-Afflicted

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    I thought Fender wasn't selling the CuNiFe WRHB pickups separately, or am I wrong about that? I have two Tele Customs with the reissue WHRBs. I don't mind the one in my MIM model, but I'd love to replace the one in my MIA Redwood model.
     
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  6. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I have a MIM with one, and I started off liking it, but muddy is the word. I’m going to swap pots on it soon, I hope that helps it.
     
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  7. ZenGuitarist

    ZenGuitarist Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd be curious to know if that improves the sound.
     
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  8. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    It seems like we aren't all talking about the same reissue pickups. Fender just came out with these not too long ago.
     
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  9. smoothrecluse

    smoothrecluse Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I have a tele with the “muddy” reissue pickups, and I think it really just depends on which amp you’re running through. They’re incredible through my Hot Rod Deluxe, Champ 600, and Champ 20, but they’re pretty muddy through my Tonemaster Deluxe. I know they’re not real Wide Range Humbuckers, but I still love that tele with them.
     
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  10. Squier by Squier

    Squier by Squier Tele-Meister

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    Fender just recently started to sell them separately too. So look for CuNiFe Wide Range and ut should be the one. Price range is around $200 a piece.
     
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  11. Squier by Squier

    Squier by Squier Tele-Meister

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    The whole structure is different between (earlier) reissues and originals. So I think it wouldn't work straight away.

    I've read that weak CuNiFe magnets need lot of coil around them. But in the reissues they like just left a cap between the regular humbucker bobbins, and added some more of that gooey stuff in between and around. To fill the larger casing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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  12. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Drop the bass side of the pickup away from the strings. Try 1/4 turn at a time. If it's too harsh do both ends.
     
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  13. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Meister

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  14. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    If it’s Mexican, it’s a PAF-style-in-a-big-case, nothing wide-range about it. Fender did tweak the Vinteras a little to get a slightly more authentic sound but I’ve found their cheaper HBs can be a bit muddy. If it’s a US American Original, it has the recent high-end reissue that copies the original WRHB construction including the fabled CuNiFe magnets. Those “real” WRHBs are less muddy than the PAF style so you should find it darker than single coils but not as dark as, say, an SG.

    In either case, lowering the pickup height may help. So might playing with your amp if you have it set for other guitars that are a little shriller.

    I adjust the polepieces on my HBs so they stand proud about a mm, and stagger them sometimes. Take care as adjusting the polepieces isn’t a risk-free operation on some pickups.
     
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  15. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    That's definitely the first step.

    You could also replace the pots with 500K (if they are only 250K now), and that would help a little. I've heard of people removing the "hidden" pole pieces to de-mud these pickups, there are threads/posts about it here. Seems like alot of trouble to me; if I found the neck pickup muddy, I'd replace it (rather than change pots or remove pole pieces)
     
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  16. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    Is your neck pickup muddy even if you reset your amp settings?

    Set your amp's tone controls for the best tone from your neck pickup. The, when you switch to the bridge pickup it will likely be too bright,bwhich you can moderate with the guitars tone control.
     
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  17. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Man do I hate doing this. On the best guitars, this is not necessary. I go through my pickups, adjusting and/or replacing until both pickups sound the way I want them to WITHOUT touching tone or volume controls.
     
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  18. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't like using tone controls?
     
  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    1- adjust pickup heights & screw pole heights (down is usually better tone, though you may want to turn the amp volume up. By down is start with them flush to the pickguard/trim rings). Test.
    2- swap pots 'n caps -- they change the tone even when the controls are dimed. Higher Measured kohms volume pot is brighter, lower uF tone cap is brighter. Test.
    3- swap pickups and go back to the top of the list.

    If the muddiness is really bad ... put a 0.047uF tone cap in series with the pickup hot lead. Depending on the guitar and other mods I will do that as either step 1b or step 2b.

    .
     
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  20. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Not EVERY time I switch pickups, no. I like all my pickups to be tonally-friendly, without having to mess with the vol and tone controls.

    Using the tone controls to get a certain tone (like a jazzy neck tone), or to compensate for a backline amp (maybe it's a little to bright) is one thing. But I use both my pickups (and on my Strat, all 5 positions) alot. So I don't like having to re-EQ every time I want to switch pickups, and it's not necessary... but you have to know how to adjust the pickups, and sometimes find the RIGHT pickups- that not only work well together, but sound good in that particular piece of wood.
     
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