Full open sounding neck pickup - not too much treble - any suggestions?

don

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I write and record mostly roots and Americana style music and I'm always looking for a neck pickup thats full and open sounding not dull and compressed and not treble focused. I usually prefer over wound bridge pickups to avoid that typical country pickin' treble and I picked up a 2018 Classic Vibe 50's tele that feels great - the bridge pickup has a cool vibe but the neck pickup is lower output and unremarkable - any suggestions? BTW - I usually like the middle position more than most people!
 

Alaska Mike

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Cavalier pickups. I have the Fat Lion/ Fat Lion King combo in my '62 Custom, and they are pretty great.

That said, before swapping out the pickups, you might try swapping out the electronics. The import stuff (on most brands) really deadens any life the pickups may have. Getting a solid set of pots/switches/capacitors/output jack really makes a difference. Plus, you can upgrade to a four-position switch at the same time for a series pickup configuration.

I like MojoTone, but there are plenty out there that are a step up from what came from the factory.
 

SixStringSlinger

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Cavalier pickups. I have the Fat Lion/ Fat Lion King combo in my '62 Custom, and they are pretty great.

That said, before swapping out the pickups, you might try swapping out the electronics. The import stuff (on most brands) really deadens any life the pickups may have. Getting a solid set of pots/switches/capacitors/output jack really makes a difference. Plus, you can upgrade to a four-position switch at the same time for a series pickup configuration.

I like MojoTone, but there are plenty out there that are a step up from what came from the factory.

New electronics with the same pickups may or may not solve your problem.

New pickups without addressing your other electronics probably won't solve your problem.
 

don

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Good point - the switch is def inferior, the pots are alpha 250k full size so I'm thinking they wont make a big difference. I did do some twiddling with the pickup height but I think the Cavaliers might be built more for what I'm looking for based on the "fat" word - I'll check them out !
 
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SixStringSlinger

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Good point - the switch is def inferior, the pots are alpha 250k full size so I'm thinking they wont make a big difference. I did do some twiddling with the pickup height but I think the Calaliers might be built more for what I'm looking for based on the "fat" word - I'll check them out !

Measure your pots, as it's not only a question of quality (Alphas should be fine) but of actual measurement.

Most pots sold specifically for guitars have a 10% tolerance, so your 250k's can actually be anywhere between 225k and 275k. Not the hugest difference, but potentially audible. With pots in general a 20% tolerance is pretty normal, which would make a 250k anywhere between 200k and 300k.

Don't neglect your tone cap, either. You don't need anything fancy in terms of materials, but values are important as with pots (and tolerances apply here, as well). The right cap can take you from on-off piece of crap or "this doesn't do anything!" to sweet, sweet versatility.

All that aside, Cavalier pickups are great. They have tons of demo videos too.
 
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dogmeat

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and then theres this,,,

s-l1600.jpg


does a lot to sharpen up the neck sound. I have a Duncan Hot Tele in one rig & that cover really made it sing. got it off fleabay but you can make your own too
 

Boreas

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Good point - the switch is def inferior, the pots are alpha 250k full size so I'm thinking they wont make a big difference. I did do some twiddling with the pickup height but I think the Cavaliers might be built more for what I'm looking for based on the "fat" word - I'll check them out !

You may want to consider switching to a 500k volume pot and consider a different tone cap. Then look at the pup heights again. A 500k V pot really wakes up a guitar - especially when coupled with a .022 tone cap.
 
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kbold

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What tone cap value is fitted?
The correct cap should allow you to tame the highs without sounding like you've thrown a blanket over your amp.

I would be playing around with tone cap value, pickup height, and technique before replacing (expensive) pickups.
Also, what strings are you using. Some types/brands are softer (duller) sounding than others.

If intent on replacing pickup, as well as the brands already mentioned, Lollar pickups are worth a look at.
It may be worthwhile to contact one or more pickup manufacturers ... most respond quickly and will give solid recommendations.
 

JL_LI

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The N4 Noiseless pickups in my avatar Telecaster will give you the fullness with treble easily modulated by the tone control with no hum at all. N4 pickups are deeper than standard pichups so you may have to drill a few 1/4” holes in the body to accommodate the adjustment screws. The S1 switch may require routing of the control cavity. A 4 way switch doesn’t require routing and is easier to wire.
 

Chicago Matt

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Full and open with a lot of clarity sounds like a Wilde (Bill Lawrence) L280TN neck pickup. Good output and very full range with plenty of smooth treble you can attenuate with the tone control if you want. Noiseless too, my current fave.

Cavalier Fat Lion King mentioned earlier it's very nice as well. Attenuated treble with a little more midrange.

Good luck in your quest.
 

dogmeat

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actually... you can just take the cover off the neck pickup to see if you like the sound. if so, then either cut out your cover or get a premade one. odd as it sounds, without the cover you will sometimes get the high E string caught in the edge of the pickup bobbin
 

IMadeYouReadThis

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See if you can get a neck pickup from the 50s road worn guitars (the older series). I love the neck pickup in my 50s RW and they can be found cheap due to people swapping them for fancier brands. I'd also highly recommend Bootstrap Pickups; they get a lot of love on this forum because they are ridiculously affordable and sound great.
 




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