Gonna replace my SG with a 2nd Tele. What pickups could come close??

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by nashsed, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    My SG has been the most ergonomically uncomfortable guitar and has caused some chronic shoulder issues. So i've finally given up on it after a year of earnest effort.

    My Tele on the other hand has been the most comfortable to play without causing me any pain or discomfort.

    So i've decided to sell my SG and get my hands on a 2nd Tele (a 2017 MIM Standard).


    Since i already have a Tele to take care of my twangy, single coil needs. I'd like my 2nd Tele to try and sound as Gibson-ish as possible.

    I know there are fundamental structural differences (wood, scale length, bolt on etc.) but i'm hoping the right set of noiseless pickups and rolling down the tone should be able to help me come close.

    The longer scale length will also help me retain string tension when i down tune for some heavier genres.


    I would go as heavy as maybe playing some Tool but not beyond that.


    Any recommendations on a set of pickups (neck & bridge) to help replace my SG?


    Points to Consider
    1. Need to be noise/hum cancelling
    2. Should be standard Tele sized pickups to avoid the need for routing.
    3. Ideal price range for the set would be under $175 (can stretch to $200 if absolutely necessary).
    4. Should work with the stock pots as I don't have the budget to get the electronics replaced as well.
    5. No need for any of the classic Tele twang with these pickups.


    Cheers!!
     
  2. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It can be done, but there are also lots of HH telecasters available, so you can use full size humbuckers.
     
  3. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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  4. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    Getting a great deal to trade in my SG for a mint condition Tele + cash so i'm afraid I can't be as picky.
     
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  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    To be honest I'd consider trading the mint SC Tele for one with humbuckers already fitted even if you have to put some money towards it (from your pickup budget?). Humbuckers generally work better with 500K pots and your SC will likely have 250K ones fitted (and the tone cap might also benefit from changing too).

    Changing pots and caps is a cheap mod, but only if you can do it properly yourself.
     
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  6. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    A lil ‘59 perhaps in the bridge, a Gibson 57 Classic or 490r (490rs are quite affordable and stock on SGs) in the neck, and a 0.047uf cap. SGs usually use 300k pots so you 250k pots might sound OK to you, but consider upgrading, I would say.

    If it’s a standard, the neck should be routed for a humbucker so you just need a new pickguard (do check before you buy a full-size HB).

    By the time you’ve done all this, you could likely afford a used Chris Shifflett Tele, which is designed to be close to Gibson guitars.
     
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  7. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    The DiMarzio Cruisers are a good bet for something in the old school Gibson vein
     
  8. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    I'm with the camp that says you're better off just getting an HH tele. You may get a deal up front on the standard, but without sticking basically the same pickups in a guitar, it's just going to sound a little different. I'm a big fan of single-sized blade buckers and lil 59 types, but they do have a different response than the full sized buckers they emulate.

    In the end, you're probably more likely to end up fooling with the new tele and pouring money into it to try and get something you very well may not be able to out of it and regret that than you are to regret passing on a great deal that's not going to get you want you want.

    Also, from a fellow SG to Tele full convert of recent, I think you may be getting ripped off trading an SG for a MIM, purely dollar wise. Depending on the SG, it's condition, etc.

    That aside, I highly suggest seeing if you can grab some Gibson '61 Zebra humbuckers if you get something with HH capability. Had them on my last SG and they sounded excellent. Really nailed the PAF thing, but were able to get pretty hairy in comparison and handled lots of Mastodon very well for me - so the low tuned chug and oomph is definitely there in them.
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Have you put a 4-way switch in your Twangy Tele? ... that gets series humbucking tones -- a stealth LP/SG for about $11.

    While you have both guitar to play, swap back and forth and notice how and where you pick each guitar. On a Tele my hand naturally rests behind the bridge plate and I pick over the pickup or closer to the saddles, the SG/LP my hand palm mutes the TOM and I pick forward of the bridge pickup. Picking location is a huge difference in tone, and I move around but if you don't then you might not have noticed what makes the tone so different between these guitars. Get saddles on the Tele that don't cut your hand with grub screws and you can palm mute.

    The SG neck pickup is moved back toward the bridge from a LP neck location, so 2/3rds of the tones of an SG are harsher than a LP. Work on that ratio of movement if you use neck or neck+bridge switch positions on the SG. You'll maybe want a custom route in your Tele body. Tonally that is kind of like switching a Strat between neck (LP) and middle (SG) pickups

    Buy whatever MIM Tele you can find local for cheap, then go on Stratosphere/etc and find an unloaded HH Tele body for cheap. Combine those. Get a short bridge.

    Buy a set of the HH pickups you want, I like some of the ebay $15/set over several of the famous aftermarket brands (a lot less internal capacitance/muddiness the famous ones seem to have) and they work great -- almost boutique hand wound in character. Pots and caps are critical to match to pickups and get your tone -- measure actual values and mix and match because they have a really wide factory tolerance range.

    Find a 24 fret PRS SE model to try or buy. The 24 fret models push the neck pickup back just like an SG but don't have that 'playing stage left' feel of the SG.

    .
     
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  10. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    If it was me I'd grab a HH Squier Telecaster, for a couple reasons, inexpensive way to try, and if it's a keeper and you want to upgrade pups without doubling your investment, try a set of Earl Slick's Humbuckers from Guitar Fetish, a set typically runs less than a c note. I have six sets of those pickups in six different chibson Les Paul types and I love them. Happy hunting.
     
  11. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 on the 4 way switch

    On my Tele with the 4 way switch I basically live in that position.
     
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  12. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    A blade humbucker in the bridge position will drop straight in. Sort of halfway between a Tele bridge and a full size humbucker in sound. El cheapo option is the Vanson ( I think, may be Vanteck. It's been a while ). Fine sounding. Various other manufacturers produce blade style replacements, including Duncan and Dimarzio.

    For the neck, scour Ebay for a set of Epiphone humbuckers removed from one of their upper tier LP or SG style guitars. The Epiphone pickups are rather good in these models, but folk still replace them. Take advantage of this.

    What you save there, you can spend on a four way and a 500K volume pot ( maybe a 500K tone too, if you don't like the 250K ).

    If you just do the bridge pickup, try it with the stock volume pot first.
     
  13. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I agree - going with an HH Tele of some kind would be better since you'll really need to change the pots out as well. In a perfect world the Player HH Tele would probably be a good choice to replace the SG.

    The Squier isn't a bad idea - do the deal for the SG, then flip the MIM Standard and buy the HH Squier.

    As a final thought don't forget that MIM Standard Tele bodies are already routed for a neck humbucker, so if you do go down the pickup/electronics replacement road you can use a full-sized neck humbucker and a single-coil-sized bridge humbucker.
     
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  14. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

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    You are not getting a good deal on the new Telecaster if you then need to spend money on it making a lot of changes. I agree with going with the HH Telecaster. I would probably go with a Les Paul unless you have already tried one. Gibsons and Fenders are different animals.
     
  15. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    My Toronado is my LP equivalent. If you get a tele, go for one with the HH setup and 4 knobs. Then upgrade the pickups, since Fender doesn't really like putting good humbuckers in most of thier stuff.

    I love MIM standard (or whatever they call them now) teles, but not ideal for turning into a 2 humbucker guitar.
     
  16. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

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    I say just get a 2 humbucker Tele and you don't have to compromise for a great heavier rock sound.
    But if it seems you can't get one, a Little 59 + Vintage Stack set is a great idea, and if you need more power than a Little 59, go for a Hot Rails.
     
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  17. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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    TV Jones makes cool stuff. Pricey, but cool.

     
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  18. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I know you are asking for pickup recommendations, not guitar. But squier HH Customs can be found cheap. I got one for $150 with case and upgraded bridge HB. The neck is awesome.
     
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  19. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Others are right.

    Bail on the Tele you’re thinking of.

    HH Tele is what you want.

    You might not even think you need to change out the pickups
     
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  20. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    If you insist on traditional looking some hotter mid range emphasized tele pickups with a 4 way is the way to go.

    ...but those Squier/MIM teles with faux WRHB's might be the call, after all they're just traditional HB's. They have their own thing goin.
     
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