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Help choosing tele bridge pup to go with TVJ filtertron neck?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by fjordprefect, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. fjordprefect

    fjordprefect TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys, new member here. I'm building my first DIY telecaster, and looking for some advice on pickup choices. I tried to scour past threads for answers before posting. This tele will have a TV Jones classic filtertron in the neck (4.0K, 1.4H), and I'm looking for help with choosing a bridge pickup that will play well with the TVJ neck and be able to use 500k pots for the whole guitar (with a regular 3-way switch config). I'd like for the bridge pickup to be single coil sized, but I'm open to single coils, stacks, SC-sized humbuckers, etc. I play mostly clean or light OD one of my motivations for this tele build is to play more country-leaning stuff. Ideally, I'd like for the tele bridge pickup to sound like a SC and have a nice amount of twang by itself, but it doesn't need to be overly bright or have any particular output level. Noiseless would be great as well, and under $100 would be great. Going by some past posts and the Fralin article on mixing pickup types, I know that using 500K pots means I should choose a darker sounding bridge so that it doesn't get overly bright. I've seen the trick of adding a resistor to ground for the bridge pup, but the Fralin article says that this can make the middle switch position kind of dark so I'd like to avoid that.

    So far I've been looking at a few different options for the bridge:
    - Wilde L-290TL or L-290TL-E
    - Wilde L48TL
    - GFS Lil Puncher
    - GFS 52 overwound
    - SD Lil 59
    - SD Vintage or Hot Stack Tele
    - SD broadcaster
    - Fralin blues output tele or split blade
    - P90 style pickups in a SC size format

    Any particular favorites from this list? Any other notable mentions? Should I be looking to match inductance and/or resistance with the TVJ, or should I just pick a warmer sounding pickup? Did I miss any past threads that already answered this completely?
    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Before someone else chimes in checkout Cavalier Pickups. Very popular here and Rob is an active contributor. He's the man to help you with any technical issues.
     
  3. fjordprefect

    fjordprefect TDPRI Member

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    thanks for the suggestion. At first glance, the Cavalier pickups all look pretty interesting and I’d be happy to support a TDPRI active contributor. I’m new to teles, coming from a strat and an SG that I’ve left completely stock.
     
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  4. USian Pie

    USian Pie Tele-Meister

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    I am a big fan of both TV Jones and Fralin pickups. I have a TV Classic in the neck of a thin Gibson semi-hollow.

    I think you are right to go with 500k pots. It will allow the pretty top-end of the TV Classic to come through. You are also right that it might influence your Telecaster bridge choice to something less treble-y unless you want to roll back the tone knob.

    The TV Jones is not a hot pickup compared to most humbuckers but it's still hotter than "vintage Tele". Balancing the output will be easier with a hotter Tele bridge pickup.

    I'm pretty insistent on low-noise pickups so I don't use any traditional single coils. If purests want to tell me my tone sucks, that's fine. I'll just stand under stage lights so I won't be able to hear their criticism over the buzz of their guitars.

    If I was putting together a Tele with a TV Jones neck pickup and 500k pots, I'm pretty sure I would go with the Fralin split-blade "Blues" Tele pickup. When I built mine 20 years ago, Fralin wasn't an option so I used a Seymour Duncan Tele Hot Stack. It works well with the P90-style in the guitar's neck and 500k pots. Whenever I make plans to replace it, I play it and decide it still sounds pretty good and isn't worth the hassle to swap.

    Edit: I think Dimarzio makes some Tele bridge models that would be interesting, too. I just don't have any experience with Dimarzio pickups.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
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  5. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Member Brookdalebill will recommend a Muy Grande from Rio Grande Pickups.
     
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  6. fjordprefect

    fjordprefect TDPRI Member

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    Thank you all for the recommendations and info. I think I'm going to try out a higher output SC first and maybe a noiseless stack type pup and see which one I like better. Worst case, I'll just finish this tele build with singe coils and have an excuse to build another one with a Filtertron/HB setup. I'm going to check out demos of the Muy Grande, the Fralin split blade, and the Cavalier pickups in addition to the ones I mentioned in my OP. Also, I e-mailed Rob from Cavalier earlier today and he gave me a great lesson on tele pickups. The Fat Lion sounds exactly like what I was looking for.
     
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  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Use a 330K pot instead of a 500 or 250; that worked out great for me in an HSS Tele and is a good compromise between the bucker and single. Of your list, I like the Broadcaster.
     
  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    2017-05-24 13.52.48-2.jpg
     
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  9. fjordprefect

    fjordprefect TDPRI Member

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    That's a fine looking guitar. I'm gonna end up building another one or two aren't I...
     
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  10. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    well... I did...
     
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