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Help Me Decide Between the Following Pickups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Raft Boy, Sep 17, 2020.

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Which pickups do you recommend?

Poll closed Sep 22, 2020.
  1. Fender Pure Vintage '64

    9 vote(s)
    90.0%
  2. Fender Tex Mex for Tele

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Rio Grande Dirty Harry

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Raft Boy

    Raft Boy TDPRI Member

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    Houston, Texas
    I have a 2012 American Standard.

    I like the stock, CS Broadcaster pickup. It's not too bright and sounds good with most kinds of dirt.

    However, I HATE the Twisted Tele in the neck. I bought the guitar new and NEVER bonded with that p'up, even through a slew of amps. It's okay-ish clean but turns dull when any kind of dirt is added.
    I tried a SD Quater Pound but thought that it was too muddy, and a SD Firebird mini HB, and felt that it was WAY too bassy, so I went back to the stock pickups.

    I play in a Chicago style blues band; and sometimes delve into funk and jazz, so I don't need anything high gain, but would like a nice, clear and round tone that won't sound muddy or squishy through a stock '65 PRRI.

    After years of dealing with it, I've decided that it's time to change them out (at least the neck) and I'm torn on what to do.

    Do I keep the stock Broadcaster pickup and try to find something that plays nice with it, or do I replace both of them?

    I'm trying to decide on the following:
    Fender Pure Vintage '64s
    Fender Tex Mex
    Rio Grande Dirty Harry

    What are y'all's thoughts on turning it into a Nashville (body is pre-routed)?
    Keep the bridge, replace the neck, and add a middle, or do all three?

    I've tried searching and didn't see a clear direction, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  2. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    It sounds like what you want is a basic strat pickup in the neck, maybe with A5 magnet. All of the pickups that you don't like are described as being too dull, muddy, or bassy -even a firebird pickup!
    Every maker sells one of those, and in my experience they are all much more similar than people like to let on.

    Another thought is to play with pot and cap values, venturing beyond the standard rules, since everything seems to sound too dark. Try 500k or 1meg pots perhaps?
     
    Raft Boy likes this.
  3. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    I voted for the '64s and that's only because the other two will likely be to bassy/muddy for what you're after. If you don't like the twisted Tele with gain because it's dull then you need a brighter sounding pickup (typically lower wind) and then either turn the gain up to make up for the lower output or if it isn't enough use a boost pedal to get you there.
     
    Raft Boy likes this.
  4. Raft Boy

    Raft Boy TDPRI Member

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    Houston, Texas
    Thanks for the feedback!
    I tried a 500k pots and the bridge pickup turned ice picky. I found that the best combination was 250k audio pots with a .047uF cap (I removed the stock Deltatone No Load tone pot a while back).

    The Twisted Tele neck is described as "Strat sounding," so I think that I want to stay away from those; I think that I'd prefer a classic-ish Tele sound.


     
  5. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Well, you could try a darker bridge pickup with the higher value pots. The Duncan JD is a solid choice - higher output, you can still get twanginess but mine at least doesn't get to "shill / icepick".

    I've never owned a twisted tele pickup so I can't comment on how much like a strat it sounds. But it sounds like you DON'T in fact want a classic tele sound, which is a very bright, easily icepicky bridge pickup and a dark, midrange heavy neck pickup.
    And a classic strat neck pickup is really one of the more versatile choices for funk, blues, and rock.
     
  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I voted for the 64's b/c they are some of the best tele pickups I've ever heard in multiple demos (and all my guitars have aftermarket pickups by non-Fender makers...so I'm no F-brand fanboy).

    With respect to others' opinions that you try a Strat pickup in the neck...my understanding is that the Twisted Tele neck is a stratty sounding pickup in a tele footprint...so not sure that's what you're looking for. I would recommend listening to online demos, preferably played through a rig as similar to yours as possible. This is easier than ever as the better demo channels list their signal chain for their demos. Bear in mind, there are LOTS of other variables and factors that go into how something sounds online vs. in person, but you will get an idea.

    One more point on the Twisted Tele vs a strat pickup. It could be you DO like a stratty-sounding neck...just not THAT pickup (Twisted Tele). If that's the case, there are many stratish options out there: Bill Lawrence Keystone, McNelly Duckling, Cavalier Lioness (and Wolf, too, I think), OC Duff Big Boy, Lollar Royal T and the Bootstrap Pretzel neck. All of these have slightly nuanced differences in their tone...some have more strat quack, some balance with more tele characteristics. Narrow it down based on sound, price range, and wind direction/polarity (to match your bridge...unless you're buying a matched set)...bearing in mind, the better winders will be willing to wind something to match what you have. Once you've narrowed it down, if you can't find a satisfactory demo, you may just have to bite the bullet and buy one to try it. Leave the leads as long as possible, wire it up and see if you like it...if you don't, relist it and flip it on Reverb or eBay and drop the price $10 or $15 dollars. It will sell and you can write off the depreciation as the cost of the quest for tone.

    If you don't want to try another Fender pickup, I would give inexpensive winders like Bootstrap, Cavalier or Bill Lawrence a look first. You don't have to spend a fortune for great-sounding pickups. Good luck.
     
  7. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree that 250k is a good value for single-coil tele pickups. Some people love 500k with them, but I don't think I'm alone in finding 500k is often too bright...apparently you agree.

    I would look at changing as few things as possible at first.

    First, play with pickup heights.
    Second, see if you can compromise your EQ at the amp (or a pedal) where both your bridge and neck sound good to you.
    Third, try new pickups.
     
  8. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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  9. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    You could try putting a 1Meg or 2Meg resistor across the two outside connections on that 500k pot. 1Meg would give you 333k and 2meg would give you 400k.
     
  10. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    Get one of these https://chasetone.com/secret-preamp/

    Thank me later
     
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