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Help me pick new Tele pickups!

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Farwesterner1, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Farwesterner1

    Farwesterner1 TDPRI Member

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    I'm about to put new pickups in a kit telecaster I built (kit from The Fretwire). The pickups that came with it sound pretty muffled and thin to me.

    I'm looking for clear, open, and full sounding. I'm not really a country twang guy—more of an indie rock and jazz guy. Love Bill Frisell, Julian Lage, John Abercrombie, Nels Cline, and similar.

    Here's the catch though: I have an Amazon giftcard for $100. So it limits what I can buy.

    Seems like I can get mostly Fender and Tonerider pickups. So I'm choosing between:
    Fender Yosemite
    Fender Tex-Mex
    Fender Pure Vintage Reissue
    Fender Pure Vintage '64
    Fender Deluxe Drive
    Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound (though the label on bridge pup bugs me).
    Seymour Duncan Hot Tele
    BYO Guitar Twister
    Tonerider Alnico Blues
    Tonerider Vintage Plus (neck only)
    Tonerider Hot Classic (neck only)

    I can't afford the Twisted Teles, Custom Shop '51s, or V-Mods. Seems like I can't get Lollars or Fralins through Amazon.

    Appreciate any help!
     
    Dereksys38 likes this.
  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Pure vintage 64’s your such is over!

    You’re welcome

    They will do fine if you’re into rock and jazz, I’d have to say they are probably my favorite pickups
     
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  3. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    BYO set is A5 magnets and hum canceling in the middle position

    I'd bet you'd like them a lot
     
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  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    When I've had pickups with "label" on it, I simply buy the appropriate color (usually black) paint pen, and go over the lettering. It's still there, but "disappears" from normal view.
    That said, they're not offered on Amazon, but inexpensive direct from the builder.....Bootstrap Pickups. $50 for a pair?.....can't beat that, and these aren't cheap Asian imports. Check 'em out.
    https://bootstrappickups.com/collections/t-style
     
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  5. Farwesterner1

    Farwesterner1 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! These are high on my list.

    Anyone else have praise for—or criticism of—the Pure Vintage '64s ?
     
  6. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tonerider Alnico Blues, or Fender Tex Mex, if you install the metal baseplates.
     
  7. tweeet

    tweeet Tele-Afflicted

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    I've used all of the Toneriders and I was impressed. The SD quarterpounder was the worst I've tested and used...that was out after one gig. One other set that I really liked were the Fender Texas Specials.
     
  8. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    The 64's in my AV '64 are really good, if the Pure Vintage 64's are the same I recommend them.
     
  9. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I bought my 50s Road Worn Tele with the stock TexMex pickups. This is my experience.

    The neck sounds great for jazz, very warm, and also sounds great and still articulate with gain. It's a little hotter than standard vintage, but not much. I do a lot of pickup swapping and keep going back to the TexMex neck pickup in my Road Worn. It's NOT twangy.

    Check out this video for a report about the TexMex neck and how it sounds for Jazz:


    The stock bridge TexMex sounds very good as well, with or without a base plate IMO (I've tried both ways). But I've ended up with a Cavalier Fat Lion in the bridge. Great for classic rock and blues. Still twangs a bit but not much. And the TexMex neck and Fat Lion bridge together make for a great fuller sounding middle position too. I've been playing with this combination for over two years and have no desire to make a change.

    You can get a new Cavalier Fat Lion for $60. Not sure how much the TexMex neck alone is, but I'm confident you can get one for $40 or less.
     
  10. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Afflicted

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    I have three Teles with Fender Vintage labeled pickups. One with the older Original Vintage (brown box), one with the newer Original Telecaster Pickup set (red box) and another with the ‘64 set.

    The ‘64’s are by far my least favorite. Just too bright for me (they were designed to be so) and I guess I am not a fan of A5 pickups. Now the other two sets sound great to me. A toss up between them, but very similar sounding. My favorite electric guitar sounds of all my guitars. I do only play clean and prefer warmer less bright sounds.
     
  11. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    I run Quarter Pounders in my tele. They are more of a rock pickup. The neck can do clean but the bridge hits the amp hard and doesn't clean up nice. Huge mid focus and low mid, less highs.'

    You might be well serviced by some Bill Laurence Microcoils. They are powerful and clear pickups that have adjustable pole pieces for volume and tone adjustment. https://www.wildepickups.com/products/micro-tele
     
  12. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    Van Zandts
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  13. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Holic

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    Music starts at 7:10.
     
  14. UPtele

    UPtele Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Duncan Donahue in the bridge and a dimarzio twang king in the neck
     
  15. Farwesterner1

    Farwesterner1 TDPRI Member

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    I think he says in the video that they're Twisted Tele pickups?
     
  16. Farwesterner1

    Farwesterner1 TDPRI Member

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    Ok, I bought the Pure Vintage '64s. Looking around other threads in the forum, tons of people seemed to like them.

    Had to clear signal and noise. Plenty of people also DON'T like them, but the balance was "best pickups I've played."
     
  17. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    He doesn't know, and is confusing them. He says they are stock. They came with TexMex.
     
  18. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Another recommendation for the AV64 set. Perfect Tele pickups. Plenty of twang, but also very nice bell tones in that neck pickup.
     
  19. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Bunches of great ones

    and even noiseless ones too!
     
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