How do Fender CS Pickups compare to Fralin, Lollar, Etc?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by MerleSwaggard, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. MerleSwaggard

    MerleSwaggard TDPRI Member

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    Working on a parts Tele inspired by Robben Ford's 1960. Not going exact, but in that ballpark. I've watched some videos of the custom shop 1963 Telecaster pickups and they sound fantastic. They're hard to come by, and when they're available they're very expensive. I can also go the Fralin Blues Special route. Are CS pickups worth shelling out the extra cash for or are Fralins in the same league?
     
  2. tattypicker

    tattypicker Tele-Meister

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    Not in a position to compare to Fralin or Lollar, but I can’t imagine being happier with a set of pickups than I am with the CS Twisted Tele set that I got. TBH though, I’d expect the alternatives to be equally good.
     
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  3. ucnick

    ucnick Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Check out Mojotone. Their Broadcaster Quiet Coil set is amazing. I have them in a Roadworn Tele and they kick some serious a**. But they have non-Quiet Coil versions as well. I have Fralins in other guitars and the Mojos compare quite favorably. And are a bit less costly as well.

    https://www.mojotone.com/Broadcaster-Quiet-Coil-Tele-Pickup
     
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  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    First it’s only fair and reasonable to acknowledge there is a lot of subjectivity. You can measure outputs, etc. but what does that tell you? So there’s no single right or wrong answer.

    But for me, I found my right answer more often than not with Fralin. If I received a CS or any MiA Tele today there would be Fralins in it tomorrow.

    Not saying it’s everything to everyone, but that is what meets my needs.
     
  5. MerleSwaggard

    MerleSwaggard TDPRI Member

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    You're right it's definitely subjective. Your opinion says quite a lot for Fralins though.
     
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  6. oregomike

    oregomike Tele-Holic

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    I have the Fralin Blues Specials in my tele and they're fantastic. I don't feel the need to search for anything else.
     
  7. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'd say they are as good or better ?
     
  8. pi

    pi Tele-Meister

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    Which custom shop ones?

    The Nocaster set is labeled as Custom Shop, but I think they're really production pickups with the label. They sound great and are reasonably priced.

    In my (limited) experience, the current CS hand wound ones do sound fantastic--but I don't think they're worth the price tag, considering the wide array of boutique winders who would serve just as well for a more affordable price.

    For your Robben Ford build, you may want to consider:

    Shop Online: Robben Ford | Handcrafted Guitar Pickups Camano Island, WA | Onamac Windery

    But, I'm only familiar with them by name, no experience with them or the brand, so don't take it as an endorsement.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  9. MerleSwaggard

    MerleSwaggard TDPRI Member

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    I think you’re right. I’m talking about the pickups usually only available in CS guitars. You can find them used or through Stratosphere sometimes.
     
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have put specific, but different, CS pick up sets in both my tele and Strat and have been very happy ever since. Unless you want something slightly different from the ‘63s, it makes no sense to me to look any further.
     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Build specs that suit your ear and techniques is more important than who assembled the very simple recipe, assuming you're comparing high quality pickups.
    Any of those brands will be fine if you get the right model.
    The most expensive but wrong for you model will suck.
     
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  12. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Tele-Afflicted

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    There's some "basic" Fender pickups that have appeared regularly in Custom Shop guitars. I reference the 57/62s, the 69s, the Texas Specials, the Fat 50s, and even the Tex Mex sets.
     
  13. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    With the exception of the American std telecaster Bridge pickups that lack a baseplate ,1983-2012,I have never "met " a US made Fender pickup that I didn't like.
     
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  14. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Holic

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    I find cs to be pretty darn good.
    That said the top winders get em with string balance.

    it’s a feel thing. If you know you know.

    but ya cs sound great.
     
  15. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Afflicted

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    Like rifles, all guitars are slightly different. Two identical ones with sequential serial numbers could work best with DIFFERENT pickups. Your best bet is to try several pickups and see what sounds best, and that's a long road. And pricey. Or take a leap of faith and get a set of Seymour Duncan Hot Teles and hope for the best, which is what I did, and it turned out great. Bootstraps are lots less expensive and come in several flavors, so that's another possibility. I tend to shy away from CS stuff because of the hype and the premium you pay for the label. Just sayin' ...
     
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