How many Texas Special pickups exist?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Bakis, May 3, 2017.

  1. Bakis

    Bakis TDPRI Member

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    Hello everybody!
    New member here, so be gentle.. =)

    I am going to buy a Tele soon. So far, the American Special seemed decent to me. Feels good, sound ok, doesn't cost a fortune and it can be upgradeable.
    Recently though, I played a Fender Custom Shop Tele that sounded amazing (specially the bridge 51 nocaster pickup.. but let's forget that at the moment).
    (that Tele http://www.justmusic.de/de-de/gitar...itars/9163881/cs-telecaster-50s-2016-ltd.html)

    So,
    1. American Special has Texas Special pickups.
    2. The above CS Tele has a CS(?) Texas Special neck pickup.
    3. Fender also sells Custom Shop(?) Texas Special set.
    (that set of pickups https://www.thomann.de/gr/fender_texas_special_tele_pu.htm)

    Do you know what's going on with those pickups? 2 and 3 are the same? 1 differs from 2 or 3?

    I am asking because I think that I would like to transform, as much as possible, the sound of the American Special Tele to that CS Tele =)
     
  2. BrandonIke

    BrandonIke Tele-Meister

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    The Am. Special 'Texas Specials' are different than the 'Custom Shop Texas Specials'

    So 1 is different than 2/3, #2 is just the neck pickup of the #3 set
     
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  3. Bakis

    Bakis TDPRI Member

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    Nice.. Thank you!
    I guess Fender sells the entire set and not one of two pickups. That makes it pricy if I want neck CS Texas Special and bridge Nocaster 51.

    Do you know the difference in terms of sound between #1 and #3?
    Have you heard/played them?
     
  4. 6BQ5

    6BQ5 Tele-Afflicted

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    It depends, actually. At some point (post-2013, I think) Am. Specials started coming with CS Texas Specials, as opposed to the non-CS "Texas Specials" they originally shipped with (which were repurposed from HWY Texas Tele's). So depending on what year the Am. Special in question is, you may only be looking at swapping out the bridge pickup.
     
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  5. Bakis

    Bakis TDPRI Member

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    I am looking now for a new one. So I guess, as you say, it comes with CS Texas Special pickups. Serial number will help for sure.
     
  6. cboutilier

    cboutilier Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't imagine there is much difference between them. Probably the same specs, but the CS is likely wound in the US and uses cloth covered leads.
     
  7. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    The winding machines are probably near enough identical as well.
     
  8. 6BQ5

    6BQ5 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah. If you get a brand new one, it should come with CS Texas Specials.
     
  9. 6BQ5

    6BQ5 Tele-Afflicted

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    I believe the CS are also RWRP so that the middle position is hum-cancelling. The original Am. Special Texas Specials were not. They sound a bit different too.
     
  10. kinkstah

    kinkstah Tele-Afflicted

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    Bakis likes this.
  11. BrandonIke

    BrandonIke Tele-Meister

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    I have a set of the CS and I really like them, the neck pickup especially. I don't have any experience with the non-CS ones so I can't really comment on the differences sound wise.
    But also, check eBay and/or Reverb because you can certainly find just one instead of purchasing the whole set, I've done so in the past.

    And also thanks to the others for their input, I did not realize the new Am Specials now come stock with the CS set. That's why this forum is so great :)
     
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  12. Bakis

    Bakis TDPRI Member

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  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I hate to suggest this but I think "Texas Special" pickups is a lot like "Jumbo Wire" or "Chevy Malibu". It has changed too many times, whether it needed to or not, and I just would not bank a whole lot of money on one set of "Texas Specials" being the same as another.

    All I can say is the Tele version of this product has been much more consistent in sound and function than the Strat version. The Strat version could be anything from here to the Moon and some I very much like and some (even in Custom Shop guitars) made me depressed.
     
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  14. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, I agree completely. I am debating whether to leave the neck pickup in my American Special and change the bridge for a Don Mare, or to pull both pickups and install a set of Tim Shaw V-Mods.
     
  15. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    NO NO NO

    ANY
    American Special Telecaster with a build date EQUAL TO OR LATER THAN 10/2013 has Fender CS Texas Special pickups onboard!

    ANY American Special Telecaster with a build date PRIOR to 10/2013 has Fender Highway One Texas Tele pickups onboard! Fender dropped the ball on this and referred to these pickups as "Fender Texas Specials", but they are, in fact, NOT Fender CS Texas Special pickups!


    A simple test: If your bridge pickup has staggered pole pieces, they're Fender CS Texas Special's; if your bridge pickup has level pole pieces, they're Fender Highway One Texas Tele's.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  16. stratlt

    stratlt TDPRI Member

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    I have Fender CS Caballo Tono from 2015 in Fiesta red with hand wound Texas Special bridge pickup in it. I believe they must be different...???
     
  17. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    To answer your question:

    The neck and bridge pickups in the current production American Special Telecaster (i.e., those made after October/2013) are Fender Custom Shop Texas Special pickups, the same set that is displayed on Fender's web-site.

    What pickup was in the neck of that CS Tele that you played? If it was a '51 Nocaster neck, then buy the Fender '51 Nocaster pickup set - then youll have exactly the same pickups as those in the CS Tele that you liked so much; otherwise, you can always buy individual pickups to suit your style.

    The CS Texas Special pickups are not too shabby. They deserve a try, IMHO.

    Good luck!
     
  18. Bakis

    Bakis TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for your response!

    The CS Tele I tried, had Texas Special neck pickup and '51 Nocaster bridge pickup.

    However, today I went to a store and tried for the first time the American Professional. I did it side by side with American Special and now I am having second thoughts :-/

    Damn, the Professional guitar neck is much better! It feels like home =)
    Bridge pickup sounds better than Special's, not harsh at all.

    I will have to think about it for sure.
     
  19. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    No! Fender only makes one set of Texas Special pickups and those are Custom Shop pickups. That said, there's a fly in the ointment: Fender referred to the pickup set in the early American Special Tele's (2009-October/2013) as Texas Special's; however, those pickups were actually Highway One Texas Tele pickups, which were used in Fender's Highway One Texas Telecaster.
     
  20. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    To further confuse the issue, Fender did use the term "Texas Tele pickups" as it's initial name for Texas Special pickups. The early, poplar-bodied James Burton Standard Telecaster came with "Texas Tele pickups" which are actually 100% Texas Specials with the staggered magnets in the bridge pickup and the correct DC resistance for both. The sticker on the pickguard of my '97 said "Texas Tele pickups."

    Of course this is contradicted by Fender's own, current descriptions which state that the JB Standard had Texas Special pickups from 1996 onward. The same info is in that godhead of truth, Wikipedia. Then again, you can look at descriptions by online dealers that still have JB Standards in stock and they use both Texas Tele and Texas Special on the same page.
     
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