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Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Milspec, Apr 25, 2020.
Right there with ya, Milspec!
Low output/vintage pickups with clean, clear, detailed, and articulate tones!
Lioness & Nashville make a delicious, wonderful set of pickups, too!
Once again, I don’t have the experience of others here, nowhere near it. But, I’m at least theoretically inclined to Vintage.
My MIJ Tele has what were listed as
“American Vintage '62 Custom Single-Coil” pickups. The US made pickups were presented as a selling point, with a shield shaped sticker saying something along the lines of “Vintage USA...”
I think they sound just dandy.
Cavalier 51/52 as vintage sounding as you can get imho.
I know what ya mean.. I hope I have enough Synapses and Neurons left to store what is yet to come... I wish I knew now what I would have known then, should "then" be a time I would ever know...
They are certainly more versatile for me.
Took me awhile to figure this out but, YEP. Not only that but, it's a far better tonal "foundation" that can be goosed into the heavens via pedals if need be. With hot pickups you're kinda stuck with that one sound that isn't necessarily as harmonically rich or bell-like. Sure there's coil tapping and what have you but the more doo-dads, the more I invariably tend to check out.
When I first got into Teles after playing Gibsons for many years I had this misguided idea that I needed to mod/hot rod everything to my "spec", thinking I needed to soften the transistion from the Gibson sound. Eg; I thought I needed to slap a Rutters bridge and Porter 9T's into everything. Had I done this I would've deprived myself of learning what constituted the tone I'd come to adore, which was vintage wound pickups and ashtray bridges slapped onto good slabs of wood.
Maybe not deprived so much as taken another expensive detour¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Was rockin a 22k Motherbucker in my bridge. Great when you want EVH like levels of feedback and squeal, but kind of a bit much for just strumming.
Hopefully going back to the stock Pickups on my Squier 51... I think someone had posted that the neck pickup is like 3.5k. Definitely not a match for the Motherbucker!!
I find that there is a certain range of output I like: I like hottish Fender pickups, with a bit more output that vintage spec, and I like Gibson pickups that are slightly weaker that vintage spec.
There's a range of output that works for me, where full on it'll drive the amp, and when backed off it'll clean up nicely. Weak strat pickups for example don't drive the amp enough for my taste, and a normal humbucker doesn't clean up enough.
My tele bridge pickup (that I love the sound of) is 9.2K, so I guess I don't. If I'm correct in thinking 'vintage' would be around 7K resistance? ... and yes, I'm aware that isn't the whole story by a long way.
It depends on what wire was used. If it's like a broadcaster made with thin 43awg wire, then 9.2k isn't really high output. If it's made with 42awg like most tele pickups, then 9.2k is pretty high output.
What does the coil look like? If it's made with 42awg, it'll look pretty full.
Basically, resistance by itself doesn't mean anything. It's a bit like judging an engine by the number of cylinders, without taking into account the size of the cylinders or the type of fuel used.
That's why it's helpful to state both the DCR and the gauge of wire it's wound with. And the magnet type! And... if you have a turn count, also, extra credit points for you!
Knowing those four factors (and comparing them to those of pickups you are personally familiar with) helps a lot in getting a "rough" idea of what tonal characteristics a Tele neck pickup is likely to have.
I do make the error of using a simplified measure myself... Whilst some generalizations cane be made, the resistance is only one part of a puzzle. Which is why I like when there are quality demos of various pickups to compare them off paper.
In my experience, high-output pickups have more desireable characteristics at bedroom levels than band levels. "Vintage output" pickups are better all around.
I, however, do not play metal music.
A cranked amp with lower output pickups is glorious.
I've figured out the lower/vintage advantage over the last few years. My favorites have become CS69s for Strat, SD Antiquities for humbuckers, and maybe Original Vintage for Tele.
I haven't really settled on the OVs yet, I'd like to try some other Tele pickups on my next Tele.
Probably not too far off.
Look at John Frusciante's guitar... One of the best tones around IMO and he's got his pickups almost flush with the pickguard, a bit higher in the treble side... from what I've read it's followed by some interesting amp settings. Dave Simpson has a video, and while not to be taken as canon, he's got some stuff dimed, some at zero... And it works. I would never think to try this, but you can't deny the result.
I'm starting to lean in that direction too.
I've got a long time ago acquired overly hot bridge pup in my neck position. Bought it used, because "it had four connectors" and I had read, you could do "all kind of fun wirings with it". Didn't even try to find out what SD SH-5 Custom was. Bridge, neck.. who cares!
Now it's been there since, but started itching to try something vintageish.. maybe DiMarzio this time...
I have different low to medium pickups for different sounds. My strat has 5.5k CS 69 pickups that sound great. But I also love the tele Texas Specials at 10.5k. I tried the Hot for Tele 15.6k and took them out right away. I have P Rails in my LP and Suhr Thornbuckers in my PRS.
After decades of hot ceramic mag humbuckers, I am definitely drifting toward lower output. I have mostly been going with vintage overwind/vintage hot, whatever you want to call it. I've used at least one guitar with underwound humbuckers, which sounded wonderful into a Marshall JMP MkII.
I'm still playing hard rock, but I am liking how the lower output pickups sound when overdriven. I don't know why I didn't think of this years ago. Changing taste, I guess.
Ok. I may, or may have not acquired DiMarzio PAF 36th Anniversary to replace my overly hot neck humbucker.
It depends who do you ask. For my wife it's just a new nice pickup cover (Rose Gold). I may, or may have not told that there's a whole new pickup underneath the pretty cover too..
Tomorrow.. it's a solder day!