Incoming NPD: Bootstrap tele pickups (original recipe)

Jack Clayton

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. I was considering a set of Budz pickups, but they run $180 for a set. I'm willing to pay that kind of money for the right set of pups, but fifty dollars seemed worth the risk on the bootstraps.

I had, and still have, mixed feelings about this purchase. I REALLY want to build this tele into a studio instrument. Everybody says bootstraps are "good". But are they "good for fifty dollars" or good at any price?

there aren't many high quality demos to be heard, and due to the price, I don't hear anyone comparing them to higher end offerings. I know they'll be better than a set of stock ceramics, but will they be comparable to Duncan's, Fralins, or even the set of fender Texas specials I currently have?

Anyway, if this set sounds as good as I hope, I'll be doing a few demos myself to make the decision easier for others. In the meantime, I'm happy to be supporting an American business run by some good folks who seem to love what they do.

Will let you all know how this goes.
 

mjstamos

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How far above? Duncan? Lollar? Not quite?
Let me explain it to you this way and this is a good tip for their site. Select a single single coil pick up and then in the drop down add the $10 dollar custom option and you will see a bunch of new options appear. You can make your own pick up pretty much how ever you want. That could be better than any off the shelf pick up if you want something specific. I had them make a pair of 10k Tele pick ups and they are favorite Tele set.
 
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mikestearns

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I have Vintage 54 Pros in my strat and Sweet Serrano's in my Jackson. As to how they compare with other brands I've used (Duncan, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle, GFS) they're way better than anything I've gotten from GFS. As for the others, I don't know? I like them just as much as the others, and can't think of anything bad to say about them. I don't know how much really goes into a pickup that gives that much room for difference. I have no idea how that works, they sound good and thats good enough for me.
 

ReverendRevolver

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Cant speak to the tele sets, but....

The next tele I buy will probably get a set, based solely upon the Serrano I bought to go in the bridge of my mustang. The "good for its price " field is well under bootstrap pickups. While not as specific and defined in expectation as a well known model from Duncan or Frailin, I was surprised it wasn't just a hot and overbearing thing. It took more work to deal with the thickness of the Duncan Prails in the neck than to get the height on the Bootstrap dialed in.

If you compare humbucker mode on the prail to the bootstrap, the bootstrap sounds like a smoother humbucker, which is ironic since its named after a pepper that's more fire than flavor.

I'd buy bootstraps over most options. I need an impractically large number of additional guitars to REALLY test all the variants from all the builders I'd like to. But bootstrap was fast and helpful communicating with me over a $50 humbucker. It was very reassuring. I feel like they won't stay cheap for super long, because anyone else on that level of quality is charging more than double.
Go for it. I agree a better representation would help them. But they aren't "best in price range ". They're a contender with the reputable winders and popular name brands, just inexplicably cheap, and I have no idea why.
 

nojazzhere

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. I was considering a set of Budz pickups, but they run $180 for a set. I'm willing to pay that kind of money for the right set of pups, but fifty dollars seemed worth the risk on the bootstraps.

I had, and still have, mixed feelings about this purchase. I REALLY want to build this tele into a studio instrument. Everybody says bootstraps are "good". But are they "good for fifty dollars" or good at any price?

there aren't many high quality demos to be heard, and due to the price, I don't hear anyone comparing them to higher end offerings. I know they'll be better than a set of stock ceramics, but will they be comparable to Duncan's, Fralins, or even the set of fender Texas specials I currently have?

Anyway, if this set sounds as good as I hope, I'll be doing a few demos myself to make the decision easier for others. In the meantime, I'm happy to be supporting an American business run by some good folks who seem to love what they do.

Will let you all know how this goes.
I don't quite know how to answer your questions. Bootstrap Pickups are as good or better than any pickups on the market......not just "for the price".
I've owned the Palo Duro and Pretzel sets.(as well as a Strat-style on my three pickup Tele) Preference for Pretzel, but the Palo Duros are excellent also. If I won the lottery tonight and could buy ANY pickups on the market, I'd STILL go with Bootstrap. The superior quality of the pickups is only part of the equation......they're Made in USA, by a small "mom and pop" operation, and I've found their customer service and attention to details second to none. Please put your mind at rest.....you've made an excellent choice.
 

garrett

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I'll echo the others. I've tried a few Bootstrap offerings and I'd say they're as good as any of the more well-known names out there. I think Ryan focuses on the right things: quality materials, limited menu of solid designs, no BS mojo marketing, he proudly makes them in his garage so no facilities overhead.

I have experience with:
Oatmeal Stout in a Strat (earlier version, about .5k lower resistance than nowadays)
Sun City Select neck and middle in a HSS Strat (really woke up the guitar compared to an old pair of Bill Lawrence L280)
Pretzel bridge in an Esquire (soon to go into a Nashville)
Vintage Cleans with A4 mags in a PRS SE. Was least impressed by these, but not bad by any means


My only quality complaint has been the covers for Strat pickups. They were cheap and the parchment and white didn't match the norms. But it's been over a year since I last ordered, so maybe Ryan has improved them. Will find out soon since I have sets of Sun City Selects and 54 Vintage Pros on order.
 

Jack Clayton

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I don't quite know how to answer your questions. Bootstrap Pickups are as good or better than any pickups on the market......not just "for the price".
I've owned the Palo Duro and Pretzel sets.(as well as a Strat-style on my three pickup Tele) Preference for Pretzel, but the Palo Duros are excellent also. If I won the lottery tonight and could buy ANY pickups on the market, I'd STILL go with Bootstrap. The superior quality of the pickups is only part of the equation......they're Made in USA, by a small "mom and pop" operation, and I've found their customer service and attention to details second to none. Please put your mind at rest.....you've made an excellent choice.

Sounds like you knew exactly how to answer. Thanks
 

branbolio

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I was also going to get Budz, Ive had some and they were great... but instead I’m going to order a Pretzel bridge pup for my upcoming tele build. I have a Area T going in the neck and hoping they are a good match... although I’m tempted to get the Pretzel neck just to try them as a set
 

fenderchamp

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How far above? Duncan? Lollar? Not quite?
Sound is subjective... what you get by spending more money on pickups is kind of unquantifiable in many ways. What sorts of answer are you looking for? You know the specs of the pickups you bought I presume. Different pickups are generally different not better or worse .. other than quality or consistency issues that different materials and assembly processes might contribute to.
 
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garrett

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I was also going to get Budz, Ive had some and they were great... but instead I’m going to order a Pretzel bridge pup for my upcoming tele build. I have a Area T going in the neck and hoping they are a good match... although I’m tempted to get the Pretzel neck just to try them as a set

That's part of the beauty, $50 for the set. I'm sure we've all paid more than that for a single pickup, so you may as well buy the pair.

I want to mix n match Strat pickups, so I just bought two sets. $100 for six nice American-made Strat pickups? No brainer.
 

Bella

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In October of last year I happened across Bootstrap Pickups from a post on here. I was in a tight money situation but eager to try out something new in my 72 Tele Custom. I chatted with the peeps at bootstrap via their online chat option and after discussing my needs, I decided on a Skookum Clean 90 in the neck and a Palo Duro in the bridge. I went for the RWRP option to get noise canceling in the middle position.

Installing them was easy (I of course had to use a WRHB-to-Humbucker adapter ring to accommodate the standard humbucker size of the Clean 90, since the WRHB pickguard route is larger). The leads were long and sturdy with push back cloth sheathing, and overall the build felt high quality.

Soundwise they helped bring about the tone I was hearing in my head but just wasn't getting with the stock pickups. Plus, the stock bridge had kind of a lifeless sound that didn't really sound 'Tele'. The bootstrap Palo Duro helped fix that and the humbucker-sized P90 in the neck brought a much more desirable sound (to me).

Given the price I was fairly certain I'd be unmoved by them, but I was very pleasantly surprised. They've now been in my 72 for around 8 months and I'm still very happy with them. In hindsight I'd maybe should have ordered a staggered pole Palo Duro bridge - I wasn't thinking about the fact that my 72 has a 7.25 radius and might better benefit from staggered poles in the bridge. However, I'm pretty happy with the sound, so it's not really an issue.

Are they as good as insert_boutique_pickup_brand_here? I dunno. But what I got makes my ears happy. And given the price, not much risk to try them out. For me, they were a significant improvement over the MIM stock pups.

Dont be surprised if your order doesn't come with swag or glitzy packaging. They keep it simple to help keep the cost down.
 
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Jack Clayton

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In October of last year I happened across Bootstrap Pickups from a post on here. I was in a tight money situation but eager to try out something new in my 72 Tele Custom. I chatted with the peeps at bootstrap via their online chat option and after discussing my needs, I decided on a Skookum Clean 90 in the neck and a Palo Duro in the bridge. I went for the RWRP option to get noise canceling in the middle position.

Installing them was easy (I of course had to use a WRHB-to-Humbucker adapter ring to accommodate the standard humbucker size of the Clean 90, since the WRHB pickguard route is larger). The leads were long and sturdy with push back cloth sheathing, and overall the build felt high quality.

Soundwise they helped bring about the tone I was hearing in my head but just wasn't getting with the stock pickups. Plus, the stock bridge had kind of a lifeless sound that didn't really sound 'Tele'. The bootstrap Palo Duro helped fix that and the humbucker-sized P90 in the neck brought a much more desirable sound (to me).

Given the price I was fairly certain I'd be unmoved by them, but I was very pleasantly surprised. They've now been in my 72 for around 8 months and I'm still very happy with them. In hindsight I'd maybe should have ordered a staggered pole Palo Duro bridge - I wasn't thinking about the fact that my 72 has a 7.25 radius and might better benefit from staggered poles in the bridge. However, I'm pretty happy with the sound, so it's not really an issue.

Are they as good as insert_boutique_pickup_brand_here? I dunno. But what I got makes my ears happy. And given the price, not much risk to try them out. For me, they were a significant improvement over the MIM stock pups.

Dont be surprised if your order doesn't come with swag or glitzy packaging. They keep it simple to help keep the cost down.

This is the built in dilemma of my question, I guess. What makes one set of pickups "better" than another?

Some of you guys are savvy enough to probably shop for pickups like "okay, I want the neck to be X ohms, and the bridge to be Y ohms, and this gauge of wire, and this many winds..." Unfortunately, I don't have the knowledge or experience to know exactly what ingredients I need.

My experience thus far with pickups has definitely validated the idea that a pickup from a solid reputable brand is worth the upsell. I've bought aftermarket pups from Lollar, tv Jones... My best sound yet comes out of a crappy little Chinese 335 knockoff with a set of Duncan Antiquities in it. Those brands have all lived up to the hype. But I know what you guys are saying is true, and nothing is as simple as simple "more money=more quality."

So it's probably less a matter of "does bootstrap make a good pickup?" And more a matter of "is the original recipe set really the perfect one for me?"

One way to find out.
 

Jack Clayton

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I was also going to get Budz, Ive had some and they were great... but instead I’m going to order a Pretzel bridge pup for my upcoming tele build. I have a Area T going in the neck and hoping they are a good match... although I’m tempted to get the Pretzel neck just to try them as a set

So you're the only guy I've talked to yet who's played Budz and bootstraps. How would you compare them? Better? Worse? Apples and oranges?
 




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