Is there a neck pickup that really sounds like a strat

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Jeff4h, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    A strat pickup will sound almost like a strat but a tele won't sound like a strat unless you use a strat bridge.
    The necks are very much the same, the planks almost the same, the pickup spacing identical, only the bridge and the pickups are different.

    If you want it to sound like a strat, get a strat.
     
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  2. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I disagree with the 'get a strat' thing
    A strat pickup in a tele can absolutely nail the 'neck only' sound from a strat. Trust me, I have both, a strat with trem and a hardtail tele with strat pickups in the neck of both. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference, in a blind test, IMO.

    IMO a tele is more versatile with the strat neck pickup and it doesn't take away from the 'tele-ness' IMO.
    with a 4 way, you've got strat neck tones, bucker/LP tones, tele bridge tones, and tele middle tones. Roll the tone back on the neck pickup and it sounds extremely similar to a classic tele neck pickup, with the warmer/darker/rounder tone.

    Teles play differently than strats, and IMO have (certain) advantages over strats. Greater tuning stability, and sustain, also no mid pickup to get in the way of hybrid/finger picking.
    Strats sacrifice sustain and tuning stability to have the extra 'in between' sounds, and the ability to warble notes with the trem.

    Sometimes, you dont need the 'whole strat' so why get a whole strat, when a tele with a neck pickup could satisfy what they need/want?

    The strat bridge changing the tone, is not only a small factor, but it depends on the saddles and block used in the trem, too. The steel blocks are often 'fuller' sounding than the pot metal and zinc type blocks. Often I find the only significant change the strat bridge causes, is it's worse at producing bass/low mids, which is why many people perceived them as adding a 'shimmer' 'brightness' or 'twang.' IMO, it's just a slight low end roll off, which can easily be mimicked through pickup voicing, and/or caps.
     
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  3. Davo17

    Davo17 Friend of Leo's

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    jefts you always seem to know-isnt the tele neck pup further from the bridge than a strat?

    I think I read that once, but never measured it...and now I'm stratless.
     
  4. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    I disagree that you *can't* tell in a blind test, but you might not. The bridge assembly plays a huge part in the basic tone of the Strat, unless you're counting the inbetweens (not my thing). However, I wouldn't call it a compromise -- with a perfectly clear neck pickup, you might not need a Strat at all from a tonal standpoint. Whether or not you really want a Strat after that is totally up to personal preference and not whether a great Tele neck position is "good enough".

    Try it because even if you don't think it sounds the same as a Strat, you might get what you want from a Tele, which is the point :D
     
  5. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Meister

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    Great post. Trying to make your guitar work best for you is what it's all about. The mere fact that you have representatives from Lollar and Seymour Duncan posting in this thread shows the level of interest in your question. There's some great advice in here. Good luck!

    - Bob
     
  6. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    There's just something that feels a little naughty about playing Strat tones on a Tele. I've done. You, a few times, and it was good.

    The weird things is, simply putting a Strat pickup in the neck position of a Tele just doesn't get that full-on Strat tone. There's a lot more wood at the neck joint on a Tele, the bridge is different, there's less peghead mass, and there's no trem cavity like a Strat has. The sum of the parts just add up a bit differently.

    I have gotten close to a true Strat tone with a Tele, but never got all the way there. Doesn't mean the guitar didn't sound great!
     
  7. OakCityMusic

    OakCityMusic TDPRI Member

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    Talk to Aaron at Rumpelstiltskin. He winds something in the vein of a tall bobbin, stratty neck pickup. He'll be straight with you on what it will, and won't, sound like.
     
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  8. rokdog49

    rokdog49 Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, He made one for me to put in my Tele. VERY Strat-like
     
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  9. nicholaspaul

    nicholaspaul Tele-Meister

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    This thread is a few months old, so I can't help wondering if the OP got it sorted yet. How did it turn out?

    Personally, I like the 'get a strat pickup' answers. Get a replacement pickguard that's routed for a strat single coil and keep the old one. I built a tele-like guitar and put a Strat single coil in the neck - I love it for the blues neck/rhythm bridge combo. I've never liked the neck tele pickup anyhow, but please don't hate me for it.
     
  10. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I modded a strat pickup to fit and i liked it at first but after a short time i realized why they are so different. Apparently a strat has a lot more mids and the pickup, a van zandt, sounds fab in the neck slot of a strat. But in the tele it just sounded like all top and bass. Super scooped. So i guess they wind strat pups so they have less mids to compensate for the strats bigger midrange tone. I put my twang king back in and thats when it REALLY struck home why strat pickups in a tele neck aren't real popular.
     
  11. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hmm.. I dont buy it. How is a strat more midrangy than a tele? If anything, I hear the opposite, that the trem gives a more 'jangly' 'brighter' sound, compared to a hard tail. Strats are usually scooped sounding, to me, because that's how the pickups are voiced and always have been, for the most part. I dont think it has to do with compensation for anything. Like I said, I dont see how or why strats would have an inherent midranginess that would require compensation. Tele neck pickups tend to be darker and midrangier, IME. Teles on a whole, seem to be more midrangier to me, because the pickups generally have more winds on them.
    Maybe your strat pickup just seemed more scooped sounding because you had your setup EQ'd for a midrangier bridge pickup, or the midrangier bridge pickup gave the perception of a more 'scooped' sounding neck pickup, in comparison.


    Been using a tele with a strat neck pickup for nearly a decade, at this point. Own 3 strats, and they rarely get played.
     
    songtalk likes this.
  12. J.Patrick

    J.Patrick TDPRI Member

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    ...i found the David Allen Cheetah neck pup to be very strat like..and i've had a couple of teles with strat pickups in the neck position...fwiw Harmonic Design make a mini strat pickup that i used to use...sounded just like their actual 54 special neck pickup that i had in another guitar...
     
  13. Tommy Gereg

    Tommy Gereg Tele-Meister

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    The RC S Tone nails it.

     
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  14. Informal

    Informal Tele-Holic

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    Love Donahue, but If I was paying him to endorse something... He would be playing 90% and talking 10%

    This video is exact opposite of that ratio.
     
  15. big jimmy

    big jimmy Tele-Afflicted

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    I have one of these RC pickup and was looking for that vedio to post. I put it in my T-master style. It sounds much better or closer to a strat than the T/T from Fender. It sounds very good, very stratish. I have never A/B it because it sounded like the video and was the tone I was after. My son owns an unmolested 57 reissue strat and will now do a taste test in a day or 2 and let you know.
    Since the guitar I put it in was a build and non standard body style I decided to go with the Strat style. I have a 4 pos switch matched with a S/D Jerry Donahue bridge. Love the tones from both pickups seprate and together.
     
  16. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

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    OTOH, he wound a bridge pup for my Hardtail Strat, to include a baseplate, that sounded just like a Tele which was what I wanted. Point is, Aaron at Rumpelstiltskin can wind anything just about. I'm sure most of the top winders can but most won't.
     
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  17. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I do play a tele, this is the TDPRI afterall. I also have a 'superstrat' (2xHB) and a strat with tele neck and tele bridge pickups, and a strat bridge pickup in the middle, which sounds like, a strat - or a tele as I want.
    I have no idea why the body shape should make any difference. The internals of strat and tele neck pickups are very similar, the tele does have a can which alters the magnetic field, slightly taller coil and narrower (which makes it more focussed on the strings, a HB is wide). A good tele neck pickup can go well into jazz territory and then do a passable imitation of a strat, can't seem to do it the other way round.

    I can make the tele neck pickup sound like a strat but not the huge tele bridge pickup. The missing ingredient seems to be the strat's middle pickup. A tele with strat pickups throughout sounds like a strat because it is now a fixed-bridge strat. Strat pickups are (usually) opposite magnetic polarity to those on a tele if you are mixing and matching.

    The tuning stability of a tele is renowned but it is not necessarily better than a strat, it is a simple matter to doctor the strat's trem so it returns accurately to the same place every time. The trick is to ensure it can never hit the wood of the body but floats on its fulcrums (or should that be fulcrii) on a butter-knife edge.
     
  18. sockgtr

    sockgtr Tele-Meister

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    I went the opposite direction years ago. I had a Parker P-38, strat style guitar. I had a custom pickguard made for a Tele neck, Strat middle, Tele Bridge. I wanted the Tele neck tone, which I got, and I wanted a Tele bridge tone, which I didn't get, and some workable notch tones, which I got.

    I shoulda kept that guitar...
     
  19. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    My OC Duff Guardsman sounds very Stratty.
     
  20. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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