Joe Barden TELE PICKUPS

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Coolehandluke, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Coolehandluke

    Coolehandluke TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    Location:
    fareham UK
    Hi everyone,
    Has anyone tried the Danny Gatton tele pickups in their guitar.
    I have a Tele professional but was contemplating trying these pickups? I play mainly clean, some blues and jazz but never really getting carried away with gain.
    I would be interested in your views of the Modern, or Danny Gatton.

    kindest regards
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  2. lewis

    lewis Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,037
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
  3. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,944
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    I LOVE the Barden neck pickup in a Tele, have mixed feelings about the bridge pickup, there are a LOT of posts about the Bardens, the modern T Barden is just a hotter bridge pickup, the neck pickup is the same.

    They are not your traditional alnico vintage Tele pickup tone but they can cover a lot of ground.
     
  4. Steve_U1S

    Steve_U1S Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    1,328
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Somewhere on the forum I've addressed this question before (possibly more than once) with my own views and experiences.

    Suffice it to say that I'm a huge fan of the Modern-T set (I haven't played the Gatton bridge model, but based on what was 'on paper' about the different versions, it seems as though the Modern bridge pickup would work better for my purposes.
    This was coming from my approach, which is based around the fact that I really like the sound of the Broadcaster bridge & Twisted Tele neck pickup pairing, but I wanted to be able to achieve that type of 'grunty' bridge sound and that zingy neck pickup sound without noise; the bridge pickup, adjusted carefully away from the strings just a bit extra, got me right where I wanted to be. The neck pickup, for my purposes, just needed to be opened up a little bit extra in the wiring. I had already been doing that with other pickups, particularly the excellent Area T neck pickup, so I adjusted my wiring a bit to go along with the already more open sound of the JBE/Barden neck pickup, and arrived at my happy place with that as well.

    I'm am really curious to have the Bill Lawrence Microcoil experience... I'm inclined to get a set of those at some point.
    They've gotten some high praise from notably reliable sources, not the least of which is the recommendation of Mr. Ron Kirn.
    (And if successful for my part, that would be FAR more cost effective too; the JBE/Bardens are really quite expensive, especially here in Canada...)
     
    archetype likes this.
  5. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,479
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    The Bardens are extremely articulate and detailed. A lot of clarity, which may or may not be a good thing for you.
    I have the Gatton set, the neck pickup is outstanding, the bridge pickup is too bright for most amps and music In my opinion. I haven't tried the Modern , but I think I would opt for that.
     
    kbold likes this.
  6. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,479
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    How would you compare the sound of the Area T's to the Bardens?
     
  7. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    538
    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Edited 11/10/2019

    Update:

    After a few more hours of adjusting the bridge pickup and changing strings, I was able to get the e string balanced with the rest of the strings. The JBE's are very sensitive and just a very small adjustment one way or the other makes a huge difference in string volume and tone.

    I was not completely happy with the sound/balance of the Sono Tone Pure Nickel 10-46 strings. While the E,A & D had old school spank, going from the D to the g string the volume jumped. I replaced the Sono Tone's with a set of D'Addario 9.5 - 44, did a setup and was able to zero in on the sweet spot for balance and tone.

    For whatever reason, the e,b and g D'Addario strings are more mellow (less harsh treble sounding) than the Sono Tone e,b and g strings which were more metallic sounding compared to the D'Addario's.


    Here's the link to my thread on newly installed JBE Modern Tele pickups: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/new-pickup-day-jbe-modern-t.985008/#post-9404286

    I have since installed a set of Gotoh In-tune telecaster titanium saddles which has added a little more spank to the E, D, A strings. The g,b,e strings are a little more treble but not into Gatton territory. I might put the b,e brass saddle back on.

    The modern set is advertised as good for Jazz, Rock and Modern Country whereas the Gatton set was geared towards Classic Country. Well depending on what you consider classic country will best help with your decision on which set suits your need. As for me, the Gatton set would fit into the Bakersfield and some of the early 50's honky tonk sound. The modern set I feel fits the Nashville sound of the 50's through 60's where the guitarist for artists such as Ernest Tubb used spanish electric guitars like Gibson and Gretsch.

    The jury is still out on if these JBE's are keeper's. Unlike my 64 AVRI tele, which has a neck radius of 7.25, the neck radius on my CS NOS Postmodern tele is 9.5 to 12 and getting the e string volume balanced with the b string (and others) required lowering the e string out of radius with the other strings using 1/16" measured at the E string 21st fret.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  8. Pajama

    Pajama Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    458
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    I have had Bardens in my '92 Am. Std. Tele for over 20 yrs. now. I love them.
     
    That Cal Webway likes this.
  9. Steve_U1S

    Steve_U1S Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    1,328
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I was able to do similar tweaking to get that sort of Broadcaster/TT set sound - this was done using the Area Hot T Bridge pickup, which I set about dialing away from the strings to bring the sound into the right sort of territory I was looking for.
    It's a big gutsy Tele sound, and seems to bring nice characteristics of each instrument up to show themselves. It's got grunt in the middle that gives authority when it's requested via picking dynamics.

    The Area T Neck isn't quite as strong a pickup as I prefer; with that said, with some wiring tweaks I was able to bring the right amount of 'zing' to them for my purposes.
    It's got a very convincing old school Tele neck pickup sound when used in a direct-replacement scenario. They're very vocal and smooth.
    The noise cancelling of the Area series is quite effective as well.
    In all, I found myself able to give a versatile and distinctly 'Tele' personality to the sound produced by these pickup sets. Nicely nuanced, and extremely responsive to subtle dialing-in of the heights and angles of each pickup.

    ... with that said, there's a strident quality to the JBE/Bardens which is sometimes difficult to articulate; others have said as much as well - they tend to really give back what you put into them, warts and all.
    They seem to have a manner of passing through nuances which is almost frightening at first; these pickups will certainly keep you on your toes, and make you very aware of your own playing (again, warts and all).
    For me, that culminated in a notable improvement in my playing; it got me to tighten things up and such.
    End result is a sound which is quite chameleonic in nature, depending on how you attack the strings, and the sound you're pushing into. They'll keep you honest, but they'll also go far and deep when asked.
    To date I've not experienced anything else quite like them; I'm told this is also a good description for the Microcoils, which has my attention as well =]
     
    tele12 likes this.
  10. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,181
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Location:
    North of Boston
    Great pickups, very articulate and clean... like others have said very high quality pickups but putting that quality and sound to words can be difficult. Yes, they can twang but they are no ReProductions of any pickup I know of.
    Given what you are looking for though, I would say these will likely exceed your needs, very versatile for playing where every note matters and needs to be heard, they capture it all and brilliantly so. I put a pair of the P90s they make in a hollow double cut Tele for a JR type set up, it has more of a big jazz box, Archtop type sound than a Jr.

    Here I though of away to describe them:
    It's Steven Tyler or Robert Plant Vs Sinatra or Harry Connick Jr - They all can sing really well and have amazing voices but the brilliance, clarity and definition is incredibly different between the 2 groups Tyler and Plant are the standard Single and Hums of the world and Sinatra and Connick are the Joe Bardens.
     
    Tenderfoot likes this.
  11. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,479
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    Great description, thanks.
     
    65 Champ Amp and Steve_U1S like this.
  12. vintage clubber

    vintage clubber Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,649
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    Mechanicsville, VA
    Two of mine. Partscaster on left has a Barden neck pickup and Wilde bridge pickup. Squier Affinity on right has GFS Lil Puncher Cool Vintage set. 20190924_210614.jpg
     
  13. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    3,326
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Location:
    Chicago
    How does the sound of the two guitars compare?
     
  14. vintage clubber

    vintage clubber Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,649
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    Mechanicsville, VA
    The difference is actually very nominal. The Barden/Wilde combo has a little more high fidelity if that makes sense, but it doesn't make me want to change out the GFS set in the Squier. In a gigging situation running thru the same rig, I don't believe the audience would detect any difference.
     
  15. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,014
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    I've used them on and off for the past couple of decades (obviously not the Modern ones. They were just Barden pickups when I got my set). They're very "hi-fi" sounding to the point some people can't deal with them. Pickup height is critical in dialing them in. Set 'em low and adjust as needed. Don't let the "I hate Danny's tone" naysayers sway you. There are plenty of great sounding Bill Kirchen and Big Al Anderson recordings using Bardens.
     
  16. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,315
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    I feel like pot values have a big effect on this. Most players don't need to switch from 250k, and many would probably enjoy them more with the tone pot dialed back a bit, which doesn't lose any highend extension.
     
    bo likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.