Lollar Special T vs SD Broadcaster

Papa Che

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Hi folks!

I’m considering to get a set of Lollar Special T pickups instead of the Fender CS 51 Nocasters.

However I did try the SD Broadcaster set and thought they were good.

I wonder mostly about the bridge pickups. Both brands are at 8K but I wonder if Lollar is a bit punchier than SD bridge pickup?

For example I love my Baja bridge pickup! SD Broadcaster lacked in punch and body compared. Wonder if Special T Bridge is closer to it?

Or wound I be better off with J Street and Royal T?

Thanks for any and all help.
 

Papa Che

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Thanks! Actually it was a Brute Force bridge pickup and certainly a flat carpet tone :D Not for me.
That was my first time testing a high gain pickup.
 

Shango66

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I have both pickups in different teles.
Both are fine choices.
My take fwiw is,
the sd broadcaster has a real old school vintage tele vibe that rawks when pushed.
the lollar spec t has a little less sparkle and comes close to p90 territory when pushed.
 

nic'o'caster

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The Lollar Specials are great for blues-rock but I have found them to loose too much of the Twang factor to be really versatile. They have a bit of P90 characteristics, overwound sounding but cleaning well when turning the vol pot down.

The SD Broadcaster is all about classic honk and twang with attitude (or grit), but the bridge has not much low end.

On a side note, the middle position will be be way more interesting with the Broadcaster than with the Special.
 

Papa Che

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Thank you all.

Yes I remember the middle position of SD pickups being lovely. The neck pickup too is so nice. I guess if the SD bridge has just a bit more low end push it would be perfect for me.

I’m still considering Royal T and J Street (or Special T bridge) as an option too. I need that middle position to be sweet as honey.

Then there is the Fender CS Twisted set. At least I know I love that twisted neck.

If only I knew more about my Baja Tele bridge pup! It has low end and pushes more than the Nocaster. It’s louder as well.
 

Papa Che

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The Lollar Specials are great for blues-rock but I have found them to loose too much of the Twang factor to be really versatile. They have a bit of P90 characteristics, overwound sounding but cleaning well when turning the vol pot down.

The SD Broadcaster is all about classic honk and twang with attitude (or grit), but the bridge has not much low end.

On a side note, the middle position will be be way more interesting with the Broadcaster than with the Special.
Something interesting there!
Would you mind giving us a bit more info. When you say cleans up nicely on thrr egg guitar volume, does it also bring out more dynamics?
My Baja bridge pup also has a bit of the darker P90 push when volume full on but once I back it to 7 it brings on all clarity and dynamics.

If these Specials have nice dynamics (under the fingers) when volume is turned down then these surely might very well be for me as I don’t mind hotter and flatter drive on full volume.
 

Papa Che

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This Blue Tele of mine is brighter sounding than my Baja which I must take into account as I don’t like bright. I just pulled the trigger and ordered the Lollar Special T set. Will report back.

4DB5FF8A-A227-499C-9170-5943189D8750.jpeg
 

weevilcaster

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Maybe another option for you, Lollar's J Street pickup is great paired with his Regal (Widerange) neck pickup. I have this setup in a pine Tele with a Maple neck & it sounds great! I like it so much, I’m thinking about putting together another guitar like it & have a b-bender installed into it.
 

Papa Che

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I will test the Special T set first which will give me some idea what these Lollar pickups are about. I’m not selling my CS Nocaster pups just yet :D

I have a feeling that Special T and Royal T might be milk and honey for me but let’s wait and see what I’ll experience with this Special set.
I already have a Baja tele with a Twisted neck (Strat like) pup so in all fairness I ought to keep a tele sounding neck pickup in my blue telecaster.

Xmass post will be slow. Will likely get it next week. Will report back once I’m done with the soldering iron!

Thank you all again! The info about 42 gauge being Lauder than 43 (both pups same Kohm and magnet type) was totally new to me.
 

Hoodster

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Pay attention to Nic’s post above, because he nails it. I have owned both of those pickups and they are extremely different. The Broadcaster is all twang with no low end, just as the Duncan tone chart on their website indicates. The Special gives up way too much twang without any great benefit to compensate in my opinion. As the post directly above indicates, the Lollar 52 is where it’s at for Jason’s bridge pickups. Incredible vintage twang and snarl with plenty of beef.

The other one you should be considering in that wonderful zone is the Duncan Jerry Donahue, my all-time favorite. A little less twang than the 52 but just beautiful and highly versatile.
 

Humbuckers

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I have a Donahue am considering getting a Special T (or maybe a Twisted Tele bridge). How do you feel the Donahue and Special T compare? I’m usually more of a humbucker guy, so I appreciate the thickness and output of the Donahue, but the attack is a little too rounded off for me. I like to be able to get a nice hard “-ck” attack, though I don’t necessarily care much for twang.

Pay attention to Nic’s post above, because he nails it. I have owned both of those pickups and they are extremely different. The Broadcaster is all twang with no low end, just as the Duncan tone chart on their website indicates. The Special gives up way too much twang without any great benefit to compensate in my opinion. As the post directly above indicates, the Lollar 52 is where it’s at for Jason’s bridge pickups. Incredible vintage twang and snarl with plenty of beef.

The other one you should be considering in that wonderful zone is the Duncan Jerry Donahue, my all-time favorite. A little less twang than the 52 but just beautiful and highly versatile.
 

arlum

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The Lollar Specials are great for blues-rock but I have found them to loose too much of the Twang factor to be really versatile. They have a bit of P90 characteristics, overwound sounding but cleaning well when turning the vol pot down.

The SD Broadcaster is all about classic honk and twang with attitude (or grit), but the bridge has not much low end.

On a side note, the middle position will be be way more interesting with the Broadcaster than with the Special.
I agree 100%. On a Telecaster most players seem to be going for either a blues based or county based tonality. The Lollar Specials are blues. If you're going for the ability to create "Twang" they would be the wrong choice.
 

Papa Che

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I’m certainly more of a blues tonality and not at all country. So for me less attack and a bit more sustain/output. Rounder rather than sharp.
 

alexwilds

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Last night I read a great interview with Cesar Diaz, SRV's guitar and amp tech.

Cesar Diaz The Last Great Interview (SRV) | Marshall Amp Forum

He was very clear that SRV's tone come from lower output pickups, like around 5K. Diaz would strip off quite a bit of windings from Fender pickups to get the impedance right. He was also clear about lowering signal input within the amp, getting a relatively weak signal into and out of the preamp tube. The interview has very specific technical detail and is very well worth reading.

Cesar Diaz was the amp designer and guitar tech for GE Smith, Dylan, SVR and a bunch of other guitar greats. He knew what he was talking about.
 

Hoodster

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I have a Donahue am considering getting a Special T (or maybe a Twisted Tele bridge). How do you feel the Donahue and Special T compare? I’m usually more of a humbucker guy, so I appreciate the thickness and output of the Donahue, but the attack is a little too rounded off for me. I like to be able to get a nice hard “-ck” attack, though I don’t necessarily care much for twang.
I am definitely a single coil guy, so our tastes may be different, but honestly the Special was one of my least favorite of the many bridge pickups I have tried. It just didn’t have any character. I guess you could say the Donahue attack is a little rounded off, but nothing compared to a humbucker, and although I can’t remember exactly how the Special was in that regard, I was comparing it head to head with the Donahue in two separate Telecasters and found it lacking in all regards, so my guess is that it is has less of what you want.

The other one I tried in the same guitar I had the Special in was the DiMarzio Area (not the hot version). I would take that over the Special all day for the tones you might be looking for.

Back to the OP, I feel still think he might like the Donahue. It is definitely great for blues and versatile for everything. Here’s a video clip of mine I did about 10 years ago:

 

Papa Che

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This blue Tele of mine is naturally without the thump in the strings, unlike my Baja Tele. The Blue has more attack. I speak unplugged which I also hear plugged in both.

Nocasters have more attack already and in the blue tele it’s too much in your face. I hope to tame it with the Lollar Special T set. But I will not keep the Spec T if they have no dynamics when rolled back to volume 7-8. I need my pups to calm down and chime a bit on lower volume and on the volume full on they rock. I set them up so they are off-clean on volume 7.

Question about SD pups!
Is that Donahue bridge louder than SD Briadcaster? I need a bit more push from my bridge pup than SD Broadcaster provides (I tried it with different pup heights and boosting but nah)
 

Wyatt

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If only I knew more about my Baja Tele bridge pup! It has low end and pushes more than the Nocaster. It’s louder as well.

While specs are scant, I believe the consensus is that the Fender "Broadcaster" bridge PU in the Baja Tele is pretty much a Texas Special with flat pole pieces.

The SD Broadcaster is pretty much Seymour's take on late-'50s/early-'60s Tele PUs, though AWG43/A5 isn't really any era Fender spec.

Neither have anything to do with actual Broadcaster/blackguard specs.
 




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