Measured Electrical Values of Various Telecaster Pickups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Antigua Tele, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I've performed electrical measurements on nearly all of my Telecaster pickups, only omitting the more obscure pickups, such as ceramic cheapos and those whose origins I'm unsure of. There's so much info here that I should be putting it in a blog, but after looking into my options, I've decided I want to make this info available ASAP and worry about a more permanent place to put it later.

    Here's a list of the pickups tested below:

    Fender Original Vintage Telecaster Set
    Fender Nocaster Telecaster Pickup Set
    Fender Blackguard Telecaster Set
    Fender Pure Vintage '58 Telecaster Pickup Set
    Fender Pure Vintage '64 Telecaster Pickup Set
    Fender Texas Specials for Tele Set
    Fender Twisted Tele Set
    Bill Lawrence Keystones Telecaster Set
    DiMarzio Twang King Pickup Set
    Joe Barden Gatton T-Style Pickup Set
    Seymour Duncan Antiquity Telecaster Pickup Set
    Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound for Tele Set




    Some observations about Telecaster pickups...


    The cover material on the Tele neck has a huge effect on its high end response

    The bode plot below shows a drop in Q factor associated with a) no cover, b) Nickel Silver covers, and c) brass covers. The lower the curve, the lower the treble response. The worst is obviously brass. Of the tested pickups, it only appears that Seymour Duncan uses the cruddy brass covers, for if you look at the resonant peaks of the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound for Tele and Antiquity Tele pickups down in the measurement section, where you expect to see a nice resonant bump, you instead see an abrupt drop off at the resonant frequency. All of Fenders pickups use Nickel Silver and have a characeristic hump at the resonance, as apparently does the DiMarzio Twang King. All of the Fender "Made in Japan" Tele pickups I've tested also feature the lossy brass covers. I'm still waiting to get my hands on a Fender Mexico example. The Bardens and Lawrence Keystones have no cover, so their Q losses are caused solely by their core metals.

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of Q factor, I've found that AlNiCo 3 reduces the Q factor somewhat more than AlNiCo 5, perhaps contributing to a slightly softer high end with the AlNiCo 3, on top of the lower flux density, and less resultant lower output voltage.



    The base plate on the Tele bridge doesn't

    Here's a NoCaster Tele bridge out of a MIM Triple Tele. The measured inductance with the base plate is 3.592 Henries, and when the base plate is removed, the inductance drop to only 3.391H, a difference of only 201 millihenries. The graph below shows the resonant peak only dropping about 300Hz, with a slight drop in Q due to eddy current losses caused be the base plate. I wouldn't say the base plate is critical to this pickup's tone, based on these figures.

    [​IMG]

    The base plate is also permeable, so it increases the magnetism of the pole pieces slightly. I measured the low E pole piece increase from 600 Gauss to 620 Gauss with the base plate added, with comes out to a 3% increase, which means nothing to the tone. It takes a substantially larger increase in flux density in order to get an audible effect. For example, the difference between AlNiCo 3 and AlNiCo 5 is 600G versus 1100G at the pole tops. That's a difference that matters.

    It's true that this NoCaster bridge from the Triple Tele differs a from the one in the measureents below by 300mH, which is a rather large deviation for a given pickup model. That's Fender for you.


    [​IMG]


    There's a remarkably high capacitance on the neck pickups.

    Up to this point, I've only tested Strat pickups and a few PAF clones. I've typically calculated parasitic capacitance to be between 70pF and 140pF, but with these Tele neck pickups I'm seeing capacitance from 200pF to 300pF. The result is that these pickups have a much lower resonant peak than Strat pickups of similar inductance (because the resonant peak is lower when any combination of the inductance or the capacitance is higher).

    My best guess as to the cause is that these coils seems to be wound MUCH tighter than Strat pickups.

    Here is a Texas Special neck compared to a NoCaster neck pickup with the cover removed. The Texas Special's overall coil width is 0.4890", and the pole pieces are 0.1875", so the coil accounts for 0.3015" of the overall coil width. The NoCaster's overall width is only 0.3737" with pole pieces that are 0.1885", so the coil's contribution is "0.1852, so the Texas Special's coil is nearly 40% thicker at the waist. The NoCaster's coil is 14% taller, and is making use of 43 AWG to the Texas Specials' 42AWG. 43 AWG is 12%, but combining the taller coil and the finer wire still suggests that the NoCaster's 43 AWG is wound more tightly in order to result in a coil that is only 60% as thick. When a coil is wound more tightly, the conductive wire will be closer together, resulting in higher parasitic winding capacitance, and so this is where I choose to place the blame. The 43 AWG wire should actually result in less capacitance, all other things being equal, since 43 AWG has about 13% less surface area than 42 AWG.

    [​IMG]

    The cover also represents added capacitance, but because there is a healthy amount of space between the coil and the cover, I calculated that the Fender Nickel Silver covers add no more than 7pF capacitance, which is a drop in the bucket. I calculated the capacitance with and without the cover, and it clearly had nothing to do with the high capacitance, and when you remove the cover of a Tele neck pickup, the only thing setting it apart from a Strat pickup is wire gauge and coil geometry.

    This high capacitance appears to put the loaded resonant peak in the area of 3.5 to 3.8kHz, which is "hot" by Strat standards, which, with their lower capacitance, have loaded peaks closer to 4kHz. This, along with the lack of a lossy metalic pickup cover, make a case as to why Stratocaster neck pickups are generally preferred over Tele neck pickups.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  2. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Pickup Measurements

    The bode plots show "loaded" and "unloaded" voltage responses by frequency.

    The unloaded plots is purely the pickups with the small capacitance and loaded imparted by the integrator circuit. These are the most true, unbiased values of the pickup. In order to ever hear a pickup in the context of it's unloaded values, you'd have to wire the pickup straight to the amplifier, with a guitar cable that is no more than 4 inches in length, which is impractical.

    The "loaded" plot adds parallel resistance and capacitance that are typical in an actual guitar setup in order to show how the pickups perform in situ. The values are 200k ohms resistance, to approximate potentiometers, and 470pF capacitance to approximate a guitar cable, as well as the parasitic capactiances of various electrical components and conductors along a typical signal chain. Those values were also chosen because they're standard values that are easy to come by.

    If the "hill" at the resonant peak is taller and sharper, meaning a high Q factor, the pickup will have a brighter tone, but more important than the Q factor is the specific frequency of that peak, because it is beyond that peak where the pickup's frequency response drops off very sharply. A pickup with a resonant peak of 4kHz and a Q factor of 1 (virtually flat) is still going to sound a lot brighter than a pickup with a resonant peak of 3kHz and a Q factor of 5 (very tall), because you're losing 1kHz worth of content between 3kHz and 4kHz, regardless of the high Q factor. Therefore, I'd look at the value of the loaded peak frequency first, and then the "hill", or Q factor second, if I'm trying to guess how these pickups compare by looking at the frequency plots. The Q factor does matter though, as it's the sole reason you get a brighter tone when you switch from 250k pots to 500k pots.

    All of the covered neck pickups appear to use Nickel Silver, except the Seymour Duncans. All the pickups are using either AlNiCo 3 or AlNICo 5, which you can deduce form the Gauss readings, the AlNiCo 3 will ready around 600 while the AlNiCo 5 will read closer to 1000 - 1100. The Bardens have a ceramic bar on the underside.

    These are all stats I've gathered, none of this is sourced from the internet or product information. Ken Willmott provided the integrator circuit used to filter the +20dB/decade slope that otherwise appears in an induced voltage by frequency bode plot.



    Fender Original Vintage Telecaster Set


    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 6.78K ohms
    - Measured L: 3.566H
    - Calculated C: 170pF (180 - 10)
    - Gauss: 650G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 7.37K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.324H
    - Calculated C: 353pF (363 - 10)
    - Gauss: 575G
    - Coil width: 0.3737"
    - Coil height: 0.527"
    - Pole piece diameter: 0.1885"
    - Wire diameter: 0.00220" (43 AWG)

    Bridge unloaded: V: 2.6dBV f: 6.29kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-3.3dBV f: 3.10kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-3.1dBV f: 5.48kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-6.3dBV f: 3.40kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    This pickup has "52" written on the bottom of the neck bobbin, leading me to wonder if the Original Vintage and the Pure Vintage '52 are one and the same. Both use AlNiCo 3 and have similar DC resistance specs as well.

    [​IMG]




    Fender Nocaster Telecaster Pickup Set
    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 6.84K ohms
    - Measured L: 3.821H
    - Calculated C: 133pF (143 - 10)
    - Gauss: 560G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 7.33K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.168H
    - Calculated C: 321pF (331 - 10)
    - Gauss: 500G

    Bridge unloaded: V: 5.9dBV f: 6.81kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-1.3dBV f: 3.13kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-4.4dBV f: 5.94kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-7.4dBV f: 3.59kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    The NoCaster set doesn't appear to be much difference from the Original Vintage set. Both sets also use enamel wire. The inductance differ slightly, but it's hard to tell if that's intentional or not.




    Fender Blackguard Telecaster Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 7.50K ohms
    - Measured L: 4.103H
    - Calculated C: 114pF (124 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1000G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 7.35K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.245H
    - Calculated C: 233pF (243 - 10)
    - Gauss: 550G

    Bridge unloaded: V: 2.3dBV f: 7.05kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-5.5dBV f: 2.99kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-7.7dBV f: 6.81kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-1.7dBV f: 3.76kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    You can see from the Gauss readings that they indeed used AlNiCo 5 in the bridge and AlNiCo 3 in the neck. The 4 Henries on the bridge pickup put it among the hotter Tele bridge pickups. I found less parasitic capacitance in this neck pickup compared to the others, though it's still high compared to a Strat pickup.

    The neck pickup also has "52" written on the bottom, leading me to wonder if the Original Vintage, Blackguard and Pure Vintage '52 sets all include the same neck pickup.

    [​IMG]




    Fender Pure Vintage '58 Telecaster Pickup Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 6.72K ohms
    - Measured L: 3.169H
    - Calculated C: 124pF (134 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1100G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 7.48K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.074H
    - Calculated C: 253pF (263 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1000G

    Bridge unloaded: V: 3.2dBV f: 7.72kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-3.9dBV f: 3.47kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-3.1dBV f: 6.81kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-7.0dBV f: 3.72kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    This pickup is more modern, with white string around the bridge coil, and staggered pole pieces. AlNiCo 5 all around.

    [​IMG]




    Fender Pure Vintage '64 Telecaster Pickup Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 6.58K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.684H
    - Calculated C: 148pF (158 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1000G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 7.63K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.099H
    - Calculated C: 256pF (266 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1050G

    Bridge unloaded: V: 1.1dBV f: 7.72kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-5.0dBV f: 3.68kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-3.3dBV f: 6.73kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-6.8dBV f: 3.72kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    This set is a lot like the Pure Vintage 58, but features gray flatwork, and the bridge pickup is surprisingly low output at only 2.6 Henries. If you're aiming for bright, low output set, this might be an ideal purchase.
     
  3. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Fender Texas Specials for Tele Set


    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 10.26K ohms
    - Measured L: 3.668H
    - Calculated C: 149pF (159 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1100G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 9.35K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.917H
    - Calculated C: 191pF (201 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1100G

    Bridge unloaded: V: 4.0dBV f: 6.58kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-5.1dBV f: 3.24kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-3.3dBV f: 6.66kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-7.3dBV f: 3.43kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    It looks like the bridge pickup is wound with 43 AWG, with a high resistance for a modest inductance. The neck pickup appears to be very overwound for a Tele neck. This is a very dark set, I'm not a fan.




    Fender Twisted Tele Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 10.71K ohms
    - Measured L: 4.120H
    - Calculated C: 106pF (116 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1000G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 6.18K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.078H
    - Calculated C: 219pF (229 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1100G

    Bridge unloaded: V: 4.5dBV f: 7.29kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-4.4dBV f: 3.03kHz(red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-6.0dBV f: 7.29kHz(green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-9.0dBV f: 3.89kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    This set appears to use 42 AWG for the neck pickup, which is also much taller than a typical Tele pickup, but despite the side, the inductance is low at 2 Henries. The bridge appears with be over wound with 43 AWG, is shorter in height than usual, and has a very high inductance at 4.1 Henries. The bridge is very dark, the neck is rather bright, comparable to a medium output Strat neck, such as a Fat 50 or Texas Special neck.

    [​IMG]




    Bill Lawrence Keystones Telecaster Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 7.71K ohms
    - Measured L: 3.221H
    - Calculated C: 78pF (88 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1050G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 7.00K ohms
    - Measured L: 1.955H
    - Calculated C: 97pF (107 - 10)
    - Gauss: 930G

    Bridge unloaded: V: 1.6dBV f: 9.48kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-7.9dBV f: 3.72kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-2.3dBV f: 11.0kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-9.0dBV f: 4.62kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    This set has no cover of course, there are exposed pole pieces, so the Q factor is very high, like a Strat neck. The inductance and capacitance are also very low, and so this pickup achieves very high resonant peaks. These pickups are very bright. The choice of base plate on the Bill Lawrence Keystone bridge appears to cause higher eddy losses than the base plates used by Fender.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]





    DiMarzio Twang King Pickup Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 8.07K ohms
    - Measured L: 3.397H
    - Calculated C: 170pF (180 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1050G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 6.46K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.202H
    - Calculated C: 197pF (207 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1000G

    Bridge unloaded: V: 3.5dBV f: 6.43kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-3.3dBV f: 3.21kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-6.5dBV f: 7.46kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-7.8dBV f: 3.72kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    These are very middle of the road pickups, comparable to Fender's pickups, as sort of an average of all of them. AlNiCo 5 with medium output coils, and a quality Nickel Silver cover.




    Joe Barden Gatton T-Style Pickup Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 4.42K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.359H
    - Calculated C: 324pF (334 - 10)
    - Gauss: 460G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 4.11K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.503H
    - Calculated C: 334pF (344 - 10)
    - Gauss: 470G

    Bridge unloaded: V:-0.7dBV f: 5.67kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-5.2bBV f: 3.47kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-1.3dBV f: 5.42kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-5.9dBV f: 3.40kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    These were supposedly the first rail pickups on the market, which were subsequently copied hardcore by both DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan.

    The resonant peaks are rather low even though these pickups sound very bright to my ears. Maybe this is a case where the form factor of the pickup is more substantial than the electrical distinctions. It seems to be the case that side by side humbucking coils make for brighter pickups even when the resonance is lower. The technical cause for the low resonance appears to be capacitance coupling between the coils and the grounded blades that are in the core of the coils. If that ground connection was broken, these pickups would probably become even brighter.

    The measured Gauss is only 460G, despite the ceramic bar, since the steel blades are only able to generate so much magnetic flux in response to the ceramic bars. It's no different than a PAF or P90 in that respect.

    [​IMG]





    Seymour Duncan Antiquity Telecaster Pickup Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 6.75K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.567H
    - Calculated C: 156pF (166 - 10)
    - Gauss: 1050G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 8.03K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.223H
    - Calculated C: 195pF (205 - 10)
    - Gauss: 950G

    Bridge unloaded: V:-0.9dBV f: 7.72kHz (black)
    Bridge loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-6.1dBV f: 3.68kHz (red)
    Neck unloaded: V:-12.6dBV f: 7.46kHz (green)
    Neck loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-11.5dBV f: 3.21kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    The bridge is a little weak and the neck is rather dark, with a loaded peak of only 3.2kHz, and most noteworthy of all is the clear lack of any Q factor on the neck pickup due to that brass cover. That is clearly seen in the bode plot (gray line). But they do have nice cosmetic aging.




    Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound for Tele Set

    Bridge
    - DC Resistance: 7.80K ohms
    - Measured L: 9.966H
    - Calculated C: 129pF (139 - 10)

    Bridge tapped
    - DC Resistance: 9.22K ohms
    - Measured L: 2.907H
    - Calculated C: 448pF (458 - 10)

    - Gauss: 770G

    Neck
    - DC Resistance: 12.23K ohms
    - Measured L: 4.475H
    - Calculated C: 227pF (237 - 10)
    - Gauss: G

    Neck tapped
    - DC Resistance: 6.91K ohms
    - Measured L: 1.525H
    - Calculated C: 543pF (553 - 10)

    - Gauss: 950G


    Bridge full unloaded: V: 6.7dBV f: 4.27kHz (black)
    Bridge full loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-4.6dBV f: 1.90kHz (red)
    Bridge tapped unloaded: V: 2.8dBV f: 4.36kHz (green)
    Bridge tapped loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-5.7dBV f: 3.03kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    Neck full unloaded: V:-7.7dBV f: 4.89kHz (black)
    Neck full loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-8.4dBV f: 2.38kHz (red)
    Neck tapped unloaded: V:-12.5dBV f: 5.48kHz (green)
    Neck tapped loaded (200k & 470pF): V:-12.9dBV f: 3.55kHz (gray)


    [​IMG]

    This is an outrageously hot set, with a loaded bridge peak of 1.9kHz and a neck at 2.38kHz, a neck which also exhibits a non existent Q factor due to the brass covers.

    Since this set can be tapped, I did two bode plots, one per pickup, with the tapped and full plots both on a single graph.

    An interesting thing about these tapped pickups is that there is an absurdly high parasitic capacitance in tapped mode, since the unused portion of coil is still in circuit, though not passing current directly. The unused portion of coil act as a massive plate, adding 200 to 300pF capacitance, which is equivalent to a 10 foot guitar cable. You can see this manifest in the bode plots, where the loaded and tapped resonant peaks are very close together, even though the inductances differ by 7 Henries and 3 Henries respectively. The "loaded" peaks show a greater difference, since the added capacitance combines with the coil's capacitance, while the inductance remains unchanged.

    It also appears that the larger 1/4" pole pieces of the bridge pickup causes slightly higher eddy current losses compared to typical pole pieces.

    Seymour Duncan says these quarter inch pole pieces are AlNiCo 5, but strangely enough the Gauss readings come out to ~770G, which is more similar to AlNiCo 2, and with the larger size of the magnet, I would have expected an even stronger flux density. I've found this to be the case with my Strat Quarter Pounds as well.

    [​IMG]



    Setup details:

    Bode plots are made with a Velleman PCSGU250 and the supplied probes in 10x mode, with the function generator feeding a driver coil of 0.48mH, placed on top of the pickup and driven with 2Vpp. The pickup is connected to an integrator circuit (V4), designed by Ken Willmott http://kenwillmott.com/blog/, fed back into the Velleman PCSGU250. I measured the integrator's capacitance to be 10pF, so that amount is subtracted from the capacitance calculation.

    The inductance and Q measurements are made with an Extech 380193 in "SER" series mode, and the mean value between the 1kHz and 120Hz modes is recorded. The capacitance value is derived from the inductance and measured resonant peak.

    Magnets are tested with a Spin Doctor ER http://gravitastech.weebly.com/spin-doctor-er.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  4. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    That's a really good survey. Thanks for the detailed comments and analysis, they add a lot of value to the basic information.
     
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  5. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting stuff...except many believe that Bill Lawrence developed the first rail pickups, which were copied hardcore by Barden, then everyone else.
     
  6. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Perhaps, but the choice of rectangular vs. cylindrical pole geometry was not new. It shows up in the Hart patent 2087106 of 1937.
     
  7. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wow. Thank you.

    I know there are alot of Keystone fans here, but the brightness factor was too much, inspite of playing w cap values, and in different Teles, etc.
    Just using the tone knob was not sufficient, before doing all that and after.

    The Bardens, that brightness is a given, but haven't tried the Modern T ones yet. Be curious to.

    Interesting comments per pup btw.
    Thank you!

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  8. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    A lower volume pot value or additional parallel load resistor would have helped you with that. Not the cap values. It's better really, because you can take away brightness, but you can't add it when it's not there.
     
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  9. Amby

    Amby Tele-Holic

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    Very interesting indeed. Thanks.
     
  10. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    That was interesting to read. I actually like the Duncan Antiquity set, though it doesn't appear in these tests/results to offer anything special--unique maybe. I go back and forth with a CC neck and QP bridge, and Ant's set.
     
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  11. Thin69

    Thin69 Friend of Leo's

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    Nice job! Thanks for publishing the comprehensive data!
     
  12. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    It's all about pickup height and amp settings with Lawrence stuff. I get that it turns some away.

    Keystones are also Alnico II and use 44 gauge wire, I believe, just to keep things interesting.

    I find with keystones through a deluxe reverb, you want them about 2mm from the strings on treble side and a little further on bass side and I usually have my treble at around 4 and bass rolled down to around 2 and mids to taste if you are into that. I still use the tone knob on the bridge pickup, but they arent "bright" at these settings. The bridge is punchy and chimey and the neck is warm and clear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
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  13. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity

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    I thought I read the Keystone's were A III (FWIW)
     
  14. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    Becky and Derek Kiernan have said that A2 is used for almost everything except one more obscure offering that has A5.

    The constant insistence by posters that it's A3 is pure speculation based on what they think their ears are telling them.

    Bill loved A2 because of its low string pull and soft resonant peak.
     
  15. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    This says it was A3 in the bridge because probably to offset the effects of the baseplate a little.

    So there ya go. A2 in the neck and A3 in the bridge.

    I also know specific tension and wire gauge are a BIG part of Keystone magic.

    And due to their efficiency, lower amp settings on the tone settings is necesarry for good tone. Just like if you used a humbucker and had to raise the tone settings.
     
  16. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,526
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    west coast
    Based on measurement, the Tele Keystone bridge is AlNiCo 5. The neck is AlNiCo 2, 3 or 4. The difference between them is rather small. You don't get much string pull with 2, 3 or 4, as their flux densities are all pretty close.
     
  17. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,467
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan
     
    songtalk likes this.
  18. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    Sep 5, 2014
    Location:
    Greensboro, North Carolin

    It ain't A5. Just aint. Sorry.

    And I was half right. Half foot in mouth. The bridge pickup is A3 it would appear but the alnico microcoils use A2 for neck and bridge and I think, being that I've been using them more as of late, I was a little primed to say that. My bad.
     
  19. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,526
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    west coast
    Allow me to demonstrate with pictures, then.

    This is a Fender Blackguard bridge, it has AlNiCo 3.

    [​IMG]

    This is a Fender Texas Special, it has AlNiCo 5:

    [​IMG]

    This is the Keystone bridge, which of the above two pickups does the magnetometer's reading more closely resemble?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,141
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Antigua does it again...thanks for the quantitative data! I see a lot of discussion on the details or perhaps how these data translate to the qualitative. Beats 'haunting mids' by light-years though....
     
    FrontPU likes this.
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