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Neck Pickup for my Partscaster

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by RifleSlinger, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    So I've been putting together this t-type for about the last year...

    So far: Rutters body and hardware (except Fender bridge with my birthday as the serial number), Musikraft 1-piece maple neck with a "52-U" profile (not a blackguard neck but I made my own "Tadeo taper"). It will basically look like a blackguard.

    I have a Klein Esquire bridge pickup (same specs as their Epic '52, A3, 42 gauge wire, ~7.6-7.8k). Right now I have the bridge pickup wired straight to the output.

    I have a 3 way switch and CTS push/pull pots for volume and tone so I can have phase and series/parallel switching. None of this is in the guitar yet.

    I paid a bit of a premium for the bridge pickup, mostly because I heard a ton of sound clips from different sources that gave me a pretty good indication that I would like it, and I do. There were other pickups with basically identical specs, but I was willing to pay for it because I could do my due diligence ahead of time.

    I don't want the neck pickup to have an early 50's sound, but I want the output to be matched with that of the bridge. Bridge height is currently set to about 5/64 from the strings. I'm looking for more of a scooped sound for the neck pickup. Two that I have found that I like the sound of are the Klein Epic '61 (A5, 43 gauge, 6.5k), and the Fender Pure Vintage 1964 (A5, 43 gauge, 7.6k). I don't understand how the Fender sounds like it sounds with those specs, but I'm no rocket surgeon.

    I'm also interested in the Klein Scooped Mid-Range (A5, 43, 6.7K) and their "Limited" (A5, 42, 5.7k). No sound clips and no reviews on those last two, so the ornery side of me will probably prevail and I will eliminate them as possibilities.

    The Klein would run me about $100. I could get the Fender for $40. I've been building this for so long that I'm willing to wait another month for the one that would be just right, so price really isn't the issue. I just wonder if the Fender might overpower my bridge pickup, and if that 6.5K Klein might be just a hair under-powered. You're probably going to tell me that I can't know until I install it and that will drive me crazy :)

    Pickup picking has been the part of this project that has really been getting into my head, keeping my up at night, etc... I have changed my mind at least a thousand times so far. This will be my only go at getting the right guitar (I'm currently borrowing the lamest mid-80's Kramer you could think of- the Iroc-Z of guitars).

    Sorry this is so long. I can't really help it.

    Any thoughts from y'all?
     
  2. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    It's a marginal difference in spec but I'm sure you're aware Klein makes a higher quality product, which is actually important to getting the highend you want.
     
  3. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    That's always a concern. My current plan is to email Chris when I have enough cash and see what he recommends. Although I find that common subjective pickup descriptors suck in terms of actually communicating what a person perceives, at least he can make sense of the pickup he already built for me. That's something, which I assume is better than nothing :)

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. TexMax

    TexMax Tele-Meister

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    I am squarely in the 'each guitar is different and you won't know until you install it' camp, but I have tried quite a number of neck pickups (including the 64), and I might recommend the Fender Texas Special. It's got a good amount of output to keep up with a 7.8 bridge, but it also sounds fairly scooped and glassy in my experience. I also quite like the 64, but it can be very bright sounding in some guitars. Fender OV is another solid choice and is also A3. I just recently went through the painful process of neck pickup swaps in 3 different Teles, and ended up with two 64s and one Tx Special - all paired with A5 6.8-ish bridge pickups.
    Good luck!
     
  5. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    Thanks. I will consider it.
     
  6. Mountain Jammer

    Mountain Jammer TDPRI Member

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    Don't put so much pressure on yourself. It's pretty easy to swap out pickups (especially the neck) after the fact. Just try something and if you don't like it, move on to something else. That's half the fun of owning such a simple guitar.
     
  7. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    It's true. What has gotten me so would around the axle is that I've really had to scrimp and save (I'm right about at a year), and I want to do my best to keep from being drawn down the "tone quest" rabbit hole. The other side of not worrying about it is that historically I haven't been picky about guitars too much. I remember when upgrading always meant either Duncans or Dimarzios, and my best guess with a set of Duncans always seemed to work well enough to get a good sound from. Sold all that stuff off a long time ago and figure I just need one good axe. Probably anything in the ballpark will get me close enough to get a good sound from. And I've been playing a Kramer with two quad rail humbuckers for about 8 months o_O. At least the coils split :)
     
    Derek Kiernan likes this.
  8. Rich B in Tempe

    Rich B in Tempe Tele-Holic

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    I would throw thoes Kleins in the trash- bin. I overpaid for a worthless set of vintage nocasters & was luckey enough to discover CAVALIERS. The cavs smoke the kleins- took a loss but the Cavilers were not only amazing sounding, but much cheeper! Call Rob ( email him)!
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  9. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    It's funny you should reply today. I just ordered the Klein "Scooped Mids" pickup last night. You must have sensed a disturbance in the Force ;)

    I strongly considered Rob's pickups, and I'm sure I would have been happy with them. The reason that I didn't was because the pickup I would have brought from him would have been the 51/52, and at that time (mid-December) there was no soundclip of that pickup that I could find. Mind you, I bought a pickup with identical specs on paper, but I didn't know if there might be any 'intangibles' (winding pattern, tension) that might affect the sound, so I paid for a sense of certainty. I am very happy so far with the Klein bridge pickup I bought. It was exactly what I expected and then some. After hearing Roknfnrol's clip of the 51/52, I think I would have been in the same ballpark had I bought the 51/52, but I'm completely satisfied with the Klein. No regrets at all.

    As for the neck pickup, I suppose I wanted to find an existing product that I liked, instead of trying to describe to someone what I wanted and hoping for the best. Part of that was that I contacted a winder in the fall (not Rob), and told him what I was hoping for, and asked for an A3/42 gauge/~7.3k bridge and an A5/43 gauge/~6.5k neck. He told me that wasn't what I wanted, and for better or worse, I decided I was moving on.

    As an aside, Klein has been excellent at answering my questions. I was expecting short, terse replies based on what I had read on forums, but they were both a few paragraphs long.

    I'll keep you updated when I get everything done. I'm excited!
     
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