Neck Pickup Help?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by The Ballzz, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi Folks,
    Here's the deal! I've got a home made ash bodied Tele that has a GFS/XGP body, Warmoth standard thin neck with 9.5" ebony finger board and stainless 6105 frets. While I've been a gigging guitarist for +/- 40 years, with Les Pauls and Strats, this is my first Telecaster and one of the most stellar guitars i've ever played, except......... the neck pup! It's just too bass/bottom end heavy.

    Pickup and control configuration includes a set of "Dirty River" pickups from Blake Wright Guitars:

    https://www.blakewrightguitars.com/pickups

    wired to a 4-way switch (bridge/bridge-neck parallel/neck/bridge-neck series) with good quality 250K pots and either a .022 or .015 cap. The two pickups are magnetically reversed from each other and I'm not sure if they are reverse wired or not. The bridge pup has been swapped back and forth with a "No-Caster" that I have on hand and there is not much difference, as the BWG sounds pretty awesome. The problem comes in when using the neck pup in any of the configurations, as it gets too bass heavy or treble poor, hard to say which. The neck pup sounds really good at what it was intended for, but just not my cup of tea.

    I'm hoping you folks may be able to make some suggestions for me to try out. I play mostly rock and blues (my band's name is "Rock N Blues") and just need a brighter, yet still kinda powerful neck pup to make this may favorite guitar of all time!

    What I'm really kinda hoping is that someone(s) here may be willing to sell me different pups to try that I could return for a refund, if I don't actually like them. Obviously, I'd pay the shipping both ways! I'd really rather not have a drawer full of pickups that I paid for and have no use for.

    Thanks Folks,
    Gene

    Here's a terrible pic of the monster in question:

    IMG_1168.jpg
     
    Sjnoring likes this.
  2. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Try a Fender Custom Shop Nocaster neck.
     
  3. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Have you adjusted the pickup height?

    Cavalier Pickups have 4 different flavors of neck pickups for Tele. Also, a return policy.

    Rob is very good to work with.
     
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  4. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    Yessir,
    I've tried height adjustments from bottom to top! Maybe I'll give Rob at Cavalier a call or email! anyone here in TDPRI-land have a "No-Caster" neck pup I can try, buy, beg, borrow or steal?
    Thanks Folks,
    Gene
     
  5. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    FWIW, I forgot to mention that I'd be willing to trade this "bassier" "Dirty River" for a pup that suits me to someone who's looking for a good, beefy neck pup, and possibly even throw my bridge "No-Caster" into the fray! Cash along with the trade could work for either direction, depending on what I'm getting and what I'm giving. The big deal being that I'd really like to try before I buy! The "dirty River" neck is 7.4 ohms and the "bridge "No-Caster" is 6.8 ohms. I'm a straight-up, honest guy, with no goofy shenanigans. Feel free to PM me with any offers and I will gladly share info with you.

    Thanks Again,
    Gene
     
  6. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    You would probably like my 2005 (they were still alnico, back then) MIM Standard neck pickup. Sorry, I can't part with it, but maybe someone else has one available for you to try.
     
    Bruxist likes this.
  7. Peter Rabbit

    Peter Rabbit Tele-Holic

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    Have you looked at the GFS pickups? I've used their really cheap Tele neck pups and they are not too bass-ey at all. Worth the 17 bucks for a neck and bridge set (part number OEMG004) in any event.
     
  8. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    You can try adjusting your amp to sound brighter, and turning the guitar tone down to tame the now too bright bridge pickup.
     
  9. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    Please see the part of my post where I say that I'm trying to avoid having a drawer full of pickups that I paid for and don't like!

    I'm weird kinda guy and yes, of course I could change amp settings to suit, but...... I regularly swap between Strats, Teles and Les Pauls with P-90s and humbuckers and each one sounds totally different. I'm endeavoring to make it so that each guitar retains it's own character with all the same amp settings for all. This is best accomplished by optimizing each guitar's set up to allow them all to play nicely together. I want each guitar to sound like what it is! And FWIW, I don't use stomp boxes for my tone!

    Thanks Folks,
    Gene
     
  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    That does not sound like a pickup issue at all. It sounds like a wiring problem. Any properly-wired Tele neck pickup will sound more "full" than the bridge pickup, but clear and bell-like. Even if it's too low it should not be muddy.

    If you are not familiar with wiring I suggest you see a tech before buying a different pickup to make sure it's wired correctly - and also to verify that the pickup is behaving normally.
     
  11. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    You could try disconnecting the neck pickup from the tone control then set your amp controls to
    desired sound for the neck pickup. Then roll back the tone control on the bridge pickup
    if need be to desired sound for the bridge. If you generally only have the volume controls on the
    Tele up partially then consider adding a bleeder cap or cap+resistor to the volume control.

    Most players with std. configuration seem to set the amp controls for the neck then do the
    tone control roll back when using the bridge or N+B but if one switches back and forth a lot then
    also have to readjust the Tele tone control setting.
    Removing the neck from tone control eliminates most of this.
     
  12. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    Blake Wright sent me a set of his "Claymore" pickups at a very reasonable price and I just used the neck pup. Way much Mo' Betta! FWIW, I don't like to have to use different amp settings for different guitars. I like, instead to get each guitar set up to sound the best of it's character, all with the same amp settings. This way, a humbucker Les Paul sounds like a humbucker Les Paul, a Strat like a Strat, a Tele a Tele, etc, etc! I never need a Tele to sound like a Les Paul, or vice-versa. This is best accomplished through careful selection of pickups, controls and caps, as well as proper setting of pup heights and so on. Also, I'm a "straight into the amp" kinda guy, no foot pedal/stomp thingies for me!
    Thanks Folks,
    Gene
     
  13. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I've been here...

    The Dirty River neck pickup says it's got a chromed cover but what is the base metal. My guess is if they don't tell you the base metal. it's brass which will pull all the top end and sparkle from the pickup.

    Whip the cover off and give it an audition. If it sounds the way you like, get a Nickle Silver cover or an open pole cover and you should be golden.

    If it still doesn't sound right, get a Custom Shop Twisted Tele. It's hands down my favourite neck pickup in the Tele. I have a drawer full of pickups and a Twisted Tele pickup in my guitar.
     
  14. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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  15. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    A Broadcaster spec Tele neck pickup should not sound muddy. Perhaps that pickup cover is the problem. My Kinman Broadcaster set uses a chromed plastic cover on the neck pickup and it has lots of sparkle.
     
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  16. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I LOVE TV Jones pickups!
    My favorite neck position pickup is their Supertron (see avatar).
    It is clear and full sounding, and dead quiet (hum-free).
    You, of course may need to route your guitar to accommodate it.
    Like you, I'm a working player with 40+ years of experience.
    I've never heard pickups I like better.
    TV Jones is also now making F style single coils.
    I haven't experienced them yet.
    You might check out his website.
    Good luck!
     
  17. Rich B in Tempe

    Rich B in Tempe Tele-Holic

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    Ive got & am super happy with Rob DeStefano's Lion King neck, wired to a 4 way. Its fat-sweet-musical- round- even plump but NEVER MUDDY!! Cavalier-mail him!!
     
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