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NoCaster pickups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Sir Telemaster, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Sir Telemaster

    Sir Telemaster Tele-Meister

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    Hey everyone,
    A little background on my setup: My guitar is a 1993 Fender USA tele. My amp is a 1964 Super reverb. I use a Weber MASS 100 attenuator when things get a little too loud. Anyway, I'm thinking of grabbing a set of "custom shop" NoCaster pickups for it. The standard pickups in the guitar are a little too bright and thin IMO. Can anyone tell me how the NoCasters stack up to the originals output wise? Would this be a good decision for me and my set up, or should I keep it like it is? Looking for a fuller, punchier, less muddy, yet more in your face tone. Would these be a step in the wrong or right direction? Thank you!!
    Edit: What I play is a lot of Led Zeppelin, Stones, Who, ACDC, Allman Bros., CCR, The Doors, SRV, Eagles, Eric Clapton... I could go on all day... So, I'm not exactly looking for a twang. I'm looking for a saturated and dynamically rich tone. I just want a pickup that's a little more powerful and is not gonna thin out the tone as much. Hope this helps.
    Later,
    Sir T
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  2. akukulich

    akukulich Tele-Meister

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    In my experience, I'd say that the Nocasters won't get you where you want to go. I've had a CS Nocaster for a little more than 2 years and have recently been playing it a lot. I would describe the pick-ups as tending towards a bright, thin tone. It's taken me a little while to get used to that. In the right situation, it's a great tone. But, it's definitely not an 'in your face' kind of tone. You might want to try something like the Lollar Special Ts.
     
  3. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    I think you might enjoy a set of Rob Di-Stefano's Cavalier Lion pickups.. I got one of his "Nashville" Lion pickups for the bridge in my Tele and it is absolutely perfect for me.. He has them wound to suit anyone's taste, imo.. He is a member in good standing here and his pickups have a big following. Just Google 'Fret Tech",... or "Cavalier Pickups".. Rob likes to discuss your needs and delivers in spades at a great price.
     
  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I guess I'll be the voice of contrarianism here. I have CS Nocasters in two of my Teles. I've never experienced them as being thin or harsh sounding. If anything they have a little more mid range push to them than some others I play which actually makes them a good rock pickup yet there's still plenty of twang in the bridge.

    Like most lower output pickups they're sensitive to height adjustments and if the tone is to thin then raising the pickup height to a more acceptable level usually solves the problem. I've found many Teles with the bridge pickup set far lower than I run mine. They're still a bright pickup but not as much as my Keystones for example. But neither is ice pick shrill when adjusted correctly.

    Rod Parson's suggestion of a Nashville Lion is a good one. I play that one in my Esquire. That will still keep you in the tonal realm of a Nocaster but with more grit and higher output when you push it. They may be custom wound but in that category they're a bargain and nowhere near as expensive as many more well known models. Rob can tweak them as needed too.

    The Onamac Tall Blues set I used in my Nashville also has the benefit of being a grittier sounding rock and blues pickup that still has some twang to it. Those are also very good custom wound set and run $95. Kerry Learned the winder can also tailor them to a specific guitar and tonality if he knows what you're after.
     
  5. Turtletwang

    Turtletwang Tele-Meister

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    Yes, they are lower output, but I wouldn't describe them as bright or thin. IMHO, If you're looking for a fuller, punchy sound, the Nocasters combined with a good overdrive pedal may be the ticket.
     
  6. Sir Telemaster

    Sir Telemaster Tele-Meister

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    Let me say something about my amp. The SR is a tricky one, especially with a tele. I am usually plugged into the Vibrato channel with the volume up high when I'm with the band. (I have an attenuator, MASS 100, it's great by the way) I'm fully aware of the affect this has on tubes, so I don't do it often. The treble is at about 5, mids at 6, bass at about four. It's an AMAZING saturated lead tone when I'm playing leads. ( I'm a rhythmlead player, meaning I play both) and then when I try to switch back to rhythm playing, the tone is farty, boomy, and overall bad. I usually have the volume all the way up on the guitar and the tone about halfway. I've experimented with other combinations, but if I turn the tone up too high, the tone is VERY bright. If I turn the volume down, the tone thins out. The bass being so high is what gives me the saturated lead tones, but if I turn the bass down even a little, the tone thins quite a bit. Very weird. I just figured it could be something as simple as the pickups. I've heard the '93 pickups were sub-par. Thought the NoCasters were cool. Suggestions? Ideas? It's all appreciated.
     
  7. twangking

    twangking Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds like the amp isn't a perfect fit either. I really like my Budz Purebred pickups. They overdrive nicely and gives me tight rhythms, saturated leads and wonderful cleans.
     
  8. Sir Telemaster

    Sir Telemaster Tele-Meister

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    Money is no object as well, as I am looking for a permanent addition to my rig. And because of this, it's gotta be good. I'm sure you all more than understand.
     
  9. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    "". I'm looking for a saturated and dynamically rich tone.""

    hmm, you sure you don't want something with humbuckers ?

    i have owned a guitar that had CS Nocasters, and they sounded terrific, but i would not call them saturated.. dynamically rich.. yes...but saturated makes me think of a les paul or something.

    maybe we are tripping over semantics... dunno.

    i currently have a tele with bill lawrence keystones. i think they are sort of close to what a nocaster is... great sounding, dynamically rich pickups... make a tele sound the way its supposed to, in my opinion.
     
  10. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

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    I can get any sound I want with my Nocasters. Great dynamic range and they push an amp or take pedals well.
     
  11. jHawkTX

    jHawkTX NEW MEMBER!

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    RIG CHOICE.

    artists and musicians are easily seduced into technical and exotic aspects of EQUIPMENT CHOICE. Classic albums like Led Zeppelin I and Beggars Banquet relied on basic Telecasters!
    subsidize anybody who actually accurately measures performance of pickups and other guitar and amplifier parts.
     
  12. jHawkTX

    jHawkTX NEW MEMBER!

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    RIG CHOICE.

    artists and musicians are easily seduced into technical and exotic aspects of EQUIPMENT CHOICE. Classic albums like Led Zeppelin I and Beggars Banquet relied on basic Telecasters!
    subsidize anybody who actually accurately measures performance of pickups and other guitar and amplifier parts.
     
  13. Maxwell Street

    Maxwell Street Friend of Leo's

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    Beggars had a lot of LP Custom, ES 330, Hummingbird and non reverse Firebird VII...
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  14. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

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    I compared compared a few different pickups, including Nocasters, though no-load wired guitars, and played them through amps that have no tone circuit (like the 5F1) or that had the tone circuit bypassed.

    What I found was that the Nocaster pickups were the brightest by far. But this is based on my hearing, playing, strings, etc., so that the old YMMV rule applies.

    As far as "how the Nocasters stack up to the originals output wise," I asked myself this same question, and I'm not sure I answered it, since I haven't played an original Blackguard since the 1960s.

    I don't think the CS Nocaster neck pickup is super close to authentic, since it uses Alnico III, and according to Nacho, the originals were Alnico V. There's also a nickel cover on the CS Nocaster neck pickup, which is regarded as brighter and clearer than the chrome plated brass on the originals, which is generally regarded as darker and softer sounding.

    There's a little bit of "blind date" in every pickup swap. Good luck!
     
  15. Sir Telemaster

    Sir Telemaster Tele-Meister

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    Maybe there's some confusion going on. I love the rig I have now. I think it sounds great for solos and leads, the thing is, when I play rhythm parts on the lower strings, then tone gets very flabby and loose. What I'm looking for is something that's gonna tighten the rhythm parts up a bit. I just thought different pickups might be the way to go. That's all.
     
  16. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

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    Been there. And I had CS Nocaster.

    My sentiments exactly. CS Nocaster is fine pickup though, but just not what I need.

    +1

    Go with Fat Lion or Nocaster Lion. I use pickup with similar specs like Fat Lion. It's the recipe (you can get similar approach from other custom handwound pickups too like Don Mare 0038 or 1950 Black Rope). It gives exactly what you want: in your face yet still dynamic. No pedal. Just guitar straight to amp.
     
  17. Sir Telemaster

    Sir Telemaster Tele-Meister

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    "No pedal. Just guitar straight to amp."

    That's the kind of setup I like. I've tried various pedals and IMHO they just lacked something. To each his own... I emailed Rob DiStephano and this was his reply to me:

    "for the tele neck, either a lion king (covered) or lioness (uncovered). the uncovered version sports a bit more high end (as expected, since metal ground covers shunt some amount of treble to ground, and why we pulled off the covers of our les paul pafs back in the 60's and 70's) - it has a tone that's closer to a strat neck pup. either lion neck pup will mate very well with any lion bridge pup. both styles of tele neck pup offer more treble than any typical covered tele neck pup.

    for the tele bridge, either the nashville lion or the fat lion. the difference 'tween the two is that the nashville can do both country and rock extremely well, with a "thicker" high end that will happily twang away. the fat lion is a monster, with lots of mid-range and was designed for the hard rock, deep blues, heavy metal kinda guitarists, and it's not really a twang machine. a compromise would be a nashville on steroids - boost the turn count to emphasize the mids a bit more, but still allow some twang. "

    He seems like a great guy and I think I'll get a great pickup at a reasonable price, and if I have any issues, I'm sure he will be more than happy to help.
     
  18. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    Rob's pickups are definitely 'boutique' quality..., Just not the booteek price... I have never heard a complaint over his pickups or the advise he gives here on TDPRI. I love my Nashville Lion.. It Twangs and Rocks... His advise to me was to get it reversed wrapped, etc., so it would be hum-cancelling in the 'in-between' switch position with my Texas Special neck pickup... And that 'in-between' position sounds just amazing to me....
     
  19. Sir Telemaster

    Sir Telemaster Tele-Meister

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    Interesting... I think I'll go with a Covered Lion King for the neck and he said he would overwind a Nashville Lion for me for the bridge. A Nashville Lion on steroids, he calls it. He also advised that I get a four way pickup selector. Here's what he said:
    "if you have a more than casual need for a big, loud, true humbucking tone, then the 4-way is pretty much a smart move.

    i would suggest the nashville lion on steroids - it will give a nice, fat single coil tone that's reminiscent of an older gibson p90. "
    Shouldn't cost more than 150$. I hope I get them soon!! Thanks guys.
     
  20. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds cool. Tell us what do you think of the set when you get them, especially the bridge pickup.
     
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