1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Not yet sold on my CS '51 Nocaster pickups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by vedt, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. vedt

    vedt Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    567
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    North
    I recently installed CS '51 Nocaster pickups in my MIM Standard Tele. Now, while I really like the classic, twangy tone, I do not like the fact that the pickups are so low output. I find myself having to turn my amp or pedal gain knobs up quite a bit to get any sort of sustain.

    If I'm missing the point of Nocaster pickups, and they're not supposed to be used with much gain, is there another set of pickups with great twang that have a higher output?

    Maybe the Texas Specials?
     
  2. Strum und Twang

    Strum und Twang Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    269
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Location:
    Amarillo, TX
    Others may have different experiences, but I haven't found the Texas Specials to be particularly twangy. They are higher output than vintage spec PUs and they can growl, but I swapped mine out of one of my Teles because I missed the twang.
     
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,582
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
    The higher the output the lower the "twang factor". Maybe Nocasters just aren't for you. They're not an extremely low output pick, more medium, but if you went from the MIM ceramics to Nocasters there's more than just a small difference. Are you after vintage tone or higher output?
     
  4. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,836
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago
    If you have not already try dialing in the pickups by height below the strings to find a sweet spot.
    I hope you find a good sound with them.

    B
     
  5. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,152
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    I have a Nocaster in the bridge of one of my Teles, and indeed you need to use more gain at the amp if you're looking for that sound. A boost will get you there as well.

    I actually yanked the Nocaster and replaced it with a Lil' 59, but that only lasted for a couple of weeks before I switched back. The Nocaster doesn't have the same output as a hotter pickup, but it has much better note articulation, which comes through even with the gain cranked up.
     
  6. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,036
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    How much trouble is it really to have to turn the knobs up on your amp? Jimmy Page recorded Stairway to Heaven and tons of other stuff on vintage tele pickups, as did Jeff Beck with his tele.

    Unless you run out of gain in your amp and pedals, I'd get the pickups as high as you can and see if you can get into the subtlety. I have a pair of Nocasters in one of my teles and completely agree they are low output. Take some time with them to try to dial in and enjoy the subtleties. If you can't live with them, Texas Specials or something else would work OK.

    George
     
  7. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,273
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    atlanta
    all these guys are right; you start upping the output on a single coil and you start approaching P90 range. Not that theres anything wrong with that... I generally dont like lo output pickups, except in certain cases for certain things. Generally I go hotter. Theres not as much twang but I can live with that.
     
  8. akukulich

    akukulich Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    276
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Maybe you want to try something with Alnico 5 instead of the Alnico 3 like the Nocaster's have. My experience is that the A5 is a little more full sounding...not night and day, but a little different. I've had very good luck with the Lollar Vintage T.

    I also recently put a set of Don Mare pickups in my Nocaster Relic. There's now a Hot Bakelite in the bridge and a Donocaster in the neck, both A3, but smoother to my ear than the stock Nocaster pickups.
     
  9. Mellencaster

    Mellencaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    4,783
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    North Bay Ont. Canada
    I have to agree on your last statement and I like gain ,I kept switching back and forth between Nocaster to Dimazio virtual hot t for a little while until the Nocaster won me over . I just like how they get better note articulation.
     
  10. GCKelloch

    GCKelloch Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,240
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Location:
    MA USA
    Twang is somewhat subjective. Seems to me that the "tw" part of the word refers to the the sound of a string slapping against the fret. I'd think strong punchy lows and clear harmonics are preferred to a more woolly P90-like bass tone? The "ang" part indicates a ~2-2.5kHz Steely ring to the sustained note. P90's can have a very good dose of that range if the guitar cable capacitance isn't too high, but a Steel pickup baseplate ads that extra ring. Check out this entry about Tele bridge pickup baseplates: http://www.tdpri.com/resources/tele-bridge-base-plate-materials/

    A quality AlNiCo V core pickup with a Copper-coated Steel baseplate should optimize Twang and fundamental note strength, but there are pickups with AlNiCo II and other core materials that very twangy. Something between ~3-4.5H should do the trick nicely and hopefully have plenty of 4-5kHz for technique articulation available when used with a low capacitance cable. Honestly, I wouldn't buy a pickup from a vendor who can't provide the correct series inductance for their pickups. It's the most significant value to know. It's so easy to measure with right LCR meter, there's really no excuse for any builder not doing it.
     
  11. 73Fender

    73Fender Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,598
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    Rob DiStefano (Cavilier Pickups) who is a long time member here makes some killer pickups at a reasonable price. His Fat Lion may work for you. Great guy, and a very fast turnaround.
     
  12. Joe_Tone

    Joe_Tone Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Really there were several different variations as I understand it. The early 90s nocasters came with hot pups. The 2000s were toned down a bit and now they have the twisted tele pups .... which I have no idea on. :confused:

    I have a mid 2000s nocaster and the bridge pup is pretty bright through some amps, but sounds great through a 57 RI Champ. I'd like to see what options are out there as well .... it's nice to know what is a good match for the guitar.
     
  13. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    22,518
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Around
    I find that on a lot of fender pickups, the pickup in an oe guitar has
    a slightly diff variation than the custom shop fender pickups..of
    the same name.

    imho
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  14. vedt

    vedt Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    567
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    North
    Here's a question for CS Nocaster players: what kind of music do you guys play?

    I wouldn't think that Nocasters are one-trick twang ponies, but I also have not heard of many guys playing, say, classic rock with Nocasters.

    Or am I wrong?
     
  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,582
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
     
  16. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,152
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    I just spent about three hours with my Nocaster-equipped Tele plugged into a Mesa/Boogie DC-3. There wasn't any twanging going on, I can tell you that! If you roll back the tone knob a little bit, the Nocaster is a very good classic rock pickup, though I had the gain cranked up closer to Van Halen levels.
     
  17. vedt

    vedt Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    567
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    North
    Been spending more time with my Nocasters and they're growing on me. I found that rolling the tone knob back a bit gives me a sound that I like. I'll probably run an always-on boost at the beginning of my chain to bring the output up. Perhaps an EP Booster with the bass boost on.
     
  18. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,517
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Hackettstown, NJ
    I'll put in my $0.02 regarding "twang" for a tele bridge pickup:

    Rio Grande Muy Grande. More twang than the TS (also beefier)... I've had it in my tele for years, and I think it's the perfect bland of "twang" and "rock". It's definitely NOT a traditional tele pickup, but it's got more twang than a TS.
     
  19. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,582
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
    This is the clean boost I run at the head of my signal chain and in a band setting it's always on. It helps add both volume and fullness to any single coil Tele or Strat type pickup. Having separate EQs for bass and treble helps me adjust it for the different pickups and amps I use.

    This is an older version, the daddy so to speak, of the tc Spark Booster. For my purposes this is the key pedal on my board and the one I wouldn't want to be without. It's a great warm OD pedal as well if I decided to select that function. So I think your idea of using a booster pedal is a good one.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,104
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I have the Cs Nocaster bridge pup in my tele. One of the things I like about it is that I can set it closer to the strings than other pickups I have used because the a3 magnets seem to have less string pull. Unlike other pups I've tried that get muddy or make the guitar sound oit of tune when the pickup is raised up close to the strings, the Nocaster gives me a great, tight-bass growl on the lower strings.
     
    724SP likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.