Pickup advice

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by gavquinn, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. gavquinn

    gavquinn TDPRI Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I’ve got my roadworn tele, it’s heavy, 8.5lbs to be exact. It’s ash, but it sounds thin.

    I know that’s subjective, but to be clearer; it’s lacking in bottom end (bass frequencies) and it’s quite sharp on the top end.

    I’ve added brass saddles, changed all the wiring, changed to hotter pickups, but I think it’s the woods and the guitar itself. It sounds quite dry, even unplugged.

    Any suggestions for warmer, fatter, fuller sounding pickups to help slightly plump up the tone? I’m thinking a Strat pickup in the neck could do well.
     
  2. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Tele-Afflicted

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    Have you checked the values of the pots? If there's 500k pots in there it will make a difference changing to 250's.
     
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  3. gavquinn

    gavquinn TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, as said the pots and wiring were all upgraded, they're 250k.

    The guitar is heavy, I'm wondering does the denseness have something to do with it.
     
  4. Clifton C

    Clifton C Tele-Holic

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    The '59 Strat pickups sound great! Maybe you could order one for the neck position.
     
  5. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    I generally think of AlnicoII magnets when I want to warm up a tele. Maybe the SD Jerry Donahue in the bridge? Slightly overwound and tons of bass.
     
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  6. Jonburst

    Jonburst TDPRI Member

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    Just put a Dimarzio Pre B-1 in my bridge (ash, maple neck).
    So far, its killer! So much nicer than the lil 59 in there before (that was so indistinct and never rocked me, no matter what i tried with it).
    It's what I've wanted my Tele to sound like all this time.
    Huge, thick, and clear, some bite and snap, it's just a great full sound with bottom end, but isn't muddy. Well balanced.
    I played it next to a few Tele's, the old 2012 Standard with CS Broadcaster bridge; an American Original 50's (Pure Vintage '52 pups), and a 2017 Professional (V-mod pups).
    The Pre-B1 is completely different to all of those, louder and thicker.

    I'm moving away from the Dimarzio 36th Anni neck HB in there at the moment too, not sure which way to go (maybe a True Velvet, cause now i'm a Dimarzio fan).
    But that is very, very nice if you want a hum neck. Fat and creamy and a nice clarity.
    But my SG does the neck humbucker thing better, so I'm going back to a lipstick.

    Might also just be the guitar, though.
     
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  7. gavquinn

    gavquinn TDPRI Member

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    They're pretty bright, they're actually the brightest of the lot. I'm thinking maybe a 50s style, warmer, fatter, etc.
     
  8. gavquinn

    gavquinn TDPRI Member

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    What’s the true velvet like? Compared to your common or garden tele neck pickup?
     
  9. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

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    My answer to this kind of questions is always the same: cavalier pickups. Ask Rob Di Stefano, he can do whatever you want and he is a great guy to deal with.

    You're welcome :)
     
  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Start with the pickups as low as they go, level with pickguard, bridge plate, just not so they fall off the elevator screws. Raise the bridge until volume parity with the neck when switching from one to the other.

    Use the tone knob.

    Measure the actual kohms across the outer lugs of your volume pot. Is it high or low of the spec? They range 20% and it matters. I've even seen out of spec on the low side 125kohms but great sounding. You can put a fixed resistor across the outer lugs and knock it down -- alligator clips to test.

    What tone cap do you have on the tone knob? If you go bigger uF you'll get darker, a Tele usually starts at 0.047uF but a 0.068uF gets trialed sometimes. Going smaller gives more sparkle, high end.

    Just because you 'upgraded the wiring' doesn't mean you got what you wanted. measure the components and try different values.

    .
     
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  11. PARCO

    PARCO Tele-Meister

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    Are the pickups original? It's possible one of the pickups may have an open winding. If you have a multimeter test the DC resistance of the pickups.
     
  12. preactor

    preactor Tele-Meister

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    If possible, raise the pickups a little closer to the strings.
     
  13. Jonburst

    Jonburst TDPRI Member

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    Sorry, I'm not sure yet, still have to grab it from my supplier.

    I'll try do some clips of different things and post, though.
     
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  14. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    First question: What amp are you using?

    Anyway, my 2003 Fender AVRI ‘52 Tele weighs about the same as yours and it is one of the sweetest sounding guitars I own.

    As far as pickups go, the AVRIs came with Alnico III pickups. I currently have the original bridge pickup still in place (which is most likely Fender’s “Original Vintage” Tele model) but swapped in a Fender ‘51 Nocaster neck pickup (which is also Alnico III), and they work great together.

    That said, I once owned a 2011 Fender AVRI ‘52 Tele which was closer to 7lbs but I could never get it sound as good as my 2003 for some reason.

    So “heavy” certainly does not automatically equal “dull”, and the denser wood may even absorb some of the harsher frequencies by dampening them (thus warming things up), as outlined here:

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/the-coupling-effect-rev-1.922805/

    Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason why one sounds better than the other, but if you can’t get it to work for you then you may have to consider moving on at some point (I eventually sold the 2011)...

    Good Luck!




     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  15. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    found a cure for my tele..a RAT used just for EQ sweep..very slight movement takes the thin-shrill sound away..now i can actually use it
     
  16. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    " It sounds quite dry, even unplugged."......?????
    Sorry, I don't know what that means. Mimmo above mentioned Cavalier pickups....My choice is Bootstrap Pickups....both are excellent. But before I replaced pickups, I'd play around (a lot) with p/up height. IMHO, the body wood and/or weight has nothing to do with sound. There COULD be something wrong with pickups, but I would spend time adjusting them before taking everything apart. (again, apparently)
    Also, I would have to really be in love with a guitar to put up with 8.5 lbs. My #1 is 8 lbs, and if it wasn't almost perfect for me, I'd get something lighter. As it is, that 8 lbs sure gets heavy on a gig.
    While I don't really believe this, you may just have the proverbial sow's ear, and it will never be a silk purse......but good luck.
     
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  17. gavquinn

    gavquinn TDPRI Member

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    Have done, becomes very bright and shrill then.
     
  18. gavquinn

    gavquinn TDPRI Member

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    Unplugged it sounds bright and very spanky, percussive, shrill, etc.

    I just want to see about warmer, fatter pickups to warm and fatten it up. The weight isn't a bother for me, but I want to see what can be done to improve the sound here
     
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  19. gavquinn

    gavquinn TDPRI Member

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    Hi, what is this? What does an open winding mean?
     
  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was hoping you'd explain what "sounds quite dry" meant. Certainly not just you, but I'm often puzzled by people's descriptions of SOUNDS with WORDS. I realize that's usually all we've got, but it's still confusing. (at least to me) ;)
     
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