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Question about pickup compatibility

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Pantone 333, May 31, 2012.

  1. Pantone 333

    Pantone 333 TDPRI Member

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    I have a Fender set of Tele pickups but want to replace the neck pickup with another brand. I read a while back on this forum that the pickups need to be compatible or else they will sound bad. What does that mean exactly and how do I ensure my new neck pickup will not be mismatched?

    I know it has something to do with polarity and the direction of the wind.
     
  2. threadmaker

    threadmaker Tele-Meister

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    I'm not an expert on matching pickups.

    What i do know is that as long as one does not overpower the other in output then the middle position should be fine, but they need to sound acceptable by themselves as adjusting height can help balance them however this affects individual sound of course.

    If you want hum cancelling in the middle position then one of the pickups need to be rwrp (reverse wound, reverse polarity)
     
  3. caferacer

    caferacer Tele-Afflicted

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    if the neck pickup is hotter wound so as to be louder than the bridge pickup, the guitar will tend to sound weird
    all the tele neck pickups I have tested (not many but more than a few) have all been wound the same way with the same polarity, it is the bridge pickups that can be either way
     
  4. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    "compatible" - to me - only means pickup wind direction and top polarity. the rest is up to experimentation. unless you intentionally want to mate two Very dissimilar pups, which goes beyond expirimenting.
     
  5. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    One thing to keep in mind is the output of the pickups. Some like to have them evenly matched, while others like having a big difference between neck and bridge (I'm trying that now; switch from neck to bridge, and suddenly it goes from smooth to snarly:twisted:)

    More important is that they not be out of phase to each other. If you have a separate ground wire for the neck, you can easily swap the leads if you're out of phase. I don't care about noise cancellation in the middle position, so I just make sure it's in phase.
    If you do want RWRP though, you're going to have to get out some strong magnets to change a pickup's polarity.
     
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