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Slightly lower output replacement for stock ceramics in MIM Tele

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by nashsed, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    The stock ceramics in my 2018 MIM Tele are somewhat useable. I’ve messed around with the pickup height to get some decent tones but I still find them to be shrill at times. I end up spending more time fiddling with my Boss Katana and the tone knob than I do playing.

    I play mostly blues & rock so I’m ok with losing a bit of twang. I like the high gain sounds of the stock ceramics but I could do with something with a bit less output to get better clean & crunchy tones.

    I’ve narrowed my options down to the following based on price and availability:
    1) Seymour Duncan Hot Tele
    2) SD Vintage Broadcaster
    3) Fender Original Vintage
    4) Tonerider Hot Classics
    5) SD Quarter Pounders

    I have no clue about how the pickups sound except for YouTube which tends to be unreliable at best. Please help!!
     
  2. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    I like quarter pounders but they are hotter than what you have now. The broadcasters may be closer to what you describe.
     
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  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Check what value pots are on the control plate.

    If they're 1 meg, swap them out for 250k. That's a lot cheaper than pickups, and a cause of shrillness in single coils.

    All of the pickups you nominated are hottish except OVs. They will all be somewhat middier than the stockers.
     
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  4. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

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    Quarter Pounds are likely much hotter and darker than what you have. I'd recommend either a Five Two or Alnico II Pro Tele set for the issues you are having.
     
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  5. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    If they are the ceramics, they should not be shrill, but should be fatter, being higher output pickups. I'd associate "shrill" with a low wind, low output cheaper set of pickups. If you want some pickups with less gain than the ceramic MIMs, but still overwound a bit to help overdrive your preamp section, look at the Tex Mex. IMO, the ceramic MIMs are excellent pickups, and cover a great deal of ground without icepick.
     
  6. funkysoul

    funkysoul Tele-Holic

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    i'm with TR hot clasics since 2008.i absolutely recommend them they sure do blues and rock sounds.and in this price.....ahhh.go get them
     
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  7. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    The pots are stock 250k.
    Point noted.

    It's my first Tele so maybe my lack of experience is what leads me to classify the sound as shrill. They've just got a lot more treble and spank than I've ever been used to.

    Maybe I haven't truly experienced ice-picky Tele tones to appreciate the ceramics :D

    But it's been an interesting learning curve. Hated the Tele at first and almost sold it. But over the past 2 months I've suddenly become a believer.

    My LP sounds so muddy to my ears now after playing the Tele regularly.

    So it's slowly on the way to becoming my #1 and was hoping a pickup change might seal the deal.
     
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  8. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    The limited experience I have had with Tonerider has been very positive but that was for humbuckers in a very cheap Epi.

    I would definitely look at Toneriders as replacement for cheaper import pickups.

    My only doubt was whether the Toneriders would be a considerable upgrade tonally from the stock ceramics?
     
  9. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    On my teles ...

    I have found that setting both my guitar tone and volume at 75-80 % provides the best results ... Many people dime them as I did for years... This makes a big difference ...
     
  10. MrYeats

    MrYeats Tele-Meister

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    Anything with Alnico III pickups will be the lowest, toniest pickups you can put in a guitar. Since there is no cobalt in the A3's there is no magnetic pull on the strings, giving you max sustain.
     
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  11. funkysoul

    funkysoul Tele-Holic

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    from 2006 i've done many parts casters, teles and strats.many pickups i tryed.fender,dimarzio,bill lawrence,S.D's.The TR has nothing less and beat the rest for the price
     
  12. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    True. I'm guilty of always keeping the volume at 10. I use the tone knob but rarely alter the position of the volume knob.
     
  13. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Guitar volume knobs don't work like we think they should - they alter the frequency response as well as the volume.

    Try running the volume at 1 or 2 out of 10 (seriously), back off the tone control till you hear some of the highs are reduced, then adjust your amp eq and volume to taste. That's how I've run mine for years now. My main tele is an MIM with the original ceramics, re-installed. I liked them enough that I found some others and put them in another tele. I use them for Johnny Cash to Stones to ACDC. The best thing about them for me, is they don't icepick easily, and are hot enough to get some smooth overdrive.

    If that doesn't work, you can try some different pickups. But it may not be the guitar. In my experience, some amps are more prone to icepick and staticy distortion that no guitar or pickup is going to fix. I'm pickier about amps than guitars and pickups as a result.
     
  14. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    Appreciate the advice. Will give this a try before i drop some cash on new pickups.

    FWIW, the amps I use currently are the Boss Katana 50 and Blackstar Fly 3.
     
  15. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’d get the Fender Original Vintage or Cavaliers.
     
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  16. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    My $.02 is:

    Fender Tex-Mex (Alnico V) set.
    Tonerider Vintage Plus (Alnico V) set.

    Both sets get lots of recognition for their rich, clear, clean tones and budget-friendly pricing (either set can be had for under a c-note).

    Good luck!
     
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  17. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The reason many people don't like backing off volume especially as Musekatcher noted is because you also roll back treble with the original wiring.

    Many people like a treble bleed circuit, me included, for that reason. You can lose some of the highs, but not all whereas on a conventional straight volume it loses highs as well as volume on anything less than 10.

    Some don't at all and there's debate as to best values for resistor and cap. Learning to get a full sound and back it off is a hint for Tele especially but also Strat, and even humbucker guitars.
     
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  18. guitarsophist

    guitarsophist Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    In the same situation I put in Tonerider Vintage Plus. I really like them.
     
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  19. vintage clubber

    vintage clubber Friend of Leo's

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  20. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    DiMarzio Area pickups.
     
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