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Squier paranormal cabronita tele pickups, new findings owner may want to hear

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by fender4life, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Anyone who's followed the 2 threads on these likely read my posts about the pickups and how the stock ones have congested low mids and muddy, don't clean up well at all with the guitar volume, etc. You may also recall one is dead and unfixable due to a design flaw. I also mentioned how i was able to use strat pickups under the covers and it sounds brilliant like that. And that i ordered 2 new ones from china that look like the same but for a lack of tape on the coils. I bought those after the one went dead before i go the idea for the strat pickups, and i figured i'm glad i ordered them anyways so if i ever sell it i can put those in.

    Thats the short version believe it or not, and theres more to it but no matter. Thats not what i am actually posting for. The new pickups arrived (can't believe how fast, said 1.5 months took a week) and i threw just the bridge in for the heck of it because they looked a bit different and wanted to see if they sound the same as the stock ones did. Not at all !!!!! And lemmie tell ya, that's a GOOD thing ! These actually sound very different, READ: very good, far far better then the stocks. For under $30 for the pair i would urge anyone who isn't thrilled with the stock ones to try these. Even if you DO like the stocks (god knows why anyone would!) I think you will be thrilled with the improvement. They look different in a few ways....the flatwork is plastic rather then fiber which may not be preferable but has no bearing on tone apparently, the magnets are smaller which i feel may be the main reason they sound so much better because the stocks sounded far better once i removed one magnet. Theres no tape around the coil and they don't appear to be potted which also may be a tonal benefit, and they don't squeal so no potting, no matter.

    Now i'm not saying these sound like a different type of sound to the stocks....just a hugely improved version of it. I roll down my treble bleed equipped volume control and they clean up real nice, something the stock LITERALLY was 90% worse at. Almost not at all, just dull mud mostly. As i said i only put the bridge in so far and i used the neck pickup because it;s a bit lower wind and with how the stocks sounded i figured i wanted less output and could later unwind them a bit. Or maybe leave the 8.1k in the bridge and unwind the 8.8k one down to about 7.5k. I am also using a 500k pot with these and was using 250k with the strat pickups. So being the stock pot is 250k, if anyone does this or even if u just keep the stock pickups i'd put a 500k in there, it helps.

    Anyways, i was loving the thing with the strat pickups in it, but i think i may go with these ! If i had to use it with the stock pups i would have sold it, with these i am now no way selling this thing, if that tells you anything about how much better they are. I still may unwind them a bit because they are still hot like the stocks but much more usable and clean. But i think i will love them at about 7.5k. They sound like O90s which is basically thier design tho with a shorter coil, and I love P90s. The stocks didn't. They just sounded like mud.
     
  2. jeffp13

    jeffp13 NEW MEMBER!

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    Hi. I’m new to this forum, and I read your post about the pickups. First, I agree 100% about the fender 65 pickups in this guitar. I got some and was so excited to put them in and hear some great fender chime. Like you, all I got was high end sizzle and glare and zero mids. Just shockingly bad. I pulled them out and put them on eBay within an hour of installing them. No joke. A total waste of money.

    I’m sorry if you already did this, but would you share the link to where you bought your Chinese replacement pickups? I definitely want to try them. Thank you!


    Jeff
     
  3. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Sure, but even tho they are better than the stock ones i don't think they are very good. I did at first but it was just because it was an improvement. But did u read what i said about putting strat pickups in it? After i began to realize the new chinese pickups were better but the guitar still did not sound great i got the idea that strat pickups might work and once i saw the polepieces on a strat p/u align with the holes in the stock jazzmaster covers i found a way to use them. The short version is, the guitar literally is like a whole different guitar and worlds better then even those chinese p/u's i bought. I will never go bad to that junk. It sounds like it could be a high end guitar with strat pickups. Only thing i think it needs now if the strats i used were a set of low wind fenders i already had. They are rather bright because the guitar IS bright. So i put a A3 strat pickup i had in it and better. But i think it needs a higher wind and A5 IMO is better for this. So i'm going to get some higher winds for it like a A5 7.5k pickup. I will likely get a bootstrap for the bridge and the neck a slightly higher wind, maybe 6.8 or thereabouts.

    So i would HIGHLY recommend trying strats pups. With the chinese pups i still didn't want to pick it up over one of my other 2 teles. Now i pick it up as much and i believe with the RIGHT strat pickups it will be even better. But if you wanna try the chinese pickups here ya go.... http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=383882489378
     
  4. jeffp13

    jeffp13 NEW MEMBER!

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    Thanks for the quick reply and the helpful advice. Maybe I’ll see if I can find some affordable strat pickups from Guitar Fetish and give them a shot. I still like the guitar as-is, but I’d like a bit more definition and chime.
     
  5. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    The difference is nite and day. With the stock or even those aftermarket chinese ones it sounds nothing like any fender. With strat pickups it sounds like strat meets tele with all the chime u could ask for. Like i said tho, i'd look at some slightly overwound ones since it's a bright guitar to begin with. I'm considering bootstraps, as i like what i've tried so far and they are inexpensive.

    As to how, let me explain how to install them. I take some foam like that grey stuff that usually comes in pickup boxes. I cut a piece that is about a 1/2 thick and about the size of the cavity. Put the springs in the cutouts in the cavity and the foam will keep them in there as u lower the pickup in. I put the 4 screws into the cover then put the strat PU in and put the polepieces thru the holes in the cover and hold it in place as i lower the assembly into the cavity while guiding the screws into the springs and drop it down. Might take a couple tries because as you pull the fingers that are holding the pickup in away the PU will wanna fall out of the polepiece holes in the cover. Once you get it in right push down against the spring pressure with one hand to keep the PU in place and tighten the screws with the other hand. It;s simple but might take a couple tries.

    I would suggest like i said a bit overwound for the bridge. Probably one of bootstraps (and they're cheap... $31 shipped or $52 shipped for a whole set !) 7.4k A5 bridge models would do well and probably what i will be trying. If too much i will unwind it a bit. But i think those would be great in the bridge. An A5 at somewhere about 6.2-6.8k would be good in the neck. If you haven't done it by the time i get them i'll let you know how it worked out. It's good as is right now but it is bright and i think overwound strats will be perfect for it. I think u may be amazed at how much better it sounds with strat pickups.
     
  6. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you comparing 2 different sets of pickups using 2 different potentiometer values?

    Yeah, they're gonna sound different.
     
  7. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    No, and the difference here was huge between the strat and stock P90 type pickups regardless of the volume pot, which by the way i tried both 500k and 250k with all of them.....the stocks, the chinese ones i ordered that were similar, the strat pickups and the fender jazzmaster pickups. All sets were tried with 500 and 250k and trust me, the difference was not that at all. That makes a slight difference one way or the other depending on the pickups, but not nearly the difference the pickups themselves made. That was nite and day aside from the 2 similar designs, the stock and chinese ones that were basically the same other then magnet size. And even that difference was huge compared to pot value.
     
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