Standard tele pickup configuration still the best IMO. Opinions?

Texas_tele2015

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Happy New Year and wishing everyone a healthy, prosperous and hopefully a better 2022. Wow can't believe its actually 2022! The Future.... sorry was just remembering as a kid thinking of 2000 and beyond brought images of a future like you would see on TV and in movies. It has not all been bad but sadly falls short of the imagination.

However as time marches on and the world changes its still fascinating that our beloved Telecaster has practically remained the same as it began with few major changes aside from the occasional pickup swap and maybe slight electronics mods.

Which brings me to my personal preference of two single coil pickups in a Tele. I have tried many variations of pups from the popular humbucker in the neck, popularized by Mr. Richards to the Brent Mason favored Nashville setup with the standard configuration with a Strat pickup dropped in the middle and still I always end up back at the original. Aside from my partcaster GFS Slick tele with a dual rail style humbucker in the bridge that is split with a push pull tone pot I am pretty satisfied.

What do the rest of you prefer for getting your signature sound? I'm a modder, so swapping stuff and rewiring things is enjoyable and a bit OCD for me. Something about "making it your own" has always intrigued me starting out on Van Halen and classic rock starting out. More damn addictive than drugs but slightly less deadly...comparatively lol.

Feel free to have a civil discussion, express your opinions and please be considerate of others differing opinions. Lets show that TDPRI can have engaging, thought provoking discussion without offending and berating each other as too many forums unfortunately have fell prey to.
 

ChicknPickn

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4-way switch, P90 in the neck, your choice in the bridge.

71C943F1-8D92-4717-A652-F3D4065CBF0D.jpeg
 
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Vibroluxer

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I had a 52 AVRI. I put a 1st generation Nocaster in the bridge and a Rio Grande Tall Boy in the neck. That was a most excellent combination.

I currently have a stock Baja Tele and it's near perfect
 

old wrench

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It's pretty hard to mess up the good old solid and simple two pickup Tele :).

I get to try out lots of different Tele variations of pickup combinations and also different scale lengths which make a big difference in the sound.

The one that I've been playing the most has a Tele single-coil bridge and an under-wound P-90 in the neck that balances out nicely volume-wise with the bridge - it's a real nice two single-coil combination that sounds different than the standard pair of single-coils

But what makes this particular Tele sound so different from most others is it's 24" scale neck - that short scale really sweetens up the tone.

For some reason the 24" scale neck feels just right on this Tele and makes it pretty much effort-less to play - it's been my regular every-day player since I made and bolted on the short-scale neck :)


.
 

brookdalebill

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I’m a respectful dissenter.
Stock Tele bridge pickups sound great, generally.
Noisy (hums), but great.
Stock Tele neck pickups, sound noisy, and weak IMO.
Almost anything else sounds/works better, again, IMO.
I like either a low wind PAF type humbucker, or a TV Jones Supertron.
I think they also help the middle (both) pickup option sound fuller and better.
Lastly, I like to repurpose the tone pot.
I essentially disable the tone pot, and replace it with a push/push phase reversal switch.
I can get that weird out-if-phase tone for My Girl, Third Rate Romance, and Her Name is.
 

nickmsmith

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I have 2 and 3 pickup Teles. Multiple of each.

But I keep reaching for my esquire style 1 pickup Tele when I want the Tele sound. Can’t really explain why.

It’s got the disparaged 6 saddle bridge, a spare neck that was essentially a castoff. 250k pots, no switch hooked up.

has no business being that magical, but it just feels right and sounds good.
 

Digital Larry

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I like simplicity in many ways, so I don't really like much more than 3 way switching. I really dislike 2V/2T on 2 HB guitars. I don't have a real Tele, just a couple similar types, but as with other certain instruments they have "THAT SOUND" which is great when you want THAT SOUND. I also am fond of the bass roll off on my G&L S-500 and Reverend Double Agent. I don't think any single guitar covers all bases.
 

chris m.

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I have had a lot of Teles wired in all kinds of ways. Here are my favorites:

1) Stock Tele, 3 way switch. Hotter bridge pickup, regular neck pickup. I like this because I get a nice growl from the bridge pickup, a sweet middle position tone where the volume drops just a bit, and then a jazzier neck tone where the volume drops even a little bit more. If I get all my amp settings dialed in just right then this really works for me. I still work the volume and tone knobs, but mostly I can switch between rhythm and lead tones just by switching from bridge to bridge+neck. If I want to really back it off I go to neck all by itself. Equal volume level in all switch positions is overrated, and thus there was good reason for originally making the neck pickup relatively "anemic", IMO.

2) Deluxe Tele with Telenator Mod 1 WRHBs in bridge and neck position. Sounds a lot like a classic Tele, but slightly fatter/rounder tone, with zero hum.

3) Nashville Tele but where you can still get N+B. This is great if you need Strat quack tones but don't want to bring a Strat to the gig.

But truth be told lately I'm digging on my Jaguar. I like all the tones-- rhythm circuit, bridge pickup, neck + bridge pickup , neck pickup, and also enjoy using the "strangle" switch, which is a high pass filter that cuts out lows for an extra thin tone. It's pretty cool having so many tones available as well as a vibrato bar.
 

nojazzhere

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Happy New Year and wishing everyone a healthy, prosperous and hopefully a better 2022. Wow can't believe its actually 2022! The Future.... sorry was just remembering as a kid thinking of 2000 and beyond brought images of a future like you would see on TV and in movies. It has not all been bad but sadly falls short of the imagination.

However as time marches on and the world changes its still fascinating that our beloved Telecaster has practically remained the same as it began with few major changes aside from the occasional pickup swap and maybe slight electronics mods.

Which brings me to my personal preference of two single coil pickups in a Tele. I have tried many variations of pups from the popular humbucker in the neck, popularized by Mr. Richards to the Brent Mason favored Nashville setup with the standard configuration with a Strat pickup dropped in the middle and still I always end up back at the original. Aside from my partcaster GFS Slick tele with a dual rail style humbucker in the bridge that is split with a push pull tone pot I am pretty satisfied.

What do the rest of you prefer for getting your signature sound? I'm a modder, so swapping stuff and rewiring things is enjoyable and a bit OCD for me. Something about "making it your own" has always intrigued me starting out on Van Halen and classic rock starting out. More damn addictive than drugs but slightly less deadly...comparatively lol.

Feel free to have a civil discussion, express your opinions and please be considerate of others differing opinions. Lets show that TDPRI can have engaging, thought provoking discussion without offending and berating each other as too many forums unfortunately have fell prey to.
My (former) #1, as seen in avatar, has gone through many iterations and versions, and at the time of the photo, sported three Strat-style pickups. The neck and bridge were wired "normally", like a Telecaster, and the middle was on a separate mini-toggle to bring in that Strat-quack sound. Unfortunately, I found the middle to be in the way of my picking. It's currently back to a conventional two pickup format. It has been replaced in #1 status by my self-assembled partscaster, with two Bootstrap pickups.
upload_2022-1-3_7-35-51.jpeg
 

BostonTeleGuy

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My 90's American Standard Tele has been through many pickups mods P90, humbucker, fralins steel poole, 3 pickups configs. Super switch with all kinds of wiring combinations. After over 20 years and $600 in pickups its back to how i bought in 99 with the standard config.
 

Wallaby

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I like the classic configuration myself.

Nothing wrong with variety, though!
 

Tele-friend

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Hello! Interesting topic.
I have three Telecasters in different pickup configurations: SS, HH and HSS. I love them all! It is impossible to tell which one I love the most.
The one I dont have is the Tele Custom with HS config, so HB in neck position, but wouldnt mind having one :)

P.s. P90 in neck position would also be cool!
 

yegbert

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I haven’t tried a whole bunch of non-traditional-Tele-single-coils; but so far, that seems about right. I’ve tried a Gibson PAF, Charlie Christian, and an SD P-90, all in the neck position. They were good but not summarily better. I have a Hilotron to try next, and then maybe I’ll try a firebird - in the neck. I’m not a fan of hot pickups in either position, or HBs in the bridge, of my Tele. I’ll take a relatively low-wound SC with a copper plated steel baseplate plate in a thin stamped steel bridgeplate 8 days a week, and twice on other days.
 

arlum

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Which brings me to my personal preference of two single coil pickups in a Tele.

I pretty much agree with your assessment because current production doesn't offer my very favorite. They may never have. I'm not sure. I've always wanted a better version of the Nashville Telecaster built in the higher range of Fender production shop instruments. Their best production shop quality set up exactly like the original 2 pickup Telecaster version with the ashtray bridge plate and 3 compensated saddles. My only additions would be a Strat pickup in the middle position and a 5 way switch. For whatever reason Fender usually puts the Nashville Telecasters in the lower tier of their production line and changes the bridge over to 6 individual saddles on the bridge plate.
 




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