Tele Bridge Pup in a Strat!

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by kingvox, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Alvin Youngblood Hart played a White Strat with a Tele Bridge pickup in it for this song on Sun Studios Sessions, had a awesome tone.
     
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  2. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I believe there are a few pickup builders who make a Tele bridge pickup that will fit in a std Strat pickguard route, I've seen some folks like you mount a regular Tele bridge pickup but that is a lot more work.
     
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  3. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    20180824_190421.jpg
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    I got a pickguard done on the router table.

    I chose to move the bridge pup as close as possible to the end of the pickguard to emulate how close a Tele bridge pup is to the saddles. I realized that pickup placement might be part of the Tele sound as they seem closer to the saddles than a Strat bridge pup is. Just a theory. I'd have to measure some to be sure.

    The exact angle of the slant can be whatever you want, but I chose to go with what lined up under the strings. I did make it a bit more extreme of a slant than I had before, and I like it a lot.

    I also made a new flat jack plate out of cherry and mahogany veneer...and superglue. Works great. Looks like a Stratoblaster, but the mini toggle is actually a Bass Cut:

    .0047uF cap and a 1M resistor with the legs soldered together and soldered across the bottom two lugs of the DPDT.

    It's awesome with fuzz and toggling it back and forth fast is a cool effect in its own right. Having a mini toggle switch there frees up room on the pickguard and having the switch down there by the jack feels more intuitive too. Hats off to Alembic.

    Once I get a chance I'll put some new sound clips up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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  4. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Just recorded a new demo. In the video you can see the picture of my new pickguard, and the new placement of the Tele pup.

    Tele pup is measuring around 8.7k, Middle Strat pup around 5.9k. For all the clips I'm either on the Tele bridge alone, or the Tele Bridge + Strat Middle. Still don't have it hooked up to the Bridge/Neck combo.

    I gotta say, I am really liking the Tele + Middle position for some things. Pretty unique sound, and IMO better than the stock Strat notch position.

    Bonus: Joe Gagan "Italia" wah demo at the end, using my Tele bridge pup, because I just couldn't help myself. Been obsessed with this thing ever since I got it a few days ago. Works great with the Tele Bridge pup.

     
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  5. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm assuming this position is what I am hearing at the 19 second mark.... if so, that's really nice! This coming from somebody that actually likes the stock Strat Quack :D
     
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  6. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I gotta say. I like that a lot! Since you posted the initial post I’ve been really critiquing the bridge pickups in my Strats and it won’t be long before one of my Tele pickups makes an appearance on on for the Strats for sure. Great demo by the way. My foot was tapping all the way through.
     
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  7. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Yep, that's right. I was pretty surprised at how good that position sounded. Thanks!

    Thanks! That makes me feel great. I've been playing Strats for years, and while I am just fine with a Strat bridge pickup, the Tele bridge just all around seems more versatile, and it seems to retain more clarity and punch with a higher turn count than a Strat coil does, for whatever reason.
     
  8. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Updated. I made a custom Tele pickup by cutting the top flatwork piece out of some pickguard material. It gives the illusion of being more Strat like, e.g. with how Strat pickups typically have covers that match the pickguard.

    I then made a custom pickguard with only a Strat neck and Tele bridge cutout.

    I really like the overall aesthetic. I also have to say that the lack of a middle pickup is pretty cool. The in between tones are very nice.

    I had to do some experimenting, but positioned the Tele bridge pickup in the pickguard so it should fit any HSH routed Strat with no need to rout further to accommodate the Tele bridge pickup. It has to be moved a little bit farther back for this to work. But I tested the loaded pickguard on several HSH Fender Strat bodies and it fit all of them perfectly, with the minimum amount of clearance needed for the pickup to fit in the rout.

    I like one volume and one tone knob, with the volume knob in the position the neck tone usually is. Didn't fit those to the pickguard yet. Overall very cool custom setup and I'm thrilled with the simplicity. I have a 3 way switch on the way with a regular white Strat tip that will complete this and make it a true "Tele in a Strat" guitar.

    I still argue that the only reason a Tele pickup sounds different in a real Tele is because the pickup is closer to the saddles, resulting in more treble and twang. A Tele pickup in a Strat has to be located farther away from the saddles. It will never be as close to the saddles as a real Tele. I think the only reason the ashtray bridge sounds different is because it puts the pickup closer to the saddles. Pickup location has a tremendous impact on the resulting tone.

    That being said, I'm very happy with the tone. It's a bigger and bolder sound, and especially since I like over winding my Tele pickups, you end up with a decent amount of bite but no "ice pick" high end, and plenty of power to push an amp to breakup. I'm a fan.

     
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  9. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Interestingly enough, last weekend I put a chopper T Dimarzio rail pickup in my strat as an experiment. The guitar has routes for HSS and all I had to do was shave the pickup base to fit inside the route and align with the opening. It’s ok but I’m interested in putting one of my single coil, Alnico 5 Tele pickups in now. I don’t mind cutting the base to make them fit but I may route the body slightly instead. It’s not a huge amount.

    I’ve got a modular pickguard system that allows for quick change pickups and controls. I’m getting one made without a Strat bridge pickup mounting holes and instead with a telecaster 3 screw mount.

    here’s a couple of shots.
    C90B6D1B-3246-4A4B-AE16-5C5656C34C4F.jpeg

    EEE956D2-10A8-47E7-BB0F-42983A8DC6F4.jpeg
     
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  10. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up TDPRI Member

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    No plate on the bottom of that one? Or is it just off for the pic?
     
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  11. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Not on that one... It’s a Dimarzio double coil rail pickup. Just a circuit board on the bottom. It does sound very much like a telecaster bridge if it’s in single coil mode but I do prefer the standard telecaster alnico 5 with a plate.
     
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  12. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    DSCF0861.JPG I modded this Squier Bullet Strat with a Cavalier Fat Lion in the bridge, DeArmond style GF for the middle and a SD dual rail mini that I converted into a Firebird with A2 Firebird magnets.
    I was worried about the Firebird being too dark with the 250k pots and .047 cap, so I put the bridge and middle on the tone pots and left the Firebird Volume only. It worked like a charm, I have a hard time not playing it.
    Later on I'm planning to make a BWB guard for it and will consider the reverse slant too.
    I've heard some Strat bridge pups that are pretty awesome, but I'll have a hard time not wanting a Tele Bridge pup instead from now on.
     
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  13. Syrinx

    Syrinx Tele-Meister

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    My main guitar for years and still a fave is a trem blocked strat with pickups I pulled out of a merle haggard tuff dog tele. the original texas specials-I also switched wires on the 5 way so I get tone on bridge and front/rear combo. I too am surprised this is not more popular.
     
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  14. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Very cool guitars @Zepfan and @awasson !

    There just may be no going back once you put that Tele bridge pup in there.

    Finished wiring up the custom pickguard I made. Volume and master tone. 3 way switch. No middle pickup and putting the volume knob where the Neck tone knob usually is, it plays like a dream. Nothing gets in the way of my hand at all.

    The master tone is on a push/pull pot that when pulled up runs both pickups in series regardless of where the switch is. Pushed down, everything works normally with the inbetween switch position being both pickups in parallel.

    Might get a demo up sometime. I wound the neck pickup pretty low and overwound the Tele bridge. They play well together. I am really liking the series mode a lot. Now that I essentially have a humbucker on hand at the pull of a switch, I can't imagine not having it. Back when I was in a band, series mode would've been great when covering songs that traditionally used humbuckers. This is a great humbucker tone.

    The parallel sound is super funky and quacky too.

    20200218_174011_HDR.jpg
     
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  15. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    A Duncan Twangbanger is a Tele bridge pickup with backing plate wound on a Strat bobbin. Vintage wind and a drop in fit, no surgery.
     
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  16. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

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    This is what I've used before, and I love that you don't have to configure some sort of mounting. Sounds like a Tele to me.
     
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  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Tele bridge pup is a bit wider, a bit longer and has more wire than the Strat bridge pickup.

    A Strat pickup can be overwound to around 7k for 42awg/8k for 43awg(limited to space to fit under the plastic cover) and have a base plate added to get that Tele bridge pickup sound, but paying the price for a custom pickup with a base plate vs paying for a standard Tele pickup with use of a file and chisel makes the Tele pickup more desirable to many. Our work is always cheaper than someone else's.

    Simply moving the 2nd tone pot from middle pickup to bridge pickup helps a lot for a Strat bridge pickup.

    Boils down to the players ability to modify or funds to buy/pay someone to mod.
     
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  18. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    On my strat I just installed the Duncan Twangbanger in the bridge. It's mid-7k with a steel plate, other than that it's a basic A2 strat bridge pickup as fas as I can see. As long as I pick near the bridge it really does sound "close enough" to me, I think to get all the way there (not that others would notice) you would need a tele bridge or at least a hardtail.
     
  19. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    The last part is key to get that "Tele Twang" - picking near the bridge. You can get similar results on a P90 LP Jr. or Melody Maker
     
  20. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just want to share another trick I found to getting a more "tele like" tone out of a strat bridge pickup.
    Throw a 1n cap (give or take a little) between the hot & ground. This takes the "ice pick" off the pick up, and lowers the resonant frequency a little.
    • This will vary depending on the pickups you have. I did this on a '62 re-issue... low output, vintage style pickups.
    • Before doing this... make sure the bridge pickup is connected to a tone pot already.
    • For reference... 1n is just a starting point. You can go up or down "a little", but not too much. To low a value and you won't notice a difference... too high a value and you loose all high end.
    I already had a mini toggle in my guitar so I connected it to that. It makes it really easy to compare the difference... and WOW, what a difference. My strat has a lower output to my '72 tele, but I have pretty much matched the tone on the bridge pickup!

    The nicest thing about this trick is it's a $0.50 part, not the cost of a replacement pickup!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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