Tele clarity with humbucker growl?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by digitalMagnetics, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    There is a topic here that really needs to be discussed and that is scale length. The SG (and most Gibsons) use a 24.75" scale length. Telecasters and Stratocasters use a 25.5" scale length. The longer scale/string length of the Fender requires a higher string tension to get the same notes. This is a MAJOR factor of what gives Fender their clarity compared to Gibsons. You will never get this sound out of your SG.

    When I read the OP, the first thing I though of was P-90's until I read that you tried and didn't care for them. I am willing to bet that the P-90's you tried were in a Gibson and not a Fender. I believe the guitar you are looking for is a Telecaster with P-90's.

    I built a Telecaster with GFS Mean 90's and it is one of my favorites for the reasons you mention. The Mean 90's have a Humbucker form factor so if I ever wanted to swap them out with Humbuckers, I could. Look for a MIM or Squier Tele that has humbuckers and swap them out with P-90's. (While your at it, upgrade the jack, pots, and switches if you are able). The GFS Mean 90's have a very good reputation on this forum.
     
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  2. Bitoblues

    Bitoblues TDPRI Member

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    Check out the Bare Knuckle Piledriver set. Bridge pickup packs a punch at full whack but rolls back for more typical tele tones.

    Coupled with a 4 way or 5 way could be cool
     
  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm fortunate to have the best of both worlds. I built this surf green beast 12 years ago. It has a volume knob and a 3-way switch:

    [​IMG]

    This one's a factory guitar and it's bit more complicated (too many switches and knobs), but it is a tone machine:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Racing Stripes

    Racing Stripes TDPRI Member

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    To get more of the humbucker growl, I just picked up an LP Special with P-90s. So far I am pleased, the P-90s are great. Check them out. I understand their fans, the P-90s definitely have the growl I wanted.

    Other reactions FWIW - I prefer the more Tele-like LP Special body to my thicker and noticeably heavier LP Standard. The LP Special neck is chunky compared to my Fenders, it's Gibson's '50s style. I prefer my Fender necks, they feel quicker but that wasn't a deal breaker for me. If Gibson's aren't your thing, I'm sure you could find a Tele with a P-90s. That might give you the best of both worlds.

    Cheers.
     
  5. gkmacdonald

    gkmacdonald TDPRI Member

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    Perhaps what you are looking for might be found through effects and amp settings. EQ settings can do wonderful things.
     
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  6. Gunter

    Gunter NEW MEMBER!

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    So I was trying to achieve the same thing with my telemaster a few years back; I tried several different bridge pickups and wirings and finally landed on this. Using a lil 59 in the bridge with 500k pots BUT when I split it for single coil, it comes up from ground through a 500k (473k?) resistor. The single coil sounds great and the humbucker sounds like it’s supposed to.
     
  7. Big Twang Theory

    Big Twang Theory Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    You mentioned the Lindy Fralin Sunbucker, and I think it'll give you what you're looking for. I was looking for a similar sound, humbuckers for a little more oomph (I had always been a single coil guy) but still had the clarity that I love in single coils. The Sunbuckers really are fantastic. They keep the snap of sc but have the girth of hb. I had them in a hh tele, but I like to swap pickups around in my guitars, so they now reside in a PRS SE semi hollow. That guitar was way too dark for my taste, but the Sunbuckers really brought it to life. Especially since I used 500k pots. The Fralin website says since the SB kinda straddles the line between hb and sc you can use either 250 or 500k pots, but I preferred the 500k to give it more sparkle. You can just roll the tone down if needed. Good luck!
     
  8. kjatexas

    kjatexas Tele-Meister

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    I've got a Tele with a CuNiFe humbucker in the neck, made by Telenator, (no longer in business). You might try one of the new Fender CuNiFe pickups. I have 1meg pots in mine, as Telenator recommended them for the best sound with their pickup. That's a Fender Broadcaster Pickup in the bridge.

    WRHB Tele.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  9. Gunter

    Gunter NEW MEMBER!

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    I also used a 5 way switch. Bridge HB, HB and neck, single, single and neck, neck
     
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  10. Bluzzjazz

    Bluzzjazz TDPRI Member

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    If you want HBs with clarity, I had a Lollar Mini HBs put in my Novo Serus J, they ring like a bell. Also, you could always pick up a Dusenburg Grand Vintage HB. I have that in a Star Player TV and it’s a phenomenal pup. Lambertone Cremas have nice clarity as well.
     
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  11. OmegaFauna

    OmegaFauna TDPRI Member

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    Of course, I was going to say p90, however, I’m currently building a guitar with a humbucker sized p90 in the neck (supposed to sound slightly darker than a standard p90) and a humbucker in the bridge. I keep seeing people and know a couple who swear by this combo and we all play essentially the styles you speak of. I’m excited to try it, so I can’t really vouch for it yet. But may be something to research for yourself. Good luck!
     
  12. soneedaze

    soneedaze TDPRI Member

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  13. Z-Guyeezz

    Z-Guyeezz NEW MEMBER!

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    Player Series HH. Put a TV Jones Classic Plus in the bridge and a Classic in the neck position. Good clarity.
    A2EA85A5-8FC8-4A6D-8ACB-E64063150458.jpeg
     
  14. Autofocused

    Autofocused TDPRI Member

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  15. soneedaze

    soneedaze TDPRI Member

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    I have an American HS from '05, I think. Last year, I replaced the neck humbucker with a Wide Range Humbucker from Revel. It rocks! I gave up the series switch. Totally worth it. Highly recommended.
     
  16. markal

    markal Tele-Afflicted

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    There is a lot of truth to this, but guitars multi-faceted systems, so scale length is not the sole determinant of clarity. I have a Gretsch 5620t with a Blacktop Filtertron in the bridge and Super Hilo’Tron in the neck. It has a 24.6” scale length, so even shorter than Gibson. But that guitar has as much clarity and jangle as any guitar I’ve played, including strats and teles.
     
  17. hectors-bell

    hectors-bell Tele-Meister

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    I have barden Modern Ts in one of mine, that can hit a pretty broad spectrum as well as jack ur car up!
    Just another avenue to walk down
     
  18. Hooked

    Hooked TDPRI Member

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    Must check out this guitar. I just saw one, and as all reviews say, its pics don’t do it justice. Read the reviews, it sounds like what you are looking for!
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...caster-2-tone-sunburst-with-maple-fingerboard
     
  19. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    That was my suggestion. Mini HB's are bright and clear. OTOH, if you want some growl, crank them with a little boost and you have HB growl.
     
  20. douguitar

    douguitar TDPRI Member

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    The very first guitar I assembled in 1986 was a "do it all" gigging guitar. Warmoth Strat alder body, Telecaster neck (because I found a deal on one - now has a Strat neck) Duncan JB in the bridge with a toggle coil tap and a Fender Strat neck pickup. Using 500k tone and volume pots and a treble bleed circuit. Y=It was essential to use the tone control, but I like that. It could handle everything from punk thrash to clean blues, super versatile, and a real work horse. Still have it, although equipped with a Strat neck now....And forgive my first attempt at a sunburst spray job!
    DSC02305.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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