Tele neck pickups don’t suck

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Bluesensationist, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    The neck pickup on my Squier CVC Tele is a bit sweeter and more delicate than a Strat neck pickup, but still retains the same basic tonality IMO. It still has plenty of high end sparkle and attack. It's just not quite as fat and in your face as a Strat neck pickup. Here's a pretty good example of what I mean.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
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  2. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    They definitely do NOT suck! :) When I'm playing a Tele, I'm on the neck pickup about 80% of the time. I played Strats almost exclusively until a few years ago. One of the main reasons I got back into the Tele was the sound Guthrie Trapp gets on all 3 switch positions, but especially the neck, and especially on his more jazzy and bluesy stuff. Now, if I could only play like that...
    Here's an example:
     
  3. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I can understand your frustration. I don’t get it either. You still need a Strat for that neck pickup tone that only Strats can do, (Why is that?) but Teles have a neck pickup semi-sweetness that is unique. Far from useless, as far as I’m concerned.
     
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  4. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I play mostly with the neck pickup, because I like a full, rich, and sparkly bright tone. I also pick fairly close to the neck.

    Most of my Teles have humbuckers in the neck position and they sound awesome.

    I'm sure that some Tele neck pickups aren't so great. But many no doubt are.

    My one Tele that has an actual "Tele" pickup in the neck position sounds awesome too. It's a Cavalier Lioness neck pickup. Such great, full and sparkly tones with this guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. acrylicsuperman

    acrylicsuperman Tele-Afflicted

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    I dont get along with them. I ripped them out of every tele I have ever owned. For me and my style, they absolutely suck. That's not to say I haven't seen other people make good use of them , but they aren't for me.
     
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  6. midnight340

    midnight340 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I use my neck pu most of the time! (Rumpelstiltskin vintage 52 style) just love the sounds I get, often with tone slightly rolled off. The bridge with this set is pretty sweet too.
     
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  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Strat neck pickups are overrated. Teles neck pickups are superior!
     
  8. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    I think they sound great for the music they were intended for....Jazz,old school Blues and RnB and also clean rhythm playing in general.I love the Strat neck pickup sound because of how it cuts through the mix and has that classic weeping tone that SRV,Hendrix and Buddy Guy used so effectively but sometimes the slightly mellower neck pickup of a Tele works just right for certain types of songs.Check out Brewer Philips playing the neck pickup on his Tele getting a seriously great Blues sound:

     
  9. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Tele-Holic

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    guitars basically come down to geometry and physics. if i had a dime for every time someone claimed "guitar As neck sucks", or "guitar Bs bridge sucks", I'd be playing everyone's guitars. :)

    In my estimation, Teles and LPs share way more in common than Teles and Strats. And that's purely a geometry thing. two pickups, in relatively the same spots. sure, the lp has four pots to srew with, but if anyone can tell me that the middle selector of a tele vs a lp middle selector is a whole other universe (tonally), i'll chuckle.

    neither the lp or tele can do the 2 and 4 position sound of a strat..again, due to the design.

    the beauty is, there are HUNDREDS of pickup alternatives, for any of them. you can tailor your sound, according to any spec you desire. this wasn't always the case.

    rant over...to sum up; i like tele neck pickups. a3, a5, it doesn't matter. just don't give me some souped up version. they will never be as loud as the bridge pickup. they were never designed to do that.
     
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  10. Aztex

    Aztex Tele-Meister

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    I'm still fooling with mine height wise...

    Frankly I'd lean towards suck as ANY of those examples have a lot more in the chain besides Neck Pup to amp.

    I love the current tone of middle position so am leaving it now but will revisit next maintenance day...


    A
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  11. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's

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    I'm a strat guy and I don't think Tele neck pickups suck. In fact, when I haven't had a strat and have had a tele, I LIVE on the tele neck and middle positions. And I like both of them a lot.

    BUT...

    It's not the unique strong point of the tele - the bridge pickup is. So if you're primarily a neck pickup kind of player (as I am), the tele might not be your first choice. And there are other neck pickups out there that are as good and arguably better so, again, if you're a neck pickup kind of player, you might not look to a tele first. But it depends on what you play and the sound you're after - lots of jazz players seem to make a living on the tele neck pup.

    I like the tele neck pickup a lot, but I like the strat neck pickup better (depends on the strat, but my Robert Cray pickups are sublime, to me at least) and I LOVE the neck/middle position on the strat, which obviously isn't happening on a tele unless you get a Nashville (which is kind of a hardtail strat in tele clothing).

    My tele neck pickup is a P90, which is awesome, and combined with the P90 in the bridge position, gives me a reason to own a tele. Because I like standard configured teles a lot, but I've found that when I have a strat and a normal tele, I never play the tele. So I finally stopped buying them because I wasn't playing them. The one with P90s I play a LOT because it brings something totally different to the table.

    So, to each his or her own. If you like teles, the neck pickup is part of that equation and isn't a weakness at all. But if you don't like the bridge pickup a tele probably isn't gonna be your first choice JUST for the neck pickup...

    -Ray
     
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  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The neck pickup is the money.
     
  13. Aztex

    Aztex Tele-Meister

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    That's cheatin' :D

    !

    A
     
  14. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    Generally speaking I'd say Tele neck pickups are just about the most useable of any neck pickup.
    It's been rare that I've run across a neck humbucker that wasn't muddy.
     
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  15. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    For the most part, I’m a neck pickup player on all of my guitars and I’ll pick close to the neck because I tend to go for that smooth sweet dark tone you get from picking further from the bridge. The Telecaster bridge pickup is a monster and one of the few bridge pickups I like. That kind of sealed the deal when I decided I needed a Telecaster but I did spend the better part of a year switching neck pickups and messing with the tone stack.

    What resolved the tone OCD for me was getting the Fender TBX control in place of the standard tone stack. Now I get all the darkness I could want or I can shave the bass off and expose more of the highs. I’m running a Twisted Tele in the neck but I’ve got a Tonerider Vintage Plus and another non-name Alnico 5 neck pickup that sound very nice as well.
     
  16. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    That's the one I've got and I love it.

    Lots of good songs mentioned, here are some I've played/learned this year that sounded fantastic on my neck pickup through my Orange's clean channel:

    - Soul Man - Sam & Dave
    - The clean parts of "Island in the Sun" by Weezer, the dirty parts are better on the bridge
    - The Wind cries Mary (I can't stop playing this..)
    - Almost any Blues you can throw at it... been playing Freddie King and some Gary Clark Jr lately (clean, dirty, fuzz, whatever, often sounds good with the bridge too though)
    - Funk 49 - works with any pickup/combo though.
    - Wish you were here
    - Fingerpicking pattern off Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

    I did spend a lot of time fiddling with the height of my neck pickup to keep things from getting muddy.. in the end I think the solution was just getting better at playing. There are times now where it feels like you can control that mud/thickness/whatever and use it at appropriate moments.
     
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  17. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Hell yeah. Traditional tele neck pickups are great! That’s part of why I don’t get the twisted tele thing for neck PUs. If I want a strat neck pickup sound, I’ll grab a strat!
     
  18. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I don’t find the Twisted Tele sounds like a Strat at all. I find it sounds like the best Telecaster neck I’ve tried though. The Tonerider is very close and so is the Lace sensor I have from a Telecaster plus but the lace is lower output in comparison.
     
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  19. HolyTele Tube

    HolyTele Tube TDPRI Member

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    The TV Jones Starwood tele neck p/u sounds great. It has the guts of a T-Armond wound for tele size

    I also like the Dizmarzio Twang king in the neck.
     
  20. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    When I played it (on Baja teles in shop) I consistently had the impression that it lacked the sweet round sound of a traditional tele pickup and more of the aggressive sound of a strat neck pu. And “a dash of stratocaster sound” is just the way Fender advertises those pickups: https://www.mrjackguitars.com/twisted-teler-pickups?___store=en&___from_store=en

    But I fully respect your point of view, of course!
     
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