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Tele Noob Neck Pickup Question

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Augustin187, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Augustin187

    Augustin187 TDPRI Member

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    I was watching a rig rundown - I think it wasssssss The Edge.

    his tech made a comment about how no one ever uses the tele Neck pickup.
    I thought he must not have heard of me! I mostly use that!

    I guess I should good tele neck vs bridge pickup. But.... I thought I’d see what by tele forum gang might have to say.
     
    darth_tar and telestratosonic like this.
  2. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    There have been a couple of threads about this recently. I'm one of those that uses the neck pickup 90% of the time on any guitar
     
  3. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Meister

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    They’re just dramatically different pickups, so they are polarizing by default. If I could only choose one pickup on a Tele.. we know what the answer generally is for that.

    if I could only pick one pickup on a Strat or hollowbody, it’d be the neck pickup.
     
  4. takauya

    takauya Tele-Meister

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    The stock Tele pup is very pretty sound in my book, and I think it's the most acoustic-like sound pup in an electric guitar too. I don't get why anyone would hate it, but I believe those are SRV wannabe Strat players, who never stop yelling how much they hate it. lol
     
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  5. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    i love the rich sound of the neck pickup on all my guitars and use that or a middle position more often.

    I wonder if the live playing with others in the sound mix create conditions where a more distinct, cutting tone of the bridge works better.
     
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  6. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    I built my friend's telecaster. I used Tonerider A5 vintage pickups, 4 way, grease bucket and treble bleed.

    We played a Facebook live show last week and I was thinking to myself "damn that sounds good", also thinking he was using one of the "both pickups" settings.

    When I asked him after, he said he was mostly playing just the neck pickup. He was still getting some clean but thick tones.

    Damn, I built a nice one for him! It has become his #1 over his Strat in just a few months.

    He's an awesome guitar player, really uses every bit of the tonal capabilities I put in there.
     
  7. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I’m. “Wannabe SRV Strat player”, Lol! But I’ve found the right Tele neck pickup to be a wonderful and versatile thing. I don’t like the overly dark ones - I’ve heard some with no top end and quite muddy (vintage brass covers, probably). But I don’t wish it was a Strat neck pickup. The “right” Tele neck pickup has some bite in the top end when I dig into the strings, but also a smooth and jazzy bottom end that a Strat neck pickup does not have. With the right amount of bite you can still cop some convincing SRV and Hendrix tones, but also do so much more with it.

    Count me as a Strat player who is a fan of the Tele neck position.
     
  8. Scotty 2

    Scotty 2 Tele-Holic

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  9. Scotty 2

    Scotty 2 Tele-Holic

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    Good thought Wallaby but there are other ways of getting around that cutting tone instead of running bridge PU wide open all the time,,,,,,,,,,,
     
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  10. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If that was the case, wouldn't EVERYBODY own a esquire ??

    :D
     
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  11. doctymie

    doctymie TDPRI Member

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    I almost never use the bridge pickup. I probably live 70% neck, 30% middle.
     
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  12. Augustin187

    Augustin187 TDPRI Member

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    Love the responses. You know as someone with a less guitar focused community in music I can get stuck on information from videos and whatever come across my brain... it’s great to check in here and have that freed up. Of course I’m all about if it sounds good to you it’s good. But it’s nice to hear people have a common experience.

    I started a new thread about a specific pickup question I have... didn't want to muddle this up for future searchers on the subject.

    take a peak if you know your tele pickups!
    thanks all!

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/another-pickup-thread-av52s-62-customs.1064665/
     
  13. Smoothlikebutta

    Smoothlikebutta TDPRI Member

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    What was the Edge's rig rundown like? ... just going through a series of delay pedals & effects?
     
  14. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    I never use the neck p/u on its own, but would be lost without the mid position - probably spend 70% of my time there.
     
  15. Augustin187

    Augustin187 TDPRI Member

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    I’ll rewatch it and make some notes ;)))

    it’s fun. You should check it out. Lots of gear and guitars!
     
  16. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    Depends on what kind of music you are playing. Back when I played with a wedding band, a stock Tele neck pickup was perfect for faking my way through a jazz set, and the middle position gave me a great funk sound.

    These days I play classic rock. I've found that when my rig is set to get a good rock sound on the Tele bridge pickup, a stock Tele neck pickup sounds like crap, wooly and dark. But I like a hotter Tele neck pickup set farther from the strings, and I like some of the "faux Strat" options like DiMarzio's Twang King.
     
  17. kinkstah

    kinkstah Tele-Afflicted

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    The difference between the neck and the bridge PUs is, I guess, one of the reason why I love Telecasters: such a wide range of tones by a simple flick of the switch (up to a point that I almost never use the middle position. For me, it's the bridge OR the neck pickup, plus a fairly good amount of dialing the knobs)
     
  18. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

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    I like the thicker tone, more low end, less brittle. So in general on any guitar or bass I lean neck heavy.

    The only hard rule is whatever I like must be pretty cool. I am OK if you want to apply that rule to your own situation.
     
  19. Mxrk

    Mxrk Tele-Meister

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    For me this is the main thing that keeps me buying teles. You get two very different but useable sounds that don’t get in each other’s way, and a middle sound that isn’t quite either of the other two.

    I do prefer the neck though, if you put a gun to my head.
     
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  20. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    As someone who covers about 100-years of music in a cover band, let me just say that if you have a good neck and bridge pickup set they get used almost equally depending on what song you are doing. I find myself using the middle position quite a bit as well. There is something about a good pickup combination, when they work together you can cover a TON of ground. I never thought I would get a convincing Strat position 2 and 4 from a standard Tele...but you can if you have the right pickups and set the tone knob just right. I play Sultans of Swing on a standard Tele neck pickup (CS '51 NoCaster or 2020 CS Blackguard [the one in the 70th anniversary])...you really wouldn't know the difference. Honestly it just depends on the song.

    I would also note that there are several famous people that you can tell use the neck and combo positions. One of which is obviously Brad Paisley, just listen through an album and you can tell which songs he uses it on. Specifically on Play. Another one is Ol' Waylon, watch him live, he occasionally changes. The major time I noticed it was the 1990 Highwaymen concert DVD. You can see that the switch is very much in the neck position. You can also hear it on some of the older songs off the albums. He does a lot of pickup changes in the "Buddy Holly Medley" off of I've Always Been Crazy along with a few others off that album. You can see James Burton change the selector on Roy Orbison Black and White Night, he literally changes mid-solo. I make that distinction because it was a relatively obvious motion. I'm sure there are others I just can't think of them off my head.
     
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