Tele pickups - vintage or gen4 noiseless?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by UncleGizmo, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. UncleGizmo

    UncleGizmo TDPRI Member

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    Looking for anyone who can give a bit of a comparison and/or suggestions...

    I have a stock 40th anniversary tele. Love the guitar, hate the 60 cycle buzz (especially with boost/comp effects). I was looking to upgrade with vintage noiseless pickups, which just had a big price drop on Sweetwater. Then I saw a “gen 4” version, about 1.5x the price, touted as true single coils with better noise reduction. Output was listed as 10.6 ohm. The gen 4 seem to have a 3rd wire coming out of them though, and the vintage noiseless don’t.

    I can’t find a decent YouTube demo or comparison of these p/u’s. Anyone know about either of these pickups? Opinions on either version?

    I play lots of styles but use the tele mainly for classic rock, funk and a bit of country. Every once in awhile I’ll dip into a higher gain song (pop punk).

    Any/all suggestions welcome. Thanks!
     
  2. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you don't want to switch pickups there are lots of pedals that attempt to deal with this.

    I absolutely love the EHX Hum Debugger... it's pretty much a transparent off switch for single-coil buzz for me. Any amount of gain is fine.

    I don't know if some of the Hum Debuggers were better than others.. mine is pretty new from 2017, when they first came out they got panned and I do wonder if they were silently updated at some point.

    There are all kinds of noise gate type things too.. but since the hum debugger works for me I'd have no interest in a gate.. a gate has too many other gotchas.

    Any kind of pedal has the benefit of meaning you don't alter the guitar, and it works with other guitars too. And you can always switch the pedal off.
     
  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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  4. UncleGizmo

    UncleGizmo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. Any details on the issues they had with previous gen?

    Also what boutiques do you like that have a bit of midrange to them without losing that clear spankiness of a tele?
     
  5. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I thought Gen1-3 sounded sterile. But, that is to my ears.
    Too plunky or something.

    Cavalier nashville, Lollar 52, SD vintage and the old reliable nocaster

     
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  6. UncleGizmo

    UncleGizmo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, yeah I have a pretty solid NS when I’m playing on a full board. What begat this problem is I was playing out with my small board, which had my compressor upfront in the chain and my NR in a pedal that was part of an fx loop. So it wasn’t always on, couple that with a mediocre power source that included stage lights and I was close to being an air traffic controller, lol.

    I have more work to do on my pedal chain but the older I get the more I want everything to work on it’s own accord, if that makes any sense.
     
  7. Irondog

    Irondog TDPRI Member

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    I have a telecaster elite, generation 4 noiseless, absolutely no intention of changing the pickups.

    However they are slightly different than classic low output telecaster twangers.
    slightly hotter, still very classic responsive tone.

    It's a classic problem of all humbuckers, you get some compression, the string attack is slightly compromised,

    I think that's where most of the discussion comes from, The generation 4 is outstanding at moving towards minimizing that compression creating very realistic single coil feel. Especially for the telecaster.
    I've also played the Gen 4 Stratocaster, pickups, Not as good, but ok.

    I think the key is to understand that one set of pickups cannot do everything,

    I remember saying oh it doesn't do cleans as well, but then I realized I actually never ever play clean passages, why do I need a setting that I never use. still turning the volume knob down, gives completely useful beautiful clean tones.
    So I guess that's the key decide which side of the coin the guitar will be flipped.
    If you're even considering noiseless I assume you're going to have some decent gain.

    These pickups take light, medium, and heavy gain remarkably well super harmonically rich, one of the things that really brings these full round is very small amount of phaser, at a mid gain setting, I add 5 or 10% phaser with a mix knob. Sounds incredible.

    they maintain a mid point of maintaining twang, not super country twang, but very familiar. Led Zeppelin good Times bad Times cover sound so good with this guitar

    This guitar absolutely replaced my Les Paul with increased string attack, less fat muddy tones, nice sparkly top, with just a touch of twang, just a much bigger range more flexible and fun guitar.

    most guitar centers have a telecaster elite on the wall, as everyone says try it see if you like it, some people may not bond.
    Good luck
     
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  8. Blue333

    Blue333 TDPRI Member

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    I have an irrational, probably unhealthy, desire for an elite thinline tele with the gen 4 noiseless pickups. I love the way it plays and sounds in the store, but I have to A/B it with my current tele with the pure vintage 58 pickups to make sure it is different enough to justify buying it. I mean, I don't have to justify it to myself, as I think that guitar is damn near art and would be happy to hang it on the wall (no I wouldn't). However, I think I have to justify it to my darling wife/accountant who keeps the lights on and food in the fridge. $2k is somewhat past the "look what followed me home, honey" threshold!


     
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  9. Mick Sullivan

    Mick Sullivan TDPRI Member

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    I had an American Elite with 4th gen noiseless. Far too harsh sounding for me. Traded it for an American Performer. Lost out financially but wound up with a guitar I love, so ho-hum.
     
  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Kinmans, folks!
    Love em’!
    They’re dead quiet.
    I have them in my EJ Strat, and PRS basses.
    The Tele pickups, particularly their Broadcaster set sound great, IMO!
     
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  11. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    Your description reminds me of my Leo-era G&L ASATs with the large-coil MFD pickups.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic

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    I had an elite with gen 4 noiseless pickups and they were definitely not a vintage tele sound. If you can try an elite at a store you may like them but they are much different than vintage pups. You might turn your attention to shielding on your current tele. Copper shielding in all the cavities and grounded properly including a shield under the pickguard itself may do the trick.
     
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  13. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    There are two good reasons to use Noiseless pickups. Hi gain raises the level of 60 cycle hum to a level that is noticeable above the music. High gain introduces compression of its own making that argument against Noiseless pickups a moot point. The thicker tone of Noiseless pickups responds well to equalization. The other reason for Noiseless pickups is playing in a quiet room. Even when played clean the noise can rise above the music. I’m perfectly happy with the N4 pickups in my avatar Telecaster. I’ve played a Telecaster with SD stacked single coils and liked them too. Folks posting above have already said they like Kinmans. Shielding can minimize radio frequency interference but it does little to reduce 60 cycle hum. You’ll probably be happy with any of the modern Noiseless pickups mentioned in this thread.
     
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  14. Irondog

    Irondog TDPRI Member

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    Also, thought this was pretty good demo of the N4 pickups,, from youtube.

    he has the Fender Amps Bass EQ up a bit far, but pretty dang good picture of how they (Gen 4) sound.
     
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  15. oceanblue

    oceanblue Tele-Meister

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    I can’t compare the two, but love my Gen 4 noiseless
     
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  16. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Recently tried a strat with Gen 4s and, to my ears, they were more sterile and less convincing than SCNs . Mind you, this was in a music store with no tweaking of the pickup heights. Stacked coil noiseless pickups tend to be very sensitive to small height adjustments.

    My two teles are completely noiseless (Chopper T in an Esquired tele and Lil Puncher in the bridge and Tru Coil noiseless in the neck of the other) and I love the tones I’m getting, but they do not sound particularly tele-ish. For my new strat, I’m going true single coil and heavy shielding. I have isolated power for my amp and pedals, so 60 cycle hum has never been a problem. Where in play, I do get a lot of RF noise with singles, though, which I’m hoping the shielding will take care on - or at least keep it to acceptable level.
     
  17. UncleGizmo

    UncleGizmo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You nailed it with my dilemma, and the sounds I’m trying to get. Since I’m a bit all over the place musically, the G4’s might be an option.

    I’m going to check out an elite at a local GC and see if I like them.
     
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  18. jamieorc

    jamieorc Tele-Holic

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