The great Telecaster pain in the neck?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by PaddyPaul, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    The article you read is simply BS.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the classic telecaster neck pickup.
    You can now continue living your life :)
  2. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    I think some bodies are milled/routed out better than others, and all four of the clip's prongs are evenly and sufficiently biting into the wood, and it's aligned sufficiently close to 90 degrees on both its x and y axes. Having the right nuts (as in two of them) and the right washers (which includes one on the backside of the cup that won't allow it to spin when the nuts are tightened), are also necessary to ensure that you don't have to repeatedly tighten the jack nut, again and again.

    It's not unlike any assembly that must be aligned under load, and it's just one of the quirks of the Tele, which also has a neck pickup that (originally) fastened to the body, and a bridge pickup that fastens to a metal plate, that's also part of the bridge assembly.
  3. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    A strange - and to me alien - premise for a thread. Seeing as my favorite part of playing the tele is the neck p/u. Not every one certainly. My favorites:
    • The stock ceramic neck p/u in a '94 G&L ASAT Classic
    • The neck p/u in a "Joel Foy" set from Don Mare, in an inca silver partscaster
    Either one of those proved useful in all the music I cared to play. Both quite versatile due to how effective tone and volume control changes were/are.

    The MFD G&L p/u had a lot of output, while the Joel Foy neck is in comparison underwound. For a long time I thought the Don Mare neck p/u was not powerful enough. Finally adjusted it high enough, found the sweet spot. It is powerful enough. And because it's not overwound, the sound remains dimensional, spacious, as volume goes up. Whereas most hotter neck p/us I've tried (that G&L MFD being an exception), sound flatter, compressed, less depth.

    YMMV of course. I play mostly clean, so that no doubt plays into my preferences here.
  4. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

    Oct 26, 2010
    I've played teles and teles since the mid-80's, and I feel the same way, and came to the same conclusion- I fingerpick, and I like the twang of the bridge, but that neck sounds God-awful to me. Supertrons are like inviting Chet over for early coffee and biscuits. I love a strat neck sound, too, so it's not a disdain for single-coils. That tele neck, alone, has always sounded weak here, as well.

    I think the sound you get in the middle position is why "purists" will never need to worry, because that is one of the best tones, and you lose it when you mess with the neck pickup.

    I also like giving the neck pickup more juice with a bigger pot value. My thinline with 1MGS sounds swell, so that's a factor as well. The oldest tele question, really.
    brookdalebill likes this.
  5. sparkymike

    sparkymike TDPRI Member

    Sep 14, 2019
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Pribora pickups with the neck pickup cover open at the top.
    I took a chance , as i was thinking, can they be any good at the low price they are selling at,and bought a set for my Tele and they are great, especially the neck pickup, which is good for all types of music.
    Mike IMG_7130.JPG
  6. RnB

    RnB Tele-Meister

    Oct 26, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    For me, I like Strats, so I put a Fralin Strat pickup in the neck position. Sounds pretty darn good...
    Although, I thought a Dimarzio Area T sounded OK & a Fralin Blues didn't, prolly because I wanted a cover on it, when I believe...they shouldn't? Too muddy sounding!
  7. PaddyPaul

    PaddyPaul TDPRI Member

    Sep 4, 2018
    Perth, Western Australia
  8. dodona

    dodona TDPRI Member

    Sep 1, 2008
  9. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Aug 30, 2011
    To my taste, he's quite tasteless if he really thinks that. The Tele neck pickup is sweet as hell to me. If anything is at fault with it, it's the opposite of what that guy said. It's not too weak; it can be too strong sometimes. It's got the same problem many neck pickups have: it can easily descend into muddiness if you don't know how to control it.

    My personal weak link on a Tele (with modern wiring) is the center (i.e. parallel) switch position. Making my Tele's tone weaker and notch filtered sounding is the last thing I want to do. My #1 mod is to rewire so positions 1 and 2 are like an Esquire, and leave position 3 like it is with modern wiring (which is how position 2 was with "vintage" wiring – neck pickup with tone control). I take out my Strat five-ways and replace them with three-ways as well, because I find those parallel positions (2 and 4) sonically useless too, and they just make it harder to positively land the switch in the middle position (my main pickup on a Strat).
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  10. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

    May 28, 2011
    Illinois-Wisconsin line
    Mr. Waller, Yer fired. ~ Leo Fender
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