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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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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  8. dodona

    dodona Tele-Meister

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  9. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    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

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    Mr. Waller, Yer fired. ~ Leo Fender
     
  11. PaddyPaul

    PaddyPaul TDPRI Member

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    Just a brief return to this thread, but more related to pick-up combos than the Great Neck Debate.

    Has anyone else a Cavalier Huge Lion / Fat Lion King in their tele? Mine is a circa 1998 CIJ. I love the versatility of this combination. Organically raw bridge but also stunningly bluesy via the FLK neck. (I play through a Blues Junior III with occasional use of just two pedals Mad Professor Sweet Honey OD and Boss OD-3).

    Others feel the same? Suggestions, ideas on how/if they integrate pedals etc. Other Cavalier preferences (I'm not a twang addict) etc.

    Thanks a million.
     
  12. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Not buying a word of it Mr. Waller. The subject's been done to death. Tele neck pick ups are glorious and there are enough variations to please any player. If one thinks the Tele neck pick up is weak, consider listening to any of Roben Ford's Blue Line recordings. It might change your mind.:)

    If you want a neck pickup that sounds like a Strat, get a Strat. :mad::)
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now, that's just crazy talk ... Roben can play.. so anything he plays is gonna sound good... You don't expect the rest of us to learn how to play so our guitars sound good now do ya? Isn't it easier just to change pickups until we all sound like him? :p

    "Most of the muffled sound is caused by the metal cover, especially when it’s not made of German silver (an alloy consisting of copper, nickel, and zinc), so it’s always a good idea to remove the cover to enhance the pickup’s tone."

    that comment in the Premiere Guitar Magazine article is just plain inane .. it completely discredits anything else the author has to say..

    It suggests that if "you" hear muffled sound.. and are playing a Tele.. there is basically, only one reason for it ..

    Sad thing is, a lot of neophytes will believe that crap and get out the tool box and proceed to destroy a perfectly good pickup.. never even thinking that it JUST might be the 149.00 amp, or the 2 dollar, 8", Made in Lord knows where, speaker in it... or notice that everything else they own sounds muffled too.. Or it might just be the amateurish, unrefined, unschooled fingering technique "carefully" developed over the previous 6 months that he has been playing guitar... :rolleyes:

    rk
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
    Greggorios likes this.
  14. Frito-Man

    Frito-Man TDPRI Member

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    I love de neck PU of my CS Nocaster Set...
     
  15. PaddyPaul

    PaddyPaul TDPRI Member

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  16. Gclef

    Gclef TDPRI Member

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    I love the tele neck position!

    My lone warmoth tele has a set of harmonic design vintage plus pickups in it with 500k pots.

    It gives me my favorite neck single coil sound. And much louder to boot
     
  17. Mark

    Mark Tele-Meister

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    DiMarzio Twang King or Cavalier Lion King neck pickup. Both are excellent!
     
  18. TheDavis

    TheDavis TDPRI Member

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    I completely agree. The standard jack on a fender tele is embarrassingly low quality in such an important part of a guitar.
    I only have 3 teles at the moment but they all have electrosocket jacks. They are less than $10, easy to install and leave you worry free. No brainer IMO.

    The neck pickup is purely an argument of taste but I can’t see a legit argument that the electrosocket jack isn’t a superior product.
     
    Peegoo likes this.
  19. PaddyPaul

    PaddyPaul TDPRI Member

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    Hello again: Any pick-up tweaks in new Fender American Pro II tele? My son is in the market for a Pro (tele, though babbling on about a Strat). Should he jump at a good price for a superseded model or cough up for what, no doubt, will be a more expensive update. Will there be any real difference? Thanks - sorry if this is covered elsewhere.
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I enjoy traditional Tele neck pickups; they can sound just fine. That said, I enjoy all manner of other pickups in the neck position, and have outfitted my various Teles quite diversely, with regard to pickups!

    Experiencing so many different neck pickups in my Teles, I enjoy them all, but have come to find the most happiness with these two:

    Antiquity II Mini Humbucker, in this American Standard Mystic Red
    [​IMG]

    and

    Cavalier 'Phoenix' Firebird in this Tele Standard Arctic White
    [​IMG]

    They sound quite similar. They are both full-bodied, clear, detailed and articulate, with crisp sparkly bright highs. And noise-free. For me, that's as close to perfect as I've experienced.
     
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