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Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by CarolCorn, Jun 18, 2020.
quite a good explanation here...
Fralin Split Rail
Dimarzio Area 58 or 61
great in a Strat, no clue if they will fit in a Tele.
Loller Royal T was an awesome neck replacement for my nashville tele. Loved it.
I bought a boatload of Keystones before Bill passed and they are truly excellent, Strat and Tele.
NO matter what you do, you are never going to get a real strat sound out of your tele, becasue of the bridge situation. I have a killer Ron Ellis 60T in my tele bridge and I wanted to be able to get that sound out of a strat I have, I asked him to make one for me. He told me that it would never sound like the Tele becasue of the bridge setup being completely different, and he was right. It sounded OK in the bridge strat position, but it didnt sound anything like it did in the Tele-so I eventually took it out and put one of his mid 60s strat bridge pickups in there. All that to say that it could sound really good with the right pickup, but its never really going to sound like a strat.
Strat neck pickup is my favorite electric tone. I have tried countless pickups. My favorite electric is a strat where I got a custom pickguard and it just has a neck pickup. I also hate noise and hum. So I went on a journey to find the best pickup for me. I have a guitar with illitchs dummy coil and I like that guitar, but in the end my favorite strat neck pickup is a zexcoil. I setup my guitar so I can easily swap the neck pickup. It uses a connector and i put a hole in the back I cover with a plate. Anyway this setup let me compare the 10 or so pickups I have. Some are typical single coil and others are more boutique and various nose cancelling. I kept coming back to the zexcoil and now I don’t think about it. I just play. It is nearly silent and sounds great to me. This is it. ZVH5 – Z-Core 5 Vintage Hot. Of course I have to mention this is so subjective so you will have to do some work for yourself. Threads like this are good for getting ideas but no one has the perfect answer for you.
Another vote for the twisted tele. I have them in two teles, and this is the pickup I use for 75% of most gigs.
Very stratty type sound, but just enough tele in it to know its a tele. Regardless of comparisons, its just a very good pickup in its own right. I'd actually consider putting one in a Strat.
I've struggled with this a little bit myself because my two favorite tones are really the strat neck and the tele bridge. Seemed like putting a couple strat pickups in a custom PG on my tele would do the trick! But the traditional tele bridge is a different animal, and it affects the tone on all pickups - big brass saddles vs little steel dealies on a floating block. The guitar sounded somewhat stratty, had the basic character, but didn't have the angelic airiness of a strat, more of a sort of tubby, textured sound. A good tone but not quite the strat and what's more it just never felt like it really gelled with the very traditional Tele bridge. Nice combo sounds but it didn't feel cohesive as an instrument, a little bit too much of a split personality to the point that it distracted from being able to make full use of it.
Now, once upon a time, I had an Am Std Tele with the 6 steel bridge saddles, and Barden strat neck and middle, and tele bridge, and the strat sounds that thing gave up were phenomenal. Playing up on the neck with overdrive was heaven - but I eventually moved to liking the old 3 saddle brass bridge (thanks, tdpri) and that's a thing of the past for me. Might work for others!
Twisted Tele is the usual suggestion from most for the application you are seeking to fill.
Lower the pickup as much as you can to weaken it up. Adjust the bridge pickup height for volume balance when switching from one to the other pickup.
You can also look into the last five years of Squier Strat neck pickups, especially out of the Bullet or maybe Affinity Indonesian models. The Indonesian Strat pickups are wound with less wire (lower kohms) while having the typical ceramic bar magnet. This reduces the noise while providing classic Strat tone. 'Springy Sound' type of thing. They may also be 'hand-wound' since the internal capacitance of the bobbins is also lower than many aftermarket pickup brands, controlling for equal winding kohms, more like boutique hand-wound models. So find someone 'upgrading pickups!' and buy their old set for '$10'.
While you are in there replacing the pickup, also replace the 3-way Tele switch with a 4-way switch (~$12 online) and you will get a series humbucker option. Nice to have a stealth Les Paul ... to go with your Strat and Tele tones
Much of the Strat tone comes from where you pick/strum in addition to the pickup. Remember the Strat has a volume knob in the way, and the guitar contours and strap pins puts the bridge to your right a little more too so the ergonomics favor picking between the middle and neck pickups. On a Tele the ergonomics favor riding the heel of your hand on or behind the bridge flange so you pick on top of the bridge pickup or maybe a little ahead or behind of the bridge pickup. Those seemingly small picking tendencies will alter the tone a lot.
I love the Strat neck pickup sound. I've tried the Twisted Tele, Fralin Blues Special, and DiMarzio Twang King neck pickups in my Teles. The Twang King is by far the most Stratty. I have Twang Kings in the neck of all of my Teles now.
To me, the Twang King neck pickup is like a mix between a great sounding tele neck pup, a great sounding strat pup and a great sounding mini humbucker. Just a killer sounding/feeling pickup imo.
The best I've heard are from Lindy Fralin - a little pricey though.
Consider Physics; strat pups are mounted on the pick guard vs Tele pips mounted in the body.
Keep in mind strat pups are mounted To the pickguard vs Tele pups mounted in the body. Physics, no?
Probably Strat pickups.
Hi! I build guitars in Australia. I buy my pickups direct from S. Korea and China. From companies that make pickups for all the big companies. AliExpress have a massive range of pickups on offer. Two companies on there, which I use, are Donlis and Kaish, though there are a number of others. They make excellent pickups. Another company to look at are Tonerider, a British company who have their pickups made in Korea. I don't know where you live but if it's the US you may have a "Trump" import tax problem. Worth having a look though, because the pickups are as good as anything UK or US made, and 1/3 of the price. I won't pay for the "big names", because that's what you are paying for,vtgr name.
Hope this helps. Regards, John.
I put a Fender 57/62 in the neck and had Don Mare build me a Keef bridge pup to match. Don BTW thinks very highly of the 57/62
Yes the 4 position switch is great. Awesome sound with both pickups in
series in the 4th position.
Get a Harmonic Design mini-strat PU. It was MADE for people like you. I put one in my tele about a year ago and man does it sound good.
Twisted Tele is a great open, bright soudning neck pickup.
Dimarzio Twang King is also - infact, that one is MORE bright (it got too bright for me as I started to appreciate the mellow sound).
Go to askzac.com and you'll see a wiring diagram to isolate the neck pickup from the tone knob. Zac (used to be Brad Paisely's tech) does this to all his teles - taking it off the 250k pot opens up the sound for a brighter experience. That might do the trick.
Another option is to look for a neck pickup with NO cover. I'm sure many have likely been mentioned in this thread - the old neck covers are made of Brass and really knock back the highs. Most neck covers nowadays are nickel/silver and let most of the highs though, but if you really want to go strat - I'd say get rid of the cover.