To Humbuck or not to Humbuck

johnnyASAT

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Posts
149
Location
Virginia
So I've got an Fender Player tele that's serving as sort of a project guitar. My main guitar is a US-made G&L ASAT Classic. Now, the goal here is to make this Fender into a different enough complement to the ASAT for Tim Lerch-y/Martin Taylor-y solo jazz playing (I play the same stuff on both guitars) while maintaining versatility so that if my daughter ever wants to learn she has a ready-made cool looking, great sounding, great playing guitar. As it stands, I like the stock pickups in the Fender a lot, but I find with the ASAT I can dial in something that is just as pleasing while being clearer and more present while also being nice, fat, and warm. If the Fender were my only guitar, I'd just leave it as is. As it stands, there's so much other stuff about the ASAT that's so much better that I have a hard time reaching for the Fender when it's time to practice, and I think giving the Fender more of a different voice could help balance the scales a bit.

Now, Tim Lerch plays a Mike Lull tele that sounds GREAT that has Lollar Low Wind Imperials in it, so I'm thinking something like that in the neck with decent complementary bridge single coil should fit the bill. But I can also see a case for a more vintage voiced single coil set as an alternative. The Lollar Charlie Christian is tempting, but I feel that that would sort of pigeon hole the guitar into my vibe when I'd like this guitar to be ready to pass on to someone I care about and meet their needs when the time comes. I'm not in any hurry to spend this money and do this work at this point, but I am curious as to what people here would think about this conundrum. I am currently leaning Fralin Pure PAF neck/Blues Special bridge (or maybe the split rail pickup he makes), but I also give his Vintage Hot set the side glance every now and again. Any thought and recommendations are welcome, though.
 

Wallaby

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Posts
3,321
Location
Here
I see consistent praise for the SD Seth Lover model, for what that's worth.

It's not overwound and descriptions are that it's bright and clear for a PAF.

It's perhaps a little down-market from a Lollar, but it's also less expensive, and I think they have a return policy worth exploring.
 

schmee

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Posts
22,643
Location
northwest
So you are thinking HB format? The Low Wind Imperials are nice, been years since I had one though. Are they that much different than a SD '59? or a Seth Lover? Not really to my ears. But the low wind may help out with low E mud. In a traditional PAF I like the Lovers. But man, it's a mini difference from the SD '59's.
 

johnnyASAT

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Posts
149
Location
Virginia
Yeah, the player tele has room for a full HB in the neck position, so it's definitely a consideration. Seth Lovers are on my list of things to consider, but I am strongly leaning something from Fralin because he's somewhat local and I like the idea of having VA made pickups. I've also toyed with getting a bunch of hardware from Callaham too but that adds up just to have a Virginiacaster lol.
 

Mongo Park

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Posts
1,436
Location
Winnipeg
If you want humbuckers seriously consider Bill Lawrence L-90’s. They come in various values dep on how much Harris you want on them.
These pickups in a tele are perfect. Clear enough to get the tele twang with the fat humbuckers in there.
Bill Lawerence pickups are world class to say the least
 

gkterry

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Posts
1,409
Location
the Telecaster Forest
Suhr Thornbucker or Thornbucker+ in the bridge position. They have A4 magnets in the bridge and A5 magnets in the neck pickup. Should you desire a more rounded top end, I would go with the Thornbucker 2 which has A2 magnets.

I have Thornbuckers in a couple guitars and they are superb sounding. It is that 50's PAF type sound. Hard to beat them IMHO.
 

boris bubbanov

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Posts
56,943
Location
New Orleans, LA + in the
Johnny, there's one T style guitar that stands alone, using the Seth Lover neck pickup and angled single coil pickup in the bridge, and that's the USA specifications G + L Bluesboy. Those guys really hit the sweet spot. So many of the other attempts (including my own) involve a lot of on-the-fly knob twiddling or at least one pickup at a less than optimal height adjustment. The matching of the pickups, the wiring scheme, really nice I think.
 

Killing Floor

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Posts
11,346
Location
Austin, TX
Humbuckers are proof that Leo loves you and wants you to rock.
1670265878505.jpeg
 

johnnyASAT

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Posts
149
Location
Virginia
Johnny, there's one T style guitar that stands alone, using the Seth Lover neck pickup and angled single coil pickup in the bridge, and that's the USA specifications G + L Bluesboy. Those guys really hit the sweet spot. So many of the other attempts (including my own) involve a lot of on-the-fly knob twiddling or at least one pickup at a less than optimal height adjustment. The matching of the pickups, the wiring scheme, really nice I think.

Have to admit that the idea of ordering a bridge MFD and an SL to put in a Fender body is pretty funny (and has also occurred to me). If they sell their control plates I'd love to have that as well, love the firmer taper they have.
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
16,016
Location
Beast of Bourbon
Last week I installed a pair of Bare Knuckle low-wind HBs in a Tele for a pal and it substantially changed the tone of the guitar. Not in a good or bad way, but very different and completely usable.
 

johnnyASAT

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Posts
149
Location
Virginia
Johnny, there's one T style guitar that stands alone, using the Seth Lover neck pickup and angled single coil pickup in the bridge, and that's the USA specifications G + L Bluesboy. Those guys really hit the sweet spot. So many of the other attempts (including my own) involve a lot of on-the-fly knob twiddling or at least one pickup at a less than optimal height adjustment. The matching of the pickups, the wiring scheme, really nice I think.
Hey I was just looking up the wiring diagram for this and it looks like they used 250K pots, where almost every pickup manufacturer has a little article on why you should use 500k with a resistor. Do you have any idea if they're still wiring with 250k pots or have they changed? At the end of the day the guitar won't be a "true" Bluesboy but the SL/MFD combo is seeming like a cost to quality no brainer to me right now.
 

Attachments

  • LWF0001Bluesboy.pdf
    80.9 KB · Views: 8

TX_Slinger

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Posts
754
Location
The Sticks, TX
Filtertrons changed my world. I imagine I would like mini hums or firebirds too. The narrow, close coils satisfy that thing in your soul that loves single coil pickups.
 

RPadTV3000

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2022
Posts
25
Location
Planet Awesome
i've tried a few guitars with single-coil voiced humbuckers. the neck pickups i'd buy include Fralin Twangmaster, Lollar Novel Foil, and Railhammer Cleancut. each of them complement a Tele bridge nicely in different ways. there are a few Fralin mini humbuckers that i'm looking to try, but haven't met anyone that has them.
 




Top