Waaah Music Store's red colored Tele pickups

Antigua Tele

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At this price, they are quite tempting.

As far as the high construction quality and possible fraud: I could be that they are rejects from the supplier to an OEM (like Fender or Stew Mac) because they didn’t meet the spec. They are purchased as scrap, then resold with a different brand.

Fender claims their CS pickups are made in the USA, I trust Fender because they're such a big company that such secrets would be hard to keep, but seeing a lot of supposedly US made products be so precisely copied in China, makes me wonder. There's not much we can do to prove anything, and if the copies become 100% identical to American products, it will be tempting to accuse American makers of a fraud they might not even be committing. Fake EMGs for example, are especially similar to real EMGs, and EMGs are said to be made in California. You can still tell them apart if you know what to look for, but the gap is closing. It's likely that a good percentage of aftermarket EMGs in people's guitars are fake.

As for trademarks, I'm not sure that as a consumer that I really care. For the record, the pickups listed in the OP are not counterfeit, not brand label is applied and they're not even copies of any known pickup. But the purpose of a trademark it to avoid customer confusion, so if I'm buying something on AliExpress, I'm not really confused. AliExpress is the counterfeit capital of the Internet. If someone resells them on eBay knowing their fake, and doesn't state that they're fake, that's fraud, and that is happening, even though it's probably against eBay's rules. Me acting in the best interest of those affected companies, Fender, EMG, etc. isn't really in my best interest, or if it is, I don't know how. A lot of people might say "buy American to support America", but are these companies doing that when they source all their parts and materials abroad? Rules for thee, not for me. And you can see that the price delta between AliExpress and Amazon is often order of magnitude, like $10 on Ali, $50 on Amazon, you're paying 100% to 500% markup just to pay off domestic middle men. No thanks.
 
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wabashslim

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Usually SD is "very hot" and "very low" output,
Yeah, I've learned this lesson twice with tapped Quarter Pounders. Although my second QP bridge seems to be tapped at a different point than the first one the issue is the same - too much and too little. If only they'd get that tap in the right spot for a good traditional Tele sound the full version would make a good rocker.
 

hamerfan

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Yeah, I've learned this lesson twice with tapped Quarter Pounders. Although my second QP bridge seems to be tapped at a different point than the first one the issue is the same - too much and too little. If only they'd get that tap in the right spot for a good traditional Tele sound the full version would make a good rocker.
Yeah, it's the same with the SSL-5 T
 

Bruxist

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Taps are kinda hard to find the sweet spot. You want the voicings to be different enough to distinguish from each other (otherwise, why bother?) but not so different as to not be useful for what you play.
 

Antigua Tele

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Taps are kinda hard to find the sweet spot. You want the voicings to be different enough to distinguish from each other (otherwise, why bother?) but not so different as to not be useful for what you play.
I think if you're a pickup aficionado, the tap points of these pickups is easy to appreciate, but if you're not, it's going to seem like too small of a difference. I think Seymour Duncan was trying to make sure that the difference would be obvious to everyone.

Seymour Duncan sells a lot of pickups that are as similar to one another as these tap points, the difference is that when you swap out pickups you can't easily AB them with a switch, so it's easier to convince somebody that it sounds very different if they can't readily compare the new with the old. But with a tapped pickup it's very easy to do so.
 

Bruxist

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My ears are not as sensitive as some folks, and have definitely gotten less sensitive as I age.

I have my neck bucker in my Andy Summers-style guitar set so I can go between parallel and series. I can definitely tell a difference, but if I come back to it after a while and strum a chord, I do not immediately know which setting it is on.
 

kiwi blue

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I've just had a bit of a scoot around the Waaah store on Aliexpress. Some of their pickups are either Toneriders from the same factory but under another brand, or they are close clones, down to the marketing blurb and the names they give them. These are basically Tonerider Hot Classics.

 

Antigua Tele

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Antigua, where'd you get that gorgeous tele body? or did you finish it yourself?

It's a Fender Japan special paisley model, one of three designs today offered. Before Fender took over operations from Kanda Shokai, they had all sorts of cool guitars like this. The amazing thing about this one is that it's actually a fine fabric underneath the poly. Now the only place I can find a really interesting guitar is on AliExpress.
 
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radiocaster

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I kind of want to try one, but they only sell sets and I just want the bridge pickup, so I'll pass.
 




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