Warmer & lower output pickups to replace the stock MIM Ceramics?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by nashsed, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    Hi all,

    I purchased a 2017 MIM Tele 5 months ago. Love how comfortable the guitar is.

    However, the stock ceramic pickups are beginning to annoy me.

    They are way too hot for my liking (I prefer to get my gain from pedals rather than pickups). They produce these really high frequencies which irritate my ears and cause ear fatigue within 10-15 mins of playing.

    When I roll the tone down they sound muddy and boomy (for lack of a better term).

    Any thoughts on a decent pair of warm, low to medium output pickups that could replace the ceramic pups.

    Willing to sacrifice some twang as I'm mostly a blues/classic rock player.


    P.S. I'm afraid boutique pickups are out of the question as I'd be placing an international order so would ideally be looking for something available from one of the larger online retailers.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    Since you live in india read up on artec pickups if you find something intresting there, they are all over aliexpress. Read up on wilkinson to.
    I prefera somewhat hotter so i can't recommend a particular model.
     
  3. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Have you tried lowering the pickup height?
     
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  4. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    Yes I have. That helps a bit with the output but still can't get rid of the excessive highs.
     
  5. nashsed

    nashsed TDPRI Member

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    I'm looking at the something that would be considered a more significant upgrade than artec. OEM pickups like Artec and even GFS for that matter have been hit or miss for me.

    Looking at something from Fender, SD or DiMarzio etc.
     
  6. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic

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    For a warmer sound, I suggest you need alnico 2 pickups.

    A nice rundown on alnico pickups here:
    http://romainpickups.com/alnico-magnets-explained/
     
  7. 440mhz

    440mhz TDPRI Member

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    I bought a set of Fender Vintage 52 reissues off of Amazon for $140 CDN. They have a lower output than the texas specials and noiseless pickups. I love these 52 pickups. I'd recommend checking reviews, but I find that with my computer speakers they all sound similar.
     
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  8. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Meister

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    I've used Lindy Fralin Stock Pu's in 2 teles and a Strat. They were called Vintage Hot back when I got them. One tele set has the 5/2 alnico arrangement. Highly recommended.
     
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  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Lower the pickups ... are the pickup covers flush with the pickguard? I find the MIM Ceramic pickups are completely different that last 1/8th inch, probably due to some r^2 distance formula effect of magnetic fields.

    Tip the pickups. Raise the low E side of the pickup and keep the high e side low. Then adjust amp volume.

    My way: lower neck and middle flush with the pickguard, raise the bridge pickup until volume parity between the bridge and neck when switching back and forth.

    The other thing to try is get a Hendrix reverse angle bridge slotted pickguard. That changes the characteristic of the bridge pickup.

    Lower kohm volume pot, measure several 250kohm pots (across the outer lugs) and use the lowest reading one -- they have a 20% tolerance range.

    You can also install an Armstrong Blender mod, wiring only change that goes from stock SSS to HSH -- thickens up the single coils.

    If that doesn't work then get new pickups, but start at the beginning adjusting heights, control parts.

    .
     
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  10. BCblues55

    BCblues55 Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    If you haven’t already, you could try 50’s wiring on the Tele. I find that it reduces muddiness and makes the tone knob much more useful. It’s easily reversible too.

    If that doesn’t work, you might want to check out Tonerider pickups. I’ve got a set in a Tele and really like them.

    Good luck!
     
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  11. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    Have you considered the mixed alnico style sets that use A2 and A5 at the neck? Allegedly they dont come off too hot paired with A2 stuff at the bridge.
     
  12. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I second the Alnico II pros from Seymour Duncan. Warm - not overly bright in the bridge. They are very good sounding pickups. I got rid of mine because I wanted something hotter and more aggressive - I like my gain from slamming the input of the amp, and not from pedals :). But the Seymour Duncans sound like exactly what you are looking for.
     
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  13. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

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    If you still want the piano-like thwap of the low strings, also look at a Five Two set.
     
  14. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Fender's "original vintage" set is very good for the money. Tex Mex are also decent if you're looking for something a bit hotter.
     
  15. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    This can really put things in balance on any guitar
    I have a stock 2004 MIM Tele with the bridge PU way down ( still plenty of output and dynamic) and the ' both pickups ON' setting is very sweet.
    Neck pickup is moderately high, ramped up a bit on treble side, lower on bass end
     
  16. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Meister

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    +1 on the original vintage
     
  17. Bluesensationist

    Bluesensationist TDPRI Member

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    I believe the OV set is what comes stock in the av 52 teles. If so, I can confirm that these meet the OP's description. They sound very warm, low to medium output, and the highs are less present than many single coils.

    To me, it'd be nice to actually have some more of the highs and roll the tone knob as necessary. I'm actually about to change the pickups for that reason.

    To the OP, have you considered getting a nice bright vintage set like the fender "pure vintage 64" set and rolling your tone back? If you don't want to do that, the fender "original vintage" set could be a great set for you as it sounds to my ear like a brighter set with the tone rolled back to 8/10.
     
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  18. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    You said you were considering DiMarzio. My favorite Tele pickups are their Twang King set. I have them in two of my teles. As for low to medium output, that describes them. Measured in millivolts, the bridge is rated at 198mV, the neck at 89mV.

    The bridge pickup definitely lives up to its name, but "twang" does not equal "ice pick." While I will admit that I don't play through the bridge pickup alone that often, rolling off just a bit of the Tone warms it up to my satisfaction.

    Both pickups in parallel is where I spend a lot of my time. Even with the Tone knob dimed, I like the balance of the frequencies with both pickups.

    The Twang King neck pickup is my favorite Tele neck pickup. (I have other teles with Wilkinsons and Bill Lawrence Keystones.) Good warmth and clarity.

    By the way, I also have a 4-way switch in each of the teles that have the Twang Kings. That 4th position is both pickups in series. Wired this way, the pickups have increased output, and lows and mids are more pronounced. With my amp set pretty clean, flipping the switch to position 4 is like engaging a clean boost. If I have the amp set to edge of breakup, then switching to position 4 provides just the amount of overdrive I'm looking for.

    Oh, and I too play Classic Rock (mostly '60s & '70s) and a bit of the blues.
     
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  19. tube.tone

    tube.tone Tele-Meister

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    Try the 51 Nocaster, or vintage 52 tele style. could be the sound your looking for...

    adjusting the pickup height goes a long way too!

    My guitar cane stock with FenderCS 51 Nocaster, and I really like it. Gives the dynamics and nuances of lower output. It’s wired with a modified vintage blending wiring with a low farad capacitor.

    Enough tele bite in the bridge, slightly rounded top, smooth mids and defined bass, the neck can be mixed in for more fuller sound like the old Broadcasters.

    The neck alone with no load has a punchy straty vibe, and the dark position sounds like stratish, es335ish thing... pretty unique.
     
  20. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I recently bought a used Peavey Raptor Plus, a Strat-ish guitar with 3 ceramic single coils. I've had much the same experience with their tone and output as the OP with his Tele ceramic pickups. I did try adjusting pickup heights, from fairly close to the strings (the way it came) to flush with the pickguard. Height adjustment helped some, but the pickups still sound "edgy" to me.

    And not that it matters for the purposes of this discussion, but since the Peavey Raptor Plus is about a 15-20 year old oriental import (MiK?) that I paid $100 for, it's not worth swapping pickups. And I've been told that Telecaster replacement pickups won't fit my Peavey anyway, so I'm probably going to just flip the guitar.
     
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