What pickup really knocked your socks off?

yegbert

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Posts
7,280
Location
Maryland (US)
The original HiloTron that’s in the neck position of my son’s ‘60-something Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean. I want to get a trapeze tailpiece and a pickup as similar as readily available into a partscaster. A short trapeze is in the mail, and a new Gretsch HiloTron is on my wishlist. :rolleyes:
 

Slippery Jack

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Posts
358
Location
Southampton, UK
The pickups in my mij 52 reissue from 2006, factory fitted Texas Specials. Absolutely gorgeous. Clear, great tone for both of them. I bought some Custom Shop Texas Specials for a different tele and they weren't the same, much more mids.
 

McGlamRock

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Posts
6,957
Location
San Francisco, CA
I bought a set of Fender's "Hot Noiseless" pickups for a Strat about 15 years ago. They sounded perfect to me; full, rich, but not muddy.

Sadly, they do not make them for Teles. I've only seen the "vintage noiseless" pickups. Those did not sound good at all IMO
 

Rebelchild40

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Posts
16
Age
37
Location
Scranton Pa
I've been a fan of Every Seymour Duncan Pickup (or set) I've owned. (Hot-Rod Set, JB bridge, and my personal favorite The Saturday Night Special Set)
 

rdjones

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Posts
480
Location
Music City, TN
Honestly none, really.
Just a lot of various flavours of different.
<I tried a lot>

I certainly found a few that I had a preference for,.
But my favourite pickup is only just a bit 'better' than other similar options.
 

mad dog

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Posts
3,798
Location
Montclair, NJ
One swap I had done was in an Epiphone '63 ES-335 guitar, japan made, part of the elitist series. Came stock with Gibson '57 Classic and Classic Plus in the bridge. Too hot, on the harsh side. I found a used set of SD Seth Lover humbuckers and tried them. Big difference. Just right power and volume, sweet, twangy sound. Plenty of great boutique humbuckers around ... but hard to go wrong with these Seth Lovers.
 

digitalMagnetics

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Posts
115
Location
North Carolina
The Dimarzio Pre-B1 bridge pickup for Tele was my happiest surprise. It's THE answer to the "I want a pickup that growls like a P90 or humbucker but also still sounds totally like a Tele" thing that so many people, myself included, seem to be after. It's a phenomenal pickup that has actually been around since the 70s - an old design that predates the rise of boutique pickup makers. It's also ridiculously cheap and widely available. When I finally played one, I couldn't believe how underrated it is. I felt like I solved the puzzle. It lives in my #1.

Another one: The PRS 57/08 humbuckers are outstanding pickups that completely blew me away. PRS isn't really known for its pickups, but these are just really REALLY good. I don't care for PRS guitars AT ALL. I think their other pickups are pretty ho-hum. But the 57/08s are some of the best vintage-voiced humbuckers I've ever played.

Aside from these two, most pickup swaps I've done have been pretty disappointing.
 

MahoganyStratDZ

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Posts
541
Location
USA
One swap I had done was in an Epiphone '63 ES-335 guitar, japan made, part of the elitist series. Came stock with Gibson '57 Classic and Classic Plus in the bridge. Too hot, on the harsh side. I found a used set of SD Seth Lover humbuckers and tried them. Big difference. Just right power and volume, sweet, twangy sound. Plenty of great boutique humbuckers around ... but hard to go wrong with these Seth Lovers.
My thinking also, I played them in a couple solid bodies and thought they were good, but in a semi hollow I’m blown away by them
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
12,437
Location
Beast of Bourbon
Stooge Mac Parsons Street humbucker (normal power...not the 'hot' one). These sound really great, and back when they were first released, they ran about $40 a pop.

I tried a pair of them to replace the too-hot 498s in my Flying V, and was blown away. Clear and clean...almost twangy, and when punched up with a boost they can roar and make all those great Cream and Bad Company sounds we all know and love. I immediately ordered a couple more sets.

They're more expensive these days, now that the word is out.
 

dougstrum

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Posts
3,275
Location
blu ridge mtn cabin
The first pickup change that I made was putting a DiMarzio super distortion in the bridge of my '65 Melody Maker.
That was quite a change! You could say it knocked my socks off, or at least started me on the road to modding guitars🙃
 

TheMattJones88

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Posts
91
Location
Massachusetts
The stock pickups in my Silvertone 1446, which are (from what I've gathered) Seth Lover designed Minis with CuNiFe magnets. Just incredible sounding. Articulate, drive well, chimey cleans. Perfect.
 




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