What pickup really knocked your socks off?

Old Deaf Roadie

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I am somewhat leery of admitting the the 'bucker size P90 in my Ess-Kwire from GFS is pretty darn sweet...and inexpensive.
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BB

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Ditto. I put s set of Duncan antiquity buckers on a Firefly 335 style guitar. That $140 guitar seriously sounds like an old gibson now. Nobody believes me...

I do! As a CPUJ (certified pickup junkie) I have many wonderful experiences of putting a nice pickup, or set of pickups (and sometimes wiring harness) in a nice playing low $ guitar, I believe you $100%!! Now you got me wanting a firefly for some of the pickups I have laying around here.....
 

72_Custom

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I put a set of TV Jones Setzer signatures into a cheap Ibanez archtop. They were my first set of filtertrons and it turned my world upside down. I’ve since put TV Jones Classic(s) into two other guitars and, although I like ‘em, neither sound as good to me as the Setzer. Not sure if it’s the guitar or the pickups. Really makes me want to sample all the other ‘tron flavors out there.
 

BB

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For me, it was replacing the stock '59/JB set in my Hamer with high wind Lollar Imperials. It became a totally different guitar. Great clean, slightly dirty, or overdriven. Very touch sensitive.

I hear ya Cali. I've had a Lollar Low Wind Imperial in the neck slot of my tele for 6-7 years now. I built my chambered, mahogany bodied tele 20 years ago. In that time, I've tried well over a dozen pickups. That's just the neck slot! About double that in the bridge.

Anyway, the Lollar has stopped my constant changing. As you said so well, "Great clean, slightly dirty, or overdriven, Very touch sensitive." I generally play clean and it provides a beautiful, soulful tone. When I do hit the dirt button, (a old, low gain Marshall Blues Breaker and/or a Tone City Bad Horse klone) it's so sweet and harmonically complex....if there is such a thing! Anyway, I love how it puts out what I put in. It has a very nice breath to it.

I've used Lollar P-90's, (absolutely lovely) and several strat and tele pickups. My dream, lust after pickups are a set of Lollar Gold Foils. It'll never happen, but man oh man, do I love those Gold Foils. Jason does it right imho.
 

Jim622

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I put a SD STL-1 Vintage '54 in an Esquire build. A lot of reviews said they didn't like it because it was to clean. I don't know if it's because its in an Esquire or the Eldred mod set up, but I get the exact right amount of growl for me out of it and it cleans up nicely when I roll off the volume.
 
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985plowboy

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Swapped the stock pickups in my ‘01 American Series white blonde/ash/maple for Lindy Fralin. Blues special in the bridge and a +2% hotter neck.
The neck was marginally better, but the bridge pickup is amazing.

Lindy Fralin changed the way I think about Tele bridge tones.
 

Chicago Matt

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About twenty years or so ago, the bridge pickup on my ‘70 tele suddenly went dead. Like I was playing it, and all of a sudden no sound. It didn’t die a slow death, it just stopped. Checked wiring, all good. Checked the pickup with a meter, nothing. It was DEAD.

I had a gig that night and at the time it was my only electric guitar. I started calling around town to all the shops looking for a tele bridge pickup. Nobody had any. Wasn’t exactly a big demand around Cleveland, OH in those days for tele parts or pickups. Finally found one little mom and pop place that had an SD “Hot Stack Lead”. It was the only tele pickup available, so I ran over there to get it. I hated the way it looked, I was sure based on that that I would also hate the way it sounded, but I didn’t have a choice.

I put it in, strung ‘er up, and let ‘er rip, and never looked back. The SD Hot Stack Lead is to this day my all time favorite tele bridge pickup. And I long ago got over how they look. Every time I play a tele with a regular bridge pickup now, I wish it had one of those. I’ve tried all the noiseless varieties, single sized buckers like the little 59, and all kinds of other crazy stuff. Nothing comes close to the combination of twang and rock in the hot stack lead.

Wow, quite an endorsement! What neck pickup would you recommend with the hot stack bridge? Thanks...
 

Jakedog

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Wow, quite an endorsement! What neck pickup would you recommend with the hot stack bridge? Thanks...
Well, I don’t dig traditional tele neck pickups, so anything but one of those. Lol. Seriously though, I like Strat neck pickups, or really clear and bright humbuckers. I think an EJ Custom or a TV Jones would be a real fun matchup.
 

JB_SC

TDPRI Member
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Oct 6, 2019
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SF Bay Area
For me, it's the hand wound Kent Armstrong HB sized Charlie Christian pickup in my Warmoth Tele...though I also have a Kent Armstrong P90 sized Dynasonic pickup that I'm about to have installed in my Reverend Sensei Jr.
 

TwoBear

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Mar 31, 2020
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oc. CA.
Most of my Strats have been either AVRI or CS for the last 30 years. But when I picked up my 2014 American Standard, with Fat50's I was immediately surprised at how versatile those pickups are. I really don't think that they can be upgraded.
I played a Strat with Fat 50s I was totally knocked out with the sound. Usually I will favor a pick up out of a group of three on a Strat, these three all sounded like they were great by themselves and played well with all the others. I believe it’s a sum of all the parts but they sounded so good as to keep that name “Fat 50s” on my radar, or whatever that saying is.
 

dlew919

Doctor of Teleocity
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Aug 6, 2012
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Sydney
I haven't swapped any pickups, but Filtertrons, found in my Gretsch, and a Fideltitron in a tele really blew me away. Like a PAF but with twang.
 




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