What pickup really knocked your socks off?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by pi, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    I *stole* a new G&L Legacy Tribute for $299 including shipping.
    Wasn't crazy @ pickups.
    Lots of chatter @ Bootstrap on the forum ...
    Ordered a set of "Sun City Selects" for $69 and installed.
    AMAZING difference! Brought the guitar to life!
    I'm a Bootstrap Believer!

    Since then I've used their "Pretzel" Tele pickups, which also blew my mind.
    Replaced stock Player pickups.
    Another amazing difference!

    Collecting parts now to build a Thinline.
    Ordered Bootstrap "Mean" P90 and "Pretzel" bridge.
    Can't wait to get it welded up!
     
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  2. refin

    refin Friend of Leo's

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    I'm biting my lip---too many,some from winder/friends of mine.
    It would depend on the guitar.The most pleasant surprise would be some Wizz PAFs in my '58 replica....they are silly good.I bought this second hand,didn't have it built,didn't choose the pups.They have that absolute tele-on-steroids with a "cluck" on every note.PAF winds are all over the map,but these nail it.
    For original winds---I would have to give kudos to David Plummer at Zhangliqun.Have mercy tones,everything I have ever wanted in a pickup.
     
  3. Mark617

    Mark617 Tele-Meister

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    I put the APH pickups in my Epiphone and it was insane. I also replaced the harness and caps. But that mod made all the difference in the world
     
  4. Jack Clayton

    Jack Clayton Tele-Holic

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    They've gone up a tad in price, but they're still very reasonable. Replace a few things, and you've got a fantastic player.
     
  5. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    So.... when I built my 51 Nocaster and 54 Strat, I put Genuine 52 pups in the Nocaster and CS 54's in the 54. They really sound great and I'm very glad I bought em. Playing them through my Fender Blues Deluxe amp they sounded fine, but.... for some reason I got better sound out of my Champ and Excelsior than the BD. One day I walked into my local music shop with my Nocaster, and plugged it into a Marshall DSL40CR. OMG!!!!! Those pups went off into the stratosphere! I traded my Blues Deluxe for it immediately and have been a happy camper ever since. I say all this cause it's not just the pups, it's what you're playin' em through IMO. I don't know if there was something wrong with my BD amp or not, but that Marshall just blew the sound right off the charts, so I didn't care. I wanted that Marshall by cracky! My 54 and Nocaster haven't sounded the same since... in a good way ;)
     
  6. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it was an F-150. Boots and socks.

    The first I can think of was a Joe Barden-Danny Gatton that was installed in a used Tele I bought.

    I had no idea what this pickup was (& the seller had never mentioned anything about it) but it sounded so good I searched and searched until I figured it out. That pickup has been with me for about 15 years now.

    More recently I was traded a set of Klein 54's. Again I didn't know much about them but I knew enough to know it was a good trade.

    I'm maybe not "the best" at descriptions but just a joy to hear.

    Articulate, dynamic and takes stacked overdrives like a boss while maintaining definition. There's no comparison to my sets of Custom 69's, Texas Specials, Lace Sensor Golds (all of which I also like).
     
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  7. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Gotta be the GFS Nashville Retrotrons in my XV-950. They work perfectly for me. Chimey, very responsive to picking intensity. Very good strumming tone, balanced across all the strings. Every time I pick it up I am very pleased. I tried the Retrotron Liverpools in another guitar and they didn't do it at all for me.

    IMG_20160723_113305892.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  8. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Firebird pickups, made the old fashioned way. Full range, bright, crystal clear, full bodied, ample output. And noise free. Fabulous. Like a cross between a great Tele pickup and a clean PAF humbucker.

    Cavalier "Phoenix" Firebirds

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Afflicted

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    I really liked my Gemini Suprocaster. Great tone. Not ice-picky, and sounds great with clean tones, or tons of gain. It made me want to play, more than usual. The Cavalier Nashville is a great pickup, as well. The Fender '62 reissue is a really nice tele bridge pickup, too.
     
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  10. telecastasaurus

    telecastasaurus TDPRI Member

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    The Bill Lawrence Keystones.
     
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  11. droliver

    droliver TDPRI Member

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    There's a lot of cork sniffing that goes on around boutique pickups, especially as the stock Fender/Gibson and mass market replacements (Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio) PUP's are so solid to begin with.

    That being said, for traditional Telecaster style pickups the DiMarzio "Twang King" set is a great value, and the new Duncan "La Brea" (Brad Paisley) set is the sound I always had in my brain of what a Telecaster should sound like. They're really good.
     
    pi likes this.
  12. Mgeek

    Mgeek TDPRI Member

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    One time in my life I thought 'woah! amazing pickups' was on a UK made Vox Super Ace. Basically like vintage strat pickups but hotter, exactly what everyone wants from a vintage strat tone...but then I got a Phantom with exactly the same pickups and whilst it still sounds great, they don't sound at all the same - much thinner. Also got a 'marauder' with the same pickups and that's darker and more jazzy sounding!?

    Dunno if this is all due to variance in original manufacture, ageing, or simply being in different guitars, but it doesn't do anything to sell me the idea that there's such thing as a magic *type* of pickup.

    Also I'm sure this has been said but it's very dependent on the rig too. I've absolutely plugged guitars in and thought 'huh this sounds kinda dead through the amp' then plugged it into something else and it's sounded wonderful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
  13. RhinoV

    RhinoV TDPRI Member

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    I was looking for a blade style double coil for hum canceling purposes...something wasn't extremely hot, under 10K, maybe like a Joe Barden. However, before dropping the high $ on Bardens, I came across a Chinese made bridge pickup that measures around 9K, fitted all the requirements, and costs around $12. I ordered it from Ebay....what could I lose? Why not give it a try? When it arrived, it was obvious that it needed a little more tweaking...like wax potting, and a couple of drops of epoxy to secure the brass baseplate a little better...upon installing it I was absolutely floored! The sound of it was incredible! P90-ish...but cleans up perfectly, not too bright, using 250K pots even though it is a humbucker....the best Tele bridge pickup I've ever heard...regardless of cost. I ordered 6 more for upcoming custom builds....and I have never looked back. I have to get over the fact that the cost is very low...almost makes me feel guilty....but...
     
  14. Blackshadowrider

    Blackshadowrider TDPRI Member

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    I was always a sceptic of Fender Custom Shop guitars in a price/value kind of way. I recently was able to acquire a used limited CS Broadcaster reissue and love the guitar because of the pickups that are in it. Supposedly 1950 CS hand round Broadcaster single coil set. I have purchased other Fender CS pickup sets but have not had the same satisfaction as the ones that came in this CS Broadcaster. The CS Nocaster set was ok but not great. I am a fan of the Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II tele pickups.
     
  15. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    A cheap 'Roswell' filtertron style pickup, I only bought it as a 'placeholder' until I could order a TV Jones for the project ... ended up preferring it to my actual TV Jones pickup in my other guitar and never bothered changing it. It's my favourite guitar now.
     
  16. Dirtybluegene

    Dirtybluegene Tele-Holic

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    I've have a Manlius Hybrid 60 bridge pickup in one of my teles- really a sock-knocker-offer. It replaced a Fender 62 and is like that pickup, but with the highs smoothed out (different magnets on treble strings) and a deeper, richer bass. Really a standout among the many, many pickups I've bought over the years.
    The other one that can remove my socks is a Seymour Duncan Antiquity Firebird pickup in the bridge pickup of a Les Paul Jnr style guitar, BUT ... only when everything is EQ'd to suit this pickup. It's extremely, crazy bright and next to other guitars it can sound quite terrible, but when I set up an amp to suit it, it's from another planet. Like a fat tele bridge on steroids, Neil Young dirty twang. Shame it's a one trick pony for me.
    TV Jones Filtertrons and Harmonic Design Z90s also worth a mention...
     
  17. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Holic

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    Honestly the stock Fender “Original Vintage” A3 set in my ‘99 AVRI 52. That is to say when I first brought it home about three years ago it put all my other Tele’s to shame. They were:

    -08 Am Dlx w/ stock noiseless SCN’s
    -A 94 MIJ TL52 w/ a Duncan Jerry Donahue and a Q Pickups A3
    -93 MIJ TL62 w/ a Duncan AlNiCo II Pro set.

    I’ve done many swaps and bought other Tele’s since and the Fender OV’s still stand out to me. Perhaps they’ve also sweetened since ‘99.
     
  18. curt mcgirt

    curt mcgirt TDPRI Member

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    Tonerider rebel 90. Highway one tele bridge pickup and a guitar madness super distortion knock off have all been pretty fun to play.
     
  19. GPoint

    GPoint TDPRI Member

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    Kinman pickups, accessories, and website are far the best.
     
  20. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Fender's Wide Range Humbucker. The original ones from the 70's.

    I was so impressed with them, I founded a company that reproduced the ONLY true vintage repro for 10 years. 2008 to 2018.

    The sound lives in amp settings that are clean, or just mildly driven. This is NOT a high gain pickup!

    Great tone. Unique sound for those who play it in zone.
     
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