What pickup really knocked your socks off?

4Teles

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Posts
199
Location
hampton beach nh
Love the Seymour Duncan ‘53 tapped bridge in my Esquire. Gives me a choice of a beautifully open twang tapped to 6k or a fuller & fatter, slightly darker sound with more compression using the full 10.5k wind.
 

Edgebound

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2003
Posts
24
Location
Cookham Rise, Berkshire, UK
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.
In the mid 90’s I bought a MIJ Tele Custom - I was going through a string breaking phase and needed a spare, and being lefty there wasn’t a lot of choice locally. It was OK, but remained a backup. Perusing eBay a couple of years later, I came across an original set of CS Nocasters, bought and fitted them - Wow! At the next gig, I plugged it in after a string break, played a cowboy A, and the other guitarists jaw just dropped!
I have to say though Fender changed the spec on them, and the later CS Nocasters didn’t sound the same. They may be closer to original but nothing the same.
 

Spooky88

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Posts
162
Age
57
Location
Bend Oregon
I’m an EMG homer. I notice variances of less than 3 cents off 440 hz. So using standard pickups drive me insane as the magnets affect the tuning. EMGs don’t do that. My favorite are the tele x pickups (modded).
 

Lou Tencodpees

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Posts
797
Location
Near Houston
Not necessarily blown off, but an unusual pairing made my socks roll up and down a bit. My Warmoth thinline I paired a Kent Armstrong Stealth 90 in the neck and a GFS Lil Puncher in the bridge and it works really well. I've tried some GFS pickups before in an Agile Cool Cat (Liverpools?) and found them very "meh" so wasn't expecting anything extraordinary. I keep looking for reasons to pair up a Lollar P90 and Barden in this guitar, but every time I plug it in I'm reminded why I shouldn't.
 

That Cal Webway

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Posts
4,899
Location
Minot
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.




I watched several of your company's videos and they were fantastic sounding!
 

That Cal Webway

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Posts
4,899
Location
Minot
I’m an EMG homer. I notice variances of less than 3 cents off 440 hz. So using standard pickups drive me insane as the magnets affect the tuning. EMGs don’t do that. My favorite are the tele x pickups (modded).



That's a good point about string pull of traditional magnets!


.
 

That Cal Webway

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Posts
4,899
Location
Minot
Fralin Split Blade Hot.


Great sounding, and certainly not "hot,"
jus a tad more oomph.

Oh, and noiseless.
 

Chicago Matt

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Posts
3,636
Age
73
Location
Woodstock
Totally unexpected, but I'd say it's the inexpensive stock Tex Mex neck pickup that came in my 2016 50s Road Worn Telecaster. It's a great soloing pickup being slightly hotter than vintage, and more mid focused. Cleans up beautifully and is also great with added gain. I have tried 5 different well regarded and more expensive pickups in that spot, thinking there must be something even better, but I haven't found it. The Tex Mex stays.

I liked the stock bridge Tex Mex as well, but found it a bit harsh in the upper register. I ended up replacing it with a Cavalier Fat Lion. The Fat Lion is perfect in that guitar and pairs great with the Tex Mex neck pickup too. I haven't had a desire to change either pickup in that Tele since.
 

Guitarteach

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Posts
11,836
Location
The unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm
SD JB.. a very early one. In my number 2 since the 80’s and its absolutely sings. Perfect solo pickup.

Kent Armstrong rails from ‘92 - grittier and more fun than the SD rails. In my number one.

but the absolute best I ever owned and played was a 70’s Bill Lawrence L90 humbucker size dual blade that was a total blast in a strat.


+1 on the old Ibanez Super 58s from the 80’s. Perfect tone.
 

Phrygian77

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Posts
5,985
Location
Crawfordville, FL
Cavalier Lion King neck. I've been really disappointed by the thin and weak neck pickups in a lot of the sets I've tried. The Lion King is is loud enough to hang with overwound bridges. It has perfect top end bite and clarity without sounding too Stratty. Hail to the Lion King!
 

Golden Strat

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Posts
34
Location
Chicago, IL
Although I have many Fender and Gibson guitars my favorite pickup goes to the Gretsch Dynasonic (Dearmond Model 2000). It may not be the "best" but I love the twang and clank it provides (even more than Tele bridge) when played clean and the way it overdrives when called apon do do so.


full

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
 
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JModz

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Posts
8
Age
47
Location
New Jersey
I had Kent Armstrong’s put into my 64 Hofner Galaxy and it changed everything. I still use lots of Kent Armstrong hand wound pickups. I have L,Fralin set on my Mario Martin S-Style (strat) which sound amazing but are $$$, I still love to put original Seymour Duncan Invader humbuckers with a cover in anything w a bridge it will fit in. I know it’s been said but the Lollar P-90’s are great. I’m waiting for a set Barefoot Pickups I bought to be put in something… we will see. It really depends, some guitars have great wood and builds and the pickups will matter less, it can also change a cheap guitar into sounding like a 3k custom!
 




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