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(yet another) Esquire pickup thread: what do YOU like?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by El Reclusa, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    I have tried two pickups in my Esquire. The CV 50's Alnico III (very similar to the Tonerider Hot Classic) is excellent IMHO. It can twang or rock. The Dimarzio Pre-B1 is a rock machine! Not much twang though. Both are really good in an Esquire, it just depends what kind of stuff you want to play.
     
  2. Hoodster

    Hoodster Friend of Leo's

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    The JD is what I went with in my Esquire. Covers it all:

     
  3. Hoodster

    Hoodster Friend of Leo's

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    There George goes again. I agree that the Little 59 is a very compressed pickup and can sound dark through the wrong amp, but it produces some great tones through a Blackface Fender. I definitely would not want it to be my only Telecaster bridge pickup, but it has its place in a multi-Tele arsenal.

    Mine is not in an Esquire, but you'll get the idea:

     
  4. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

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    Ha! Your video was one of the big factors in my considering the JD for my Esquire! That, and Robert Quine and Marc Ribot saying good things about that pickup...
     
  5. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

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    Sorry Hoodster--I do not mean to keep contradicting you and have no reason other than my own experience to comment on the lil' 59. I have been on this page since 1997, have known many, many people who have tried the lil' 59 and I have had two or three of them. The idea of a hot and quiet tele bridge pickup is very appealing. But I do find that Duncan's characterizing this pickup sounding like a full size '59 bucker is completely off base. I have a Les Paul with a pair of Duncan '59's in it and the bridge actually is far brighter than a lil' 59 in a tele. The lil' 59 really sounds like a full size JB to my ears, and I have owned guitars with full size JB's as well.

    Most people who have tried a lil' 59 and have a "feel" for what a tele should "feel" like have taken it out. By all means, anyone who is curious should buy one and try it. Duncan even has a pretty cool exchange policy. And you can almost always find them used for cheap.

    I just listened to your video thru some good monitor speakers on my desktop computer and yes, you can turn up the treble all you want, but an audio demo cannot convey "feel". Again, I regard your opinion as valid for what you like and what you hear, but I just don't like the lil' 59 as a "tele" pickup--not to say that is not fun to put an amp on "11" and play pinch harmonics and hero guitar licks. But I've replaced the lil' 59 with something like a Duncan Hot Tele and sighed with relief that I had my tele back... The Hot Tele will also sound killer thru an amp on 11 (with some buzzzz) and doing pinch harmonics, and have the feel of a tele.

    By the way, I also have a '70ish SF Champ with a ceramic Weber signature speaker, and a '64 Vibro Champ, and a couple Princetons ('64 and '69), a '64 non reverb Deluxe.... So I do love my BF and SF Fenders. And I like your JD pickup demo.

    Peace,
    George
     
  6. Hoodster

    Hoodster Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks. I do value and respect your input, and BTW I do agree that the Little does not sound like the full 59. Not only is it not as bright, but it is also much more compressed. For me the compression is a bigger negative, and why I will most likely replace the pickup eventually, probably with the Lollar Vintage T.
     
  7. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

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    One other comment is that the lil' 59 wired in parallel is basically like a 4k-ish Duckbucker strat pickup (which are natively wired in parallel). My favorite implementation of a lil' 59 was in an old Am Standard tele that I built in the 90's with a real vintage Gibson minibucker in the neck (about 5.8k as I recall). The parallel lil' 59 was actually a good match in intensity, and it was a nice quiet gigging guitar with 3 nice and balanced switch positions. I sold it as it was to a guy who loved it, and keep meaning to build another tele with a Gibson mini in the neck. I actually preferred the parallel lil' 59 to a Barden, which I also tried in the bridge of that guitar. But it had that lack of "feel" like I find in Lace Sensors and other small buckers.

    George
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  8. Hoodster

    Hoodster Friend of Leo's

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    That lack of "feel" is hard to describe, but I think it's similar to what I experienced with the Dimarzio Area T. It is a very versatile pickup (much more so than the Little 59) and actually worked very well in an Esquire set-up, but there was just *something* missing that I have only found in a true single coil.
     
  9. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

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    When you have a lot of years of playing behind you, the "feel" ends up being hard to define but is tangible. For instance, in addition to my real Fender tube amps, I have a couple Pathfinder 15R's and a Cube 80X. The Cube is my go-to amp for various jams and shows where I don't know the room and may need volume ranging from Champ to Super Reverb levels, with a consistent amount of overdrive. (I play it in BF Fender mode almost all the time and ignore 95% of the features.)

    I've gotten lots of tone compliments and enjoy my own tone playing the Cube (and Pathfinders), but if I plug into a tube amp that is cooking at the proper volume sitting next to the Cube, well, there is the "feel" that I lose with the Cube... You compromise where you need to. The Cube sounds better than a Fender amp that I can't turn over "2" on the vol control, and sounds better than a dimed Fender amp that still isn't loud enough.

    George
     
  10. arem

    arem Tele-Meister

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    I actually replaced a Lil '59 with the Cavalier Lion for exactly that reason, that the guitar didn't "feel" like an Esquire with Lil' 59 in. As soon as I dropped the Lion in it was like the guitar woke up, it just "feels" more responsive and alive. A hard thing to capture in a demo and I'm sure a listener would have a hard time telling much difference, but I make changes to my gear for me, not the audience.
     
  11. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Another SD Broadcaster fan here. With steel saddles, it's a Twang-machine!
     
  12. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

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    That reminds me, I was considering trying some of those wacky aluminum or titanium ot mixed-bag sets of saddles on the Esquire, just outta curiosity. I'm pretty happy with steels on Teles, though...
     
  13. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

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    I tried a 7.3k Nocaster pickup (reissue, of course) in my '53 partscaster/Esquire, and it was good, but not great in position 3. So I went to one of the older Nocaster reissue pickups, a 10.2k, which was a big improvement.

    Then I tried an O.C. Duff Plankster (9.8k), and I found exactly what I was looking for!
     
  14. Skub

    Skub Poster Extraordinaire

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    /Thread end.

    Rob has been up front enough to let you try before you buy. Nuff sed.
     
  15. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    +1 Bob will wind to get you tone you want..
     
  16. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, raunchy and rocking are the bigger part of what I'm after, but does it do sweet, too?
     
  17. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

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    I have not tried one of Rob's, but a 10k tele pickup is perfect in theory, extrapolating from my 46 years of playing. I love my 10k Rio Muy Grande, and just got a response from Duncan that they are "contemplating" a medium hot line of tele pickups.

    Find something with some good reviews that is around 10k--and give Rob a few extra points for being a realist, trust Rob because he's an old fart who has been around for a few years (I have been on the TDP since 1997 an am hoping that Rob sends me a PM offering me a deal on a killer featherweight tele body ane neck), and if that is what you think you need, go for it. That is the territory I would aim for in an Esquire.

    George
     
  18. Hoodster

    Hoodster Friend of Leo's

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    Rio's site says:

    MGTB Muy Grande Tele Bridge 8.5 Alnico 5
     
  19. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

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    And you are right...it's been a LONG time since I've given any thought to numbers on my Muy Grande...it does measure only about 8.3k in the guitar which explains why it does sound more "tele" than a lot of the big overwinds--it does pick up sonic girth from the large slug magnets which are probably the size of a Quarter Pounder.

    I remember the Muy having about the same volume as a 13k Pre-B1, with the latter being more middy and not as hifi sounding. (Long time since I've had a Pre-B1 in a guitar.)

    Thanks for the memory jog...they say that the two main things that deteriorate when you get older is that first the memory goes, and I can't remember the second thing...

    George
     
  20. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

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    Bump...Cavalier Lion will arrive Monday! Can't wait.

    After much deliberation, it was between the Cav & a CS Nocaster, mostly for budgetary reasons. I'll post about the Cavalier once it's in...though there's so much love for it around here, it may be a bit redundant. I certainly hope it is!
     
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