Your opinions on pickups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by CharXIV, May 16, 2020.

  1. CharXIV

    CharXIV TDPRI Member

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    So as some of you know, I just bought a 2010 Tele American Special and from the spec sheet it says that it comes stock with Texas Special pickups. I'm not overly fond of these pickups and I have a pair in my kit Tele I built, so I was wondering if you seasoned telecaster vets have any suggestions for new pickups that would sound good with the alder body and that are single coil, or amazing humbuckers. I'm leaning towards Noiseless Gen 4 at the moment but I want something that sounds great, not twangy, and has a lot of versatility. Thanks for your help in advance.
     
  2. CharXIV

    CharXIV TDPRI Member

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    Also what are your opinions on Obsidian wire 4-way kits? do they provide better results than soldering it yourself?
     
  3. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Two pickup winders who get a lot of love here are Rob at Cavalier pickups and Bootstrap pickups. Both have excellent reputations for impeccable service, quality, and value. I can attest to Cavalier pickups personally. Rob is a member here and very frank and approachable. Just tell him what you want to accomplish and he’ll point you in the right direction and wind some tremendous pickups for you.

    Bootstraps also garner very similar comments and they are bargain priced.

    As far as the 4way kits that are available, if you have decent soldering skills, you can save yourself about 40 bucks by doing it yourself. It all depends on what value you place on your time.

    edit: Oops, I didn’t realize Obsidianwire was a non solder kit. No comment. I’ve steered clear of that method. Good ole fashioned solder joints haven’t failed me yet.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  4. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Afflicted

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    Just go with the Bootstraps. They seem to be shipping faster right now.
     
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  5. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Cavalier Fat or Huge Lion and a Fat Lion King Or Fat Lioness.

    Custom built and shipped in four business days.

    I'm not affiliated with Cavalier. Just a consistently satisfied customer.:D
     
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  6. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster TDPRI Member

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    It's funny that I have a pair of Custom Shop Texas Specials going into my next build.What don't you like about yours? I used the Duncan FIVE-TWO's on my last one that was ash. the name refers to the alnico magnets used and not the vintage.I would go back to those if the TS's don't work out.Four way all the way.If you don't have soldering skills a kit would be the way to go.
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    If you are considering noiseless pickups, I really like Kinmans.
    I like their Broadcaster set.
    Rio Grande Muy Grande models are my favorite true single coils.
     
  8. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    My #1 favorites for standard Tele tones:

    Cavalier Lion King or Lioness at the neck
    (both have A5 mags, Lioness is a Lion King without cover)

    Cavalier Oildale or 51/52 at the bridge (both have A3 mags)
    (Nashville A5 is a very close runner up)

    I like the A5's at the neck, where a little extra sparkle is very good. And A3's at the bridge where a slight roundness of warmth is quite welcome.

    Price is excellent, quality is awesome, tone is superb.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
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  9. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Don’t get the Huge Lion if the Texas Specials aren’t cutting it for you. Hard to say what you might like, given those two pickups move away from from what people call twang. I’d get a Nashville Lion or Fat Lion. I wouldn’t be too concerned about Rob calling those pickups ‘twangy’, it’s more about how you play when it comes to twang at that point.

    The CS Twisted Tele pickups might be what you want though, or pickups with similar specs...
     
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  10. CharXIV

    CharXIV TDPRI Member

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    They seem to be really quiet in the middle position and I need some variety.
     
  11. CharXIV

    CharXIV TDPRI Member

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    I have to watch some videos on the twisted teles, but why twisted teles over gen 4 noiseless ?
     
  12. CharXIV

    CharXIV TDPRI Member

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    How does the coil winding direction affect the sound?
     
  13. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I’ve never used those pickups, so couldn’t help you there. The main benefit over a TT set would be that it’s noiseless, but I suspect that comes at a cost to the sound. Those trade offs are something a player has to figure out by trying em.
     
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  14. 5stringsdown

    5stringsdown Tele-Meister

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    I have Wolfetone pups in my tele and they are never coming out.
    Really great guy to deal with as well.
    Check em out!
     
  15. guspac88

    guspac88 Tele-Meister

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    They're probably wired out of phase, that'd be a wiring issue and not a pickup issue. It's definitely worth trying to swap before throwing hundreds of bucks at new pickups, unless you're using it as an excuse in which case I totally understand ;)
     
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  16. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Whoa, there, CharXIV, hold the phone! Have you actually plugged in and played your American Special?

    FYI, the pickups in the early Fender American Special's were NOT Fender CS Texas Special pickups; they were actually Fender Highway One Texas Tele pickups, described as "hot, vintage alnico III pickups".

    These pickups were leftovers after production of the Fender Highway One Texas Tele was discontinued, so Fender decided to use them in the newly announced Fender American Special Tele.

    There are plenty of folks who love their Fender Highway One Texas Tele pickups.

    If you haven't tried them yet, then I'd recommend that you do. ;) You just may be pleasantly surprised. :)
     
  17. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    Pickups are like Wine. That’s why the older pickups sound so very good. It’s all about Time and nothing else.
    There are men out there that can speed up the process but it’s tough and the pricing is a reflection.
     
  18. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Great, not twangy, lots of versatility doesn't narrow it down enough for use to provide meaningful suggestions. More detail, please! What do you want?
     
  19. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    @CharXIV as for the TS set you have, I'd evaluate them separately. IMO the two pickups are quite unlike each other. The TS neck is on of my favorites. Traditional warmth, with more definition than the old pickups. The TS bridge pickup is another matter. It's an in your face midrange that doesn't suit me.
     
  20. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Holic

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    I have another Tele that came with what are known as Hot A3s. To my ears these sounded best with overdriven tones but didn’t sound great clean. If you see threads from back then, these pickups were quite polarising. People either loved them or hated them. Perhaps they work better with more modern music styles than I tend to play.
     
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