Tele pickups for classic hard rock

Discussion in 'Fender' started by TonyAsh, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh Senior Member

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    I've been thinking of changing the pickups in my Classic Vibe Tele. It's the butterscotch blonde 50's model with stock Alnico V pickups. I like these pickups just fine, but to get the rhythm sound I want I find myself rolling off the tone knob considerably (50% or so) and using a Tube Screamer to boost the mids. The bridge pickup can be pretty harsh when the tone knob is all the way up. Basically, I think I want something in the ballpark of a traditional Tele sound (i.e. still "twangy"), but with a little more midrange and a hair more output. A good reference for the sound I'm kind of loosely chasing is the Tom Petty song "Honey Bee." I don't know if a Tele was even featured on that track, but it seems fairly plausible knowing that Tom and Mike Campbell are known for using them frequently. I'm pretty intrigued with the Seymour Duncan Broadcaster set. But I'd love to hear any suggestions and why you recommend them. Thanks! And here's a photo of my Tele, just because. [​IMG]
     
  2. Slater529

    Slater529 Premium Member

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    The Fender 'Hot Vintage' Bridge pickup would fit the bill. It's the stock pickup in the Highway One Texas Tele, and it's one of the reasons this model is highly sought after. I bought one for my ESP Custom Shop Tele and it KICKS A$$. They stock 'em at Angela Instruments. (no affiliation)

    This pickup still has a bit of twang... definitely sounds like a Tele, but fatter and with more mids. Measures right around 16K.

    Highly recommended!
     
  3. Slater529

    Slater529 Premium Member

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    Nice Tony!

    Here's mine...

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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    I listened to a million bridge pickups before deciding on a Peter Florence TE 50. Just had everything right for Twang to Bang and everything in between.

    I matched it with an Analog Man Big-T Neck pickup.

    I suggest looking into the TE 50 if you're looking to upgrade the Bridge.

    Resized_20170228_234626.jpeg
     
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  5. Uncle Remus

    Uncle Remus Senior Member

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    Not helpful at all, but I get that honey bee tone perfectly with p90s. No matter what you will need to roll the tone back for that sound, teles just have a little too much bite or that with the tone all the way up. I am one who has chased different tones for years like others on this board. If you can get your desired tone with the tone rolled back and a tubescreamer I say just go with it. Tone is an endless Chase that sometimes ends in victory, but normally ends in hundreds or thousands of dollars to not end up far from where you started.
     
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  6. Phil W

    Phil W Senior Member

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    Which pickups was Jimmy Page using on Zeppelin 1 and 2?
     
  7. lemmy loud

    lemmy loud Senior Member

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    I dont know what DiMarzio calls the,m now, but I had one called a PRE-BS TELE in my '77 Tele, and it was hard/ Jimmy PAge/ almost humbucker age when turned all the way up,
    kept the Tele pop when rolled back a little. A real nice pickup
     
  8. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Stock!
     
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  9. Phil W

    Phil W Senior Member

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    Exactly! :)
     
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  10. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Ya know..side note..I have been pleased as pie with the stock sets in my 70's Classic Strats..they do everything a good Strat should..
     
  11. Phil W

    Phil W Senior Member

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    Played through channel 3 of my MESA Mark V the neck pickup of my 52 AVRI Tele provides the best tone I can achieve. I also have 3 Strats, 2 Les Pauls (a 59 reissue included), one customised old Marlin with superb Seymour Duncan pickups and 2 other Telecasters. The basic Telecaster pickups are just VERY good which is why decades of players used them.
     
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  12. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    I like the Broadcaster neck pickup, but pair it with a Jerry Donahue bridge. You get power, a little more midrange, yet it still sounds like a Tele.
     
  13. C_Becker

    C_Becker Dat Gibson smell Premium Member

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    I have CS Texas Specials in my Classic Vibe Custom. You can get a great classic rock Tone with them, not as twangy as others but they still retain that Tele characteristic.
    They cut really well through a mix too.
    A 4-way switch works great with them as well.
     
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  14. lakeburst

    lakeburst Senior Member

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  15. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh Senior Member

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    Okay I get it, stock pickups are cool, the greats played stock guitars, etc. Except that I'm here saying I personally don't feel 100% about these stock CV Alnico 5 pickups. Love the guitar, feel like the bridge pickup in particular could be improved upon as it gets kind of harsh and has an inherent mid-scooped tone. It's probably amazing for country, but I'm not playing that style of music.

    Everyone else, thanks for the suggestions.
     
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  16. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    By all means find a "better" stock type, maybe problem solved?
     
  17. jdto

    jdto Pretend Human Premium Member

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    I really like the classic rock tones I get from my Vineham Classic B in my Partscaster.
     
  18. LtDave32

    LtDave32 Sua Sponte Super Mod Premium Member

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    Tony, our own vendor here, Billy from Electric City pickups makes a series of early Tele pickups from mild to wild. I build for a lot of bands, and they all love the Black Scotch series from Electric City. It gives what you described; still keeping the tele twang but a bit more output.

    Not only what he stocks, but Billy will custom-wind for you as well. Just start a conversation with him and he'll set you up. Terrific guy, that Billy. Good friend of mine and a trustworthy businessman here.



    Here's his profile page if you wish to contact Billy:

    http://www.mylespaul.com/members/bill-m.32780/

    On his page is a link to his website, but I would also recommend that you start a conversation with him about what you need.

    ps, we have a lot of fine pickup winders here on the forum. Great guys like cooljuk, etc. Good men, good products, honest business.

    But I have a lot of experience with Billy and Electric City Pickups, specifically on Telecaster concerns. And he's gone the extra mile and helped me meet a deadline with a customer, and helped me figure out the sound wanted by another customer. So that's why I recommend him, because I know he delivers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
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  19. Walt_T

    Walt_T Senior Member

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    This, exactly.
     
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  20. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh Senior Member

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    I took every single suggestion into consideration and read/watched anything I could about each. In the end I decided to go with a Manlius Broadcaster. I love Mick's Fat Diane, Landmark PAF, and Howlin Goat P90 I have in other guitars, so I'm confident I'll love this one as well. Just the bridge pickup. I'm leaving the stock neck pickup in. Thanks everyone.
     
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