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Unread 08-01-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
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Tele Pickups

So as you know, I'm building a telecaster, and I'm planning on buying the pickups soon, but I'm really kinda lost... I have no idea what to get.

I want pups that sound like a tele, but don't have the hum, as I plan on using distortion quite a bit. Two options I've been recommended are Fender SCN tele pups and EMG active tele pups. Reading around, it seems like the EMG's are a better pup, but I still don't know.

Suggestions?

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Unread 08-01-2009, 11:39 PM   #2
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IMO EMG p'ups will not sound anything at all like a real tele. They are way too sterile and clean and don't have the open tone of a true Fender pup. But to be fair, nothing active does, it's a technology for an entirely different type of sound. Personally the idea of an active pup for a tele makes me cringe... But that's just me

For noisless I'd go with Seymour Duncan's on the low end of the budget and, if you want to go all out, get a set of Joe Barden Danny Gatton's, they are the ultimate. Kinman and Bill Lawrence are also good and I've heard good things about Voodoo, but I've never tried them. The Fender SCN are decent, but I think there's better out there for the money
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Unread 08-02-2009, 05:50 AM   #3
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I'm going with Bill Lawrence on my partcaster project. I've heard a LOT of great things about his noiseless p'ups.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 07:41 AM   #4
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Teles are a bit noisy and raunchy sounding. That's the nature of the beast and why I enjoy them so much.

A set of Duncans would be OK.

I'm using a set of GFS Cool Vintage rails in mine right now and they have tons of twang with no noise. They're very responsive, almost too much so. Mine are set so low they almost are flush with the pick guard. They're a "Poor Man's Barden". Bardens are, indeed, the ultimate and probably worth every penny.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:05 AM   #5
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I've heard Don Mare is fantastic, and nobody has mentioned Rio Grande yet. Lawrence Keystones are supposed to be amazing and cheap, but it all depends on which Tele sound you're after.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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It seems everyone raves about Bardens, but to my ears your guitar won't sound like a Tele with bardens on.
There is a video I had which I loaned to a friend, he sadly lost it . With Danny Gatton , Vince Gill and Albert lee playing. Gatton had Bardens on his Tele, Lee was playing a music man and Gill a traditional Tele. I think Gatton was brilliant, one of my favourite guitarists, but side by side you could tell the "real" telecaster.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 12:26 PM   #7
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The Fender SCN is an excellent choice for a rhythm pup, but the lead version sounds pretty bland. I went with a Fender SCN neck and a Dimarzio Area-T (alnico 2)in the bridge. You can usually find the SCN used on ebay for around 50, and the Area-T not much more than that on ebay new (I think I paid 58 for one brand new). This combo is pretty quiet...the Dimarzio has the smallest hint of hum in it...the scn is dead quiet. Tonally, they make for a nice modern sounding axe.

Mind you, I completely shielded my tele, and replaced the lead wires on the pups with shielded wire, so it should be pretty quiet.

For a more vintage sound (and more noise), go with Mick Breirely. Brierley Hand Wound Guitar Pickups I priced these in January and with the exchange rate, they're stupid cheap for handwound custom pickups...cheaper than a set of Seymour Duncan. I've had several friends get some from him...he's easy to work with and is willing to do whatever it takes to make you happy.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyskankrye View Post
I'm going with Bill Lawrence on my partcaster project. I've heard a LOT of great things about his noiseless p'ups.
Which one? I am a big fan of the bill and bucky ones, rather than the Bill Lawrence USA ones.

Just FYI, Bill Lawrence is not a fan of the SCN's. He told me so last time I ordered pickups. (He is the designer, and says he did it exactly to fender's specs.)

Most of his pickups are VERY affordable direct.

My lollar with a coil tap is the best pickup I have played for a tele, but that model is $150. I like the rio grande vintage tallboy set, but these both have noise. Wilde or Keystones by BL will probably be the cheapest solution that is excellent and noise free.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 02:02 PM   #9
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So here I'm guessing?

Which ones, the L-280 TN and L202 TN?
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If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. - Stephen Hawking
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymoose View Post
So here I'm guessing?

Which ones, the L-280 TN and L202 TN?
My advice to you, call Becky Lawrence. She usually answers the phone.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billgamesh View Post
Which one?
I was looking at a L-298S set but it's not in stone yet.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 10:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billgamesh View Post
My advice to you, call Becky Lawrence. She usually answers the phone.
So she'll help me figure out what I need?

I'm guessing I'll have to wait until tuesday though...
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If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. - Stephen Hawking
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Unread 08-04-2009, 12:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by crazymoose View Post
So she'll help me figure out what I need?

I'm guessing I'll have to wait until tuesday though...
Becky really will. She has always been helpful about such things when I have called.
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