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Thread: Ultimate Tele tone!

  1. #81
    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    This is a great thread. It's so nice to have "the best" tracked down by others, especially those that know great Tele tones when they hear'em. I'm sittin here at work playing my new Tele, so if I take it to my rehearsal space tonight and don't do backflips over the pickups, I'll know what to go to. Thanks guys.
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  2. #82
    18 watts of Mayhemologist JumpMarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    I bumped this because it is so full of great reviews of Tele pups. I would vote to add this to the "Vault" before it's forgotten about.
    '06 Gibson R8, '94 Gibson LP Jr Special, Fender CS Dirty Dozen Strat, Fender Hotrod '52 Tele, /13 FTR37, Kemper, DrZ EMS, DrZ Plus, Various pedals

  3. #83
    Moe's Bluesman Curly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    yup ...

    the only caveat being that we won't have all the follow-ups yet.
    "music heals"
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  4. #84
    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Spoke to MJ again today and she says she's going to wind me a great sounding Tele neck pickup. It'll be alnico 5 and she says it'll have the output and tone of a a5 Strat neck pickup. Really looking forward to it!

    She's also winding me a Jerry Donahue and a Tapped Tele like Curly's and doing those as Antiquitys too.

    Should be cool!

    Lew

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Mark Knopfler got some great Tele tones, as did Jimmy Page. Kinda both sides of the spectrum

  6. #86
    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser
    I'm sittin here at work playing my new Tele . . .
    Heh . . . and I thought I had a great job.

    Must be nice to be able to play your axe at work.

  7. #87
    18 watts of Mayhemologist JumpMarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Bump........can we get a sticky on this thread?
    '06 Gibson R8, '94 Gibson LP Jr Special, Fender CS Dirty Dozen Strat, Fender Hotrod '52 Tele, /13 FTR37, Kemper, DrZ EMS, DrZ Plus, Various pedals

  8. #88
    Ultimate Tone Member BS123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    I haven't even posted in this thread. I have enjoyed reading it too much; plus, I really don't have anything unique to add...
    -Butch Snyder
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  9. #89
    Mojo's Minions dr.barlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    I have something to add. Its already been 2 times I have used my tele (JD) and stratotele (lindy fralin blue sp) in the same gig. At high volumes they are really great. This is not a comparison of the two BTW, because the guitars are different see?

    This is rather to say that Fralin is yes fatter, deeper, but at the same time seems not to lack punch at all. It is a pickup that begs to be played at high volumes with powertube overdrive.

    Whereas with my setup JD sounds somewhat cleaner, more quacky, more tele to my ears. It sorta asks for more cleans, beacause gets beautiful with clean but very slightly overdriven tones. It sounds great overdriven but I now think that its sweetest spot is a little cleaner than the fralin. Then again different guitars, but I don't think these observations would change too much even when compared in the very same guitar on stage (I did do that comparison at home, it is somewhere on the 3rd page; but comparison done on stage is way more important me believes).

    Anyway, both of them are great. BTW I am not gonna get an antiquity, I don't need another tele!

    B
    Last edited by dr.barlo; 06-04-2004 at 02:42 PM.

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Hey all,

    1st of all: try a 5/2!


    got 8 teles, down from 10. use only 2
    tried a lot of pickups
    playing blues through a Matchless Lightning
    almost always neck pick up (I think it's the physical position of neck pickups, i.e., a place where the string moves more, gives more energy, I say that cuz I like that position on ALL guitars, strats, ES-???, whatever)
    I want the dark tele sound, no twang please, give me Cropper, Campilongo, Buchanan.

    O.K.
    I've tried Bardens, JD, Alnico II pro, vinatge broadcaster, lil '59, Fralin Blues Specials, fralin Stock neck, 5/2 bridge.
    Two favorites right now are the Fralin stock neck and the Alnico II pro neck.
    Want to try a Lollar stock neck or Fralin Stock neck or 5/2 neck with the cover off.

    I've found that the killer tone I dial-in at home (during band practice) doesn't translate well at the gig. The tone can be relatively muffled in the mix, so I end up switching on the bridge pup and usually enter a twang zone that I don't want to be in. Other guit player in the band plays a strat
    hoping the coverless neck pup will brighten/clarify the sound without changing the neck position signature flavor. Any comments anyone?

    Coverless Fralin Blues Special neck I found to be too harsh in the highs.
    tried working with pup height but to no avail
    Blues Special bridge is great!

    Alnico II pro neck is great, but low strings can be muddy. Well, I'm using it anyway.

    Alnico II pro bridge is great (same thing about low string mud).
    JD was a little much on output.
    Vintage Broadcaster Bridge: too Rock!
    Nashville Studio 5/2 Bridge GREAT!
    lil '59 bridge: too hot, lost the single coil definition
    (I've been staying off the bridge pups, so my opinions on neck pups are probably better, more updated than my bridge pup opinions.)

    Bardens were just too clean

    Strat pup in neck position Tele: I didn't like it's sound, strings don't line up over pole pieces.

    So, coverless Fralin or Lollar stock neck..scatterwound..yeah!
    OR a coverless 5/2 neck!
    Worried about more elec. noise though.
    Have shielded my tele cavities with copper foil tape with good results

    Have a Chandler Metro with 2 P90s
    Want to try the new Aerodyne tele with P90 neck pup!

    2 main teles:
    1 - "Red" - C.A.R. MIJ 62 RI Tele custom w/Alnico II pro neck and 5/2 bridge w/Vintique angled brass saddles/6105 frets (love those 60's style tele customs, I have no teles w/maple fretboards)
    2 - "Creme" - Vint. White Warmoth S.Ash body/warmoth boatneck compound radius, 6105 frets, Vintique bridge/saddles/neck bolt kit/control ass'y
    (DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH VINTIQUE, I've been waiting TWO YEARS to have a small order completed, try Callaham Guitars)

    Others:
    2 more MIJ 62 RI tele customs (went ebay crazy..but hey... they are appreciating slowly)
    USA 62 RI tele custom (nice pups!)
    72 neck on a 68 body (blonde/RW) tele (my only "vintage")
    "Babe, The Blue Ax" - MIJ 3 pup Daphne Blue Tele Dlx with Warmoth BARITONE neck. Subsonic-type gage strings vs. true baritone (tuned to "C", 4 half steps down from normal)
    Custom Shop Baritone (Bajo Sexto)

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Harmonic Design Super 90 bridge/Vintage Plus neck/ 4-way switch.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Quote Originally Posted by dr.barlo
    This is rather to say that Fralin is yes fatter, deeper, but at the same time seems not to lack punch at all. It is a pickup that begs to be played at high volumes with powertube overdrive.

    B
    Great thread! I have to thank Lew for his review of the BS's on HC. It's one of the reasons I bought them. The Fralin Blues Specials in my Tele have an explosive quality when you really crank the volume up. At high volume they're very energetic sounding as in a horse breaking out of a stable. When I first installed them I got a few looks from my bass player as in "Wow, what the heck is that?" playing at low volumes I have to roll the volume knob down just a tad to get rid of some of the thickness, but it thins out pretty well when I do this. I played the CS Nocaster set for a few weeks and on my guitar and amp, it always seemed to bring a little of a Country Western sound to what I was doing. Unfortunately, I don't do C&W so I tried the Fralins.

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Just ordered 2 of the Nashville Studio 5/2 pups for neck position.
    I going to take the cover off of one of them for a little bit brighter sound, but still the overall signature of that pup position.

  14. #94
    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    I replaced the Nocaster lead pickup in my '53 Tele with a Jerry Donahue last night, but left the Nocaster neck pickup in place. I like the Nocaster neck alot but the lead had to go...just not enough low end growl for the kind of rock tone I like.

    I received my TS-9's modded to TS-808 specs by John (STRATDELUXER97) and when I tried them with the Nocasters in my '53 I couldn't get the growly, moaning, pinch harmonics off of the low E string I love. It's kind of a Jeff Beck thing I like to do and the Nocaster didn't have enough lower mids to pull it off the way I like.

    I plugged in my '54 Tele with the Fralins and got the tone I love instantly.

    So I replaced the Nocaster lead with the Jerry Donahue I had in my alder bodied James Burton: what a difference!

    Much thicker, livlier tone.

    So my three Tele's are set up with the three finest NEW lead pickups I've ever used:


    '53 Fender Custom Shop Tele: Duncan JD bridge & Nocaster neck
    '54 Fender Tele: Fralin Blues Specials
    '02 James Burton: Duncan Antiquity Tele

    They all sound great. Three differant sounding Teles and all three awesome!

    They'll stay with this configuration until the Duncan Custom Shop pickups MJ is winding for me arrive.

    Lew

  15. #95
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    great thread guys, I too have been on the lookout for my ideal tele bridge pickup.

    I've narrowed down my choices to the following:

    SD Broadcaster
    SD Jerry Donahue
    Fender Nocaster

    can anyone compare these three together? especially the JD and Nocaster. I want a pickup which still has that bright/vintage vibe with plenty of twang, but that isn't too bright, kinda smooth, but not too middy (like some other tele pups I've played)

    so in other words, A SMOOTH YET BRIGHT AND VERY TWANGY pickup. For reference, my tele is a 2001 am. series w/alder body + maple neck. Any ideas?

  16. #96
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    If the body is pretty light in weight, then I'd vote for the Nocaster, but if it is heavier and brighter sounding then I'd go for the JD. I haven't used the Broadcaster, but the price is right and lots of people at the TDPRI forum like them.

  17. #97
    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsey
    If the body is pretty light in weight, then I'd vote for the Nocaster, but if it is heavier and brighter sounding then I'd go for the JD. I haven't used the Broadcaster, but the price is right and lots of people at the TDPRI forum like them.
    Kelsey, I know you like the Nocaster pickups (and so do I) but I think I'd go straight to the Jerry Donahue or Antiquity over the Nocaster...but I really like those two. The Nocaster has more of a classic Tele tone: bright, a little steely and very twangy with decent mids but not an overabundance of mids. The Jerry Donahue has a lot more mids and a tone with a lot more quack to it...I like that kind of tone better myself.

    I've tried both the Jerry Donahue and the Nocasters in both my alder Tele and my swamp ash Tele: I like the JD better in both of them.... tho the Nocaster sounded better in the lighter swamp ash Tele than it did in the slightly heavier alder Tele where it sounded a little to bright for my tastes.

    The Duncan Broadcaster is a cool pickup...it's alnico 5 so it has lots of bass and treble and good mids but again, not an overabundance of mids.

    Compared to the other Duncans, I found it to be a little less interesting and complex than the Antiquity and brighter and with less mids than the JD.

    I guess I'm saying the Antiquity and the Jerry Donahue are my favorites of the Duncans I've tried. In a way, the JD is like a slightly overwound Antiquity...the JD is a little darker and thicker...the Antiquity is a little brighter and livlier.

    Lew
    Last edited by Lewguitar; 06-11-2004 at 06:15 AM.

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Lew,

    I like the JD a lot, but it doesn't have as much bite as the Nocaster does, and for some folks bite = Tele tone (and I don't mean icepick tone). I think the JD and Nocaster complement each other nicely if you have a pair of Teles. I haven't tried the Antiquity flatpole, but I suspect I'd like it a lot. My only concern is mating it with a neck pickup I'd like. It's pretty tempting to just buy a Nocaster set and be done with it for a vintage Tele combo, but it's hard to beat the JD if you want a Phat Cat, mini-HB, or full-size vintage HB at the neck.

    Now, if I could only figure out the right bridge pickup for a Strat with SSL-1s at the neck amd middle...

  19. #99
    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    I agree with you about the JD and when I want a little more bite I can just switch over to the Antiquity. I think of the Antiquity as being a slightly underwound JD and the JD being a slightly overwound Antiquity!

    I really like the Nocaster neck pickup with the JD, BTW. Combined they really have a great, chimey rythym tone...very special, IMO.

    Probably my favorite N & B combined tone of either of the three Teles.

    Lew

  20. #100
    Ultimate Tone Member BS123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultimate Tele tone!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewguitar
    I'm curious what some of you seasoned Tele-spankers think of when you picture the ultimate Tele tone...
    I know earlier that I said I really had nothing unique to add here, but I changed my mind. Having played a Telecaster, actually many different models, I have seen many elements that truly affect the tone. Back in the early 80's when I hated Telecasters and anything remotely resembling Country music (I was a Prog Rock and Fusion nut), I heard an Albert Lee album and was absolutely blown away by the tone he had. It was very bright, sparkly, and oh so spanky. I could tell that he was using only the bridge pickup. I went and bought a 62' RI that same week. The problem is that I didn't sound like him. No matter what I tried, I could get that super tweangy chicken pickin' tone. You see, and I'm sure that Lew and others will agree that the Telecaster, more than any other electric guitar, is defined by all the elements that are associated with it. And, more than anything, the true tone of a Telecaster is defined by the way one plays it. The right hand technique is absolutely essential in achieving great Tele tone. In regards to my Albert Lee tone issue, I was not using proper right hand technique. I found that out when I bought his Starlicks video; which, BTW, has some of the best Tele tone I have ever heard. He was using not only his pick, but he was using his fingers too. That's the hybrid method you hear about. I couldn't do that. Also, he really tended to "pop" the strings with really gaave his tone a cool spank. His pickups were stock in his 53 Tele.

    In the early 90's and even presently, Brent Mason has defined a lot of the cool Tele tone that's out there. I really like his tone on the Alan Jackson CD's as well as his own Hot Wired CD. It reminds me a lot of the Albert Lee tone I feel in love with in the early 80's but a bit more compressed.

    As far as Seymour Duncan pickups that can help achieve that tone, for me it would be the APTL-3JD, APTL-1, STK-T3b, Antiquity, STL-1b, and STL-1. I know that includes everything except the 1/4-pounder and the Hot model. But in the right hands, anything will work. Above all, I always come back to the APTL-3JD Jerry Donahue model. It has everything I like: good ouput, punchy, sparkly tone, Incredible sustain, and a really cool player's name on it. I even like the black yarn. I always say that I need to go noiseless. My Variax is noiseless with a preamp. When I plug my Tele in, i get noise and the volume drops. But the tone from the Jerry Donaue model is unsurpassed to me.
    -Butch Snyder
    butchsnyder.com

    Never cut your nose off to spite your face. It never grows back...

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