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Thread: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

  1. #21
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    We run into an issue when describing sound with words, don't we?
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Yeah, one man's flat is another man's even. One man's fat is another man's boomy. So on and so forth.

    Then, there's the difference in experience and circumstance. I had a '59n in a strat neck, and thought it was... just really plain and generic, nothing special. That was from about '99 to '07. But I kept it, put a cover on it, and put it in my les paul a couple of years ago, and... BOOM. the same pickup was exactly what I was looking for in that axe. but that's also in comparison to my recollections, my early 2000's rig, different guitars, etc. Like if anyone were to ask me about the DiMarzio evolution, I'd not have great things to say about it. But if I were to try it today in a different guitar, 20 some years later, who knows.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Now, getting back to that tele, if the neck p90 isn't doing it for you... yeah, without mods or adding a pickguard or something you are a bit bound to the existing route. DiMarzio seems to be the company that is making a bunch of their traditional pickups in p90 sized formats. Might be worth just picking one, see if you like it, and if not take advantage of their exchange policy.
    I remember having a deluxe series tele from that early 2000's era (their '50s deluxe or whatever it was). I remember not being bowled over by that guitar or its pickups, but as stated above... that's relative to my experience and expectations at the time. In my current tele, I'm actually really happy with the Fender tex-mex tele pickups. Pretty traditional vibe, but sorta hot. Exactly what I was looking for, nice sounding, and cheap on the used market.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by pskorz View Post
    I mean who the hell would get anything sound-based when it's described as "flat?"

    To me, it just seems that no frequency stands out more than the rest, so it's not super-bassy, not middy, not a trebly nightmare. It's a very evenly voiced pickup, with no really dominating part of the spectrum. I just wish there were a more sexy way to say that than "flat."
    For the record, at least in the context of this thread, the above quote is what I mean when I say "flat" or "even". Listening to a clip of an A4 pickup is the first time I've really noticed the sonic characteristics of a magnet or a particular pickup. Nothing really stands out. Not that its a bad thing by any means. It just may not be considered interesting on its own, but it could be a good base to let your amp really shape your tone.

  5. #25
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrashPanda View Post
    The thought of leaving the tele alone has crossed my mind more than once. I even have saved searches on reverb and eBay in case the occasional aerodyne tele body shows up for a decent price. I'm not above keeping mine stock, but having a 2nd one to mod. I really like the carved top look on a tele, wish fender had more.

    But I do agree, the bridge isn't the problem. That P90 blows. That's what started this whole thing, I was trying to figure out if the one in the aerodyne was a shining example of all P90s or just an uninspired throwaway in an otherwise great guitar. I don't really want to just live with it like it is, I'd at least like it to be something I don't hate.
    The idea behind the bridge was mostly "if you get this neck pickup, this bridge pickup compliments it really well", but also an opportunity to see what people recommended if I do decide to pull the trigger on a new bridge. One less thread I gotta make later.

    Amp and fx? My current amp is a tiny terror and matching 212 I got in a trade. It's not sticking around. All of my recording setup is direct in. Helix, neural dsp, etc.
    I am a big time P90 lover. That P90 is among the worst I have ever heard. It is atypically bad, and not representative of what P90s sound like IME. It's muddy and indistinct in tone, and a terrible match for the bridge pickup in that guitar.

    A Firebird pickup (neck wind) is a better match to that bridge pickup, IMO.

    Or you could just crank it down low and ignore it, or unhook it. For the music/tones you're talking about, you can easily survive without using a neck pickup.

    Do you like the middle switch position?
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 04-06-2020 at 12:49 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    very true. I like it for what it is, but you're correct that if you're after a certain type of EQ, an evenly voiced one certainly wouldn't do the trick.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    Or you could just crank it down low and ignore it, or unhook it. For the music/tones you're talking about, you can easily survive without using a neck pickup.

    Do you like the middle switch position?
    It's a utility thing. The pickup is there, there is a spot for it, I'd like to have it and for it to be usable.

    And I have never used the middle position. It's honestly not a position I use a whole bunch on any 2 pickup guitar. Usually front or back.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by pskorz View Post
    DiMarzio seems to be the company that is making a bunch of their traditional pickups in p90 sized formats. Might be worth just picking one, see if you like it, and if not take advantage of their exchange policy.
    Their Virtual90 piqued my interest. Definitely looks like an interesting option and one I'm still considering.

  9. #29
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrashPanda View Post
    It's a utility thing. The pickup is there, there is a spot for it, I'd like to have it and for it to be usable.

    And I have never used the middle position. It's honestly not a position I use a whole bunch on any 2 pickup guitar. Usually front or back.
    Same here. I practically never use middle positions on three-way guitars, or the notch positions on five-way guitars.

    I would go for a Duncan mini humbucker, SM-1n. This is an original-style Firebird pickup, but underwound. It's bright and aggressive, but clear. Very good match for a Tele bridge pickup.

    In order to do this, you need to convert to Les Paul Deluxe style mounting. That involves installing a threaded metal strip on the bottom of the pickup cavity. Then you need to purchase the right pickup ring. It has the outline of a P-90 pickup cover, but it is drilled and cut out differently (to accept a mini humbucker or Firebird pickup and its adjustment screws). Then you need spacers, springs, and retainers. Stew-Mac has almost all of this in a kit: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...g_Bracket.html. You just need to purchase the mounting ring in addition: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...ting_Ring.html.

    Be aware that the SM-2s and SM-3s use a different construction – not original-style Firebird construction. They are hotter.

    Also be aware that your can special order the SM-1, 2, and 3 pickups with Firebird style smooth covers, instead of the covers with the hideous Duncan logo stamp.
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 04-06-2020 at 04:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Looked everywhere, but can't make up my mind. Tele and SG pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    In order to do this, you need to convert to Les Paul Deluxe style mounting. That involves installing a threaded metal strip on the bottom of the pickup cavity. Then you need to purchase the right pickup ring. It has the outline of a P-90 pickup cover, but it is drilled and cut out differently (to accept a mini humbucker or Firebird pickup and its adjustment screws). Then you need spacers, springs, and retainers. Stew-Mac has almost all of this in a kit: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...g_Bracket.html. You just need to purchase the mounting ring in addition: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...ting_Ring.html.
    Thats pretty cool. I may have mentioned that miniHBs or Firebirds are something I've never dealt with (pretty much all HB and Tele pickups the last 15 years) but if its that easy to convert, I'll certainly look harder at those as other options.


    If anyone is interested, I also emailed Ben at Bare Knuckle for advice. He recommended the Flat50/Blue Note for the Tele and an Emerald set for the SG. I don't know what to compare the Emeralds or the Blue Note too, but I wonder how different the Jerry Donahue is to the Flat 50 or Flat 52 (which I believe is the original Flat 50)
    Last edited by TrashPanda; 04-07-2020 at 04:46 AM.

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