The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Guitars for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Installing humbuckers on a telecaster, silly question? Electric Guitar
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Installing humbuckers on a telecaster, silly question?

Hi all.
Attached is a picture of my tele (or fake tele)
Silly question but are those single coils?
I like humbuckers for grunge but it looks to me like there isn't space for a second coil?
Is dual coil on a tele just something noone does or am I missing something?
Attached Thumbnails
Installing humbuckers on a telecaster, silly question?-s-l400.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Here for the gear
 
Kozmos88's Avatar
 

Quote:
I like humbuckers for grunge but it looks to me like there isn't space for a second coil?
the bridge p.u. looks to be single coil ..
as for the neck .. probably is ..
you can tell by the sound if they're single coils

if you want to install humbuckers ..
there be single coil 'size' stacked humbuckers
i.e sized to fit in a fender single coil slot
try viewing the 'seymour duncan' site for examples
( be plenty of other makes available )

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

people have been putting humbuckers on tele's since they were invented!


MC
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Zoobiedood's Avatar
 

They look like single coils to me, unless they are stacked. Stacked pickups are 2 coils on top of each other, but they aren't really to get the sound of a humbucker. Usually they are designed that way to get rid of single coil hum, but still sound like single coil pickups.
If you want humbuckers, you will need either a new bridge & pickguard as well, or get some humbuckers that are in a single-coil size...2 smaller coils next to each other.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
Why ruin a perfectly good Tele with humbuckers? Every time I see a thread like this I just don't get it. Go get a humbuckin' guitar and let the Tele be a Tele. Better yet. Learn all the nuances that it has to offer. You may be surprised.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
Why ruin a perfectly good Tele with humbuckers? Every time I see a thread like this I just don't get it. Go get a humbuckin' guitar and let the Tele be a Tele. Better yet. Learn all the nuances that it has to offer. You may be surprised.
I have various tele's with different pickups in the neck position. The telecaster has a certain feel about it and putting humbuckers/different pickups in the neck position is a way of sculpting the sound to your choice. A lot of humbucker guitars especially Gibsons are shorter scale than a fender and aren't bolt on necks so they're inherently going to feel and sound different.


Ted Greene the great jazz guitar player/educator used humbuckers on his telecasters in the neck position, he used to put one in the middle as well.


YouTube



I used only telecasters on my latest album.

Marcus Cliffe | MUSIC



MC
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
Why ruin a perfectly good Tele with humbuckers?
I agree with ^^^this

Quote:
Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
The telecaster has a certain feel about it and putting humbuckers/different pickups in the neck position is a way of sculpting the sound to your choice. A lot of humbucker guitars especially Gibsons are shorter scale than a fender and aren't bolt on necks so they're inherently going to feel and sound different.
...but I also agree with ^^^this.


That's why every guitarist needs multiple Telecasters!!!
:::nefarious laughter:::
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
That's why every guitarist needs multiple Telecasters!!!
:::nefarious laughter:::
I've got 4, and I'm not much of a guitar player but the prices were right. Fender MIM, Fender Baja, G&L ASAT classic, G&L ASAT original (now called the ASAT Special) both Fullerton. Tried the Duncan SC sized HB in the MIM bridge. Didn't do anything for me. I've come to realize I'm an SC kind of guy. YMMV.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Mikhael's Avatar
 

Put whatever you want in it. Fender does.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Grunge was usually accomplished with humbuckers on Fender guitars that hadn't originally had them. A humbucker the size of a single-coil pickup should be fine. Distortion and fuzz pedals were a big part of the sound, too. Amps with built in distortion channels were more of a metal thing back then.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

My next tele will have a Charlie Christian pickup in the neck position :D

Bill Frissel is a big telecaster fan and has lots of different telecasters with various pickups in them.


I love the telecaster :D, as I always say, you can throw one down the stairs and the worst that will happen is you might need to re tune it.....if a les Paul/335 falls off a guitar stand the neck breaks!!!


M
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

The only thing to watch out for is pole spacing.

Gibson and Fender guitars have different string spacing at the bridge. A “regular-spaced” humbucker refers to Gibson spacing of the strings at the bridge. An “F-spaced” humbucker is “Fender” spacing. You want the pole pieces to be directly under the strings. That’s why you need to match up your bridge spacing with the pickup.

DiMarzio uses the term “F-spaced” while Seymour Duncan uses the term “Trem-spaced” or “Trembucker” to indicate Fender bridge spacing.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
GeneHall's Avatar
Just make a 2nd pickguard loaded with a PAF/humbucker/switches/pots , but also keep the original pickguard as it is and then you have the option of just swapping pickguards, preloaded with the pickups/switch/pots you want to be using at any given time, leave the bridge pickup as is.
It's very simple to swap pickguards on a Tele. For connections, I use solderless blade connectors so when I swap a pickguard, I don't have to solder anything.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
audioforce's Avatar
 

Oh God, next thing you know people will be talking about putting Telecaster pickups in Les Pauls. Where are we headed? Dogs living with cats, cats living with dogs. Very concerning.








audioforce
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Oh God, next thing you know people will be talking about putting Telecaster pickups in Les Pauls. Where are we headed? Dogs living with cats, cats living with dogs. Very concerning.



audioforce

Our dog's afraid of cats.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Addict
 
audioforce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
Our dog's afraid of cats.
So, which one is the p*ssy then?


Sorry.



audioforce
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 
audioforce's Avatar
 

However, in the dog’s defense, some cats are total b*tches.


audioforce
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Addict
 
audioforce's Avatar
 

FWIW, Steve Morse has humbuckers [along with all kinds of other pickups] on his legendary FrankenTele. The MusicMan guitars he uses have the same pickup configuration, I believe.




audioforce
Attached Thumbnails
Installing humbuckers on a telecaster, silly question?-steve-morse-tele-wall-460-85.jpg   Installing humbuckers on a telecaster, silly question?-steve-morse-tele-body-460-85.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitdough View Post
Grunge was usually accomplished with humbuckers on Fender guitars that hadn't originally had them. A humbucker the size of a single-coil pickup should be fine. Distortion and fuzz pedals were a big part of the sound, too. Amps with built in distortion channels were more of a metal thing back then.
That's exactly what I had in mind. I have a tiny terror and lots of pedals. I want a humbucker in the bridge for crunchy/gains rhythm and a single coil in the neck for clean/picky stuff. I couldn't care less about tradition, its probably a fake fender anyway so don't fret so much. Lol
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
enorbet2's Avatar
If you're not familiar with Danny Gatton, the guy Guitar Player called "The Greatest Guitar Player You Never Heard" then you simply need to. The reason he was a candidate for "greatest" is he was obsessed with intervals and created his own chord structures and then played "outside" them He played convincing banjo licks on his Tele and I saw him several times outplay pedal steel players like Buddy Emmons with just a Tele and amazing technique with both left and right hands. The reason he is not to well known is that he was so wide The Biz were at a loss to categorize him and the title of one of his recordings "Redneck Jazz" (not my favorite but certainly telling) gives a clue - he mixed genres and had a sense of wry humor not everyone gets.

He also being a lifelong serious Hot Rodder (literally of cars and also guitar gear) together with Tex Rubinowitz created a Charlie Christian pickup clone that was spot on. Once he found he could copy he looked for someone who could and would create. That someone was Joe Barden. Danny wanted a Tele pup that would be a drop-in replacement, sound like the original single coil but have no hum problems. Joe realized that the greatest difference between a Gibson style/size was the magnetic sensing window and rather than place single alnico poles in proper orientation (alnico was already getting rare) he settled on blades. He claims he did it long before Bill Lawrence and Seymour Duncan and has some documentation that shows he is right but they had wealth and influence and knew more about The Biz and beat him to that punch. Be that as it may, nobody but Joe worked with Gatton, a dyed in the wool Tele player (he only flirted with Les Pauls for a couple years, a mere 5% of his playing history, sadly cut short by suicide) with great respect for The Fender Legacy and the distinctive tone of single coil pups.

Joe's bridge pup is potent so it might not be the best choice for someone who prefers stock output with just a wee bit less screech than stock, but as Joe says, his replacement neck pup is a perfect drop-in replacement that is nearly impossible to discern from a single coil tonewise except that it doesn't hum. Danny insisted to Fender that his signature Tele would be an actual clone, with the 1-2 string bridge saddle merely bent to get a proper "B string" intonation and must have real Joe Barden pups.

I haven't spoken with Joe in over a decade and actually don't even know if he is still in production other than for his existing clients (that I know he does still from talking with Jimmy Thackery, another Barden pup fanatic) but these pups must be played to be appreciated. They are quite amazing. Bill Lawerence and Seymour Duncan make decent choices but if you want the original tone just without hum try a Barden neck pup. If you don't mind some serious output check out the bridge pups, too.

But, you might ask, how do they stack up against newer designs that stick to single coil basics but fine tune everything? Well short of trying them yourself, here's a decent comparison (not overdriven like they would be for Grunge but I can tell you the Barden's do that just fine and you could hear some of that listening to Thackery and I link an example of that from a whisper top a scream but with Barden's on a Strat. Similar response can be expected with Teles.

Heads up comparison with newer design pups -



This is a long, extremely deliberately paced instrumental jam so settle in or race ahead for the width of tone possibilities... he gets 'em all from a whisper to a wail.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Addict
 
audioforce's Avatar
 

I use Joe Barden pickups on my Tele, and they are the best as far as I know.


They do not sound like Gibson style humbuckers, though.




Here's my Danny Gatton story, from another thread:


"I met Danny Gatton once. I went to his house with my bass player who was a friend of his. This would have been around 1975-6, I guess. I was "on the road" for the very first time with a Top 40 Band. Somehow we ended up playing a gig at a strip club in the D.C. area.

I had this ancient Byrdland archtop. I think I thought I could play something like jazz because I had this guitar. Anyhow, Danny was out in the yard tearing apart his motorcycles and cars, covered with grease. He was very nice, and he fixed something on my guitar and listened to me play. I imagine I was showing off. He and his friends were all politely complementing me [probably because they knew my bass player]. I had no f**king idea who Danny Gatton was. I think he played something real quick, and I was like, "Hmmm, this guy plays guitar too". My friend John, who was a bit older, just said Danny was a good guitar repair guy. He didn't tell me he was a monster guitarist. He just wanted to show me to Danny. Hilarious.

Years later, I was listening to him play on recordings and thinking, "Oh my God, this is the guy that fixed my guitar"."



audioforce
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
My most recent acquisition, and likely the last guitar I will ever buy, was a 90s tele. Its a good solid player and old enough that the wood has stabilized. I do not consider it collectible, so its a player. I think the magic of the tele is that piercing bridge pickup. My assessment is that the neck pickup is not so great, and I had a humbucker put in the neck position. So, its very versatile at this point and satisfies my craving for an old style tele. Blasphemy? Ruin a good thing? Well, to each their own.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

beware of the telecaster...Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan....both killed themselves!



MC
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
My most recent acquisition, and likely the last guitar I will ever buy, was a 90s tele. Its a good solid player and old enough that the wood has stabilized. I do not consider it collectible, so its a player. I think the magic of the tele is that piercing bridge pickup. My assessment is that the neck pickup is not so great, and I had a humbucker put in the neck position. So, its very versatile at this point and satisfies my craving for an old style tele. Blasphemy? Ruin a good thing? Well, to each their own.
the bridge doesn't have to be piercing, I use a broadcaster pickup and it's not piercing. Have a look around at some of the numerous boutique winders and you'll find a bridge pickup to suit :D

Julian Lage has a Ron Ellis 50's pickup in the bridge and it's a nice sound. The 50's bridge pickups were straight from Steel guitars and were different form later tele bridge pickups.



MC
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
the bridge doesn't have to be piercing, I use a broadcaster pickup and it's not piercing. Have a look around at some of the numerous boutique winders and you'll find a bridge pickup to suit :D

Julian Lage has a Ron Ellis 50's pickup in the bridge and it's a nice sound. The 50's bridge pickups were straight from Steel guitars and were different form later tele bridge pickups.


MC
Thanks. That's interesting information I will think about. My thinking was the piercing aspect of it, heard on many country songs, was what made it interesting to me. I have a strat and a prs, so I have a few non-piercing colors of bridge pickup to choose from.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
Thanks. That's interesting information I will think about. My thinking was the piercing aspect of it, heard on many country songs, was what made it interesting to me. I have a strat and a prs, so I have a few non-piercing colors of bridge pickup to choose from.
sure, for some that's what they're after and combined with the right amps it's great. As with all things there's a balancing act between gtr, pickups, and amps with pedals in there too sometimes. it's what makes it all so fascinating :D


I think today's new players have to much choice to be honest and often don't really get 100% from their equipment and just swap out for the next thing, guys like Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton still use more or less the same gtrs/rigs as they started with...but that's another topic.


M
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
...I think today's new players have to much choice to be honest and often don't really get 100% from their equipment and just swap out for the next thing, guys like Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton still use more or less the same gtrs/rigs as they started with...but that's another topic.

M
There was a discussion somewhere about the exact chain of pedals Jimmy Hendrix used on stage. Somebody's comment was "If you want to sound like Jimmy Hendrix, play like Jimmy Hendrix" I know for me its easier to buy a pedal than practice on my instrument, so I see the attraction, but to my personal taste, I do think some guys get carried away with giant pedal boards and constant buying and selling looking for some holy grail of tone.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

here's another famous Telecaster user with a mini humbucker in the neck position.

Brent Mason


YouTube



M
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Rockabilly69's Avatar
This is what you need...

Short Bridge for Tele | stewmac.com
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
here's another famous Telecaster user with a mini humbucker in the neck position.
And here's one with a full-sized Gibson humbucker in the neck position:


Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump