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Strat Pickups in a Telecaster

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Loth, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Loth

    Loth Strat-Talker

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    Would a Tele with Strat pups sound like a strat? Same scale, same wood, very similar necks.. Not really thinking about the bridge here. More so the neck and middle and the 4 position.

    Anyone ever experimented with this?

    Not as in a Nasvhille Tele, necessarily. More like your tele is your best player and you don't want to buy another guitar, but you want another strat (sounding) guitar.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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  2. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Basking 'neath the almighty yellow yolk Strat-Talk Supporter

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    A Tele neck pickup isn't exactly like a strat pickup, different size and design so the sound will be different than your usual strat pickup.
     
  3. Loth

    Loth Strat-Talker

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    Not a tele neck though. All three pups would be strat pups custom built to fit a tele and pickguard replaced.
     
  4. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

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    The bridge does make a difference - if the Tele has a 3 saddle bridge, you'll hear that.
    If you compare a blocked Strat trem to a hardtail Strat though, the differences are minute, so that's good news if you have a 6 saddle bridge.

    Apart from that, 'sounding like a Strat' mostly narrows down pickup construction, number of pickups and notch positions.
    A Strat bridge SC with a bottom plate, for example, sounds quite twangy and vice versa, a stock Strat SC in the bridge position of a Tele will twang less.
    Then, there's the notch positions which have 2 pickups working in parallel - that's what must people find to be especially Stratty.
    The distance between those pickups is important though. Strat B+N sounds a lot more like a Tele than you'd expect.
    Having 3 pickups mitigates the distance, obviously, and will make the resulting two additional notch positions sound much like those of a Strat.

    So I'd say you're good to go.

    But a Nashville style setup gets you 80% of the way, mind you.
    So if you like the sound of your Tele now, you might consider to just add that middle pup and keep the goodness you already have in the other two positions.
     
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  5. rich815

    rich815 Senior Stratmaster

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    I have one of these pups in my neck as I wanted one of my teles to be more strat-like. It’s got gorgeous tonality:

     
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  6. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Strat-O-Master

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    IMO a lot of guitar tone comes from the neck. However I also think the Tele body will help create a guitar than is brighter than a strat if all else is equal.
     
  7. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The best way to do this (IMHO) is to keep the stock Tele bridge & pickup & fit Strat pickups neck & middle. It works very well, make an extremely flexible guitar. I don't understand why Fender don't make Teles like this, the Tele neck pickup is such an under-whelming thing.

    IMG_5938.JPG
     
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  8. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    I've replaced a Tele neck pickup with a Strat for a customer who wanted a different choice than what was available (at the time) in the Tele neck size.
    The Tele neck pickup is slightly smaller than the equivalent Strat and requires the pickguard hole to be enlarged, or the pickup cover removed (not recommended).
    There's also the issue of the different mounting.

    A pickup "custom built to fit a tele" is a Tele pickup.
    A modified or replacement pickguard would be a prerequisite.
    Then there's the hole in the body needed to accommodate the middle pickup.
    Nashville Tele body ?
     
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  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes. This is my Strat-Like-Object testing rig. I modded the body to swap loaded pickguards in under a minute without detuning strings and no tools. It sounds like whatever pickups and matching controls are locked down in the chassis. Gibson, Strat, Tele, P90s, Jazzmaster Surf, put it in there and the sounds come out.
    I built this back when the Tone Wood Wars were flaring on Youtube.


    [​IMG]

    I have a stock Triple Telecaster too and it does all positions of a Strat 5-way. A very underrated/hidden gem of a guitar that was curiously not marketed well by Fender.

    NineNocasters.jpg

    Here's how to make a stock Tele sound like a hundred players and their gear (watch the picking and knob turning skills)
     
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  10. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I think The Tele body construction with less routings makes a minimal difference to the tone compared to the strat body. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that the strat tone comes mostly from the pickups construction and their relation to the plastic pickguard. The distinctive Tele bridge pickup twang comes from the large bridgeplate in relation to the pickup construction. So, as already suggested, you would be very close if you just added two strat pickups to the Tele pickguard.
     
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  11. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yep, I agree with this.
     
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  12. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    @stratman323 I'm curious to know - what specific Tele model is the one in the picture you posted?
     
  13. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    It's a California Series from 1997, one of the first strange mixes between MIM & MIA. The Teles either had a neck humbucker or a neck Strat pickup, I found this one with the Strat pickup so it was an obvious thing to do (to me) to have the middle routed out for an extra Strat pickup. The bridge is an old Tokai one I had spare as the original bridge was horribly cheap & badly corroded.

    To me it's such an obvious Tele to sell, I have no idea why they don't make one like this. This is a much more sensible combination to me than the Nashville set-up. Why would I want a Tele neck pickup when I could have one that matches the middle?
     
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  14. Loth

    Loth Strat-Talker

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    These were my assumptions. sc neck and middle with a 5 way notch should do the position 4 quite well. And the bridge being little more twangy with the plate, which is alright with me.
     
  15. Loth

    Loth Strat-Talker

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    Took the pickguard off and there is already enough space to put any kind of pickup configuration in there.
     
  16. Loth

    Loth Strat-Talker

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    now that is nice looking tele
     
  17. gos211

    gos211 Strat-Talker

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    Here's a couple of pics of my Fleming MB. He personally winds these PU's and wound the bridge a little more Tele-esqe, combined with the S-1 switching, I get amazing Strat and Tele tones out of this guitar, minus the deafening ice pic. Bridge is blocked. Best sounding and versatile guitar I've ever owned, period.

    IMG_0155.JPG IMG_0143.JPG
     
  18. Zeekrider

    Zeekrider Strat-Talker

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    stratman323.... what you've done is EXACTLY what I want to do with one of my Teles! i want to retain the Tele bridge and pickup, but add a Strat neck pickup and a Strat middle pickup. And, I have a Mystic Red American Standard Tele just crying out for a pair of Strat pickups!

    [​IMG]

    Can you advise on a pick guard source for this conversion?
     
  19. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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  20. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    I have to speak up in defense of the Tele neck pickup. I like it, and (in combination with a bronze 3-saddle bridge) can dial in sounds closer to a flat-top acoustic guitar than I can get with any other magnetic pickup I've ever tried. Enough so that I have to think that's what Leo was going for.

    So what I'm saying is, you should have one of each.
     
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