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#1
Hi Guys

Im thinking about putting a humbucker in the bridge position of my telecaster for at thicker more crunchy sound.

My ideal sound is the kind of crunch Jimmy Page produces in the chorus of Ramble on in this clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r56Ef_tAMaI

Would this even be possible in a tele? If so, which humbucker should i go for?

Thanks!
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#2
I'm not so sure you'd be able to do that on a tele without routing it yourself.

But slightly unrelated,... How do you like your fender road worn 60s Strat? I'm very interested in buying one and I'd like your opinion. I've heard that the pickups aren't very versatile but I'll be replacing them with BKPs so I'd just like to know how it feels and stuff
#3
Go for some EMG's


Just kidding, but some kind of slightly overwound PAF style humbucker should do the trick.
tpt
#4
For the exact tone you'd need a Les Paul.
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#5
Quote by itamar100
I'm not so sure you'd be able to do that on a tele without routing it yourself.

But slightly unrelated,... How do you like your fender road worn 60s Strat? I'm very interested in buying one and I'd like your opinion. I've heard that the pickups aren't very versatile but I'll be replacing them with BKPs so I'd just like to know how it feels and stuff


I like it very much! The pickups arent very versatile, but to me they are amazing, fits that bluesy crunchy sound perfectly along with my bluesdriver.

______________________


I was thinkin of some overwound PAF kind of pickups, but id like specific recommendations


@jesuscrisp - yeah i know, but i want to get a close as possible

Also i heard, rumour that humbuckers in tele bridges can be kind of feedback sensitve, can anyone confirm or deny this?
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
Last edited by Tobyflyr at Feb 13, 2012,
#6
dimarzios would probably give you a great tone, or hell, maybe even drop in the specific gibson pickup that he used to get as close as possible.
#7
Quote by andrerist
dimarzios would probably give you a great tone, or hell, maybe even drop in the specific gibson pickup that he used to get as close as possible.



yeah probably, but im not just looking for a great tone, that'd be easy.. Im looking to get as close to that Jimmy Page sound as i can possible get with a telecaster
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#8
Buy a les paul. You could get similar tones, but it's better that your tele sound like a tele and a les paul sound like a les paul
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#9
The point is i dont really want a les paul.. I really like my tele, love the feel shape, the sound from the neck pickup and the general playability... Otherwise i would've just bought a LP?
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#10
You don't need to buy another guitar. You can get a Tele to sound like that fairly easily. That LP doesn't even particularly sound much like a typical LP.

First thing to do is check what bridge pickup routing you have. It's probably just for a normal Tele bridge pickup, but it may have space for a full humbucker. If so, you can get Tele bridges that can have a full humbucker mounted in them. If your guitar is just routed for a regular Tele bridge pickup, you still have many options; DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan both make some great pickups that sound like humbuckers but fit in a regular Tele bridge.

Assuming you have to go with a regular Tele bridge-sized pickup, the pickups I'd advise are:
- Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Pearly Gates for Telecaster. Quite expensive, but it's designed specifically to make a Telecaster sound like a classic Les Paul instantly. Billy Gibbons uses one in a Telecaster for 'La Grange' on ZZ Top's 'Live In Texas' DVD, google it for some clips to hear it in action.
- SD Little 59 for Tele. Basically, a cheaper version of the Pearly Gates. It'll be a bit brighter, but it should get you in the right ballpark.
- SD Hot Rails. Really, really thick-sounding pickup. I use one for post-grunge and pop-punk in a Thinline Telecaster. It certainly does the job of sounding like a full-on humbucker, but frankly it's too powerful and too thick for many applications. Not a bad choice by any means, but it's one you've got to be careful with.
- DiMarzio The Chopper T. Slightly warmer than the SD Little 59, not as thick or as powerful as the Hot Rails. Won't make a Tele sound exactly like a Les Paul, but it's still a good all-round humbucker tone.
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#11
Quote by MrFlibble
You don't need to buy another guitar. You can get a Tele to sound like that fairly easily. That LP doesn't even particularly sound much like a typical LP.

First thing to do is check what bridge pickup routing you have. It's probably just for a normal Tele bridge pickup, but it may have space for a full humbucker. If so, you can get Tele bridges that can have a full humbucker mounted in them. If your guitar is just routed for a regular Tele bridge pickup, you still have many options; DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan both make some great pickups that sound like humbuckers but fit in a regular Tele bridge.

Assuming you have to go with a regular Tele bridge-sized pickup, the pickups I'd advise are:
- Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Pearly Gates for Telecaster. Quite expensive, but it's designed specifically to make a Telecaster sound like a classic Les Paul instantly. Billy Gibbons uses one in a Telecaster for 'La Grange' on ZZ Top's 'Live In Texas' DVD, google it for some clips to hear it in action.
- SD Little 59 for Tele. Basically, a cheaper version of the Pearly Gates. It'll be a bit brighter, but it should get you in the right ballpark.
- SD Hot Rails. Really, really thick-sounding pickup. I use one for post-grunge and pop-punk in a Thinline Telecaster. It certainly does the job of sounding like a full-on humbucker, but frankly it's too powerful and too thick for many applications. Not a bad choice by any means, but it's one you've got to be careful with.
- DiMarzio The Chopper T. Slightly warmer than the SD Little 59, not as thick or as powerful as the Hot Rails. Won't make a Tele sound exactly like a Les Paul, but it's still a good all-round humbucker tone.


See, thats what i thought, its not very LP-ish. Thank you for such an amazing answer!

I actually wouldn't mind changing the bridge and routing for an actual Humbucker.. Do you have any suggestions on actual humbucker pickups?

And are there a difference? Is the sound better in the classic humbuckers or are SC sized humbuckers just as good? Would there be a point in routing and changing the bridge?
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#12
If you were able to fit in a ''full'' humbucker, the sound wouldn't necessarily be better, just different as you'd have many more options available to you. For example, you could put in a SD Custom Custom which would thicken up the Tele tone considerably, or you could put in a SD Seth Lover, Gibson BurstBucker or a Bare Knuckle Mule for plain 50s PAF tone. Or hell, you could put in a DiMarzio D-Activator and turn it into a death metal machine. It just gives you more options.

In terms of plain sound quality, the Tele-size humbuckers don't sound any worse. The Little 59 Tele sounds just like a full-size SD '59 humbucker; the DiMarzio Tone Zone T sounds just like a full-size Tone Zone. It's just a question of picking the one that's right for you, and obviously when you're limited to the Tele-size pickups that resticts your options and you may have to settle for something which doesn't quite suit you.
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#13
Allright, i might aswell stick with the SC sized humbuckers then..

Well i might check the routing first..

But thanks a bunch! - Still open for suggestions from everyone else, should you have any
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#14
Quote by Tobyflyr
See, thats what i thought, its not very LP-ish. Thank you for such an amazing answer!

I actually wouldn't mind changing the bridge and routing for an actual Humbucker.. Do you have any suggestions on actual humbucker pickups?

And are there a difference? Is the sound better in the classic humbuckers or are SC sized humbuckers just as good? Would there be a point in routing and changing the bridge?

Either sounds better or worse, but a full sized humbucker will sound SLIGHTLY more humbucker-ish. I would personally get the tele sized pearly gates cos I'd rather not route into a guitar and it sounds great anyway. But it's your choice.
#15
You will probably get a substantial volume jump between the single coil and humbucker. Unless the guitar has 2 volume controls. If a P-90 was put in the front position it would be more compatible output wise. Besides P-90's sound creamy when driven.
#16
Im actually going to turn the tone knob into a second volume knob aswell to adress that problem
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#17
it takes a lot of practise to be able to gurn like that.

don't try this at home
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#19
Quote by Tobyflyr
yeah probably, but im not just looking for a great tone, that'd be easy.. Im looking to get as close to that Jimmy Page sound as i can possible get with a telecaster


This is really a pointless exercise. Your goal should be to just sound good, not to sound "exactly" like something. Even if you were to duplicate the gear used exactly, differences in technique would probably make it sound pretty different. Just stop worrying about it.
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#20
That just osunds like a les paul through a Marshall. Not ever really going to get that with a telecaster, even with a humbucker in the bridge.

That being said, if you want the exact humbucker that is in the bridge of that guitar, Maricela at Seymour Duncan's custom shop will make it for you for $150.
Last edited by al112987 at Feb 13, 2012,
#21
Quote by Even Bigger D
This is really a pointless exercise. Your goal should be to just sound good, not to sound "exactly" like something. Even if you were to duplicate the gear used exactly, differences in technique would probably make it sound pretty different. Just stop worrying about it.


Your post is pointless, if your not going to contribute in anyway, why waste your time posting in here?

I wanna try gettin' a similar tone to his, because i think its a good tone, with my tele and im asking for help regarding which kind of pickup will get me in that ballpark..

Now what i meant, is that i dont just want any good crunch tone, thatd be fairly easy and i can get that with my tele already, but i cannot get THAT tone.. and thats what im after..


That just sounds like a les paul through a Marshall. Not ever really going to get that with a telecaster, even with a humbucker in the bridge.

That being said, if you want the exact humbucker that is in the bridge of that guitar, Maricela at Seymour Duncan's custom shop will make it for you for $150.


Actually no, it does not sound like any Les Paul through a marshall.. Its a much thinner sharper more airy sound that i hear from most LP's.. thats why i like it..


Got any usefull advise, if not - theres no reason to post..
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#22
It kind of sounds like the pickup is switched to an "out of phase" setting.
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#23
Quote by Tobyflyr

Actually no, it does not sound like any Les Paul through a marshall.. Its a much thinner sharper more airy sound that i hear from most LP's.. thats why i like it..


Got any usefull advise, if not - theres no reason to post..
Actually, yes it does. And if you can't hear it, then 1) you don't have experience actually playing a Les Paul with low output PAF pickups through a cranked british stack and 2) you are not familiar with Page's sound. Page's les paul has ALWAYS sounded thin, which is why he used to almost never use the bridge by itself and instead used the middle position. Even when it was a dead stock '59 back in the early '70s. So did Paul Kossoff's and Michael Bloomfields. Even Eric Clapton's. Go listen to Albert's Shuffle or Stop from Super-sessions or All Your Love from Beano. The vintage les pauls were just airy sounding by nature. It has to do with the wood and pickups. If you ever go read posts on a place like the les paul forum, and you here people say words like "woodiness" in vintage les pauls, that is what they're talking about.

Page's les paul is a normal '59 les paul with a pickup that MJ made for him in the '80s that is basically a repro of the old '59 PAF that was in there before. There is nothing fancy about it, it's a les paul through a Marshall or, in this case, his Custom Hiwatt (which sounded much more Marshall-like than your typical Hiwatt). The guitar does have a phase switch, but that's not relevant because he's on the bridge pickup (not in the middle position).

People who are familiar with Page's gear and live sound know exactly where that tone comes from. You need the right kind of low output pickups in a les paul.
Last edited by al112987 at Feb 13, 2012,
#24
^ agreed that les pauls with low output pickups can/do sound airy. i'm not the biggest page/led zep nut (i mean i love led zep and jimmy page, just i've never looked that closely into his gear), but yeah. low output humbuckers (for certain things) are awesome.

teh other thing i'd say is... an awful lot of led zeppelin is a telecaster, as far as i'm aware. most of the early stuff, at least. you might be better keeping your tele as it is, and maybe looking towards getting a les paul later at some point so you can do all the led zep tones.

that's if you're ok with buying a second guitar, of course. and granted that clip you linked to was a a les paul.
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#25
It's all very well going on about what gear Page used in many situations, but OP posted a specific video with one specific sound to aim for. What Page may or may not have used elsewhere is irrelevant; if that's the tone OP wants, that's the tone they should aim for and the tone in question is one that a Telecaster can obtain.

Quote by al112987
That just sounds like a les paul through a Marshall. Not ever really going to get that with a telecaster, even with a humbucker in the bridge.
I really need to record some sound clips with my grunge Tele, then you wouldn't be saying that. Believe it or not I use my Tele for the heavier songs where a thicker-sounding bridge tone is needed and I switch to Les Pauls for when I want a slightly brighter and lighter tone.

Quote by Tobyflyr
Im actually going to turn the tone knob into a second volume knob aswell to adress that problem
You probably won't want to do that. Removing the tone knob and switching the guitars to one potentiometer each will make them considerably brighter-toned. Even though it's a fairly light humbucker tone we're talking about here, you would still want to have both pots wired to the pickup. With Teles there is a fine line - with any pickup - between a light tone and shrill.

I wouldn't worry about the output balance much. Again, using my own Tele as an example, I've got a SD Tele-sized humbucker in the bridge which measures at about twice the raw output of the neck pickup, but in practise because of the natural difference in output and the neck and bridge positions this more or less balances out. By lowering the bridge pickup just very slightly I can get the two pickups to balance perfectly. The difference in output between a 'hot' bridge pickup and an average neck pickup really isn't all that much.
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#26
I've played plenty of telecasters with humbuckers, they don't really sound like les pauls. If one wants to get a generic, hard rock sound, then yeah, that's fine. I'm just relaying what my ears are telling me. That sounds like a les paul through a cranked vintage British amp. Anyone who has played through a setup like that can tell you about that sound.

I'm willing to bet that I could nail that sound 100% with my les paul and plexi. So much of that sound is the amp that it's not even funny, again, anyone that has played through an amp like that, and I'm not talking about any British sounding tube amp, modern amps don't sound or react like the old non-master volume ones do when they're turned up, can tell you about that exact sound.
Last edited by al112987 at Feb 14, 2012,
#27
Im not at all doubting that you can get that tone with a Les Paul, but thats not what this thread is about.. I wanna try to get that tone using a tele, which i think i possible..

I dont know why the hell you guys keep telling me that i just need a Les Paul, please - if you dont have any advide or any information that can help me in my quest here, just dont post?


@MrFibble - you continue to provide great information, thanks alot I will wait modding the tone knob, and see what its like as it is..


Anyone else, please keep answers coming - unless you wanna tell me to go buy a Les Paul..!
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#28
Quote by Tobyflyr


I dont know why the hell you guys keep telling me that i just need a Les Paul, please - if you dont have any advide or any information that can help me in my quest here, just dont post?


Maybe because you asked?

Quote by Tobyflyr

Would this even be possible in a tele?
If so, which humbucker should i go for?

Thanks!


Second of all, you don't NEED a tone knob. One, there are plenty of single volume control telecasters out there wired with les pauls. But even then, if you are worried about there being too much treble, there are several ways around it. You can lower the value of the volume pots or you can even stick a fixed tone circuit in there. Requires no need for extra routing, and you can change the value of the resistor to ground out as much high end as you want. All a tone control is is a variable low pass filter. The problem with a tone control is that it is imperfect, and even at 10, it will cause some signal loss. If you really want to approximate that signal loss, wire up a tone circuit in there with a 500k or 250k ohm resistor. It will give you the same effect of having a 500k or 250k ohm tone pot turned to 10.
Last edited by al112987 at Feb 14, 2012,
#29
Quote by al112987
Maybe because you asked?


Second of all, you don't NEED a tone knob. If you are worried about there being too much treble, you can lower the value of the volume pot or you can even stick a fixed tone circuit in there if you want to approximate the sound of having a tone knob there turned to 10. Use a resistor instead of a pot. Requires no need for extra routing, and you can change the value of the resistor to ground out as much high end as you want.


I never asked if i should buy a Les Paul, i asked if i could achieve a similar tone using a tele and how.. Anyway, i dont want to fill this topic with unrelated stuff, can we stop it here?
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#30
Quote by al112987
Second of all, you don't NEED a tone knob. One, there are plenty of single volume control telecasters out there wired with les pauls. But even then, if you are worried about there being too much treble, there are several ways around it. You can lower the value of the volume pots or you can even stick a fixed tone circuit in there. Requires no need for extra routing, and you can change the value of the resistor to ground out as much high end as you want. All a tone control is is a variable low pass filter. The problem with a tone control is that it is imperfect, and even at 10, it will cause some signal loss. If you really want to approximate that signal loss, wire up a tone circuit in there with a 500k or 250k ohm resistor. It will give you the same effect of having a 500k or 250k ohm tone pot turned to 10.
I think I see the problem.

You're looking at this from the sense of making a Telecaster as close to a Les Paul in terms of common spec. But that's not the point here, that's not what OP is trying to do. OP's just trying to nail one kind of tone. Forget the model name 'Les Paul', forget that it's Jimmy Page in the video, stop thinking about this like a purist collector. Sometimes getting the right tone means doing things that seem imperfect. Hell, look at PAF pickups, they got their tone precisely because they were sloppy and did some things 'wrong'.

If someone does want to get the intended tone out of a Tele-sized humbucker then they do need both 250k controls on, with a capacitor on one control (i.e. a tone control). Yes, it does bleed off some treble even at 10, which isn't ideal. But that's the point. All those pickups are designed with the intent that they're put into otherwise normal Telecasters. That tone control left at 10 is taken into account. That's why many Tele-sized humbuckers use slightly different magnets or wire to their full-size counterparts, because they're made to rebalance the warmer controls and the slanted bridge position of a Telecaster. Of course if the user wants seperate controls then they can use concentric pots to get a full four controls in the two spaces a Tele provides.

The best way to get a good tone is to stop thinking about 'correct' spec and what every part theoretically does; just go with what you know, with what your ears tell you. And trust companies like Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio when they say they've made a pickup that puts a certain kind of sound in a particular guitar. They've been doing this stuff for thirty years, they know what they're talking about and I've yet to hear any proof to the contrary.
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#31
The idea witht he 2xvolume control, was so i'd be able to switch between a low volume almost clean tone on my neck pickup to a sudden and ballsy crunch on my bridge pickup by just toggeling my pickup switch...

That might be a project for a later date, ill start out with the pickup switch.. Can't seem to find a european dealer for the pearly gates though.. The Lil 59' does sound like a good choice aswell though..
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#32
Well hell if that's the effect you want, just wire the pickups like normal and just put the bridge pickup slightly closer to the strings than usual and put the neck pickup a bit lower than normal. That'll actually be better than have separate volume controls as rolling back the volume on the neck pickup could make it slightly muddy, whereas simply lowering it and leaving the volume control on full will make its tone clearer.

In fact that's exactly what I do on my Tele (which has just one master volume control).
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#33
That way i wont be able to adjust the volume on the pickups separately tough.. I know it can get a bit too muddy, but with the right tweak on the amp and my pedals i can usually get a satisfying clean tone by turning down the volume real low..


Would it be doable, the way i described in my post above? I already found a wiring diagram from Seymour Duncan on how to do it, ill post it when i get home from work!

Here it is. http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/schematics.php?schematic=tele_2v_no_tone
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
Last edited by Tobyflyr at Feb 14, 2012,
#34
Two volumes and no tone is absolutely doable. If anything it's easier than wiring a volume and a tone control. But as I said before, taking off the tone control does brighten the tone of the guitar quite considerably. It's easy to put back to a volume and tone though.

Something I mentioned before, which you may want to look into, is getting concentric control pots. These are two control pots in one, so you can effectively put four controls on a Tele; a volume and a tone for each pickup individually. This obviously give you maximum control while making sure the pickups sound how they're intended to.
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#35
Quote by Tobyflyr
The idea witht he 2xvolume control, was so i'd be able to switch between a low volume almost clean tone on my neck pickup to a sudden and ballsy crunch on my bridge pickup by just toggeling my pickup switch...

That might be a project for a later date, ill start out with the pickup switch.. Can't seem to find a european dealer for the pearly gates though.. The Lil 59' does sound like a good choice aswell though..

Buy the pearly gates off eBay. I've bought loads of pickups from eBay and they've all arrived quickly and in perfect condition.
#36
duncans,burstbuckers,p90s
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#37
Quote by MrFlibble
Two volumes and no tone is absolutely doable. If anything it's easier than wiring a volume and a tone control. But as I said before, taking off the tone control does brighten the tone of the guitar quite considerably. It's easy to put back to a volume and tone though.

Something I mentioned before, which you may want to look into, is getting concentric control pots. These are two control pots in one, so you can effectively put four controls on a Tele; a volume and a tone for each pickup individually. This obviously give you maximum control while making sure the pickups sound how they're intended to.


Thats probably a pretty good idea, ill look into that! Is it like a push/pull pot?
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#38
no, a push pull pot is a DPDT switch with a pot attached. A concentric pot are two pots stacked on top of each other.
#39
Wouldnt it be easier with some sort of push/pull mechanism to switch between volume and tone 'mode'?
Current gear:
Fender Road Worn 60's Strat
Hohner SE35
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele
Yahama FG730S
Marshall Class 5
#40
I believe I read somewhere that Jimmy Page used DiMarzio Super Distortions in at least one of his guitars. You may look them up.

Note that this was post 1973, which was the year the Super Distorion was introduced. If you're trying to get the tone he often had on Zep albums, I agree that you should look for an overwound PAF. Just thought I would throw my two cents in.
Last edited by Drache Wachter at Feb 14, 2012,
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