#1
I'm buying a telecaster fairly soon, and I will be wanting to change the pickups in it, I'm not sure what to go for though, I'm willing to spend £100 on them, I was just going to get 1 EMG 81, but I don't know, I only want a bridge pickup you see
#2
Telecaster single coil tones are used in pop punk on a fairly regular basis...
don't put an emg in it..
#4
why not just wait until you have the guitar and see how you get on with the stock pickups first?

you might get the guitar and find that the stock pickups sound just right, and if not, then at least you'll be able to figure out what it is you like and don't like about the sound and enable you to make a more informed decision as to what replacement pickups you should get.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#5
Why would you buy a telecaster if you dont like the sound it'll give you. Telecaster aren't thick sounding and you certainly shouldn't ruin one with an EMG.
The only place that EMGs have in music is as an active humbucker in heavy metal.
#6
Quote by TheDuckMajor
Why would you buy a telecaster if you dont like the sound it'll give you. Telecaster aren't thick sounding and you certainly shouldn't ruin one with an EMG.
The only place that EMGs have in music is as an active humbucker in heavy metal.

telecasters are thicker sounding guitars than most people who've never really used them very much, or people who have only played crappy ones, seem to be aware of. being bright and twangy doesn't instantly mean they aren't thick sounding guitars... gibson les pauls with P-90s can sound twangy, too.

EMGs have their pros and cons and aren't strictly limited to metal either - what something is mostly used for isn't all that it can do well. Steve rothery from marillion sometimes uses a squier strat with single coil EMGs into a roland jazz chorus.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#7
Quote by Blompcube
why not just wait until you have the guitar and see how you get on with the stock pickups first?

you might get the guitar and find that the stock pickups sound just right, and if not, then at least you'll be able to figure out what it is you like and don't like about the sound and enable you to make a more informed decision as to what replacement pickups you should get.

+1
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#8
Hows about trying a few different configurations of tele & buying the one that suits your tone needs?
#9
Avril Lavigne Telecaster. I'm not joking, it's pretty cheap and has just one bridge humbucker. It doesn't sound too bad either, bit generic but that's the point.

Fitting a regular humbucker to a normal Telecaster is a huge pain. You may want to look at either a Telecaster Deluxe, or consider a stacked Tele pickup.
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#10
Quote by Blompcube
telecasters are thicker sounding guitars than most people who've never really used them very much, or people who have only played crappy ones, seem to be aware of. being bright and twangy doesn't instantly mean they aren't thick sounding guitars... gibson les pauls with P-90s can sound twangy, too.

EMGs have their pros and cons and aren't strictly limited to metal either - what something is mostly used for isn't all that it can do well. Steve rothery from marillion sometimes uses a squier strat with single coil EMGs into a roland jazz chorus.


I've played loads of teles dude. Squire classic vibe, fender modern player tele, fender American standard, fender classic player baja tele and fender American deluxe.

Whilst they don't exactly sound thin, the bridge pickup definitely isn't thick sounding although I do admit that people to tend to think of them as thin sounding guitars.
#12
Quote by Andrew/WK
I'm buying a telecaster fairly soon, and I will be wanting to change the pickups in it, I'm not sure what to go for though, I'm willing to spend £100 on them, I was just going to get 1 EMG 81, but I don't know, I only want a bridge pickup you see

Buying an EMG seems overkill. Generally. I wouldn't recommend one for anything other than metal.

Telecaster with P90s would do the trick. Also, a tele with a humbucker will work fine, but it's a less conventional configuration. Personally, if I'm doing anything less than metal, I prefer P90s. I can still get a good heavy crunch, but the cleans are sweet, like a single coil.

Anyone telling you that you shouldn't get a tele if you don't like single coils is wrong. The wood, shape, and neck make the guitar, not the pickups. If you can get the pickup configuration you want on the guitar you want, what's the harm?
#13
Well I'll be playing heavy pop punk/hardcore stuff, so would like a nice tight and thick tone, i'll make a new thread when I have the guitar
#14
Quote by Andrew/WK
Well I'll be playing heavy pop punk/hardcore stuff, so would like a nice tight and thick tone, i'll make a new thread when I have the guitar


I have your cure, prepare to pay for them though.

https://bareknucklepickups.co.uk/main/pickups.php?cat=teles&sub=vintage_hot&pickup=piledriver
#19
Quote by Andrew/WK
I'd need humbucker surely for the squire tele?



Nah, did you listen to the sound clips? It puts most humbuckers to shame. Bareknuckle pickups don't fool around when it comes to single coils, they are quiet, thick, and modern sounding.
#23
the duncan hot rails ( single coil size humbucker ) would give you that chunky palmuting for punk rock in a telecaster . very high gain .

forget emg .

i liek my duncan hot rails .. its brutal and repsonsive for palmuting .


depending of the genre of pop punk your talking about .
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
#24
You still haven't said exactly which Telecaster this is going in, which is a big deal. Pickups that sound good with one combination of wood won't necessarily sound good with another kind.

But to get this out of the way, my personal top picks for pop-punk Telecaster pickups are:
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Tele (very hot, very thick without the bass getting muddy)
SD Little '59 for Tele (medium hotput, classic humbucker tone that fits a regular Telecaster bridge)
DiMarzio Super Distortion T (very hot and sounds almost like a P-90 when wired parallel)
Axesrus Totally Tappable (it's not fancy, but it's the cheapest way to get hum-free, smooth and powerful tone out of a Telecaster's bridge position)
Fender Vintage Noiseless (Tele purists don't like them because they're not quite as bright as regular Tele pickups, but for pop-punk that slightly lower treble can be a good thing)

Or for regular humbucker routes, if the guitar you get can take such a thing:
SD Pearly Gates (standard humbucker size, regular classic humbucker tone with just a little more treble)
SD Alnico II Pro (as above but just a bit warmer, better for naturally harsh guitars)
Creamery Dirty Shirt (standard humbucker, got some real power behind it without being too ''metal'')
IronGear Hot Slag (just like the famous SD JB but half the price!)

For reference I use or have used every single one of those myself for pop-punk (amongst other styles). All are/were in Telecaster-style guitars of various forms, except the Creamery pickup which was in a Jazzmaster (but fundamentally the same as any common Tele; bolt on, alder body, fixed bridge, etc). I back all of them quite happily, even the cheap ones.

Quote by ethan_hanus
Nah, did you listen to the sound clips? It puts most humbuckers to shame. Bareknuckle pickups don't fool around when it comes to single coils, they are quiet, thick, and modern sounding.
You can wank off Bare Knuckle all you like, the fact of the matter is that a single coil pickup is going to hum, and a pickup made with separate magnetic pole pieces is always going to have a more sparse and uneven tone than the same wind with a bar magnet. Yes, we've all seen the video of that dude from that band who's name I can't spell playing a Tele with a BKP single coil and it sounding heavy as balls. Guess what, I can do that to, it's called a ridiculous amp and a noise gate. And even as driven as that is, it's nowhere near the smooth, thick humbucker tone that OP originally mentioned. It's basic physics; one coil and six small magnets can't sound like two coils and one big bar magnet and vice-versa.

Not to mention that at-the-creamery.co.uk are just as good, more flexible and cheaper
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#25
Quote by n1ckn1ce
What about a black top tele?


If you are getting a blacktop tele I don't see too much need for a pickup swap at all.
You should probably give some more information such as what type of tele you want and what amp you have if you want some better recommendations.
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#26
You could try a Squier Vintage Modified Tele if your on a tight budget, the humbucker or p-90 version will be fine, although you might consider a pickup swap, but I'm pretty satisfied with mine.
#27
Quote by MrFlibble
You still haven't said exactly which Telecaster this is going in, which is a big deal. Pickups that sound good with one combination of wood won't necessarily sound good with another kind.

But to get this out of the way, my personal top picks for pop-punk Telecaster pickups are:
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Tele (very hot, very thick without the bass getting muddy)
SD Little '59 for Tele (medium hotput, classic humbucker tone that fits a regular Telecaster bridge)
DiMarzio Super Distortion T (very hot and sounds almost like a P-90 when wired parallel)
Axesrus Totally Tappable (it's not fancy, but it's the cheapest way to get hum-free, smooth and powerful tone out of a Telecaster's bridge position)
Fender Vintage Noiseless (Tele purists don't like them because they're not quite as bright as regular Tele pickups, but for pop-punk that slightly lower treble can be a good thing)

Or for regular humbucker routes, if the guitar you get can take such a thing:
SD Pearly Gates (standard humbucker size, regular classic humbucker tone with just a little more treble)
SD Alnico II Pro (as above but just a bit warmer, better for naturally harsh guitars)
Creamery Dirty Shirt (standard humbucker, got some real power behind it without being too ''metal'')
IronGear Hot Slag (just like the famous SD JB but half the price!)

For reference I use or have used every single one of those myself for pop-punk (amongst other styles). All are/were in Telecaster-style guitars of various forms, except the Creamery pickup which was in a Jazzmaster (but fundamentally the same as any common Tele; bolt on, alder body, fixed bridge, etc). I back all of them quite happily, even the cheap ones.

You can wank off Bare Knuckle all you like, the fact of the matter is that a single coil pickup is going to hum, and a pickup made with separate magnetic pole pieces is always going to have a more sparse and uneven tone than the same wind with a bar magnet. Yes, we've all seen the video of that dude from that band who's name I can't spell playing a Tele with a BKP single coil and it sounding heavy as balls. Guess what, I can do that to, it's called a ridiculous amp and a noise gate. And even as driven as that is, it's nowhere near the smooth, thick humbucker tone that OP originally mentioned. It's basic physics; one coil and six small magnets can't sound like two coils and one big bar magnet and vice-versa.

Not to mention that at-the-creamery.co.uk are just as good, more flexible and cheaper


Nah, I can tell you've never owned any BKP single coils. I have Trilogy Suites single coils in my Squier, and they are heavy as balls, and very quiet even pumping all the gain I have through them, as long as I don't let go of the strings. If you have humming issues with a Bareknuckle single coil, either it's defective(least likely) or you have a grounding issue on the guitar(most likely).


I do like the Pearly Gates suggestion though. Most likely it's gonna be a traditional Tele, so humbuckers are a no go.
#28
Quote by ethan_hanus
Nah, I can tell you've never owned any BKP single coils. I have Trilogy Suites single coils in my Squier, and they are heavy as balls, and very quiet even pumping all the gain I have through them, as long as I don't let go of the strings. If you have humming issues with a Bareknuckle single coil, either it's defective(least likely) or you have a grounding issue on the guitar(most likely).


I do like the Pearly Gates suggestion though. Most likely it's gonna be a traditional Tele, so humbuckers are a no go.


What are they 'heavy as balls' compared to? The stock pickups you took out of the squire? If thats the case then excuse me while I'm not surprised. My lasting memory of Bareknuckle are they are fantastically expensive.
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#29
Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
What are they 'heavy as balls' compared to? The stock pickups you took out of the squire? If thats the case then excuse me while I'm not surprised. My lasting memory of Bareknuckle are they are fantastically expensive.


Ha, you're a funny one. Compared to EMG 81s, they stack up nicely in balls, unless you made the big mistake of using a 1 meg volume pot like me. BKP likes to pair the Trilogy Suites with the Painkiller because they make a good combination.
#30
What they pair with isn't that relevant but comparing EMG 81's with a single coil Bareknuckle is literally like comparing apples and oranges
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#31
Quote by Mr.DeadDuck
What they pair with isn't that relevant but comparing EMG 81's with a single coil Bareknuckle is literally like comparing apples and oranges


Not really, I've had both, in the same guitar, and the only difference is the Trilogy Suite is more organic sounding, and twangier, a bit looser too, but pretty much the same clarity of an EMG 81, and almost as quiet.

Now if we look at the BKP The Sinner single coil, it'll put most humbuckers to shame in terms of output, with the bridge being wound at 21k. Trilogy Suites are wound to 15k in the bridge, and 12.5k for the middle and neck. Very hot single coils.

The Piledriver Tele bridge coil is wound to 13.1k and has alot of balls. All of these single coils are the Alcino V magnets.

Will these sound like humbuckers? No, they are designed to keep the strat/tele sound, just with a modern voicing and more balls to back them up.
#32
Quote by ethan_hanus
Not really, I've had both, in the same guitar, and the only difference is the Trilogy Suite is more organic sounding, and twangier, a bit looser too, but pretty much the same clarity of an EMG 81, and almost as quiet.


Active, metal geared, humbucker/hot, passive, single coil
Apple/orange

On topic just buy the squire vintage modified custom it'll do nicely
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Last edited by Mr.DeadDuck at Feb 29, 2012,
#33
Quote by ethan_hanus
Nah, I can tell you've never owned any BKP single coils.
Actually, I have. I've had a set of their Slow Hand singles and two sets of humbuckers, plus played countless other guiatrs with their pickups in (not actually countless, something like 5 or 6, but I don't know the exact number so that reads better).

Quote by ethan_hanus

Now if we look at the BKP The Sinner single coil, it'll put most humbuckers to shame in terms of output, with the bridge being wound at 21k. Trilogy Suites are wound to 15k in the bridge, and 12.5k for the middle and neck. Very hot single coils.

The Piledriver Tele bridge coil is wound to 13.1k and has alot of balls. All of these single coils are the Alcino V magnets.
DC resistance does not equal output. Output, if anything, is more determind by the magnet type and then the wind of the coil. .43 AWG wire wound with a dc resistence of 12k will have a different output to .42 AWG wire wound to 12k, and the differenc ebetween magnets is astonishing - alnico 8, for example, produces a pickup with almost twice the output a the same wind with an alnico 3 magnet.

Not that output is even the main indicator of tone either. Resonant peak is a far better guide to how a pickup will sound. Bear in mind that outside of simply driving an amp harder, output means nothing.

Will these sound like humbuckers? No, they are designed to keep the strat/tele sound, just with a modern voicing and more balls to back them up.
And the problem there is that pop-punk is rarly based around a typical Fender-style single coil sound. I mean, OP mentioned the EMG 81 in their first post; I think that gives you a hint they might not want just a regular Tele sound with a pointless increase in output. If you look across the wide variety of pop-punk bands and the tones they use, nearly all use pickups based around bar magnets which inherently give a much smoother tone and less separation between strings. The only example I can think of that don't are VersaEmerge, though they're more experimental and they use stacked singles with the tone rolled off, effectively aiming for the same sound.

I'm not saying that it's an absolute crime to play pop-punk with true single coils, let alone high-output ones, just that it is far, far from typical and is far removed from the example that OP gave.
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#34
Quote by MrFlibble
DC resistance does not equal output. Output, if anything, is more determind by the magnet type and then the wind of the coil. .43 AWG wire wound with a dc resistence of 12k will have a different output to .42 AWG wire wound to 12k, and the differenc ebetween magnets is astonishing - alnico 8, for example, produces a pickup with almost twice the output a the same wind with an alnico 3 magnet.

Not that output is even the main indicator of tone either. Resonant peak is a far better guide to how a pickup will sound. Bear in mind that outside of simply driving an amp harder, output means nothing.

Coil winding has much to do with a higher output. A pickup that is wound "hotter" will deliver more clarity under gain, but distort on cleans. Magnet type has some affect, but I can't take a medium output pickup like a paf pro, replace the A5 with an A8 or ceramic magnet and expect it to sound like a super 3. Haven't you noticed that higher output pickups have a higher DC resistance?
#35
Quote by W4RP1G
Coil winding has much to do with a higher output. A pickup that is wound "hotter" will deliver more clarity under gain, but distort on cleans. Magnet type has some affect, but I can't take a medium output pickup like a paf pro, replace the A5 with an A8 or ceramic magnet and expect it to sound like a super 3. Haven't you noticed that higher output pickups have a higher DC resistance?
Counter point: the Seymour Duncan Hot Stack Telecaster pickup has a DC resistance of 22k average, but has less than a third of the output of the Tele Hot Rails (15k). Both use bar magnets and twin coils. So why does one have a higher DC resistance reading but much less output? Different wire, different type of magnet. The most powerful pickup I own, in terms of raw, measured output, is a P-90 (single coil, not a stack) that measures out at just over 10k; but that's 10k with .40 AWG wire and two alnico 8 magnets.

DC resistance is, at best, a very vague guide to what the output may seem like.

No, you can't replace a PAF Pro's magnet with an A8 and suddenly have any of DM's Super series on your hands. But it will be higher output than it was before. Hell, using that very example, I put an A3 in a PAF Pro specifically because I wanted slightly lower output without messing with how the pickup responded to the strings and yay, there it is.
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#37
Er, which Vintage Modified Tele? Because there's a lot of 'em and they're all different specs, using different woods, construction and types of pickup.
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#39
Ah right. Well then every other post in this thread is completely irrelevant! Yay!

The bad news is that guitar cannot take normal humbucker-size pickups without additonal routing and a new pickguard. The good news if that P-90s are pretty much THE pop-punk pickup anyway. The ones that are on the Squier are actually alright, if a little noisy (as any large single coil will be). You'll probably find the neck pickup will be fine left alone (even if you don't think you'll want it, you may be surprised by how good a neck P-90 sounds). For the bridge you should try the stock pickup before you worry about replacements - it may do what you want right away. It's wound a bit hotter than most P-90s and the bar magnet and single coil design mean you get all the smoothness and power of a humbucker but with a lot more clarity; though this does come at the cost of having some hum. You can get stacked P-90 pickups (the Seymour Duncan STK-P1 P-90 Stack is the obvious choice; affordable and sounds great), though bear in mind that these stack designs are a little taller than normal P-90s so it can be hard to get them at the right height.
at-the-creamery.co.uk makes a humbucker in the size and look of a normal P-90.
DiMarzio make a lot of humbuckers in a P-90 size, but these do not screw in to the guitar in the same way; you'll need to drill new screw holes.
If you do want an active tone as you originally suggested, EMG make the 81, 85, 60 and 60A in a P-90 size. The 60A is what I'd recommend for pop-punk, as the 81 and 60 are both very harsh and the 85 is ridiculously powerful. These do however require the same modified mounting as the DiMarzio pickups and you'll need to change the pots, selector switch and jack and there may not be room for the battery, unless you were to take out the neck pickup and hide the battery where the neck pickup is (though this could be something of a pain to engineer).
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#40
I'll just order the guitar and see how it sounds, I may just end up liking the P90's in it