Now... I would think a BucketHead fan would understand the importance of boundless imagination! Come on! Burn the box! Think outside the solar system! Up the Freak Factor!! ;D
Actually those went to a Freaky guitar builder in Madison Wisconsin named Ellie Erickson for use in some bizarre lap steel projects she is working on. She specializes in off the wall instruments. Between her and Steve Benford I get my fix of odd ball requests. I make normal stuff too. I actually sent some to Steve just a little while ago!
This week I thought I would talk about the original. While Leo Fender didn't invent the electric guitar pickup, his super simple Telecaster, originally called the "Broadcaster", bridge pickup was the first to move from novelty into the realm of serious instrument making in 1950. It's solid body construction meant that for the first time guitar player could get LOUD! A solid and noble workhorse the Tele has always been seen as a working mans guitar. It was made famous by players like James Burton, Danny Gatton, Roy Buchanan, Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Michael Bloomfield, Bob Dylan, Steve Cropper, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Andy Summers, Joe Strummer and many others.
While most people identify Jimmy Page as a Gibson player, he used a psychedelic-colored 1958 Telecaster on the first Led Zeppelin album, and also for the lead solo in the song "Stairway To Heaven."
So, what gives the Tele it's classic sound? Well, lots of elements go into making a guitar sound the way it does but the importance of the Tele bridge pickup can't be over looked.
First is its tall and slim coil. This sort of shape lends itself to producing a pickup with more high end clarity that a short coil would have.
Second, we have this coper coated steel base plate. These "reflector plates" also aid in boosting the hight end of the Tele.
Finally there is the fact the pickup is mounted close to the bridge. The closer a pickup is to the bridge the brighter it will sound. Strangely, Leo decided to slanted the pickup so that the treble side is closer to the bridge than the bass side. This boosts the highs on the treble strings even more.
So, why has Leo's simple idea stayed with us for over a half century? Well that's easy. There's nothing wrong with it!
Thanks fellas, Pipes, Yes that Tele pickup is the one I made for your project After being asked to make a few over the years I have decided to offer them up on my web site as a regular line. They should be up in a few weeks. We're calling that one the T9000 because it has 9000 turns of 42ga wire. There will also be a T8000 and a T10000. You get the idea. Stelios, I hope that this little section of 6SB will help folks better decide what guitar is right for them. While I have been focusing on some of my pickups I plan to review a few from other makers as well. I want to cover as many categories as possible.
Post by Benford Guitars on Jul 17, 2006 22:44:56 GMT -5
Clint, im a fan of the '72 Fender Tele Deluxe pickups. The monster humbuckers more specifically. Do you know what the reasoning behind having the staggered adjustable pole pieces was? I think the look is cool, but theres got to be more to it than that..
Post by Benford Guitars on Jul 22, 2006 23:29:22 GMT -5
Heres a shot of a Spalted Tele thin-line I built. I put in 2 of the '72 reissue humbuckers. They are big and fat sounding, with a medium output. I also did a Fender super Strat which I put these in. Great setup.
Steve has nominated the Fender Wide Range Tele Humbucker for this weeks pickup. I first became acquainted with these fantastic pickups when I bought a black 1972 Fender Tele Custom around 1991. Huge sound!! Wish I still had it
In 1972 Fender noticed that many people were replacing the neck pickups in the Teles with humbuckers. They decided that it was time to up date the Tele and see if it could compete with the Les Paul. The result was the two humbucker Tele Deluxe and the one humbucker Tele Custom. These guitars also sported a control configuration taken straight from the Gibson Les Paul. But the Gibson influence doesn't end there. Fender went as far as to hire Gibson pickup designer and inventor of the Gibson Humbucker, Seth Lover, to design their new humbucking pickups.
The pickup Seth designed for Fender was very different than the Gibson design. He was shooting for a brighter, more single coil type sound than the Gibson humbuckers were known for. This concept called for the use of cunife rod magnets as pole pieces within the coil structures, more closely resembling a regular Strat pickup than a Gibson humbucker. The cunife magnets were threaded and slotted to function and resemble the adjustable screw type poles of a Gibson humbucker. The pickup bobbins were wound with approximately 10,000 turns of copper wire around Cunife (Copper/Nickel/Ferrite) magnetized pole-pieces.
As far as I know these are the only pickups ever made that used Cunife magnets. The original run of these guitars was never very popular and they were discontinued in 1982.
One of my guitar hero's Steve Morse loved these pickups and used one to replace the bridge pickup in his famous Mutt Tele because at the time no one else made a Humbucker with the proper pole spacing.
"It was a good pickup, and it had the wider F-spacing, which is another reason I thought it would work better."
As Morse's relationship with DiMarzio warmed, he suggested designer Steve Blucher take another look at that old Fender humbucker. "It gave me a very unique, amazing tone, especially down low. It caused me to use the low strings a lot in solos. It was fatter and had more mid-range than any Fender pickup. The only problem it had was that I was playing in a loud band and in some clubs we'd be so close to our equipment that it would feed back, too. Well, I'd played a Les Paul and I knew that problem could be overcome."
So the Steve Morse pickups that DiMarzio makes are base on the Fender Wide Range pickup.
In 2004 Fender re-issued this pickup. Despite an almost identical appearance, it's constructed very differently from the original 1970s unit. Like a Gibson humbucker it features an Alnico bar magnet underneath the bobbins that abutted to 6 screw type pole-pieces in each coil. The 2004 Wide Range is in fact a copy of a Gibson PAF placed in a larger casing, and the gap is filled with cloth. This is one reason the original Wide Range humbuckers are described as sounding "fat" but with noticeable more clarity and detail than Gibson humbuckers. The new ones sound good but they are differant than the originals.
I hope you now know everything you can think of when it comes to Fender Wide Range pickups. And go buy a Steve Morse record!!
I was wondering what a good neck pick-up would be to compliment my Seymour Duncan JB. It doesnt need to be the same brand even I just really want a nice pick-up combo.
Well, it's really depends on what you want out of your guitar Michael. Are you looking for a clean sound in the neck position or super distortion? Do you plan to combine it's signal with the bridge pickup? What kind of guitar are we talking about anyway?
Steve Clark: I'd rather be playing guitar
Nov 12, 2015 5:38:31 GMT -5
Steve Clark: Counting down to my new guitar
Dec 22, 2015 2:51:07 GMT -5
Steve Clark: Happy new year!
Dec 31, 2015 16:00:56 GMT -5
tricky: Just passing by so thought I would drop in and say a big Hiya to the hard core keeping the board going. Hope you are all well, have a great 2016 and keep it real(ish)!!
Jan 19, 2016 18:21:19 GMT -5
rhod34: Richard, none of us are real. I'm my own imaginary friend
Jan 21, 2016 11:44:24 GMT -5
Steve Clark: I've never met Rhod. I assume he's just some Welsh computer 'bot'
Jan 22, 2016 4:53:37 GMT -5
rhod34: you leave my bottom out of this, ya perv!
Jan 22, 2016 15:25:24 GMT -5
Steve Clark: In Wales bot-net has a very different meaning
Jan 26, 2016 5:21:44 GMT -5
Steve Clark: My guitar is in the UK! Awaiting news from customs
Feb 9, 2016 6:30:31 GMT -5