Telecaster pickups for hard rock and metal?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by pfizer, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. pfizer

    pfizer SS.org Regular

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    Hi there lovely people, hoping for some advice.

    A friend of mine got her dad's old Fender American Elite Telecaster for her birthday and she's thinking of replacing the stock pickups with a set that's more suited for modern rock and metal (Mastodon, Coheed and Cambria, Stone Sour Slipknot, Deftones).

    I only know of the Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Set, but not much else. I've played guitars with humbuckers most of my life and her only other electric guitar is a Schecter also with humbuckers. She's not particularly taken with that classic twangy Telecaster sound, but she doesn't want any big mods that will permanently alter the guitar i.e. no carving out bigger holes for full-sized humbuckers.

    Any advice for pickups to turn a Telecaster into a hard-rock and metal machine?
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    First of all, what amp is she using?
     
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  3. thraxil

    thraxil cylon

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    I have a Parker Southern NiteFly (their old Tele-style model) with Bare Knuckle Piledrivers in it. They're still single coil, so you need to be careful about noise but holy hell are they mean sounding. They will also still do the regular tele thing if you roll back the volume a bit.
     
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  4. pfizer

    pfizer SS.org Regular

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    She's using a Peavey 6505 Mini Head with 2x12 Cab, with just a noise gate, a tubescreamer and a looper for effects.

    The noise is one of the main things she and I are concerned about, although I'm hoping a noise gate might take care of the hum.
     
  5. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Bkp piledrivers or anderson stacked singles.
    Rio grande if you just want a single coil sized humbucker.
     
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  6. pfizer

    pfizer SS.org Regular

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    Is there any major difference in sound between the single-coil sized humbuckers and the stacked singles?
     
  7. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    stacked singles split better.
    single coil sized hum buckers will sound more like hum buckers. stacked singles sound more like really hot singles. But they are essentially hum buckers. But they do split a lot better.
     
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  8. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I use the standard ceramic EMG Tele set in my Bari-Tele and it's awesome.
    In fact, I often use it for recording secondary rhythm tracks agains my 7 string just for some added bite & chime. Works quite well in high gain settings as well as vintage voicings.
     
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  9. wedge_destroyer

    wedge_destroyer SS.org Regular

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    Uh maybe a Dimarzio Super Distortion T or Tone Zone T?
     
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  10. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    I'd look into a Dimarzio Super Distortion T Bridge+ Area T Neck
    or a Duncan Hot Rails set.
     
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  11. pfizer

    pfizer SS.org Regular

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    Appreciate the suggestions guys. So far, we keep coming across these three pickup sets:
    1) SD Hotrails
    2) BKP Piledrivers
    3) Dimarzio Humcanceling Tele sets

    Also heard about the SD Quarterpounder Tele set.

    Which of these would be the quietest?
     
  12. PFlynn

    PFlynn SS.org Regular

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    I have the quarter pounders in my Tele and I love them. I did shield the cavity and replaced all the pots and cap at the same time as it was pretty noisy with the stock ones. (I have a used 92 MIM standard.)

    They sound great and pretty aggressive for a single coil and come very close to a humbucker, but still retains the Tele twang with a bit more "spank". If she's going for more of a metal tone, then she may want to go with a single-sized humbucker.

    TL;DR QP's not too noisy, good for hard rock/heavy punk. Close to, but not quite HB tones.
     
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  13. Defmelonn

    Defmelonn SS.org Regular

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    Seymour duncan makes some single coil sized humbuckers. JB Jr., Little ’59, Li’l Screamin’ Demon, Duckbuckers, Hot Rails, Cool Rails, Vintage Rails. My friend has a lil 59 in his bridge of a tele and it sounded good.
     
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  14. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Blames it on "the rain"

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    Teles do metal surprisingly well. I have a dimarzio area T 615 in one; which is a noiseless single and it sings. I bought it for traditional tele sounds but messed around for band practice (tech death metal) with it a couple times and liked it enough to play a show with it. I had a lil 59 in the bridge before the area T and think it’s an improvement for all styles. I did keep the lil 59 in the neck though.
    My other tele has Texas Specials and sounds great as well, but does have 60 cycle hum at certain angles.
     
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  15. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    Had a Quarter Pound in the neck my GFS build tele and it ruled.
     
  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    quarter pounders are great.
     
  17. Matsunaga3

    Matsunaga3 SS.org Regular

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    I put a Dimarzio Super Distortion T in my Ibanez Talman Prestige, which is basically a modern telecaster. It sounds great for metal stuff.
     
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  18. indreku

    indreku SS.org Regular

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  19. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    Honestly, I would give the stock pickups a chance. Teles can do metal pretty well, and they cut through well in a mix. They have a very crisp, barky attack. My former bandmate used a telecaster for progressive to death metal. I would recommend not changing them unless you are chasing a very specific tone it is not giving. Telecasters are total serviceable for metal.
     
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  20. goobaba

    goobaba SS.org Regular

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    I had the SD Hot Rails in my tele for a year or so but it had really bad noise issues and harmonic overtones. I ended up routing the guitar for a standard sized humbucker. I would not personally recommend the Hot Rails.
     

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