pickup picking HELP.


The goal is to build a modern version of the nashville tele (strat singles neck and middle, tele bridge pickup) and I think I've got just about every part for my dream fiddle picked out...

except pickups.

I have spent weeks searching the internet looking at pickups.  I've considered Dimarzios, Duncans, Rio Grandes, Kinmans, Bare Knuckles, and many others.  My head is swimming with options.

I'm looking for: Vintage tone (but, higher power), noiseless design, and affordability.

Any Suggestions?
Well, you're basically looking for everything at once: a cheap, noiseless pickup with a vintage yet high-output sound (who isn't?). I have no idea how to help you there. The nice thing about pickups is they're easy to change and fiddle with, and you can always ebay your castoffs.
Prioritize your needs and go from there, or get one vintage-type and one modern-type to split the difference. For bargain pups, a lot of people including me are happy with GFS. Maybe start with some of those and then replace the ones you're not satisfied with. My nashville tele has: GFS Premium alnico (II) strat pups in bridge and middle and an alnico fatbody tele bridge pickup, also from GFS. Total cost under $100 and I had Not noiseless or particularly high output but very cheap and pretty darn vintagey.
What price for the set do you define as "affordable"? Rio Grande Vintage Tallboy Strats in neck/middle and a Rio Grande Tele Muy Grande  for the bridge would work, and run under $200...
I buy Bare Knuckles and then buy a guitar to fit them in!!! I have serious issues.
I think I've found a set that fits my liking perfectly:


It's the 3 pup Tele set that comes mounted on a harness


Check it out.  7+ Sounds out of 3 pickups, hum canceling, passive (so no battery), absolutely no soldering required for installation, and only great reviews that I've read so far.

The bad part:  $450 w/ shipping.  OUCH!  :sad:
Just do it. Kinmans are my favorite single coils and I believe they worth the money. I have the blues in my strat, they rule :headbang: It's not only the noise free design, they have the tone.

I suggest the broadcaster set and the blues or traditional in the middle. 
Well, sounds great, I guess you should do it. But, $450 for that, and you are asking for cheapo options? At the same time, these W guitars are great and deserve the very best electronics to go inside them.

BTW, I especially love the claim that your strings will last twice as long using their pickups!  Maybe they ship with surgical gloves so your sweat doesn't corrode the strings. Or, you'll play half as much so the strings'll last longer?
yfarny, yeah I'm not sure what to think about the longer lasting string claim.  ???

I was hoping not to blow the $1000 mark on my project, but these pickups just hit the ball out of the park as far as what I was looking for.  So, I'll just have to cough up more cash.

Still sounds like a stretch to me, but at least they try to justify it...
"There are two reason for this. 1) Kinman's are so dynamic and sensitive that you don't have to punish your strings in order to get the guitar to respond to your playing, so string breaking is less prevalent and they just last longer anyway. 2) Kinman's are so sensitive to tone and detail that even an old string will be sensed (or read) quite satisfactorily. "

Weeeeell, It's a stretch.  :doh:
You could call that a stretch!!! I just think it's comically dishonest salesmanship.
"Punish" your strings? I thought people fretted and picked their strings. And strings wear out because your sweat corrodes the metal. I don't ever find myself 'punishing' my guitar in order to get it to respond to my playing, that's for sure.

Personally, this kind of total BS makes me way less likely to buy a company's products, and this is the same people who claimed that Warmoth's compound radius is especially bad for vintage stagger pole pieces, right? Puhleeeze.
Personally, I do like to abuse my strings a bit, give the old spank, call them my bitch...but they seem to like it, they scream out and squeal with delight, so I'm just going to keep on doin it, but please don't call the Kinman police on me,  I really don't need another disturbing the peace citation!
I could get into a long diatribe about metallurgy and physics, but any claim that strings last longer with X brand PUs is obviously full of shit.
tfarny said:
Personally, this kind of total BS makes me way less likely to buy a company's products, and this is the same people who claimed that Warmoth's compound radius is especially bad for vintage stagger pole pieces, right? Puhleeeze.

Agree... they look like nice pickups but claims like this makes him sound sleazy.
If you're looking specifically for what a Strat does in switch positions 2 and 4, the most important thing is actually not which brand, but matching the outputs so that the "quack" quacks well. This is why matched sets for Strats work well, but you can certainly do a little research (with a notebook at hand) and find out how to sub in a Tele bridge pickup - there seems to be a graduated decrease in power from bridge->middle->neck with the sets. Often a player will change one Strat pickup and throw their balance out of whack. There are a lot of companies making pickups that pick up pretty darn well;  I'm in love with Bill Lawrence L500 humbuckers, but I don't know much about his Keystone single coils except that he's designed a bunch of pickups for Fender & Gibson, taught Seymour Duncan, Kent Armstrong & George L how to make pickups and he still sells his own line cheaper than they do. I have noticed that a large number of pros go with Duncan and DiMarzio, bypassing the $450 jobbies. And they still manage to sound good, wonder how that works? :icon_tongue: I tend to think of DiMarzios as rockier and Duncans as more subtle, but that's probably pretty dumb.  :binkybaby:

You can call Lawrence toll-free and ask Becky anything, or maybe even talk to Bill, he's got some great Hendrix/Beck/Clapton/Van Halen/Eric Johnson stories once he gets revved up and gassin'.
i recoment a set of hot rails.....and they are the same size as singles

use a 500k volume, and 250k tone with a .01cap.....this can give u everything from fat paf tele to single slammin, also concider a 500k push pull volume, so u can split up the hot rail and get s smooth single?>?