The telecaster guitar was first introduced by Fender and it was the world’s first commercially sold and accepted electric guitar. People were in awe of this guitar, for its simple design, yet revolutionary sound. It was a trend setter in the world of electric music.
The telecaster guitar is a versatile instrument, which can be used for all kinds of music genres and playing styles. Be it rock, reggae, folk, pop, or indie, a telecaster guitar is suitable for all. It is mainly appreciated for its ability to produce bright tones, as well as warm and mellow tones. The kind of tone it produces depends on the pickup you select.
A good and efficient telecaster guitar pickup is very essential; otherwise, the true capabilities of a telecaster guitar would remain unjustified or unexplored.
Tele bridge pickups, tele neck pickups, etc, are all just types of telecaster guitar pickups and come with their respective sets of pros and cons. To make your job easier, we have listed down and reviewed the 7 Best Telecaster Guitar Pickups of 2020 so that you can select the best pickup that would fit your telecaster guitar.
On reading a bit further, you will also find a Buyer’s Guide, where we have listed down the must-haves for your telecaster guitar pickup, so that you don’t make a mistake while selecting your favorite product!
Seymour Duncan APTL-3JD Jerry Donahue Model Tele Bridge Pickup
This telecaster guitar pickup is a single coiled one, which has a boosted output. It works wonders with a range of music genres, like, blues, country music, classic rock, etc.
It makes touring guitars sound exactly like the ’52 telecaster guitar. It provides a warm pickup along with crisp and balanced variations of highs and lows. It contains Alnico 2 magnets and gives a balanced string-to-string response. It results in a balanced tone, that is both sweet and traditional and has a high end detail.
This telecaster guitar pickup is available in lead position and has staggered pole pieces.
- Staggered pole pieces.
- Available in lead position.
- Alnico magnets.
- Balanced string-to-string response.
- High-end detail.
- Low-end fatness.
- Single coiled.
- High output.
- Increased sustain.
- Works best with maple fingerboards.
Overall Ratings– 4.7/5 stars.
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Telecaster Pickups
These amazing pickups give an increased output and presence. It also produces the desired mid-range.
These have a nickel or silver cover on the neck which results in production of a warm tone which is clear and sharp. They possess Alnico 5 magnets, which further features an enamel coated magnet wire. Height staggered magnets are present in the bridge pickup, along with a steel bottom plate that is copper plated.
These pickups are sold as a set of two and the package includes all the mounting hardware.
- Sold as a set of 2.
- Mounting hardware included.
- Bridge pickup contains height staggered magnets.
- Copper plated bottom plate.
- Alnico 5 magnets.
- Enamel coated magnet wore.
- Silver/nickel cover on neck.
- Increased output and presence.
- Increased mid-range.
- Over-wound pickups.
Overall Ratings- 4.2/5 stars.
DiMarzio Twang King Neck/Bridge Pickup Set for Fender Telecaster Tele
These telecaster guitar pickups combine the best elements of broadcaster and telecaster sounds, to provide you with the best vintage Tele sound.
It has unequaled responses that are used to pick attack. It produces a versatile range of tones depending on the way you play. For instance, a soft tone is produced on light playing, and a hard and dynamic sound is produced when it is hard picked. It is a single coiled pickup, which produces a loud sound that is much harder than other pickups that are single-coiled.
It provides a squeal-free performance with the help of its wax potted pickups, which are not wax-potted once, but twice! It combines hand calibrated magnets, a special wire, and controlled tension coil winding, which results in efficient performance. Neck pickup has a chrome cover and a ferrous base plate is featured by the bridge model.
- Squeal-free performance.
- Wax potted pickups.
- Combines hand calibrated magnets, a special wire, and controlled tension coil winding.
- Chrome cover on neck pickup.
- Bridge model has a ferrous base plate.
- Versatile range of tones.
- Single coiled pickup.
- Combines broadcaster and telecaster sounds.
- Provides a dynamic sound.
- Sleek design.
Overall Ratings– 5.0/5 stars.
Fender Vintage Noiseless Tele Pickups
This pickup by Fender is a single coiled pickup, that provides clear sound without any hum, and also comes with a 1 year warranty from the manufacturer.
The magnet wire is enamel coated, which gives a warm vintage tone to the user. It also provides an even string response with the help of its flush mount pole pieces. It features Alnico 2 magnets, which give a warm attack and a mid-range that is not so aggressive. The output wire and the plastic bobbin is vinyl covered.
This telecaster guitar pickup claims that it does not produce hum that is usually produced by single coiled pickups. It allows the user to increase gain, without worrying about getting hum.
- No hum produced.
- Single coiled.
- Ideal for heavy sounds.
- Vinyl covered output wire.
- Alnico 2 magnets.
- Non-aggressive mid-range.
- Warm attack.
- Enamel-coated magnet wire.
- Flush mount pole pieces.
- Even string response.
- Comes with a 1 year warranty.
Overall Ratings- 4.2/5 stars.
Tonerider TRT2 Hot Classics Telecaster Pickup Set
Even though Tonerider is not the first brand that comes to your mind while looking for telecaster guitar pickups, this product right here works surprisingly well. It is a set of 2 single coiled pickups, a wiring guide, 2 height adjustment screw set, plus latex spacers.
It is a set that includes neck pickup and bridge pickup , and has Alnico 3 magnets. A copper plated base plate and modified vintage stagger pole pieces on the bridge pickup make it an efficient product. Both of these pickups work exceptionally well and produce a smooth sound that is firm and strong.
Treble shrill is completely absent and a big output is produced by the bridge, along with a fat mid-range.
- Alnico 3 magnets.
- Includes neck, as well as bridge pickup.
- Base plate is copper plated.
- Bridge features modified vintage stagger pole pieces.
- Well-balanced sound is produced.
- Tremble shrill-free.
- Bigger output by bridge.
- Fatter mid-range.
- Rick neck pickup.
Overall Ratings– 4.9/5 stars.
JBE Joe Barden Modern T-Style Pickup Set for Fender Tele Telecaster
This is a single coiled pickup that completely eradicates any kind of noise or hum. A balanced response is received on the outer strings with the help of the staggered blade that is present.
It produces a fat tone, which cannot be classified as vintage. Hence, it is more suited for rock players or modern country players. The outputs produced from the neck and the bridge pickups are balanced.
In short, these may not be the pickups everyone needs, but they work quite well if this is what you’re looking for.
- Tele pickups.
- Noise eliminated.
- Staggered blade.
- Balanced response on outer strings.
- Suitable for rock and country music.
- Fatter tones.
- Balanced outputs on both pickups.
- Single coiled.
Overall Ratings– 5.0/5 stars.
EMG T System Prewired Telecaster Guitar Pickup Set
This telecaster guitar pickup is totally solderless and has an original EMG T Set which gives a versatile tone, that is responsive and clear.
It can easily be installed, since the control plate has been mounted and wired with the switch, tone pots and volume. The Alnico magnets have custom engineered coils as well as windings for efficient working.
Overall, it is known to be the best alternative for your tele guitar pickup.
- Replacement pickup system.
- Original EMG T set.
- Responsive tone.
- Custom engineered coils in Alnico magnets.
- Easy installation.
- Control plate is wired with volume, tone pots and switch.
Overall Ratings– 4.4/5 stars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the telecaster pickup slanted?
Telecaster pickups are slanted so that the treble responses are improved. It also enhances the note articulation and provides the user with a tone that is both bright, and clear. You may also like to note that the smaller the distance between the bridge and the pickup, the brighter is the sound produced.
How long do guitar pickups last?
Usually, the life of a guitar pickup depends on its usage. They generally go for about 12 to 24 months, depending on the time spent using them, or the way they were used.
Can guitar pickups go bad?
Yes, guitar pickups do go bad, but it is an extremely slow process and you wouldn’t even notice it. They are constructed with permanent magnets, which would take about a hundred years to decay. Hence, you will never feel anything wrong with your guitar pickup.
How do I know if pickups are working?
To know whether your pickups are working or not, check out this detailed video on the same.
How can I make my guitar pickups sound better?
Check out this video to to know how you can improve the sounds of your guitar pickup.
Before you buy a telecaster guitar pickup, make sure you know the basics that your pickup should absolutely must have.
Firstly, don’t miss the size of the pickup. You have to know which size would be meant for your guitar and should buy the pickup accordingly.
The type of the electric pickup is also an important factor to keep in mind. Since different pickups provide you with different tones, it is important for you to select it wisely.
They can be single coiled or double coiled. Double coiled pickups are extremely efficient in eliminating hum. Although, single coiled pickups also claim to be able to remove hum, and they surely do in most cases.
Whichever pickup you select, just make sure to select a one that produces clear sound and provides you with an amazing musical experience.
Also, it should definitely remove hum, otherwise, you wouldn’t enjoy playing your music with interruptions from the surroundings.
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Also, do not forget to check out our article on the 7 Best Wireless Guitar Systems of 2020.