“Cruel Mistress” -hot Tele set

Single NZ$129 for NZ customers. If you’re overseas it’s GST free; $NZ112.17

Pair NZ$249 for NZ customers. If you’re overseas they’re GST free; $NZ216.52

AlnicoV – Bridge 10.05 KOhms, 4.96H. Neck 7.25 KOhms, 2.48H

There is nothing like the high end snarl of a good Telecaster bridge pickup. It’s a sound that needs to be just right – too much treble and it can sound grating and obnoxious, too little and it just isn’t a Tele. The treble needs warmth while still cutting through a mix like a zombie banjo.

I wanted to make a pickup with a bit more power to drive an amp harder while keeping the Telecaster character. My biggest concern was not losing what a Tele is all about. In my repair work I come across quite a few replacement Tele pickups that just don’t sound like Teles. The bridge needs grit and the neck a chimey clarity; together they should be full and open and matched well enough to create almost a reverb sound with the switch in the middle position.

This pickup uses AlnicoV magnets to help with the attack and AWG43 wire to help with the snarl.

The neck pickup on a Telecaster needs to be smooth and warm and have a great balance with the bridge pickup to ensure that middle position rings with an almost reverb-like tone. The difficulty with Telecaster neck pickups is there just isn’t much space under that cover. I’ve wound this one to just enough bottom end to avoid boominess but still match the bridge.

I had help from the ears of a couple of my regular customers who were generous enough to let me load their guitars with prototypes. The whole process takes time; after many road tests and listening to opinions I fix on a design. Each of my designs have been developed over many years of subtle changes and road tests. Having help like this means my pickups are trialed through many different amps and playing styles. The neck/bridge balance as well as dynamics/compression need to be tested in as many situations as possible to find a pickup that will work for most players.

If you need some grit and aggression from your Tele this is the set for you.

Here are some sound samples recorded clean through a Fender Princeton Reverb-Amp with a swamp ash body, maple neck Telecaster with D’Addario 10-52’s.The overdrive is an Elecroharmonix Soul Food pedal. All of them with the same guitar, same amp, same settings, no reverb or eq added later.

Cruel Mistress Neck Clean
Cruel Mistress Bridge Clean
Cruel Mistress Middle Position Clean
Cruel Mistress Neck Pickup with Overdrive
Cruel Mistress Bridge Pickup with Overdrive
Cruel Mistress Middle Position with Overdrive
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