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‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup

I repair quite a few old pickups and thought you might be interested in this ‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup.

‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup

As you can see it’s looking pretty tired. I quite like seeing pickups like this – it’s clearly given great service for decades. This is just wear and tear and the sign of a happy life and although it isn’t working now there’s no reason why it can’t be made good for a few more decades.

guitar pickup

One of the first things I noticed is the black tape. Underneath it is the original waxed protective string. I’m not sure why someone added that.

old guitar pickup
Tele pickup bridge plate

The plate underneath has aged fantastically but as you can see the earth wire is missing from it. I re-solder the connections just in case there is a dry joint but the pickup is still dead.

broken pickup

I suspect this is the fault- the top plate has warped over time and the corrosion has got in and damaged the windings. That top plate looks like a skateboard deck – it should be flat! This pickup is going to need a re-wind.

'68 Tele date

With the back plate off you can clearly see the date.

guitar pickup corrosion

And here it is, this is the problem. With the windings cut away you can clearly see that the corrosion on the pole piece has spread into the winding. There’s a bit of wax in there too from when it was potted originally.

So here’s the plan. I need to flatten that top plate back. Then clean up the pole pieces. I need to do something about the corrosion. And finally re-wind the pickup to original spec. And most importantly make it look like nothing ever happened.

pickup lacquer

Cleaning the poles is easy, then I flatten the top plate and glue it in place with super glue. Originally it was just a push fit. Then I treat the rust with some anti rust stuff. Here you can see it masked off so I can give the poles a couple of coats of lacquer.

Tele pickup

Next I wrap the poles with thin tape. I want to protect the windings from future corrosion. I want this pickup to play hard for another 50 years.

Telecaster Bridge Pickup

Then it’s re-winding and wax potting and finally replacing the original string.

Of course, I forget to take a photo of it with the string on.

If you need any pickup repairs please contact me through the website http://www.mrglynspickups.com or give me a call 021912678

‘68 Telecaster Bridge Pickup

Mr Glyns Pickups

https://mrglynspickups.com/2020/03/29/silver-lady-vintage-telecaster/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0b3oNSRvP0

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Cruel Mistress -hot Tele Pickup set

Single “Cruel Mistress” -hot Tele NZ$129 for NZ customers. If you’re overseas it’s GST free; $NZ112.17

Pair “Cruel Mistress” -hot Tele NZ$249 for NZ customers. If you’re overseas they’re GST free; $NZ216.52

AlnicoV – Bridge 10.65 KOhms, 4.96H. Neck 7.25 KOhms, 2.48H

Here’s a great demo from Brett Kingman.

Mr Glyns Cruel Mistress hot Telecaster Pickups are designed for the Tele player who wants more than the traditional country twang. They have a full bottom end, cut through mids and a top end that is strong but never harsh. They’ll push you amp that bit harder without loosing that Telecaster character.

There is nothing like the high end snarl of a good Tele bridge pickup. However, Tele Pickups are complicated. 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 Tele 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. Bridge pickups need grit and the neck a chimey clarity and together they should be full and open and matched well enough to create almost a reverb sound with the switch in the middle position.

The “Cruel Mistress” -hot Tele uses AlnicoV magnets to help with the attack and AWG43 wire to help with the snarl.

The neck pickup on a Tele needs to be smooth and warm and have a great balance with the bridge pickup so that the 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. As a result it can be a hard pickup to get right and there were a lot of experiments and disappointments on the way. Eventually I came on a design that has enough bottom end to sound full but not so much to sound boomy. And the final pickup was a great match to 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 and only after many road tests and versions did I fix on a design. As a result, 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.

So 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 Tele 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
Cruel Mistress -hot Tele neck pickup - Mr Glyn's Pickups
Cruel Mistress -hot Tele Bridge pickup - Mr Glyn's Pickups

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDggiRTQyFec5KAVHsC2xA

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“Cruel Mistress” -hot Tele