The Fender Telecaster has developed a legacy that other electric guitars can only dream of since it was originally released to the masses in the autumn of 1950. The Telecaster’s popularity has lasted over 70 years, and it is responsible for some of the most famous guitar tones in music history. The Fender Telecaster is one of the most recognizable guitars ever made. While almost every Tele sounds great right out of the box, tone-obsessed players are always on the lookout for that one tweak that will take their axe, and their tone, to the next level.
If you’ve played guitar for a while, you’re probably aware that Stratocaster and Tonerider pickups aren’t the only options available. And it’s likely that you already know that a Telecaster pickup can help you get that vintage pickup vibe.
From Jimmy Bryant to Bruce Springsteen, tele-pickups have benefited some of the world’s best musicians in defining their sound. Although Strat pickups are well-known, these Tele pickups have piqued our interest in learning more about how they might aid guitar and electric guitar players in uncovering their creative identity, so let’s dive right into the greatest telecaster pickups!
Fender Custom Shop ’51 Nocaster Pickup Set
- Enamel-coated magnet wire for warm vintage tone
- Flush-mount magnets for even string response
- Alnico 3 magnets for more focus and enhanced dynamics
The Custom Shop ’51 Nocaster pickups from Fender combine the classic Tele twang with a number of performance-enhancing features. These pickups closely mimic the original pickups used by Leo Fender on the first Telecaster models, staying faithful to their origins.
Single-coil pickups of the 1950s sounded very different from the instruments we use today. The output was higher, and the midrange sounded generally warmer. Fender used a variety of construction processes and materials to keep these pickups comparable with older instruments.
The base plate, for starters, is constructed of tin-plated copper. The tone is slightly subdued by this material, making it sound warmer and more in line with antique ’51 models. The output wire is covered in period-appropriate material, and a fibre bobbin adds to the retro vibe.
Fender has employed flush-mount magnets to ensure that each string responds uniformly to the velocity of your playing as a guitar player. When a chord is hit or a tune is played, these devices prevent the strings from resonating in an uneven manner. The Custom Shop 1951 pickups sound unmistakably different from any other Telecaster pickup on the market. The availability of flush-mount magnets piqued my interest, as I’d only had limited experience with this feature before trying out these pickups.
The Custom Shop ’51 Nocaster Tele pickups are ideal for most types of rock music, but they’re especially good at recreating the legendary vintage tones of the first Telecasters. If you’re seeking for a method to stand out among the multitude of current guitar tones, these pickups could be the answer. This is Best Telecaster Pickup in 2023.
Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Tele Set Electric Guitar Electronics
- The Quarter Pound for Tele Rhythm's custom overwound coil provides a powerful midrange that cuts through any mix without sounding bright or brash....
- Power up your Telecaster with the upper midrange growl and drive of the Quarter Pound for Tele Set.
- The Quarter Pound for Tele Set delivers humbucker level punch and saturation in a true single coil package.
Seymour Duncan has been at the forefront of guitar pickup development since the 1970s. The Quarter Pound set is specifically meant to be put on a Telecaster, and its broad range is filled with outstanding single-coil and humbucker choices. The Quarter Pound has two different pickups that can boost your Telecaster’s upper midrange and highlight the guitar’s “sweet spot.” One is Seymour Duncan’s highest output pickup, having alnico V rod magnets that generate a massive sound and a snarl similar to a P-90 pickup.
The 14-inch pickups are hand-polished for a refined appearance. They add thick lead tones and smooth sounding chords with a sparkling midrange and plenty of harmonic sweetness into the Telecaster’s sound. The pickups were created by Seymour Duncan with versatility in mind. They’re wax potted to prevent squeaks and have a classic chrome-plated Telecaster cover to match the rest of the guitar playing.
Seymour Duncan’s Quarter Pound Tele pickups are ideal for multi-faceted guitarists who need to find a balance between single-note clarity and full-bodied chords. They’re ideal for musicians who need more middle bite and rich harmonics throughout the frequency spectrum.
The Quarter Pound Tele pickups are the perfect set to go with this iconic instrument, with Alnico V magnets producing tone, clarity, and power. They generate gleaming midrange frequencies that are great for rhythm guitar, but the overwound coil offers the extra power needed to cut through the mix.
This is Best Telecaster Pickup for Rock in 2023.
Tonerider TRT2 Hot Classics Telecaster Pickup Set
- Set of two vintage output alnico v single-coil pickups
- Nickel-silver neck pickup cover for crystal clear tones
- Wound with awg43 neck and awg42 bridge (5.6k, 5.8k and 6.3k approx)
The Alnico III magnets in the Tonerider TRT2 Hot Classics replacement pickups have a greater wind. Even when utilising boost and overdrive pedals for chord work, this provides more note separation. The Hot Classics guitar pickups for neck and bridge position have a larger bass response, a raucous upper register, and a stronger midrange.
Both the neck and bridge pickups have a grounded full-size copper plated baseplate and a black string wrap that adds to the tone while also being visually appealing. The neck pickup has a Nickel-silver cover for excellent tonal transparency, while the bridge pickup is modelled after some of the best hot Broadcaster pickups of the past.
This Tonerider Telecaster pickup set is the company’s best-selling model. If you like the sound of classic Telecaster pickups but want to add a little more aggression to your tone, the Hot Classics will undoubtedly sound great on your instrument. This pair of pickups is for Telecaster players who want their guitars to have extra edge. They’re ideal for rock and metal musicians who want a little more character in their tone while keeping the Telecaster single-coil feel and sound.
Fender Pure Vintage ’64 Telecaster Pickup Set
- Enamel-coated magnet wire delivers warm vintage-style tones
- Alnico 5 magnets add more focus and enhanced dynamics
- Staggered bridge pickup polepieces balance volume and output across every string
With these Fender Pure Vintage Reissue pickups, you can get that original Telecaster twang. Why not go straight to the source and obtain that coveted Tele tone that’s known the world over? These are for you if you’re a conventional player who enjoys the sound of a Telecaster. If you’re a blues or classic rock guitarist, this is an excellent choice.
The Fender Pure Vintage Reissue Telecaster Pickups are wound to exacting tolerances for original Fender tone and performance. This is one of the greatest Telecaster pickup sets available, and it will give your guitar a vintage single-coil Telecaster sound. These pickups produce a hotter, more powerful Tele sound that is also highly clear and adaptable enough to be used in a variety of musical situations.
The enamel-coated wire produces warm vintage tones, while the Alnico 5 magnets provide greater focus and dynamics. The staggered bridge pickup pole pieces also ensure that the guitar’s volume and output are balanced across all strings. The copper shielding plate on the Tele bridge pickup in this set gives a more vibrant tone with strong output. For authentic vintage Tele tones, this set is wax-potted and includes period-correct fibre bobbin construction.
Telecasters have a unique single-coil sound that is one of the most sought-after guitar tones of all time. The Telecaster has long been associated with a variety of musical genres, including country, blues, classic rock, indie, and even metal. Its two single-coil pickups provide enough variation to be used in a number of styles while still preserving that signature Telecaster tone. This is Best Telecaster Pickup for Blues in 2023.
Seymour Duncan APTL-3JD Jerry Donahue Model Tele Bridge Pickup
- Single Coil Telecaster Lead (Bridge) Pickup
- High Output, Increased Sustain
- Alnico 2 Rod Magnets
This Seymour Duncan Telecaster pickup, designed for famed guitarist Jerry Donahue, has a vintage-hot Tele tone. For that iconic Telecaster bridge pickup sound, it offers a balanced sweet tone with a beautiful treble attack. It’s an excellent choice for people looking for a great Tele bridge sound on a budget.
Hellecaster guitarist Jerry Donahue needed a classic Telecaster bridge pickup to make his touring guitars sound more like his treasured 52′ Telecaster. Seymour Duncan created a warm lead pickup using Alnico 2 rod magnets and a unique coil wind for increased sustain and power. The higher D and G poles on this Tele bridge pickup mirror the fretboard radius for a consistent string response. For those on a budget, it’s certainly one of the best single coils on the market.
Single notes have a smooth, sweet, and melodious tone, while low notes have just the perfect amount of Tele snap. The JD Telecaster Lead Pickup from Seymour Duncan goes great with the Alnico II Pro Tele neck pickup from Seymour Duncan. This pickup has a waxed cloth hookup wire, standard, and provides a realistic look and delicious tone for your guitar. Hand-ground alnico magnets with an 187′′ diameter and a copper-plated steel bottom plate. For a squeal-free performance, this pickup is also potted in Seymour Duncan’s wax formulation.
DiMarzio Twang King Neck/Bridge Pickup Set for Fender Telecaster Tele
The Twang King pickups respond to pick attack like no other single-coil pickup: mild picking gives a soft, quiet tone, while forceful picking generates a harsher, louder, and more dramatic sound.
DiMarzio set out to make a pickup system that sounded like a vintage Telecaster, but ended up with something else. Twang King’s Tele pickup set has unrivalled reaction to pick attack. Ritchie Kotzen, Tash Sultana, and Howard Hart all use it as their primary pickup set. These are the best Telecaster pickups for blues guitarists who want to make a statement.
The greatest characteristics of DiMarzio’s builder’s preferred Broadcaster and Telecaster sound were captured in this Tele pickup combination. These picks have a fantastic response to the players’ selections. The sound of this pickup combination is similar to that of a classic Telecaster, but with additional dynamics.
Light picking creates a delicate quiet tone with these pickups, but strong picking generates a harsher, louder, and more dramatic sound than similar single coils. A combination of controlled-tension coil-winding, specific wire, and hand-calibrated magnets was used to achieve this. The bridge pickup has a ferrous base plate, whereas the neck pickup has a chrome cover. To eliminate screaming, both pickups are wax-potted twice.
Surprisingly, the DiMarzio Twang Kings set was not modelled after a specific original. This was partly due to the fact that they never discovered one that they were entirely satisfied with. The DiMarzio Twang Kings have a wide dynamic range and produce huge, crisp lows and highs.
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Telecaster Pickups
- Texas special tele pickups are built to produce increased output, presence and midrange.
- The nickel/silver cover on the neck pickup produces a clear warm tone that only a true custom shop tele pickup can do.
- These overwound pickups use alnico 5 magnets and enamel coated magnet wore.
The famed Fender Custom Shop has come up with a terrific choice. Texas Special Tele Pickups have a nice Tele twang and are very versatile. These pickups are perfect for blues, rock, pop, country, and even jazz if you want that vintage Tele single-coil sound. Alnico V magnets and enamel coated magnet wire are used to make these overwound Tele pickups.
The Texas Special Tele pickups are designed to boost power, presence, and midrange. In a true Fender custom shop, the neck pickup has a nickel/silver cover that creates a clear warm tone. Alnico V magnets and enamel magnet wire are used in these overwound pickups.
The bridge pickup has height staggered magnets and a copper base plate steel on the bottom to give your Telecaster a Tex-Mex sound. These Fender Custom Shop Texas Special pickups have a beautiful Telecaster tone and are quite adaptable, making them one of the best Telecaster pickups available.
They’re only available in pairs and come with all of the necessary mounting hardware. Installation is simple and does not necessitate substantial changes to your cherished Tele.
JBE Joe Barden Danny Gatton T-Style Pickup Set for Fender Tele Telecaster
Vintage flavour meets increased realism with these JBE Telecaster pickups. Danny Gatton, one of the best Tele players of all time, was their inspiration. Gatton requested high-end replacement pickups or just tweaks to existing designs. These pickups are the top-of-the-line alternative for Telecaster guitarists looking for the best.
Danny Gatton was the original designer of these JBE pickups, and he put them through rigorous testing at every stage. They’ve become the preferred brand of professional Tele players all around the world. The lows, mids, and highs are all equal in strength, which eliminates the Telecaster’s thin sound.
These pickups have the same vintage Tele twang as the originals, but with more fidelity, and they cover both the neck and bridge positions. The T-Neck may be set to have the same output as the T-Bridge, removing the output variances between the bridge and neck pickups that so many players complain about. The classic Tele twang and snap are still present, but without any noise, despite the fact that these pickups can be set to far exceed the output level of factory pickups.
All Joe Barden single-coil bridge pickups for Strats and Telecasters feature a unique staggered blade design, and the T-Bridge is no exception. This Tele pickup set will fit any normal Tele body and will not require any instrument changes. They have a 4-conductor shielded cable that allows for any wiring combination, and they come with wiring diagrams and mounting gear to make the installation procedure go more smoothly.
Lindy Fralin Tele Blues Special Pickup Set
Blues by Lindy Fralin The special pickups have a 5% overwind compared to the stock Telecaster pickups. This means your single-coil pickup will produce a punchier, richer tone. This is the greatest Telecaster pickup we’ve found. One of the best Telecaster pickup options is the Lindy Fralin Blues Special Telecaster set. They’re perfect for guitar players who want a fuller, thicker sound from their Telecaster.
Lindy Fralin’s second-best-selling single coil set is this one. They’re fairly loud, yet they still have that classic Telecaster tone. This is due in part to the additional 5% coil, which results in a beefier sound. This makes it an excellent choice for balancing a bright instrument without making it sound dark.
When played clean, the Blues Special has a thick and rich sound, especially in the lows and mids. They have an open, clear sound that isn’t overly compressed. The tone may cut through with a superb bass end and medium attack when distorted. The sound of single notes will be robust and round. Chords, on the other hand, will have a rich tone and a quick breakup. This pickup set also includes a Nickel cover.
The Blues Special pickups are among of the greatest Telecaster pickups on the market, and they’re a wonderfully powerful set.
Fender Generation 4 Noiseless Telecaster Single-Coil Pickups
- Set of two single-coil Telecaster pickups
- Noise-free, vintage-style tone
- Shielded wire for even more noise reduction
The Fender Gen 4 Noiseless Set is ideal if you need a set of pickups that have the low-noise capabilities of humbucker pickups while maintaining the iconic single-coil Tele tone.
Fender set out to create the auditory equivalent of cold fusion when they designed the Generation 4 Noiseless pickups. This necessitated integrating the iconic Telecaster tone with noise-free performance. They designed these fantastic single coils using cutting-edge pickup technology. It’s amazing how they can produce such warm, enveloping tones with no noise at all. Furthermore, they are capable of adding a layer of crunch to the output of your Tele.
The tone of the Generation 4 Noiseless pickups is tight and reactive in general. The bass end is well-controlled, while the high end is well-defined and pleasant to listen to. On stage, the mid-tones have enough punch to cut through the mix.
The bottom end is tight, the high end is clear, and the midrange has all the power you’ll ever need. The insulated wire on the interior reduces noise even further. Of course, it includes all of the necessary installation gear. The fit is similar to that of a factory Telecaster pickup, though some users have complained that because they are double stacked, they are a little higher and require some twisting to get in position.
The beautiful thing about this pickup is that you get that clean, brilliant sound while yet having enough room to turn it up and let those single-coils sing without getting too much feedback noise. For those smooth, modern, and noiseless tones, this is a must-have.Fender chose insulated magnet wire to improve the pickup’s ability to function quietly. This permits the single-coils to sing with maximum clarity and strength, free of any electronic hum or buzzing noise.
It’s an ancient adage to save the best for last, but the Fender Gen 4 Noiseless pickups might be the exception. These single-coil pickups are meticulously built with the highest quality components possible to reduce noise to an absolute minimum without sacrificing tone or character.
Fender Tex-Mex Telecaster Single-Coil Pickups
- Set of two single-coil Telecaster pickups
- Overwound for tight, clear bass, crisp highs and maximum output
- Alnico 5 magnets
Fender’s Tex Mex pickups are available for both Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, and they’ve gained a devoted following in recent years. Because these Tele pickups are overwound, they provide a tight, crisp bass, singing highs, and a lively, high output.
The Tex Mex pickups have lots of power, thanks to Alnico V magnets that provide a smooth, consistent output and an 8.0k DC resistance in the bridge. You may either dial in the grit and enjoy the telecaster’s crystal clean tones, or you can dive in and create true Texas grit.
The Fender Telecaster is one of the few guitars that can be used in a variety of genres and eras. That’s why the Tex Mex pickups are a terrific option; they, too, sound ageless and can produce tones that suit a wide range of playing styles.
Fender has used flush-mount pole components to expand the adaptability of the Tex Mex Tele pickups. They also look the part, as you’d expect from a set of Fender pickups. The pickups in the neck and bridge positions are respectively coated in chrome and black.
The Fender Tex Mex pickups pay homage to the Telecaster’s long history by amplifying and highlighting the guitar’s natural twang. The use of Alnico V magnets gives the output a little more weight, and the overwound design provides consistency across the frequency spectrum.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I install new Telecaster pickups?
This may be a little intimidating for some folks. The last thing you want to do is mess up your priceless instrument by fiddling with it. Installing a new pickup, on the other hand, is simple.
Remove the strings and pickguard (if applicable) before unmounting and disconnecting your current pickups. Wiring in your new pickup may involve some soldering, however some feature a no-solder fitting, and then all you have to do is replace the pickguard and strings! If you’re still unsure, try looking for a video tutorial online or consulting an expert.