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Guitar - General/Standard Fender Telecaster Pick Ups


QUESTION: Hi a couple ofyears age I brought my husband a standard fender telecaster and he has since mentioned that he wants some pickups for this guitar I think the pickups that came with the guitar are hotter single coil pickups but I am at a bit of a loss on what pickups would be classed as an upgrade to what he already has, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you


ANSWER: Hi Tracy, a lot depends on what type of music your husband plays & what sound he requires, more info would help to assist you, also where in the world are you based ?

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We are in Cornwall so I would be buying online, to be honest I have no idea as I am not really into music I just wanted to get him some new pickups for his birthday as he mentioned he wanted some, I have seen single and twin packs, do you put two on a guitar or is that just a spare one?

Hi Tracy, good you are in the Uk as it makes things easier regards to purchasing etc, I am in Kent.
Usually both pickups are replaced, but sometimes one can be replaced, the reason is about balance between the two. You mention hotter pickups, this means they are more powerful than the standard or vintage style pickup, either slightly more powerful or much more powerful, in the case of a telecaster, I would hazard a guess at slightly more powerful.
So the choice of pickup could mean there would be an imbalance in volume & sound between say a vintage style pickup in one position & a hotter pickup in the other position.
If the guitar has hotter pickups, it may be that your husband requires more of a vintage tone, but that would be very specific to his requirements & the type of music he plays. I can't imagine that he would require anything more powerful or hotter than what is already there. Saying that there are many types of replacements, have you any idea of what music he is playing or wants to play ? Does he play semi pro, just with friends for fun or just indoors playing along to favorite artists ? Some artists, guitar players or the type of music would help a great deal with the choice of pickups, without this we are more or less shooting in the dark & it will be very difficult.
Please feel free to email me direct

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I can answer questions on the USA made Fender Bullet 1981 to 1983. Also questions on vintage Fender Mustangs from 1964 onwards. If I do not know the answers, I will try my best to find out for you.


30 plus years as a semi pro guitar player in covers bands in the UK. I own a lot of USA Fender Bullets & several vintage Fender Mustangs. All my guitars are set up by myself & I have also completed some restoration work on some of the guitars.

Self taught from the age of 15 & play by ear. Educated by playing quite a few different styles of music with loads of musicians over the years.

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