The most Twangfastic pickups that Monty’s has ever made, our ’53 Tele pickups are recreations of the pickups used in original Telecasters, starting in 1952. With masses of timeless Tele twang from the bridge pickup and a wondrously warm, clear neck pickup, these pickups absolutely nail the sound of the early 50’s Telecaster.
‘So, what’s so special about ’53 pickups?’, I hear you cry in angelic unison. These pickups are characterised by the classic brightness associated with early 50’s Telecasters. The neck pickup is nice and warm, but still retains plenty of clarity and bite. Interestingly, it is almost identical to a Broadcaster neck pickup, being just the tiniest bit hotter. The bridge pickup has the perfect combination of twang, bite and girth, making for a sound that always sounds bright but never sounds thin. It really is the archetypal telecaster bridge pickup tone, perfect for basically anything you throw at it (or anything you throw it at!). It hardly needs to be said, but these pickups have wonderful clarity, articulation and string separation, and they blend together for a simply magnificent middle position.
Whilst this style of pickup is more normally associated with 1952 (their first production year), this set is actually a reproduction of the pickups from a 1953 Telecaster. There’s no difference in design between the two years, but of all the early 50’s Telecasters to grace Monty's workbench, one particular 1953 number stood out as by far the finest, displaying every characteristic that we’d ever have reason to expect of it. We absolutely had to replicate the pickups from that guitar, so -whilst this Tele set sounds as you would expect a 1952 set to- these pickups are most definitely a ’53 set.
Early 50’s Telecasters are one of the few designs to use a mix of different gauges of pickup wire. The thinner wire of the neck pickup means that it -somewhat unusually- has a higher resistance reading than the bridge pickup. Don’t worry though, the pickups are incredibly well balanced, so there won’t be any volume jumps when switching between pickups.
Just as with the originals, there’s no RWRP fanciness going on here. This means that the middle position won’t be hum-cancelling, but also won’t suffer any loss of the glorious harmonic content that vintage pickup enthusiasts pine for.
Like all our Tele pickups (and just like old Fender pickups), these ’53 pickups are only partially potted. This keeps the centre of the coil free from wax, resulting in increased clarity and responsiveness.
Scatterwound using period correct 42-gauge (Bridge pickup) and 43-gauge (Neck Pickup) Plain Enamel wire:
Neck- Alnico V, 7k
Bridge- Alnico V, 6.2k