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Left Handed vs Right Handed Pickups

4851 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  fraser
Bit of a noob question here, but I'm having some difficulty finding a used left handed telecaster neck pickup and was wondering if using a "normal" right handed pickup in my left handed tele is an option. I'm assuming there would be a difference in sound, but would it be an obvious difference? Players like Jimi Hendrix flipped their righty Strats all the time, flipped the strings, but did they flip the pickups too? I've read that some of Jimi's distinctive sound was due to the restringing and the bridges being the wrong way, so I'm assuming the pickups were left as is.
Any opinions, experience?
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Thats a very good question. However, I dont think it would really matter considering the process of making pickups...they couldnt really wind one side hotter than the other I dont think....
Don't really think there is any diff Nordlav. I've never seen l-h pups and as GZ said, it would be kinda hard to wind one side hotter. Pretty sure a std or after-market tele pup would be ok.
Nice to see another south-paw!
I see what you mean, the magnet stagger would be off with a strat pickup...You could get a flat pole set (Fralin makes one, and seymour duncan makes many of their pickups as "flats"), or get them custom wound. Jon Moore (tone for days) could likely help out.

I don't know if it would make much difference in the sound, but since they are readily available, I'd try the flats.
I don't think any of the pickup manufacturers actually make left handed pickups (besides the ones with staggered pole pieces), but I'm bound to be wrong on this.

I think if you avoid the staggered pole pieces you will be fine.
Hi,Pickups with nonadjustable pole pieces meant for right-handed guitars because the fixed pieces give balance string to string volume. They are staggered in height with each pole sensing just one string.The high E string is too low in volume, and the B and G strings are too loud.To balance the output of these strings the pole piece for E string is taller and the B and G are shorter. If a staggered pickup for a righty is put on a lefty the string to string volume balance will be odd to say the least.The closer pole pieces are to the strings the louder the sound. Fender and Duncan both make lefty pickups. This info is from the book GUITAR ELECTRONICS FOR MUSICIANS.I only build lefties and I use adjustable pole pickup used for right-handed. I just adjust them.
Thanks for the replies. The reason I was asking is I would like to try a set of the Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups in my left handed Tele, but I haven't seen them advertised as left or right. I have seen some of the Japanese '62 RI sets advertised as left or right and on Kinman's website he specifies whether the pickups are for right or left handed playing. Makes me wonder. I haven't had a chance to talk to some of the local guitar techs yet, so I'll do that and see what they recommend.
jimis upside down strat would have the bridge pickup angled closer to the bridge on the lower strings, rather than further from the bridge as is the case with a regularly strung right or left handed strat- so thats why it is a bit different-the actual polepiece stagger is not very different on any of the strat pickups i have here if i turn the pickup around, and they are easy to finetune usually
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