The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I have a pretty intense love affair with Lollar's CC for Tele neck PU.

I first put one in the neck of an anchor-heavy Classic Vibe tele. (Which was the best sounding of them all but I couldn't stop myself from messing with it until it wasn't. :0 )


But I also had an equally hard time finding a bridge pickup that I felt matched with it well.

I tried a Tonerider, a Baytone/JAG custom wound CC blade, a Lollar BS (Good output match but bright), a SD Quarter Pounder (the best of the bunch in terms of output AND tone)

Then I got a 3 balanced-output CC set from Lollar for a strat project.


Sure it is 'fugly' but what a flexible instrument. There is a surprising amount of "quack" in the in-between positions. It can go from thick Benson approved single note lines to Knofler-esque strat like tones with the flick of a 5-way switch.

Not content to let well enough alone I contacted Pete Biltoft at Vintage Vibe Pickups.

I asked Peter to put together a blade style pickup with a tuxedo-style "black with a white ring" tele bridge pickup for a three PU tele project. I wanted it approaching P90 output because my neck pickup definitely is. Something like this:


I have to say, "A job very well done."

The Vintage Vibe Overwound Blade Style Pickup with Alnico V magnets is a great match. It still sounds like a tele but the output can hang with the very loud but clean CC neck pickup. It breaks up a bit grittier than the CC neck pickups (not a bad thing in a bridge pickup) but it has enough girth to match the general character of the neck pickup. It is also a piece of cake to switch out the magnets to a ceramic or Alnico II.

I talked to the other pickup makers I bought pickups from but none seemed to be listening to what I was really looking for. Peter hit the nail on the head the first time. I wish I had started there ...as does my bank account!

If I were place one caveat (and when don't I have at least one), I think I should have ordered one will a flatter radius due to the fact that I set up my action a bit flatter than the radius of the actual fret board.

Thanks to Pete, for making a great pickup for a specific purpose. An awesome "bit of kit".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Oh wow those turned out great!!

Nathan
Thanks, Nathan.

Yeah it looks not bad in the black. I liked the look of the PUs in the white bodied tele I had them in also. (Like the one in your avatar. That's a nice looking guitar.)

It is not quite finished. Shyboy reversed the neck and bridge PUs so the humcancelling isn't working great and I am waiting on a control plate from Rutters with a slanted switch.



There are obviously some characteristics of strats that I like. :)

- Warmoth light ash body with contours (belly and forearm) and a contoured heel - which makes almost no difference to the way I play in the high register. ;)

But I really dig a compensated 3 barrel bridge.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
Well it looks great!
I prefer simpler bridges with less moving parts too.

Who cut the strat pickguard for you?
I remember you were looking for someone to cut one a while ago.

Nathan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
Vintage Vibe does a fantastic job, they make a super quality pup and their CC's sound absolutely great, I used one of them with a Duncan hot rail humbucker (simply because I got the Duncan on sale and it looked good with the CC), I thought it would be too hot but you can dial it in nicely and I think they actually work pretty well together,

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well it looks great!
I prefer simpler bridges with less moving parts too.

Who cut the strat pickguard for you?
I remember you were looking for someone to cut one a while ago.

Nathan
Now that pickguard question is a good one because getting pickguards for these Lollar pickups can be a bit of pain.

Lollar does the tele pickguards and I like where they place the CC pickup - with the north side of the route being in the same place it would be for a tele PU. This leaves the blade a bit south of where the polepieces on a strat or tell would be but not that distant from the standard position. They are about $75 US or so.

Now Warmoth does them a lot cheaper (35$ US or so) but places the neck PU route about a cm further south - like a Jazzmaster, I guess. - Now I have a body mounted pickups so it isn't a strict swap ... and I like where they are. So now I have one Warmoth CC pick guard routed for neck and middle "frisbee" at home.

Lollar does not do a CC strat pickguard. But they did sell me a specially balanced 3 CC pickup set to put in my strat.

So, I went to Warmoth and asked them to route a 3 CC pickguard for me. They said no problem. I asked them to place the neck pickup further north. They said. "No way." I showed them the measurements worked, showed them that that is where Lollar places them on their teles, I offered to pay an upcharge. Nada

I also asked if they could slant the bridge pickup. Also, no way.

They said their machine is set up to route the pickguards in that position and they don't change them.

So I got the Warmoth pickguard and had the body mounted pickups routed and installed to fit. (Expensive - Smart people go for the pickguard mounted pickups and just swimming pool route.)

Now the strat turned out great. Jay at the Twelfth fret put on a bone nut and set it up beautifully. It is the most flexible sounding instrument I have ever owned - and I used to have one tele with a humbucker in the neck, a strat PU in the middle and a vintage 50s tele PU in the bridge. - But this one can hit more bases. Benson to Knopfler in the flick a switch.

But the tele always sounded a bit better in neck position that the strat. I blamed it on the neck PU position.

- Then I put in a Obsidian Gilmour 7 combination harness and that strat sounds great. Not because of the extra settings (all three pickups - meh! Neck and Bridge - Sounds good, but do I need it?) but I guess the tolerances in my old pots made the guitar sound a little darker. Now it is great. And the Obsidian treble bleed works great with CC PUs - and i am not usually a fan of the treble bleed.

Custom '7 Way' for Strat® // Gilmour Switch

I don't recommend the wiring harness - It is inflexible and mine came with mechanical problems with the tone pots. But it is worth using the same parts and figuring out which formula they are using for their treble bleed if you have a CC PU.

So it is Warmoth for CC strat pickguard or ... when I reached out to people in Toronto, people offered to cut three holes in my own strat pickguard blank for $200. If I had a workshop I'd do it myself.:)

But actually I am not looking any more. That guitar sounds too good now to mess with. I have learned my lesson.

I hope.
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Vintage Vibe does a fantastic job, they make a super quality pup and their CC's sound absolutely great, I used one of them with a Duncan hot rail humbucker (simply because I got the Duncan on sale and it looked good with the CC), I thought it would be too hot but you can dial it in nicely and I think they actually work pretty well together,
Well that's the ticket, isn't it.
At least for the Lollar, with the 38 gauge wire, you look at the DCR output of the neck at 3.2K - but they tell you it is louder than you think. So you get a 9K bridge instead of a 7K because you don't play metal and you think it will be okay.

Wrong. My broadcaster output pickup sounded anemic beside it. The 16K SD Quarter Pounder was definitely not too loud for it.

I am not surprised at all that the hotrail didn't seem out of place beside your VV either. - And Pete Biltoft was a pleasure to deal with for me!

Vintage Vibe Guitar Pickups: Single Coil Pickups

Throw into the mix that his design makes it dead simple to switch out magnets and you have a lot of added flexibility
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top