Main criteria you should be looking for when you’re out in pursuit for the best Telecaster neck pickup is mainly its ability to deliver an organic sound and the ability to convey the Telecaster’s singular attack. By this we imply the raw, natural and twang-driven vibe that secures a healthy load of controllable volume that can help you tackle any genre from blues and jazz to rock and metal.
Below are our recommendations for the best Tele neck pickups on the market:
Seymour Duncan STR-3 Quarter Pound Telecaster Guitar Pickup Rhythm
For a fat and full tone, there’s no alternative to the Seymour Duncan STR-3. Don’t be fooled by its tame appearance- this beast is ready to lash out at a moment’s notice. It has enough output power to stand on par with humbuckers and hot P-90s.
The pickup has a chrome-plated brass cover. For its pole pieces, it houses 3/16-inch diameter Alnico V Rods and makes use of special single-coil wounding. This setup is what gives it its awesome output and makes it close to humbuckers and hot P-90s, albeit not quite as heavy as the former as well as somewhat tamer than the latter.
The STR-3 yields good, clean bite and full, thick midrange, but it really comes into its own with overdrive. If you’re into that classic ‘70s hard rock and blues vibe, this is the pickup for you and your Tele. It would also work great for you in a jazz-rock fusion, but it’s not quite as ideal for a traditional jazz sound.
DiMarzio DP172 Twang King Tele Neck Pickup Chrome
If you’re going for versatility, there might just be something for you – the DiMarzio DP1712 Twang King. With the Twang King, you’ll be able to jack up your guitar to give it more vintage Tele tone, making individual notes have weight, and bringing out the details and dimension of the chords. It’s very responsive to dynamics and would pair well with a Chopper T in the bridge if you want less twang and more chunk.
AS far as specs go, the neck is chrome cover over a single-coil controlled-tension winding, with hand-calibrated magnets, special wire, and double wax potting. You can see the love folks at the DiMarzio put in this little rascal.
The Twang King really lives up to its name. With its full and deep sound, this bad boy will give you a throwback to the days of urban blues and early rock and roll. So, remember to practice, and pluck your magic twanger (keep those dirty thoughts to yourself, OK)! Bar none, this is one of the best Tele neck pickups.
Fender Vintage Reissue ’62 Telecaster Neck Pickup
Spruce up you guitar with the Vintage Reissue ’62 Tele pickup. This nostalgia-piece is exactly what it says on the tin. It sets out to give you that original JLH and Muddy Waters vibe, with a healthy dose of early rock. That classic Tele twang you love? This puppy picks it up extremely accurately to give you a refined, clean sound.
The ’62 Reissue is a part of the Vintage Set that’s intended to bring you that iconic Tele twang. The whole set is designed to meet the same specifications and made of the same materials as an early ’50s Tele pickup. This means that these pickups feature Alnico III magnets and enamel-coated magnet wire. The neck pickup is paired with the traditional copper-plated bridge pickup with steel base plate, to deliver that warm and cutting sound that we all have come to expect from Fender.
For a full ’60s feel, we recommend the Fender Vintage Reissue ’62 Telecaster Neck paired up with the bridge pickup. However, you can use it in conjunction with any other bridge-mounted piece. It will work like a charm! It’s, after all, one of the best Tele neck pickups out there!
Greenten Telecaster Alnico V Neck Tele Pickup Humbucker (Gold)
The golden hotdog you might see in the picture is the Greenten Telecaster Alnicko V Neck Tele Pickup Humbucker. The pickup has a singular look, as you might have guessed, and a quirky personality to match. The tone it delivers is good and healthy, with more than enough clarity, giving a warm and fuzzy sound, with enough treble to sound like some vintage pickups.
The Greenten Telecaster Alnico V Neck Tele Pickup Humbucker has a cover made of copper. It houses an Alnico V ceramic magnet and copper coil. The resistance comes at about 7.5k The offer also includes the connecting wires and 2 screws. The length of the cable is approximately 11 inches (28cm).
This pickup would really come into its own if used for blues or jazz. Please, note, this is a Tele pickup, and it should be used preferably, if not exclusively, with a Telecaster.
Selecting the Best Telecaster Neck Pickups
We already mentioned the Tele’s sound as twangy and bright. It’s important to note that a Tele can deliver a lot of highs and lows. The neck pickup you pick for your Telecaster has to be able to take in all of this and enhance it. Now, depending on what you mean to play, there a couple of options that you have available.
If you wish your guitar to sound as greasy as a cheeseburger, with fat, yet muscular midrange, then Seymour Duncan STR-3 (see full specs) is your thing. It will give you a throwback to the golden days of blues and hard rock whenever you start twanging your Tele.
For a more urban blues/early rock vibe, you might like the DiMarzio Twang King (see full specs) better. If you’d rather make a trip down the Nostalgia Lane, pick up the Fender Vintage ’62 Reissue.
Finally, for a bluesy jazz tone, go for the Greenten Humbucker. But seriously any of these products are good and each could deserves its place on that pedestal that holds the best Tele neck pickups. Good luck!