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The Best Humbucker for a Telecaster Neck (2022 Edition)

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If you’re looking for the best humbucker for a Telecaster neck, you’ve come to the right post!

Let’s get to it!

Gibson ’57 Classic

You can get a sense of this pickup in the demo video above!

Sure, it may seem blasphemous to put a Gibson pickup into a Fender guitar. However, Gibson’s classic PAF can do wonders for an average Telecaster.

In particular, I love combining it with a slanted single-coil in the bridge. This isn’t a conventional combination. However, it gets you some pretty unique tones. The middle position gets somewhat nasally-sounding.

A great thing about the Gibson ’57 Classic pickup is that it has a very balanced output. It’s not too hot and it’s not too mellow. What’s more, it’s incredibly diverse. You can get a slight dash of single-coil-like jangle in there as well. However, on higher-gain settings, it sounds really creamy, even fuzzy.

Seymour Duncan SH-2 Jazz

Seymour Duncan’s SH-2 Jazz is not an uncommon choice for Telecasters. This one comes with a slightly milder output. However, it also comes with an improved dynamic response. You can especially notice it with tube amps.

In particular, I love how this pickup works with British-style tube amps like those that have EL34 or similar valves. Sure, it’s great with 6L6 tubes, but it breaks British-style amps really well if you ask me.

Seymor Duncan SH-55 Seth Lover

To those who are not familiar, Seth Lover is the man who developed the classic humbucker as we know it today. It’s Gibson’s classic P.A.F. that everyone copied. That’s what Seymor Duncan’s SH-55 replicates.

This one is a low-output humbucker. In a clean setting, you get that bluesy and slightly bright tone. If you roll off the tone knob on your guitar, it gets very smooth.

By adding some dirt to it, the SH-55 humbucker shines. The fundamental tone is very warm, yet it gets some sparkle on top.

What’s awesome is that the humbucker works well with a single-coil in the bridge. Because it’s a low-output pickup, it will make a great combo with a telecaster single-coil pickup.

It can also handle some higher-gain settings nicely. In my opinion, it works great with a fuzz pedal, especially when you roll off the tone knob. 

Fender CuNiFe Wide Range Humbucker

While humbuckers are more of a Gibson thing, Fender has some great stuff to offer as well. For instance, there’s their Wide Range humbucker that finds its place in some Fender guitars. And it can be a great addition to your Squier or Fender Telecaster.

Now, this may be a bit more of a pricy option. However, it’s worth every single dime to me. It’s not like your regular humbucker. It has a different twist to its tone.

CuNiFe stands for copper-nickel-iron magnet poles. This all sits in a large bobbin. Their special design keeps Fender’s signature jangle. At the same time, it has that rugged humbucker tone.

TV Jones TV Classic

Now, this is a different kind of humbucker. Most of the models on the market today are PAF-inspired versions. But there was an old humbucker variant developed by Ray Butts back in the 1950s. We know this as the so-called Filter’Tron pickup. Essentially, it’s a more compact humbucker variant.

These days, TV Jones makes the best version. The pickup’s design makes it sound different compared to your average humbucker today. While it cancels the hum, it still keeps some of the single-coil twang. It’s probably the closest you’d get to a single-coil tone with a humbucker design.

Seymour Duncan SCR-1n Cool Rails

One of the annoying things about putting a humbucker in a Telecaster is that you have to do adjustments and modifications. This can sometimes include body modifications. And it’s a pretty tedious process if you don’t hire a professional luthier.

If you want a humbucker tone and don’t want to bother with this, check out Seymour Duncan SCR-1n. This one is a dual-coil pickup in a single-coil-sized design.

From my experience, this one sounds like a standard humbucker. Such a design may make some subtle differences. But you’ll get the main characteristics of a humbucker.

This is yet another humbucker with a moderate to low output. Again, this is a great option if you combine it with a single-coil in the bridge.

Additionally, the pickup gives great clarity to every note. And it sounds great with crunchy overdriven settings on tube amps. At the same time, you can get it into those smooth, jazzy territories.

DiMarzio The Chopper

DiMarzio’s Chopper is another single-coil-size humbucker. It has a moderate output and it’s relatively balanced. There’s a slight boost to the high-end. But, in my opinion, this makes it a perfect choice for the neck position. It balances things out and gives enough clarity.

Other than that, it’s also easy to install on your Telecaster. It’s exactly the same size as any single-coil. It also has that rail design so you don’t have to worry about string spacing.

While it works great with a single-coil in the bridge, I love how it works with other single-sized humbuckers. This way, you can turn your Telecaster into a dual-humbucker guitar. All that without having to modify your guitar or pickguard.

EVH Wolfgang

Eddie Van Halen’s brand EVH has made some incredible guitars and amps over the years. There are, of course, great pickups in their arsenal. I suggest that you check out their standard EVH Wolfgang. It’s kind of like a stock pickup for their guitars.

This pickup gets you a taste of Eddie’s tone. In fact, it can help you get that famous brown tone. There’s just enough dirt in there. From my experience, this pickup works the best with a tube amp and a Tube Screamer overdrive. There’s enough tight bottom-end in there, and some sizzle on top.

Just bear in mind that it’s a hotter humbucker. If you have a lower output pickup in the bridge position, it may overwhelm it in the middle position setting on your Telecaster.

It’s a great option if you want to have two high-output pickups on your instrument. Just find an appropriate one to accompany this humbucker.

Xotic Raw Vintage PAF

If you want that Gibson creamy-sounding neck humbucker twist, give this one a try. Xotic has done a pretty convincing clone of the classic PAF. It can get you some incredibly convincing vintage-oriented tones.

As the pickup’s name suggests, the tone is pretty raw. This gets you some pretty saturated and harmonically rich tones. And with its moderate output, it can work well with a single-coil in the bridge position.

What’s also great is there’s also an F-spaced version. The string spacing is made especially for Fender or Squier guitars. So you get a taste of Gibson with the maximum results on a Fender Telecaster.

Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you think through some good pickup options for your guitar!

And if you want to read more about pickups on this blog, check out:

Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!

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