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FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / Tex Mex Tele PUPS



'scuse me while I kiss the sky.
Nov 23rd, 2016 06:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi, are Fender "Tex Mex" pups just Fender "Texas Specials" by another name?
My FSR Ash Telecaster has Tex Mex supplied standard.
I'm wondering. (I dont see the Tex Mex's mentioned on the Fender "Set up guides" part of their web site).



Nov 24th, 2016 08:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think they are hotter than standard pups but they are not Texas Specials. I had some in a Cali Fat Tele and I liked them.

Modal Magic

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Nov 26th, 2016 11:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've owned two sets of Texas Specials (still have one set in use, an American Special Strat) and have a set of Tex Mex pups in my 60th Anniversary MIM Standard.

They are not the same pup. In general the TSs, to my ear, have a smoother, warmer sound and are a bit more rounded (they also sound, to me anyway, like '57/'62s when the volume is backed of a tad). IMO they are the most versatile single coil Fender pups available (discounting that they aint noiseless).

The Tex Mex pups are my least liked Fender pups. By all means they aren't terrible but there is something in the tone that doesn't do it for me and I don't entirely understand why. They have a edgier, brighter tone and don't seem to be as chimey compared to the TSs. I understand that they are a popular choice and are well liked by many so maybe I'm missing something.

I love my 60th MIM but I don't play I often because of the tone. I really need to make it my go-to guitar for a long period to understand and learn how to get the most out of the pups. And yes I understand it may be the sum of the parts that create the final tone.

Both pups are hotter than compared to the average vintage style pup. I don't know what the specs are but there is differences that certainly affect the tone.

OOpS, this thread as referring to Tele pups but I'll leave what I typed for the record.

(This message was last edited by Modal Magic at 01:36 PM, Nov 26th, 2016)


usa Thumb area Mi

Jan 3rd, 2019 07:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

I always like to take something stock and trick it out a little.

MIM Tex Mex bridge pup is decent. Stock it's not as smooth as say a custom shop.

However, the bridge pup can sing with the best of them if you glue on a thin copper plate the thickness of a new penny (usually some other metal like nickel or steel or zink will work also...different metals give a slightly different characteristics.

Be sure to make the metal no thicker than a new penny

On that note: Pennies will work too! Modern pennies, not old, three pennies glues on the bottom.

Smooths out the pup real nice... enjoy (someone will be hard pressed to tell the difference between a higher end pup and that modified Tex Mex!


Hamilton, Canada

Music is your only friend....
Jan 5th, 2019 12:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

Eh??? What does the copper plate do?



Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 5th, 2019 07:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

I find that the Tex-Mex pups are quite bright but not brittle. They would probably sound better in a darker sounding amp. These came stock in my Jimmy Vaughn Strat and I changed them out for some Texas Specials.
I've tried them through several different amps and just couldn't get them to settle down, but the neck pickup did have a good cut and kept it in there until I received the TS Specials.
I like the way it stayed bright in the neck position, even though it was a little thin sounding. But when a little overdrive was used, it had a nice bit of growl and you could tell that it was a Strat being played and nothing else! So, it stayed for a while but didn't balance well with the TS Specials once I put those in. Once I put the TS Specials in, I could get a nice 4th position on my Strat, but when played alone, the volume drop was too Low and so, out it went and when I installed the TS neck pickup to complete the setup, I haven't wanted or desired any other changes!
So the short answer is: the Tex-Mex pickups were just to bright and thin sounding compared to the TS Specials. Of course the Jimmy Vaughn Strat has an alder body and a maple neck and 250k pots with TS Specials and I am quite pleased with the end result.
I don't know what the Tex-Mex are: Alnico or ceramic but find them to be too bright and thin sounding.


usa Thumb area Mi

Jan 6th, 2019 07:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ceramic I believe...

That's the whole reason behind the plate/ thin metal on the bottom on the Tex Mex!

In layman's terms ... (Taken from Premier Guitar website ) a Baseplate is a piece of steel that attaches to the bottom of in this case a Tele bridge pickup Its purpose is to fatten up the tone and attenuates the highs If you find your stock bridge pickup too bright, this may be the solution. In addition to boosting the lows, the mid-range frequencies also get a leg up, resulting in a fatter sound with more depth.

In addition, a steel plate focus’ the pickup’s magnetic field toward the strings, adding more focus the pickup’s magnetic field toward the strings, adding more bite and presence.

Before you swap it out add a plate to that Tex Mex
:) :)

FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / Tex Mex Tele PUPS

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