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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Fender Gen 4 Noiseless vs Single Coil Tele pickups comparison (long-ish)

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Dec 5th, 2018 04:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

This is a spin-off from my earlier Tele Gen 4 Pickups thread, but I thought it worthy of its own post.

I acquired a set of Fender Telecaster Gen 4 Noiseless Pickups back in October and just got around to installing them last week.

In my other post, I said would try and get some before and after recordings comparing the G4 to the single coils I had in the guitar. Well, I managed to do that and then some.

The single coil pickups I took out were a CS Twisted Tele neck and a Tonerider Hot Classic bridge. Both are great pickups IMO. I recorded the SC's playing three different phrases in each pickup position, switching from bridge / bridge+neck / neck, with Volume and Tone on 10; clean amp only. Then... off to the bench for removal/installation.

When I initially installed the G4's I opted for 500k pots. My thinking was 500's might be better for Tele bite & twang.
FTR, I have installed Vintage Noiseless strat pickups with both 250k and 500k pots with no discernible difference (to my ears).

I balanced the pickups and played the G4's for a while and was pretty happy with the results but not quite 100% sold.
So I then recorded the same riffs and progressions for comparison with the same amp and input settings etc with the G4 + 500k pots.

After listening to the recordings (with both headphones and speakers) I found that the G4's, apart from being hotter, were a bit brighter in upper-mids. Originally I was thinking I would later do a comparison between the 500's and 1 meg (which Fender use to recommend with the VN's) but after hearing the recordings decided to go down in value to 250k.

So, out come the 500 and in go the 250...
The result was just what I was hoping for. They just trimmed that little upper-mid peak.

In summary, I'm very pleased with the tone of the G4's and while there are some subtle differences, they performed as good as the SC's.
I was pleasantly surprised at the neck tone and, to my ears, the middle position was indistinguishable between the two.
There *is* a very slight difference between the bridge pickup tones, but only after very close scrutiny and definitely not an unfavourable difference.

At the moment I'm unable to post any audio samples of the comparisons but will endeavour to get something up somewhere in the near future. For now you'll just have to take my word for it, FWTW.
I've included the gear used below if you're interested.

Ash Tele; Maple/Maple neck (home brew)
Direct recorded from TC PolyTune 2 > Joyo American Sound (Tech -21 Blonde clone) > Hall of Fame Reverb > Zoom R8 digital recorder.

American Sound settings:
Low - 12:00 / Mid - 11:00 / High - 1:00
Level - 3:30 / Voice - 10:00 / Drive - 9:30

HOF settings:
Reverb Type - Room / Decay - 1:00 / Tone - 11:00 / Level - 11:00

If you got this far... Thank you 8^)

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Fender Gen 4 Noiseless vs Single Coil Tele pickups comparison (long-ish)

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