For decades, musicians have adored using Fender’s iconic Telecaster masterpieces. These beautiful guitars are renowned for their bright and captivating sounds that have been used in countless Blues and Jazz songs throughout the last half a century.
These tones have mesmerized audiences thanks to the mellow, warm and utterly wholesome atmospheres that the Telecasters were made famous for. However, like all guitars, this will dramatically depend on the pickup you’re using.
Specifically, if you’re looking to recreate this harmonious 70’s sound with your own guitar, you’re going to need to start paying attention to the pickup you install into its neck. With this in mind, there are plenty of things you need to be thinking about when you choose one of these neck pickups to ensure you make the right decision.
Ideally, you’re going to be looking for a pickup that provides the natural Telecaster sound we’ve all grown to love, as well as one that produces that jazzy twang, noting that it doesn’t sound distorted when you’re playing at higher volumes.
In fact, when you’re able to use the right pickup, your guitar will be perfect for most genres, including jazz, blues, and country music, even some genres of metal that require a raw sound.
To help you make this all-important decision, we’ve searched high and low at all the Tele neck pickups that are on offer, narrowing them down to our favorite four. This means you’ll be able to find the exact pickups you’re looking for, ensuring they create the sound you’re looking for without breaking the bank.
Let’s jump straight in!
Fender Vintage Reissue ’62 Telecaster Neck Pickup
To start off our list, we had to choose an official Fender Telecaster pickup that can exactly replicate the sound that we’re looking for. In fact, this pickup even goes as far as replicating the exact vintage 1962 Telecaster sound that was adored by countless generations that year and since.
With this purchase, you’ll be able to enjoy two official Telecaster pickups that can be easily installed into the neck and body of your guitar. Of course, you’ll be able to play around with what setup works for you, so you’ll be able to generate that perfect jazzy/blues sound.
Particularly, these pickups are designed to produce that iconic warm tone with a raw edge. This means you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that come with that classic Telecaster twang, ultimately providing you with the most authentic and genuine experience possible.
In terms of craftsmanship, these pickups are designed using the coveted Alnico 3 magnets and finished with enamel-coated magnet wire. All these features come together to provide you with the high-quality response time you’d expect from a premium pickup, as well as being the exact same components that were used in the original 1950’s Telecaster pickups.
All in all, it’s easy to see that these outstanding pickups are the perfect mid-range choice if you’re looking to recreate that authentic Telecaster sound and are sure to be ideal for your future music ventures.
- Affordable mid-range pickup
- Produced using the same materials as the original Telecaster pickups
- Official Fender product
- Two pickups for a complete guitar upgrade
Kmise Belcat BT-100 Alnico V Neck Pickup Chrome for Fender Telecaster Guitar
If you’re looking for an affordable neck pickup that still provides a premium-quality sound but is designed to suit any budget, the Kmise Belcat is exactly what you’ve been looking for.
While these pickups won’t provide you with the same Telecaster quality experience as the other pickups on this list, they are suitable for a quick replacement that isn’t a terrible quality.
The magnets used inside this model are ferrite and Alnico, the same materials that many of the high-quality Telecaster neck pickups use, including the originals. These, in turn, provide you with a 4.8K resistance and can be easily installed into the neck of your guitar with minimal effort.
Despite the low price tag, these pickups still provide you with the warm and receptive sound that feels like the Telecaster sound, although there is some distortion when you’re playing certain chords. However, for solo performances and picking, these pickups sound great, and you can guarantee you’ll be shocked when you realize just how good they are for the price.
- Incredibly affordable price
- Alnico magnets for an awesome response
- Suitable for all kinds of genres, including blues and country
- Easy to install into any Telecaster model
- Sound quality not as great as other premium pickups
- Can distort easily when chording
DiMarzio DP172 Twang King Telecaster Neck Pickup
Our next fantastic Telecaster neck pickup comes from the expert manufacturers at DiMarzio, an audio hardware company that has over 30 years of experience behind them. This long-lasting history is evident in this premium quality pickup that’s sure to provide you with the coveted Telecaster sound you’ve been looking for.
These particular chrome pickups have been designed to effortlessly replace the pickups in your neck, as well as being an exact match to any of your Telecaster models. This universal compatibility means you’ll be able to install these pickups easily into any guitar, either by dropping them straight in or with a slight modification.
However, what sets these pickups apart is their outstanding ability to handle an extremely varied dynamic range.
This ensures you’ll be able to create all kinds of notes and tones, including those authentic and utterly captivating original Telecaster sounds. Furthermore, we love the fact that these pickups are made especially for an unequal response, especially when compared with conventional pickups.
This feature provides you with the ability to attack your guitar with your pick for hard riffs and solo ventures, ensuring that you make an impact with your audience every single time you play. What’s more, regarding the build quality, this is a pickup set that you’ll instantly fall in love with.
This is due to the fact that each pickup is chrome covered, ensuring an outstanding level of durability, and is finished by being wax-potted twice. This professional finish means you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of a squeak and squeal-free musical experience with no distortion or unwanted interference.
This guarantees that all you’re going to be able to hear is crisp, clean and warm tones that will suit the vast majority of genres that you’re trying to play. While slightly more expensive than other Telecaster pickups, this is a firm favorite with guitarists around the world and is sure to become one of yours the moment you install them.
- Comes with everything you need to get started, including wiring instructions
- Wax-potted twice for interference-free playing (squeal-free)
- Capable of handling a huge dynamic range
- Designed to fit perfectly into the neck of your Telecaster guitar
- May require adjustments for other guitar models
- Slightly more expensive than other premium pickups
Seymour Duncan STR-3 Quarter Pound Telecaster Guitar Pickup Rhythm
Finally, we’ve chosen to go with another outstanding, feature-full and premium quality pickup for your Telecaster neck that’s sure to tick all your boxes when it comes to finding the perfect pickup.
This specific model is designed and manufactured by Seymour Duncan, one of the biggest and most popular guitar accessory companies in the world. With over 35 years of experience in the audio industry, you can buy safe in the knowledge, and you’re purchasing a quality product that’s built to last.
In terms of features, these pickups hold no limits. This is because you’ll find 3/16” diameter Alnico V rods that have been specially wound for this model. These rods mean you’ll be able to enjoy an excellent range of dynamic sounds that are warm, vibrant and closely match the original Telecaster sound.
You’ll even be able to enjoy an incredible response time which means you’ll be able to play till your heart’s content in a crisp clarity which you simply can’t find with their traditional counterparts or lower-grade pickups.
This level of quality is further complemented by the fact that each pickup is chrome-plated with a brass cover for an even greater experience, as well as ensuring you have a pickup that will last for many years to come.
However, easily the leading feature of these pickups is the outstanding 11.8K resistance. All of these features come together to provide you with a high-definition sound that has both a fantastic treble and jaw-droppingly powerful mid-range, even when you’re trying to create overdriven sounds.
This means these pickups are the perfect choice when you’re trying to create all the original Telecaster genres, including jazz, rock, classic rock, jazz fusion, instrumental rock and even forms of heavy rock/metal. If you’re looking for a pickup that can help you achieve true creative freedom with your music, it doesn’t get much better than this.
- Can perform against other premium humbucker and P-90 coils
- Chrome-plated brass cover for durability and quality finish
- Strong Alnico V magnets for outstanding response time
- Installs using classic 3/16” pole pieces
- High-end, premium priced Telecaster neck pickup
- Typically less treble than an original Telecaster pickup
As you can see, when it comes to finding the perfect pickup for the neck of your Telecaster guitar or trying to find one that will produce that authentic Telecaster sound, there are plenty of options available to you.
Make sure you’re considering the budget you’re willing to spend and the kind of quality sound that you’re looking for, and you can be sure any of the four pickups above will serve you exactly as you need them too!