25 Best Telecaster Pickups For Blues, Rock, Country, Jazz


Telecaster was the first commercially successful solid-body guitar. Along with Esquire, of course. And it is obvious why it has a special place in the hearts of many guitar players across the globe. 

Of course, if you own a Custom Shop Telecaster, you probably have a perfect guitar for you, but otherwise, you might want to upgrade it. And the simplest way to upgrade the sound is to replace pickups. 

There are plenty of different options for pickups, and each model will change how your guitar sounds. This will allow you to create a perfect instrument that is suited to your taste. Here, I will go through some of the best pickups for Tele you can find on the market. 

Fender Custom Shop ’51 Nocaster Tele 2-piece Pickup Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: 51’ Nocaster
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

If you want an authentic Telecaster sound, there is no better option than Fender pickups. And if you are looking to take it a step further, you can always go for a custom shop set. Those already familiar with the history of Telecaster know what to expect. The model with two pickups used to be called Broadcaster, and after Gretsch took legal action (the company had a drum set Broadkaster), the company removed the name until they changed it to Telecaster.

In this brief period, the guitar had no name, which became known as the Nocaster. And these pickups are designed to capture that sound. The set is made of alnico, and the design is relatively standard for Telecasters. One pickup is uncovered, while the other one has a chrome cover. 

Seymour Duncan Brad Paisley’s La Brea Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and nickel
  • Model: La Brea signature
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

Seymour Duncan is one of the biggest names in the world of pickups. The company offers a variety of models for every single guitar, and you can find a model just for you, regardless of your taste. This set is designed for Brad Paisley, a famous country guitarist, and the sound is impressive.

Naturally, it is perfect for those interested in playing country themselves, but the pickups are still versatile, and you can also experiment with other genres. 

The design of these pickups is similar to other Telecaster models, which means that one pickup is uncovered while the other has a nickel cover. The models are made of alnico, and they have a medium output. 

Lollar 52 T-Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: 52 T-Set
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

Lollar Pickups is a company based in the United States, and each pickup is handmade. Many players enjoy this level of quality, and Lollar pickups are incredible. As with most models, the set is with one covered and one uncovered pickup, based on the Telecasters from the fifties. 

The pickups give you plenty of space to explore the sound and work pretty well with pedals and effects. Of course, as with any other Telecaster, they are perfect for blues and rock, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play different genres on it as well. While the price is slightly higher compared to other models on the list, it is worth the difference. 

Bare Knuckle Brown Sugar set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and nickel
  • Model: Brown Sugar
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

Bare Knuckle is another excellent company, but it comes from England this time. Tim Mills founded the company. Each pickup is handmade using high-quality materials, and they are hand-wound. This is one of the primary reasons behind the higher price, but considering that you will get incredible quality, it is worth every cent. 

The Brown Sugar set is versatile but works best with lower gain. Of course, you can push it even further, but it might not be the best choice for metal. The vintage output makes the set great for country and rock. If you want a traditional vintage sound on your Telecaster, Bare Knuckle won’t disappoint you. 

Fender Pure Vintage ’64 Telecaster Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Pure Vintage
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

Fender has changed a lot since the first Telecaster was made in the fifties, and each decade had something new to offer. If you take a look at guitars from the fifties and the sixties, you can notice that there are so many differences. And the same thing applies to pickups as well. You can check out the Pure Vintage series if you want a vintage sound but don’t want to go as far back as the fifties. 

Telecasters from the sixties inspire the set, precisely, the model from 1964. As with most Tele pickups, the bridge one is uncovered, while the neck pickup has a chrome cap. One of the main advantages of this set is versatility, and it sounds pretty good. It will give you that Fender tone everyone knows and loves. 

Fishman Fluence Greg Koch “Gristle-Tone” Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Fluence
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Active
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

The first thing I should mention is that Fishman designs this set. And that only means one thing: an active set of pickups, and you will need an external power supply. Everything you need for the installation will be included in the package, and you will get a slot for battery, potentiometers, pickups, cables, and others. As with any other Fishman pickup, you will be able to use different voices for each of these pickups. 

The first voice is described as open and airy, while the second one is fat, strong, and with a lot more sustain. This will give you plenty of options when creating the sound, and it only adds to the instrument’s versatility. The pickups also have a clear sound without noise or hum

DiMarzio DP177 True Velvet T Neck

  • Number of Pickups: One
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Nickel
  • Model: DP177
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered

Some people might not want to replace both of their pickups. And this is perfectly fine. If you are satisfied with the one you have in the bridge position, you can only focus on upgrading the neck pickup. Additionally, this will allow you to explore different brands and possibilities since you buy them individually. The model here is True Velvet by DiMarzio, and it is a vintage output pickup. 

As for the design of the pickup, it’s pretty standard. It has a cover since it is in the neck position, and you will get all the screws and springs needed for the installation. The True Velvet pickup is passive, so you won’t need to worry about batteries. It is an excellent combination of modern design and vintage sound, and the pickup works great with pedals. 

Kinman Broadcaster Tele Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Kinman Broadcaster
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered/uncovered

The Kinman Broadcaster set is powerful but still has a vintage sound. One of the main advantages of this set is that it is a noiseless version, allowing you to explore different tones and sounds without the hum. The tone is inspired by Telecasters from the early fifties, which means you will get a great-sounding set. Compared to the original guitars from the fifties, this set has a bit more mid, and the output is slightly higher. 

Of course, the tone is excellent if you want to play blues, rock, and even something a bit heavier. The set’s versatility will allow you to use it for almost any genre, and you can experiment with different pedals and effects. 

Lace Pickups Tele Sensors

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Lace
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered

Lace pickups are made in the United States, and they are incredible. Lace has been making pickups for over forty years, and one of the most popular models is Lace Sensor. Eric Clapton used the set in the late nineties, and the pickups can be pretty powerful. It is one of many reasons why Lace is such a great brand. The pickups are versatile, sound amazing, and work for almost any genre you can imagine. What is surprising is that Lace pickups are passive while still having such a powerful sound. 

The design of the set matches other Lace pickups, both are covered, but they are different colors. The neck pickup has a standard chrome cap, while the bridge one is with a black cover. So, if you always wanted to have Lace Sensors for your Telecaster, now is the perfect opportunity. 

Bare Knuckle Blackguard Tele Flat’50 Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Blackguard
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered/uncovered

Bare Knuckle offers a variety of different pickups for all types of guitars. And if you like the idea behind this brand, you can check out the Blackguard set as well. The Blackguard set is based on the Telecasters from the fifties and is incredible. Everyone looking for a powerful tone inspired by early Teles will adore this set and what it has to offer. 

The pickups look great and sound even better. Once again, each Bare Knuckle pickup is handmade and made using in-home equipment. Additionally, you get a lifetime warranty for each set, including this Blackguard. The set works great with effects, and the versatility will allow you to play almost any genre without any problems. 

Lindy Fralin Blues Special T-Style Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black
  • Model: Blues Special
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered

Lindy Fralin is a manufacturer of pickups, and he’s located in the United States. The story behind Fralin pickups started in the nineties when Lindy Fralin started experimenting with them because he wasn’t satisfied with the quality of pickups available on the market. After a couple of years of ups and downs, he managed to nail the formula and create something incredible. 

The model here is Blues Special, it’s hand-wrapped and comes without a cover for both the neck and bridge pickups. It also has 5% more windings to create a fuller sound for your Telecaster. But at the same time, it keeps the clarity on the clean channel and adds to the instrument’s versatility. The pickups are black and arrive with all the parts necessary for the installation. 

EMG T System Active Pre-wired Telecaster Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black
  • Model: T System
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Active
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered

EMG is a go-to brand for many players. They offer versatile pickups, unlike any other, you can find on the market. The versatility of the brand can be seen in the fact that EMG pickups are used by players like David Gilmour, Zakk Wylde, and everyone from Metallica. Of course, this is a set for Telecaster, which means that it won’t have as much power as EMG’s humbuckers. 

As with most EMG pickups, this set is also active. It requires an external power supply, and you will use a 9V battery. Everything you will need for the installation is included in the package, including the slot for the battery, potentiometer, and switch. The only thing you will need to do is figure out a way to place it all in your Telecaster. I should mention that everything is prewired, and you won’t need to do any soldering by yourself. It will make the installation process significantly more straightforward. 

Fender Custom Shop Twisted Telecaster Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Twisted CS
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered/uncovered

As you can probably guess, Fender offers plenty of different options for Telecasters, and the variety of pickups is incredible. The Custom Shop model here is custom-wound, and it provides a hotter tone compared to other Telecasters. In terms of sound, these pickups are rather similar to Stratocasters but still have the recognizable Tele sound. This will give you an option to experiment with heavier genres but keep what makes Telecasters special. 

The design of the pickups is standard for Fender, and you will get the covered neck with an uncovered bridge pickup. The set is passive, and you will receive everything you need for the installation. The Twisted set is one of many ways to change your Telecaster’s tone and try something a bit different. 

Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Telecaster Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome aged
  • Model: Antiquity II
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered/uncovered

Seymour Duncan’s Antiquity set is one of the brand’s most popular versions. The model here is designed for Telecasters, which means it follows the standard design as many other sets on the list. Telecasters from the sixties inspire the model, and you will get that well-known vintage sound. Seymour Duncan used appropriate materials for this recreation to make things even better, and they only used what was available back in the sixties. It is worth noting that the set is potted, which means that it will work great with pedals and high gain.

The pickups themselves look aged, and you will feel that they were made decades ago. If you always wanted to have a Telecaster from the sixties, this simple upgrade can make you feel like you have one. And, of course, since we are talking about Seymour Duncan, the quality of the pickups is exceptional. 

Mojo Tone Broadcaster Quiet Coil Telecaster

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Quiet Coil
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered/uncovered

Mojotone or Mojo Tone has been specializing in designing vintage equipment. The company uses modern technology along with all the technological advancements on the market to create a perfect mix of vintage and modern gear. And there are a couple of different pickups you can check as well. The Broadcaster Quiet Coil set has a warm sound with vintage output, and it uses the same materials and parts as vintage pickups. 

The only difference is that the set is improved to eliminate humming and allow players to use them comfortably and with pedals. The pickups are versatile, and you can use them for almost any genre as long as the sound is not too heavy. 

Fender Yosemite Telecaster Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Yosemite
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered/uncovered

Yosemite is another incredible set designed by Fender, and it comes with every part you will need for the installation. The set is passive, and it is made of alnico, giving you that traditional Telecaster sound. The pickups have vintage output, and they work great for blues, rock, jazz, country, and other genres that don’t require too much gain. 

Of course, you can also experiment with more gain since Yosemite pickups are great with pedals. You can also find these pickups in the Fender’s Performer Series, which sound quite good. The versatility of the instrument just shows how much Telecaster has to offer and why these guitars are still among the most popular models. 

Seymour Duncan Zephyr Silver Tele Pickup Set 

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and silver
  • Model: Zephyr
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered/uncovered

The Zephyr set offers a beautiful modern sound, and Seymour Duncan designs it. This might be it if you are looking for an all-around set for your Telecaster. It is incredibly versatile, works great with all genres and pedals, and you can experiment with it as you please. It will give you the traditional Telecaster tone, but it can be so much more. 

What is great is that pickups can be pushed further, and they sound similar to Stratocaster. So, regardless of your playstyle and preferred genre, these pickups are incredible. The clarity and snappiness of the set are rather impressive. And they are worth checking out.

Bare Knuckle Boot Camp Brute Force T Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and silver
  • Model: Brute Force
  • Screws and springs
  • High output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Covered/uncovered

Maybe you don’t plan on playing country music on your Telecaster. Maybe you are looking for something more. As with all other Bare Knuckle pickups, this set too is made in the United States, and the quality is exceptional. What is different is that these have high output. Many players love the shape and design of Telecasters, but the pickups are too weak for them. 

They might enjoy playing hard rock or metal, and it is not always easy finding a set that will be able to create the desired sound. And Bare Knuckle offers just this. You can easily play metal or anything else using this set, and the sound is amazing. 

DiMarzio DP112 Pre-B1 Bridge

  • Number of Pickups: One
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black
  • Model: Pre-B1
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered

Those that are looking to replace a single pickup can still find plenty of great options. If you need a pickup for the bridge position, you can check out DiMarzio DP112 Pre-B1. And the bridge pickup is often weak on Fender guitars (and even clones). But getting a DiMarzio pickup on the bridge will make a world of difference. 

What is great is that DiMarzio DP112 is quite fat. The sound it will make will upgrade your guitar, and you’ll be able to push it quite hard. Naturally, the sound is not too heavy, and it is not a metal pickup. So, it will still work great for blues, rock, country, jazz, and other similar genres. 

Mojo Tone ’52 Quiet Coil Telecaster Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Quiet Coil
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

MojoTone once again shines with its products. And the ‘52 Quiet Coil pickup set is rather versatile. The sound can be easily adjusted using pedals and effects, and it has a vintage output. The idea behind the pickup is to keep the sound and quality of the models from the early fifties, but with all the upgrades modern-day technology offers. This means that these pickups don’t have the hum. 

Since MojoTone tried to replicate all the qualities of the vintage sets, the design is something everyone is used to seeing on a Tele. While it is possible to find a prewired set, this one comes with just two pickups. So, you will need to do all the wiring on your own. 

Lollar Special T Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Lollar Special
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

This Lollar pickup set is hand-wound in the United States, and it is designed to replicate the vintage sound of Telecasters. They look like any other pickups you can find on a Tele. The bridge is black and uncovered, while the neck pickup has a chrome cap. But what matters is what’s under the hood. And these pickups sound beautiful.

Since they have a vintage output, they truly shine on low gain (and with reverb). But this doesn’t mean they can’t be used for rock or even heavier. As with other good Telecasters, the pickups give you plenty of options to experiment with sound using pedals and effects. 

Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound T-Style

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Quarter Pound
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

This Quarter Pound set is designed for Telecasters, and it can be a perfect choice for you. The neck pickup has a moderate output, which is more than enough for many different genres of music. But the bridge pickup is a high-output one allowing you to explore new styles of music even further. As for the design of the set, the pickups look standard, as you would expect from a Telecaster set. 

The neck pickup has a chrome cap, while the bridge one is uncovered. The difference between these two pickups will add to the versatility of your instrument, and the mounting hardware is included in the package. And since we are talking about Seymour Duncan, you will get one of the best pickups available on the market.

Suhr Classic T Bridge

  • Number of Pickups: One
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black
  • Model: Classic
  • Screws and springs
  • Vintage output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered

Suhr is another exceptional company that was founded in 1997. But before Suhr became a brand on its own, there was a collaboration between Pensa and Suhr to create incredible guitars in the mid-eighties. The most popular model was the Pensa-Suhr, designed for Mark Knopfler, and the idea behind this guitar was to create an instrument that could be Les Paul and Stratocaster in one. 

The company started focused on its own models and has been designing incredible equipment ever since. The pickup here is for the bridge position, and it is great for those looking for a traditional vintage sound for their Telecaster. The pickup is made in the United States, and it can be a nice upgrade for you. 

EMG T-52 System Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black
  • Model: T-52 System
  • Screws and springs
  • Medium output
  • Active
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered

The first thing on everyone’s mind when someone mentions EMG pickups is that they are active. And it is the case for this set. While there are passive models by this company, they are not as common. This active EMG set comes with two uncovered black pickups with medium output. 

What is great about the set is that it is prewired. This means that all you need to do is screw the set in, and you’ll be good to go. Additionally, this is a noiseless set, which means that you won’t need to deal with hum on either neck or bridge positions. 

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Fender Tex-Mex Telecaster Set

  • Number of Pickups: Two
  • Type: Single-coil
  • Color: Black and chrome
  • Model: Tex-Mex
  • Screws and springs
  • High output
  • Passive
  • Material: Alnico
  • Design: Uncovered/covered

One of the most popular pickup sets is Tex-Mex. It is available for both Stratocasters and Telecasters, and the sound is amazing. The pickups are overwound, resulting in high output and a powerful sound everyone knows and loves. The obvious inspiration for the set in Texas and the incredible subcategory of blues. 

You can use these pickups on the clean channel, with reverb, with a ton of gain, and regardless of what you do, they will sound great. The set’s versatility is one of the main reasons so many people love the Tex-Mex setup. The package includes the mounting hardware with all screws, springs, and cables necessary for the installation. 

Summary

If you want to upgrade your Telecaster, pickups are the most obvious choices. You can choose to replace a single pickup or go for the whole set. Either way, you will change the way your guitar sounds. It can transform your instrument in no time and allow you to play different genres. 

The main question is, what are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to get a traditional vintage sound, or do you want something a bit modern? You can also go for an active set of pickups or stick to the classic design. 

Pickup replacement is quite simple, and it can be rather effective. So, changing the way your instrument sounds is always a good idea.

If you found this article useful, you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board.

Jacob

I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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