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Albert Lee, Roy Buchannon Tele tone...


DC

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Hello all,

 

I can get most of the tones I'm after but the one I can't find is that screaming, trebly, very electric sounding tele tone. I don't know much about the late Roy's guitar, but Albert uses a '53 tele for his. I've only heard 'the sound' once in a room and it was an early 60's tele with stock pick up. The guitar was in for repairs and definately NOT for sale unfortunately.

 

So my question is, do any of the replacement pick ups come close? I've tried SD Broadcaster and it was all bassy and not electric screamy trebly sounding. I'm talking Albert's tone on 'Sweet Little Lisa' by Dave Edmunds here. Do the 52' tele re-issues sound anything like what I'm after? Which pick ups do they use?

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Check out the Seymour Duncan website. They've got several different variations of Tele pickups and can also do custom-wound jobs, if it turns out that's what you need - www.seymourduncan.com

If you want to speak to someone direct, call their office and ask for the tech support department. I'm not one hundred percent certain, but I think that Albert Lee might be using Duncan pickups these days. The company's phone number is (805) 964-9610. You can also email them at info@seymourduncan.com

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I've had good luck researching pickups on Harmony Central's user database. It's a good resource, and I've learned about a lot of pickup builders I wouldn't have heard of otherwise. There are a number of "boutique" pickup makers that have very loyal fans...

 

Check out the reviews of the Duncan pickups, and also read ones for:

 

Lindy Fralin, Joe Barden, Kinman, Rio Grande, and Van Zandt.

 

Most of the reviews describe what guitar they're in, what they replaced, and the user description of the sound... generally good stuff! They also often indicate a price, and sometimes where to get them.

 

If you're thinking Duncan's, check out their antiquities line. They're idea is to have a "aged" pickup sound, look, and feel. I haven't heard their tele models, but I have heard the strat ones and they're really nice.

 

Also, Fender typically describes the "specifications" of which pickups are on which model on its website. Once you know the pickup, you could look at the reviews and see what you think.

 

As far as a stock, modest cost tele that should have the sound you're seeking, check out the Fender Nashville Tele model. It uses the "Tex-mex" pickups, and adds the flexibility of an "in-between" strat pickup and a 5 way switch. Some tele players probably see this as an abomination, or a wannabe strat, but it has all the tele sounds to my ears, plus some cool on-between sounds, and I got mine for about $350 new. The bridge pickup screams, and with a glass slide, I can get all those Roy Buchanan "bird" sounds.

 

good luck,

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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Originally posted by DC:

Hello all,

 

I can get most of the tones I'm after but the one I can't find is that screaming, trebly, very electric sounding tele tone. I don't know much about the late Roy's guitar, but Albert uses a '53 tele for his. I've only heard 'the sound' once in a room and it was an early 60's tele with stock pick up. The guitar was in for repairs and definately NOT for sale unfortunately.

 

So my question is, do any of the replacement pick ups come close? I've tried SD Broadcaster and it was all bassy and not electric screamy trebly sounding. I'm talking Albert's tone on 'Sweet Little Lisa' by Dave Edmunds here. Do the 52' tele re-issues sound anything like what I'm after? Which pick ups do they use?

 

Hello all,

 

I can get most of the tones I'm after but the one I can't find is that screaming, trebly, very electric sounding tele tone. I don't know much about the late Roy's guitar, but Albert uses a '53 tele for his. I've only heard 'the sound' once in a room and it was an early 60's tele with stock pick up. The guitar was in for repairs and definately NOT for sale unfortunately.

 

So my question is, do any of the replacement pick ups come close? I've tried SD Broadcaster and it was all bassy and not electric screamy trebly sounding. I'm talking Albert's tone on 'Sweet Little Lisa' by Dave Edmunds here. Do the 52' tele re-issues sound anything like what I'm after? Which pick ups do they use?

 

Hello,

Sorry if this is off the track, but somebody may find it interesting.

I too have admired Roy Buchanan's playing and tone and was quite lucky to see him play in a bar in Cleveland in 1979. He was incredible, totally what I had hoped for. Intense barrages of high notes, swinging country-jazz chording and soulful blues. You had to be there. He was totally in his own world, staring straight into the packed biker audience like a man possessed. He wore loud paid pants and a long overcoat. Not a fashion hound by some standards. Had a forgetable punk-a-billy band as his backup. I wanted to see if he would play his '53 Telecaster and black panel Vibrolux that were pictured on some of his early albums. Instead, he played an ugly run of the mill 70's sunburst Tele through a silver panel Fender (small, could have been a Vibrolux, maybe just a Deluxe). My point, coming from the perspective of a fellow gearhound, is not to focus too much on the gear! He sounded like you would hope he would sound with off the shelf 70's dreck. In a dumpy club. With an unrehearsed band. Cheers.

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I use a Fender '52 reissue with stck pickups. It gets that Roy Buchannan sound with a Fender amp. When I use a Music Man amp I get a sound close to what Albert Lee got on "Luxury Liner". My Music Man is a 130 with 2 12" speakers. I think Albert Lee used a Music Man 130 with 2 10" speakers.

Buddy

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Wow, thanks Lisa and everyone for the replies.

 

I'll try and check some of those brands of pick ups, do any of the makers post mpegs of them in action?

 

I've been intrigued with the '52 reissue Tele, thing is, I've heard the sound I'm after from some older Tele's (including 60's models) and not others. I've got a friend with a '57 Tele and it sounds good, but really sorta glassy and brittle top end compared to what I'm talking about.

 

It's nearly impossible to describe tone with words, but the pick up I'm after has a lot of high mids and a high clear overtone to it. Just very electric sounding to my ear. It's trebly but has a lot of balls. I've experimented through guitar building and what I'm describing has very little to do with wood (I've heard it out of alder and ash bodies). It also doesn't have anything to do with amps cos the last time I heard it was a Tele through a tiny transister practice amp. I know it's the friggin' lead pick up.

 

Again thanks for the ideas.

 

-Dave

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You can try all of the pickups you want...but unless you use the thin POS three roller bridge...you ain't gonna come close. Brass rollers help too.

 

A mod can be done using 1/4" dia brass rod and setting the intonation screw holes at 8 degrees. You then flip the center one over...and viola! You can get great intonation using a plain 3rd....

 

That explosive treble attack transient comes from a combination of things...including the right pickup(not the hottest), the right baseplate on the pickup, and the original bridge design. I like a swamp ash body too...though a good, lightweight alder is OK.

 

Dave

www.electrocoustic.com

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I heard Roy a lot in the '70's in clubs around Maryland and D.C. and he always played an old Tele (I think a '53) thru a black face Vibrolux Reverb. The amp was always turned backwards.

As far as I know he always ran the volume, treble and bass all the way up. In later years he played many other guitars, usually Tele variations. He carried a silver-face Super Reverb on the road for a while, but the airlines destroyed it and after that he mostly used rental stuff.

 

How do you get the "Roy Buchanan Sound"? Well, Lindy Fralin is said by people I trust to make the most "authentic" Tele bridge pickup.

Joe Barden's pickups, while great pu's in their own right, do not sound like old Tele pu's to me at all. The Duncan Antiquities might come close.

I think the big brass bridge saddles make a big difference. Jay Montrose at Vintique makes brasssaddles that are angled for better intonation. Bear in mind that all my buddies who had known Roy since he hit town in the late '50's told me that he always sounded like that and he frequently used borrowed gear or had stuff that was in serious dis-repair. He had relatively long nails on his right hand and a lot of his sound came, I believe, from playing w/ a very light touch w/ his nails.

 

I guess my point is mostly this: it's not so much the gear, although nothin' sounds like a good Telecaster. It comes from the heart and hands.

 

And, I have to say that I find Albert Lee's tone pretty drastically different from Roy's - much cleaner and rounder.

gizmo
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