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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Jun 2002
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    1,037

    Telecaster pickup question?

    Hi,
    Iíve recently bought a telecaster and Lately Iíve been curious to know if it has the original puís or if these have been changed. Is there anyway to determine the year of production of the pickups without unsoldering them or is that the only way to check this out?
    A local guitar shop offers the service as I donít have an ohm meter, but charges 150$ for such a checkup, so if thereís anyway I can check myself any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards
    Torben

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member musekatcher's Avatar
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    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeperry View Post
    Hi,
    Iíve recently bought a telecaster and Lately Iíve been curious to know if it has the original puís or if these have been changed. Is there anyway to determine the year of production of the pickups without unsoldering them or is that the only way to check this out?
    A local guitar shop offers the service as I donít have an ohm meter, but charges 150$ for such a checkup, so if thereís anyway I can check myself any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards
    Torben
    Its pretty cheap and easy to check the DC resistance of your pickups without assembly. You will need to do a little thinking, and borrow or buy an inexpensive multi-meter, $5-$15, and learn how to use it - its not difficult. Once you've learned to measure resistance such as thru your hands (1000 ohms to 100,000 ohms depending on moisture, etc), you can measure your guitar pickups this way:

    Guitar selector switch to Bridge
    volume and tone knobs to "10"
    Plug in a shorter guitar lead, 20 ft or less
    Test the resistance across the tip and shield of the guitar lead
    Read the bridge DC resistance

    Repeat for the Neck pickup.

    Those values combined with the age and type of Fender telecaster can identify pretty easily if the pickups are stock or not.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    1,037

    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    Quote Originally Posted by musekatcher View Post
    Its pretty cheap and easy to check the DC resistance of your pickups without assembly. You will need to do a little thinking, and borrow or buy an inexpensive multi-meter, $5-$15, and learn how to use it - its not difficult. Once you've learned to measure resistance such as thru your hands (1000 ohms to 100,000 ohms depending on moisture, etc), you can measure your guitar pickups this way:

    Guitar selector switch to Bridge
    volume and tone knobs to "10"
    Plug in a shorter guitar lead, 20 ft or less
    Test the resistance across the tip and shield of the guitar lead
    Read the bridge DC resistance

    Repeat for the Neck pickup.

    Those values combined with the age and type of Fender telecaster can identify pretty easily if the pickups are stock or not.

    Ok thanks you soooo much, then Iíll see if I know someone with a multimeter.
    So I donít have to check under the pickups for serial numbers?
    The neck stamp says 72 AugB and the bridge pat# matches up with this
    The blond finish shows some wear but has turned yellowish so I assume itís the original finish as well as nothing else shows otherwise in the neck pocket etc.
    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Location
    England
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    402

    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    Measuring the DC resistance will tell you nothing about whether the the pickups are original or not, many after-market pickups are likely to have similar resistance values to original pickups so it is not going to confirm anything. The only way to determine originality is for someone who knows what they are looking at to examine the pickups (or at the very least good quality photos showing the front and back of the pickups).

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Jun 2002
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    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
    Measuring the DC resistance will tell you nothing about whether the the pickups are original or not, many after-market pickups are likely to have similar resistance values to original pickups so it is not going to confirm anything. The only way to determine originality is for someone who knows what they are looking at to examine the pickups (or at the very least good quality photos showing the front and back of the pickups).
    Ok thanks, thats what I was afraid of...
    Just checked again and the pots says 304.7305.
    From what I understand this would mean= Stackpole /1973 /May....is that correctly read?
    If so they would not be original as the neck date says 1972?
    Really curious about the pus now as I could only imagine they were swapped when they changed the pots also ��

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    England
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    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    The pot code dates them to week 5 of 1973 (not May). It is quite possible that the neck could have been made and dated in late '72 and the guitar assembled in early '73 so they could well be original. It should be possible to remove the pickups without unsoldering anything and carefully lift them out far enough to see the underside, I'm no expert on Telecaster pickups but I think they might have a date marked on the back - maybe someone who knows more will chime in? In any case if you could post some photos of them I'm sure someone would be able to comment on originality.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
    The pot code dates them to week 5 of 1973 (not May). It is quite possible that the neck could have been made and dated in late '72 and the guitar assembled in early '73 so they could well be original. It should be possible to remove the pickups without unsoldering anything and carefully lift them out far enough to see the underside, I'm no expert on Telecaster pickups but I think they might have a date marked on the back - maybe someone who knows more will chime in? In any case if you could post some photos of them I'm sure someone would be able to comment on originality.
    Ok thank you so much for the info. Iíll see if I can take some good pictures to post.
    When Iíll have to check the bridge pickup Iíll have to unscrew the bridge, right. Would it be possible to make shure somehow that the pu will have the same height after checking it as I think they are leveled pretty nicely sound wise as they are now. Also to check the neck pu is it enough to remove the pickguard?
    Sorry for all the questions but I find it very limited to find answers when searching google:(

    Best regards
    Torben

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Jun 2007
    Location
    England
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    402

    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    The bridge pickup mounts to the bridge plate itself, after removing the strings you can remove the bridge plate by undoing the screws at the rear of the bridge (don't touch the 3 screws around the pickup) and you can then lift the bridge and pickup out without disturbing the pickup height setting. The neck pickup mounts to the body, to remove it you need to remove the pickguard then remove the 2 mounting screws (measure the pickup height before removing so that you can set it to the same height when replacing it).

  9. #9

    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    "Hi,
    I’ve recently bought a telecaster and Lately I’ve been curious to know if it has the original pu’s or if these have been changed. Is there anyway to determine the year of production of the pickups without unsoldering them or is that the only way to check this out?
    A local guitar shop offers the service as I don’t have an ohm meter, but charges 150$ for such a checkup, so if there’s anyway I can check myself any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards
    Torben"


  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    1,037

    Re: Telecaster pickup question?

    Quote Originally Posted by poor man's burst View Post
    "Hi,
    Iíve recently bought a telecaster and Lately Iíve been curious to know if it has the original puís or if these have been changed. Is there anyway to determine the year of production of the pickups without unsoldering them or is that the only way to check this out?
    A local guitar shop offers the service as I donít have an ohm meter, but charges 150$ for such a checkup, so if thereís anyway I can check myself any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards
    Torben"

    Thanks PaulD
    Iíll try and see if I can do it they way you described
    I know 150$ isnít that much but it was only for the ohm/resistance measurement, having them pull the puís out would be added $ on top of the 150$ and hoped it could be done in a cheaper way🤔

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