Pickups

Best Charlie Christian Pickup?

1

I'm planning a build featuring a single CC pickup. Which CC pups do people have experience with and would recommend? Tavo?

2

Good topic! Looking forward to the responses.

4

I put a Pete Biltoft in my 39' Synchro a few years back.

the results were excellent

7

I have a Lollar in my tele I have been quite happy with. Having said that, I have heard many good reports about the Smith. The British CC pickup is the one most closely built like the originals as in the photo above but I know little about them in practical terms.

8

I have a TK Smith in my pine Tele. Fantastic! I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the previous choices mentioned here.

9

Depends on if you are going for construction, tone, or visual aesthetics. The British CC above is closest in construction, and in a hollowbody should therefore be closest in tone. TK's, from what I understand (correct me if I am wrong) is similar in spec to his Bigsby CAR replicas, but not in an aluminum housing and MUCH more affordable. Some think the Lollar a bit hi-fi and sterile. I have two custom wound CC style pickups in my 12-string from Pete Biltoft at Vintage Vibe and I love them. Wire and winds, like TK's, are Bigsby spec. Big sounding and beautiful. Clear but not sterile. And very affordable (and excellent customer service). But it's a 12-string, which means more overtones, and I have never a/b'd it with another CC style. So I don't know if they match the tone of a vintage CC or Bigsby pickup for that matter.

Were I looking for a CC style for a tele (or other solid body) build, I'd probably go with a TK. JD McPherson had a Vintage Vibe CC in the neck of his tele and switched it out for a TK. Pat Capocci had a Lollar in his tele that he liked, but switched it out for a TK and likes it a bit better. But Pete at vintage vibe will make one to your specs/tastes for a great price and you will have it within two weeks.

If I really wanted the CC tone and I were building or modding an archtop, I imagine I'd save for the British CC. Lollar also makes the big 3-point archtop mount, but I don't think he uses the same period correct cobalt stell magnet like the brits at http://www.ccpickups.co.uk/....

Another interesting option not in the direction of authentic replication is TK's pole piece CC.

One thing I feel pretty confident about is that none of these options will suck. Just depends on what you want.

10

– ....

You putting these together in the same guitar? I'd love to hear clips if so. And I guarantee I am not alone.

11

+1 on CC UK, Strummerson beat me to it.

I have read reviews from owners of REAL CC pickups, who say the CC UK is not only VERY close to the originals in tone, but FAR closer than all the other modern builders... "not even close" were their reviews of the other modern CC pickups.

13

It really depends on if you need extreme authenticity or a great tone.

14

It really depends on if you need extreme authenticity or a great tone.

– Geoff_Vane

It would be going into a solid body so I'm not looking to ape the hollow body jazz tone, but looking for a good sounding single coil pup that also looks good. (Like the people in the videos who use them in Teles.) I wouldn't be interested in fitting the original metal hardware under the pickup as the body is already on the heavy side, plus that'd require a lot more routing.

15

The TK material is absolutely superb in craftmenship. Sounds good too. I heard that one on a tele. I can't speak for the other brands. The well known ones must be good. But since I heard the TKCC tele I would go for that because that material will never lose it's value.

16

Not many people have played the TK, I'm sure it's great. Both the Lollar and Vintage Vibe ones have been played by quite a few people, and both get praise. Tim Lerch loves the Lollar in his tele.

17

At 1:27 I think you can see it in the demo I made for this band. It looks way cool and sound grumpy and sweet when it must.

18

Assuming the solidbody application eliminates the British CC version (as it should, what a pain), I know one person, a member here, whose opinion I absolutely trust, that owns both the Lollar and the Smith and claims the Smith is superior. A bit more coin though.

19

Not many people have played the TK, I'm sure it's great. Both the Lollar and Vintage Vibe ones have been played by quite a few people, and both get praise. Tim Lerch loves the Lollar in his tele.

– ruger9

Wrong, Tim has the CC pole screw pickup by TK Smith. Prepare to die!!

20

Wrong, Tim has the CC pole screw pickup by TK Smith. Prepare to die!!

– THE NOCTURNE BRAIN™

Hardly "wrong".... Tim uses (and endorses) Lollar pickups in his Tele.

21

Assuming the solidbody application eliminates the British CC version (as it should, what a pain), I know one person, a member here, whose opinion I absolutely trust, that owns both the Lollar and the Smith and claims the Smith is superior. A bit more coin though.

– spike

Actually, current posted prices have the TK as a bit less than the Lollar and a chunk less than the Seymour Duncan custom shop (which hasn't been discussed and I know nothing about). The Brit cc-pickups also makes a solid body mounted version without those big cobalt steel magnets and mounting system.

TK - $160

Lollar - $175

Seymour Duncan - $200

CC Pickups (C90) - $170 (based on today's exchange rate for pound-dollar)

Vintage Vibe CC Rider - $120

Were I buying one for a tele, I'd probably grab the TK. And probably the blade version.

22

One thing to note that isnt happening on the Lollar and the Biltoft(which is more P90 than anything) is that they arent addressing the ferrous metal mass involved w the CC pickup. TK Smith's CC pickup has a very thick ferrous metal base plate that the pickup blade is directly connected to. A very important aspect if youre jonesin for that Live At Minton's Charlie Christian sound!

In tele the sound lacks the same bark and flutey growl of a full 17" bout hollowbody, but at least you can hear it w a proper gibson EH amp.

Also a bit of Bill Frisell w TK's fabulous CAR pickup, here we can listen to what TK puts out even when its encased in cast aluminum. Delicious

23

Not fair T. Frisell can make a Walmart ukelele sound soulful.

24

Wrong, Tim has the CC pole screw pickup by TK Smith. Prepare to die!!

– THE NOCTURNE BRAIN™

I know you're a TK fanboy, but do your homework first....

25

Actually, current posted prices have the TK as a bit less than the Lollar and a chunk less than the Seymour Duncan custom shop (which hasn't been discussed and I know nothing about). The Brit cc-pickups also makes a solid body mounted version without those big cobalt steel magnets and mounting system.

TK - $160

Lollar - $175

Seymour Duncan - $200

CC Pickups (C90) - $170 (based on today's exchange rate for pound-dollar)

Vintage Vibe CC Rider - $120

Were I buying one for a tele, I'd probably grab the TK. And probably the blade version.

– Strummerson

Thanks for that, Strum!


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