(June 2014 issue) The original design used cunife (copper/nickel/iron) threaded magnets and an offset (3/3) pole-piece configuration. Pickup builders making Wide Range repros today use alnico or ceramic magnets, so their pickups sound different. Telenator is the only company I know of that still uses cunife for their Wide Range replicas. They’re pricey, but if you’re looking for authentic ’70s Fender bridge humbucker tone, this is the only alternative to buying a vintage unit. And it drops right into a reissue Fender Tele Deluxe.
All I can say is WOW
Just picked up the guitar from my tech yesterday. All I can say is WOW. Everything I expected and more. Beautiful sounding WRHB for sure. That along with the Nocaster bridge PU is a lethal combination. Thank you so much for all your help during the process. I will sing the Telenator praises throughout the land lol!!!
Cheers, Francesco, Canada
Beefier & slightly louder
“I took my newly outfitted guitar to show my friend with a 1978 Telecaster® Deluxe with the original WRHB pickups. I had him power up his rig and pedal board and “dial up his sound”. We then switched to my new RI guitar with Telenator Limited Edition CuNiFe pickups. He could not tell the difference! It sounded the same. He did say it was a little beefier and slightly louder than his guitar, but he would be hard pressed to tell which one was being played.”
— Doug Turner, Winchester KY
I couldn’t be happier
“Way Huge props for the Telenator WRHB. I still can’t believe what a difference this neck pickup made on my 72′ Telecaster® Custom. I’ve paired it with a Seymour Duncan Custom Shop BG1400 in the bridge position and I couldn’t be happier. Kept the guitar lookin’ stock but really has great tone now. Awesome!”
— ESQUIREoholic, TDPRI Guitar Forum
Bright and snappy
These are the best pickups I’ve ever played: bright and snappy like single-coils, yet full-bodied and powerful like humbuckers. My Fender® AVRI ’72 Thinline has now become my main guitar out of the 17 electrics I own and is the one I now refer to as ‘my guitar’ – my poor Les Paul has been dethroned after 15 years! Can’t thank you enough for making these pickups!
Best, Akis Kollaros, London England
I got the guitar back yesterday with the Telenator neck pickup and ’67 CS bridge p/u installed.
It knocked me on my @ss, Bob. I am just dumbfounded. Absolutely incredible. You know, I bought the guitar (Am. Vintage ’72 Custom) because I wanted a Tele with a neck humbucker and I got a really good deal on it. I knew very little about the Wide Range other than it looked cool. To me, the Fender® RI sounded like any other humbucker and (as it turns out) it pretty much is. In my opinion they have no business touting it the way they do, but that’s corporate for you.
You know, I originally thought only an idiot would spend $450 on a pickup. Am I ever glad I’m an idiot Worth every penny…all 45,000 of them. HA!
Pickups aren’t supposed to be inspiring, but this one is. I can’t imagine it was an easy endeavor to make these things, but I’m sure glad you did. Thanks for an awesome product and a great experience.
All the best, Zac Wrixon, Canada
Sounds funky but fat now
I feel like I’ve struck gold with your CuNiFe pickups.
Words are hard to find to describe how good my Starcaster sounds. I didn’t know what to expect from your pickups. Audio files, which you have on your web site, are one thing, but I have to actually hear and play for myself. My $600 Fender® Starcaster Re-issue sounds like a million bucks! The Telenator CuNiFe pickups have made it much more versatile than my 335 and I keep wondering what it would sound like with your CuNiFe pickups in it. I am surprised more guitarists don’t use these pickups.
The Starcaster sounds funky but fat now. I get great rhythm sounds and for single lines the sound is so, I don’t know what the word would be, sweet maybe? Both clean and distorted, single lines sound so good and have a certain clarity that is hard to describe.
Also I would like to say thank you for setting up my guitar and adjusting the height of the pickups. It’s perfect. I figured that you would be the best person to do that because no one else is going to know these pickups as well as you do.
The guitar responds differently than before, which is to be expected. It plays easier somehow, I’m not sure how.
Anyway, I am very happy and thankful to you for making these pickups. I am glad I ignored people who I spoke to that were saying the pickups cost too much. Telenator CuNiFe’s are worth every penny and more to people who are discerning.
Thanks again. Glad I found you guys. Be well and speak soon.
— Greg, Greg Skaff New York NY
The best neck pickup
Just to let you know I received my pickup (MOD3) yesterday (6th Feb), it arrived safe and sound, and works wonderfully. It’s great how a gentle strum emits a beautifully warm tone, but then I can dig-in slightly, and the clarity is so evident. I have tried many single coil, P90 and humbucker pickups in many different types of guitars, and this pickup sounds like the best neck pickup I have ever heard. Period! Good work guys, this thing really sounds fantastic, and has made my custom telecaster the best sounding guitar in my collection.
— Steven Kay, United Kingdom
Perfect mix of grind and cut
“I just got a chance to try out the Telenator Wide Range Humbuckers in a live gig situation. Let me put it this way – these are not only far and away the best Wide Range Humbuckers I’ve ever played, they are among the best pickups I’ve ever played.
So, a guy hands me a guitar and tells me it has a few hundred dollars worth of pickups in it, and I’m like “well, that’s nice. But does it sound good?” First off, these things are so dynamic it took me a minute to get the feel of them. They have more bottom end punch than any I’ve ever played. But it wasn’t boomy or flabby. They were tight and extremely articulate even on the lowest notes on the neck. And even when doing runs that went from the open strings to the high frets, they were uncannily balanced and clear. With or without overdrive, these pickups just stayed rich and offered that perfect mix of grind and cut. My hat is off to Telenator, these pickups really deliver. When you play them you can tell a lot of work went into getting them right.”
— Chuck Smith, New York
The T2’s are F’ING AWESOME!
— Michael, Digital Dexterity Records, California
Holy clarity, Batman
I set them up with the treble side higher like you’d think… but after your e-mail I changed them (lowered the treble side) and yes I agree, much better.
Initial thoughts: Holy clarity, Batman. The definition is incredible! Love em!!!
— Ryan Verthein, Kansas
The two MOD-1 specimens were back at my studio within less than a week –you guys must have worked over the weekend! Now, let me catch my breath: They sound absolutely fabulous in my Thinline!! I admit that it took me almost two years to make up my mind and finally place the order with you. Should have done it right away!
Although the MOD-1 is your most affordable upgrade, the value is tremendous: What beautiful tones I can now coax out of that instrument.
They are quiet like a mouse; but when turned up, both pickups are truly special: from jazzy to edgy –it’s all there!
I must admit that I really only expected a marginal improvement, because I already hated the stock pickups, but now I know that every word on your web site is true. The MOD-1 pickups you sent me are unbelievable! Now I’m thinking that I need another Thinline just to get the MOD-2’s as well…
Thank you so much for contributing your technical expertise to my music!
Best Wishes to the whole crew.
— Roger Hausmann, Tennessee
Much more musical
I installed the pickups in my ’72 thinline and they are quite an improvement over the stock pickup sound. Much more musical! I also appreciate the quick turnaround time.
— Howard – New Jersey
Just ooooozing tone!
Wow!! What a difference! I’m playing through a cranked AC 15. Just ooooozing tone! Thanks for inventing this!!
— Pat, Canada
These things totally git ‘er done
“I had the pleasure of passing a few hours with “Telenator” flogging a phalanx of amplifiers at a Guitar Center nearby. He brought along a ’72 Thinline RI® equipped with some of those reconfigured wide-range humbuckers that he has painstakingly re-worked. Well, if he didn’t “nail it”, he came as close as any mortal might get. These things totally git ‘er done. Extremely musical. Crazy definition, and even response. Sensitive too. To thwart any BS let me say that we A/Bd them against the standard Mexican RI variety (no contest), and fortunately against a vintage late 70′s Telecaster Deluxe® that happened to be hanging on the wall behind the counter. The sound is scarey close.”
— Johnny Law, New England
They’re singing like mad!
“I did wanna tell you right away that we dropped the Telenator pickups into my blue Signature Model Jazzblaster and they’re singing like mad! I really love them right off the bat, and am using them every night on tour right now! The bottom line for me is that I really love the pickups you’re making. They sound as good or better than the vintage ones I’ve been playing, which is really saying something. Our tech guy’s also very impressed with the sound right off the bat, and the sound man loves em too!”
— Lee Ranaldo, Sonic Youth
It’s perfect! This is one awesome sounding pickup and it’s never coming out of my tele.
— Johnny S, Finland
“I think they sound VERY good. They (MOD1) don’t sound quite like the originals but they sound very similar and definitely very Fender-ish. I actually think they are the best alternative I have found to using the original WRHBs! They are clear and articulate, and have a very nice “body” to them without sounding PAF-ish. I’ll definitely be using them more! Thanks for pursuing the Wide Range replacement dilemma. I really think you came up with a viable alternative!”
— Danocaster Vintage Replicas
The modded neck pickup sounds FANTASTIC!!! I wired it with a 4 way switch and have it paired up with a 51 Nocaster bridge pickup. Great work! And I did lower the treble side a bit and it does sound much smoother. Thanks again!
— Regards, Miguel
Superior to the reissues
“These pickups are superior to the reissues in every regard. I’m hearing harmonics and other subtleties that weren’t audible before and the bass is not only tolerable now, it’s very good. The lower strings respond in a very interesting way and I can see now why the bass is hyped in these pickups. They have a very smooth and fluid sound while somehow still retaining clear edges. I’m very pleased with these pickups. They will be in my guitar as long as I’m alive.”
— Jivetrain – TDPRI Guitar Forum