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The Campy Forum

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Fender Custom Shop '59 Jim Campilongo Pickups
  • I'm about to start a budget-friendly Campy inspired tele project, and wanted to solicit the group's feedback. In the spirit of the forum, specs are below.

    What I'd really like to discuss, however, is the pickup combination in Jim's Custom Shop model. In mid-2008, Jim posted on tdpri.com that the pickup setup would be "Bridge- ’51 Broadcaster 6.5k, Neck- Twisted Tele 5.9k." But in a 2010 article in Guitar Player, Jim says "Everybody loves Fender’s Twisted Tele neck pickup, but to me, it’s too beefed up. I’m after a smoky, wooly sound that makes you work a bit. And I want a dual-pickup tone that doesn’t have a “straight-into-the-board” quality. Just last week Fender sent me yet another neck pickup, and we finally got it." So, I've got two contradicting answers directly from the source! Jim (and friends), any chance you can clarify?


    Fender Classic Series '50s Telecaster Lacquer White Blonde

    Wilkinson Compensated Tele Bridge Brass Saddles (top-loading bridge)

    Fender American Vintage Telecaster Threaded Bridge Saddles

    PUPS: tbd (see above!)
  • I think they are not sold separately (bridge was 7k, IIRC), but maybe Jim can mention some pickups he likes. Like some Novak pickups that were in the prototype ... http://jimcampilongo.com/forum2/discussion/887/replacement-telecaster-pickups-suggestions/p1 http://www.jimcampilongo.com/press/TQRMar10_Campilongo.pdf

    TEL-V Bridge
    Telecaster® Replacement Pickup - Bridge position
    Wound to vintage specs

    TEL-V Neck
    Telecaster® Replacement Pickup - Neck position
    Wound to vintage specs

    For me it were just a :
    vintage 50s style tele, toploader bridge (or maybe a dual loader?), some good basic vintage pickups (like Fender nocaster bridge, original vintage neck, for example), and the proper Fender reverb amp would be the icing you really need!

    But I am no expert. I once heard him play a 50s style Fender reissue tele through a PRRI at a store here, sounded good to me!

  • I think I've seen this question asked before, and if memory serves, Jim recommended Curtis Novak pickups... I'm sure Jim will check in...
  • I actually bought a set of the Novak's based on Jim's recommendation, and I love them. Very clear, full sounding neck pickup, and the bridge is nice and spanky...bright but not too bright. When I ordered, I just emailed Curtis and asked if he could wind me a set like the ones he made for Jim. He said that he could. And about a week later the pickups were in my mailbox.

    I know we all have different tastes when it comes to pickups. But these are just perfect for me, and I cannot recommend them enough. I don't know what you consider budget-friendly. These aren't what I would call cheap. But given that they ended my quest for the perfect Tele pickup, I personally think they're worth every penny.

    Hope that helps...
  • Thanks, all. Just sent Curtis at Novak an email.

    Jim, I'd still love your two cents...
  • I should get a petition for everyone to sign - Jim Campilongo Signature pickups. Its about time ;)
  • +1 Broadcaster!!!!
  • "...Bridge- ’51 Broadcaster 6.5k, Neck- Twisted Tele 5.9k." But in a 2010 article in Guitar Player, Jim says "Everybody loves Fender’s Twisted Tele neck pickup, but to me, it’s too beefed up. I’m after a smoky, wooly sound that makes you work a bit...."

    After living with the pick ups (Bridge- ’51 Broadcaster 6.5k, Neck- Twisted Tele 5.9k) my comments in the article are correct.

    And yes- I like Novaks.

  • Gang,

    Thanks again for your input. My luthier just finished piecing togethor my budget-friendly Campy inspired Tele:


    It's a 2003 Fender Classic Series '50s Telecaster with Curtis Novak PUPs (Tel-V Neck and Tel-V Bridge wound to Jim's specs), with a Glendale top-loader double-cut bridge and threaded saddles.

    Two things immediately jump out:

    1. The top-loader bridge, when paired with 9s, really does make the strings feel more rubbery. I'm "digging in" with my pick more than usual, because it simply wants to be played that way.

    2. I've spent 99% of my lifetime playing exclusively the neck PUP on all my guitars, but the Novak bridge PUP is so well balanced that it's already getting half of my attention. I have and love Fender Nocasters, Lollar and Kinman PUPs, but the Novaks really are something different. I'm loving them.
    Photog_Matt_Elder_Campilongo Tele.jpg 67K
  • That's a great looking rig - congrats!
  • That photo sounds good! Congratulations!
  • That rig right there is all you really need to make beautiful music for the rest of your life. I dig gear, and quite a bit of it, but if stranded on a desert island- that rig would do me right! Congrats!
  • "That photo sounds good!" - Jim

    HAHAHA good one! I agree!
  • Congrats! Really happy to hear you like the pickups.

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