If all you want is a vintage replica, the choice is endless. Since vintage Tele neck pickups have never changed that much and there wasn’t really a golden era, here’s a selection of drop-in neck pickup alternatives for simple and reversible mods.
1McNelly T-Bar £79
Although the coil is taller and skinnier than a regular P-90’s, chunky ceramic magnets sit beneath the 43 AWG coils and height-adjustable polepieces. This pickup captures much of the P-90’s rounded and flutey quality and chords chime without sounding trebly.
2Fender Custom Shop Twisted Tele £165 Per Set (Price includes bridge unit)
Fender’s own solution to getting Strat-like clarity from a Telecaster neck pickup involves a taller bobbin, alnico V magnets, 42 AWG wire and a nickel silver cover. It’s a popular choice on Custom Shop guitars.
3TV Jones T-Style $125
At Winter NAMM 2016, Gretsch pickup guru TV Jones released a set that’s a hybrid of Tele and 50s-style DeArmond single coils. This one’s wound to 7.32K and it’s designed to work with regular Fender pots and caps.
4Vintage Vibe VT-N-BL $99
Even chopped-down Charlie Christian pickups require some routing work. This scatterwound CC sound-alike has a blade polepiece and large magnet assembly, but it fits into a regular Tele body and pickguard. Sounding fat and loud, it’s also clear, exceptionally smooth, woody and jazzy.
Learn more about Telecaster neck pickups in our guide.