Telecasters don't have lipstick pickups
This is a nitpick but it must be said.
A common mistake that a lot of people make - including guitar dealers - is the claim that the Telecaster has a "lipstick" pickup on the neck side.
First I'll explain what a lipstick pickup actually is.
An example of an actual lipstick pickup is the Seymour Duncan SLS-1. It has a tube casing, and this style of pickup is most known for being in Danelectro electric guitars such as the 12SDC model. You look at that guitar and the lipstick pickups are instantly recognizable.
However, what really differentiates the lipstick pickup from what's in the Telecaster is the magnets.
True lipstick pickups such as the SLS-1 use a bar magnet. Were you to rip one apart, that's all you'd find in there. But if you took the cover off the Tele neck pickup, what do you see? Six pole piece magnets. On a lipstick pickup, it's just the bar. On the Tele neck pickup, pole pieces are present.
So what is the proper name for a Telecaster neck side pickup? It's a mini single-coil. Most refer to this as just a "Tele neck pickup", but guitar model name aside, mini single-coil is the proper name for it.
If for example you look at the Seymour Duncan Antiquity "1955" Tele pickup, there are literal pole pieces under that cover. Again, not a lipstick. It's a mini single-coil with six actual pole piece magnets.
On fully assembled Telecasters whether it's the Fender American Elite Telecaster seen above, Fender American Original '60s Telecaster or the modern Fender American Professional Telecaster, they all use a mini single-coil pickup for the neck position. In fact, any time you see that little pickup, it's a mini single-coil.
Stop calling it a lipstick pickup.
Published 2019 Oct 3
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