Blues Special Tele

  • Single Coil
  • Thick & Versatile
  • Traditional Appearance
  • Modern Output
(254 genuine reviews)

$110$220

Love playing your Telecaster again and know it finally has the voice it was always meant to with our Blues Specials. Wound with a 5% overwind from our Stock Teles, Blues Specials feature a punchy, warm tone that tames the harsh top-end from most Telecasters and helps you hear every nuance in your playing. Lastly, customize your appearance with our neck options and make your Telecaster a real eye-catcher with a look that suits you.

 

PRODUCT OPTIONS:
Clear

Please Select Options Above To Display Add-Ons.

Neck Cover * 

Choose how you want your Neck pickup to look in your guitar. If no option is chosen, you will receive an Uncovered neck, which is standard.

Neck Options

If performing a 4-Way Switching Mod, please select this box below:

Bridge Options * 

Specify if you want White Cloth String or Black Cloth String on your bridge. If no option is chosen, you will receive White String.

Nashville Tele Info:

Are you buying pickups for a Nashville Telecaster Setup? Make sure you check this box to let us know. Make sure you add a middle pickup as well. Our Nashville Polarity will cancel hum in positions 2 & 4, like a Strat.

SPEED UP YOUR ORDER

Since you're buying a single pickup, we might need more information from you. To avoid unnecessary delays in your order, please choose one of the options below:



Be sure to read our article on Pickup Polarity here.

Notice

Due to the nature of Raw Nickel, Raw Nickel may contain slight cosemetic defects or abrasions.

Recommendation

We recommend using 2-Conductor With Shield Lead when purchasing a single pickup. 2-Conductor lead allows you to reverse the phase should you have phase issues. Learn More

Lead Time

A Lead Time of 2-3 Weeks is just an estimate. Lead Times are subject to change depending on the current shop capacity and size of the order. We will always try to complete your order quicker than the stated lead time.



100% Tele, Just a Bit Meaner.

Want to learn more about our Blues Special Tele? Here's all the information you'll need:

Blues Special Tele FEATURES:

Discover what you’ve been missing with our best-selling Telecaster pickups. Blues Specials feature a 5% overwind that emphasizes the midrange while taming the high-end for a warmer, thicker Telecaster tone that still sounds like a Tele. Built with all USA-Made parts, you can take pride knowing Lindy designed his Blues Specials with the highest quality materials available.

It starts here: Our manufacturing process allows us to achieve unparalleled quality control. Blues Specials consist of local fiberboard and USA-Made Alnico 5 Magnets. We wind each pickup by hand, one at a time, using our proprietary “Sectioning” technique for a sweet, unique tone. You can feel great knowing that we wound your pickups specifically for you. Finally, we wax-pot the pickup to prevent microphonics and preserve the pickup for years to come.

Features:

  • 5% more coil than our Stock Tele set for a warmer, thicker tone
  • Modified Fender specifications, optimized for output
  • High output, but still has Fender sparkle
  • Compensated Bridge for even volume across all pickups
  • USA-made Alnico 5 Magnets for optimal tonal balance and output
  • Two different magnet staggers for optimizing pickups for your instrument
  • Hand-wound with our “Sectioning” technique for unique, dynamic tone
  • Hand-built fiberboard Bobbins for unrivaled quality control
  • Backed by our 10-Year Warranty on manufacturing defects

 

Sound

If you’re looking for balance – not too bright, not too dark, this set is for you. While playing clean, Blues Specials sound thick and creamy with open and clear highs and a thicker midrange. The overwound coil tames your highs and bumps your midrange – more than the Stock Tele Pickups, while you can expect more of a traditional Tele Tone than our Steel Pole 42s.

With distortion, you can expect a light compression, low-end growl, and a medium attack. Single notes sound thick and round, while chords have a full tone with an early breakup. Finally, Blues Special Pickups are for you if you’re looking for more output from your current pickups, but still want to keep that traditional Tele tone.

You’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch earlier.

Are you looking for a Hum Cancelling Tele pickup that actually sounds like a Tele? Check out the Blues Output of our Split Blade Tele Pickups

 

 

 

 

 


Tonal Graph for Blues Special Tele:

The tone graph below for our Blues Special Tele features Lows, Midrange, Highs, and general Output.

HIGHS
MIDS
LOWS
OUTPUT

Attack: Dynamic & Full

Tech Specs

See below for the estimated DCR and Polarity Information for our Blues Special Tele.

SPECIFICATION VALUE
Neck Ohm Reading:7.8K*
Bridge Ohm Reading:7.3K
Neck Polarity:Counter Clockwise Coil Direction, North To Strings
Bridge Polarity:Clockwise Coil Direction, South To Strings
Wire:USA-Made 42 / 43-Gauge Single Poly Nylon
Magnet:USA-Made Alnico 5
Recommended Pot Value:250K

*The Neck reads higher due to the use of 43 Gauge Wire, outputs are compensated

Sizing

Telecaster Bridge Mounting Hole Dimensions

 

Blues Special Tele Questions And Answers:

Have a question about our Blues Special Tele? Ask it here. Your Question will be publically visible.

If you want to ask a Private Question, please contact us through our Contact Us Form.

If you have multiple questions, please call us at (804) 358-2699.

    Hi, I have a tele with a H neck and a standard tel bridge. In the neck I put a seymour Duncan phat cat. It is quite hot. The standard tele bridge needs to be hotter, what would you recommend for the bridge. Currently the middle position seems to be out of phase. Thanks So I am looking for a tel bridge recommend, Thanks
  1. Q Hi, I have a tele with a H neck and a standard tel bridge. In the neck I put a seymour Duncan pha...... Read more
    There are no answers for this question yet.
  2. Hey team, What is the difference in the three magnet stagger options? Cheers!
  3. Q Hey team, What is the difference in the three magnet stagger options? Cheers!
    A

    Hey Luke, Stock Stagger is optimized for rounder fingerboard radiuses (rounder than 10"). Hybrid Stagger is optimized for flatter fingerboard radiuses (flatter than 10"). Flat Stagger is a vintage Broadcaster stagger, for those looking for an authentic 50's look and tone.

    More on Fingerboard Radius here.

    - Tyler

  4. Hi I have purchased a Blues Special pickup set for Telecaster, from Sound Affects Premier here in the UK. I did not have a choice with respect of open or covered neck pickup as they only had the open neck pickup version in stock, so I bought it hoping I would like it. Unfortunately I don't like the look without cover, it just does not look right. I have a spare cover from a Fender neck pickup and I am contemplating fitting it to the pickup. I wou... Read more
  5. Q Hi I have purchased a Blues Special pickup set for Telecaster, from Sound Affects Premier here in...... Read more
    A

    Hey Denis, unfortunately, this will not work. Our Neck Pickup has staggered magnets out the top of the pickup, and a cover won't fit. What you can do is send the pickup back to us for an exchange, and we can make a 3-Wire covered Blues Special for you. You'll have to pay to ship both ways. - Tyler

  6. Hi What would you recommend for a Tele Thinline 69 with Maple neck? I play the Blues.
  7. Q Hi What would you recommend for a Tele Thinline 69 with Maple neck? I play the Blues.
    A

    Hey Mike, we'd recommend this set - our Blues Special Tele. They are perfect for a Thinline, and for the style of music you are playing. - Tyler

  8. Hi, what is the output of the Blues special set?
  9. Q Hi, what is the output of the Blues special set?
    A

    Hey Joel, 7.8K for the Neck, 7.3K for the Bridge. As Lindy describes it, Blues Specials are as hot as we can make a Tele pickup while retaining that traditional Tele "sparkle".

  10. Hi - I would like to mount the BS neck pickup to my pickguard. Are the mounting holes threaded for that?
  11. Q Hi - I would like to mount the BS neck pickup to my pickguard. Are the mounting holes threaded fo...... Read more
    A

    Hey Ian, we provide two sets of screws for our Neck pickups. We provide a course-threaded screw with a flat tip (which is our pickguard screw) along with a set of wood screws. See this link for more information: (Click the second question)

  12. I have a Mexican telly How can you tell what the neck radius is? Not sure what it is.
  13. Q I have a Mexican telly How can you tell what the neck radius is? Not sure what it is.
    A

    Hey Brodie, most often than not, the Neck Radiuses on Mexican Telecasters are around 9.5". It's helpful to look up the specs on your guitar and the year it was made, and find the Fingerboard Radius specification.

  14. I've got a stock Custom Shop 60's Tele. Nice guitar, but the bridge pickup is too trebly. Which of your Tele replacement pickups are best for eliminating that harsh, brittle, trebly sound?
  15. Q I've got a stock Custom Shop 60's Tele. Nice guitar, but the bridge pickup is too trebly. Which o...... Read more
    A

    Hey Mike, the Blues Specials are as loud as we can get a Telecaster Pickup while still retaining the Tele tone. The benefit here is our Bridge has extra punch that tames the top-end glassiness. So, if you're looking to keep the Tele tone but remove the top end "bite", go with our Blues Specials. If you're trying to get away from the Tele Tone altogether and get something really thick and dark, I'd go with the High Outputs.

  16. Will a blues special bridge and vintage hot neck work well together. Also Will flat stagger work well with 9.5 radius neck? My current bridge pup is flat staggered but not sure how yours would sound in comparison.
  17. Q Will a blues special bridge and vintage hot neck work well together. Also Will flat stagger work ...... Read more
    A

    Hey Daniel, yes, these two pickups would work together if you're looking for a stronger bridge. You can absolutely go with a Flat Stagger - you can expect a bit more "punch" and presence out of the pickup.

  18. So reading the above I have a Fender Player Tele which is 9.5” radius I assume I should go for the stock stagger?
  19. Q So reading the above I have a Fender Player Tele which is 9.5” radius I assume I should go for th...... Read more
    A

    Hey Bill, yes - we recommend Stock Stagger for a guitar with a 9.5" fingerboard radius.

     

  20. My Question is I have a Fender American Elite Tele If I go with the Blues specials what maget stagger is best and what does right or left handed mean?
  21. Q My Question is I have a Fender American Elite Tele If I go with the Blues specials what maget sta...... Read more
    A

    Hey Jerry, if you're a left-handed player, go with the Left-Handed orientation so we build your pickups to the correct stagger. Your Telecaster has a Compound Radius, so we recommend going with the Hybrid Stagger!

     

  22. Will the stewmac pickup routing template for Tele be suitable fit for routing these pickups on my new build?
  23. Q Will the stewmac pickup routing template for Tele be suitable fit for routing these pickups on my...... Read more
    A

    Yes, we believe so! Just note that our neck pickup mounting holes are slightly more narrow than most other manufacturers. So, if you're mounting the neck pickup into the body, check our dimensions to be sure.

     

  24. Morning I have a Squire Affinity Tele and only play the bridge pickup I want a Fralin Blues special in there. If I want the middle changed too down the road is that ok with just the bridge to start? Also what else needs to be changed while I’m in there for better tone? Thanks Rick Omer
  25. Q Morning I have a Squire Affinity Tele and only play the bridge pickup I want a Fralin Blues speci...... Read more
    A

    Hey Rick, Yes - you can simply start with the Bridge pickup. Just pay attention to pickup polarity when you eventually add the Neck and Middle. See these related articles: The Nashville Tele Problem & How to Reverse Pickup Polarity, Part 1: Single Coil Pickups. Regarding what... Read more

  26. I am about to buy the Blues Special Tele set for a Lefty Partscaster. I have an issue where this guitar is one of the best I've ever played... but... the bridge was routed/mounted a bit too far back on the body... making the Bridge p/up thinner than normal. Is there any way to compensate for that at all... or is moving the bridge forward the only option? I've ordered b4 a Vintage Hot Strat set and Pure PAF set that I love! Thanks
  27. Q I am about to buy the Blues Special Tele set for a Lefty Partscaster. I have an issue where this ...... Read more
    A

    Absolutely - we can overwind the bridge pickup to compensate. Please use the "Notes" field on the checkout screen to request an additional +5% overwind on the Bridge.

     

  28. Would the Blues Specials be the best choice to get the classic Telecaster tone (without the "ice pick") on my recently acquired Offset Telecaster? I primarily play rhythm guitar in my R&B band. I already have a have a Stratocaster and a Les Paul for those classic tones. Thanks!
  29. Q Would the Blues Specials be the best choice to get the classic Telecaster tone (without the "ice ...... Read more
    A

    Hey Barry, yes - that's what the Blues Specials were designed for! They are as thick as you can get Tele pickups while still retaining the "Tele" sound.

     

    A

    Hey Barry, yes - that's what the Blues Specials were designed for! They are as thick as you can get Tele pickups while still retaining the "Tele" sound.

     

  30. Will the pickups install okay using the ToneShaper Guitar Wiring Kit, For Fender Telecaster, SS3 (4-Way ToneShaper Wiring)? Do I order the pickups with the 4-way switching option? Thanks!
  31. Q Will the pickups install okay using the ToneShaper Guitar Wiring Kit, For Fender Telecaster, SS3 ...... Read more
    A

    Hey Barry, yes, they should fit. The push-back cloth insulation will expose the stranded core of the pickup's leads. Make sure you twist these with your fingers to make sure the wires are close together before inserting into ToneShapers' mounting system. Also, make sure to select 3-Wire configuration.

     

  32. I will be installing a 4-way switch. Do I need to order neck pickup with or without cover? Thanks in advance!
  33. Q I will be installing a 4-way switch. Do I need to order neck pickup with or without cover? Thanks...... Read more
    A You can order it either way! Just note, if you select a cover, please choose the “4 Way Switching Modification” checkbox so we can give you the correct pickup.
  34. I have the same question as Peter. Does a cover on the neck pickup make a difference on tone or shielding?
  35. Q I have the same question as Peter. Does a cover on the neck pickup make a difference on tone or s...... Read more
    A It does – however, we compensate the winding to make sure there is no impact on tone. So, for your intents and purposes, the cover is purely an aesthetic choice.
  36. Hi. Really eyeing these Blues Specials. The question is if position two/middle provides that crystalline shimmer that position two on a strat provides.
  37. Q Hi. Really eyeing these Blues Specials. The question is if position two/middle provides that crys...... Read more
    A As long as you’re wiring your Tele normally, then yes! These pickups sound great in parallel and give you the Tele quack.
  38. Howdy – I’m building a Partscaster that is a ’69 Thinline with a TV Jones in the neck position. Currently, it has a ’62 Fender bridge pickup. I’m looking for something a little stronger and warmer (less harsh highs) in the bridge slot and the Blues Special looks like a good fit. Questions are: Which stagger? (neck is 7.5? radius) Will a 500k resistor make this pickup see a 500k pot as a 250? (per your wiring diagram showing the resistor... Read more
  39. Q Howdy – I’m building a Partscaster that is a ’69 Thinline with a TV Jones in the neck position. C...... Read more
    A We definitely recommend Stock Stagger for this neck radius. Regarding your resistor question, absolutely! Go for a 500K / 470K resistor (whichever you can find), and if following this wiring diagram here, you’ll have a compensated tonal balance. https://www.fralinpickups.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Humbucker-Single-Coil-Tele-With-Resistor.pdf

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

254 Genuine Reviews for Blues Special Tele

  1. Denis Robinson

    I have just installed a set of Blues Specials in my Tele. The build quality is superb, the clarity is almost HiFi like, but for me I found the bridge pickup 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings a bit too bright and sterile and not quite enough punch, which I could not dial out using the tone controls on the guitar and amp without it getting muddy.
    No fault of the pickups, just not for me I’m afraid. I’ll keep them as spares.

  2. Rich Longacre
    Verified Buyer

    The Blues Specials are or should be, the defacto industry standard for how sets of Tele Pickups are ranked. Your tele comes to life with a voice that you’ve listened to/for your whole life and adds that same level of confidence to your playing as well. You simply won’t be failing to complete good phrases knowing the tone you want your audience to hear is supporting every note you play. That’s GREAT PICKUP making! Keep up the good work, Lindy..!

  3. Kris Abe
    Verified Buyer

    I have these in a thin line Tele, they are a full round tone with plenty of “spank”. None of the harsh treble end that I was experiencing with the other pickups that were in the guitar. This is the second set of Fralin pickups I have purchased and I have been 100% satisfied with each purchase. Their crew knows the product and will take the time to answer questions and make sure you are getting exactly what you are looking for. I have the 4 way switch on this set and it is awesome! To my ear the 4 way mod puts you in Humbucker territory and adds to the versatility of the instrument.

  4. Sterling Boyd
    Verified Buyer

    At some point, whether through necessity or curiosity, most guitarists are faced with replacing pickups. Most will opt for whatever they had in the guitar initially. If you’re the type of individual that looks for a better quality than stock, you will inevitably stumble into the complex and new world of “Boutique Pickups”. Any internet search for said pickups will lead you to Fralin Pickups. After you find this company, breathe a sigh of relief … you’ve reached your destination. Any questions will be answered and not in a manner to sell you their product (it sells itself), but rather to give a better understanding of your options.

    I discovered the Blues Special Teles out of necessity. I bought the pickups because of countless five star reviews. When I played the Blues Specials for the first time, I knew instantly that I had made the right decision and that I would be purchasing another set of Fralin Pickups for my Stratocaster. I’ll be writing another five star review for the High Output Strat soon enough.

    The sound of the Blues Specials is crystal clear whether your signal is on clean or overdrive. You will hear every nuance of your playing . Light and heavy pick attacks will give entirely different sounds. Heavy playing won’t be punished with muddled tones, it’ll be rewarded with complete clarity. Lighter playing will have equal clarity and give you similar expressive abilities as an acoustic guitar (like hearing your fingers move along the frets when changing positions). The sound of silence is quite impressive. Even with high gain on your pedals or amp, unless you’re playing it, you won’t hear much from your guitar.

    The range of tones I can describe as, “what you want your telecaster to sound like, but way better.” The neck pickup is warm and familiar, but also full of expression and is very similar to the position 2 (neck and middle) on a Strat. I won’t go into the 4-way tele mod, suffice to say if you don’t know about it, do yourself a favor and learn. The neck and middle are a perfect balance of twang warmth. The bridge has certainly got the twang, but not so much that you go deaf after one practice. I have the original tone and volume controls and have no complaints.

    The Blues Specials can’t be pigeonheoled into style. I’ve played them with light jazz and heavy metal (and yes … they can hangout with your friends’ humbuckers any day with no shame). Country and blues? No problem. Rock and hard rock? Why are you even asking? These pickups will work for almost any style you throw at them. The only thing I can think of holding them back would be the individual playing them.

    Lastly I’ll mention aesthetics. Being a Telecaster your bridge pickup is just that. Your neck pickup, however, has a small but diverse set of options and I highly recommend checking them out. I opted for the polished nickel open-top. To me, it’s a beautiful blend of retro and retro (it just looks really cool).

    If you’re serious about your tone and quality, you can’t go wrong with the Blues Specials. I’ve heard some complain about the price and it makes me laugh. The Blues Specials boast 5% overwound copper wire. I can’t be sure of the exact length, but handmade pickups with the combined length of over a mile of copper wrap … you’re not paying too much. I can’t thank the entire team at Fralin Pickups enough. I’m ecstatic that I found this great company and look forward to doing business with them again.

  5. Sterling Boyd
    Verified Buyer

    At some point, whether through necessity or curiosity, most guitarists are faced with replacing pickups. Most will opt for whatever they had in the guitar initially. If you’re the type of individual that looks for a better quality than stock, you will inevitably stumble into the complex and new world of “Boutique Pickups”. Any search for quality pickups will lead you to Fralin Pickups. After you find this company, breathe a sigh of relief … you’ve reached your destination. Any questions will be answered and not in a manner to sell you their product (it sells itself), but rather to give a better understanding.

    I discovered Blues Special Teles out of necessity. I bought the pickups because of countless five star reviews. When I played the Blues Specials for the first time, I knew instantly that I had made the right decision and that I would be purchasing another set of Fralin Pickups for my Stratocaster and I’ll be writing another five star review for the High Output Strat soon enough.

    The sound is crystal clear whether your signal is on clean or overdrive. You will hear every nuance of your playing . Light and heavy pick attacks will give entirely different sounds. Heavy playing won’t be punished with muddled tones, it’ll be rewarded with complete clarity. Lighter playing will have equal clarity and give you similar expressive abilities as an acoustic guitar (like hearing your fingers move along the frets when changing positions). The sound of silence is quite impressive. Even with high gain on your pedals or amp, unless you’re playing it, you won’t hear earsplitting feedback.

    The range of tones I can describe as, “what you want your telecaster to sound like, but way better.” The neck pickup is warm and familiar, but also full of expression and is very similar to the position 2 (neck and middle) on a Strat. I won’t go into the 4-way tele mod, suffice to say if you don’t know about it, do yourself a favor and learn. The neck and middle are a perfect balance of twang warmth. The bridge is certainly got the twang, but not so much t

  6. Carlos
    Verified Buyer

    I ordered these from Australia.
    They were shipped to me in next to no time.
    I couldn’t believe how much these pickups transformed my Tele. They sound phenomenal. They have so much punch yet are incredibly articulate.
    I love them.

  7. Chris
    Verified Buyer

    Replaced some old fender custom shop pickups with these and am very happy with the results. These seem to product much cleaner and fuller lows with puncher mids. Shipped quicker than expected as well. Thanks folks.

  8. Brad
    Verified Buyer

    Dropped these into a Squier Patanormal, it rocks. The instructions were super helpful, and it was super easy

  9. Warren
    Verified Buyer

    Put these in my homemade Tele-style guitar and don’t regret it. Really appreciate all the installation tips sent by the people at Lindy Fralin,as this was my first Tele-style build. They sound great with 4-way switch.

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