The Ice-House™ Tele® Series
brings more versatility and power to you Tele slingers, whether
you play country, blues, or rock. It's pretty much all covered
in my line, which includes some unique neck pickups that are not
Fender® had a real
winner when they came out with the Broadcaster™ guitar, which
later became the Telecaster®.
After more than 60 years, it still rules a large part of the guitar
world. I really enjoy working on Tele
pickups. There are many
voicings that can be designed around this classic axe, so I've
had a tremendous amount of fun (and hard work) researching and
designing for the big "T."
Most my Tele
pickups have been road and stage tested
by Steve Rhian who records and tours with the Daryl
Dodd band in Texas. We went through a bunch of different
winds, wire and magnet sizes to arrive at formulas that work
out there in the gig world. I'm very proud of my Tele
and greatful to Steve for all his help in making these the best
they can be, which I think you will agree when you play them.
The 1950 BG Broadcaster: A lot of pickup makers sell vintage
style pickups and apparently don't have a clue how to make the
real deal. They just don't do the research. They use the wrong
magnets, the wrong wire, and have never really studied vintage
pickups in person. Broadcasters are one such pickup, I have yet to see anyone make them correctly, because to be honest, they are bitch to make authentically.
The '50BG Broadcaster has been WELL researched
by me. This is about as authentic as I can make it, including
correctly done black string wrap, and I even have real NOS '50's sring that you can get on my upscale perfect relic replica. I have wound this one on the
hotter side of recorded measurements, but I can wind them any
way you want. The Broadcaster pickup was a surprise to me when
I finally made one from my research efforts. These pickups were
NOT real twangers like their slightly later brother pickups. They
were on the dark side, very-touch responsive, and almost sound
like humbuckers in a way. If you need a darker Tele
with sweet singing, treble solo voicing, this is the one for you.
This is a really fun pickup to play as you can hear in my sound
clips below. Jazz guys like this one, as will anyone who wants
a less twangy voicing but chock full of character. If you have
an Esquire copy, this should be in your guitar. Sound clips are
through the Princeton, ten gauge strings, several different riffs
for both clean and dirty:
1950 BG Broadcaster clean.
Here's a great Broadcaster workout tune, "Busted,"
done by Bryon Shepherd a teacher and great performer: Busted-50BG Broadcaster!
1950 BG Broadcaster dirty.
The BG 'Fifty One:
OK twang bangers, this is the ultimate brother to the Broadcaster
and historically was the next step in Tele
bridge history. It's also another that no one makes correctly. Immediately
after the Broadcaster pickup was made, within a year in fact,
Leo started changing things: he used different alnico and wire
gauge but kept the fat magnets until '54 when it all changed again.
My pickup is a dead accurate copy of one from my friend's '51
Nocaster guitar. His pickup used some wire and materials
that were supposedly only used starting in '54. Yet here it is,
proof that Leo was mixing things up during those years and did
almost nothing consistently during the early Broadcaster and
Tele years. I've used a bit lower wind than was on his example;
between '51 and '53 there was no consistency in number of winds
(wasn't until CBS years that pickups were all made to the same
specs) so some were quite hot and some weren't, this one is in
the middle. You can have yours wound real low or up to around
7K as a few were.
So, what's the difference? This one TWANGS hard!
It not only twangs and is bright, it isn't thin sounding and is
loaded with treble harmonics, articulate bass voicing. It will
certainly scream or do steel guitar imitations 'til the cows come
home. Another very fun pickup to play and another great choice
if you want an authentically researched and hand-built product
for your special Tele, or to install into your Nocaster® reissue
for the "real
deal" tone. A great choice for a Tele
thinline or a darker
wood guitar that needs articulation, or any guitar you want "scream
power." Sound clips through my Princeton®, 10 gauge strings,
alder body, maple neck, clean playing and cranked, (I ain't
a great Tele
player so hopefully you can hear in these clips
the potential for someone of great talent to make this thing
do what it does best. The loooong cranked clip is because I
BG 'Fifty One clean
BG 'Fifty One cranked loud
Supercaster™ Lead: This pickup
just has guts, wound just hot enough. The hotter wind gives
this pickup a nice punch and cuts out the brittle highs, but
keeps the Tele signature tone. There is no metal baseplate,
as it's not needed in this hotter wind. The Ice-House Standard
competes nicely with P90 bridge output, is a delight to
play and is great for slide players. All alnico magnets. Hand-built,
hand scatter-wound, vintage cloth-covered wire. White or black
cotton twine wrapped coil, potted for quietness. Sweet and loud.
clip of hot Supercaster lead, clean to dirty.
Based on the Fender Broadcaster, this pickup is overwound beyond
specs just enough to push it and smooth the highs out.
It gives you a very punchy, loud pickup with lots of sweet highs,
quack, depth and complexity of harmonics, and focused midrange
only found in vintage pickups wound with fine wire. Voiced to maintain
Tele tone, but puts your leads authoritatively up front! Simply
one of the best Tele
bridge pickups you will probably ever play.
clip of Ice-House Standard Lead dirty and clean amp settings
This was actually the first Tele
bridge pickup design I ever made.
I took it out of the lineup as I thought it was too twangy. But
thanks to Josh Colow, who owns one of these, and to his brilliant
sound clips, I have put it back for sale for those of you who
want classic twang with good output. The sound clips say it
all, courtesy of Josh. My nickname at the jams is "Possum" so
promised my wife I'd make a "Possumcaster" pickup
some day so here it is!
sound clip one
sound clip two
sound clip three
ICE-HOUSE NECK PICKUPS
Ice-House Stock Rhythm
pickup is wound with 43 gauge wire as orginally spec’d and
will give you more complex range of frequency response and harmonics
than your stock Korean Fender product. It is also wound hotter than
stock and can sustain solos. Comes with or without cover, nickel
silver cover is available for extra charge of $15.
The Ice-House Supercaster
Rhythm is a tall coil, does not come covered because
of its height, has more power while retaining brightness and is
THE choice for a soloing neck pickup on a Tele. Here are two sound
clips courtesy Andy at Rothstein
Rhythm played clean
Laminated Neck Blade is the newest of two new ideas
for Tele players wanting something unique in the neck position.
The laminated 3 piece steel pole is the more expensive of the two;
the laminations give more clarity and definition to a blade style
pickup (single blade pickups tend to verge on dark muddy tones if
not done right), cutting through even the highest gain/distortion.
Almost angelic bell like tones and chime, sometimes Strat-like,
no dropouts from string bends, this unique pickup will turns heads
when you play! Clean and clear but dig in and it gives you the guts
you need to make a statement.
clip of laminated blade, clean and dirty settings
Single Neck Blade is a less expensive neck blade
style featuring a single 16 gauge steel pole. This model is darker,
has more midrange honk, and its own unique tone and character. It
still manages to cut through the mud and has more raw guts than
the laminated blade, the lower price only reflects less construction
time, not quality.
clip of single blade, various amp settings
The BG Fifty One neck is the vintage correct companion
to the Fifty One bridge pickup. Made correctly in all respects,
this is not your typical weak, shrill, lifeless tone. This is a
fatter, soulful tone that most of you have never played, they only
made them like these for about two years. Listen to the clips:
One neck samples