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Title: What's the big deal about Joe Barden pickups?
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qbertsoul
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(Date Posted:01/05/2006 02:58:45)
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I've heard a lot of Tele owners talk about Barden pickups as if they're the holy grails of Tele pickups. What is it that's different about Barden pickups vs. stock pickups? That is, what do they pick up that stock ones don't?
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Old Tele man
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(Date Posted:01/07/2006 02:55:35)

...BARDENS were the choice of red-neck jazz Tele-meister DANNY GATTON and **his** tones were fantastic, that's all!
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qbertsoul
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(Date Posted:01/07/2006 07:00:12)

Yeah, but what was it that he could get out of the Barden pickups that he couldn't have gotten out of stock Tele pickups?
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Walter_Broes
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(Date Posted:01/07/2006 14:38:15)

Bardens are side-by-side humbuckers, so they're noiseless, they're more powerful than standard tele pickups, and they're the only pickups of their kind that actually manage to sound quite a bit like single coils IMO.
Extremely refined for a humbucker, but not for everybody - I used to have a pair in my tele that I sold. There's no such thing as "the ultimate pickup" (or amp, guitar,...), only what works best for you.
That said, Barden pickups are (were?) an extremely high quality product.
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MandyMarie
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(Date Posted:01/09/2006 03:12:06)

I like them because they're so responsive...when you play soft, they sound soft...when you dig into them they come alive and roar. They take a lot of getting used to and they're absolutely not for everybody, but they're the kind of pickups that if you like 'em...you love 'em.

We played in Nashville this weekend and watching Guthrie Trapp pick on a Barden equipped Telecaster sure made me excited to pick up my Barden equipped '51, let me tell ya! Holy guacamole is that guy amazing...maybe you have to use Bardens to play in the Don Kelley band down on Lower Broadway or something - Redd Volkaert, Johnny Hiland, etc, etc....

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Tele295
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(Date Posted:01/12/2006 02:37:38)

Did you see the movie "Pretty Woman", where Richard Gere is trying to drive that super hi-end sports car down Hollywood Blvd? He keeps stalling it, and then Julia Roberts gets in and shows him how to drive a specialized car like that. Bardens are a lot like that.

They are very powerful, and will give you MORE of everything over a stock Tele. However, you must approach them on their own terms (much like coming to a Tele from another model of guitar). Once you get used to them, however, it's like driving that Yugo when you're used to the sports car. No punch, no tone, no responsiveness from stock single coils. You MUST have your picking hand style together, or the Bardens will yank down your pants and pull your underwear over your head in front of the audience. NOT a forgiving pickup.

I love Barden pickups, but I'm going broke paying eBay prices. C'mon Joe, let's go, buddy. We're here to help.

BTW, his bridges are great, too.

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Danny Gatton: The Telemaster Archives

Completely lost without that Barden twang beast you get when you dig in!

Old Tele man
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(Date Posted:01/12/2006 04:06:34)

...not one to "...spread any rumors before their time..." but, I understand that Bill Lawrence will soon be offering a new GATTON/BARDON-style pickup, to be called the L-220T...no pictures (or pricing) yet.
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and the DEVIL said, "...Yes, but it's a DRY heat!"

qbertsoul
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(Date Posted:01/13/2006 23:24:40)

Does anybody have any sound clips that really show off what Joe Barden pickups can do?
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Tele295
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(Date Posted:01/14/2006 07:39:46)

The lead guitar work on all these tracks is my Barden-equipped 50's Classic Esquire. Not the greatest variety perhaps, and I'm certainly no virtuoso, but fun.

The Esquires - Barden Equipped

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Danny Gatton: The Telemaster Archives

Completely lost without that Barden twang beast you get when you dig in!

qbertsoul
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(Date Posted:01/14/2006 12:02:28)

Thank you very much for posting those! That has been very helpful to my search.

I really can't afford to buy Bardens, but are there any pickups that are similar in the field of HIGH RESPONSIVENESS? I really like that concept. I'd like to have a pickup that simply magnifies what I do better than a normal pickup, everything down to the unforgiving nature. Especially one that does not compromise the brightness of the Telecaster.

I realize a lot of people may just say "You can't find a pickup that can do that like a Barden pickup", but again, I can't afford Bardens. I want something that does a similar job even if it's not in the same league.
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Tele295
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(Date Posted:01/15/2006 06:30:42)

That's the bad news, qbert. I have not found ANYTHING that responds like that. I've heard pickups that can passably cop the sounds as far as the audience can hear, but nothing responds like that. THAT'S why they are $300 a piece on eBay.
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Danny Gatton: The Telemaster Archives

Completely lost without that Barden twang beast you get when you dig in!

editorjuno
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(Date Posted:01/15/2006 20:52:59)

Reply to : qbertsoul



Thank you very much for posting those! That has been very helpful to my search.I really can't afford to buy Bardens, but are there any pickups that are similar in the field of HIGH RESPONSIVENESS? I really like that concept. I'd like to have a pickup that simply magnifies what I do better than a normal pickup, everything down to the unforgiving nature. Especially one that does not compromise the brightness of the Telecaster.I realize a lot of people may just say "You can't find a pickup that can do that like a Barden pickup", but again, I can't afford Bardens. I want something that does a similar job even if it's not in the same league.





Call me prejudiced 'cuz I've known the guy 30+ years and work with him from time to time, but imo there's nothing on the market for Teles that beats Bill Lawrence's noiseless L-298TL (bridge) and L-280TN (neck) for responsiveness. Bill is also involved in Fender's upcoming replacement for the Barden Tele set, which promises to both significantly better (much more durable, with a deeper, richer low end) and far more reasonably-priced than what Joe was selling when he closed up shop.
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Tele295
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(Date Posted:01/16/2006 20:55:24)

Reply to : editorjuno

Bill is also involved in Fender's upcoming replacement for the Barden Tele set, which promises to both significantly better (much more durable, with a deeper, richer low end) and far more reasonably-priced than what Joe was selling when he closed up shop.

 

Are those pickups debuting at the NAMM show this weekend? They sound like the old BL double blade L-250, which in turn sounded closer to the single blade Bardens than the most recent recipe. I wanted to try one of those and then Bill stopped making them.

I have not been impressed with the double blade GFS Lil Punchers. They sound very one-dimensional compared to my Bardens. That  might be OK if you're running a lot of overdrive or a bunch of effects, but not for this Tele & Vibrolux guy.

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Danny Gatton: The Telemaster Archives

Completely lost without that Barden twang beast you get when you dig in!

editorjuno
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(Date Posted:01/16/2006 23:38:59)

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Reply to : editorjunoBill is also involved in Fender's upcoming replacement for the Barden Tele set, which promises to both significantly better (much more durable, with a deeper, richer low end) and far more reasonably-priced than what Joe was selling when he closed up shop.Are those pickups debuting at the NAMM show this weekend? They sound like the old BL double blade L-250, which in turn sounded closer to the single blade Bardens than the most recent recipe. I wanted to try one of those and then Bill stopped making them.I have not been impressed with the double blade GFS Lil Punchers. They sound very one-dimensional compared to my Bardens. That might be OK if you're running a lot of overdrive or a bunch of effects, but not for this Tele





Afaik they won't be ready for this week's NAMM -- there are still few more things to do before full production can start. BL has worked miracles at Fender, but it's still a big organization and things tend to happen more slowly there than we all might prefer. These new pickups are different than BL's discontinued twin-blade L-250, e.g. they have the blades positioned in the Barden-style offset position in the bride pickup, and the neck pickup will be in open-coil configuration, again like Barden.

I haven't been impressed with what I've been hearing about GFS pickups in general -- I get the strong impression that they're Asian imports of dubious manufacture with pretty poor quality control. Not that there are aren't some happy customers, but there's also quite a bit of disappointment over them. What Fender is doing will undoubtedly be much better, but of course not as cheap.
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Tele295
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(Date Posted:01/17/2006 01:31:18)

Tell Bill I'm looking forward to trying them.
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Danny Gatton: The Telemaster Archives

Completely lost without that Barden twang beast you get when you dig in!

MandyMarie
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(Date Posted:01/17/2006 21:00:01)




You MUST have your picking hand style together, or the Bardens will yank down your pants and pull your underwear over your head in front of the audience. NOT a forgiving pickup.



That is DEFINITELY my favorite line ever posted on the Modders Board, Miles, that literally made me laugh out loud to the point to where Danny looked at me like I was a total idiot. Mission accomplished! 

I love Joe to death and I wish things would line up for him so he could just get back to doing what he does best...make the best pickups on the planet.

 

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Tele295
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(Date Posted:01/23/2006 02:07:47)

Reply to : MandyMarie

You MUST have your picking hand style together, or the Bardens will yank down your pants and pull your underwear over your head in front of the audience. NOT a forgiving pickup.That is DEFINITELY my favorite line ever posted on the Modders Board, Miles, that literally made me laugh out loud to the point to where Danny looked at me like I was a total idiot. Mission accomplished!I

 

You crack me up, Mandy!

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Danny Gatton: The Telemaster Archives

Completely lost without that Barden twang beast you get when you dig in!

mudshark
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(Date Posted:01/30/2006 23:21:20)

Reply to : qbertsoul

Does anybody have any sound clips that really show off what Joe Barden pickups can do?
A good listen to Bill Kirchen's Tied to the Wheel, Tombstone Every Mile, and/or Hot Rod Lincoln Live or Danny Gatton's Cruising Deuces and/or 88 Elmira Street are great examples of what Bardens will do. I think they're the best, and I'll sure be glad when Mr. Barden either starts making them again or lets somebody else make them. There's nothing quite like them, and I suppose folks either love'em or hate'em.
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mudshark
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fetchzee
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(Date Posted:02/01/2006 03:32:29)

*Afaik they won't be ready for this week's NAMM -- there are still few more things to do before full production can start. BL has worked miracles at Fender, but it's still a big organization and things tend to happen more slowly there than we all might prefer. These new pickups are different than BL's discontinued twin-blade L-250, e.g. they have the blades positioned in the Barden-style offset position in the bride pickup, and the neck pickup will be in open-coil configuration, again like Barden.*

Any idea of a potential release date on these?  I'm really interested in the possibilities here...

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Anonymous
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(Date Posted:03/08/2006 19:12:34)

Is there a big difference beetween a joe barden tele neck pup and a strat neck pup??
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Tele295
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(Date Posted:03/12/2006 00:19:14)

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Is there a big difference beetween a joe barden tele neck pup and a strat neck pup??
You mean in the same guitar? A Barden Strat pickup will sound similar to the Barden Tele pup if you put them both in the same guitar. There are little differences, but not huge.
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Danny Gatton: The Telemaster Archives

Completely lost without that Barden twang beast you get when you dig in!

Old Tele man
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(Date Posted:03/12/2006 01:58:36)

Barden Tele & Strat neck pickup: almost identical construction (winding, etc.), but physically different to accommodate the guitar differences and mounting configurations.
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Guest
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Re:What's the big deal about Joe Barden pickups?
(Date Posted:12/15/2010 10:38:48)

 Go ye therefore and listen.....and you will understand why Bardens are what they are.
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Re:What's the big deal about Joe Barden pickups?
(Date Posted:12/15/2010 10:40:02)

 Go ye therefore and listen.....and you will understand why Bardens are what they are.
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RE:What's the big deal about Joe Barden pickups?
(Date Posted:02/18/2011 22:10:57)

Hi. If you want to hear what Barden's sound like in a tele, go watch this video. My name is Deb, and I personally know Frog. He plays a left handed tele, strung right handed. He has Barden's in it.
http://video.wkar.org/video/1771544020/
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