Origin of the Voodoo TE-59 Pickup

In 2010, Brad Paisley called me from Guitar Center in Los Angeles saying he had found a great-sounding 1963 Telecaster, but someone had finished it with glue and gold glitter. He was sending it to me for a refinish.

Voodoo TE-59 Pickup

The guitar looked a mess, but when I plugged it in, it sounded incredible. I was impressed. With raised pole pieces on the D- and G- strings, the pickup was one of the most even-balanced that I had ever heard. There was no boomy low E-string and no ice pick high end. As I started to tear the guitar apart, I realized the solder joints had never been broken. It wasn’t a replacement, but a bone stock pickup!

The Prototype

I called Peter Florance of Voodoo pickups and asked if he offered a similar pickup that I could use for my guitars. He didn’t, but he wanted to take a crack at creating one. I sent him pictures and every measurement possible.

In a couple of weeks, Peter sent me several prototypes to try and to compare with the pickup in Brad’s guitar. After a couple of tweaks, he sent a pickup that was dead on with the Telecaster’s. The Voodoo TE-59 was born, and Peter has been producing this version exclusively for my guitars ever since.

The Sound

Peter’s TE-59 has the same evenness as the Telecaster pickup. The pickup retains the same tone and clarity no matter what output that Peter has wound: lower output for a thin vintage sound, hot for an edgy sound, or over-wound for a rock/blues sound. It has become my favorite go-to pickup, and I have used them in several of Brad’s guitars. If you want a pickup that produces a very in-your-face and bold sound, the TE-59 is a good choice.

>>Hear the TE-59 in action! Listen to Zak Childs play his Crook relic pink paisley.