Boutique pickup maker Rio Grande is based in Texas, and offers pickups in all shapes and sizes. The company have recently announced the Greasegunner, a Tele bridge pickup with dual blades instead of regular pole pieces that’s designed to give more power than your average Telecaster pickup.
The Greasegunner is a 12″ radius nickel-plated, high carbon steel dual blade pickup with 8.6k Ohm DC resistance, which Rio Grande say should give it plenty of power.
Blade pickups generally give a more even string tone across the guitar as there are no gaps and so you supposedly get less issues with one string being older than another. I have to say I have never had this issue with regular pickups myself and I figure a magnetic field isn’t just focused above a single pole piece. Having said this, I do own a few Telecaster guitars with blade pickups in them, like my Fender Kotzen Teel which has a DiMarzio Chopper and sounds fantastic.
The Greasegunner is also a four-conductor pickup meaning allowing you can split it easily by using either a push/pull pot or a mini switch. I have this setup on another guitar I own and it makes for a more versatile instrument by letting you choose between the hotter output of both blades or knocking it back to just one. The latter will get you closer to a more traditional Tele bridge pickup tone with more twang.
I have tried a few Rio Grande pickups in guitars owned by friends of mine and they have all been really good.
I doubt the Tele purists will like this one. However, if you like blues, blues rock or heavier styles then this type of pickup can be a lot of fun. It has the added bonus it will cancel hum like a humbucker, making it a good choice for the studio and when playing live. The Kotzen Tele with the DiMarzio Chopper blade pickup mentioned above is my main gigging guitar for this very reason.
The Greaserunner is available in Matte Black or for a small charge (between $10-$20) they can do other colours including Tortoiseshell, Black/ White/Black, White Pearl and Creme Pearl.
RRP $140 for Matte Black version plus shipping and taxes
Check out Rio Grande’s site for more details