Virgil Arlo 1952 Telecaster Pickups

Virgil Arlo made what many pro guitarist believe were the Best Tele Pickups ever made. Read below to learn about the best years for vintage Tele Pickups, the Virgil Arlo approach to magnets & to discover more about Virgil Arlo.

What are the Best Telecaster Pickups Year?


It depends who you ask but many vintage purists believe that the best years for vintage Tele Pickups was during time period from 1952 to 1954. In 1955, Fender started using Alnico 5 magnets, prior to that they were using Alnico 3 magnets in Tele Pickups. During this era Fender used Plain Enamel magnet wire to build Tele pickups. This is the exact same wire the Virgil Arlo used in his Telecaster Pickups. Mr. Arlo’s pickups were more reliable than the vintage pickups Fender made. Most pro players prefer the tone of the Virgil Arlo Tele Pickups when compared to vintage Telecaster Pickups made by Fender.

Best Telecaster Pickups
Virgil Arlo 1952 Model Telecaster Pickups – Considered the best by Top Session and Touring Pro’s.

What Magnets are in Virgil Arlo Tele Pickups?

Virgil Arlo used a special Alnico magnets in his 1952 Telecaster Pickups. Most people say they have the sweetness of a vintage Alnico 3, coupled with the clarity and dynamic range of an Alnico 5. This is why so many people say they cannot live with the amazing Virgil Arlo Tele Pickups. When you consider that vintage Fender Tele Pickups sell for ridiculous amounts of money, the Virgil Arlo 1952 Tele Pickups are an incredible value.

Are Virgil Arlo Pickups Worth It?

Ford Thurston, a pro based in Nashville, compares the Virgil Arlo Pickups to the vintage pickups from the 50’s and 60’s when he says “I put the Arlo’s in my 1956 Tele…the Arlos make me feel like I’m playing an authentic set of pickups from the 1950’s″ – Now that Virgil Arlo has retired, his Telecaster Pickups are quite expensive on the used market, one might speculate that they’ll get even more expensive in the coming months and years. Just take a look at the $8,000 Klon overdrive pedals and the $200,000 Dumble Amps. 

Is Virgil Arlo Still Making Pickups?

Virgil Arlo stopped amp modifications and restorations in early 2019. Later in 2019 he retired from winding guitar pickups. Dealers quickly sold out their remaining inventory pretty quickly both of Rudy Pensa’s New York City area stores completely sold out within a couple of days. It didn’t take long for the Virgil Arlo Telecaster pickups to appear on the used market for almost $2,000/set.

Virgil Arlo 1952 Tele Pickups Review

Virgil Arlo makes what many people consider to be the best telecaster replacement pickups. You have to hear them to believe them, listen to Nashville Guitarist Ford Thurston play them in his 1956 Fender Tele.