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Discussion in 'Fender' started by Frogfur, Feb 17, 2017.
He probably did love it, official signature model...
I love teles. So basic, solid, sharp and unforgiving. A masterpiece of minimalist engineering. The total opposite of - and perfect complement to - a beautiful, ornate, piece of luthiery like a LP standard, with all their luxurious decoration and warm, fat, flattering tones.
So many great observations made in this thread!
I hated Teles when I was a young metalhead and stuck with my solid color Les Pauls, modded Strats and Charvels. Teles could not get the sounds I wanted and the look just screamed Hee Haw to me.
Of course, we all get wiser as we get older and as I started to appreciate guys like Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton, Albert Collins and all those Pagey tones that I never could get with my Les Pauls, I began to change my mind about Teles and started to search for one. About 15 years ago I found this CS Nocaster that had everything I wanted, 6105 frets, 7.25" radius, lightweight, huge neck, thin lacquer finish and vintage, twangy pickups (Twisted Tele in neck and Nocaster in bridge).
It was an NOS when I bought it but, because it is so addictive to play, it is starting to show real honest wear on it. I love how the little nicks, bumps and scratches look and the neck wear spots are cool:
A few things I have learned with my Tele:
1) I have to fight it and beat on it to get the best tones out of it. It doesn't play as easy as my Les Pauls nor even as easy as my Strats, but when I push myself and just bang it, it screams like no other.
2) Intonation is not too bad with the stock saddles once you adjust them to your technique. However, I installed Bill Callaham's compensated brass saddles and now I can dial in my intonation perfectly without losing the stock look nor classic tone.
3) Pickup height adjustments are essential to great tones. I had been thinking about another set of pups for this guitar for a while but, when Fender CS couldn't tell me exactly what they put in it, I broke out the meters and discovered that the neck pickup I thought I wanted to buy, I already had, and i liked the bridge. So after some judicious tweaking and some clever wiring (that I will mention next), I eliminated the mud in the neck, have the bridge as ballsy as can be and have a twangy middle position.
4) I wired my switch for NECK, NECK+BRIDGE and BRIDGE. I then used an NOS PIO .01uF tone cap that is only in circuit when the bridge pup is used alone and finally, I wired the output like a 50s Les Paul. The neck and middle positions are now clear and twangy as can be and I can preset my bridge independently to be as bright or fat as I need with the tone control. The 50s wiring also keeps the pups bright as I roll down the volume without having to resort to those unnatural sounding treble bleed circuits.
I have several guitars but this one always gets a lot of attention when I plug it in. If it isn't my best sounding guitar, it sure is damn close. My only Tele regret is that I didn't discover them sooner in my career. Oh well, I have a great one now and it is going nowhere.
Someone here was asking about taming a pickup, and maybe your idea could help. Mind posting a diagram?
I made my mods to brighten some pups. I am not sure how you could use it to tame some. Regardless, if I can find some ACAD blocks for a 3-way switch and pot backs, or some other program to make a clear schematic, I am happy to share.
This isn't the best quality drawing but, here is how I wire my Tele and I am very happy with it. I think it solves the issues of muddy neck pickups, harsh bridge pickups, lack of quack in the middle position and decrease in high end when turning down. I won't take all of the credit for this wiring. I basically took three different ideas and cobbled them together to make it work for me.
Since nobody accepts failures as their own responsibility any more and everyone wants to be a lawyer, I make no explicit nor implicit warranties that this works as described herein or on the document itself. Working with electronics CAN KILL YOU. If you are a dumbass and/or don't know what you are doing, take this to a pro guitar tech BEFORE you damage your guitar and/or yourself, not to your lawyer AFTER you lose a few fingers and burn your house down.
Back to the real world, if anyone wants to discuss this and take it further, please send me a PM. I am always tinkering with this stuff and willing to share ideas. Thanks!
Nope..one meg volume and 250 tone pot.
Since we are talking Tele, here are a couple that I built.
I hear ya! My CV50's Tele through my '69 Champ - What a tone!...
Out with the old, Callaham compensated brass saddles .......
In with the new Rutters compensated steel saddles.....
The Callahams were developing grooves and the high E kept breaking, even after some judicious use of sandpaper. Also, the strings never lined up where they should without some prodding by me.
So far, I definitely like the slots in the Rutters steel saddles. They keep the strings where they should be. I also like the way the Rutters make the E and A strings sound, snappier with more twang. But I am not sure if I like how the Rutters sound on the unwound strings. I expected them to be brighter but, they do not appear to be much if any brighter than with the brass saddles. The Rutters make the unwounds sound bigger and fuller but, I also hear this upper mid "kerrang" that I am not so sure I like.
I will leave the Rutters on for a while and see how I like them, particularly since my main Tele amp is being recovered at the moment. This "Teletinkering" is a disease I tell ya!
My 94. Bought it new. Gave it to her.