Basic question about Telecasters - Jemsite
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Basic question about Telecasters

I was in Santa Monica on business yesterday and stopped by TruTone Music. TONS of great boutique amps in there and LOTS of guitars. If I had more change in the parking meter, I would've stayed longer . Anyway, I picked up and played a couple of Tele's while there (A Highway 1 and a MIM). Both sounded great on the neck pickups, but , OMG, the stock bridge PU was so shrill I thought I'd crack their windows! Also, the 3-way switch was so noisy it was laughable. I really liked the feel of the guitar, though, and want to know some recommendations for pickups and hardware. I assume almost nobody buys one of these off the rack and keeps it stock. Too many cool options you could employ. Thanks for any feedback!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 01:17 PM
 
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I was actually always impressed by the Schecter PT Pete Townsend models, sort of like the "Super-Tele" to the Ibanez/Jackson/ESP "Superstrat."
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 01:30 PM
 
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Ahhhh teles..... i love'm. They take some getting used to though. If you're used to humbuckers, the bridge single coil will sound like it's trying to take your head off at first. Alot of tele players play with a pick and their fingers together which takes a little of the edge off of that sound - also, with a good compressor and some light overdrive that pickup will make you smile for days
There are tons of great options out there for hardware and pickups though. Particularly for the MIM's which don't have the greatest pickups in them. A popular option for the pickups is the Fender Texas Special which is higher output, but with a less "shrill" high end. Duncan also makes some great tele pickups, as does Lindy Fralin. Brass saddles are a great option to smooth things out, as is a tele with a rosewood fretboard. If the switch was noisy, you could replace it with a better switch and even go with the 4 way switching option which is very popular with tele fans. It gives you one more pickup configuration that I think gives you two pickups in parallel rather than "out of phase."
Don't fear the tele - they will put hair on your knuckles!!!
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 03:01 PM
 
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Teles are cool for that country TWANG. But yeah, many players use a comp & chorus and a little dirt to mellow it.

Too bad they're so ugly & uncomfortale... ;-)
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitting duck
If the switch was noisy, you could replace it with a better switch and even go with the 4 way switching option which is very popular with tele fans. It gives you one more pickup configuration that I think gives you two pickups in parallel rather than "out of phase."
Don't fear the tele - they will put hair on your knuckles!!!
I think you mean wiring the 2 pups in series instead of the stock parallel.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 03:22 PM
 
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A good tele is what I've been missing in my collection the whole time. I'll get the G&L Asat classic eventually. I have some guitars that are getting me a tele sound but it's not the same as playing a "meat and potatoes" tele. I like a robust bridge pickup, but not a "lil" anything. No lil' humbuckers in teles :P ! Just get a different guitar IMO.

The hot, yet traditional sounding tele bridge pickups (to me) are the G&L stock pickups, Tom Andersons, Duncan 1/4lb, and Duncan Hot. I truly believe that unless you play country music, the tele was meant to have a strong, almost P-90ish bridge pickup sound. And most teles produced have bridge pickups that are so bad it's embarassing. Even the expensive fenders. But the P-90 is a short, fat coil, which produces a grainier, sizzlier sound. A good Tele pickup is a taller, thinner coil that produces a clearer, purer sound. I saw Bruce Springsteen on SNL once with an old Broadcaster (I think) and I was converted immediately both to the guitar and Bruce's playing ability.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 05:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JESTER700
Quote:
Originally Posted by sitting duck
If the switch was noisy, you could replace it with a better switch and even go with the 4 way switching option which is very popular with tele fans. It gives you one more pickup configuration that I think gives you two pickups in parallel rather than "out of phase."
Don't fear the tele - they will put hair on your knuckles!!!
I think you mean wiring the 2 pups in series instead of the stock parallel.
Yep - lack of terminology on my part!
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 05:50 PM
 
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I'd suggest looking into Bill Lawrence pickups (noiseless)...reasonably priced at $40 a piece direct. I have a set waiting to go into a Warmoth tele project when I get around to it. I purchased after researching and hearing glowing reviews on the FDP about how quiet they are and yet preserve teh tele twang...and the price cannot be beat. I think I have teh 280 model, but the 290 is a bit hotter. If you want to shred, there is now a tele TZ.
Greg
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'll also look into a G&L ASAT. I've always admired the build quality in G&L's. I'll check out Bill Lawrence pickups, too.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 08:13 PM
 
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You can't go wrong with G&L, but one thing to keep in mind is that they have several different neck shapes and two fret sizes. So if you go to a store where they just don't "get it" they won't explain all that stuff. So you could feasibly play an Asat Classic and think that it feels more modern (with the jumbo frets etc.) than some Fender you played previously. But they have the 9" radius, vintage fretwire necks, and they can do a gloss finish if you like, etc. When I sold them we had a couple people get "broadcaster" types, with the bakelite guard and butterscotch finish and they were incredible. They can generally please everybody, but you have some stores just showing one type of guitar and then acting like "that's it, do you want it or not?" instead of going through the options.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 05:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Too bad they're so ugly & uncomfortale
Gah! Sacrilege!!
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 07:32 AM
 
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I've wanted a cusom built Tele for a while, either H-H, H-S or just a bridge H and custom wiring, and maybe a carved top I always like James Black's (finger eleven) Tele Pluses, with the Lace Sensor H-S combination, through a Bogner, sounded really friggin' sweet

As for stock Telecasters, I've been seeing bands like Alexisonfire and Blue.Skies.At.War using them with the other guitarist in the band using an SG or a Les Paul and I must say the Tele can sound surprisingly thick through the right amp
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 01:31 AM
 
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The shrill bridge position lead tone is what makes a Tele so cool IMO. I love it, the sound can take your head off. The Tele really has so much personality and makes most shred type guitars sound toneless, even though their pickups may be much hotter. Compared A/B, most guitars seem a little lacking in top end and overly thick in the middle to me. I don't even play my Tele with much distortion at all, it sounds great with medium overdrive. Having said that, I wouldn't have one as my only guitar, but Teles sure make a nice alternative when you're in the mood for something different.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 01:42 AM
 
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I'll never forget the jazz/house guitarist playing a MIM Fender Tele into a Boss Metal Zone into a small Hughes and Kettner amp....TONE THAT YOU HONESTLY WOULDN'T BELIEVE.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 10:18 PM
 
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I have a 1992 MIM Tele, with top-load bridge and poplar body... It's still my #1, desipte many other "Better" guitars.

I routed mine for dual humbuckers and dumped a pair of EMG's in it (81 bridge, 85 Neck)

Sounds wicked...
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