Hello all. First post here!
So...recently decided that, as opposed to buying more stuff, I should start fixing/upgrading what I already have.
My main guit is my trusty '76 Tele. Sounds wonderful, heavy as hell, generally awesome but could use some sprucing up. Thinking it's time for a refret (or at least a dressing, though the frets are pretty dang low now), a better bridge, maybe a Buzz Feiten setup, new pickups...
Before anyone gets grumpy, I should note that the bridge on it now is a six-saddle newer Fender (like the '52 RI), the bridge pup is the same as the '52 RI, the neck pickup is a ceramic from a '70s Les Paul, the machine heads were changed...basically, the neck and body, controls and control plate and ferrules, etc are original, but basically everything else was changed when I got it, long long ago. Even the case is circa '66-70, not '76...so I'm not de-vintaging anything here.
Anyway, said Tele sounds good as it is, but I think it could sound and function a lot better. Don't so much mind the bridge (and like that it's ferrous but intonatable), except that the saddle screws are way too big and not very tight, so I have to periodically Loc-tite 'em, and deal with 'em digging into my hand once in a while.
Basically, I guess I'm asking for advice from some diehard Tele players about replacement bridges and pickups. I actually kinda like the 'bucker at the neck and may keep it (or not), but the bridge pickup needs changed. It's not bad but I think it's keeping this Tele from sounding it's best. I've been looking around, the Antiquities and Suhrs seem possibly cool, but there's SO MUCH STUFF out there..any advice/recommendations/warnings?
The tone I'm looking for is not too hot, not too cool, probably pretty close to original stock...something like the sounds Polly Harvey and John Parish get from their similar-age Teles, or like Marc Ribot's '55 Tele...if you're unfamiliar, look for PJ Harvey on Sessions at West 54th on youtube, and see Le Corde Purdue (the Ribot movie) because it's great. My playing style is pretty eclectic...but I guess a pretty close comparison (at least as far as tone goes) is Mick Turner of Dirty Three- a lot of what I do isn't too far off from that, or John Parish's solo stuff.
I have a Tele I dearly love here, and want to make it play and sound its absolute best, as I know it can...
Thanks! Hope this wasn't too vague...