Overly Glassy Telecaster

December 19th, 2011, 05:10 PM
Hello All,

A couple of years ago I purchased a warmouth/partscaster telecaster from a shop while visiting Texas. I received the guitar in the mail in Florida, and opened it up, and started playing. I was horrified by the sound. It was overly bright, brittle, glassy, metallic, harsichord-esque, the tone was bleached sounding. It even sounds lifeless and glassy unplugged. I enjoy the telecaster twangy bright sound, but this tele lacks a warmth I find in most telecasters I play. My non-guitar playing friends and family even notice a difference between this tele and others.

I worked with the shop to no avail ( and I would prefer to not discuss the shop or my decision to buy the guitar ). I have been playing the guitar since I received it, but now I am determined to turn it into something I like or sell it.

The specs: Thick maple neck, bone nut, ash body, Lindy Fralin stock pups, 250 k pots, one .05uf cap, D'Addario Nickle Wound .10's.

I have tried .11's and .09's to no avail. I assume since the guitar sounds glassy unplugged, the neck or body may be the cause to the problem, but I would like a second opinion.

Thanks for your response and suggestions in advance,


December 19th, 2011, 06:08 PM
You might try installing a .02uf capacitor in the guitar. Could be the .05 is pinching the midrange and bass notes more than you want it to.

Also try adjusting pickup height. Move it either way until you find a sweet spot that YOU like--not anybody else. Don't be surprised to see the treble side higher than the bass side.

I can tell you with no reservations you have a set of good pickups in you guitar. Fralins are made right here in town and I've been to his shop. Good people there. You might want to check to see if one is wired in backwards.

You might check to see that the hot lead of the output goes to the center of the jack and the ground goes to the ring.

Good luck! It'll be interesting to see what the fix is.

December 19th, 2011, 07:20 PM
Do you have other guitars there that you like? If so, try tapping the body pretty good with your finger tip or knuckle. Good wood resonates just a bit (you have to listen carefully). Less good wood sounds less lively.

Changing pickup heights is a good suggestion, if for no other reason than it's free. If you still get that glassy sound when the tone is wide open, then changing the cap won't matter.

Changing brands of strings can have a significant effect, and is relatively inexpensive.

Other than those, I wouldn't suggest trying to mod it too extensively. Turning a guitar you don't like into one you do is often fruitless. Sell it and try to find a guitar you like better.

If you're determined to swap components until it sounds good, swapping the body is probably the next step.

December 19th, 2011, 08:40 PM
Perhaps you should also install brass compensated saddles or even a 6 saddle brass bridge. It should take away some of that brittle sound.