May 26th, 2005, 07:16 AM
I've got a dilemma. About 8 months ago I bought a classic series 50's tele as a second guitar (to my USA strat). It's translucent white blonde on ash with a maple neck. I love the neck profile and find it really easy to play despite the 7.5inch radius. The pickups are absolute rubbish as you know, but my problem is with the actual guitar. When I play it unplugged it has an ugly clanginess and lack of resonance in the lower strings - they sound rubber bandy (even new ones) and the guitar seems to bark on the note 'B'. I know that acoustic guitars all have an overly resonant frequency but I've never noticed it in electrics. Is this problem to do with crap wood or can it be resolved with a better bridge or something. Maybe I should just put up with it's character and stick some nice pickups in it. The other option is to sell it on ebay and go for one of those new korean light ash tele's...
Thanks for any help.
May 26th, 2005, 08:00 AM
About 8 months ago I bought a classic series 50's tele ... The pickups are absolute rubbish as you know
Actually, a lot of folks here like those pickups. There are plenty of good aftermarket choices to be sure, but nothing inherently wrong with those, at least IMO.
but my problem is with the actual guitar... Is this problem to do with crap wood or can it be resolved with a better bridge or something.
Well, it has to do with wood, anyway. ;-) Every piece is unique. And every combination of two or more pieces is unique. It sounds as though you got a guitar whose resonant frequencies you don't like. But how does it sound through an amp? Unless you only play it unplugged, I wouldn't think it would be that big an issue.
My best advice would be to play as many different Teles as you can get your hands on, and buy the one that "speaks" to you. (Always worked for me, anyway.) ;-) Best of luck, CS :-)
May 26th, 2005, 09:32 AM
Thanks for the advice. Yeah sorry, there were a few contradictions in my post! Anyway, the thing is, I'd never had anything but strats and now I've had a go with a tele, I think I want one as my main guitar.
Also, I recently played on a Highway 1 tele in a shop. I love the neck and the weight, and also the pickups - it had the vintage syle tuning pegs which leads me to believe it's the Highway 1 Texas Tele with Texas Specials. I never thought I'd like Texas Specials but they sound ace!
I also played on the aforementioned Korean tele, and it sounded good but has very little laquer on the neck which feels a bit stiff, I guess this would polish up over time though. Felt like a quality guitar.
I do however think there's one problem with all these teles and that's the old style bridge - surely it wouldn't cost the earth to have compensated saddles as standard? I bought a modern style bridge to put on my tele but it wouldn't fit due to wrong bridge pickup angle and holes in the wrong place. I HATE bad intonation!
Thanks for your replies by the way.
May 27th, 2005, 04:46 AM
I don't think the 'barking' string and lack of resonance will be down to the saddles or intonation. It is most likely the nut. But don't discount overall setup either. This should be gone over first and you should work out what you may have altered between when you bought it and now, like string gauge, pup height (to high can dampen the strings), action, everything in fact needs looking at and putting to 'factory spec'. If 'factory spec' solves the problem, you know then its some 'adjustment' you introduced, if not, it will sure as hell be the nut.
I like the '50s Classic, and the pups, and while intonation will never be perfect, it can be damned close, closer than other factors which can affect tone during a performance. In fact I like the quirkiness of the three saddle bridge, it adds to the simplicity and directness of the Tele design. You could swap the saddles for some aftermarket angled type and keep the three barrel concept for the tone it adds, or investigate the Jerry Donahue method of 'stretch tuning' to compensate for the three barrel Tele bridge.
May 27th, 2005, 01:18 PM
The pickups are absolute rubbish as you know
When I play it unplugged it has an ugly clanginess and lack of resonance in the lower strings
<li>Plug that rascal in and adjust the P/Us, neck, bridge and play or--------don't.
go for one of those new korean light ash tele's...
<li>Throw the baby out with the bathwater??? HEE! HEE!
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May 28th, 2005, 02:02 PM
I would have to agree with some of the other comments and say get a good setup done. It's possible you've got a string rattling against the frets or something when that you only notice when it's unplugged because you hit the strings harder. It could also be a possible cause for the other problems you mentioned.
June 2nd, 2005, 02:00 PM
Thanks for the advice. The guitar is set up fine - medium action, gauge 10's. It's a beautiful guitar, plays like a dream, it just has a wolf note on B. The B on the 4th string, 9th fret doesn't sustain at all. There is a knot in the wood of the neck just behind this - I'm wondering whether this is the reason. I could try another neck on it. I think it's best for me to sell it on and buy another one. Shame cos it was the perfect tele otherwise. I see lots of tempting guitars on ebay, but you can't know until you've played it.
June 5th, 2005, 11:08 PM
It might be best to seek another guitar and if you give a telecaster another go, you have mentioned plently of criteria that will narrow your selection. While buying a guitar unplayed is a 50/50 proposition, why not remove the gamble and play many then choose.