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Old December 21st, 2013, 03:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help I found a tele with a brass block through the body and need advice

Hi Folks, I was visiting a guitar center very recently and ran into a used American Telecaster Deluxe series Telecaster (vintage cherry finish). The serial number indicates it is 2004 and made in Corona.

I plugged it ind played it and I was blown away by how brightly sweet the neck pickup was. Maybe the brightest (but not harsh) that I've ever heard. As I was checking it out I flipped it over and saw a brass colored rectangular block flush withthe body, and that's where the strings went in. Now this block a rectangle, not oval or anything like on a Twangcaster bridge.

I did some searching on the net and found out very little except for this
- Twangcasters have a bridget block like this
- Alt de Fano uses Half "T" bridges that they manufacture themselves.

I don't have pictures but all I can say is that this brass block was there and I honestly thought they did such a good job that I spent time researching to see if this was stock.

I ended up calling back and putting the guitar on layaway and have to go pick it up Friday. I have to drive 1.5 hours to get to this place so I can't casually play it. Nor willl I really know what it sounds like until I get it home and play it with my band which will drag it out.

What can you guys tell me about this guitar with such a bridge? I can't find any reviews
a) does this affect the value of this Tele? It's selling for $1k used in excellent condition. Will I have trouble selling it some day if I need to or is this a desirable mod?

b) is it worth it to get this upgrade? What does it really do? I've got a couple of mexican tele's now that I enjoy ('72 custom re-issue, and an FSR with mide boost mod). I enjoy both of these guitars but the one feature they lack is the rounded neck heel. I have such a rounded neck heel on my American Deluxe Strat and I absolutely love it. I want a tele with this feature and this is my chance since I rarely see this kind of Tele selling locally used.

What do you guys think? Should I be waiting for one without this mod??

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Old December 21st, 2013, 04:12 PM   #2 (permalink)

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If you find a guitar you love at a price you like, sometimes it's best not to question it.

Mods can have an unpredictable effect on the value of a guitar. Generally, a mod that's highly desirable increases the value by about 1/2-3/4 the cost of the mod. A mod that's less desirable may decrease the value slightly, particularly if it's not reversible.

The only brass blocks I've seen were rounded on the ends, so I don't know who would have made this one.

Adding mass at the bridge (or string anchors) tends to increase sustain and volume, but harmonic content tends to decrease. Chords don't sound as 3 dimensional. The overall character of the guitar is negated. Add enough mass at the bridge and tuners and the wood doesn't matter much at all.

I think that's a fair price for that guitar, and if I were shopping for it and loved it that much I'd probably jump on it too.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It was a rectangle with rounded corners. Thanks are there any links you can point me to that would say more. Yes I agree sustain will improve. Losing character I don't like so much. Like in said I have hour ride round trip to test it out. The main thing I don't want to lose is the "telecasterness" of the guitar. I'm not looking for a Les Paul. I'm looking for twang. I will probably need to drive the 3 hrs to try it but I don't want to drive 3 hours to return it LOL.

I appreciate the advice. Any info on this mod will be appreciated especially if you guys know of successful twangers that use it. Like I said originally there are two luthiers that have this mod stock (alt de fans and whoever makes twancasters.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I meant a 3 hour ride round trip
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Old December 21st, 2013, 07:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As that brass block cannot vibrate like a trem block in a stratocaster , there's no need to worry .
There is no way she will ever sound like a strat .
Enough wood to surround that brass block

$1000 for a used/moded MIA sounds quite expensive though
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 01:02 AM   #6 (permalink)

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If you want the Telecasteriest Telecaster, you need a vintage 3 saddle bridge. It won't sustain like that American Deluxe and won't have quite the sweetness, but it will have the traditional twang and character that you're looking for.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 01:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Perhaps it was a "tone block".
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 06:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Or a G&L ASAT Classic block
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 11:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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it looks like that tone block but more square. Who makes/installs tone blocks?

On the three saddle bridge topic yep I totally get it. I have two mexi's with that and I do love it.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 11:22 AM   #10 (permalink)

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Do a search for telecaster ferrule block and you'll find some results. I've never seen one that wasn't round on the ends, though.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 11:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey thanks guys - now that I know what it's called I did a search on telecaster tone block and found some threads with sound clips comparing the various sounds you can get by changing out the metal. Brass has more harmonics etc.

Check out http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaste...ocks-real.html

I'm psyched! Can't wait to go pick it up now.

By the way I've beeen reading TDPRI for years but never joined until I had this question. This is an awesome forum brothers!
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 10:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This is the only supplier that I know of: http://www.delisleguitar.com/index.p...-ferrule-block

If you have access to a drill press, you can make your own from aluminium or brass stock.
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Old December 24th, 2013, 08:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Remember this.....

It is The Guitar Center.............you can take it back if you don't like it. Yes, it is a 3 hour drive but you still cant loose.
Enjoy the ride,
Rob
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Old December 24th, 2013, 10:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info everyone. Yes I will have to drive on up there it seems :-)
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Old December 24th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinici View Post
Now this block a rectangle, not oval or anything like on a Twangcaster bridge.
I think it's made for a Strat but could it be a BladeRunner Brass Tone Block?
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Old December 28th, 2013, 02:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Could be homemade. Anybody with a drill press could easily make one and the tone/sustain benefits are obvious.
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