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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Jim Campilongo, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Jim Campilongo

    Jim Campilongo Tele-Meister

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    Hi gang... I was just about to have this posted on my site and thought I might post it here too. Some of it is old news, but hopefully this answers a few reoccurring questions I see on the TDPRI.

    THE EQUIPMENT I USE...

    MY MAIN GUITAR

    **I aquired my Tele about 15 years ago when a generous pal, John Jensen, gave it to me. He did so because I fell so much in love with it. It still feels like my musical home. Thanks again, John.

    **I have a '59 Fender Tele, three saddle, toploading bridge with threaded "steel" saddles and slot head set screws. 1959 was the only year Fender produced string through BRIDGE and not BODY. As far as the Toploader -- I think the feel and sound is a bit more "rubbery" than a standard Tele.

    **Both pickups have had windings snap internally and have been rewound by Seymour Duncan so they are "original" and "Duncan's" at the same time.

    **Everything else on my '59 Tele is stock except the Gotoh/Kluson tuners (see below). The volume and tone potentiometers, etc., are stock. When I replace parts that wear out, I make sure there's nothing modified or "improved". *I'm not saying my way is better, I am simply accustomed to the guitar the way I got it and prefer to keep it consistent.

    OTHER GUITARS

    **I love my '58 Gibson 225, my new Gretsch Chet Atkins with a Bigsby modified by Paul Gambon, my Hahn Tele, my Greenwich Village Tele, my '62 Custom color Strat (signed by Roy Buchanan), my '58 Martin 015 (thank you Dave Boat), and my '70 Martin D-35 (purchased by my mom from my first guitar teacher, the amazing Bunnie Gregoire).

    PICK UPS

    **As far as replacement pickups go, I think Duncan pickups are excellent. *I recently checked out a Duncan Jerry Donohue bridge pickup and really liked what I heard. The sound was warm enough to suit my taste and all the notes seemed to be balanced. I also like the Duncan Alnico-II Bridge and Neck - the basic replacement pickup. *I usually don't like the hotrod models. "Why mess with perfection?" is my attitude. I hope that's not too narrow a view but it's just my taste.

    Curtis Novak also makes a great "hand wound" Tele pick up. You can find out more here...
    http://www.curtisnovak.com/pickups/tel-hc.shtml

    STRINGS and SETUP

    **I like D'Addario EKXL120 009's-.042 sitting as high as possible over the pickup plate. This helps me avoid picking the pickup plate instead of the low E string. *I also have a tendency to miss strings 3 and 4 but an "extreme arch" with the truss rod somewhat remedied this problem. I have a string endorsement but I liked D'Addario well before the endorsement deal. *I like their bright sound and feel. *Maybe I'm imagining this but D'Addario's seem wound tighter then "Boomers". *They feel more "round wound" on my fingertips. *I always get these "raised eyebrow" looks when I say I use .009's but I've used that gauge (on my electrics) since 1973. *I've always felt that a lighter gauge was easier on the fretting hand but harder on the picking hand. *Why? *Because there is less string surface to strike. *I've used .010's and felt that the sound was too bright. *More info can be found at*www.daddario.com

    TUNERS

    **I like the Kluson copies made by Gotoh. *The Kluson tuners are good too - but the Gotoh tuner is loose enough for an easy twist but with no "play" whatsoever.

    THE NUT

    **Although I seem to burn through the hardest substances available, a good nut rebuilding trick is to apply some Super Glue and (seroiusly) a bit of baking soda in the string slot. This rebuilds the nut slot and sidesteps having to buy, install and break in a brand new nut.

    CABLES

    **I use Fulltone "Gold Standard" guitar cable, as short as I can handle, 8 ft to 10 ft. *I believe cable length affects your sound. *Fulltone cables are a bit "brighter" then most cables which is something I usually shy away from. *I mean, have you EVER heard ANYONE say "I can't get enough highs out of this Telecaster!"? *All that said, the Fulltone adds a nice clear fidelity I enjoy.

    AMPLIFICATION

    **I own many amps but I prefer the weight, portability and sound of Princeton Reverbs. I own two '66 Princeton Reverbs, three 70's, two new reissues, two '70's Vibrolux Reverbs (one has solid state rectifier instead of a tube) and a 70's Vibrochamp (the most amazing vibrato sound ever created).

    SPEAKERS

    **The variety of speakers in my Princeton amps:

    **a) *Celestion G-10 for a throaty "compressed" sound. This speaker isn't too bright so sometimes I'll use it for "jazz" sounds as well.

    **b) *Weber 10 F 150 is a great speaker that attains that classic 60's Jensen C-10 N sound but with a bit more bass. I request the "light doping" for a more lively response. *They need some "breaking in".

    **c) *60's "Gold Back" Jensen C-10 N. *My favorite speaker.
    The more advanced the the Jensen speaker alphabet (as in Q verses N) the less the wattage capacity. The N Jensen C-10 seem to be robust enough to handle maximum volume, de-tuning and whatever else I throw at it. The highs are cutting but still pleasant.*

    TUBES

    **I replace all my amps with "new old stock" tubes. Any of the available NOS's are, in my opinion, an improvement over "stock" Russian or Chinese tubes. *Also, if you're like me and play 45 year old amps on "10" for six months you should expect to have to replace tubes and speakers more than you'll like. *Remember... When it comes to tone, there is no such thing as a "free lunch"!

    BIASING HOT

    **I bias all my amps on the hot side. Princeton amps are normally* biased at about 22. *My Princetons are biased at 30 - AT LEAST! Sometimes over-biasing can add unwanted overtones, so use your ears. *Biasing hot also shortens speaker and tube life, but in my humble opinion, it's great while it lasts. *(Hey, that "free lunch" line is around the corner, pal!)

    THE FENDER REISSUE

    **I endorse the Fender Princeton reissue and I think the guys at Fender did a great job. *I'm proud to endorse the amp. *A video of what I have to say about the reissue can be found here...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHVG4kDurtY

    **In a nutshell... No matter what year my amps were manufactured, my personal tastes include replacing tubes and speakers in all of them. So check out the info I've supplied here on this page and draw your own conclusions. *Tone is a subjective and quite often confounding*thing. *Learn to trust your instincts. *You'll be glad you did.

    CAMPILONGO SIGNATURE GUITAR

    **I am currently collaborating with Fender on a Fender Custom Shop Campilongo Signature Toploader. *The neck will be an exact replica of the neck on my '59 and the prototype FEELS GREAT! *I am obsessively* experimenting and consulting with Fender (and my guitar geek friends) so we can make a great guitar for you to consider viable, and most importantly, for me to play. *I WANT TO LOVE THIS GUITAR SO THAT YOU WILL TOO. *The guitar should be finished in July 2009. *I'm really excited about it.

    AMP REPAIR

    **On the West coast there is none better at amp repair then Keith*Reinegger*at the Amp Lab in Campbell, CA. *As far as I'm concerned he's the "Zen Master". *Tell him "Jim Can't-Be-Long-Now" sent you.

    Keith Reinegger
    Amp Lab
    279 Dillon Ave # 1
    Campbell, CA 95008
    (408) 871-2422

    **Out here in New York I really like amp tech Pat at Main Drag Music. *I think he tweaks my Fender amps JUST RIGHT !* He's also into vintage tube stereos and he tweaked my Dyna Kit brilliantly. .

    Main Drag Music
    718-388-6365
    www.maindragmusic.com
    info [at]*maindragmusic.com
    330 Wythe St Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211

    GUITAR REPAIR

    Whenever I'm in California, I have my guitar set up by Luthier Kenneth Harper. *He does GREAT WORK and the most perfect setups my fingers have experienced.

    His contact info
    email*twangster_1999@yahoo.com
    phone 707-446-0487
    7246 Browns Valley Rd
    Vacaville CA 95688

    SPEAKER RECONING

    John Woren does a great job...

    Vintage Radio
    144 N. Beverwyck Rd., #208
    Lake Hiawatha, NJ 07034
    (973) 575-0717


    THE KLON CENTAUR

    **Since I started playing through Princeton amps on "10",*I haven't used the Centaur on "my thing", since recording "Loose". *You can hear the Centaur all over that CD (check out Harlem Nocturne). *Most recently I employed the Centaur on the entire Martha Wainwright tour and again was amazed by the Centaur's organic quality. *Pleasant surprises like octave feedback would occur at low distortion settings and, most importantly to me, it responded to the touch of my right hand. *Martha played some very high profile gigs; Letterman, Conan, Abbey Road, etc., and I always looked forward to stepping on the Centaur with total confidence. *Bill Finnegan is my pal, but In my unbiased opinion the Centaur is the best overdrive money can buy.
    Learn more about it at*www.klon-siberia.com
     
  2. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for all the great info Pal.
     
  3. doublee

    doublee Tele-Meister

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    Great stuff thank you!
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Thanks Jim. I know it takes a lotta time to put a post like that together....

    Ron Kirn
     
  5. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

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    How sweet is that?! Thanks, Jim!
     
  6. riolux

    riolux Tele-Holic

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    Great, I love learning about stuff like this - especially from the artist himself!

    About the signature guitar, just out of curiosity: will it be reliced to look like yours or will it just be made to feel the same way?

    Keep up the good work!
     
  7. teleon

    teleon Tele-Holic

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    Many Thanks.
     
  8. Jim Campilongo

    Jim Campilongo Tele-Meister

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    I want it to look new. I like new guitars!
    Thanks -Jim
     
  9. imsilly

    imsilly Friend of Leo's

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    Oh dear god please let them make one or two reliced versions.

    I love the looks of real well used 59 tele. I know some people don't get the relic thing, but there must be something in it if John Page says there is. A 59 specced tele with a thin nitro finish, good quality wood and proper pickups would just sing.

    Plus for lots of us who will never even get close to a real 59 toploader (a pretty unusual tele) it would be a god send to have a quality custom shop version. I just can't get over how much I love my mid 90s Nocaster Relic and I know it would love to have a 59 buddy to hang out with.

    by the way great post. I love to hear all the little details its just a shame there wasn't the internet all those years ago so people could study the tone of the old greats. I bet in the future people will be very happy posts like your's exist, because its just a nightmare trying to work out what is going on in a recording just by ear.
     
  10. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's always a treat to read a players specific gear likes and angles, especially a player of Mr. Campilongo's stature, thanks for taking the time...
     
  11. brokenjoe

    brokenjoe Friend of Leo's

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    Great informative post Jim.
    You get some amazingly unique tones out of your set up, which when you think about it, is fairly accessable to all.

    Just goes to show that great tone -mostly- comes from the head, hands, and heart.

    One of these days, I'm gonna have to take a road trip down to The Livingroom!
     
  12. Jim Campilongo

    Jim Campilongo Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for all the kind words everybody, I wasn't sure I should have even posted it.

    We are still matching colors and this photo (see below) was taken for that purpose. I assume you prefer the one on the right? :D

    I hope the pen marks on the newer guitar please you. Toploaders make a great writing desk! No pesky string -holes.
     

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  13. Jim Campilongo

    Jim Campilongo Tele-Meister

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    ps...

    The new neck will be darker. This photo shows the wear and tear on the "59 neck
     

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  14. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Friend of Leo's

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    Great stuff Jim, thanks so much for posting.
     
  15. Encinitastubes

    Encinitastubes Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Jim. How is the back of the neck; is it a thick C or U or is it closer to a shallow '60s style C? Thanks again!
     
  16. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the info Jim.
     
  17. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

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    Damn it...now I need a Klon Centaur.
     
  18. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

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    The old neck looks like a 7.25" radius; the new neck looks like a 9.5" radius. I hope the neck is a thick U shape. A V shape wouldn't be bad though.
     
  19. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    i remember jim talking about this guitar a few months back, and he might have said something about a "smallish" neck.

    anyway you slice it, it's a beaut.

    and it's fun to know thateven some of our heroes on this board are as into gear as us dorks!

    jim, didja ever do those solo gigs?
     
  20. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    You must have one Helluva set of eyeballs to tell a neck radius from a picture...:rolleyes:
     
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