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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

New FSR HH - to drill or not to drill?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by 2fingers, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    I recently bought a new Squier Tele HH (FSR with matching headcap - metallic orange). The one I have in my possession is a replacement, as the first one I recieved didn't have a straight hole to be found anywhere on the body. My replacement has a chip in the finish right where the neck meets the body (as though someone was stopped just before making the catastrophic mistake of inserting the neck incorrectly). No huge dealbreaker there - at least the 'buckers are straight on this one. The guitar is new, but was only $179 (plus cost of GC pro coverage warranty). Other than that, everything looked pretty durn good. Until I took it home. Upon setting it up, I realized that the Low E wouldn't intonate.

    I know this is a common problem, so I tried removing the saddle spring. Even with the intonation screw pushed all the way up to the string (thru-body with modern shorty bridge), it still won't intonate. Upon closer examination, the bridge is crooked - but crooked in the wrong direction for intonation (low-E side is a hair closer to the nut than the high-E side).

    Would you guys take it back and take a chance on getting a worse replacement? Or would you advise filling and re-drilling to mount the bridge squarely? I'm of the mind that if a guitar doesn't play in tune, it ceases being a guitar and becomes a boat anchor. If it were a used guitar at a really good price I wouldn't sneeze at it. Ack! Thanks in advance to all the pros who can help me get this lined out!
     

  2. blackspider57

    blackspider57 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    74
    Mar 10, 2017
    Great Falls Montana
    Send it back.
    Bridge should not be crooked!
    If you want a replacement,
    ask for it to be un boxed and inspected for similar defect!
     
    Obsessed and 2fingers like this.

  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    That FSR seems to be a particularly special run from Fender.
    Choose a different guitar next time.

    If you move the bridge then the string through holes won't line up.
     
    2fingers likes this.

  4. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    Thanks, blackspider! I bought it through guitar center, for what it's worth. When I replaced it this last time, the store manager said they preferred not to open it without me there. This guitar is only available through their distribution center. My only fear is that the next one will have crooked holes all over the place again :p I feel like crying haha - maybe I should write a song about it :D
     

  5. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    Thanks!!! I hadn't considered that possibility, actually and I'm gload you said something. It's only off a smidge, but it's enough to register to my (somewhat trained) ear and my tuner... What do you think about a used Squier standard tele model? I was alsao looking at the Surf Green one they've got out now... I really liked the humbuckers in this one though. I'm not averse to buying a used one even, if everything is good to go on it. It's my first guitar that I actually went OUT and bought, so it's kind of a special thing for me (I know you veterans will chuckle at that lol). I play slide, but I want to break into hybrid slide and eventually straight fingering in standard tuning, so it has got to be pretty solid, but within my $200 budget :p
     

  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I don't know Squiers model by model, but buying used you'd probably go to the store so you could see for yourself?
    Above Affinity Squires seem pretty good, but again, I'm not up on them.
     
    2fingers likes this.

  7. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    I've heard good things about the current Indo models, and that's part of the reason I chose this one (just to offer some insight to my approach to this purchase).

    I just got off the phone with the local GC store manager. He said he'd replace it with as many guitars as is necessary until we get one right - wow. He also said he'd be happy to get his tech to look at this one. So it's my option, I suppose. From my late night research last night, I learned that teles have seemingly always had bridge placement problems, which is why I say this must be fairly common. Honestly, being a draftsman, I can tell you that visibly the bridge appears straight to the naked eye. It's literally off by that little. It's just off in the wrong direction.

    From my reading, it appears that lining up the bridge at the factory is a bit tricky. The first hole is drilled, the bridge mounted and squared. It is when the second hole is drilled and the oval-head screw gets screwed into the bridge plate's countersink that it can get a bit wonky (meaning that second screw is critical in terms of truing the bridge)... Can any of you experienced fellas confirm this information?
     

  8. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 15, 2010
    Texas
    Since I love all things Telecaster and all things in the spectrum of orange colors, I'd love to see a pic of the guitar...
     
    2fingers likes this.

  9. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here

    Will do very shortly! :D I myself LOVE the shapeliness of the tele <3 <3 <3 And the metallic orange is awesome. I know it has double humbuckers, but as a slide guy, I loooove that fat sound. I will post pics of the first one and the new one (with plastic film and all). PLEASED to ya!
     

  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Certain cheap import guitars and cheap import guitar parts and kits in particular could be said to have "seemingly always had bridge placement problems".

    Teles in general don't have bridge placement problems.
    Mass production would not have one hole drilled and the bridge installed before drilling the other holes.
    This would be hobbyist stuff and more likely to be detailed on the internet.
    Mass production would be either a jig for all the drilling or a CNC machine doing all the drilling. Crooked stuff should be due to the blank being misaligned, but I'm not working in the factory.

    I suspect that in this case it's not just a barely visible crooked condition causing the intonation to be too short, more likely the bridge is too far forward and needs to move back.
     
    2fingers likes this.

  11. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    ^I must correct myself, telemnemonics! I have a bit of C.R.S. lol. Apparently, in the older models that use a standard pickup configuration, the bridge plate could have the routing showing on both sides, but a misaligned one would show a gap on one side and not on the other. The post in question was actually referring to the size of the cavity routing benath that plate vs. misalignment of the stock bridge plate. The comment I read was posted by BritishBluesBoy on the following thread:

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/brand-new-tele-with-askew-bridge.89549/

    "Sounds like you did the right thing sending that one back. It's common to be able to see a little of the bridge pickup route - but only a little. You shouldn't have to worry about moving the string on the saddle at all... It should sit in the middle and be just fine... I have heard of people adjusting the alignment of their bridge, but on a new guitar it should all be in the right spot from the get-go..."
     

  12. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    Okay, get ready for heavy pics :p

    Here's one of the FIRST one I recieved (which definitely got sent back due to the glaringly crooked bridge p'up and a glob of fret glue under the 3rd string at the 7th fret): DSC_0072.JPG


    Here's a picture (taken with the flash in the garage at night) of the metallic finish (for Fiesta Red):

    DSC_0064.JPG

    And here is a picture of the bridge on the new replacement I currently hold (again, not visibly off that much and the rest of the strings will intonate just fine. Just not the Low E):

    DSC_0075.JPG
     
    Fiesta Red likes this.

  13. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    I should note that in that last picture I didn't bother putting the 6th saddle below the 5th when I put the spring back in it. I was rather put out last night when I put it back in the box... Also, the strings in that picture are slacked.
     

  14. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Meister

    356
    Feb 1, 2016
    Jefferson City, MO
    Those are sharp looking guitars. I've been thinking about routing my Classic Vibe tele for humbuckers, and that black on black model had me drooling a bit so thanks for posting these QC issues to help keep my GAS in check.
     
    2fingers likes this.

  15. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    70
    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    I had a new MIM blacktop strat with a wonky bridge so mistakes happen everywhere .I took it back but it was a nice guitar and the out of kilter bridge didnt affect its playing but it was drilled out wrong
     
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  16. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    Sorry for let-down, SweetClyde99. I'm a bit queasy over this whole deal. The first one I got ALMOST had to have the saddle spring removed to get it right. It had other problems that were just too numerous for me to let fly. One problem it did NOT have, however, was staying in tune and tone. It's a crying shame this replacement guitar has a problem because the previous one sounded and felt just right. It just looked really sloppy. I mean, I've tinkered with Aria and Hohner strats that were better in terms of craftsmanship. My beef, I guess, is that I bought a Fender "backed" product for more than just the name. Unlike the strats I just mentioned, a Squier (by Fender) is not some reject that the headstock has been reshaped and sold to a lesser brand to recoup lost production costs. Honestly, those guys in Indonesia very probably work extremely hard for little pay (whether it's Gretsch, Epiphone, OR Squier). But the guy who stamped off on the hang tag that this guitar was good to go should be, well, mother always said if you can't find something nice to say... I WILL say this in their favor: whoever did the necks on the two I've tried to own up to this point did pretty good work. Except for a dab of fret glue on the last one, they had pretty darn nice fretwork and neither had a buzz right out of the box...

    MusicalMartin, I did try last night to loosen the bridge screws a bit and see if it would align just doing that (strings loosened and held at the 1st fret with a capo). I noticed that the bridge plate screw located aft of the 6th saddle (into the body) was angled and wouldn't "bite" when I put it back in (which, when screwed in, the angle isn't really visible thanks to blackout hardware I suppose). That doesn't sweat me TOO much - some Titebond II and a toothpick makes for an easy fix, but I would probably leave the hole angled so as not to weaken that stress point by making a straight hole RIGHT NEXT to an incorrectly drilled one... Glad to hear you know something about this problem over there across the pond! BTW - I have a friend who has a Shine guitar that's a copy of a Gibson semi-hollow. I once fixed a solder joint in it for him and he whipped out with some pinch harmonics and shredded that thing to the point of face-melting! I looked and looked before I settled on this Telecaster (I've always DREAMED of having a Tele) but I could NOT find that Shine guitar my buddy had anywhere! Are they only available in the UK or something? Man, that thing was SWEEEET for an off-brand axe! Cheers, mate!
     

  17. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    FWIW, I could just chop about 2-3mm off of the intonation screw and remove the saddle spring, but that places the break angle over the saddle somewhere around 90 degrees... I think I will make a third trip to GC and we'll go from there... It's sad. I really love this little guitar. It's practically just like my ES-345 Japanese copy, except it's solid-body for just the right amount of twang and sustain. I'm going to go pout now and re-contemplate the Surf Green/Rosewood SS Bullet Tele I was also considering. Bummer...
     

  18. 2fingers

    2fingers TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    33
    Jun 22, 2017
    Anywhere but here
    Wow - upon closer examination (I just went back through the setup motions again after checking the nut slots (which were good), I noticed some paint from probably another guiitar (same finish colors) rubbed off onto the high e side of the rosewood fingerboard just above the 1st fret. Upon looking even closer, I noticed two "A" shaped scratches in the maple on the neck as well... Perhaps it got knocked over at the factory? There's also a coarsely-sanded spot at the corner of the heel just above where the neck goes into the body (as if someone missed it during finsh sanding). The latter is what I would call a cosmetic flaw and not a deal-breaker because it's not on the cutaway side of the neck and probably wouldn't bother me, but - yeah - it's probably been knocked around at some point.

    I'm gonna call this one a reject and have them send me a third one to inspect. At least I'm getting a crash course in things to look for on a value-branded import :p Thanks to all of you for the help! The local store has a Surf Green FSR model in stock, although it has single coils rather than humbuckers and I will take a look at that one while their tech is handy (he said he'd hook me up if it was still technically part of their inventory right before I buy it). I will probably take a look at it and if it's not up to snuff, I'll just have them replace this orange one until I exhaust their supply if necessary... I'm hanging on hard to hope though! It's depressing lol - I should be playing the blues on my tele by now, but I'll have to wait another week for delivery (or another 6 weeks for 6 new deliveries). ugh... The prospect is nerve-wracking...

    I'll be back with another post whenever I get the next one and keep all you forum folks up to date with whatever QC problems I find! Thanks again!
     

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