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NGD - Squier Classic Vibe Thinline, w/upgrades

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by srolfeca, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    New to me, anyway...

    The add-ons were a large part of what drew me to this deal. It's been rewired with a 4-way switch, Tone Rider Hot Classic pickups, solid-shaft pots and an Electrosocket. It also has a Gotoh bridge with cut sides and compensated brass saddles.

    The seller included the stock parts, which was a nice bonus.

    It's a 2010, with a few very minor dings on the body and a minimal amount of visible fret wear. The action is quite low, revealing a minor high spot around the 7th fret.

    Otherwise, it's a pretty mint example. The grain on the mahogany body is very nice, with a beautiful ribbon figure on the front an d back. It has the singing sustain and almost acoustic character that I associate with a good Tele.

    Plugged in, it’s very resonant and warm, with good string balance. It’s not quite as bright and sparky as I would expect from a vintage-style Tele, but that may change once I restring it and set it up.

    Overall, I’m blown away. I bought it sight unseen, from a seller halfway across the country, but I seem to have lucked into a good one.
     

  2. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    UK
    Nice story.... missing pictures
     
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  3. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    It’s a pretty little guitar, and only weighs 6lb, 3oz.

    My short-term plans are to touch up the frets, clean it and give it a good setup. Cosmetically, I think it might look a bit more “grown up” with a thinner black pickguard.

    I bought it intending to swap the neck out for something a bit beefier, but this one is thicker front-to back than the current models I tried in a couple of local stores. I think I’ll wait until I’ve gotten to know the guitar a little better, before deciding if I still want to change it out.

    In the longer term, I’m thinking about investing in a Brenner piezo-one passive saddle set. I had a Parker NiteFly years ago, and loved the blended tones I could get with a stereo piezo/magnetic setup.

    I may also experiment with other pickups. I’ve always been curious about Wilde- this might be a good platform for a set of Keystones, or maybe an L-200TL/L202TN set.
     

  4. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    I’m pretty tied up with tax preparations at the moment. Will try to post some pictures on the weekend.
     

  5. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    Woohoo!

    Just placed an order for a set of Wilde Microcoils, influenced by this YouTube clip. Playing starts at 1:45:



    There's always the possibility that they may sound like a hot mess in the Squire, but I'm hoping that the added resonance of the mahogany Thinline body will play well with them...
     
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  6. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    Pictures, finally.

    Really not much to see, as the Tone Rider Classic Hot pickups are apparently made at the same Chinese factory that produces the CV pickups for Fender. The brass compensated saddles appear to be the ones that come with the Gotoh BS-TC1S cutdown bridge.

    And if you've seen one Electrosocket, you've seen them all!

    image.png

    Squier CV Thinline as received - 4.jpg

    Squier CV Thinline as received - 5.jpg

    Squier CV Thinline as received - 2.jpg
     

  7. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    865
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    No matter how many CV's you see in their natural habitat, they all look stunning... :cool:. Congrats!
     

  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx

  9. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    58
    Jan 4, 2017
    Wales

  10. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    The B string "crinked" occasionally when tuning, and there were some funny resonances coming from the headstock area.

    The nut was fine, so I replaced the stock string tree and added a second one for the D and G strings.

    Problem solved!

    Tuning is smoother and more stable now, and it sounds sweeter on open chords.

    I like to use the Allparts roller trees with the composite body. They're taller than the stock disk, and it's easy to shave some plastic off the bottom if you need to adjust the height.

    In this case, I took about 3/32" off the B and E tree to equalize the pressure across the nut. There's just enough room to place the second tree so that it doesn't block the Squier logo:

    Squier CV Thinline dual trees - 1 (1).jpg

    Squier CV Thinline dual trees - 1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  11. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    BTW, this is the first time I've seen the Gotoh bridge, but I'll use them again in the future.

    The back part of the bucket makes a convenient anchor when I'm palm muting, and the saddle height screws don't cut into my hand. Plus, the cutaways on both sides make strumming near the bridge easier and more like my other guitars.

    Best of both worlds...
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  12. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    Had the time to take a look at a couple of other details this afternoon...

    The previous owner mentioned that positions 3 and 4 didn’t seem any different, but he hadn’t been able to figure it out. I could see that he had already tried lengthening the slot, so it didn’t seem to be that.

    With the pickguard off the guitar, the wiring for the 4-way looked fine. Checked it with an ohmeter, still looked good. Re-assembled the guitar, style no change on position 4.

    Pulled the knob off the switch, and bingo- it started working. That was when I realized that the mounting screws for the switch were fairly large panheads. Sure enough, the skirt of the knob was too long, and limiting the range of movement.

    Now it’s finally got a nice, hot humbucker sound in the 4th position. Here’s a closer look at how I relieved the skirt of the knob to get it working:

    96681088-B2FA-46D6-AB05-33F677393602.jpeg

    While I had the pickguard off, I tidied up the wiring harness, and did some more cleaning. While I was at it, I had a go at the back of the neck: I used 400 grit sandpaper to smooth a rough spot around a small dent, and level a couple of high spots.

    Then I used a grey ultrafine Scotchbrite pad to eliminate the sanding marks and knock the gloss off the back of the neck. The result is a satin finish with a fast, smooth feel.

    On to job # 2:

    Sustain was a bit short on the high strings. Also, pitch stability was iffy- shaking the neck for a bit of vibrato seemed a little too easy.

    I’d already checked that the neck screws were tight, so I tried the old trick of leaving the guitar at concert pitch while loosening the screws about a half turn. Sure enough, there was a sharp creaking sound as I loosened the last one- the neck slipped a little deeper into the pocket once the tension was off the fasteners.

    Tightened it up again, and now the sustain is more even. Also, tuning stability is better when I lay it on it’s back or reef on the neck.

    As always, it’s these little details that often make the difference between a more expensive guitar and a cheap one.

    I still need to dress and re-crown the frets. Still, now that the rest of the setup is finished, this is one thinline that doesn’t have any of the issues that I’ve heard complaints about:
    - The bridge pickup balances nicely with the neck, and isn’t thin or harsh.
    - The overall tone is full-bodied, with a nice, sweet sustain.
    - There’s a moderate amount of twang available when you want it.

    It’s still not going to be mistaken for a $1,500 guitar, but there are no longer any off-colour elements that would make it sound or feel “less than” a typical good Thinline.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  13. Paully

    Paully Tele-Meister

    152
    May 29, 2014
    Lewiston Maine USA

  14. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

    Aug 13, 2007
    ME
    Great CV - congrats! I still think the CV Thinline may be the best CV Tele model. I have one, and an original year CV50s and a CVC too.
     

  15. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    So this arrived today...

    Brenner Piezo-One - 1.jpg

    I really like what Brenner is doing.

    No drilling, no mods except for wiring up the included Switchcraft stereo output jack. Very affordable. Nicely machined, too.

    Because it's passive, no worries about batteries going flat. I already have a good outboard piezo preamp that I use with my electric upright.

    If it rings as true as the pre-intonated wraparound bridge on my McCarty, it should sound great, and make adjustments even easier than with the Gotoh intonated saddles that are on there now.

    It's going to be cool to have a stereo piezo-electric guitar again. Because the Thinline is so light and resonant, I have hopes that it will catch a nice acoustic vibe.

    I used to have an Ibanez Talman semi-acoustic with Duncans and a Graph-Tech piezo setup in it, and before that, a Parker NiteFly. Fun guitars to gig with, made a nice one-trip carry for jams and open micas.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  16. dustoff

    dustoff Tele-Meister

    Age:
    65
    428
    May 23, 2005
    Glenview Illinois
    Very Sweet....Congrats
     

  17. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    Match made in heaven...

    Brenner Piezo-One - 1.jpg

    The Thinline body rings just enough to give a more natural acoustic sound to the Piezo-One, without causing feedback.

    There's too much sustain to perfectly mimic a flat-top acoustic, plus it's a bit mid-forward. Still, it's an excellent attempt. Plugged into the Acoustic channel on my Boss Katana combo, it sounded better than the Yamaha acoustic I was doing a setup on. Not as good as my Karol L-body acoustic, but that's a handmade guitar with a Baggs I-Beam in it.

    Passive, plugged straight into a guitar amp, the top end was hard a bit harsh and boxy. Using my FDECK HPF-Pre (10 Meg Ohm) as a buffer killed the quack, and warmed it up nicely.

    I didn't need the HPF section with the Katana, but on my FRFR rig and through my recording monitors, it was useful for trimming the ample the low end.

    I have to say that this is the best mag/piezo hybrid setup I've ever played.

    Not bad for such a low-budget project!

    Here are the sites, if you're interested in any of this stuff:

    https://sites.google.com/site/hpftechllc/home/hpf-pre

    Francis Deck is a good guy, has been around for years, and offers fast turnaround on orders. If you're into that sort of thing, his site also contains a number of useful DIY circuit diagrams, free of charge.

    https://brennerusa.com

    Mark Brenner's craftsmanship and design is rock-solid. His installation instructions are extremely clear, and the stuff just works.

    For less than $200 total, I don't think you can beat this for a simple, stage-ready Piezo setup.


    I've got Martin Taylor's In Concert playing in the background. I think I'll stay up for another hour or two, and work on my acoustic-electric jazz chops...
     
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  18. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    I got a Thinline, but don't understand putting a piezo on one. But maybe that's because I don't even like piezos on acoustics, but I'm forced to live with them.

    If the Brenner site has clips of what kind of tone I could expect, I'll check it out. But a Thinline still isn't resonant like an acoustic, so I have my doubts.

    But I thank you for this opportunity and possibility to buy some new crap.
     
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  19. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Good. It only works with vintage 3-saddle anyway, not modern 6. And I didn't understand that you have to actually replace your saddles.

    Temptation avoided.
     
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  20. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    392
    Jun 15, 2017
    California
    Tasteful workand detail ! Hey are those sand-able roller string trees cheaper than the graphtec ones? I use those because they're sand-able for the height, looking for a cheaper alternative. But now that I have a metal working background I should be modding regular string trees.
     

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