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

Sustain issue and out of tune strums on Fender Elite

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by gregrjones, Nov 14, 2017 at 7:17 PM.

  1. gregrjones

    gregrjones TDPRI Member

    23
    Apr 12, 2010
    Dayton
    2016-11-16 20.17.05-1.jpg

    I have a beautiful American Standard Fender Elite Tele (I think they now call this line the Professional series). I bought it last year.

    While I love this guitar, I have two issues with it I'm seeking advice on.

    1. When I strum open chords, I can hear some of the strings go too far out of tune as the strings are bent. While common sense tells me this should happen when you strum any chord, I usually can't hear it like I hear it on this guitar. It is enough to bug me. The strings don't go permanently out..... I use .010s btw....

    2. Notes above the 12th fret don't have the sustain I'm used to on my EJ Strat and other guitars. No the notes are buzzing or fretting out.

    I have a friend who suggests to me a compensated saddle (I know nothing about them). What do you all suggest?
     

  2. WriteNoob

    WriteNoob TDPRI Member

    91
    Jan 25, 2014
    West Central Wisconsin
    You have a six saddle bridge, no compensation necessary, nor in fact, possible. Sounds like a visit to a reputable Tech, is in order. Talk to people whom you trust to give you good advise, in this area, and take their recommendations on who to go to. Most areas have someone whose work and knowledge is trusted by the guys and gals who are serious about their instruments. Talk to the tech. Explain, and if possible, demonstrate your issues, as well as your expectations. If your EJ is your idea of a great setup, take it with, so your tech can get solid measurements to work from. The more he or she knows, going in, the better your results are likely to be. A full setup should include string height, neck relief, nut action, and intonation adjustment. Just my opinion, but I think a good setup will go a long way, with what you’re describing. If I’ve underestimated your knowledge level, here, no offense is intended. Just tying to help.
     

  3. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Do you just know even another player who you trust with this a little?

    It's just real minor set-up work you need for now, WITHOUT touching that ridiculously tempting truss rod adjustment wheel. Freaking ridiculous that Fender would make it so EASY to screw up your guitar. But nothing else here can hurt your guitar.

    I'm like 99% sure all we're talking about is string gauge/string age, saddle height, and saddle position fore or aft to achieve proper intonation. This isn't rocket science.

    As for "sustain" problems, it's the above mentioned basics, plus possibly pickup height adjustment. That's it.

    There are no parts in need of replacement on a guitar like this.
     
    Doug 54 and TeleTucson like this.

  4. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    313
    Aug 6, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    A few thoughts that cross my mind: (1) Are you playing clean? Some digital modeling boxes/pedals can make a mess out of your sound. (2) As Ira suggested, your pickup could be high for a touch of stratitis. (3) Even though you're sure there's no fretting out, the notes high on the neck could be getting initially clipped due perhaps to a mild case of "ski jump". Happened to me, and I was really surprised because it didn't have the buzzing I would have expected - instead, a bit more of a very slight "plink" sound high on the neck when the action was in the lower range. So try raising the saddle up just for fun to see if it improves the sustain for notes high on the neck. (Luckily, on my offending Tele I was able to completely cure the very mild ski jump with some adjustment of the neck pocket screw tightness).

    One more thought - when you say the strings go "out of tune", are you perhaps referring to chords played near the nut? This could imply that your nut is cut too high, and when you press the chord you're pulling the strings sharp. But maybe that's not at all what you're referring to ....
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 11:47 PM

  5. Archtop Bill

    Archtop Bill Tele-Meister

    Nice Tele.

    I agree with the above plus one more suggestion: try a slightly heavier gauge set of strings and then set the action and intonation.

    On my American Deluxe, with the same medium jumbo strings, I press harder when playing chords which cause the chords to to be nasty. Heavier strings and consciously not pressing as hard helps.

    Good luck.
     

  6. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    Your guitar simply needs a set up,you can either learn to do it by yourself (countless resources and videos online) or you could take it to a tech.
    IMHO every guitar player should be able to perform basic setup work, it's not really rocket science.
     
    bblumentritt and Archtop Bill like this.

  7. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    564
    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    A pickup too close to the strings can kill sustain and it shows up on the high frets first (because they make it even more close).
     
    ecosse and gregrjones like this.

  8. gregrjones

    gregrjones TDPRI Member

    23
    Apr 12, 2010
    Dayton
    While I'm not a guitar tech, I can set up action and intonation and can of course change string gauge but I don't see the connection between setup and what I'm describing. I've never been able to increase sustain only on higher notes (maybe the sustain problem is on lower notes too but I only notice it when a note drops out too soon on a higher lead - I'll have to test this) simply by adjusting action, or string gauge. Ok in theory, heavier strings equal more sustain however I expect the same sustain on my Strat which also has .010's.

    The truss rod could make a difference in sustain if the guitar was fretting out but it's not.
     

  9. gregrjones

    gregrjones TDPRI Member

    23
    Apr 12, 2010
    Dayton
    I'll try that. I put Dimarzio Noiseless in it which are supposed to allow for closer settings but still it's worth a try.
     

  10. gregrjones

    gregrjones TDPRI Member

    23
    Apr 12, 2010
    Dayton
    Good suggestions/thoughts. I think we can rule out my gear because the same gear doesn't affect my other guitars.

    On your last question, I shouldn't really say that the strings go out of tune but instead say that some of the notes in the strummed chord are going sharp briefly until the strings start vibrating a little less as the chord decays.
     

  11. gregrjones

    gregrjones TDPRI Member

    23
    Apr 12, 2010
    Dayton
    So does a 'compensated bridge' simply compensate for intonation problems with the traditional Telecaster three saddle bridges? If so, I can see what you mean now..... I wasn't sure what 'compensation' meant, having not done the research yet.....
     
    WriteNoob likes this.

  12. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013
    Europa
    As said before. It probably just needs a set up.
     
    gregrjones and bblumentritt like this.

  13. John C

    John C Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 20, 2005
    Kansas City
    Yes, that is what is usually meant by when someone talks about a "compensated bridge" or "compensated saddles" for Telecasters - something to get a bit better intonation from the vintage-style 3-saddle bridge. For example, the new American Professionals have a new "modern vintage" bridge design that has 3 compensated saddles.

    [​IMG]
     
    gregrjones likes this.

  14. WriteNoob

    WriteNoob TDPRI Member

    91
    Jan 25, 2014
    West Central Wisconsin
    Exactly. You can, of course, adjust each saddle separately. This is why I assumed you were inexperienced with these things. My apologies.
     

  15. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    63
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    It amazes me that still, after all these years, people don't understand that a perfectly adjusted and intonated Telecaster will still sound out-of-tune on open chords. It is the nature of the guitar. Many (or most) players do not notice it, because they are wheedling away on Lead Guitar solos, or they are playing bar chords up the neck. You can not have a perfectly tuned Telecaster - doesn't matter about the bridge, the set-up, the nut-slot height, the string gauge, the strength of your hands... it is a natural function of all the compromises that are needed to make a guitar play in tune 'most of the time'.
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.

  16. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    This problem of perfect intonation isn’t limited to the Tele, but it does seem to be more notortious than others.

    The best one can really do is to set the intonation as close as possible, while “favoring” the region of the neck one uses most.
     

  17. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    When just noodling around I use a sweetened tuning, but when I'm recording I'll actually tune the guitar around the primary chords I'll be using.
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.

  18. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Dec 12, 2004
    Ohio
    Take it to Mark Kaiser. In my and many's experience, the Dayton area's best repairman.

    .
     
    gregrjones likes this.

  19. gregrjones

    gregrjones TDPRI Member

    23
    Apr 12, 2010
    Dayton
    I have to respectfully disagree . The guitar is not permanently out of tune. I just hear it while the strings are first vibrating after the initial strum. It's as if it's only in the attack. As the chord starts to decay, it's in tune just fine.

    It also seems that if I strum the chord lighter it won't go out as bad if at all. I need to test this more.
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.