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Thinking of a "Micawber" build/conversion

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Bones, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Bones

    Bones Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 31, 2005
    Luddite Island, NY
    Since the great recent success of converting my Baja to an Albert Collins tribute, I have been thinking of converting my remaining Baja to a Micawber style. Interestingly, I have all the parts, except locking sperzels, which i do not like anyway. From what I can tell from looking at photos online, the pickguard has been cut out so that the pickup ring sits on the body, is that correct?

    Anyway, probably going to give it a go, wouldn't mind having one dedicated to open G and trying to get the hang of that vibe.
     
    Nickadermis and pondcaster like this.

  2. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    I plan the same in the future. I have a couple kept in 5-string open G but I want to do a scratch build that sort of recreates Micawber minus the relicing. I have most of the hardware already gathered up too, just need to build the neck and body.
    I'm subscribed...

    Good luck,
    Rex
     
    Bones likes this.

  3. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    All depends on whether you want a tribute or something that takes the idea of a humbucker in the neck to the next level. I have a Lindy Fralin un-bucker in the neck, which matches a traditional tele bridge pickup a little bit better when splitting the coils of the humbucker (if you're going with those extra switching options).

    Anyway, as for pickup mounting, there are plenty of sources for pickguards that have a humbucker cutout already; I just don't get the need for a separate mounting ring if you have a nickel cover on the humbucker. Bare taped/uncovered coils sticking up there, well that's another story it would probably look better with a ring.

    I have a Hagstrom III with a humbucker added to the bridge position, I found the cleanest way to handle that was to thin down the mounting ring and glue it to the pickguard. The seam is horizontal so you don't see it looking face-on. If you cut out around the mounting ring, you need a very very clean cutting job or else the gap will show from the front.
     

  4. drf64

    drf64 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Jul 24, 2009
    Ada, MI
    Stupid question but how often does Keef use the neck pick up on Micawber? Every time I see pics, the switch always looks like it is in the bridge position.
     

  5. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    I thoroughly enjoy my open g 5-string. It's more "inspired by" than a copy of Micawber.

    I use the blender wiring so my pickup switch is always in the bridge position but I've usually got at least a bit of the bucker dialed in.

    Whether Keef uses the blender, or not, is a great mystery. Internet opinions vary - imagine that....
     
    Alamo likes this.

  6. Bones

    Bones Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 31, 2005
    Luddite Island, NY
    I want a "tribute", like my recent conversion of another Baja into an Albert Collins style telecaster. I'm not looking for a 100% accurate copy, but rather making the same alterations to a similarly readily available model that the originals did. Also not looking to copy the wear. Just going for the features and vibe. I figure converting a Baja to a Miccawber style will take a few hours, where the Albert Collins took about a month.
     

  7. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    Yeah, all you need to do to get your feet wet is take off the big e and retune. Learn the changes to something like Brown Sugar in open g like Keef plays it live. Or Honky Tonk Women, All Down the Line, etc.

    If ya like all that, go ahead with the rest of the mods.
     

  8. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

    623
    Dec 23, 2012
    State College PA
    Did you fork out the big bucks for the brass Armadillo 6-saddle bridge ? Or make your own ?
    I made my own by deplateing a chrome bridge, but it was a nasty, messy job.
    That pickguard around the neck pickup is pretty much a hack job on Micawber - there's no bigger Keef fan then me, but I just couldn't copy that part when i did my obligatory tribute build.
     

  9. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Meister

    Age:
    62
    278
    Jan 16, 2018
    Waxahachie, TX.
    Micawber has got to be the most copied and iconic instrument out there today. Keef got it right with that one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    I just changed over my main KeefCaster to the blend wiring with a couple changes. I eliminated the resistor shown in this diagram (just jumpered the switch poles), and used just a .010 uf cap to keep position 3 at least somewhat useful. And I used a Fender 250K no-load pot for the blend (tone knob) so I get 100% bridge in position 1 when the "tone" knob is at 10. Rolling the knob back gradually adds neck p/u until you get to equal blend of neck and bridge at "zero."
    Broadcaster_joenotes-791x1024.jpg
    I'd have to say I like the blender.
    As said above there is no definitive answer if Micawber is wired this way but many observations strongly suggest so.
    BTW I have an SD SH-in ('59 PAF) in the neck and SD STL-1B bridge. Works pretty good.

    Rex
     
    drf64 likes this.

  11. Bones

    Bones Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 31, 2005
    Luddite Island, NY
    No, I have an old Japanese one
     

  12. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 21, 2012
    england
    I built one a while back the bridge was a brass gotoh which took me about 2 hours sanding off all the chrome
    the pickups were a CS fat 50 in the bridge and a Gibson burst bucker in the neck
    i enlarged the neck pickup route and flipped the pickup not sure if it made any difference to the sound

    Micawber.jpg
     
    RodeoTex likes this.

  13. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    That looks like a nice job!
     

  14. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    Mine could be a twin to yours Netgear.
    I made the bridge out of brass plate with some brass saddles from some old import.
    I think the key to a Micawber (copy at least) is having the neck pickup right up against the end of the neck.
    I originally built a neck for it with the missing 17th dot but ended up putting on a Fender replacement neck.
     

  15. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

    623
    Dec 23, 2012
    State College PA
    Note that recently Micawber has had the humbucker turned around to the more traditional orientation.
    IMG_2556.JPG
     

  16. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    I think Keef did that just to confuse us.
     

  17. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    52
    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    Looking forward to what you come up with Bones. Your tribute to AC was one of my favorites!
     

  18. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    If you look closely at the wood grain on the body, especially around the control plate, this does not appear to be Micawber, at least not the body.
     

  19. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Oh I beg to differ, Sir. Compare these little spots to the photo of Starbuck holding Micawber in post #12.
    Micawber details.jpg
    Us true believers get a little nuts over Micawber-isms. And that said, this is the first pic I have seen of the PAF turned back around. I concur with the previous conjecture that Keith is just messing with us. Seriously, I doubt he cares...

    My thoughts after having done my blender mod is the blend pot in position 1 might be more useful with the PAF poles closest to the neck (as pictured here), but with the switch in position 2 (neck p/u only, no cap in the loop) I like the pole pieces closest to the bridge - sounds just right for a few tunes.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     

  20. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

    623
    Dec 23, 2012
    State College PA
    I gotta respectfully disagree, Tex. It’s all there, the excessive strum wear on the upper bout, the cig burn between vol knob & bridge, the missing 3rd screw in bridge, the white strat switch tip.
     

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