‘68 Tele Going To Pot?

CX Hunter

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Got my ‘68 and love it when banging around in my house, but I can’t see using it for live gigs ‘cause the pickups are gonna squeal like crazy at stage volumes. Also - I think the sound has gotten thinner lately, which could also be ‘cause my ears have become so accustomed to the sound of the used Derek Trucks SG I recently acquired. Thinking I’m gonna take the Tele to Rob at Cavalier and have ‘em potted. I imagine that vintage freaks that are totally an_l might feel it devalues the guitar should I ever (I won’t) want to sell it. Kind of more interested in people’s EXPERIENCE with this, rather than OPINIONS.
 

ddewerd

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If it's a player, then do what you feel would make it a better player.

My #1 is a 1963 Tele. It's been worked on and updated many times in the 50 years I've owned it. Did any of that decrease the vintage value? I'm sure it did, but it's not like I bought it to leave in a case under the bed for all these years.

But like you, I have no plans to ever sell it. Do what you need to, and just play it!

Cheers,
Doug
 

jfgesquire

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Or simply remove the original pickups, keep them in storage, and install some nice aftermarket ones. I play an SG 90% of the time and when I grab my tele I don't need it to sound too thin. I really like the Custom Shop Texas Specials, very nice pickups. Rob makes killer stuff too!
Second vote for replacing the pickups so your estate fiduciary can put the guitar back to stock. In fact you could get RWRP and do a 4 way setup - just replace the whole kit and caboodle: pots, caps, wiring, everything. Keep the wiring and pickups in a ziploc bag with a note that they are original to whatever the guitar's serial number is.
 

takauya

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Unless it's a collector grade, it shouldn't affect the value too much. And, as the Zac's video suggests, Tele's pups gonna die eventually if you gig with it. Players in the near future are not gonna mind about rewound pups at all.
 

Steve Holt

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If it was pre-CBS I'd be more worried about messing with having the pickups potted, and I'd be in the camp of set them aside and put in new pickups. But it's a 68. Obviously still a very high value collectible guitar (and I'm sure yours is wonderful), but we're not talking about 53 blackguard that should be in a museum. I just don't think having the pickups professionally potted would mess with the value at all. And if it makes it more playable to you - go for it.
 

Telekarster

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Rob is an excellent choice IMO and he'd be my first go-to guy for such an issue. I have a set of his Cav's in my travel Tele and love em dearly. FWIW and good luck man! Get that baby rockin'!
 

tomasz

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So if its sound got thinner, maybe you could just replace the PU's and wiring, keeping the original ones in the case? That way you could keep a great player and get it back to life, while not devaluating the guitar
 

skunqesh

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Did the pickup(s) get squealy suddenly? or has this been a slow change in the sound?
If my memory stands correct (iow - Take this for what it's worth - I'm No Expert) older Fender Pups are prone to copper wind failures.
I've had several late 60s pups rewound/potted - but fwiw none of them failed slowly.

If a pickup's wind wire has failed the wax potting isn't going to fix it.
Quick Check - with the volume all the way up, if you turn the tone to Zero and the volume cuts or goes silent, you've probably got a break in the winding.

 

Antoon

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Have you figured out what the source of the squeal is? Did you check if the pickups still measure okay?
On bridge pickups it is usually a loose ferrous bottom plate, no need to pot the pickup to fix that. On unpotted lacquer dipped neck pickups like the one you have, squeal is usually caused by a few loose outer windings. What I always do is carefully remove the cover and heat a tea spoon of pickup wax in a cup. And then gently apply very small amounts of wax on the loose outer windings, using a small paintbrush. The wax instantly solidifies on the cold coil. Then I take a hairdryer and carefully re-melt the solidified wax so that it just melts and distributes over the loose windings. Don't use too much heat.
I leave the rest of the coil untouched. This usually cures the squealing, unless you use a tonne of overdrive.
You could also consider to start by locating the specific part of the coil where the problem is, by hooking the pickup to an amp and carefully touch the coil until the squeal stops.
I would never pot a pickup like that entirely before trying this. You might also be able to pull this off using just a drop of lacquer and a small paint brush to fix the loose windings.
If you want to use a lot of overdrive and want your Tele to sound like an SG. then just put a set of Texas Specials in. Vintage Fender pickups are only very lightly potted (if potted at all), with the wax only penetrating the coil by about 1 mm.
 
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milocj

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A lot of the time you can use the beeswax trick just between the pickup bottom and the base plate. I've used some beeswax that comes as a bunch of little tear drop shaped pellets from a local crafts store and you can simply put a couple of these pellets under the base plate and use the hair dryer carefully to melt them.

It stops any movement between the bottom of the poles and the base plate.
 

E Baxter Put

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I have had an old pickup die after I tried to wax pot it myself. The other pickup that survived didn’t really sound better after the potting. I ended up having a pro rewind them. They sounded much better after the rewind. If it was my guitar, I would probably set aside the originals and install replacements if I wasn’t happy with their sound. My 68 has original microphonic pickups, but they work fine when gigging at full volume. They sound awesome.
 

Highnumbers

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A lot of the time you can use the beeswax trick just between the pickup bottom and the base plate. I've used some beeswax that comes as a bunch of little tear drop shaped pellets from a local crafts store and you can simply put a couple of these pellets under the base plate and use the hair dryer carefully to melt them.

It stops any movement between the bottom of the poles and the base plate.

This is totally off-topic, but I thought the 625 in your avatar looked familiar. Then I remembered that I sold that guitar many years ago. And finally remembered that I took that photo. Ha!

DSC_0377_zps850e922c.jpg
 

CX Hunter

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Or simply remove the original pickups, keep them in storage, and install some nice aftermarket ones. I play an SG 90% of the time and when I grab my tele I don't need it to sound too thin. I really like the Custom Shop Texas Specials, very nice pickups. Rob makes killer stuff too!
Yeah, the SG, as I mentioned was the factor. After having a few intense days of playing it, going back to the '68 Tele I found it sounding too thin. I took a few days away from electrics and went back to play it this morning, and it sounds damn fine. Still microphonic, so I dropped it off just now with Rob at Cavalier and he's going to do a light potting.
 




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