80's MIJ Telecaster 72 Custom WHRB pickups

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by 52strings, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. 52strings

    52strings TDPRI Member

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    Were the 80's MIJ WHRB pickups on the 72 Custom Telecasters closer to the original 70's WRHBs or were they the same pickups that can still be found in the today's Customs (basically a regular ceramic humbucker in a WRHB case)?

    I'm considering buying a mid-80's TC72 but I would like to know if I need to prepare to spend some extra bucks on some proper custom pickups.

    Thanks, much appreciated!
     
    Fingerbleed likes this.
  2. Fingerbleed

    Fingerbleed TDPRI Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    I did a LOT of looking into this subject recently since I bought my 72 RI. The Japanese models actually had what are considered the worst of the WRHB-a-likes. They are just cheap HBs with the covers but from what I read they should be normal Gibby HB size, not Fender WRHB size.
     
  3. 52strings

    52strings TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for your reply. Thought so, just wasn't sure.

    If I get the guitar I'll give it a quick spin but I suspect I'll be sending the WRHB right away to Creamery for their upgrade - Option 2. Any experience with them?
     
  4. 63telemaster

    63telemaster Tele-Meister

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    If you're considering changing the pickups it's also worth looking at the current (post 2012) Fender WRHBs. I have a '72 MIM Thinline and it's one of the best sounding guitars I've ever played.
     
    Durtdog likes this.
  5. MatthewK

    MatthewK Tele-Holic

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    Sorry to say, you're way off base there. I have a 1983 Squier Japan Tele Custom and not only is the WRHB the correct size, it sounds superb. It's not built like the vintage ones (it uses bar magnets not magnetic screw polepieces) but that's true of all the reissues since 1983 apart from custom makers like the Creamery, Telenator etc.
    I also have two Greco Teles from the mid 1970s - a Thinline and a Deluxe. Both have WRHB clones of the correct size and mounting, made by Maxon, which are also bar magnet pickups. They also sound fantastic. Greco is a house brand of Fujigen who went on to make the Fender Japan guitars in the 80s. As far as I can tell the pickups are all similar and all great - no mud. I am a diehard single coil guy but I love them.
    1975 Greco Deluxe
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    1976 Greco Thinline
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    1983 Squier Japan Custom
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    [​IMG]
     
  6. 52strings

    52strings TDPRI Member

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    I have another silly question ...

    The 80's MIJ Customs usually come with Gotoh tuners and I'd like to replace them with new Fender 70's style F tuners as I've heard they should be superior. Will the replacement tuners cover the holes of the Gotohs on the back of the neck?
     
  7. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I did some research on this for my CiJ Thinline. The Japanese hole spacing can be a little different, so you may need to file down the edges of the metal plates where they meet.
     
  8. MatthewK

    MatthewK Tele-Holic

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    80s Gotoh tuners are superb quality - you would be wasting your money. The hole spacing is also slightly different so unless you plugged and redrilled, the spacing would be off.
     
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  9. 52strings

    52strings TDPRI Member

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    I bought the guitar from Japan and I've had it for about two weeks now. It's great! It's an E-serial TC72-60.

    As MatthewK said, the tuners are indeed superb. The pickups are somewhat specific, totally different than my TL52-90. The bridge PU is thinner and brighter and the neck WRHB is much darker. First I thought I'd put in a set of Creamery PUs but for now I guess I'll just try 500k pots on the WRHB.

    IMG_20190319_090555.jpg

    IMG_20190319_110150.jpg

    IMG_20190319_110223.jpg
     
    DanDII, RYAN1987M, RodeoTex and 2 others like this.
  10. teleman55

    teleman55 Tele-Holic

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    Check your pots first. I've got a 2006 CIJ Tele 72 Custom. It came from the factory with 250K pots on the bridge single coil and 500K pots on the neck WRHB.
     
  11. MatthewK

    MatthewK Tele-Holic

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    Another option is to look at the WRHB from underneath and screw the "hidden" polepieces away from the strings (looking from the underside of the pickup, screw them anticlockwise so they come toward you). Back them out about 1/3 to 1/2 way.
    This makes the pickup a little more "single coil" in character since the strings are only strongly sensed by one polepiece each. The end result is like halfway between a humbucker and a Fender XII pickup. Again, this refers to the hidden polepieces only, and work gently and carefully in case something gets caught by the turning screw.
     
  12. 52strings

    52strings TDPRI Member

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    Pots are actually 500K for the WRHB and 250K for the bridge SC. After some pickup adjustments I got closer to the sound I want, although I still have my eyes on the Creamery set.

    One thing I might change now are the saddles. I broke two D strings in a really short time and I'm not sure if I should have someone file the current saddles or go for new ones. Any suggestions?
     
  13. 52strings

    52strings TDPRI Member

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    I really really like this guitar but I have a repeating problem ...

    I keep breaking the D string, even though a tech flipped the saddles upside-down and it still always breaks on the saddle. I didn't have this problem before so it must be the saddles? They look like slotted steel saddles.

    Does anyone know where to get a replacement? Or should I just file them? I was also thinking of getting some compensated steel saddles, Crazy Parts in Germany sells a rather cheap set.

    Btw, I use Ernie Ball PS 11-48
     
  14. Clifton C

    Clifton C Tele-Afflicted

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    Schaller makes some F style replacement tuners that drop right into a 70s-style Tele neck. They're great! I replaced the tuners on my '72 Thinline and '72 Tele Custom with the Schallers, and I couldn't be happier!
     
  15. 52strings

    52strings TDPRI Member

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    Hey, that's good to know but after using the guitar for a while now I must say the tuners work really well.

    I'm still not sure about the saddles, though ...
     
    Clifton C likes this.
  16. Clifton C

    Clifton C Tele-Afflicted

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    I replaced the stock saddles with three compensated brass saddles--from All Parts. I think they're Barden saddles. Never had any issues with them. They sound great, and the guitar intonates much better!
     
  17. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Meister

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    Just food for thought...back in the day when the Telecaster with WRHB pickups were first released many players didn't like the pickups and removed them and replaced them with regular Gibson or Gibson type humbuckers, or later with DiMarzios. Maybe the pickups in those original 70's guitars have become more popular now...I don't know. However, what I would say is play the guitar and, if you like the pickups, just leave them in the guitar...if you don't like them take them out and replace them with some that you like better. But either way I wouldn't base it on thinking any pickup would be just like an old 1970's pickup, that wasn't that popular to begin with. Just my 2 cents...
     
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