Advice for CV 60s Tele Build

NotAGuitarPlayer

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Feb 2, 2022
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Austin
Hi Everyone. I'm looking to upgrade my CV 60s Telecaster (Indonesia made). I can work remotely and the kids aren't in school yet so we live a few months each year out of state at my Wife's parents to spend time with family. I got tired of being up there without a guitar so on one of our visits I went to a local store to buy a lower cost guitar that I could just keep up there for when we visit. I ended up bringing it home because I liked it so much. I plan on keeping this guitar long term so I want to get the most tone and playability out of it that I can. The mods I'm looking at will cost around $500, which is a little more than the guitar itself cost, but I'm not concerned about that. I was just hoping to see if anyone would suggest anything other than what I have planned so far. I have modded other guitars, but this is my first Telecaster so I'm still learning.

So far I'm planning on Lollar pickups, Royal T in the neck and Vintage T in the bridge. I haven't heard the Royal T in person, but it's supposed to give Strat-like tones. I play (or at least try to play) a lot of Hendrix, SRV, Clapton, and John Mayer so that seems like it would be perfect for my style. I'm also looking at a Callaham control plate with a 4-way switch and 250k pots and a Callaham bridge with brass saddles.

I think I'm going to leave the tuners alone. Reviews seem to say that they work just fine.

After the mods are done. I'll take it into my usual place for a professional setup. They have a Plek machine at this place too, but I don't know if I need it on this guitar. I've had guitars Plek'd before, but I can't seem to find any high frets on my Tele with a fret rocker. Is the fretwork on CV tele's considered pretty good or would the Plek still be recommended? The only time I had it done before was on an Epiphone Les Paul that had frets so bad the guitar was nearly unplayable. I got the guitar for free though so I didn't mind paying 200 bucks for a Plek and now it plays fine.

Looking forward to some feedback, even if it's that my mods don't make any sense and I need to reconsider the whole thing :) Also, for context, right now I'm playing through a Boss Katana mk ii 1x12 combo, but I'm in the market for a tube amp and am seriously considering a Tone King Imperial Mk ii (I probably would have already picked one up if the stock market hadn't taken a dive in the last few weeks).

Thanks!


 

NotAGuitarPlayer

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Here is a pic of the guitar. It doesn't have strings on it because I tried changing them this morning before my toddlers woke up and then they got up before I could finish it :) It will be restrung later tonight.
 

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68Telebass

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Looks great! I love the bound body on those 60s “Custom” bodies.

Sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into this; it should be a fun project and a great guitar!
 

floridatelepick

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Congrats on your new CV. I have a CV 50's Tele & Strat and love them both. The one thing I will say after spending many years trying to get my original Fender Tele to have a Strat-like sound, is it's not the pickups. Construction wise they are totally different guitars. Floating pickups vs hard mounted, the Strat has the springs in the bridge, the Tele has that large metal plate surrounding the bridge pickup... and on and on. The Strat, at least mine, has a more acoustic sound when not plugged in, and that translates to the amplified sound. They are just different animals. I know getting a Strat sound is not your primary focus, but you did mention it in your pickup choice so I wanted to add my experience. Have fun with it, and if you see a decent deal on a CV Strat, grab it too.
 

xtrajerry

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I’d hold off on swapping the bridge and saddles until playing the guitar. I’ve heard it mentioned that the Callaham bridge can change the tone same with the saddles. This way you can see what it sounds like both ways. Many times the stamped oem bridge sounds better or just as good as a heavier machined bridge. Personally I usually prefer steel saddles but that depends on the guitar.
 

Danemac

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Dec 26, 2011
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Location
Charleston SC
Hi Everyone. I'm looking to upgrade my CV 60s Telecaster (Indonesia made). I can work remotely and the kids aren't in school yet so we live a few months each year out of state at my Wife's parents to spend time with family. I got tired of being up there without a guitar so on one of our visits I went to a local store to buy a lower cost guitar that I could just keep up there for when we visit. I ended up bringing it home because I liked it so much. I plan on keeping this guitar long term so I want to get the most tone and playability out of it that I can. The mods I'm looking at will cost around $500, which is a little more than the guitar itself cost, but I'm not concerned about that. I was just hoping to see if anyone would suggest anything other than what I have planned so far. I have modded other guitars, but this is my first Telecaster so I'm still learning.

So far I'm planning on Lollar pickups, Royal T in the neck and Vintage T in the bridge. I haven't heard the Royal T in person, but it's supposed to give Strat-like tones. I play (or at least try to play) a lot of Hendrix, SRV, Clapton, and John Mayer so that seems like it would be perfect for my style. I'm also looking at a Callaham control plate with a 4-way switch and 250k pots and a Callaham bridge with brass saddles.

I think I'm going to leave the tuners alone. Reviews seem to say that they work just fine.

After the mods are done. I'll take it into my usual place for a professional setup. They have a Plek machine at this place too, but I don't know if I need it on this guitar. I've had guitars Plek'd before, but I can't seem to find any high frets on my Tele with a fret rocker. Is the fretwork on CV tele's considered pretty good or would the Plek still be recommended? The only time I had it done before was on an Epiphone Les Paul that had frets so bad the guitar was nearly unplayable. I got the guitar for free though so I didn't mind paying 200 bucks for a Plek and now it plays fine.

Looking forward to some feedback, even if it's that my mods don't make any sense and I need to reconsider the whole thing :) Also, for context, right now I'm playing through a Boss Katana mk ii 1x12 combo, but I'm in the market for a tube amp and am seriously considering a Tone King Imperial Mk ii (I probably would have already picked one up if the stock market hadn't taken a dive in the last few weeks).

Thanks!
Hi sounds like a fun project! I’ve got to brag on my buddy Jonsey. If you haven’t heard his pu’s please check them out Jonseyblues.com he’s an extremely knowledgeable man on all things Tele and any other guitar out there! Easy to talk to honored to call him a friend. Thank you and good luck!
 

Apache49

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England
I have exactly the same CV Tele, even down to the sunburst finish.
I fitted Gotoh brass compensated saddles, straight swap.
Then fitted a set of Fender Tex Mex pickups after listening to many YouTube comparisons. The Tex Mex set did it for me, really great sounding.
I have kept the original tuners, they seem fine. Fitted a set of Fender 9 strings and she sounds great.
 

NotAGuitarPlayer

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Feb 2, 2022
Posts
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Location
Austin
Thanks for the suggestions! The 59' Zoso pickups from Jonesy Blues sound really cool (https://jonesyblues.com/shop/ols/products/59-zoso-tele-pickup-set). The only thing is they don't come with a 4 way wiring option. Not a deal breaker though. I wonder if I could request that if I reach out for a custom order.

I'll do some more research on the bridge before I order anything. I'm probably going to order everything later this week.

I was also wondering about the neck on this guitar. It says it has a slim c-shape neck profile. I was just wondering, does the neck profile on this actually resemble something that would have been found on any real 60's teles? I've gotten used to it now and don't mind it, but it's the thinnest neck on a guitar that I've owned other than an Ibanez with a wizard neck that I had back in high school when I was mostly in to metal. Anytime I go to guitar shops, I tend to gravitate towards 50's style strats and teles so I'm used to playing bigger necks. My strat has a big u neck so the neck on my tele feels tiny by comparison. I was just wondering where this neck profile sits in the range of Fender neck profiles. I haven't seen any numbers on neck thickness for this guitar to be able to compare to other specs.
 

mgludden80

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If you really want to have some fun (and drive yourself mildly insane), you can add a strat pickup in the middle and make yourself a Nashville Tele. :)

As a rank amateur with average to slightly above-average handy skills, I did that to a Squier Affinity Tele and I love the result. My profile pic is the first iteration, the final version is a little cleaner. I get all kinds of fun sounds with this wiring harness added to the mix: https://www.starrguitarsystems.com/...rness-fender-nashville-telecaster-7-way-sound
 

Bobabilly

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Jul 3, 2015
Posts
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Sacramento, CA
Hi Everyone. I'm looking to upgrade my CV 60s Telecaster (Indonesia made). I can work remotely and the kids aren't in school yet so we live a few months each year out of state at my Wife's parents to spend time with family. I got tired of being up there without a guitar so on one of our visits I went to a local store to buy a lower cost guitar that I could just keep up there for when we visit. I ended up bringing it home because I liked it so much. I plan on keeping this guitar long term so I want to get the most tone and playability out of it that I can. The mods I'm looking at will cost around $500, which is a little more than the guitar itself cost, but I'm not concerned about that. I was just hoping to see if anyone would suggest anything other than what I have planned so far. I have modded other guitars, but this is my first Telecaster so I'm still learning.

So far I'm planning on Lollar pickups, Royal T in the neck and Vintage T in the bridge. I haven't heard the Royal T in person, but it's supposed to give Strat-like tones. I play (or at least try to play) a lot of Hendrix, SRV, Clapton, and John Mayer so that seems like it would be perfect for my style. I'm also looking at a Callaham control plate with a 4-way switch and 250k pots and a Callaham bridge with brass saddles.

I think I'm going to leave the tuners alone. Reviews seem to say that they work just fine.

After the mods are done. I'll take it into my usual place for a professional setup. They have a Plek machine at this place too, but I don't know if I need it on this guitar. I've had guitars Plek'd before, but I can't seem to find any high frets on my Tele with a fret rocker. Is the fretwork on CV tele's considered pretty good or would the Plek still be recommended? The only time I had it done before was on an Epiphone Les Paul that had frets so bad the guitar was nearly unplayable. I got the guitar for free though so I didn't mind paying 200 bucks for a Plek and now it plays fine.

Looking forward to some feedback, even if it's that my mods don't make any sense and I need to reconsider the whole thing :) Also, for context, right now I'm playing through a Boss Katana mk ii 1x12 combo, but I'm in the market for a tube amp and am seriously considering a Tone King Imperial Mk ii (I probably would have already picked one up if the stock market hadn't taken a dive in the last few weeks).

Thanks!
I got the 60’s CV Esquire from Sweetwater and was very happy with it right out of the box. All I did was install Gotoh “In Tune” compensated saddles on it.
 

bgmacaw

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Looking forward to some feedback, even if it's that my mods don't make any sense and I need to reconsider the whole thing :)

Well, since you asked. Yes, reconsider expensive "upgrades" like the Callaham parts and Lollar pickups. The stock parts on a CV are pretty good and don't really need any upgrading. I think you should save most of your money towards your amp purchase.

You might prefer different tones from other pickups but take the time to clearly identify them, don't just buy because the internet said you had to for a Squier. Even then, there are more reasonably priced small maker pickup options from Bootstrap, Tone Hatch and others.

The four way switch is a good option. You might also want to consider switching pots to 250k ones if your stock ones are 500k (common in some Squier models). I like no-load tone to get an Esquire-ish sound.

I've found the fret work on CVs to be very good, outside of a rare lemon.

Lastly, keep in mind how most cheap and even mid-priced guitar upgrades with expensive premium parts turn out...

burningmoney0.gif
 

Fendereedo

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I upgraded my cvc 60s a few years ago, with what I basically had lying around at the time. Other bits like tuners, pots and new pickups came later, when they became crappy (tuners), or pickups just didn't do it for me anymore, I went for Tex/Mex.
As for getting a Squier plek'd I wouldn't waste your money, as the fretwire wears really quickly on them. I recently changed all mine for stainless steel, my first fret job BTW. Personally, I would wait until the frets are shot, then do the job yourself, or get a pro to replace them. Fender has to make money with the Squier line, it won't spend a stack of cash to put them into the stores. My advice, is wait for things to go wrong before you throw dollars at it. I'm with @bgmacaw, use your money now for that cool tube amp.
 

VintageSG

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Take your time to set the pickups correctly. Start with Fender specs for Alnico ( or at least ball park ) and furtle/finagle the heights until your ears say 'enough!'
Then play it for a week.
Compensated saddles if you can't get the intonation close enough for rock'n'roll, graphite powder in the nut and maybe an Electrosocket + four way.
 

Nightclub Dwight

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The neck on the CVC is rather thin. I don't mind it, but I do prefer a thicker neck. It seems like that may be the case for you too. I wouldn't bother with the Plek, unless something is wrong. Instead, I'd consider a thicker aftermarket neck that might be more to your liking.

Others have mentioned the Callaham bridge. It is certainly a quality piece of kit. It is more robust than a vintage Fender bridge though, so many people do here a change in tone. Is it better or worse? Neither really, just different. It all depends on what you like.

Upgrading the pots and wiring for a four way sounds like a good idea. However, changing out the control plate is strictly an aesthetic thing, which won't change the sound. If yours develops rust maybe change it out down the line.

As for the pickups. That is kind of like recommending an ice cream flavor to someone. Who knows what will sound good to you? I have two Classic Vibes. I bought my CVC secondhand, and it had a set of Fralins installed. They sound great! But my white blond Classic Vibe has the stock pickups. They sound different, but I like them too, so I am in no rush to swap them out.

As others have mentioned, an Electrosocket is always a good mod for a Tele.

Modding Teles is fun and pretty easy to do. You can change anything and everything. Just be sure you are changing it for a reason. Sometimes that reason is that you just want to see what it feels or sounds like, and that's cool. Other times you are changing something to get a different sound, or to fix a problem. That is valid as well. Just don't fall into the trap that you have to mod it to have a good guitar. We are in a golden age for inexpensive guitars right now. It has never been possible to get an inexpensive instrument at such a high quality level until now.

Enjoy your CVC. They look great, play great and sound great.
 

NotAGuitarPlayer

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Austin
So far I've ordered a couple of things.

I skipped buying a high dollar Callaham bridge, but I did get a Gotoh In Tune bridge with the sides trimmed down. And it comes with brass compensated saddles so I can get more accurate intonation. It was only like 40 bucks so it seemed like a good deal.

I also ordered a cool pickguard from Decoboom.

I'm still thinking about the pickups. I don't have a lot of experience with Telecasters, but the ones on there now just sound really weak to me and aren't very dynamic (touch sensitive). My strat has some higher output pickups on it though so maybe I'm not being fair in comparing it to that as far as single coil sounds go.

I think I'll probably skip the Plek also. The frets do seem fine. I'll just have a regular setup done on it and maybe some work on the nut slots. I read that the nut on the CV teles comes machine cut for 9's. I notice some issues since switching to 10's. Behind the nut bends buzz like crazy.
 
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Fendereedo

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So far I've ordered a couple of things.

I skipped buying a high dollar Callaham bridge, but I did get a Gotoh In Tune bridge with the sides trimmed down. And it comes with brass compensated saddles so I can get more accurate intonation. It was only like 40 bucks so it seemed like a good deal.

I also ordered a cool pickguard from Decoboom.

I'm still thinking about the pickups. I don't have a lot of experience with Telecasters, but the ones on there now just sound really weak to me and aren't very dynamic (touch sensitive). My strat has some higher output pickups on it though so maybe I'm not being fair in comparing it to that as far as single coil sounds go.

I think I'll probably skip the Plek also. The frets do seem fine. I'll just have a regular setup done on it and maybe some work on the nut slots. I read that the nut on the CV teles comes machine cut for 9's. I notice some issues since switching to 10's. Behind the nut bends buzz like crazy.
Before you get the nut sorted out, check out and adjust the Gotoh bridge when it arrives, it may be just a simple few saddle adjustments can make the difference, or a very slight truss rod tweak.
 

T Prior

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My opinion, not that it matters, keep the guitar as is. The biggest difference between these guitars and the "more expensive "guitars is the body, wood and construction. Here is a thread where I just completed a "rebuild " so to speak of a CIC -CV 60's with my own opinions / comparisons.

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/new-older-guitar-day-early-cv.1100456/

The CIC or MII Guitars have a wonderful appearance , what's not to like, but at the end of the day they should not be compared to a guitar made from Alder, Ash ,etc. When I drilled out 3 screw holes from the previous owner ( for dowel inserts) , the drill wood dust was more like MDF, not any sort of piece of wood.

At the end of the day ( really worn out term) no matter how much $$$ you put into it, its still a MII CV-60's . Various quality pickups have different resonant tones based on the BODY material. You may be entering a Rabbit Hole.

I say- Keep it as it is and enjoy it, put that additional $500 towards another instrument down the road

My opinion and please free to ignore it !
 

yegbert

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Unless you find from playing that there is something specific about the guitar that you want to be different, I’d focus on getting an amp you want.
 




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