Advice for CV 60s Tele Build

TunedupFlat

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 17, 2022
Posts
355
Age
42
Location
Alberta
I think if you are on the hunt for an amp I'd be just doing the minimum for work on the vibe. Get a the frets sorted and put on the pickguard and bridge that you already have ordered. Doesn't need to get plek work, just an old fashion level and crown and decent setup/nut work.

But you don't have to drop massive change to get a smoking hot amp. If you look around sometimes they just sneak out of the cracks.

I found a 1963 magnatone 431 (about 8 watts with reverb and has the magnatone tremolo/vibrato) for $325 Canadian last year. It has great cleans, it does an amazing driven sound(think the supro sound from Zeppelin 1)
 

riverman

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Posts
19
Location
australia
Hi I am a long term owner of two CVCs - I see you have already bought some parts, but here are my suggestions The best upgrade is to a Gotoh modern bridge with six brass saddles This is a straight swap and has a stronger darker tone.and sets up better for an easy to play low action The stock neck pickup is Ok but I don’t like the bridge at all Any decent Fender or Seymour Duncan replacement will work. I have a twisted Tele neck
/Broadcaster combo in mine which sounds great and the twisted Tele does have Strat like tones. In my other one I have Brierley boutique pickups from here in Australia which are killer.
 

kiwi blue

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Posts
2,016
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
I'm in the midst of upgrading an Indonesian made 50s CV.

The first thing is the bridge swap: be very careful with the bridge mounting screws. They are soft metal and the screwheads strip very easily. I ended up with two stripped screws and major issues getting them out. I ended up having to break off the screwheads and excavate wood around the screw shafts and then refill with hardwood dowel and redrill for the screws. Here's a bit of a grumble I did about it


It's possible I made it worse by using a Philips head screwdriver instead of a pozidriv, but it's also the soft metal and the fact they were done up a lot tighter than necessary.

BTW last night I saw a Dylan Talks Tone vid where he points out the same thing re the 60s CV, so it isn't just me.

In my case I wanted to try a thinner Allparts bridge plate that I already had. The Squier one measured .060" with digital calipers and the Allparts was .050", which is very close to vintage spec of .048". With both bridges I was using the Allparts brass saddles that came with the bridge plate.

The stock saddles were plated brass, but the unplated Allparts saddles (on the stock plate) sounded better to me. Switching to the thinner plate also brought the sound more alive. The conventional wisdom is that thinner plates bring out more twang and harmonics, but thicker plates emphasise the fundamental of the note more. That seems to be what happened here.

I have those Gotoh saddles on another guitar and like them a lot. They sound a bit brighter than most brass saddles and the grooves keep the strings from wandering out of alignment when bending notes. I don't know the specs for their bridge plate. If you hadn't already bought the Gotoh bridge I'd have advised getting a bog standard Fender vintage style .048" plate.

Those Lollar pickups should be great, but you can get Strat flavoured neck pickups elsewhere for less money if you know what to look for. The main things are wire gauge and covers.

A Tele neck pickup is a lot like a Strat pickup but with a narrower bobbin and coil and consequently it can't take as many turns of wire as a Strat bobbin. To get around that they are usually made with thinner 43 gauge wire instead of the usual 42 gauge on a Strat pickup, so they can fit more turns on. If the resistance is 6 to 8k it's made with 43 wire. But something like 5k or 5.5k is probably 42 wire.

Tele neck pickups also have metal covers. If the base material of the cover is brass like the early 50s pickups, you lose a lot of high end. If it's nickel silver you lose only a little high end. If it's uncovered or has a plastic cover like a Strat pickup you don't lose any high end.

So an uncovered pickup made with 42 wire is going to get you closest to a Strat neck pickup sound. Next closest would be with a nickel silver cover or an open top cover like the Lollar.

I'm yet to change the pickups, mainly because I'm trying to decide what sort of neck pickup I want. Mine sound ok once adjusted carefully. I can make music with them.

I also had to do a full fret levelling on mine, which I really shouldn't have to do on a guitar costing NZ$1,000 new. (Thankfully I bought mine used and paid half of that.) But it sounds like yours doesn't need that. Mine was from the Samick factory, but most are made by Cort I believe, so that may be the difference.
 

derekwarner

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 25, 2015
Posts
270
Age
72
Location
Australia
Interestingly, I see you want to change or upgrade from Katana 100 MKII...........so whilst a little off track, may I ask why you are dissatisfied with amp?

I have one & find it pretty well acceptable considering cost to weight to performance & value of $
P1190546.JPG
 

kiwi blue

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Posts
2,016
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
Well cheap is as cheap does, as good as some CVs can be. But they're still inexpensive entry level guitars so corners have to be cut.
In my world NZ$1,000 isn't cheap. I'd call it a mid-priced guitar. Penny pinching on 4 screws that they buy in bulk? A bigger issue (and more costly for the manufacturer) is the poor fretwork. It just isn't possible to properly set up a guitar with frets that haven't been levelled. It wasn't possible to get an acceptable action without buzzing all over the neck, and I'm not one for super low action either. This one was as bad as the cheapest Chinese knock-offs I've worked on.

Then there's the pickguard that bends and lifts so much between the screws I had to tape it to the body at the cutaway. Eventually I'll have to put new screwholes in to hold it down properly. It was lifting so much the neck pickup was not only impossible to adjust correctly, it was hitting the strings. I've not come across this level of sloppiness on any cheap guitar.
 

msalama

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 16, 2021
Posts
1,070
Location
EUnistan
And TBH, I'm of two minds about Squiers anyway nowadays. I had a great '18 MIC 50's CV Tele I bought used that probably had at least some of its components changed and most likely its frets levelled and polished too, and while all that did indeed make it an excellent player per se, those frets were starting to visibly deteriorate already by the time I got rid of it. Now contrast that with the original frets on my MIA and MIM guitars that are still A-OKish, and most of those axes are getting old by now...

So maybe there's something in the claim of Squiers having softer fretwire after all?
 

xtrajerry

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Posts
10,879
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
I'm in the midst of upgrading an Indonesian made 50s CV.

The first thing is the bridge swap: be very careful with the bridge mounting screws. They are soft metal and the screwheads strip very easily. I ended up with two stripped screws and major issues getting them out. I ended up having to break off the screwheads and excavate wood around the screw shafts and then refill with hardwood dowel and redrill for the screws. Here's a bit of a grumble I did about it


It's possible I made it worse by using a Philips head screwdriver instead of a pozidriv, but it's also the soft metal and the fact they were done up a lot tighter than necessary.

BTW last night I saw a Dylan Talks Tone vid where he points out the same thing re the 60s CV, so it isn't just me.

In my case I wanted to try a thinner Allparts bridge plate that I already had. The Squier one measured .060" with digital calipers and the Allparts was .050", which is very close to vintage spec of .048". With both bridges I was using the Allparts brass saddles that came with the bridge plate.

The stock saddles were plated brass, but the unplated Allparts saddles (on the stock plate) sounded better to me. Switching to the thinner plate also brought the sound more alive. The conventional wisdom is that thinner plates bring out more twang and harmonics, but thicker plates emphasise the fundamental of the note more. That seems to be what happened here.

I have those Gotoh saddles on another guitar and like them a lot. They sound a bit brighter than most brass saddles and the grooves keep the strings from wandering out of alignment when bending notes. I don't know the specs for their bridge plate. If you hadn't already bought the Gotoh bridge I'd have advised getting a bog standard Fender vintage style .048" plate.

Those Lollar pickups should be great, but you can get Strat flavoured neck pickups elsewhere for less money if you know what to look for. The main things are wire gauge and covers.

A Tele neck pickup is a lot like a Strat pickup but with a narrower bobbin and coil and consequently it can't take as many turns of wire as a Strat bobbin. To get around that they are usually made with thinner 43 gauge wire instead of the usual 42 gauge on a Strat pickup, so they can fit more turns on. If the resistance is 6 to 8k it's made with 43 wire. But something like 5k or 5.5k is probably 42 wire.

Tele neck pickups also have metal covers. If the base material of the cover is brass like the early 50s pickups, you lose a lot of high end. If it's nickel silver you lose only a little high end. If it's uncovered or has a plastic cover like a Strat pickup you don't lose any high end.

So an uncovered pickup made with 42 wire is going to get you closest to a Strat neck pickup sound. Next closest would be with a nickel silver cover or an open top cover like the Lollar.

I'm yet to change the pickups, mainly because I'm trying to decide what sort of neck pickup I want. Mine sound ok once adjusted carefully. I can make music with them.

I also had to do a full fret levelling on mine, which I really shouldn't have to do on a guitar costing NZ$1,000 new. (Thankfully I bought mine used and paid half of that.) But it sounds like yours doesn't need that. Mine was from the Samick factory, but most are made by Cort I believe, so that may be the difference.
The composition of the bridge metal as well as thickness also effects the tone. Bill Wilde wrote about his experiments with different materials. It’s been years since I read it but I believe it is all over here.
 

Teledactyl

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Posts
6
Location
Prince Edward Island
Well, my MIC 08 CV now has Wiggins pups, Rutters bridge, upgraded pots, cloth wiring, slanted 3-way and Hipshot locking tuners......all for a total cost [including the original guitar] of $650 CDN......and the fret wear is almost minimal. I think the very early MIC CV's were made exceptionally well.
 

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