Another jazzy partscaster

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Little Jay, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Hi Tele-aficionados! Been a while since I posted but my newest project definitely needs to be here.

    I love my 1950 ES-125 for but I love my thinline P90 for easy transportation and robustness. So I have been obsessed with the - rather utopian - idea of constructing a tele that captures the ES-125 vibe....

    Impossible? Probably..... but a fun experiment anyway! Through very scientific random experimentation and deduction (read: trial and error, guessing and some experience) I came to the following specs:

    - P90 pickup
    - mahogany 24.75” scale neck
    - hollow (or as hollow as possible) body
    - wood bridge
    - trapeze tailpiece

    Hmm... that might present some challenges.

    Since it’s an experiment I decided to use low cost components and a neck and pickup I had laying around:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Not too shabby in the PU-department, right? The soapbars came out of my Modern Player Thinline P90 tele.)

    Finding a budget hollow tele body proved difficult so I ordered a cheapo Chinese thinline body for $48 (branded “Muslady”):

    [​IMG]

    Solid piece of mahogany, but unfortunately an MDF-top with a thin mahogany veneer (well, they gotta cut costs somewhere).

    To accommodate for the shorter scale I had to chisel away some wood from the neck and the body, to ensure the pickup cutout sits in the right place (virtual 24th fret):

    [​IMG]

    I started out with a normal (cheapo, $7) tele bridge, chose the SD Antiquity P90, made a control plate and slapped on some Thomastik flatwounds (.012) and then it sounded like this:



    (Continued in next post)
     
  2. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Quite happy with the result but...... with the normal tele bridge I need a soapbar P90. For the Antiquity dogear I shimmed the neck and maxed out the saddle height, but it’s not enough: I keep hitting the pickup and the strings buzz and get choked too much.

    So next step is trying one of the soapbars (they are actually quite good pickups, I replaced them with Gibsons in my Modern Player but to be honest I am not sure if it’s that much of an improvement......).

    I am playing with the idea of installing a rosewood top-piece of an archtop bridge, on bridge-posts directly into the body (à la tune-o-matic) and a trapeze tailpiece, but I doubt I can get the neck to angle enough for that with just shimming.

    (Anyone knows if the neck on the Jim Adkins tele is angled? They managed to put a TOM-bridge on that one....)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    You can install TOMs on Teles if you route a pocket for the bridge to drop into the surface and then any shimming to the neck to tweak after.

    Or you could trim off the front of the Tele bridge to convert to a half bridge style.

    .
     
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  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Cool!
     
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  5. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I thought about that, thanks! I keep the full tele bridge, since there’s already a route for a pickup.... might install that after all, since the gap is there anyway ;-)
     
  6. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Hope I’m not boring you too much with this project..... but I booked a little more progress:

    Found a satisfying solution for the somewhat overly bright bass-response of the bridge:

    [​IMG]

    I removed the saddles and cut the top piece of an old archtop bridge to length and the right height. It comes from and old Japanese guitar and is actually plastic with a rosewood insert piece. But voilà! The metalic zzinggg is gone and added bonus: less sustain. Both a good thing for imitation of an archtop-like string response!

    I replaced the Antiquity dogear for a Chinese soapbar (out of a Fender Modern Player Thinline P90). This fits much better and the guitar is now probably set up. Although this pickup is not bad at all, I could immediately hear the difference with the Antiquity..... so I will tranfer the guts of the Antiquity into the soapbar housing!

    With the soapbar I need a scratch plate, I found an $8 tortoise example that will look fine I think:

    [​IMG]

    I have to trim it it to fit. I will go for this shape:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jtmart

    Jtmart TDPRI Member

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    Sounds great! So when you’re happy with the prototype are you going to build one with higher quality materials?

    I did a Tunomatic style roller bridge for a Bigsby on a T style, I ended up doing a recess only where the posts insert. They are about 1/16” deep and the bridge is almost all the way down but I have a low action. I shimed with somewhere around a 1° shim on the neck and everything spaced out almost perfect. For the recess I used a 3/4” Forstner bit, doesn’t look bad or wrong, almost unnoticeable.
     
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  8. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Very nice!
     
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  9. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Still contemplating on that but yes, I might!

    Sounds good! But for now I’ll stick to the archtop-bridge-top-piece solution, it brings what I want!
     
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  10. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Update:

    Made the pickguard and put a soapbar P90. Made a little vid of the Jazzcaster in its current configuration, with generic Asian soapbar (that came out of my Fender Modern Player Thinline P90. Quite a difference..... clearly the SD Antiquity dogear is the better P90! Soon will replace the bottomplate and turn the Antiquity into a soapbar and put it back, this asian P90 is lacking a bit in comparison I think (although actually not bad at all ;-).

    Jazz Telecaster with 24.75” neck (pt.II) - YouTube
     
  11. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That sounds amazing! What a unique jazz box!
     
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  12. zammie

    zammie TDPRI Member

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    @Little Jay I've seen that body on sale on Aliexpress. How do you rate it and any comments you can share about its fit and quality?

    Nice idea on the bridge btw!
     
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  13. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Holic

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    1. Not boring at all! I love stuff like this... love to follow the progress. I can see very careful thought, progression of ideas and working with what you have. Just amazing! Kudos!

    2. You, Sir, are an F'ing genius of the highest order! You realize that you changed the thought train of the entire viewing populace, who love to get their hands full of sawdust, glue, solder flux and nitro?

    [​IMG]

    I am impressed to the core, but it'll never work with a Bigsby! (hadda get m'digs in....)

    You have done well. I'm waiting for the rest!
     
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  14. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Great project.
    Where did you get the neck?
     
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  15. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Love the innovations!
     
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  16. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Sorry guys, have been away for a while, sorry for not answering the questions! I’ll get right to it!

    But first: the guitar is finished (as in lacquered) now. This is my very first guitar I ever stained and lacquered but it came out satisfying, to me at least ;-)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile the bridge pickup arrived ($11), very curious to see if it’s any good but I am still waiting for the switch :(

    I had to level the frets and file the fret-edges, but it’s pretty much perfect now!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  17. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Hi Zammie,
    Well.... it turned out to be a resonant and good sounding body, the routes are also OK. But the top turned out to be mdf with a thin veneer.... turns out AliExpress offers two types of this body (“Mushlady” branded): this one and one with a 3-ply top and maple veneer with a Tigerstripe pattern. The latter seems a little better, but who knows, maybe the mdf even contributes to the unique sound?

    The mahogany top veneer is very thin in some spots especially on the edges and the binding ‘bleeds’ a little into it. Also some filled up spots and some stains. From a distance it looks pretty good though, but it’s definitely low budget. With a sunburst finish most of the flaws would have been covered, but I wanted to keep it simple for this very first finishing experience.
     
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  18. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Haha! Thanks for the kind words! Indeed I gave it quite a bit of thought... and very pleased it worked out as planned ;-)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  19. Little Jay

    Little Jay Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  20. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well maybe MDF will be the new holy grail of tone woods then, lol. Really, though, it sounds amazing.
     
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