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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by GilB, Jun 22, 2018.
I'd better return my '66 reissue from the custom shop
A significant percentage of Squier 51s from that era, did in fact have the bridge pickup and rout set off to one side. Now, this IS the kind of defect worth talking about, since the pole pieces on these "misaligned" pickup examples didn't fall under the strings nicely, and I felt the output of the pickup was actually impaired.
And as for the MIM guitars, some of the '72 Thinlines had some substantial misalignment issues as well, although the worst of this issue was addressed, I think, about 8 years ago. I've seen my share of badly assembled guitars or guitars with parts that just turned out wrong from the factory. I'm ready to call out FMIC when they get stuff wrong, but I want my b!tching to be directed where it is needed most.
What a piece of junk! I’ll give you $75.00 for it.
I would contend that the American Special is no more or less "low quality" than a '52 original, warts and all. The bridge design is no different, along with the sharp screws which are also still in evidence in the vintage-style Stratocaster bridge. Jumbo frets are one of those love them or hate them things; it took me a while to adjust from vintage style fret wire, but I absolutely love the effortless, slinky playability of jumbos now. The build quality overall is very good, and no worse than any other Fender, although I had to have one high fret attended to.
Maybe it's just me, but I am mainly interested in how the guitar sounds more than anything else and can easily overlook most flaws if I can get what I sonically need out of it.
For instance, my 1991 Gibson Les Paul Studio weighs a ton and has fret ends sharp enough to slice your finger (I'm working on fixing that btw), but it sure rocks the house when I need it to!
My 2003 Fender AVRI '52 Telecaster is also heavy and has a pumpkin orange finish (as well as the butt crack bridge) but it so sounds so sweet I wouldn't change a thing (aesthetically speaking).
Anyway, I can overlook just about anything as long as I can get the tone I need from any given instrument...
It's so interesting that this thread produced responses from "horrible engineering, can't believe they won't fix this over the years," to "cry-babies, stop your whining!"
First of all, if you're buying a vintage reissue or a vintage-inspired instrument, I think it's reasonable to for that instrument to have cosmetic features/imperfections that the original did. The butt crack has no effect on tone or playability. Also, I could certainly see vintage purists attacking Fender for making changing the dimensions of the ashtray bridge.
Secondly, Fender has fixed this issues. The modern plate bridges cover up the butt crack and address the intonation issue. So, you have your choice: buy a guitar with the original ashtray, which has its issues, or buy one with the modern, fixed bridge. And, if none of those float your boat, you're free to buy any of the dozens of after-market bridges out there.
Third, If someone is new to Telecasters, there is no reason to berate them or name call. Yeah, the guy probably returned a perfectly good Tele. But, I'm sure you've made mistakes before, too.
It’s sloppy work. Why someone would try to rationalize that is beyond me.
Please explain what is sloppy about it? The route is clean. It fits the pickup.
Yeah when I was shopping around for a '52 Hot Rod, I noticed that, for whatever reason, that particular model consistently has a pronounced butt crack. Didn't stop me from buying it though.
Glad to see that the OP has been back to really add to and comment on his issue...
The so-called butt crack is an essential element of telecasters... that's how the body wood breathes. The effect on the sound is remarkable.
Your hostility seems misplaced.
With warmest regards, your post triggered a recollection on my part, of a fellow who chipped the finish (dinged) on a Les Paul Standard and his response was to throw the guitar in a dumpster. I hope someone retrieved it but I have no confirmation of that. Music is best when we roll with the punches.
Never noticed it before this thread but after checking my '14 MM FSR I see but-crack! Who knew, now I can't ignore it. No problem for me though.
To the uninformed (most who replied):
The gap is not sloppy work. it's neither a defect nor a feature.
Teles originally came with a bridge cover (nicknamed an 'ashtray' because that's what people used them for).
The cover covered the gap as well as the rest of the crudely finished bridge plate. It was never meant to be seen. Look at the crude corners and the unpolished surface behind the pickup.
People removed the cover to facilitate palm muting. Fender makes their traditional style models to be more vintage correct, hence the gap and funky plate are still there on those models.
I agree that models that are supposed to be vintage correct could and probably should have it, but the American Special is absolutely not meant to be vintage correct.
So I also agree that in this case either the bridge plate should be marginally wider, or the pickup routing should be slightly smaller (if possible). It is CNC era isn't it?
I wouldn't mind it, but I can see why some people just can't accept it.
Don't worry and play the s**t out of her.
it's a 'tone-crack'.
I created that myself on my MIM Standard.
It happened when I got rid of the ugly stock modern bridge.
I couldn't be happier now, my Wilkinson bridge with compensated saddles works and sounds amazingly well.
Who cares if it sounds and feels right?
I have a 2015 American Special and I love it.
I would not change anything.
I used to think this was a flaw as well but then found out that the butt crack is due to the fact that the original bridge would have had an ashtray cover which would have covered the butt crack, to keep to original 50’s tele spec they use the same routing tolerances, my 08’US standard tele has a modern five saddle bridge plate, I kinda wish that it had a butt crack