First Tele (Mexican) ... has it got a problem?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by epoch71, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. epoch71

    epoch71 TDPRI Member

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    Hi all

    New here, beginner player, and got my first Tele. It's a Mexican Player Series and (naughty me) I bought it online.

    I'm unfamiliar with Telecasters and I just want to ask some advice in regards to the bridge pickup. If you see the pics I've attached the bridge pickup seems slightly higher on the high-E side than it does at the other end. I'm unsure if this is normal, or if it's somehow slightly dislodged out of position. It just looks kinda 'off'.

    Apologies for the noob question but all advice gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance.

    tele1.jpg tele2.jpg tele3.jpg tele4.jpg
     
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  2. DADGAD

    DADGAD Tele-Afflicted

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    My Strats are setup that way for string to string volume balance. How is the string to string volume sound on your guitar through an amp? Do they sound equal in volume?
     
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  3. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Holic

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    It’s perfectly normal and can be adjusted with the three screws around the pickup.
    Try to experiment how the tone changes according to the height of the pickup.
    Be just aware that setting the magnets too close to the strings alters their vibration and can cause weird things, like pulling them out of tune. But below that critical point, it’s up to your taste and ears!
     
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  4. epoch71

    epoch71 TDPRI Member

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    Hi DADGAD. It was freezing cold when it arrived earlier today so I wanted to give it some time to acclimatise before giving it a proper test. That said, I did give it a quick once over to ensure the pickup selector and knobs were functional and I didn't notice anything off in terms of balance, but to be honest I wasn't listening for that. I can check that again a bit later once its warms up a bit!
     
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  5. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Those screws exist to adjust the pickup for sound, not looks. Fender even suggests that pickup heights for single coils be higher on the treble side, than the bass. Start there, and adjust by ear.


    If you're a brand new player, I say this with kindness... pay someone to do a proper setup, and then stop reading the internet for a few months, and just play.

    Welcome to the forum :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  6. epoch71

    epoch71 TDPRI Member

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    Ok thanks all for your advice, it's very much appreciated. I just wanted to be sure it wasn't a physical fault. I'm slightly familiar with the adjustability (is that a word?) of humbuckers but given my unfamiliarity to Teles I just wanted to be doubly sure.

    Cheers guys. I really looking forward to playing this.
     
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  7. arlum

    arlum TDPRI Member

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    You're good to go. Over time you'll probably want to try making slight adjustments to suit your tonal desires. Closer to the strings equals more volume and breakup. Further away equals more clarity and note definition. It's all good. Experiment. That's part of the fun of owning an electric guitar.
     
  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Holic

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    A really good general rule for setting pickup height is to use a US nickel.

    With the guitar laying flat, lightly fret the low E string at the highest fret and slip a nickel between the low E string and the pickup's low E pole piece. Adjust that end of the pickup so the nickel just slips in without moving the string. Do the same on the high E side. When done, go back and re-check the low E and again the high E, because adjusting one side slightly changes the other side.

    The three screws on a Tele bridge pickup not only adjust the height of the pickup, but the angle of the coil (tilt) in relation to the plane of the strings. So adjust all three screws so the height is good and the top of the bobbin (the flat black plate surrounding the six magnets) is on the same plane as the strings.

    This works for most any kind of pickup--be it neck or bridge position. Just remember to hold the string down at the highest fret when checking the gap.

    This nickel trick is a good starting point from which you can tweak up or down for your desired tone/response.

    And welcome to the forum!
     
  9. epoch71

    epoch71 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the welcome, and the additional advice. We don't have nickels here in the UK but for sure I'll find a close approximation from Her Majesty's coinage!
     
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  10. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

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    Apparently a nickel is 1.95mm thick. A 10p coin is 1.85mm and a 2p is 2.05mm.

    Welcome to the TDPRI!
     
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  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Welcome!

    Guitar looks fine to me. I'd play it for a while, and as a newcomer you can study how to set guitars up. Maybe by the time you really need a set up, you'll know how to accomplish that yourself.

    See, to me a lot of the reason for a pro setup is for existing, finicky players to get their instruments dialed in perfectly TO THEIR TASTE. Pardon my caps, but if you're new to this you don't have any established preferences yet. So, I hate to dissent from what Moosie is saying but my bet is, this guitar impresses you as it is, so easy does it on changes, until you figure out what you actually like and don't like in a guitar set up.
     
  12. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Ad Free Member

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    Welcome! It isn't unusual to see a pickup like that. It crosses brands as well. I had a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop that sounded terrible until I realized the pickup was set so low that it wasn't really being affected by the strings in the normal way. Once I adjusted that it worked fine. Go easy on any adjustments. If it sounds good to you now just leave it for a while. You'll know down the road what to do as you learn the guitar. And those Mexican Players can be great guitars - enjoy yours!
     
  13. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Meister

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    Then I'd use a 2p for the high e and a pair of 10p for the low e.

    (I've always used one nickel high side and two nickels low side.)
     
  14. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would adjust it by ear. Plug it in and start picking and dial up or down until you like what you hear across all strings.
     
  15. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted

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    If you are brand new to guitars, and the guitar seems to be playing ok for you, then leave it alone altogether and spend your time practicing. Leave your hex wrenches and screwdrivers in the garage, and leave your nickles in your piggy bank and simply play the guitar. When you've played it enough that it needs new strings, take it to the guitar shop and have them set it up so it "plays easier" and that's how I'd word it if I were you, or simply change the strings yourself and don't worry about the setup.
     
  16. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    This video is a great summary of a shoot from the hip approach on guitar setup:

     
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  17. Hey_you

    Hey_you TDPRI Member

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    Bass strings produce more "presence" than the higher strings, so the are usually set lower. According to Fender site, I got this info for setting up a tele from scratch.
    Pick-up Height:
    Bass Side Treble Side
    Texas Specials 8/64" (3.6 mm) 6/64" (2.4 mm)
    Vintage style 6/64" (2.4 mm) 5/64" (2 mm)
    Noiseless™ Series 8/64" (3.6 mm) 6/64" (2.4 mm)
    Standard Single-Coil 5/64" (2 mm) 4/64" (1.6 mm)
    Humbuckers 4/64" (1.6 mm) 4/64" (1.6 mm)
    Of course, that is the standard set up. Like any recipe, it's not gospel. Mix to taste ....
     
  18. Corvus

    Corvus Tele-Meister

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    All my pickups are slightly lower on the bass side because there is more mass on the bass strings = more output so you angle the pickup to balance it. Regarding all the published heights etc - well, like so many things - it depends!" Basically it's how it sounds best to you and the screws are there for you to adjust this but the way they are set in the pics seems like a very good starting point. I'd say don't set too close to the strings - tends to be muddy and you get a clearer tone backing off a bit. Also the gauge and make of strings can make differences. If you do decide to adjust that bridge pickup do be careful; I once ruined a good pickup when the screwdriver slipped.
     
  19. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Unfortunately I know nothing, sorry.

    Enjoy your Telecaster they are fun.
     
  20. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Use you smallest silver coin - 10p I think?

    Usually a rule of thumb is 2 coins thickness on the high-E and 3 on the low-E with String fretted last fret - some pickups the magnets are staggered for a vintage fretboard so you might have to slightly raise or lower them to balance output across strings.

    The third screw in front is so you can make the pickup sit flat. On the neck pickup there's only the two.
     
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