Hello, I'm new here. I'm looking for advice

Discussion in 'Welcome Wagon' started by GuitarsBuicks, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, actually I'm not entirely new. I have been watching from afar, and reading some of the posts that come through, but I Just finally joined today. I decided after nearly a year of watching from behind the magic curtain to join. I own only two electric guitars in a collection of twelve, one of which happens to be my 1996 American Standard Telecaster that I recently acquired (Last summer). I had wanted one for a long time. It was your typical love at first sight story. I instantly fell in love with the look and feel of her (the guitar). I knew the second I picked it up out of the stand that I wanted it. But I assume everyone has heard that story or experienced it before.

    However, I knew when I bought it that it didn't sound the greatest but it just felt so right. And it was built in September of 1996, which is the same month that I was born the same year that I was born which is just plain cool.

    I am now looking for pickup advice to improve the overall tone of the guitar as it sounds great when plugged into my vintage 25 by Stage bedroom amp. However, when I plug into any of my three big amps it just doesn't sound right. My '68 super reverb reissue with a phase 95 is my primary set up, I also have a Fender Hot Rod DeVille, C.1993 that I run with pretty much the same setup, and a vintage Peavey Heritage VTX. Nothing I do has made this telecaster sound right. granted when i bought it she was the best telecaster in the shop but when I got home and went out on the back porch and turned it up it just didn't have the telecaster tone.

    Just for a reference for the tone I'm hoping for, I play mainly classic country, outlaw country, and classic rock. Basically anything from the early Buddy Holly type stuff all the way through to Chris Stapleton and Brad Paisley.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    How do you feel it's supposed to sound, and what about the sound isn't doing it? I would really recommend NOT changing the pickup or anything else on the guitar, other than putting new strings on it. There's no way that an American Standard doesn't sound like a Telecaster, or couldn't get the types of sounds you say you're after.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  3. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    It just doesn't. With new strings it sounds dead. it acts like a lifeless hunk of tonewoods. That snarl and twang is pretty much non-existent. The reason I suspect its the pickups is because when I bought it they told me they were not the correct pickups for that guitar. Whatever that means. I was hoping to get a more vintage sound. I mean when you have an Ibanez Jetking II and a FirstAct Les Paul style guitar with more twang than a $1000 Telecaster with the tone on full in a clean fender amp something has to be wrong electrically.

    To answer your first question, I am looking for something between Waylon on Waylon Live, Don Rich, and Buck Owens(on the When Buck Came Back Live in San Francisco album).

    Yes, I know that tone mainly comes from the hands, but at the same time the base tone of the guitar also plays a large factor.

    I'm looking at the Fender Custom Shop '51 Nocaster pickups.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
  4. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    I didn't realize they were not the original pickups.

    You definitely want low-output vintage style pickups. No need to pay too much money, the Fender Original Vintage pickups will do exactly what you want – and I'm a huge Don Rich fan. Those are probably closer to what you describe than the Nocaster pickups. I've played Nocaster Reissues in a guitar shop and they sounded very mid-rangey. You want bright and twangy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
  5. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    The sound I really like is what the custom shop is getting out of the 70th anniversary Broadcaster. At least what I can hear from the video. Bright and twangy with some mid-range for versatility.
     
  6. FrankJames

    FrankJames Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Welcome to the forum !!
     
  7. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks!
     
  8. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Have you tried adjusting the pickup height? That may help a lot as well. I believe that guitar came with the Broadcaster bridge and Twisted Tele neck pickups, or at least the more recent ones did. Being a 1996 it may have had something else. Maybe a vintage style set will do the trick.
     
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  9. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Oh! Welcome aboard!
     
  10. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi, welcome! You’ve come to the right place. A lot of knowledge and expertise here.
     
  11. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    Welcome to TDPRI :)
     
  12. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome GuitarsBuicks! I play pretty much exactly the same material you stated you like. My main Tele, a 1992 American Standard covers 99% of my gigs. I loaded this guitar with Texas Specials back in 1998 and have never looked back. For my style of playing and requirements, these pickups fully do the trick for me. I play straight into my amps....just onboard reverb and tremolo. My backup Tele is equipped with the same pickups and it delivers what I need also. My other Teles are all stock.
    I'm not saying you should get these pickups, but they work for me. Just saying.
     
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  13. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    There is a section here specific to pickup heights -

    https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us...ow-do-I-set-up-my-Telecaster-guitar-properly-

    The measurements in the article are good starting points, after that listen, adjust, repeat :)

    I'd try adjusting the pickup heights before buying pickups. As has been mentioned the Fender OV pickups are great!

    It's hard to say what pickups are installed now, though, can you provide photos of the pickups? Some TDPRI members here might recognize what they are.
     
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  14. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Firstly, did you ever figure out the "whatever that means" part? For someone to say, "they were not the correct pickups for that guitar" could mean: 1) they were not the stock pickups, or 2) the pickups were not the beholder's preferred taste.

    Secondly, it sounds like you fell in love with the "look and feel" in the shop, but didn't plug it in until you got home, despite having heard that "the pickups were not the correct pickups for that guitar".

    Thirdly, plugging into different amps only serves to further muddy the "guitar tone" waters.

    Consider this a valuable lesson learned, GuitarsBuicks. :rolleyes:
     
  15. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Before going down the pickup changing rabbit hole be sure to use the tone control and find the sweet spot where the bridge pickup isn't harsh.
    Many people try a Tele, think it's brittle and harsh, and move on. But all those great compressed warm edged punchy plucky Tele sounds come with a rolled off tone control in the bridge position. Think Brad Paisley.

    Pickups can make subtle changes but they wont change the basic character of a guitar. (except some extreme types)
     
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  16. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    First of all thank you to all for the welcome. In answer to most of your questions, yes I did adjust the pickups. I got a marginally better tone but nothing spectacular. The only truly usable tone I am able to get is with the tone completely on or most of the way off. With the volume in full, which I don't need to tell you is rather loud going into anything bigger than a 5 watt amp at any volume above 1.5.

    Further more, I played this guitar no less than 5 separate occasions weeks apart in the shop I bought it from through a '68 Super reverb reissue behind my own Phase 95 which I took to the shop. By comparison the other teles and tele style guitars in the shop it was all around the best electric I have played to date of any within a 3hr radius other than the Jetking II which I love just slightly more than my tele. I wasn't specifically looking for a telecaster at the time but I did need another gig-able electric as the Jetking 2 was my only gigging electric.

    As stated the tele sounded fine. Then I played an outdoor gig 3 months later and simply couldn't get the sound out of it once the Super was cranked up around 5 1/2-6. I ended up having to switch back to my Jetking because the Tele was not right, and hasn't been right since.

    It's almost like there's an internal decay in the pickup.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  17. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Ironically enough that is the article I started with when I was looking for how to properly adjust the pickups for tone.

    I will upload pics once I get a chance. Currently the guitar has not been taken apart more than to change the stings and reattach the neck pickup when I adjusted it too far down causing to fall off the screw.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  18. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Howdy!
     
  19. pi

    pi Tele-Meister

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    Good choice
     
  20. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    (Edit: As others are mentioning, do a full setup first and make sure your pickup height is correct!)

    '62 AVRI Custom Telecaster pickups. Affordable and killer, as mentioned above! Don't fall into the boutique trap, just get Fender and be happy :)

    ~$40 each.
    https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=american vintage 62 custom telecaster pickups

    The Pure Vintage '64 pickups are probably similar to these, maybe someone who has had both can chime in on that, they're not much more expensive than these.
     
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