Is it sacrilege to mod a custom shop Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by ReggiedaDog, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Orpingtons

    Orpingtons Tele-Meister

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    I don't think it is, not at all. Those guitars are made by professional luthiers who design the guitars based on their own taste, not yours. It goes to show you that no guitar is perfect, in the sense that no guitar is perfect for YOU unless YOUR input was considered, no matter how much they charge for it.
     
  2. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Holic

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    No. Mass-produced guitars are built by CNC-trained machinists and assembly-line laborers. Maybe, maybe, luthiers built the prototypes before handing them over to the union workers. But never at Fender. To them, "Luthier" is Superman's arch-enemy.

    Would you consider Leo Fender a luthier?
     
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  3. Chief101

    Chief101 TDPRI Member

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    luthier
    noun
    lu·thi·er | \ ˈlü-tē-ər , -thē-ər\
    Definition of luthier:
    one who makes stringed musical instruments (such as violins or guitars)

    Technically, everyone that works on the production of a guitar at Fender should probably be considered a luthier - even Leo.
     
  4. Orpingtons

    Orpingtons Tele-Meister

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    I may havemisspoken, the luthiers (and that's Fender's own term for them) "design" the instrument. But one thing's for sure, the term "custom shop" may apply to artists and people with very deep pockets, the rest of us are left with the instruments they put out for a mere 4K. LOL

    But whatever the case, they make guitars based on what THEY think the guitar should sound like, not what YOU think YOUR guitar should sound like. It's your instrument once you buy it, it's only logical for you to make it should the way you want, specially after paying an arm and a leg for it.
     
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  5. Otis Fine

    Otis Fine Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    I'd forcefully rip those pickups out of there and flush them right down the toilet. Then, I'd grab a chisel and deepen the pickup routes "just in case." Then I'd stick in there whatever I wanted because it's my guitar and I'll probably be dead soon.
    OR I'd sell it and buy a used Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele or J Mascis Jazzmaster and go on a vacation.
     
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  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    A pickup change is easy to do and undo. Keep the old pickups stored safely somewhere (hopefully not magnetically stuck together) and if you decide to sell the guitar, you can just put them back in.
     
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’d mod the Mona Lisa, if it was mine to mod.
    I’d give her a nice tiara, or bow for her hair.
    My point is, CS guitars are just nice guitars.
    I bend them to my will, and play them.
    They’re not that special, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
    NewKid, tery, Ricky D. and 5 others like this.
  8. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Pickup swaps for the same type of pickup are completely reversible.

    That said, I think you can get what you want with amp adjustments. You can always make a light pickup sound like a heavy pickup. Going the other way is what's difficult.
     
  9. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    If I'm reading this right, you're saying that taking the original pickups out of a custom shop tele and putting the same pickups back in counts as modding and decreases the value? Fender must have some magical solder the rest of us don't have access to then.
     
  10. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    When I sell a guitar I try to be completely honest. I describe the guitar in great detail take pictures of every angle I can find including dents and dings. Even if they barely show in the pictures I'll photograph and describe them.

    I have a jaguar I'm about to sell with a warmoth body and a Fender neck. It used to have a mastery bridge but I took that and used it on a jazzmaster I built. I'm going to get some thimbles machined to match the OD of the mastery bridge thimble holes (larger than fender bridges with the ID of the Fender bridge. And I'm going to disclose all of that when it's listed. So the buyer knows they can switch to a mastery easily and also so they know there are high quality thimbles there as well. I'll also explain that I had to route out some of the cavity to make room for the electronics with the pickguard I put in.

    I say all this to demonstrate the effort I put into selling a guitar. If I sold my classic series 50s strat tomorrow, I would say that it doesn't have the original pickups in it, because I upgraded them years ago. But if I put the original pickups back in, I wouldn't even disclose the fact that the pickups had ever changed because what is the point?

    As long as it is wired up correctly and put back the way you bought it then no problem. Now if you were talking about changing to a new bridge that required a different route, or a humbucker in the neck position that required a new route, then changing back to original pickups, just because they fit and you can't tell with the pickguard on doesn't undo the mod.
     
  11. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Pickups are responsible for 90% of the "sound" of an electric guitar.
    If you don't like how your guitar currently sounds,and you obviously don't, you HAVE to change them or sell the guitar.
     
  12. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Telecasters are Lego, or rather Duplo, given the size.
    Swap the pickups, heck, swap the body! If you do swap the body, use an Electrosocket in the new body. Build up the other body so it becomes just a neck swap?, then, if you decide to get rid, reunite the neck and body and no-one is any the wiser.
     
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  13. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Holic

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    Hi.

    I’m not so hot at maths, but I’d say there’s a 100% chance it will be better or worse :)

    I guess some combination of forethought and chance will determine where the split is more or less likely to fall.

    So, I say think about it hard and do a bunch of research. Then mod.

    But before that, I say try a stomp box or two.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  14. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    Lots of people change the pickups in CS guitars. Just keep the original parts. As long as you bought it to play not sell on, get it playable for you.

    But before you do that, be sure you’ve spent enough time tweaking the pickup height. If you’re concerned about it cutting through a band, take a screwdriver to your next rehearsal and experiment. That can make a bigger impact than new pickups. Also if you’re using a particular OD, or other, pedal it might be taking the edge off the Tele. If you’ve tried all that, go for it.
     
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  15. voskarp

    voskarp Tele-Meister

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    I don't think this is a good idea, there's a great risk that the plumbings will get stuffed, which will damage the resell value of the house.
     
  16. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    The guitar makers at the CS are not the Pope of Rome and the guitar is yours, so do what you want with your stuff

    Come on! changin pickups is a minor thing
     
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  17. ReggiedaDog

    ReggiedaDog Tele-Meister

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    That’s a good idea.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Mase

    Mase Tele-Meister

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    Well going by your argument, unless you take it back to the Custom Shop to change the strings, its been modded.
    I find that hard to accept.
     
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  19. PC_Hater

    PC_Hater Tele-Meister

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    It is your guitar you can do whatever you want.
    I have only one unmolested guitar, all the others are definitely MINE and virtually worthless used. Still, it is all dirt cheap compared to my motorcycles!
    Somebody will do a humbucker that fits in place of the Tele neck pickup, also fit the Fender Tele-4 way switch.
    You might find just the Fender 4-way switch is enough.
     
  20. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

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    Its a damn hunk of wood that you paid for! Butcher the thing if it makes you happy.
     
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