Is your telecaster harsh?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Singles Forever, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. Singles Forever

    Singles Forever TDPRI Member

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    I've been a strat guy for a while and I'm new to the Telecaster but loving it. How many people find their Telecaster harsh on the bridge pickup, with overdrive or gain, on the high E string on bends?

    It's just something that happens because the bridge pickup is so damn close to the bridge? Or because it's surrounded by metal?

    I'm partially concerned because I'm afraid it may be because of the callaham bridge I just installed.
     
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  2. TheMindful

    TheMindful Tele-Meister

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    Learning how to work with the natural idiosyncrasies of the Telecaster involves its brightness. It can sound great or terrible depending in whose hands the axe is in.

    If I'm not conscious of the treble and I dig in at certain frequencies then sure, it can be harsh. Sometimes I want it to be harsh. Try playing with softer attack in the registers you feel are too harsh for your natural tendencies and see if you can overall balance it with touch.
     
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  3. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Afflicted

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    All volume and tone settings?
     
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  4. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Afflicted

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    I don’t find mine to be harsh after several years of getting to know each other. I’ve leaned the bridge pickup away from the treble side just a hair, figured out where the treble knob on my amp needs to be when I have the tone knob wide open, etc. I actually find the typical bridge pickup on a Tele to be a nice sturdy/robust tone compared to the average Strat bridge. I’ve had a couple of Strats, and I’m sure I’ll have more, because they “do a thing” that I like, too. :)
     
  5. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Afflicted

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    Great point. I notice I can vary the amount of bite a lot by picking location and angle of attack.
     
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  6. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Depends on what you need. The bridge will cut through in a mix better than many pickup choices. On it's own it can seem a bit harsh but then use that tone knob.
     
  7. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

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    what pickups ? and are they set to correct heights ? there can be here and there some which are very "harsh", i never got a harsh one over all the teles i had ( across many series ).. some where brighter.

    You might just need to get the heights correct
     
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  8. aux8

    aux8 Tele-Meister

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    I'm about a year in with a 50s Baja after years with a humbuckered Gibson-esque guitar. I'm still constantly supposed how mellow and rounded the Tele is. Even on bridge pickup... it has a lovely kind of 'tonk, clonk' sound there when clean. I was expecting harsh, but I find it's not.
     
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  9. TheMindful

    TheMindful Tele-Meister

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    Exactly. When I'm playing high E on the higher frets I play closer to the neck to fatten it up a bit and soften up the pick attack which gives it a rounder, fuller sound. If I were to play with a stiffer attack the notes would plink and sound thin. Experiment and find what you need to do physically to get the right tones.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  10. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    Since I use noise canelling pickups, GFS Lil Punchers on one of my Teles, and Fender Vintage Noiseless on the other, they're not at all harsh. Sometimes I wish they had a little more sparkle, like real single coils.
     
  11. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    I roll the treble off a bit when using the bridge pickup unless it's a scorching song.
     
  12. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    A few things you could try...

    Rolling off your guitar tone a bit, like 20% or so, will cut the edge.

    Your amps EQ settings may need more attention.

    Pick the strings farther from the saddles.

    If you are using steel-wound strings, switch to nickel wound to mellow things out.
     
  13. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Not as harsh as my ex. :p

    Pickup type, pickup height, pot value, EQ, all contribute to some degree so you experiment to find what you like.

    I'm also thinking that as a long time Strat player you're just not as accustomed to the tonality of a Tele bridge pickup yet. Give it time.
     
  14. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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    Me too. I think the Tele is a little "harsh"compared to a Strat or a Les Paul, that's why I need one:)
     
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  15. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I roll tone and vol back 20_25 percent to start ... And start there...
     
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  16. heffus

    heffus Tele-Holic

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    The tone knob is all you need. I almost NEVER use my bridge pickup with the tone all the way up. Roll it back for the bridge, turn it back up for the neck. Also use the volume knob to cut highs.
     
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  17. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    My bridge is brash but not harsh.
     
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  18. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That’s what the tone knob is for. If you still can’t get there, try lowering the pickup by half turns til it gets better. If you can’t fix it that way, look for a less bright pickup...possibly something overwound with milder high end.
     
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  19. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    On all of my Teles, the bridge pickup is dipped on the high side to give me a little better tonal balance. But, even with that slight mode I can still get it to snarl by picking closer to the bridge.
     
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  20. pbenn

    pbenn Tele-Afflicted

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    Everybody's right on here. Lowering pickups is my vote, bringing back the rhythm p/u height first, raked for no 6th string mud and as stratty as possible on the first string.

    Then in middle mix position, bring just enough bridge p/u height back to make your perfect mix.

    Bridge pickup just ends up a low default position.
     
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