Korean Telecaster - to mod or not to mod.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Vintagebrit, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Vintagebrit

    Vintagebrit Tele-Holic

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    Last year I bought a 1989 Korean Telecaster which needed a bit of cosmetic touching up. That's done. But do I change the electrics and pickups?
    I have bought a Fender Kit to change the switches, pot's and wiring and I was thinking of putting some Noiseless Pickups in it.
    The ones in the guitar work though the electrics are a bit crackly.
    What do people think? Keep it original? Mod it?
     
  2. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

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    IMO, make the guitar into what you want it to be. It's a Korean Tele with all its good points and bad points.

    Make it into what you want from a Tele.

    However, hang onto the old bits, in case you want to return it to stock, and sell it as an "unmodded example".

    Who knows?????
     
  3. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

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    I did a similar thing with my '85 MIJ -- replaced the pots and switch when they started to crackle. Did it about 10 years ago and no problems since. Made me love the guitar all over again. So, I say go for it -- but keep the original parts.

    One problem you might encounter in changing the pots (happened to me, anyway) is the holes for the original tone and volume were a bit to small to fit the ones in the upgrade kit. So I replaced the sausage-shaped plate for the controls as well... but, again, kept the original.
     
  4. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Ad Free Member

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    I can't imagine that there will ever be significant collector value in that guitar (though who really knows what folks will drool over in 30 years?), so I'd have no issue with upgrading electronics. You won't be hurting it's resale value, and you will be improving it as a guitar to be played. Win-win!

    Tim
     
  5. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

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  6. cherokee jim

    cherokee jim Banned

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    I've been watching the prices last yr or so for these 50$ sears and roebuck guitars and they have generated quite a following and command decent prices these days.Doesn't Jack White use a modded Kay for his studio work?I've been looking for a good shaped Teisco and man I can't believe what they are going for now.
     
  7. Phil In Ottawa

    Phil In Ottawa Tele-Meister

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    I have an '89 MIK Squier and the only original parts are the neck and the body. Everything else has been upgraded.

    The last mod was last year to install Keystones and a four-way switch.

    So I say go for it. As someone said above, keep the original parts just in case.
     
  8. Stringbender11

    Stringbender11 Tele-Meister

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    I have two '89 Squier Teles myself, and I keep them stock because I generally dont mod guitars. But that said the tuners and electronics are pretty crappy. I guess there's a remote chance the value on these guitars will rise in value - they are well made.
    But if you really want a nice player OP, might as well upgrade the guitar and make it the way you want it. I would also think it might quite some time before these guitars reached any collector status if ever, so i wouldnt worry about keeping it stock.
     
  9. DaveA

    DaveA TDPRI Member

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    Yes Yes Yes Like ever one says, mod it suit you and keep the stuff to change it back.
    I have been collecting hardware to change out all the chrome and electrics on my 96 MIK
    because its all A1 perfect and I want it to be that way at selling time.
    And it means I will have a MIJ with MIM 4 way switching and a very well made MIK neck to play with.
    At this end of the market these things went to kids to destroy, there will only ever be a few perfect examples left in a few short years (maybe)
     
  10. Twinkie

    Twinkie Tele-Meister

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    Korean???

    Mod it!!!
     
  11. Vintagebrit

    Vintagebrit Tele-Holic

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    I've seen the prices of the Korean Tele's rise and they go for more than £100 now, which is probably what they cost 23 years ago.
    Will definitely keep the old parts.
    What about the Fender Noiseless pick-ups. Do they still have the Twang or can you recommend others (bearing in mind I don't want humbuckers)?
     
  12. Fatmanstratman

    Fatmanstratman Poster Extraordinaire

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    'Ain't that the truth!

    I bought this 1964 Harmony H14 "Bobkat" several years ago, for £130UK delivered. I thought I'd been ripped off for what had been, after all, a catalogue "Budget/Student" guitar back in the day. They were sold, back in 1964, for $65US (approx. £40UK).

    [​IMG]

    Today, this "Budget" model is available on the 'Bay for sums ranging from £340UK to £630UK. Which equates to $540 to $1000 ....:eek:

    There is a seller offering the pickup ONLY for £182UK ($289)!!!

    I love this fun little guitar, and would never sell it. But it would appear to have been a shrewd investment too..:cool:
     
  13. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    i'd say go ahead and mod it. the great thing about Fenders is that, aside from refinishing, you can easily return it back to stock if you ever want to.

    i don't like the Fender Noiseless pups, although it depends on WHICH Noiseless set you're talking about. they're not terrible, but they're just kind of "meh". nothing particularly exciting about them, and they seem to sound a little closer to humbuckers than traditional Tele pups (because they are humbuckers.)

    the Noiseless aren't bad pickups, but if you're willing to spend that much i just think there are plenty of better choices out there (noiseless or not.) Lollar and Lindy Fralin are two favorites, but i also really like Tonerider pickups and they're a lot less expensive since they're imported. you could get a set of Toneriders for the same price as just one Fralin, Lollar or Fender Noiseless pickup! and of course Duncan and DiMarzio both make tons of models too, and their prices mostly fall in-between imports and boutique pups like Lollars.

    overall i think Fender Noiseless are more of a lateral move rather than a tonal upgrade. if i were you, i'd hit up your local music store and play some of the American Deluxe models. those use Noiseless pups and you'd be able to directly compare them to traditional single-coils to get a better idea of how different they sound.
     
  14. DaveA

    DaveA TDPRI Member

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    Installed the MIJ electrics yesterday into my 96 MIK with 4 way switch.
    Just like every body I had to file both front and rear of the switch lever get enough movement and then I had to elongate the tone pot hole 1/8 inch as well. The mount holes are the same but the tone is closer to the volume on the Korean plate and the MIK pots are tiny so they take out less wood.
    Took the neck out to make it earier to work on and who could have known. The s/n on the head stock is VN6xxxxx and the body it stamped FEB 97.
    End result, sounds a little better and it sounds great in series.
    MIK electrics wont wear out in the cupboard.
     
  15. Mulldune

    Mulldune Tele-Meister

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    mod it man,its not a Stratavarious (sp)
     
  16. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do what you want, keep the original parts.

    The MIK Squiers are beginning to catch on and I believe they will appreciate in value. However, what's important is how happy you are with the guitar now.

    I like the MIK Squiers a lot; I've swapped pickups in some, left others stock. Depends on what you want out of the guitar.
     
  17. thumbpick

    thumbpick Tele-Afflicted

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    do what you like..but have you tried,contact cleaner for the pots
     
  18. whiteop

    whiteop Tele-Afflicted

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    And pretty crappy playing and sounding guitars at that but they did have a certain appeal.
     
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