MIM Tele upgrade

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Grendel2000, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    So I've decided to just go for it and upgrade the parts I'm not in love with on my new (to me) 2018 MIM plus top Tele Standard...

    What I'm going for is intended to achieve three things:

    1. Fix the dead sounding low E string and A string. They sound very dull even with brand new strings. I assume it's either an issue with the nut or the block steel saddle that came on it. Both will be replaced...

    2. Provide better tone overall, but specifically through upgrading the not-very-impressive stock pickups.

    C. (lol) Give me the locking tuners I prefer

    and

    F. Switch over to a more vintage bridge with three barrel brass saddles.

    Here's the parts I've chosen - I'm interested in input / wisdom:

    BRIDGE: Gotoh BS-TC2 - I trust the brand for quality. I'm a little concerned that the one I'm looking at has no Gotoh logo / engraving (I prefer it without - that's a GOOD thing) but most others I've seen have ugly script letters saying "in tune" - BLECH... Any chance this is a fake?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TSCCJ7M/?tag=tdpri-20

    ELECTRONICS: ObsidianWire Custom 4-Way setup - I'm interested in checking out both the parallel and in-series options and I hate soldering...

    PICKUPS: Bootstrap Palo Duro - I think it will be a happy medium between "traditional Tele" with just a hint more grunt. I'm positive it will be a big upgrade over the stock ones...

    TUNERS: Hipshot drop in locking tuners - I have these on my Strat and really like them a lot so why go a different direction?

    NUT: Graphtech aged pre-slotted Tusq nut - again, I have one on my Strat and really like it.

    Thoughts? Anywhere I'm going off the rails?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Blue Bill, idjster and whoanelly15 like this.
  2. whoanelly15

    whoanelly15 Tele-Holic

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    1. 2. C. And F.

    That gave me the giggles. Can’t speak to the Gotoh listing for the bridge you mentioned, but I’m quite certain that the upgrades you mentioned would enhance most guitars quite a bit. If it were me, I’d probably start with the nut and see what difference that made and go from there, but no one has been disappointed in the Palo Duro pups yet. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
     
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  3. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    I'd agree with this. Fortunately all these things can be done one at a time so start with the nut. I'm a fan of locking tuners too, but those dead sounding strings need to be dealt with first so the nut is the first thing. Who knows? One small change might be all it needs to make you happy. Fortunately, the MIM Standards can be really good guitars so I'm glad to see you trying to solve the problem rather than just getting rid of it and getting something else. One of my favourite guitars is a 2015 MIM.
     
  4. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I like the finish and the neck a LOT, so there's no way I'm ditching it...

    But I AM going to take care of all the upgrades at once! :twisted:

    I know I want the pickups and tuners no matter what, and if I'm doing THOSE I may as well just knock out the bridge while I'm at it, and I have no real choice I don't think on the nut, so... Screw it - I'M GOING IN!!!
     
    Blue Bill, idjster and whoanelly15 like this.
  5. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted

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    These all look like great choices to me, I doubt your bridge is a fake but you could ask the retailer if it is in mfg. packaging, they have decent reviews. Best of luck!
     
  6. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    That's a great idea, thanks!
     
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Start smaller and more effectively...

    Keep the stock pickups, push the tone with selecting different pots and caps. Pots have a 20% tolerance range and it matters. Measure what you have and go higher/lower measured replacements.

    .
     
    matmosphere and Obsessed like this.
  8. whoanelly15

    whoanelly15 Tele-Holic

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    Not that you need it, but you have our full support. That is, assuming we get some pics and maybe some sound samples when you’re done.
     
    LunarSlingShot likes this.
  9. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    Well here's the BEFORE pic in any case (along with my 2017 MIM Strat) - I'll post more when the deed is done!

    [​IMG]
     
    winnsworld, jim777 and whoanelly15 like this.
  10. OzShadow

    OzShadow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    How does the E and A sound fretted? How high is the neck pickup?
     
  11. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I'd do things one at a time.. starting with the nut, which might not even need replacing, just fixing the slots... they are probably really high, so in the process of lowering them you can fix the angle and/or clean up anything in the slot that binds.

    That might totally fix those screwy strings to the point where you think there's no need to change tuners or bridge/saddles.

    Can't really argue with the pickups, I did the same thing to my 2016 MIM. But it is possible changing the caps/pots could help a lot. Probably more the tone cap than anything I'd say.

    Very nice looking guitar in any case.
     
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  12. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    So you spent less money on a MIM guitar and will now spend the difference in parts when you could have just got the Made in USA to start. Maybe you would have done the same thing to a Made in USA Guitar. Go for it.
     
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  13. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Tele-Meister

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    I added Harmonic Design pickups to mine. They replaced the Fender Noiseless which, while Noiseless, had no garlic or chili. Now, I get the tone I want with all the spank required.

    Everything else is stock.
     
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  14. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    They just don't ring out like the others do. They sound somewhat muted and lack sustain.

    Thus pickups are set quite low. Pretty sure it isn't that they're too close
     
  15. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    @Recce Well, yes, but by so doing I got not only a body / finish that I LOVE (and that is not available on a MIA Tele) but I also get to tailor it to my exact desires with the hardware of my choice across the board. Hardware that in many (if not most) cases may even exceed what would come stock on a MIA... And by doing the labor myself I get the satisfaction of knowing it was done right, and also knowing far more about the instrument.
     
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  16. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Works for me. You would have done exactly the same thing to a Made in America but you like the feel of the MIM better. Sounds like you will end up a guitar you will enjoy.
     
  17. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    +1 I agree. Don't change too many variables at the same time. Work out the nut/dead string issues first, then adjust the pups all over again to get a better idea of how the pups respond. My I eventually swapped out my MIM ceramics too, so I understand the desire.
     
  18. Grendel2000

    Grendel2000 TDPRI Member

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    Like I said (I think? getting old's a *****...) I mostly just fell in love with the finish. the flame top in "aged cherry burst" is just beautiful. As much as I've wanted to get a Tele and been keeping my eye out for deals, I have a hang up where I want my guitars to be unique to me. I struggle, therefore, with the heaps of butterscotch and other popular Tele finishes, even as beautiful as they are. Anyway, this one just grabbed me and I got a good deal on it so I bought it and now I just want to tweak it to my own vision of how I want it...

    I actually really like the MIA Aged Cherry Burst Teles with Ash bodies too but couldn't find a great deal on one at the time. I may get one of those some day too (likely with buckers) - who knows!
     
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  19. natec

    natec TDPRI Member

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    This isn't going to be groundbreaking news... But I am very happy with my Palo Duro pups.

    Have fun with your mods.
     
    whoanelly15 likes this.
  20. POS Guitars

    POS Guitars Tele-Meister

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    I’m all for doing the job at once, except I would properly diagnose and solve the dead sounding strings first. As others suggested, start with the nut. If you’re happy with the results, attack everything else.

    As far as the bridge goes, I have never seen a Gotoh bridge exactly like this one, but that doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Why not try a bridge with an ashtray lip, such as the Gotoh TC-1 (compensated saddles)? You might like it better, in case you run into intonation issues.

    Don’t forget nice pots - CYS or Bourne.

    The 4-way switching idea is great, depending on pups.
     
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