Modern Player Thinline Deluxe, upgrades?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Ape Factory, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    I always thought the three saddle bridge just looked right. I know, functionally, it's no real improvement, probably just the opposite, but to me, Teles just need a three saddle!

    But point taken, and you're probably right. I have a feeling after I sort the pickups, electronics, and setup, I'll leave well enough alone.

    This is a great community btw. You guys rock.
     
  2. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    500K pots it is then. Hey, maybe there was a production run change. Who knows. Maybe the Chinese had extra 250's lying around and no 500's :D
     
  3. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Round two. Long day at work, definite need of playing time. I skip the PRS and go straight to the Fender and spend an hour working with the settings on the H&K tube amp and really begin to like what I'm hearing. Plug in the Okko Diablo in front of the amp and again begin getting good tones I enjoy. I break out the Burriss and find more tones I like but there's a lack of sustain. Finding a few different flavors of crunch and mild break up I can work with and appreciate.

    At this point, I'm thinking I knocked something together (instead of loose) when taking things apart last night. I'm enjoying the guitar, the neck, everything. Hrm. Seriously, it's almost night and day although I still perceive a lack of clarity and definition depending on what I have things set on. Also, the muddiness I had when I rolled the volume back seems to have disappeared. Really strange.

    So I pulled out the PRS, plug it in, pedal off, and I'm blown away by the depth, clarity, definition of the pickups. And the power. Sigh.

    I pick up the Telecaster again and decide to work through it a bit and I have to say, I've come to an understanding and appreciation for what it has to offer, different from an LP-style guitar. I think the new pickups will make a difference. I'm a lot more jazzed about this guitar than my first impression on the day it arrived. The neck definitely has something to offer me personally over the PRS, specifically more meat on the back side of the guitar. I like the neck of the PRS in terms of overall fit and finish, and especially the width, but find ultimately, if things were perfect, I'd like more girth on the back side which the Fender neck has. I think if I get a few things sorted, she'll turn into a keeper.
     
  4. joaopazguitar

    joaopazguitar Tele-Holic

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    I'm really enjoying this thread - and it's being useful as I'm planning to get one of these in the next couple of months, so please keep your posts coming :)
    My experience with the MP line is the other Tele and I experienced, like you're seem to be reporting - that "growing on me" factor. It was my first Tele, I was coming from a more Gibson/Jazzbox side of things, and so the sound of it felt a lot different ... but with time I'm seeing loads of versatility on the sounds ... and just can't put her aside.
    I'm trying to keep a 2.5 hours a day playing time, average, and since April this has been my axe! Just can't put her aside.

    That's why I'm longing to try the Thinline - also directed to jazz. I'm glad you repert this guitar as being resonant, and the P90s usually do nice jazzy sounds.

    Question:
    do you hear any of that resonance when playing plugged, neck PU? or better, do you feel that it being a thinline makes a difference in the sound?


    thanks again!
     
  5. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Will do! I'm headed up to the tech today to have him look over the guitar and formulate a game plan.

    I do hear resonance playing with the neck pickup. Well, I more feel it. This guitar is pretty damn hollow. If you pull the top cover and look/feel around, it's almost like there's a center block and the rest is hollow.
     
  6. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Hey João, nice cat and playing! That's one calm kitty.
     
  7. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Ok so these arrived today and I should be able to install them in the next few days. I've decided, for now, to leave the tone pots alone and keep them as is. They're not the "no load" Alphas as found in my PRS which give a noticeable click when fully opened or closed from fully opened.

    Had the guitar set up with 10's on Saturday. Nut was good, frets checked out ok, neck straight, no buzzing. His only comment was the tuners sucked. I may or may not upgrade those with lockers. Haven't decided yet. He wasn't sure if it was the strings or the tuners. Using EB Cobalts which I've found, even with stretching, seem to take a bit to settle in so to speak. Otherwise great strings.

    The neck is reverse wound so it's noise canceling in the middle position and the bridge is hotter than the neck.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Installed successfully last night. The stock pickups are two wire while the Kent's are three. But they come with directions so it's not that difficult as the white/ground both get soldered to the back of the pot. The red goes where the old white goes. So not a big deal. The pickups and covers are a bit thinner than stock and I'll need to get some thicker, compressible rubber or foam so I can make a wider range of adjustments.

    Things are better with the new pickups. Not earth-shattering different, the bridge is definitely hotter and works well with a variety of distortions.

    I have a little Yamaha THR 10 and I have trouble getting any sounds I like out of it. But it's working well with the H&K.

    Obviously looks identical to stock with the pickups in.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Golden Death

    Golden Death NEW MEMBER!

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    Pots

    I recently had all the pots in mine changed to 500k and it made a good difference in the clarity of the pickups and taking the guitar more towards how I want it to sound. I would definitely recommend it!
    Now I'm thinking about upgrading the tone capacitors...does anyone know what the values of the stock ones are and what a good upgrade would be?
     
  10. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Just a bit of an update, pulled the Kent Armstrong pickups and installed foam underneath to get them to sit higher. Much improved. Still have to dial in the pole pieces a bit. I swapped out the pots in my Bernie tonight as well so I'm feeling brave and will probably upgrade all the pots in the Fender now. I know some people have gone to 500K in the neck, I find the bridge plenty bright. Can I do 500K in the neck and 250 for the bridge? Right now the middle position is pretty darn sweet.
     
  11. harleysr

    harleysr Former Member

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    One simple fix

    FWIW, I replaced the stock 250k volume pot on the neck pickup (now has a 500k), which I found unusually dark sounding. I also did the 50s mods. Along with a setup and adjusting the pickups, I have found the guitar to be a real player with wonderful tone. Very gutsy and punchy guitar. Mine is certainly anything but brittle sounding.
     
  12. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Ok I ordered a pre-assembled package from mojotone.com for the '72 Thinline which should work for the MPTD. I'm using 500K pots for the neck and 250K pots for the bridge with their Mojotone Dijon .022uF@630V cap and the volume mod (50's wiring). Will have to solder in the three way but that should be a no brainer. We're about to get hit by a hurricane so it'll be really late next week before I even think of tackling this.

    Link:
    http://www.mojotone.com/guitar-parts/Guitar-wiring-Kits/Tele-72-Deluxe-Guitar-Wiring-Kit

    I'd still like to know how I can go about upgrading the bridge a bit. I seem to be getting cross talk between the strings on certain notes. Leaving the tuning keys alone for now, the strings seemed to have stabilized and it's staying in tune fairly well.
     
  13. mordyl

    mordyl TDPRI Member

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    Hi- I have one of these guitars in sunburst. I am not really loving the pickups either-mainly due to the lack of tone and volume control from the guitar- whcih is that I would primarily use.... I am going to try the pot change out. What is the '1950' wiring mod exactly?
     
  14. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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  15. harleysr

    harleysr Former Member

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    Yes, you will want to change the volume pot for one (or both) pickup(s), if they are too dark for you. In my case, it was only the neck.

    Adjusting those pickups makes quite a bit of difference, but only the pot swap is going to give you what you want. You could even condsider a 1 meg pot, you know.

    The 50s mod is only going to impact how the highs roll off when you back the volume down. It's not part of the darkness. BTW, you will find there is quite a bit of interaction when you have the switch in the middle position. It's manageable, though.
     
  16. mordyl

    mordyl TDPRI Member

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    Cool- I get it to stop treble bleed. Must do this and get some 500 K pots, thanks.
     
  17. MahoganyStratDZ

    MahoganyStratDZ Tele-Meister

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    What were the original pups in the Fender? I played one at GC I thought it sounded good right off through a Blues Jr.

    The switch was a bit cheezy. But my thought was caps and a switch. I can't get over the neck and fretwork on it for the $$$.

    Honestly for $325, this weekend sale at GC I can't see how one could go wrong with the Fender China Tele. Seems similar to the Classic Vibe Series yet with the Fender Logo Headstock and Neck-Plate.

    Different beast than a vintage style Tele tone yet for someone looking for a P-90 on the small dollar side, its a very decent piece. I played a vintage Tele immediately prior and its just a different animal. Hey you know that going into the game and there should be no surprize.

    As far as China/Fender? I have to say I always hear how Korea quality is better etc etc. You would be hard pressed to prove that by me. Immaculate String-Path, Neck/Frets great, nice feel and resonant unplugged.

    Geez.... find the right electronics combo and its a decent Fender addition. Lollars :eek: Blade Switch and play around with caps on the Tone for Bright/Dark. Heck the stock pick-ups are usable.

    Good Luck with your Axe Bro I like them. You may see me on here with one soon.
     
  18. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Not sure who made the originals. I'm assuming they're of Chinese origin. I didn't notice much of a difference with the switch to the Kent Armstrong pickups but I also didn't have them optimized via height and pole adjustment yet. Got better after messing with both those adjustments. We'll see what 50's wiring with quality switches and caps does.
     
  19. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory TDPRI Member

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    Mojotone.com tone controls setup shipped today. Should have a report by this weekend!
     
  20. harleysr

    harleysr Former Member

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    500k, 50s wiring + no-load tone pot

    In essence, exactly what I did to mine, with one exception: I tend to use .010uf caps in my guitars.

    I can't, for life of me, understand why guitar builders use .047 and .022 for single/humbuckers, respectively. Speaking strictly for myself, I find that the rolloff is so severe and the cut frequency so deep, it renders the tone control on most guitars almost unusable. The .010uf cap cuts at a much higher frequency, so it's good for just taking the edge off, which is virtually all I ever want/need to do.

    Another thing I do to all my Fenders is to mod the tone pot and turn it into a no-load pot. I really like this option, as it removes the tone pot and cap from the circuit when the tone control is dimed. In the application under discussion, it provides one additional boost to the brightness of the neck pickup, which, as we seem to all agree, is a bit on the dark side.

    I have Kent Armstrong P-90s in a Paul and a 335. I think they are fantastic, not to mention a bargain. I'll bet your Tele sings.
     
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