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My Agile T-7 Texan (7-string Tele)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by darren7, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Holic

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    As you might guess from my user name, i play primarily seven-string guitars. I love the extended range, and the wider necks feel really comfortable in my hands. I've only recently become interested in Telecasters... my brother's wife bought him a really nice Mexican Tele a few years ago and that started the ball rolling. I found myself wanting that unique twang that only a Telecaster can give.

    Unfortunately, Warmoth and USAC don't do their Fender-style stuff with 7-string pickup routes, neck pockets or headstocks. (I know myself and quite a few of the players at sevenstring.org would be falling all over ourselves if licensed 7-string Strats and Teles were available.)

    Kurt at Rondo Music has been really good to us over the years. The Agile Interceptor (and Septor) were created directly as a result of player input. I worked with Kurt to design and spec the Intrepid 8-string. So when my Tele lust reached a peak, i contacted him to see if he might be interested in adapting one of the T-style guitars to add a seventh string.

    It came together fairly quickly late last year, and it became known as the T-7 Texan. After working on the specs for a few months, Rondo produced a short run of them in their Korean factory. We tried to get fairly close to "modern vintage" spec, but obviously had to design new pickups and a proper bridge for it. I'm not sure how it would stack up against a "true" Tele, but it's definitely scratched my Tele itch. :)

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    (click the thumbnails for a full gallery)

    I just installed a Fender 4-way switch yesterday, and i'm loving it. I'm mostly a humbucker guy, so i'm surprised i'm liking the T-7 as much as i am. Having the series switching option now gives me that beefy tone i need sometimes.

    I'm also thinking of replacing the tuners with locking machines, swapping out the string trees for GraphTech ones, and potentially installing a GraphTech GHOST piezo system.

    The T-7 Texan was a bit of a disappointment for Kurt... the initial run didn't sell out (there are still a couple of natural ash ones available) so i'm not sure it found its audience. I was hoping that jazz, blues or country players who use baritones from time to time might appreciate having the extra range without having to change guitars.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. infinitetele

    infinitetele TDPRI Member

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    I think the 7 string telecaster is ****ing awesome. I wish it had been more successful for them, because I know I will buy one at some point when I can afford it. I think it has a lot to do with the economy and the simple fact that Rondo isn't that well known yet. But I think if they keep making them, it will be a great niche.
     
    drewblue likes this.
  3. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

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    I think the old sayin here might apply...whats good for some is not so good for others..

    I have no use for 7 strings...It's enough of a challenge for me to get 6 strings to play in some kind of succession of musical sense.

    Im sure there are more people in my shoes than those of the gifted few who could make good use of 7 strings. Let me master 6 before I add to the mix. Let me also master the remaining 2 Tele's I have bofore I break the bank account for any more...guitars really should be like a well worn-in Baseball glove to give that great feel in the hands of the player. Im learning quickly that the obsession of owning guitars is one thing, and the skill of actually playing them is another. :eek:
     
  4. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Holic

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    I'm a long way from "mastering" anything when it comes to playing guitar, but the added low end is exactly the sound in my head.

    It's no different from an alternate tuning or a 5-string bass, really. It just opens up more creative possibilities and greater range than a six-string in "standard" tuning, and you get used to it pretty quickly. I tune my sevens to drop-A so all my chord voicings are easy to extend across from the 5th string. A lot of jazz guys do this as well.

    That's cool if it's not for you. I'm not here to try to force anyone to play anything they don't want to, but if I inspire just one person to re-think their playing and try something new or different, then that's cool too.
     
  5. milnersXcoupe

    milnersXcoupe TDPRI Member

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    Kurt @ Rondo is restocking the Seven String Telecaster.

    I find the people who don't like 7 strings - do after sitting with one awhile .. your mileage may vary.

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  6. Pepi

    Pepi Tele-Afflicted

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    What's a guy do with that extra string :confused:
     
  7. ironweed

    ironweed Tele-Meister

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    I want to make a lap steel out of that one!
     
  8. The BLT

    The BLT TDPRI Member

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    Just curious but how do you tune a seven string guitar? Is it in standard but with a low A on the bottom end?
     
  9. SatelliteOrders

    SatelliteOrders Friend of Leo's

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    Low B, generally.
     
  10. BGTele

    BGTele Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd really like to try one. How are the pickups? Does the extra low string contribute
    to the bass end of the sound? Are chords fatter? Are the pickups full sounding?
    Balanced? Are there neck/action issues with the extra pull presure? Where do you buy the extra string at changing time? Kurt should have sound bites on his site. It's hard
    to take the plunge and spend the bucks to find out this stuff. It is tempting for a lot of
    us I'd bet but it is not the cheapest Tele he sells. Answers to questions like these
    would help his sales a lot I'm guessing.

    Having said that, I'd spend $109 on just about any Telecaster on a dare and I did,
    a powder blue Tele with a P-90 in the neck from Rondo and I like it a lot. Only
    thing was, after I adjusted the saddles they were stripped out. I'm not complaining
    at $109 for a Tele. So far, my set up is holding after 10 months.
     
  11. ibobunot

    ibobunot Poster Extraordinaire

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    Could you do baritone guitar with it? You know like spaghetti western/Wichita Lineman kinda stuff.

    That would be cool... :cool:
     
  12. Mockingbird

    Mockingbird TDPRI Member

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    I love the lowness of a 7 string, but I don't like the wide neck. I tune my B.C. Rich Mockingbird to B standard. How do you think a standard tele sound tuned to B standard?
     
  13. SatelliteOrders

    SatelliteOrders Friend of Leo's

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    I have an SX I have strung with Not Even Slinky strings and they're a little too floppy for me at B, but reasonable at C#. Maybe I'll make a Youtube vid of it tomorrow night.
     
  14. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    as far as tuning, low A is a lot more convenient than B if you're gonna be playing chords. If you're just doing single note riffs and power chords, either is fine...
     
  15. jc93230

    jc93230 Tele-Holic

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    Cool stuff< I was tempted when these were on the drawing board, but did not have the cash to bite. Might soon though!
     
  16. SatelliteOrders

    SatelliteOrders Friend of Leo's

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    I found B to be easier in that any chord I remember as an E-shape barre is the same place as an A-shape barre, but I can see the argument when talking open chord shapes.
     
  17. ironweed

    ironweed Tele-Meister

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    Regarding baritone, I've tried low A, B, and C. After analyzing the "cowboy chord" transpositions, I like B the best for low-note open-string twang:

    standard tuning -- E A D G C chords
    low C ------------C F Bb Eb Ab (great if you know a sax player)
    low B ------------B E A D G
    low A ------------A D G C F
     
  18. twangstick

    twangstick Tele-Holic

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    That Tele's a beast!
     
  19. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    actually, i was talking for more complex chords up the neck. with the low A, any chord that had a note on the fifth string now has that note an octave lower on the 7th. you get nice seperation there--really sounds like two instruments being played simultaneously, and not too much of a learning curve. furthermore, any note that was a root on the sixth string now has a fifth below it at the same fret on the seventh--so it's good for walking/alternating bass.

    but this is just preference--as a jazz guy, putting a note on both the sixth and seventh string in a chord would get muddy fast, especially if they were hamonize past the triad-- but for heavy rock, having those two big strings pretty much sounds immense.

    for anyone who thinks they might dig a seven, a good thing to screw around with is to tune down the two lowest strings on your guitar to a E and A or B (5th string E, 6th B or A) again, not much of a learning curve, and some nice things open up on the bottom...of course, heavier strings for these two are a pretty good idea.
     
  20. mechaman327

    mechaman327 Tele-Meister

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    Love It!!!! I'm gonna have to get one!
     
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