1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Need Advice on a Dull Sounding Tele Build

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by TommyGunz, May 22, 2020.

  1. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    114
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Location:
    Elgin, Texas
    I'v been in contact with Billy over at RSGuitarworks about the 3 way switch. He has been very helpful and is sending me out a new one this morning. Something was definitely wrong with that one. Really strange. I could not see any solder jumpering any of the connections anywhere.
     
    KW1977 likes this.
  2. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    2,369
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Even in Texas, you probably won't have to worry about playing live for a while. I live in Brooklyn; we're wondering if live music will ever come back here.
     
    aadvark likes this.
  3. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    114
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Location:
    Elgin, Texas
    Agreed. I put in a Wilkinson and did a sound comparison...check back a few pages for the sound files.
     
    aadvark likes this.
  4. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    114
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Location:
    Elgin, Texas
    I don't use flatwounds. I use round wound pure nickel 11's right now. I may try some D'Addario 10's as they are brighter sounding for sure.

    As for the leads being swapped, I should try that. I'm on my second set of pickups from the winder so the odds of that happening both times are slim and he does identify the white as the lead in his instructions. I've got alligator clips so it wouldn't be hard to just swap them around.
     
    drmordo likes this.
  5. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    114
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Location:
    Elgin, Texas
    I hear ya! I've got two outdoor gigs in the next couple of months that are still on...for now. Just have to play it by ear.
     
  6. steviemac

    steviemac TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    52
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    eugene,oregon
    You need the Tele pickup set from Pete Biltoft w/5-way switch, I have them in my Warmoth Tele and it's the hottest guitar I've ever played, other than my friend's original '53! I also bought the Callaham bridge, which I'm certain is also a factor in this amazing guitar I built, but Pete at Vintage Vibe Guitar Pickups is who you're looking for.....no doubt. He doesn't advertise, so you've never heard of him, but he doesn't need to....players know about him....
     
    Deaf Eddie and TommyGunz like this.
  7. Big_Vig

    Big_Vig TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Location:
    Wilmington NC
    From the picture the distance from nut to 12th fret compared to 12th fret to bridge saddles looks far from being equal. The adjustment screws are fully extended to the saddles on the bridge. With 25.5 inch scale length, set above mentioned distances to 12.25 inches, tune it up and take a listen.
     
  8. john sammers

    john sammers NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Location:
    Australia
    I put one (tele) together about 12 years ago and it still is the best sounding tele I've played, so I put a strat together using the same bridge/pup combination, and its the best sounding strat I've played. I used Bill Callaham cold-rolled steel bridge (stainless steel saddles) and hardware and Lindy Fralin classic pickups. Btw - really nice job on the gtr - sorry for suggesting more spend.......oh, I always use 4-way wiring as well.

    Most guitar parts use hot steel that pits, it then needs a copper coat and then a nickel finish - each layer dulls the resonance. I've used cold-rolled steel on about 20 guitars and A/B'd them in the studio, there is just some extra quality/transience/sparkle - call it what you like.....there's a difference.
     
  9. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    14,044
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Vermont
    It's a dud. Don't waste any more time on it. I owned 3 Suhr guitars that were amazing so when it I wanted one of their Strats I just bought it sight unseen. It was a dud. One of the most lifeless guitars I've ever owned. Very disappointing at $2400. I have also built several guitars and while some were amazing, some were just duds. I spent 8 months building a Ric 380L style guitar and as beautiful as it turned out, it just doesn't sound good. I worked on it for a year and finally relegated it to wall duty where it sometimes hangs as a conversation piece. Don't get crazy over your Tele. You simply have a situation where the neck and body just aren't getting along in sonic terms.

    Several people will tell you the wood doesn't matter, but it does. Try using a different neck, or changing the body. It WILL sound very different if you do.

    When you join two pieces of wood, like a neck and a body, they're going to have an effect on each other as to which frequencies dominate and which ones get muted. It's a thing called "sympathetic vibration."

    Here's my Ric-style build. Made this from 100 year old black walnut over a period of 8 months. 4 sets of pickups and several tweaks later, it's still a dud. Some things just can't be helped.
     

    Attached Files:

    DHart, SPUDCASTER and Sax-son like this.
  10. jdpas29

    jdpas29 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Elmore, AL
    My first thought would be the pine body being a bit softer not bringing out highs and sustain of mids and up but...
     
  11. ricksandteles

    ricksandteles Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    155
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    Western Wisconsin
    ????????????? that makes no sense.
     
  12. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    985
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Location:
    FLOOR-AH-DUH
    Pine body with a maple neck, brass saddles, Fender bridge, 250K pots and a good A3 set of pickups are awesome. Change that formula and your results may not be what you want.
     
  13. jeffelam

    jeffelam TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    14
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2019
    Location:
    Ruidoso NM
    Those are supposed to be really well made pickups sounds like you may need to exchange them You have done a good job on the build nice looking telecaster !
     
  14. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    985
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Location:
    FLOOR-AH-DUH
    Sand the sides and even bottom of the neck pocket....not the neck itself.
     
    aadvark and TommyGunz like this.
  15. luwiluwi

    luwiluwi NEW MEMBER!

    Posts:
    2
    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    Charleston sc
    I’d need to have it in my hands to give an opinion on your setup but here is something to think about. If it is sounding flat and dull without amplification, it’s not your pickups. The fist place I would look for muffled sounding while playing unplugged is the nut.
    If you play unplugged and has nice tone and it’s flat and dull through the amp, it may not be your pickups either.
    One quick thing that you may want to look at is the leads to the jack. If they are reversed, you will hear mud. Besides the phase reversal of the pickup output, there could be other wiring issues.
    If you live near Charleston, SC I can fix your issues...
     
  16. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    114
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Location:
    Elgin, Texas
    Beautiful work on that Ricken Rocker! Bummer that the sound just isn't there for you. I'm eliminating one variable at a time until I get to the wood. If it needs to go, well then that's what will happen. I hope not because that was the most time intensive part of the build.
     
    Telenator likes this.
  17. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    891
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Location:
    Three Rivers, CA
    I hear exactly what you are saying. Those are my experiences as well. I think it boils down to we just don't want to give up on something after we have poured so much time, energy and money into it. I had a body where I tried several different necks and finally "bingo" I found one. It wasn't a very exotic or even expensive one, but it had what the other was looking for. I installed some Dimarzio Twang Kings and she's singing like a bird.
     
    Telenator and aadvark like this.
  18. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,501
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    Get an EQ pedal.
     
  19. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    114
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Location:
    Elgin, Texas
    The guitar was set up properly, just not in the picture provided. I have eliminated the electronics as a problem by wiring pickups direct to the output jack. I'm thinking it's the neck joint, pickups or just a bad set of woods I'm working with. Time will tell as I keep working through the process of elimination.
     
  20. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,501
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    I'm hearing a lot of fret buzz, like the notes are choked. Try raising the action and see if the notes ring out.
     
    PixelMover likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.