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Need Advice on a Dull Sounding Tele Build

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

  1. Gabeezlebub

    Gabeezlebub TDPRI Member

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    This may be the longest post ever, but it will be a great resource if I ever have a problem with a guitar. Can’t wait to discover the solution. Good luck TommyGunz. You have a lot of resolve. The process of elimination. Good science.
     
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  2. Olebrum

    Olebrum TDPRI Member

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    Scolars say tone is 90% about pupps. I'm inclined to agree. So assuming the wiring setup and soldering is properly done see if you temporarely can borrow a neck pupp from another guitar where you know how it sounds. Mount it in the tele and see if the blanket comes over there too. If it is more or less the same tone as it had in the original guitar, then the arrow would start to point at your choice of pickup. Does it too sound duller than expected then I'd look at the guitar parts. though I'd doubt it looking at the high end stuff you made this build with.

    Good luck
     
  3. Olebrum

    Olebrum TDPRI Member

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    Scolars say tone is 90% about pupps. I'm inclined to agree. So assuming the wiring setup and soldering is properly done see if you temporarely can borrow a neck pupp from another guitar where you know how it sounds. Mount it in the tele and see if the blanket comes over there too. If it is more or less the same tone as it had in the original guitar, then the arrow would start to point at your choice of pickup. Does it too sound duller than expected then I'd look at the guitar parts. though I'd doubt it looking at the high end stuff you made this build with.

    Good luck
     
  4. Olebrum

    Olebrum TDPRI Member

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    Scolars say tone is 90% about pupps. I'm inclined to agree. So assuming the wiring setup and soldering is properly done see if you temporarely can borrow a neck pupp from another guitar where you know how it sounds. Mount it in the tele and see if the blanket comes over there too. If it is more or less the same tone as it had in the original guitar, then the arrow would start to point at your choice of pickup. Does it too sound duller than expected then I'd look at the guitar parts. though I'd doubt it looking at the high end stuff you made this build with.

    Good luck
     
  5. Olebrum

    Olebrum TDPRI Member

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    Sorry bout the 3 fold posting, user error.. And I said neck pup, really ment bridge pup of course.
     
  6. Doghammer

    Doghammer NEW MEMBER!

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    I have to wonder why you strayed so far away from easily available and affordable Fender parts if you want the Fender sound? That really isn't my concern. I bought a cheap Chinese Tele copy and put a nearly $400 set of pickups along with authentic Fender Bridge and controls. I would not call what I ended up with as having that Fender Sound. My conclusion is that if you want the Fender sound, just buy a Fender.
     
  7. guitargeek

    guitargeek TDPRI Member

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    I used to blame pickups for everything until I started experimenting with steel saddles and strings.

    I changed my brass saddles on my Am Special Tele to steel and it brightened it up a lot. Stainless strings could help, too. I was ready to get rid of the texas special pickups.

    That is a really sweet looking guitar, by the way.
     
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  8. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    It's all that sausage grease makin your guitar so dull!
     
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  9. JJLC

    JJLC Tele-Holic

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    I would refer folks to my post in this thread.
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/buying-guitars-online-experience.1022642/page-4#post-9832937
    Point # (1) is a valuable insight.
    (1) every guitar is different, period. You could have 100 examples of the same guitar and they would all be different, to some degree; some to a great degree. Why? It's all in the lumber. Every guitar has it's own lumber physics signature, thus it has it's own sonic signature, and it's individual weight. Too many variables related to this one factor alone. Many have never considered the lumber physics attribute of instruments.

    Again, good luck to the OP.
     
  10. Karl Beach

    Karl Beach TDPRI Member

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    I like the balanced sound of Fender Noiseless Gen via GraphTech TUSQ saddles, nut, and tree used in conjunction with bright, medium-gauge strings. If all else fails, you might give this kit a try. Best wishes!
     
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  11. Karl Beach

    Karl Beach TDPRI Member

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    Ummm...fat fingers: Noiseless Gen 4
     
  12. Galibier_Un

    Galibier_Un Tele-Meister

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    I'm waiting for the OP to report back on (1) the bridge swap along with some strings like (for example) GHS Boomers and (2) the temporary neck transplant of his Strat.

    If those two things don't take him to the promised land (or very close), I don't know what will. I think a body transplant would be kicking around the margins (70/30 neck vs. body rule of thumb).

    ... Thom
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  13. Alaman

    Alaman Tele-Meister

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    This is right on the mark. With the various guitars I’ve owned and built, I’ve learned the same pickups, components, etc sound different guitar to guitar. I’ve got a ton of examples but the most simple case is a pickup combo that I always try in my strats. They turned 2 of my strats into songbirds and sounded mediocre at best in others. Needless to say I found a different golden set for those. Each guitar is it’s own thing. You could draw a lot of comparisons to your relationships with women but I won’t go far with that. It is rare that I haven’t been able to eventually find a formula with any of my pieces that worked out even when I thought it never would. I’ve been on the verge many times of getting rid of a piece then finding a combination that made it sing. I’d have to say the pursuit is most of the fun. Can be somewhat frustrating but what a great feeling when you find it! Don’t give up and save those pickups/parts for your next build!
     
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  14. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    +1, yes please.


     
  15. mike_levitt

    mike_levitt Tele-Meister

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    I have owned and built several pine teles. One of them was an early 90s Fender custom shop dial pickup Esquire made from 100+ year pine with a quartersawn neck with no truss rod. Built by John Page. It's the best tele I ever played. The other 4 or 5 all sucked. One was a fender masterbuilt, the others were all various builds I did. They are all awful. Dead sounding acoustically and electrically. It's the body.
     
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  16. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    In my experience, "acoustic resonance" has just about nothing to do with the sound of a guitar when it's plugged in. It doesn't. And should never be used as a method of assessing the tone of an electric guitar. Unless of course, you intend to play the guitar unplugged as a rule.

    In the this short video clip, I'm playing my Suhr Pro Series 3 guitar which has the most lifeless acoustic resonance of any guitar I have ever owned yet, this guitar has tone to the bone when you plug it in. On the other side, I have played several acoustically vibrant electric guitars that just don't deliver the goods when I plug them in.

    Before anyone gets all upset about challenging an old myth, please consider this. The frequencies you're hearing when you strum an electric guitar are not necessarily the same frequencies the pickups hear, nor is there any guarantee that the acoustically audible sounds are "good" frequencies when it comes time to amplify them.
    Then factor in that the resultant sound of an electric guitar has a lot to do with the interplay between the amp and the guitar. So much of the electric sound depends on the way the amp excites the guitar as the volume increases and has an effect on the vibrating strings. Not to the point of all out feedback, but this resonant interplay is a huge part of how lively a guitar feels when you play through an amp.

    But you have to decide. Are you going to play it acoustically? Or put it in it's intended environment and assess what happens when plug it in. Playing an electric guitar acoustically to assess it's attributes is like taking a shower while wearing a rain coat and expecting to get clean.

    This video was recorded with a cell phone but it clearly shows a tonally vibrant instrument. If I had based my decision to buy it on what it sounded like acoustically, it would still hanging in the store.



    Oh, and just to bust another myth. The body on this guitar is basswood with a thin 3/16" thick maple top. Tone snobs everywhere balk at basswood but in my opinion, this Soloist body style guitar sounds more like a Strat than any Fender Strat I've ever owned.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  17. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    That's an interesting idea! In your experience, how has that affected the tone of the guitar? Did it make it brighter, mellower, better sustain?
     
  18. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    After I swap out pickups today, I'm going to be opening up the neck pocket. Right now it's too tight and is probably affecting how well it couples with the bottom of the neck pocket. Or it is acting more like a neck thru and giving less spank but more lower range resonances.
     
  19. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Lol...you know it! Can't get enough of that jalapeno cheddar smoked sausage.
     
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  20. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    I couldn't agree more! Part of my learning experience is how each of those parts affect the tone. I know I won't get the exact sound from that Greg Koch video. I'm just looking to get in the same ball park.
     
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