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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. chewy 65

    chewy 65 TDPRI Member

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    I’ve got a ’52 RI and I have some thoughts:

    I refinished mine because, in a spectacular display of not getting the point, Fender put a thick poly undercoat under the thin lacquer coat, which conventional wisdom would say is a resonance killer. So, personally I would steer clear of any Polyurethane products like Varathane.

    I’ve had the original pickups in mine, had them rewound to Broadcaster specs, replaced them with O.C. Duff pickups and then replaced the neck PU with an LSL. In all that the guitar never sounded dull. So I doubt if it’s the pickups.

    Also if you want traditional Tele sound you might want to use a traditional Fender bridge assembly, after all they say that strats just don’t sound right without the thin steel saddles.

    One last thing, does your bridge pickup have the copper plated steel support plate on the bottom? That has a lot to do with the sound.
     
  2. chewy 65

    chewy 65 TDPRI Member

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    I realize now that my last point kind of negates my second point. What I was trying to say is that someone emulating tele pickups likely wouldn't veer that far from the mark
     
  3. mstrjay4

    mstrjay4 TDPRI Member

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    I can appreciate your frustrations. The first course of troubleshooting should be your pickup height especially the neck pickup which is almost always set too high. Lower it first slowly, you will will get clarity and a loss of volume as well. Don’t worry about volume focus purely on clarity and tone go completely by ear and not by the appearance of the height, then work on the bridge pickup as well. The hotter the magnet the stronger the string dampening is. Your first clue was when you mentioned acoustically it is dull as well since this has nothing to do with the wiring.

    Volume balancing between the two pickups is a needless rabbit hole, just get it as close as possible without sacrificing tone. The neck will never be able to have the output of the bridge due to the way they are engineered differently and positioned.

    Please share what you find,

    Jay



     
  4. bebenavole

    bebenavole Tele-Meister

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    try another neck
     
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  5. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Will everyone look at the previous posts, please? Some things keep getting repeated over and over. And over.
     
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  6. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    HUGE UPDATE!!!!!

    First sorry for the delay in getting this wrapped up...Last week of school (I'm a teacher) and had a lot to get done.

    Let me rundown what I was able to do today in order:

    1. I replaced that 3 way switch that was causing problems separately. Billy at RSGuitarworks sent me another one (1st class shipping btw) and it got here today. Great customer service.

    2. I installed the 64 Pure vintage Fender pickups and they sounded great...better than anything I'd heard before. I recorded a sound clip starting at bridge, middle, then neck positions. To my ears, that made a big improvement right off the bat. I was really starting to worry that the Cavalier pickups were just not up to par. Now previously I stated that I had bypassed the electronics and wired the Cavalier pickup leads direct to the output jack and I didn't notice a difference in the dull sound. However after changing this 3 way, I did notice a significant difference. When I wired direct to the output jack, there must have been something wrong in my methodology as I cannot account for why it sounded blah both ways and now it sounds much better. But there's more...

    3. I installed the Cavalier pickups back in. I recorded samples too. They have a bit more of everything I love about tele pickups. as Rob says, they have the screech. Some asked about the specs so here they are. Bridge: 7.81k, 1950 turns of 43ga, A3 magnet. The neck measured at 6.99k, 1950 turns, not sure on magnet or gauge wire...wasn't noted on the bottom of pickup. At this point I was much happier about my purchase from Cavalier and was definitely going to stick with those pickups. But there's more...

    4. I was also advised to do the neck pocket trick by a several people following this thread. It took their advice. Loosened the screws 1/4 turn, heard some cracks and pops, re-tightened the screws. The E A D and G stings went flat so I re-tuned the guitar noticing immediately a change. It might not be so apparent in the audio clip but it made a change. Specifically, I was getting a weaker sound from the E and B strings and other various spots around the fretboard. Not any more. This last step really brought the guitar alive overall. I really was surprised by the difference. I also recorded a clip with the Cavaliers after the neck pocket reset.

    This being my first post, I really wanted to thank EVERYONE for the positive comments and support as I worked through my tele build. I hope I was able to contribute something positive to the group that others may find helpful in their tele-adventures.







     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
    teletimetx, P Thought, JJOVa and 7 others like this.
  7. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Hi-Beams are nice, lively strings. I'm not a string connoisseur though, so I usually stick to my reliable and cheap D' EXL-110s :).
     
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  8. koolimy

    koolimy TDPRI Member

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    Congratulations! I'm glad you were able to solve your problem. It's even better that you didn't have to do much other than change the faulty switch! Very glad you were able to keep that beautiful tele body.
     
  9. peterpaul

    peterpaul TDPRI Member

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    Now, Please Install a Lollar 52 Set.
    You Can Thank Me Later
     
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  10. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow, never experienced a bad toggle switch before. At least to the extent that it was affecting the tone like it did for you. Glad everything got sorted, now you can finally enjoy your guitar!
     
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  11. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, me neither. I still have that 3 way switch so I think I'm gonna look it over with a microscope to figure out what's up with it.
     
  12. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Oh, I had to do plenty. I swapped out bridges, swapped out pickups, swapped out 3 way switches, experimented with wiring, and adjusted the neck fit in the pocket. They all had a measurable effect on the tone of the guitar. Pretty crazy. My strat was so much easier to build! I guess the ones you toil over are the ones you love the most :)
     
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  13. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Nothing cheap about D'Addario except the price. I've played them for most my time and they have been very reliable, last a long time and sound great.
     
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  14. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    Ahah! After 15,485 views and 332 posts, we've learned that the secret to monster tone is the 3-way switches!

    And ... the influence of bad ones is so powerful that just their presence in the guitar can kill the tone even when they're completely disconnected from both the pickups and the output jack.

    I love TDPRI.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  15. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, it cursed. Not sure if I can prove that empirically, but let's go with it.
     
  16. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Afflicted

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    Ok. So what exactly fixed the problem? You think it was the switch?
     
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  17. Sinphenom

    Sinphenom TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Yaaayyyyy[emoji1487] congratulations brother


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Sinphenom

    Sinphenom TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Sometimes molten solder can seep in and mess up the internals....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Sinphenom

    Sinphenom TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Please post some of your playing with this new updated setup! It would be cathartic to a lot of us who have been following this thread over the last few weeks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  20. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Great thread! And glad you got your guitar sorted out.
     
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