Need Advice on a Dull Sounding Tele Build

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

  1. shadycakes

    shadycakes TDPRI Member

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    No, I've been lurking for over a decade and only joined recently. Just trying to pour back into the community that taught me so much.

    How are you measuring pickup height? Fender measurements are taken from the top of the polepiece to the bottom of the string, with the string depressed at the highest fret.
     
  2. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    I just ordered a Wilkinson vintage bridge with brass saddles as well as a set of 64 pure vintage tele pickups. I'll get them on Sunday and hopefully get this settled. I am more thinking it's the bridge because of the dead sounding acoustic strumming tone. It sounds the same electrified. The pickups I ordered are light waxed so I could get more of the guitars natural tone through the pickups. Kinda makes sense it sounds dead electrified too.

    I'm playing through a Fargen Blackbird (Deluxe reverbish clone) and a Champion 600 Modified by Ben Fargen through a 10" Jensen. Compared to my strat, it's night and day. It's like going from a 3ft to a 50 ft instrument cable. Its very frustrating.
     
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  3. shadycakes

    shadycakes TDPRI Member

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    I learned about thick plate tele bridges the hard way, like you did.

    I built two identical guitars, one with the Gotoh six-saddle "Modern Telecaster" bridge, and one with a cheap GFS Wilkinson-branded vintage style ashtray. I was blown away by how much more spank and twang there was with the Wilkinson. Immediately ordered a second one. Lesson learned.
     
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  4. shadycakes

    shadycakes TDPRI Member

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    Sounds like a good plan, OP. In the meantime, check out the pickup height section of this setup guide: https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us...ow-do-I-set-up-my-Telecaster-guitar-properly-

    The Fender specifications for pickup height are by no means gospel, but I find them to be a good starting point.
     
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  5. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations! I'm gonna swap the bridge first and see if that's the issue. If not, then I'll pop in the '64 pure vintage tele pups I just ordered.

    As for the wiring, that's been another issue. I did bypass all the controls and wired direct to the output jack to eliminate that as a possible problem. The diagram provided by RS did not work correctly. It is a standard diagram and should work. I triple and quadruple checked and everything is where it should be, but both pickups are on to some to degree in each position. I just looked at the switch up close and ended up figuring out a different wiring scheme to get it so each pickup is correctly isolated in positions 1 and 3. I reached out to RS a few days ago but haven't heard anything. I'm wondering if he shipped a funky 3 way by mistake. He has responded promptly in the past...I'll call him today.
     
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  6. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    Yep, that's exactly how I do it.
     
  7. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    Good point! What's your experience with tight vs. loose neck pockets? This tele's is TIGHT.
     
  8. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Check your neck pickup isn’t too close to the strings.
     
  9. Sinphenom

    Sinphenom TDPRI Member

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    Sounds like a plan... sometimes bad switches and pots can be problematic. Since you are getting the wilkinson Bridge... that’s definitely a great thing in itself. They are really good. I love mine :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  10. shadycakes

    shadycakes TDPRI Member

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    Perfect.

    You can try lowering 1mm or so and see if things brighten up. If not, and the new bridge still doesn't resolve the issue, I'd look at some new pickups.
     
  11. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I don't buy into a lot of tone voodoo, but the bridge thickness matters. That's a big reason I like that 62RI set. And that dang pickup in there salts the fields and burns the orchards of your guitar enemies.
     
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  12. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

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    I have a set of the Fender PV64's in my Shoreline Gold MJT and they are awesome! Great middle position tones and a really great clear neck pickup. I set them with the nickel method and it seems to balance them out fine.
     
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  13. doghouseman

    doghouseman TDPRI Member

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    Musikraft pine body
    ---
    I have built a lot of guitars and I think this is your problem.

    Swamp Ash or Maple is what most teles are built from.

    Especially since you have a rosewood neck, in combination with the pine, you are not going to have a lot of spank.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  14. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Holic

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    3mm sounds awfully thick for the bridge plate, is that accurate?

    The stock Fender Pat Pend bridge is .048”. I like the Fender Highway bridge plate at .060” but no thicker than that.

    I suspect the pine body may be playing a part in the dullness, but I would try a thinner bridge and stainless steel strings before anything else.
     
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  15. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I feel like we're letting too many people know about a secret fishin' hole. Turns out, there's this company called Fender, yup, F-E-N-D-E-R, and these guys have been makin' sweeeeet pickups since the 50's, and their prices are way below boutique.
     
  16. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

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    Yup, a telecaster is not rocket science. Keep it simple as there is a reason why this simple design has lasted so long. I had a buddy that spent about $300 on "premium" upgraded hardware from a very popular online store. While the stuff looked great and he was using Mare Hayrides the tone and reaction was not what he expected. He put on about $40 worth of Fender hardware on and it sounded like a vintage tele should. Not saying the expensive stuff is junk but there is a lot of hype included.
     
  17. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

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    Shhhh!!! If people only knew that you could get an awesome set of pickups for less then $100 (OV's, PV64's) the world would implode......more then it is doing right now.
     
  18. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    I played around with pickup height but that soft overall tonality is omnipresent.
     
  19. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    The consensus so far seems like bridge thickness is a factor. I'll try to record some acoustic clips before and after to share.
     
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  20. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    I got the 3mm from Gotoh's specs. It's a slab.

    I had also been pondering if it's the pine, but I hadn't heard that about other pine builds.
     
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