Need Advice on a Dull Sounding Tele Build

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

  1. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    I agree with your points. It seems that most of the vibrational energy would go through the bottom of the neck joint as that is what is coupled by the force of the neck screws. A snug neck pocked sounds good, but with expanding woods, that can be a problem fro the finish for sure. My strat has a pretty loose neck pocket but it resonates wonderfully.
     
  2. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    lets just say it's not a duvet over the speaker, maybe just the duvet cover...LOL
     
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  3. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    I bypassed all the electronics and wired direct to the output jack. Both pickups had the same problem and sounded dull. Makes me think it's the bridge I chose to use, but i'll try your suggestion and lower the pickups quite a bit.
     
  4. olaftheholy

    olaftheholy Tele-Afflicted

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    excellent comment
     
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  5. Sinphenom

    Sinphenom TDPRI Member

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    Nope i didn’t have to noch it... plus the wilkinsons bridges have the possibility of dual string loading... you can either run it through the body or directly from the bridge (like the 59 teles... Jimmy Page style... less tension and on the strings)
    I personally string it through the body... and i haven’t had a problem with breakage andi love my Albert King bends. I also use 11 gauge strings. Just check the string holes once the bridge arrives.... if it feels sharp, maybe sand it down... but i haven’t had that problem.


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  6. Sinphenom

    Sinphenom TDPRI Member

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    Hey just a thought... can you share the wiring that you’ve done on the Tele. Are the pickups Alnico 2, 3 or 5? What’s their Ohmage?

    Sorry for asking too many questions!!!

    Edit: another thought... try 500k pots.
    And use a .047uf Tone capacitor ( if you’re already not using them) or try a combo of 250k Volume and a 500k audio taper Tone pot... they can really allow a lot more top ends to filter through. I have a feeling that your pickups are AlNiCo 3 which has a chunky mid with less top end...


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    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  7. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I think the interesting thing to know would be how it sounds unplugged. The pickups can only enhance what's there to begin with.

    Sure hope it turns out to be an easy fix but you might need to see what swapping the neck or body has on your other hardware.

    The good thing about teles is that it's easy to swap parts.

    Good luck hunting it down. While these problems are frustrating I'll bet your learning a lot.

    Cheers
     
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  8. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    I can't wait to see what it sounds like acoustically when I get the new bridge this weekend. I'll do a couple of recordings and share with the group. It is frustrating because I've gotten to the point in my skills where there's no substitute for experience. I'm getting a ton of support from the wonderful members here!
     
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  9. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    No worries on the questions! I just got a rewound set in from Rob over at cavalier pickups, and they're definitely different than the first set he made for me. The only thing I remember off hand were the ohm ratings... Low sevens high sixes. He also told me the turn count and the magnets, but I just can't remember right now. I'll have to go look for the paperwork. When I tested the pickups out, I ended up skipping all the electronics and wired it straight to the jack. Sounded exactly the same...flat without any zing. A great jazz tone, but the opposite of what I'm looking for. I want some twang.

    I'm suspecting that it's not the pickups, because both sets have had the same problem. It sounds like others in this form have used his pickups, and the problems I'm having have never been an issue before. I'm really leaning towards the problem being the bridge.
     
  10. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Holic

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    My bet is on the bridge plate - change things out one at a time and listen.

    Regardless, it’s a beautiful build!
     
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  11. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Meister

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    What strings are you running? I play flats on many of my other guitars and basses, but on my tele they absolutely crushed the character of the guitar. I had just gotten it and couldn't figure out why it didn't sound like a telecaster...
     
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  12. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    You've said this repeatedly .... but I have a question.

    When you "bypassed the electronics" and wired directly to the output jack, did you also disconnect the wiring that was previous in place from the electronics to the jack? If you did not, then the electronics can still be loading down the output with all the effects of the tone circuit - the degree depending on how RSGuitarworks wired it, how you've apparently re-wired it, etc.

    To be explicit about this, if the jack has anything else still connected during your "bypass test" other than just an isolated pickup (i.e., the pickup can't still be connected to anything else either), you may be fooling yourself with your test, and this could be completely about the wiring, pots, and tone cap, etc.

    If indeed it turns out that you didn't want to unsolder the existing wires to the jack when you did your test, then get another $2 jack from anywhere and wire your pickup raw, all by itself, don't need to mount it, to that jack for your test.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  13. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    Lots of good advice, and tone is subjective, but here are my 2 cents:

    When you mean « dull tone », do you mean a lack of high frequencies or a lack of sustain?
    - If a lack of sustain and resonance, I would make sure first that all the frets are perfectly leveled, and that the nut is cut properly.
    - If a lack of treble response, you said you skipped the harness to test it, but have you tried another cable?

    I once tried to put a thick heavy all brass bridge onto my esquire because I had it laying around. Surely it mellowed the tone of the guitar, but not to the point you would wonder if there is a problem with the guitar.
    But then again tone is subjective.
     
  14. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the compliment! Keep watching the thread for updates on the issue.
    Good point! I'm running Kurt Mangan Nickel 11's. Brighter than flatwounds, but not D'Addario bright. I have some sets of 10 D'Addario's and thought of using them, but the amount of dullness really indicated to me that something else is going on.
     
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  15. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    I appreciate you attention to detail! I wired the pickup leads directly to the output jack to ensure that the signal is isolated and the electronics are completely out of the circuit.
     
  16. tvas22

    tvas22 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I had some dullness caused by a badly cut nut in the past - I don’t think this will be the crux of the issue, but I’d give some attention to that given you said it’s acoustically dull too.

    I used staggered height tuners to increase the break angle, but a low break angle and loose nut can definitely dull everything up ime
     
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  17. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    When I say dull, I mean a lack of high frequency. It sounds like the tone knob has been rolled down to say 7 or 6, just enough to take that classic tele sparkle/spank away. I keep checking to see if it's been turned up like a crazy person...it just wont go to 10!! Lol...

    I've been a/b'ing it with another guitar so I have eliminated it as a possible cable issue. The amount of treble roll off on this guitar is definitely not normal. That being said it definitely is subjective...one man's perfect jazz tele is another's that don't sound right. I am pretty sure it's not the pickups. I'm strongly leaning toward it being the bridge. I hope it's not the body or neck. The thought of having to finish another body is just daunting. I'll be getting a new bridge tomorrow hopefully if Amazon can come through.
     
  18. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz TDPRI Member

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    That's a good point. It doesn't matter whether or not I play open strings or on the frets. Same tone. I sanded the nut just enough so it's snug without using any glue. I have not put in string trees yet as I'd prefer not to. Right now there's no need since it isn't causing a problem. Thank for chiming in!
     
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  19. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    Subjective as you say. I almost always play with the tone around 6 or 7 on my Esquire, and it’s still plenty bright to my ears.
    Provided you have the usual tone cap value, « sounding like the tone is at 7 » not necessarily reveals an issue: IMO it’s still in the range of tone variation between two guitars.
    It could very well be the sum of all the parts contributing to what seems to be a « warm » tele, not a « dull » (like in « there’s something wrong ») one: bridge + neck + body etc.

    I would try and embrace that tone, and you can adapt your amp’s settings too.
    But wanting it to conform to the tone you already have in your head promises to be disappointing in the end.
    It’s the problem with partscasters: you never really know what you will end up with. If you need to have a certain tone, it’s always better to hunt a guitar that you can try before you buy.
     
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  20. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Meister

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    I've run the Mangan's before, and they are very likely contributing to your problem. When you get the new bridge, switch to roundwound strings and I bet your problems will be solved.
     
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