Need Advice on a Dull Sounding Tele Build

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

  1. srblues

    srblues TDPRI Member

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    Beautiful job on the guitar BUT Pine and Rosewood are not a great combo for traditional spank- a thinner gauge traditional ash tray bridge with a high quality steel barrels(I'd recommend Callaham) and a sightly underwound 6-7K matched pickup set should make world of difference.Good Luck!
     
  2. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Meister

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    Very interesting! I definitely think the new bridge sounds brighter. I ordered the GFS Wilkinson a few days ago because mine is certainly a thick slab as well.
     
  3. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    That was a pretty thin blanket huh? ;)

    I dunno, through my headphone, for me personally, it's not a big enough difference to worry about. But it's your guitar and as long as you are happy, happy days. :)
     
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  4. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

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    The differences were minimal. I was expecting a much different tone/sound from the original bridge by the earlier descriptions. So, if it isn't the pickups or bridge plate or the wiring I guess you are down to saddles and wood combination. One other possibility is the amp. Try the guitar through a Deluxe Reverb and see if that is closer to the tone you are after.
     
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  5. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    2nd clip in each comparison definitely sounds brighter and more wiry. Thinner bridge was a step in the right direction.

    Overall, sounds like the bridge pickup has overwound Alnico 3 or 2 and the pine body is lightweight (to my ears). Would be nice to hear how it sounds thru a bigger amp though.

    If you still want more brightness, I think the steel saddles and stainless steel strings will give you that. Or even more extreme, cobalt strings.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  6. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, the champion isn't good for bringing out the best in a tele. I bought it with the Ben Fargen Hot Mods already done including the 8" Weber. He does nice work, but the speaker does sound boxy and with only a volume knob, no tone sculpting. For fun, I plugged it into a 10" Jensen Q speaker in an old Blues Deluxe combo cab I bought in the 90's. Wow...huge difference. I decided to move the Champion guts into the old chassis if that amp. Yet another project. I'll also be adding TMB pots for more tone sculpting.
     
  7. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Acoustically, I noticed a greater difference in the tone and a little less so electrically. I do think it's moving in the right direction. I wish I had my Blackbird running right now to test it out. Before, I'd have the strat at noon and I would have to run it at max to get the tele in the same ballpark as the strat. It was that mellow sounding. I'm gonna work on the amp tonight and hopefully get it running again.
     
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  8. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I think it is an alnico 3 and it is a lightweight line body. You have good ears. I want to hear it through my regular amp rather than the champion to better gauge where it's at. I'm pretty happy with the improvement so far. I will also swap in some new pickups too just to eliminate that as an issue.
     
  9. draggindakota

    draggindakota Tele-Meister

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    For me, the biggest difference was the acoustic samples. The Gotoh definitely sounded dull and muted, almost like an old set of strings. Amplified, the differences were minimal.
     
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  10. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Yeah I totally get that. As for the amplified part, I don't really think that the champion 600 was able to really illustrate the difference in the high's since it doesn't even have a tone control and it's default sound is not bright at all. It's more like muted and less muted. I should have recorded using a different amp but may main one is on the bench right now.
     
  11. Sinphenom

    Sinphenom TDPRI Member

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    After going through your soundbites, I’m really feeling that a 500k volume and tone pot might help your case. This sounds like the pickups are running through a capacitor with the highs filtered off...maybe your new pickups will help the cause... but do try a 500k pot with .047uf tone cap.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Pine, through a Champion 600? That's a blanket, right there. Get a DR and see if you still have the problem.
     
  13. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    I like Alnico 3 for certain things, but being a weak magnet, it can get overwound pretty quickly and sound too soft/spongy. For punch and sparkle, Alnico 5 is king.

    From putting together partscasters, I’ve learned what certain ingredients will typically do. It’s not 100% predictable all the time since everything comes together organically, but it’s been mostly consistent. I prefer my tele bodies to be in the 5-6 pound range, with A5 pickups for full punchy sound.

    I would wait to hear how the new pickups sound first before changing pots.
     
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  14. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    I originally bypassed all electronics and wired the pickups direct to the output jack to eliminate the circuit as a problem. That being said, I am working out a separate issue with RSguitarworks over the 3 way switch. Something is wrong with it...every lug on the switch (except 1) appears to be bleeding one or the other pickups in to positions 1 and 3. Doesn't sound right. It's a separate problem thought since I already eliminated the circuit at the start. As for the Champion 600, I agree. I did A/B my strat and it was still noticeably brighter than the tele, even with the electronics out of the circuit. With the new bridge, it is brighter, but being able to play through my Blackbird would be a better test.
     
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  15. Praxis

    Praxis Tele-Meister

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    As mentioned earlier in the thread, the neck joint could possibly be an issue. Years ago I had a very dead-sounding hardtail strat, with a similar story: great pickups, good neck, nice bridge, well set up, etc. I fiddled with it a lot, checked all my solder joints, etc. and nothing seemed to help -- until I checked the seating of the neck in the neck pocket. It was a Warmoth neck and body, and the fit was snug, and it was hanging up in there just enough to have poor contact.

    What I did was to tune it to pitch, then loosened the neck screws just a bit (maybe a quarter turn), and let the tension of the strings pull the neck more snugly into the pocket. Then I tightened the screws back down again. And that fixed it. The deadness was gone, and it sounded great after that.
     
  16. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the tip...I'll try that for sure! Mine is really snug in the pocket...I almost decided to sand the neck down a bit and I probably should do that still.
     
  17. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    I haven't ruled the pickups in or out yet. I bought a set of Fender 64 tele pickups. I'll slap em in there and see if that is indeed an issue. I'm also going to investigate the neck pocket as a couple people have mentioned. Mine is really tight where I thought I might even split the pocket if I wasn't careful. I may do a little sanding on the neck to take pressure off the sides of the neck pocket and ensure that there is good seating with the bottom. After switching out the bridge, that helped, but there may still be other things at play here. If I have eliminated all possibilities, then I'll be taking a hard look at the pine body. I like how the finish came out, but if it doesn't sound good, it doesn't sound good.
     
  18. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    When you have the neck off, make sure you have clearance holes through the body for those neck screws. 11/64" works for me. You want those screws to drop through without engaging the body so the neck will pull down tight.
     
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  19. shadycakes

    shadycakes TDPRI Member

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    Good call out.

    Looking forward to hearing what a pickup swap does, OP.
     
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  20. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Well put.

     
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