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New American Professional...Struggling with V-Mods

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Shades of Blue, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Tele-Meister

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    So I’ve been in the market for a Tele for a while. I went back and forth between an American Professional in Sonic Gray and the Original 60’s in Lake Placid Blue. I REALLY wanted the Original, but I found this Pro brand new for $1000 so I jumped on it.

    Overall, I love the look in person and it feels really nice. Plays great, and I am pretty happy with the purchase for the price. My only issue are these pickups. What’s the scoop on the V Mods? I find the neck really underpowered and muddy and the bridge seems hot, but lacking punch and crispness. The guitar resonates pretty well, so I imagine that would translate well to another set of pickups. Just no Tele growl.

    I’m digging the look though. Maybe not as much as the AO 60s, but it’s still a pretty awesome Tele for the price. Oh, and I LOVE the new bridge. That cut out makes all the difference in the world, and is one reason I never bonded with some vintage Teles, as I found it difficult to palm mute.

    Any pickup suggestions? I’m thinking Twisted Tele, but how hot are they?

     

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  2. COYS

    COYS TDPRI Member

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    Forgive me for asking, but have you adjusted the pickup heights by ear yet, with the amp at higher volume? That has saved me more than a few dollars in the past when I thought I might need new pickups. Good luck! :cool:
     
  3. ChickenKiller

    ChickenKiller Tele-Holic

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    Hey Blue I recently got an American Professional with the V Mods.

    I raised the neck pu bud my bridge is alright.

    They are different sounding so I had to swap my amp settings and learning the guitar more each day.

    Great looking geeetar bub enjoy
     
  4. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have limited experience with 5/2 pickups, it's just my two cents and stuff to keep in mind when adjusting their height.

    V-Mods have A5 magnets under the bottom 3 strings, and A2 under the top 3 strings.

    I think the design is intended to produce tight, spanky metallic sounds on the bass strings and rounded meatier trebles on the top 3, and perhaps less pronounced ( not non-existent ) chime and maybe less scoop.

    Overall I think they favor a chicken pickin', popping type of style and picking closer to the bridge.
     
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  5. bluzkat

    bluzkat Tele-Holic

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    I have two Am Pros, I replaced the pickups in both, I don’t like the Vmods. They were replaced with a set of AV 64s in one and a set of Fralin Split Blades in the other.
     
  6. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Tele-Meister

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    How do you like the 64s, are they thinner and brighter? I don’t necessarily want to go thinner sounding, but they could use some sparkle.
     
  7. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    BTW, I have the Olympic white, but damn - that grey is the best of the colours.
     
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  8. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    I played a '64 reissue Tele a few years ago -LPB - that I wish I'd bought. The pickups sounded beautiful. That said, I've also played one of the ash bodied ones and it just sounded harsh.
     
  9. gregj1964

    gregj1964 Tele-Meister

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    Beautiful tele. Congrats. I agree with others that the 5/2 might be worth spending time to dial in. I think this is the same configuration as the Duncan 5/2 that Brent Mason was famous for using. Jimmy Olander of Diamond Rio uses one and nothing in the neck. He gets killer fat tone, but I also think his is wired differently.

    If you're looking for a good vintage sounding set, check out Onanac nocaster set. Or his Robben Ford set. I have the nocaster. Terrific. Lower output but great. I got mine for $140 for the set, but he's getting more attention and has gone up on prices.

    Enjoy that thing. Nothing like a new tele.
    Cheers,
    Greg
     
  10. gregj1964

    gregj1964 Tele-Meister

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    Oops. That's ONAMAC
     
  11. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Bang on! I once had Texas Specials in MIM Tele and height was crucial. When I got the AmPro I didn’t really get along with the pups, convinced they should sound good at out of the box settings I fiddled endlessly with the amp and guitar tone settings.

    Eventually my bass player commented at a rehearsal that my volume had dropped, what had I done? Told him I’d gone to the neck pup, which on a Tele tends to drop the volume. His comment was ‘not that much’. He wandered over and suggested the pup was way too low. So, long story short, I spent ten minutes fiddling, started by raising the neck and tilting it slightly in favour of the top E. The difference was really noticeable. Once I’d set the neck I started again with the bridge. That for me is lower than I’d have set it ‘by instinct’ and actually sounds best level across the strings.
    May or may not help you towards the sound you’re looking for but, for me, it’s made a great player into great overall guitar.
     
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  12. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Holic

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    I went through this with my Professional as well. I eventually had someone put Original Vintage pickups in the guitar, swapping out the VMODS. Night and day difference...
     
  13. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    One of the things keeping me from buying an American Professional Jazzmaster are the V-mod pickups. I know I can switch in some Pure Vintage pickups, but at $1549, I don’t want to have to do that.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. schnadz

    schnadz Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I had the same assessment of the ampro guitars and in particular the v-mod tele pups. (I really dig the strat set, though).

    As for a recommendation - it really depends on what you are looking for.
     
  15. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Had one when they first came out. I didn't bond with the V-Mods either. My AV52 has the Pure Vintages (I think that's what they're called) and I like those a lot and would recommend them. For me...CS Texas Specials are the best though. They would be my first choice. Maybe a height adjustment would help. Mine were just plain weak sounding imho. Then again I would have just gotten the LPB Original 60's Telecaster. I get GAS every time I see one. Good luck!
     
  16. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    The Vmods seem to be Fender’s version of the Seymour Duncan Five-Two pickups. I have experience with the Duncans.

    I have an American deluxe Tele from the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. I replaced the original ScN pickups and S-1 switching with the Duncan 5-2’s and put in a four-way switch that provided the S-1 functionality without an additional switch. I love those pickups. When properly adjusted they provide the Tele sparkle without as much ice-pick. The bridge growls way better than the ScNs that were installed at the factory, at least to my ear. I do sometimes miss the noiseless aspect of the ScNs, however. The tones, however justify the dealing with the problems.

    The Twisted Tele pickups are nice as well; I have a set on the custom shop Thinline that is in my avatar. Those are a bit stronger in output to my ear than the 5-2, and the highs are just a wee bit sharper. They are taller than the normal Tele pickups, and are supposed to be Telecaster with a dash of Strat in tone. The first time I ran into that idea was playing a guitar with Rio Grande Tallboy pickups. Neither is going to quite give you the tone of say a blackguard set. But both are quite versatile and still have tones of Tele mojo, to my ear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  17. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Sometimes people think of pickups alone as being the main determinant of their guitar's tone. That's not necessarily so. Move the same Tele pickups from one Tele to another, and another and you'll often hear them sounding quite different depending on the Tele they go into.

    Keep in mind that just because Fender installs V-Mods in every American Professional doesn't mean that every American Profession is going to sound the same.

    Each guitar has its own tonal character regardless of whatever pickups are put in it. Each American Professional Tele will sound somewhat different from another. Some may sound great with V-Mods and some not so much so.

    To achieve a specific tone that you desire, you need to figure out what the character of your individual guitar is (predominantly warm or bright, for example) and then find the pickup set which is going to compliment that character to your taste. Sometimes it takes trying out a couple of different sets of pickups and tweaking the choice in volume and tone pot resistance.

    A lot of players are not or won't be willing to go to such lengths, but if your tone is especially important to you, you may need to do this.

    Don't forget the role of the amp and the volume you play at, either. Most amps sound a lot different at low bedroom volumes than they do at even somewhat louder volumes, where they can really come into their best tones.

    Your entire sound system (guitar, pickups, electronics, pedals, amplifier) needs to be tailored if you are intent on achieving the specific tones that you're looking for.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Adjust pickup heights, including tipping E vs e sides, per pickup.
    Measure and swap pots and caps, higher kohms for brighter, lower measured for darker. lower uF tone caps for brighter.
    If overly muddy pickup then a series cap (0.047uF is a good start)
    Then if still no joy, swap pickups and start back at the top.

    Remember that the controls are part of the output tone even when dimed, and pots have a 20% tolerance range while caps have a 10% range and it matters which end of the tolerance the parts are at if you will like the sound or not.

    .
     
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  19. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Fender uses nominal 250k volume and tone pots in Teles. When measured, these commonly measure as low as 210k, which decreases brightness.

    As jvin suggests, changing the pots, with regard to resistance, is the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to brighten or darken a guitar's tone. Good place to start. Many of us go to No-Load tone pots to widen the versatility of this pot. The tone cap has an effect, but only when the tone pot is dialed back from "10".
     
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  20. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Tele-Meister

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    So I raised the neck pickup and lowered the bridge. I think that helped the neck pup considerably. I’ve been a Strat guy for 20 years, so I’m thinking that I’m just getting used to a Tele. This Tele is resonant and fat. I’m starting to like the sound now.
     
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