New short scale Tele partscaster...breaking the rules?

3of5

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I recently finished this short scale Telecaster. I've always loved the sound of Telecasters but I have never been able to be comfortable with one, so I finally assembled one to be ergonomically correct for me.

IMG_4333 copy sm (1).jpg


- 24" scale like my Mustang which is my favorite to play. I guess that for many this already doesn't qualify as a Tele. Is this even allowed here?
- 7/8 size Warmoth, chambered, roasted, alder body with forearm and belly contours. I used a router, a Dremel and a lot of time to further hollow out the body so that it is nearly a hollowbody guitar now.
- 24" scale neck from Sound Guitar Works. Roasted maple with ebony fretboard, 1 5/8" width at the nut, .87" C shape with 7.25-9.5 compound radius, SS 6150 frets. I chose one of Sound Guitars headstock shapes instead of the usual Tele Mr Potatohead.
- SS zero fret.
- Dimarzio Area Hot T bridge pickup
- Dimarzio EJ Custom neck. This is a very low power pickup that is supposed to have a "Filtertronish" sound. Maybe not quite, but I think it sounds great and the output matches the bridge pickup. In-between sounds are really good too.
- Control plate turned in the "correct" orientation.
- 5lb 15oz.

I had a lot of fun doing this project and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. Finally a Tele that's super comfortable and fun for me to play. I think it sounds great...like a Tele...almost (a concession to all the Tele purists here).
 
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3of5

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I might just have to make one of those. ❤️

What do you have on it for strings?
I use 9-46. I like the strings to be very easy to bend. I have low action too. With 9-42s the wound strings start getting a bit sloppy. Either I have a light touch or I'm not very discerning.
 

Swirling Snow

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I use 9-46. I like the strings to be very easy to bend. I have low action too. With 9-42s the wound strings start getting a bit sloppy. Either I have a light touch or I'm not very discerning.
We have a Taylor Mini with a 23" neck, and it was designed for medium strings. I can play it, and I can't play light strings on a 25" Martin. The shorter neck makes heavier strings much more pliable.

So.... in the "sounds almost... like a Tele" department, I got wondering whether lighter or heavier strings would work better. The general rule is 'heavy strings for better tone' yet thinner strings give you more overtones (ala Billy Gibson) and I'm trying to imagine which would give more "Tele twang".
 

3of5

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We have a Taylor Mini with a 23" neck, and it was designed for medium strings. I can play it, and I can't play light strings on a 25" Martin. The shorter neck makes heavier strings much more pliable.

So.... in the "sounds almost... like a Tele" department, I got wondering whether lighter or heavier strings would work better. The general rule is 'heavy strings for better tone' yet thinner strings give you more overtones (ala Billy Gibson) and I'm trying to imagine which would give more "Tele twang".
I don't think I can answer your question satisfactorily. I tried 11s on the first day and took them off; too hard and stiff for me. Then 10's the next day; better but no. Then finally the 9-46s leftover from my old Strat. I had no preference tone wise but the 9s just felt the best to me. A big motivator to make a short scale Tele was to have very slinky strings on a smaller fretboard that my little girly hands could navigate easier. I can play just about any scale neck but an accumulation of injuries to the joints of my fingers make some types of necks much more comfortable than others these days.

As far as the sound is concerned, there is an entire constellation of valid Tele sounds due to the various different winds of pickups and different designs of pickups and bridges, woods, etc. used by Fender over the years. So, I while I think this guitar has an unmistakably Telecaster sound, it is maybe not a particular vintage sound that many members here aspire to (not a bad thing by the way). The modern bridge and pickups, and nearly hollow body may have more influence on the sound than the string gauge or the scale length. I won't worry about it because it sounds great to me and I just play on my own anymore anyway.
 

comfortcove

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Looks good to me! I would love to have a Tele with a 24.75" scale length . . . maybe the next one.

All that matters is how it makes you play. If it inspires you, it's great! And remember: tone is the hands anyhow!
 

3of5

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Nice guitar. Very nice. But I don't see a zero fret.
It's there but the angle of the picture and lighting hide it. There is also a "nut" behind the zero fret that acts as a guide to keep the strings from sliding out of place. I got the ZerO Glide at Stew Mac.

IMG_6314 copy sm.jpg


I still need to finish polishing this and putting in a tiny drop of glue to hold it in place.
 

3of5

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Ah, nice. How do you like it?
I don't notice it at all when I'm playing and I think that is a fine complement. I like that I will likely never need to replace or alter a nut for this guitar. Once set up and polished the strings have no propensity to catch on the stainless steel zero fret while tuning. They really do glide over it. I found it to be a bit of a pain to setup but that is likely due to it being the first zero fret I've ever done. As I've had no other nut on this guitar I cannot tell you if it has any affect on tone.
 

JeffBlue

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The only short scale that I would be interested in building is my version of a tele-gib thing that would sound similar to a Gibson Les Paul.

My idea would be a Warmoth tele body made from Black Korina, a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers with a P90 in the middle, Warmoth Black Korina short scale neck with an Ebony fretboard and stainless steel frets.
 




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