New Tele Day! (Added Bigsby with Callaham Upgrades)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by guitfiddles, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. guitfiddles

    guitfiddles TDPRI Member

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    Got my new tele a couple of weeks ago. It’s the Fender Parallel Universe Deluxe Tele Thinline. My personal opinion on this model was that since they were obviously going for a Tele/Gretsch hybrid it should have come with a factory installed Bigsby. Anyhow, I added the Bigsby and upgraded it with the Callaham string shaft, roller bridge, and also I got the Callaham Bigsby bridge too. I thought about using a vibramate but I know I’m always going to keep this guitar so I just mounted the Bigsby directly to the body.

    My thoughts on this guitar:

    It plays great. The neck is really super nice. It’s kinda chunky but not overly big. The action and playability with the narrow and tall frets lets me really get around on the neck. The neck isn’t sticky either. It has a satin finish on the back. I love how my hand glides on the neck.

    Changing out the original bridge for the Bigsby changed the sound a lot but actually for the better. The reason I say that is because this guitar was overly bright and it has no tone control. Yeah, no tone control. Instead of a tone control it uses what they called a bass roll off. I don’t know if I’d really call it a bass roll off because it really does nothing from 0 - 8 and then adds almost like a boost which fattens up the tone from 8 - 10. Personally, I really wish Fender would have left the traditional tone knob because there is no way to darken the sound and these pickups are just overly bright in this guitar. The Bigsby and bridge swap dramatically tamed the brightness of these pickups and made it more tolerable. Still, I miss not having a tone knob.

    These TV Jones Classic pickups are just what I wanted and I LOVE them. My only gripe, as previously mentioned, is the lack of a tone knob. The bridge pickup is perfect but I would love to be able to darken the neck pickup just a wee bit for some jazz tones when desired. Can you tell that the lack of a tone knob pisses me off?

    Right now there’s a little bit of hang up on the saddles when using the Bigsby which is causing it not to return to pitch. The bridge saddles are compensated and notched and the string winding is catching in the grooves. I’m hopeful that this will correct itself with use but for now it’s quite annoying. I’ve had 3 other Bigsby guitars and this is the first time I’ve encountered the strings catching on the saddles.

    Oh, and I changed the Bigsby spring out with a soft touch spring sold by Reverend guitars. The spring change makes the b5 Bigsby feel much more like the Bigsby model on my archtop.

    So overall I love this guitar. It’s kind of gaudy but not ridiculously so. My wife thinks it’s ugly because it’s orange. She’s an Aggie and aggies generally hate orange by default. But, she says it’s ok if it makes me happy. And it does make me happy.

    IMG_5397.JPG IMG_5395.JPG IMG_5396.JPG
     
  2. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

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    You're lucky. My Bigsby is the old style version. What a bastard to string!
     
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  3. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

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    But I do like the guitar.. Nice.
     
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  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sweet - congrats distinctive take on a Cabronita type thing.And I like that colour a lot.
     
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  5. esetter

    esetter Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Pretty cool! with what you've changed on it so far, why not just change the bass roll off to a normal tone knob?
     
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  6. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Nice, I really like this style, congrats.

    I have the same mods on my B5 Tele, but I also tightened up the handle nut and used a Mastery bridge. No hangups, even when I drop it all the way down. As a Gretsch person though, I have to say Sparkle goes on one thing, and Orange goes on another, but never together. I'd slap a gold painted plexi guard on this!

    You mean you have to deal with Aggie whoops too? :/
     
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  7. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Congrats.
     
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  8. guitfiddles

    guitfiddles TDPRI Member

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    That made me laugh because I used to have to sit in the floor barefooted and use my feet to hold the string in place on the Bigsby peg while I used one hand to hold tension on the string and the other to wind it up. Yes, what a bastard to string! That string shaft is a Bigsby upgrade part sold by Callaham Guitars. It’s a piece of cake to install on your Bigsby. It took me like maybe 5 minutes to install.
     
  9. guitfiddles

    guitfiddles TDPRI Member

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    Well, I like the boost that it gives the pickups. When engaged it really fattens up the sound. Also, I have no idea what to do to change to a volume pot. Maybe one of these days I’ll tinker with it and see what I can do.
     
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  10. Mr Scallywag

    Mr Scallywag Tele-Holic

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    Beautiful. I love the way you can keep piling things on a tele and it still looks great.
     
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