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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Blackie1956, Jan 26, 2017.
Baja pups are less toppy than most. It's pup height before anything else.
It's a very fine line between wooly sounding and just right.
I have always wondered what wool sounds like.
That was just on the first generation. My wife had one -- awesome suspension... way too good for the car.
Some have suggested that I adjust the neck pup height, but the two adjustment screws are nowhere to be seen. Are they below the pickguard?
Amp treble on 2 - agreed with OP, I do that on most amps, 3 maybe. even 1 sometimes.
First thing I do is to dial in my amp sound with the guitar volume control really low. After that I rarely have the guitar volume control full-on, use as required. Same thing for any of my electrics. If you have a treble-bleed consider having a tech snip it out so you can drop more highs by rolling-off the volume control.
Second thing, turn down the guitar tone control until it starts to mud-out then bring it back slightly - there should be a magic place on that tone control that will work when the guitar volume isn't at full blast. I roll the tone control back about 75% to achieve a good sound on both pickups and when playing at home the volume control is also around 75% backed-off.
The pickup adjustments on mine don't have enough leeway to make any big difference in sound except I can get the bridge p/u too close to the strings which is not a good thing. At times I've put on strings that worked for everyone else on the internet but not for me so that's like rolling the dice.
The neck pickup adjustment screws are indeed below the pickguard.
The bridge Broadcaster (my fave set of Fender pickups involved here in fact) - typical 'factory specs' involve creating a 'lean' to the pickup height relative to the bottoms of the strings, such that the pickups are further away on the larger strings.
In this case, you'll want to go the other way (mentioned above variously as well) - adjust the pickup height(s) with the treble end a bit further away, bit by bit (play with the pickguard removed for this, being as you'll want to make ongoing adjustments to the neck pickup... replace that when satisfied). After some time adjusting, hopefully you'll find a balance between top and bottom end which satisfies what your ear is looking to hear.
I have high hopes that you'll wind up with excellent results; I have compared the sound and meter readings of both American Standard pulled Broadcaster/Twisted Tele stock Baja B/TT pickup sets - in particular, the bridge Broadcaster looks somewhat different between the AmStd and Baja versions (I believe that there are imported - likely MiM - versions used stock in the Bajas) - they also metered notably differently in DCR values (I forget off-hand, but I believe the Baja version was about 2.2k higher)...
However, my ears could not discern between them whatsoever - the recipe involved with making those must be such that the end results are very equivalent.
BTW: the TT neck pickups were only different in that one wire was a different colour as compared to the other... they measured virtually identically, and of course, as with the bridge pickups, sounded no different.
As an aside question; are the saddles stock / brass?
If they've been swapped out for steel or other alloy, that could be a factor.
The Am STD. has two twisted Tele pickups: the same Twisted Tele in the neck in the Baja and a newer version of a twisted tele bridge (Uncovered). The Broadcaster pickup is a different beast using 43 AWG wire that gives it hotter output than most bridge pickup Teles.
I recently tried a coiled cord to tame my 1970 Stratocaster's brightness, because Hendrix used one and I'd heard it might add some capacitance to the outgoing signal and lower it's frequency. It's a Vox 30' coiled cord. Well it really didn't work, because even cheap cords that are produced now have better methods of production, designed for low capacitance. In other words it doesn't do much to the sound of your guitar. The pickup heights are as low as I can get them.
I have that combination of a (2007 model, like yours) Baja Tele and a Princeton Amp. Jim Campilongo has stated he just turns off the treble (set to 0), because his Tele has enough treble without help. I concur, but I have mine at set at 3. Though with other amps I leave the treble set at 5-7. I think the 10" speaker can't push enough bass as the 12" speakers do in my other Fender amps.
Nothing is as bright as my 1970 Stratocaster which has microphonic pickups at high volumes. So to use it I set the amp volume at 6 and then I won't need to dime the guitar volume, in essence giving you better control on the sound of the guitar. Also you can increase the midrange and bass on the amp, with the treble off. I don't think I use either tone control above 3.
I like the brightness of the Baja and I don't feel it needs to be toned down. It is a Telecaster, after all. I use the tone control a lot. It really makes a difference. It is magic to me, and this one guitar never sounds wooly or dark or woody. It is a clear sound, and I need it for jazz so I'm always on the #4 and #3 positions; with tweaks of the tone control I can achieve a jazzbox sound. It's the lack of a woody sound that makes me reach for a Gibson ES-347 or a Ibanez AFJ95, a real hollow body with maple sides and spruce top.
Which brand did you try? I agree with your statement, but I use low cap cord for my Filtertrons and a coiled Vox for bright Tele's. It's just right...my other coil is one of those high quality low cap coil cords, and it's not the same. These are just ideals when I can control it, I often just grab cords and go...
Blackie 1956, Just lower the pickups way down then raise them till they sound good to your ear. Don't forget that the tone knob is your friend.
If you still feel that it's to bright, change the speaker in your amp, it's easy to do and will change your sound quicker than anything else, period.
Things like string gauge and tube types is so subtle that I wouldn't focus on that yet.
I just edited my post to include the Vox 30 footer coiled cord. I just got it in the mail yesterday.
My guitar tech told me it won't do a thing. I just wanted to try it out, but really I don't get much change in the Stratocaster, but the Tele does show some smoothness in the tonality. But the Tele has always been smooth. I will test other guitars.
Hmm, yes I had that problem too. I thought the pick ups sounded like toys, it was so thin, I only ever used the 4th switch, and ended up selling it on. Before anyone wonders, yes I have and have had lots of telecasters, and none sounded this wish washy. I've got the 60's baja now. It's an improvement but still is lacking. The best stock telecaster bridge pup I've come across is the Texas special, that might be an idea for you if you hold on to the baja
It has to be the pickup height. Raise them to achieve more output from the pickups. I have done this on my Baja, on the neck. You'll have to remove the pickguard as it is a 50's style. I thought the 60's Baja has worse 50's pickups from the videos I've seen. But I want to play one. My GC has nothing exciting in the Tele models.
The 30' Vox coiled cord does reduce minimal top end, but the effect is greatest on my Telecaster. The Strat is so old it doesn't have tone on the bridge, like the originals, and it doesn't do much to reduce that whiny bastard of a bridge pickup. It has a 5-way switch I put in in 2010. But I essentially replaced this Strat with the HSS Strat Ultra, which has the more toneful Lace Sensors. I don't need another Strat and i usually gig with the Ultra. I didn't have the nerve to sell the 1970 yet....
I always lower my pickups to brighten them, and raise them for more beef.
Not sure specifically about coiled vs. non-coiled but the type of cable used can make a huge difference in brightness. I have used both George Ls (bright) and Proco Beldens (much fuller) on the same Tele and you would not believe it was the same guitar, tone-wise. I also seem to remember a very old posting from someone at Fender that the Belden was internally used by them back then in evaluating tonal balance.
This, as well as your other comments were helpful. Thank you. Yes, my guitar has the stock brass saddles.
If you bought it used you really do not know what PUPS are in it. You gotta open it up.
I have a band mate that owns a Chinese Fender , for $349, ,he keeps telling me and others that it has the exact same pups as the american guitar issue which sells for $1500.
They do look the same though, I'll give him that.
Sorry, that's not the case.
The Baja has pickups based on the cs versions, but I've have a 3 bajas with broadcaster/twisted tele combos and 2 cs guitars with cs broadcaster/twisted tele and they're in the ballpark, but not the same. Call it marketing bs, but cs guitars have handwound pups, mex are machine wound in Mexico.
I don't personally think that's anything to do with your brightness issues, though. Frankly, if you're finding the bridge on a Baja too bright, you're doing something wrong.
Sounds like a little confirmation bias to be honest. Can you settle the matter and show us some pics of the pickups, coils, part numbers, FMIC docs, etc?