NGD - 2004 Telecaster Burst MIM

Ianashdown

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HNGD ! A beauty for sure.

>The story is it was bought for a son who just never took to guitar<

Nor doing a nice string job :p

Common paint stress cracks there...........very common... no biggie other than the cosmetics of it.
100% correct! Just a finish crack.

When I went to see the guitar I noticed the crack and as we met in a parking lot there was no way I felt comfortable asking to take off the neck, so I took a gamble that it was just cosmetic.

In fact, of all the guitars that have a crack that I have looked at closely, all of them were cosmetic. I’ve never seen one where the body was cracked!

Ian
 

Ianashdown

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Congrats, Ian!

No red flags I can see. Now, the body is veneer over pieces parts, but that doesn't change how it will perform. The fretwork, from the factory, may be a little rustic by today's standards, but nothing a good fret level, crown and polish cannot fix. Don't let anyone convince you to rip out the stock nut. That's Cyclovac, and a little adjustment of the nut slots may be needed but unless it is visibly damaged, I suggest keeping it.
How thick are the veneers? I can’t see an obvious veneer, but if it’s very think i guess I wouldn’t.
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Ian
SoCal
 

sjtalon

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That is very possible. I have seen pics of Strats w/o veneer.

It is quite thin though, what they use, so sometimes with all the coating, it's hard to say.

Almost paper thin-FWIW
 

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Ianashdown

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I have the Tele all cleaned up, a small finish chip repaired, all the chrome parts re-polished etc and it looks great! A set of new strings and I’m working my way through the set-up. Everything seemed to be coming in quite well, relief is good, action in a good place to start, intonation good, but I have buzz on the open A string! 😢

A little investigation and I found that the nut slot for the A string has been cut too deep. 🫤 A new TUSQ XL aged nut has been ordered. I always had in mind to at least remove and re-fit the nut as there is evidence that it is not fully seated on the Hi-E side. Now it’ll just get a new nut and the opportunity to get the 1st fret heights just right.

Overnight I was thinking about the nut and I thought I should probably should fill the A string slot just to check out that I was correct. It doesn’t need much.

I didn’t want to use paper as I thought it might deaden the string. I thought I had some brass shim stock, but no way I could find it. 😠. Aluminum foil is only 0.001” thick, not thick enough. So I found last nights Coke can and cut it up. It measured 0.004” thick! I was aiming for 0.003” so this’ll do!

I cut a tiny piece about 0.05” wide and about 0.20” long. I fit it in the bottom of the string slot and pushed the extra length down in front of and behind the nut. The idea being that this would hold the shim in place while tuning.

Anyway, I re-fit the string, tuned the guitar and Wow! No Buzz 🐝

So, the PSA in all this is an old Coke can might get you out of trouble in a jam!

Don’t try 7-Up. I won’t sound right . . . 🫢

Ian
SoCal
 

Ianashdown

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I ordered a new Earvana nut for this Tele, I like the idea of the compensated nut even if I’m not sure I can really hear a difference.

The new Nut arrived today and I was surprised to see it has a curved bottom. This is the nut I ordered.
1657049545366.jpeg

I’m not very familiar with Telecasters, but is a curved nut slot bottom correct for a 2004 MIM Telacaster with a 12” Radius Fretboard? If I have the wrong nut I’d prefer to not take the nut out, until I can get the right one in hand.

Thanks!

Ian
SoCal
 

Controller

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Congrats! My first Tele was a 2004 MIM with Tex-Mex pickups. Very good guitar.
 

Minivan Megafun

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A few more pics.

So did these really come with CTS Pots?
Everything looks pretty legit so far. Truss rod works OK. I’m just going to clean and polish, put some strings on it and make some noise!

Ian
SoCal

Yes, the MIM guitars have been loaded with CTS pots since the mid-90's. That's why I've always found it funny that people trumpet the "superior quality" of the MIJ stuff, but those are loaded with cheap Alpha mini-pots. Meanwhile you have MIM's with full size CTS.
 

Ianashdown

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It’s a lovely guitar to play! It’s become the one I pick up first, even with my temporary nut fix. I’ll be fitting the new Earvana nut in the next day or two, taking care of a little scratchy pot (hopefully just needs a spray), and more accurately dialing in the setup.

I now have two nice Fender valve amps, a Pro Jr and a recently acquired Hot Rot Deville 212, it’ll be fun to try and find the right sound with this guitar and these amps!

Ian
SoCal
 

Ianashdown

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I fit the new Earvana Nut this evening. Not a difficult operation fortunately!
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I‘ve just sat the nut in place for now, re-tuned the guitar and checked the action at the first fret. It‘s about 0.04” on both high and low E strings! Quite a bit higher than I’d hoped for, so I have some work to do.

The shelf part seems to be fitting on the fretboard quite well, I will get a feeler gauge and check for clearance, so all the adjustment, 0.025”-ish approximately, needs to come from the string slot.

I have the nut files needed, but I’m not starting a project like that this evening. That‘s a job for bright and fresh Ian!

I normally check the first fret action by holding the string down at the 3rd fret position and I’m aiming for about 0.008”-0.010” at the first fret. Does that sound about right?

Alternatively, with the 12th fret action set at 0.060” (low E) and 0.050” (high E) what should the target 1st fret action be?

I‘ll measure some of my nice playing guitars for reference too.

I‘ll appreciate any advice or guidance.

Ian
SoCal
 

Ianashdown

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After sleeping on the task of getting the nut correct I decided the the Earvana needed too much work to get the string heights correct. If I did cut the slots to the require depth there would be so much nut above the string that the whole nut would need to be reshaped.

I had a Tusq nut that I‘d previously bought for this guitar before deciding to go for the Earvana, so decided to try that and see how it looked.

No surprise, the nut fit perfectly and the strings were just a little high. I went about doing a careful setup of the whole guitar. Relief set at about 0.007”, action 0.06” - 0.05” low E and high E respectively. Set the string radius at the bridge to 12”. I tuned the guitar very carefully and tested the tune at the 2nd fret. It was slightly sharp as you’d expect knowing the nut was high. I addressed all the nut slots, reshaped the nut a little above the 3 high strings so the slots were just string depth. Cleaned it all up, removed any burrs and sharp edges, quick test fit - all good - then a couple of dabs of Elmers and in went the new nut.

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The guitar plays beautifully again, even better perhaps! With the Earvana and the high nut slots what had been a great playing guitar was just horrible! Felt horrible, sounded worse! I was worried I’d screwed up a nice playing guitar 😱. Getting everything as it should be really makes a difference!

Time for some fun playing this great guitar!

Ian
SoCal
 
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Ianashdown

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Congrats, Ian!

No red flags I can see. Now, the body is veneer over pieces parts, but that doesn't change how it will perform. The fretwork, from the factory, may be a little rustic by today's standards, but nothing a good fret level, crown and polish cannot fix. Don't let anyone convince you to rip out the stock nut. That's Cyclovac, and a little adjustment of the nut slots may be needed but unless it is visibly damaged, I suggest keeping it.
Unfortunately the nut has had to be replaced. A couple of strings were too low and upon closer examination it was cracked through at the G string slot.

Its been replaced with a nice Tusq nut, antique color to match the aged pickguard.

This one is going to get some playing!

Ian
SoCal
 




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