NGD - Bullet ... questions

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by BrettFuzz, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. BrettFuzz

    BrettFuzz TDPRI Member

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    TL;DR - Bullet Tele too easy to bend the neck out of tune and weak sounding pickups. Expected?

    Details:

    Been waiting for this to go on sale again after I had cancelled my order in December (because it was on backorder and the shipping date was getting into March... I don't need that kind of package tracking anxiety in my life). Anyway... I got it yesterday, did a normal set up and... I am a bit underwhelmed, honestly. Please help me rationalize my concerns.

    I have an Indio Tele (Monoprice) that I really like a lot. That's my only Tele (I know... working to correct that). The only reason I've been wanting the Squier is the neck because I have a Squier Bullet strat that I really like the neck on, considerably more than I like the neck on the Indio. I thought the Bullet Tele would be comparable to my strat. The neck is exactly what I expected (the nut is cut a hair too high but that's easy to fix, much easier than if it was too low). However... these are the two main "issues" (not real issues but at this time they are to me):

    The body is thinner than the full size so when I rest my forearm on it ever so slightly I bend the neck out of tune. Now, mind you, I am not a big guy, 165 lbs but still it's enough to where I could hear it... at first I thought it was the nut, tuners, saddles, etc... the usual tuning issues suspects. But I discovered it was me "leaning into it" too much. I obviously do the same with the Indio (and my other guitars) and have not experienced this issue. I already made sure the neck plate and the bolts are right and tightened correctly. I could, in all honesty, be mindful of it and just not lean into it as much but I am curious if any of you had the same experience.

    The second thing that is different is the pickups. They are just much weaker sounding compared to all my other guitars, most of which are just as budget-minded as this one. Pickup height is the same as on my Indio Tele. It is a very noticeable difference even compared to my other two Squiers. Is this expected of Squier Bullet or could it be just my copy is an exception? Cold solder joint? Anything I should check that is a common issue with these? Also, the volume pot sounds like it's linear so 1-3 is dead silent, 4-6 is a little change, and 7-10 is like 60% of the volume difference. Could these two be related - weak pickups and spastic volume control?

    And last, which does not really bother me but since I am already whining might as well... the curve of the body goes noticeably flat where the output jack is. And yes, the LPB stands for:

    L...Ice
    P...Blue
    B...Metallic

    but who cares, lol.

    I've read so many positive reviews and saw all of the "you are stupid if you don't get one" YouTube reviews for the Bullet that I have a feeling I either might have gotten a dud or I misinterpreted the reviews and set my expectations too high. I am not bashing Squier or the Bullet series; just trying to understand what I got.

    Thoughts, opinions, comments, insults, attacks, other normal internet forum stuff?
     
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  2. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I just got two of these, a Surf Green one and the LPB/Ice Blue one, which is really no lighter than the faded Metallic Blue that Fender has called LPB on a lot of Mexican guitars. But, I can play them very aggressively and experience no tuning issues. Have you put new strings on it (and did you stretch them?), and what gauge are you using? If so, try tightening the tuner buttons. As for the pickups, I expected them to be the weak link, and after replacing them with really good pickups, Yosemites on the LPB, and the Tonerider sourced A5 CV ones on the SG one, they play and sound as good as any Tele I've ever had.
    DSCN1123.JPG
     
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  3. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    I can't comment on the going out of tune issue, but I can relate my experience with the stock pickups. First, they respond well to adjustment. You may need to adjust your amp as well. Second I recommend a 500k volume pot and a 250k no-load tone pot. Really brightened up my stock pickups which were a little dull sounding, especially the neck. In the end I did replace them with some better pickups, but that only happened because I love the neck and enjoy playing the guitar. It's a good one and I'm hanging onto it. I actually like the thinner body and lighter weight, and I didn't think I would. Good luck getting things sorted out!
     
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  4. BrettFuzz

    BrettFuzz TDPRI Member

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    My apologies - I just realized I've used the wrong terminology - it's stays in tune fine; there are no tuning issues whatsoever. What I am talking about is change in pitch, i.e., I relax my right arm onto the body and it changes pitch; I let off and it goes back to the normal pitch, staying in tune all the time. I know you can do this with all guitars but this one seems to be more susceptible to this for some reason (thinner body?).
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  5. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    IMG_20151210_103631.jpg The neck on this Squier Bullet Special is pretty flexy, and as much as I liked the zingy resonance of this instrument from the get-go, the neck flex put me off at first.

    But it turns out that, even set up for .011s with high-ish action, that neck flexes back into tune when I release pressure, and I’ve learned to use it for a subtle Bigsby effect. Give it time; it may grow on you as is.
     
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  6. Jazzerclean

    Jazzerclean Tele-Meister

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    Funny, my Bullet as it was stock is my favorite over my Squier standard then last my new Fender Player Tele in BSB.

    I have no neck bending out of tune issues, neck pocket us perfect and my stock Bullet ceramic pickups were more powerful and had more clarity than the name much weaker & thinner sounding Alnico's that came with both the Squier standard and the Fender Player?

    All i had to do was polish tbe frets. Like i said, my Bullet is my preferred out of the three. Hope you work yours out.
     
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  7. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

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    You may want to 'snug up' your neck-to-body screws, and your neck truss rod, as well as your tuner-key-knob screws. That should fix the wobblies.
     
  8. BrettFuzz

    BrettFuzz TDPRI Member

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    Done all that, still the same. It's not a tuning issue. Anyways, like I said, I'll get used to that "new feature" .. bendy neck, lol. :)
    Pickups, on the other hand, may have to go... but I'll give them some more time to see if they'll grow on me.
     
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  9. BrettFuzz

    BrettFuzz TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I'll have to do that too. :)
     
  10. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    Get some Fleor AlNiCo 5’s for about $25, or a set of Bootstrap Palo Duro or Pretzel pups.
    My Bullet is treating me OK so far- planing on a set of Bootstrap “Original Recipe” AlNiCo IIIs for mine. The $50 version of Fender’s “Nocaster” (at $150)...
    Also looking at brass saddles as well- the bridge set up will not accommodate a drop in replacement traditional bridge :oops:
     
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  11. BrettFuzz

    BrettFuzz TDPRI Member

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    OK, I think I got used to the bendy neck a little... or rather I realized it's not a big deal since it does not happen all that often. The pickups still sound a bit on the weak side but I could EQ that out on the amp. The volume pot... hmmm... is that normal? 1~3 is dead silent, 4~6 is little louder but still clean for the most part, and 7~10 is like 60%-70% of the overall volume.
     
  12. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds like it’s a linear pot (B) instead if logarithmic “audio” pot.
    Linear for tone control works better, but you need the logarithmic to get smooth volume control.

    Has to do with the db level (volume) increasing by the square (power of 2) of the signal applied. The audio taper takes this into account...
     
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  13. BrettFuzz

    BrettFuzz TDPRI Member

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    I think I have an audio taper pot somewhere in a drawer... could also do the Kinman treble bleed on it; I have some leftover caps and resistors... hmmm... plans... :)
     
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  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some players tend to twist and bend their guitar neck for tremolo and vibrato sounds ...

    This will cause tuning issues....
     
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  15. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Just got my Squier Bullet LPB (whatever, i like the color) Tele. 7.1 lbs, a blast to play right out of the box. Neck is stable for me, no buzzing/flat spots. The pickups i really like. But i have always had pickup tastes out of the mainstream. These are not weak, volume knob works well. Tone knob is quite usable.

    I had a Gibson SG that had a neck that was like rubber. I could not tune and intonate it to save my life. This neck is nothing like that. I pull or push on all my necks at times to get a subtle tone bending effect.

    Sorry for your troubles.
     
  16. 1996Standard

    1996Standard Tele-Meister

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    I'm so fascinated by this 'lean on the body and bend it out of tune' thing. I'm not saying you're wrong. I've just never heard of something like that in a solid body electric. I really want to hear it. I'd say if its a thing you'd best just sell it and move on. Seems like it'd be impossible to remedy. And even if you think you could get used to it, you know you're going to hear it at some point and kick yourself for keeping it.
     
  17. BrettFuzz

    BrettFuzz TDPRI Member

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    Hmm... I am truly fascinated by this, lol.

    Anyways, still trying to decide...

    IMG_20200817_130716068.jpg
     
  18. BrettFuzz

    BrettFuzz TDPRI Member

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    It went back. The neck is really nice, especially for the money, but almost everything else was a step back. Too bad I don't have room for both. :-/
     
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