Nice Tele. I'd drop a Phat Cat P90 in the bridge and a no-load tone pot. I have that setup in a Squier '51 and it sounds incredible. Like a Tele but thicker.It’s been a minute since I owned a Fender Tele. I almost always have some kind of T style laying around, but this is the first actual Fender since maybe 2016?
I had an American Special Strat that I really didn’t play and didn’t like all that much up for sale on CL. I was mainly looking to cash it in, but stated in the ad that I’d entertain trades for an MIA Tele. After running the ad for about a week and a half with zero results, I got offered this little dude. Met up with the guy, played the guitar, and did the deal. It was sorely neglected and in terrible need of a setup, but I figured if I didn’t end up liking it, I could just flip it and not be out anything.
Here she is:
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2013 US Professional HS. These were exclusive to GC, and I think only made that one year. It cleaned up and set up very nicely.
I hate sunburst, hate black pickguards, and I’m not a huge fan of rosewood on teles. All that said, it’s a pretty great guitar. I used it at rehearsals the last two nights and it was fantastic. I suspect at some point it had some work done, even though the seller claimed to have bought it new and never used it or did anything with it. If the fret and nut work on this guitar is factory, it would make it the first Fender I’ve seen since about 2004 that didn’t need a fret level and nut work out of the box. The frets are absolute perfection. As good as my PRS. The nut is not at that level, but it’s much better than I’ve seen from fender production in the last 18 or so years. It’s very good.
The frets were corroded, the board was dry, it was very dirty. Jack is making a little noise but I’m going to handle that this evening. Everything else works as it should.
The humbucker isn’t super hot. Very vintage voiced. Sounds pretty good. It does lack a little cut in a mix. I’m gonna play around some with height adjustment, but if I can’t get the honk out of it that I want I have a DiMarzio in my parts box that’ll go in there.
It also has the S1 switch to split the humbucker, and that sounds horrible. Just flat out bad. I’m going to see if I can wire it to do series/parallel instead of a split. That always sounds much better, and remains hum-free.
Neck pickup is bright. Very stratty. I dig it. Middle position is very useable as well. Just don’t touch the coil tap, it ruins everything.
Overall it’s a really great playing and sounding guitar. And it stays in tune extremely well. I wish it was a different color, but it’s a definitely keeper.
It came from the factory with a no load tone. I was actually thinking of removing the tone altogether. I do that a lot. I’ll be keeping the humbucker, though.Nice Tele. I'd drop a Phat Cat P90 in the bridge and a no-load tone pot. I have that setup in a Squier '51 and it sounds incredible. Like a Tele but thicker.
It does have a really sweet grain on the back. One of the most interesting alder bodies I’ve ever seen. They’re usually super plain.Don't take the bridge assembly off, it you don't have to. Or be careful if you do. The finish on these isn't that well adhered to the wood below, and it can come off in huge chunk. I had an '06 Sunburst American (60th Anniversary "Cubic Zirc") do me that.
The rosewood is nicer than a lot of what we see these days, but what I really like is the graining on the back of the body. Very nice indeed!
Mint green would be very cool, I think. The only issue is having to have it made custom, because of the way it has to go around the pickup ring on the humbucker. I’ll probably be far too lazy to ever pursue that.
I don’t know how raunchy it would get. The most gain I ever use is a TS808 with the drive at noon, into an amp that’s just barely breaking up at all. It’s got plenty of drive like that, for me.Jeepers! Ya are a picky bugger!
I love that finish!! It would look purty next to my LP Junior Special.
How nasty could that humbucker be driven? I have my Tele up for a trade and wonder about their humbuckers for RAWK.
One suggestion: I think the neatest trick with a humbucker is to wire in a bass cut switch. These came standard on the first round of Yamaha Revstar guitars. Mine has a hot 498T that sounds superb in this mode. If yer handy, Premier Guitar reverse engineered it here.
I don’t care much for high-output humbuckers and prefer to use my amps or pedals for distortion. But I do need something that can go from the Black Keys to Black Sabbath. I find my T-Top clone is perfect for all my needs.I don’t know how raunchy it would get. The most gain I ever use is a TS808 with the drive at noon, into an amp that’s just barely breaking up at all. It’s got plenty of drive like that, for me.
The only humbucker attachment I’ve ever liked is a series/parallel switch. Jackson/Charvel figured out way back in the 80’s that it sounds far better than a tap or split, and it stays hum-free. Why nobody else has ever figured it out is a mystery to me.
Man, T-tops are such underrated pickups.I don’t care much for high-output humbuckers and prefer to use my amps or pedals for distortion. But I do need something that can go from the Black Keys to Black Sabbath. I find my T-Top clone is perfect for all my needs.
Congrats on the new axe!