Not the Love I’d Hoped For

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by realrobnelson, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. realrobnelson

    realrobnelson TDPRI Member

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    Having focused mostly on bass the past 10+ yrs, I recently caught the 6 string itch again, and picked up a reasonably priced Chris Shiflett Tele on eBay. In immaculate shape, with SD Pearly Gates pickups, looks dang near showroom new. I’m usually a big fan of humbuckers, but the tone is just way darker/warmer than I’d hoped. Tried it through a couple different amps, but it’s just not scratching the itch. I generally favor a brighter, “brittle” zing in my guitar tone, so I probably should’ve known better than to let my bid finger get the best of me, but hindsight gets you nowhere fast. So, my options are 1)coil split and hope for the best or 2)chalk it up to experience, move it on out and look for one that gets me where it I want to be without going down the “throw parts at it til it suits me” rabbit hole.
     
  2. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

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    Coil split hasn't ever scratched my single coil itch.

    The split position just sounds weak to my ears.

    SD does have a split rail P90/single coil that's ok but I prefer their humbucker sized P90.

    Good luck with your quest.
     
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  3. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a split SD Pearly Gates in a HH telecaster. I have no use for it split - not a good substitute for a single coil IMHO. The full humbucker is ok, I have gotten used to it so I have left it as-is.
     
  4. lewis

    lewis Poster Extraordinaire

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    What kind of pots are in the Shifflet Tele?
     
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  5. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    There are adapters available that will let you replace the Humbuckers with single coils. Quick cheap way to totally change your sound.
     
  6. realrobnelson

    realrobnelson TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the heads up on coil splitting, doesn’t sound like it’s worth the trouble. I contacted the seller; pots are stock, so I’m assuming they’re 250k, will verify when I pull the pickguard this weekend. I’m relatively handy with a soldering iron, swapping out for 500k or 1meg might be the way to go at this point. In a bit of lucky happenstance, a buddy of mine lent me his late 80s/early 90s(?) Fender Power Chorus red knob combo. I got more of that crisp, snappy, bright tone that I like, so that’s another avenue for me to explore. The fact that the red knobs seem plentiful, relatively cheap and loud is a nice touch! Especially since they take pedals well and I’ve got some serious pedal GAS....

    Again, thanks fine people of TDPRI. Between here and Talkbass, I’ve gotten more than my share of encouragement and sound advice. Proof that the internet isn’t a total cesspool.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Find high spec 500k volume pot, a lower tone cap uF, and put the stock tone cap in series with the pickup hot lead. Series cap cuts the pickup internal winding capacitance for brighter output.

    .
     
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  8. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    Or even 1Meg pots?
     
  9. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Or buy a single coil Telecaster. Leave the Humbuckers to Gibson. Note: I didn’t follow this advice. I have Humbuckers in the neck of a Stratocaster and Telecaster.
     
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  10. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

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    If you have 4-conductor wiring, try wiring the pickups so each pair of coils are parallel rather than in series. That should help get you closer to where you want to be (and doesn't cost anything to try)
     
  11. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like the Shifflett, the neck is great, not sure about Pearly Gates. If it were me, I’d put in a set of Dimarzio EJ customs. They have the humbucker thing going, but are brighter and very clear like single coils.
     
  12. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeep,,,, That what she said:(
     
  13. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I was going to suggest that maybe the pickups are just too hot for that guitar, but when I looked up the specs, they look like vintage output. The parallel wiring suggestion is a good one - it will definitely help, but if it were me I'd probably not put any money into it to try and make it something it is not. I did that once years ago and spend LOTS of money on pickups and electronics to basically get nowhere with it :(
     
  14. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Words of wisdom.
    Once I purchased a Blacktop Tele w/rosewood neck. It had the same configuration as a LP/SG with the intent of getting that sound. I gave up, sold it and just got a Gibson SG.
    I really wanted to like that axe, even considered changing components but...found out, for me anyways, I hate Telecasters with a belly cut.
     
  15. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    500k pots & parallel / series push pull.

    Avoid single coil split.
     
  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'm gonna be the bad boy and suggest the Shiflett model is the issue.

    I've got an Esquire with a stacked T style bridge pickup and it sounds great in split. I don't think the problem is split per se - I think the problem would be trying to split most pickups that would install quickly in this model of Tele, in this application.
     
  17. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Another option would be to consider a slugbucker pickup. Basically the bobbins are wound with alnico magnetic pole pieces instead of steel slugs. I've done this wind and like it a lot. In humbucker mode, the pickup is more chimey than a regular Gibson style. My coils are wound like two singles together and I'd imagine that Rice could tap them for you too. Not many people do these but you can find them if you search. Rich Rice is a member here

    https://www.ricecustomguitars.com/pickups.php?pickup=slug


    Here is mine before installation:

    The prototype:
    bucker2.jpg

    model 2 with regular bobbins.

    slug.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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