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Problems with putting new pickups in Monoprice Tele

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by DanGed, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. DanGed

    DanGed TDPRI Member

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    Folks,

    I'm new to this forum and this is my first posting. Please let me know if I have put this question in the wrong place on this site. Here is my situation. I have a Monoprice Indio Classic Tele clone and recently bought a set of Gear Fetish Neovin Vintage Noiseless pickups into this guitar, plus their Kwikplug system with a new switch and pots. And I have had several problems as a result. The first is that there was a ground wire that came with the system but absolutely no documentation in the packaging, or on their website, for where to place the ground wire. Interestingly, the previous stock set up for the guitar didn't have a ground wire attached to anything, so I had no template to follow. So, where would you all recommend I place that ground wire? I wrapped it around one of the bridge pickup screws, on top of one of the springs, but it just isn't tight enough and it keeps coming undone. So that is question one.

    Second question is much more perplexing. Because much of the hardware was physically bigger than the stock hardware it replaced (including the pots and the pickups with their attendant Kwikplug jacks), it was difficult to get everything to fit into the available space and have the pickguard slide back under the neck as before. So, I had to remove the neck in order to screw down the pickguard down. Somehow, when I put everything back together, the strings are now off center, toward the high E string. This results in two problems, one it is hard to fret the high E string (and certain to bend it) and it also affects the way the strings interact with the neck pickup, since the high E is barely on top of the pickup now. It appears to me that the bridge somehow got out of alignment with the neck, but I don't now how it happened or how to fix it. Open to any suggestions for how to make this right. I am adding a photo that helps to show the situation, I hope.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions about either the ground wire or bridge/neck/string alignment issue.

    Best,
    Dan

     
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  2. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    Loosen neck screws a 1/4 turn. Push neck sideways until the string spacing is centered properly. Retighten.

    Welcome.
     
  3. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    I would take off some of the insulation from the ground wire and then install it Under the bridge.

    A dremel might be your best friend to get everything to fit under the hood.
     
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  4. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Ground wire on the Kwikplug harness goes to below the bridge plate to ground the same.

    And yes, the components on the harness are closer to full size than what may have been originally used on the budget guitar. The particular pickups you chose, BTW, are really nice....I put them in my very first build. Great sound and very quiet.
     
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  5. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    yep, you can re-seat the neck and get back to good alignment.

    and just for illustration, here's a photo of the bridge pickup area that is ordinarily covered by the plate on one of my teles, showing the small hole I drilled for the ground wire.

    I pushed up just enough of the ground wire from the bridge pickup cavity onto that area to be covered by the plate, splayed the wire open and flat, and screwed the bridge plate back on, so the wire is in contact with the plate.

    I'm not saying that's the only way or the best way, but it worked for me.

    IMG_8100.JPG
     
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  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^THIS^^

    Loosen the strings about two turns on each tuner before you loosen the neck screws.

    That position marker dot at the 21st fret should be centered between the D and G strings. Look:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. DanGed

    DanGed TDPRI Member

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    You folks are incredibly, incredibly helpful!!! I can't thank you enough. I tried getting an answer to the ground wire issues from Guitar Fetish email tech support and did, to their credit, get a quick reply, but it was so vague as to be useless to me. It referenced drilling a hole, as Teletimetx suggested, without telling me where to drill. And said to make sure it was touching the bridge plate, but no explanation for how to do that. Your photo was so useful to help me understand just how and where to do it.Ditto for Peegoo's photos of how to "slip the neck." I was discouraged about how to resolved both these problems. Now I'm not. I'm really appreciative of this very pointed help (and the vote of confidence in the pickups I put in the guitar, which I haven't really been able to properly hear yet, what with the neck being out of whack and the 60 cycle hum). I really like the way this guitar plays, so I'm hoping these tweaks fix it right up. This is my fourth Tele and, by far, the best playing one yet (the others were a late-80s MIM Fender, which I wish I still had; an "Eminence Front" style Schecter that I didn't much care for; and an early 80s MIJ Squier, which I still have but have never really liked that much--hence my interest in trying this cheap little Indio Classic). Thanks again!
     
  8. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I suspect you'll like the sound of those pickups...I can barely play, but I know my first build that used them has nice tones, despite being less than perfect in craftsmanship.
     
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  9. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    If you still have noise after fixing the ground, shielding the cavities and the backside of the pickguard might help. I just did it to a strat with kitchen aluminum foil and spray adhesive, and the improvement is amazing.

    How is the body and neck on the Monoprice? I've been considering one as a mod platform for awhile. Cheaper than any kits out there.
     
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  10. Mr. St. Paul

    Mr. St. Paul Tele-Meister

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    Welcome to the forum, and good luck with the install.

    I have a Parker P-36 that the previous owner replaced the stock pickups with GFS Neovins. He told me it was a tight fit, because the Neovins have stacked coils. That's probably the issue with the Monoprice as well.

    All that aside, I love the way the Neovins sound. I have the Power Rock set, so they have some punch to them. But still get that Tele sound and are absolutely quiet.
     
  11. DanGed

    DanGed TDPRI Member

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    So I did everything suggested above and it was a sort of good news, bad news situation. The good news is that the suggestion for how to ground the bridge worked great in that the always-on 60 cycle hum is gone, but there is still hum if I'm not actively touching the bridge with my hand, like with pretty much every single-coil guitar I've ever owned. Theoretically, shouldn't that particular problem go away with the Neovins? I'm not terribly worried about it for now, though I've lived with that phenomenon forever and I have a noise gate in my pedal board that deals with it.

    The bad news part of the story is that I did what was suggested to get the neck into alignment and it is definitely better, but in the process I learned that one of the four neck screws has gotten stripped. This seems odd on a brand-new guitar where I've only ever once taken the neck off, but nonetheless, I have to fix this problem (it is the screw hole that is top left if you are looking at the back of the guitar, closest to the high-E side of the neck.) Does anyone have a better solutions than me taking the neck off again, filling in that particular screw hole with some form of wood filler (all I have at home at the moment is a tube of Minwax Wood Filler--not sure if that is a good solution for this problem), and then screwing everything back together (tighter this time). Anyone have a better solution--either an alternative to filling the existing hole, or using a different kind of wood filler for this application.

    To answer 1 21 Gigawatt's question:

    I'm really delighted at how this guitar plays and feels. I have the rosewood neck and absolutely love it! It is perhaps the best playing Tele next I've ever played. And the body is comfortable without being so light that it has no sustain. They are regularly available from Monoprice for $99, so they are hard to beat, really. The stock pickups, pots, switches, and tuners really aren't terrible (I'm still using the stock toners and they stay in tune just fine).

    Thanks again, everyone for your good suggestions!
    Dan
     
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  12. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    @DanGed wood filler very very unlikely to hold a screw for very long.

    On an inexpensive (not to say "cheap") guitar, one "quick fix" would be to glue a few slivers of hardwood into the hole with wood glue (not white glue, probably not epoxy either.)

    That'd be enough to catch the threads of the screw, and you'd run the screw in all the way, but not TIGHT and let the glue dry. Then tighten all the way.

    It's not "full luthier" fix but it'll allow you to get a tight neck/body joint without a whole huge effort. The "real" fix would be, drill out the hole, glue in a dowel, re-drill for the screw.
     
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  13. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    Like the post above:

    Quick fix: Put some wood glue on a toothpick, shove it in the hole, and drive the screw in.

    Better fix: Take the neck off, plug the hole with a golf tee and wood glue, drill new hole once dry
     
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  14. DanGed

    DanGed TDPRI Member

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    This is all really helpful, but just to be clear, it appears that both of you are suggesting, with your "quick fix" plans, that once I put some wood, coated in wood glue, into the existing hole, that I put the neck and body back together, screw in the other three screws, then add in the fourth (stripped) screw--into the still wet glue/wood mixture, then let it dry, then screw it in until tight.

    Do I have all that right?
     
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  15. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    Your sequence is right for the tooyhpick/sliver methods.

    If you do the golf tee/dowel, that's a great alternative to the dowel. And that method should be allowed to dry.

    Then use the three-screwed neck to guide you in drilling your 4th hole.

    The sliver/toothpick method is using the partly-driven screw as a clamp and the hole is only partly refilled in those methods..
     
  16. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    The toothpick method is an old handyman trick. It just makes the hole smaller to allow the threads to bite into something.

    If you do the more permanent fix, just make sure to not drill the new hole too far. You don't want a hole in your fretboard.
     
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  17. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The issue with the toothpick method described if you do not re-drill is that the screw will want to deflect to the side slightly away from the added material. If there is any slop at all in the other three screws, the neck is back to not being positioned correctly. Best practice is to fill the hole completely and redrill a properly sized pilot hole for the screw once the glue has dried.
     
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  18. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Just FYI, this type of thing is common with many MIC imports. I ran into the same problem (and others have posted about it in many threads here..) with pots/switch/control cavity, etc. Another common one is the mount holes/pattern for the bridgeplate. On some, even the rout for the pickup(s) can be a problem depending on the replacement unit. It is not unheard of that bridges will simply be installed a half-inch or so out of correct position.

    The inexpensive MIC Tele knock-offs can be fun for a low-budget project guitar. Sometimes, you have to 'dig a bit deeper' than first expected to do simple upgrades though. Just finding the best fitting replacement parts can be the biggest impediment in the process..
     
  19. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Tele-Holic

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    Welcome to the forum. Good answers on fixing the stripped hole are above. Good luck on the fix.
     
  20. DanGed

    DanGed TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone. One question for Jim_in_PA.

    Your comment makes total sense to me and I had been worried about that. What do you recommend using to fill the hole? Others have suggested a golf tee. I'm skeptical one will actually fit all the way into the existing screw hole, and then I have to saw off the head of it it perfectly and then sand it down (and I'm not sure what tool I have on hand to do that--I have a reciprocating saw but that feels like too unwieldy a tool for something this delicate). So I'm open to your suggestion for the best method to fill the hole so that I can re-drill it and screw in the fourth neck screw properly. Thanks again, everyone!
     
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