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Setup Help Needed

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by HookedOnTeles, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. HookedOnTeles

    HookedOnTeles TDPRI Member

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    Hi!

    Hope I'm posting this in the right place. I've started trying to setup my tele's myself and I'm running into issues. I am going to take one into a qualified tech and have them work on it and try to learn from that. But, just wondering if any of you might know what I'm doing wrong here:

    I'm capo'ing the 1st fret and depressing at the 17th. Using a .010 feeler gauge, I'm assuring that there is clearance for it to fit under the 8th fret. I've made some truss rod adjustments, and have got it to a place where it seems "right" to me.

    I'm then measuring the open string tuning vs the fretted 12th fret of the string. I have to get the saddles pretty far back (they're on top of the bridge screws and this is a custom shop tele). That gives me pause, but the tuner is telling me that's where they need to be.

    I'm setting the action by measuring at the 12th fret. I'm setting high - 6/64ths on the low E side down to 5/64ths on the high E. There's some buzzing, but not too bad. But for that high should there be any at all? Some of it for sure it my picking attack on the low strings. But the G and D seems just a hair "buzzy" too.

    Here are the two big red flags - to get it even to 5/64ths or 6/64ths, I've got the saddle screws almost out of the saddles. The high E side of the barrel actually sits right on the bridge. SECOND, on the high E string a full step bend at the 15th fret chokes out. Only that spot.

    I'm using Regular Slinky 10-46 strings. Vintage style three saddle bridge. Any advice?
     
  2. HookedOnTeles

    HookedOnTeles TDPRI Member

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    I'm using a PolyTune Mini 3 to set intonation. Could it be an issue with that? Sorry, just really at a loss. Again, I will learn from taking it to a qualified tech but just curious if this is something obvious I'm missing.
     
  3. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    Need a neck shim probably. Had a similar problem with an old tele and took a lot of set-up time until I got it in the right place, right thickness.

    You can also get flat-head screws to hold the bridge onto the body if you can't get the saddle low enough with rounded-head screws that it comes with.

    Mine always buzzed - as long as it isn't a sitar I'm OK with it, neck is a bit warped anyways after all these years. I don't measure, never worked for me, do it by feeling.

    My saddles are a bit too far back, a couple of them at the end of the adjustment, I cut the springs to get more space to adjust the saddles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
    Warren Pederson likes this.
  4. HookedOnTeles

    HookedOnTeles TDPRI Member

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    Thank you! I appreciate the advice! I know that would help me get the barrels off of the floor so to speak. But might that also account for the intonation requiring the saddles so far back and the choked bend?
     
  5. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Try a shim in the neck pocket. Also, check whether the frets are level and whether the neck is twisted. Dave’s World Of Fun Stuff on YouTube is informative as to set ups, plus Dave is amusing. I use the Fender set up guide, available on their website.
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Many end up with the low E saddle near the back of the bridge plate. Not sure why.
     
  7. HookedOnTeles

    HookedOnTeles TDPRI Member

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    Thank you! Appreciate all of that!
    Looking up Dave right now.
     
  8. HookedOnTeles

    HookedOnTeles TDPRI Member

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    Huh, that's good to know schmee. That seems to be the one I have to push the furthest back.
     
  9. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    Kind of a long shot, but are the saddles original to the bridge, or aftermarket and possibly larger than stock?

    Also it might be worthwhile checking your relief measurement against a straight-edge rather than using a string. You can gently lay the straight-edge long a string to have it follow the the "crest" of the cone of the fingerboard. I eyeball relief using a string and capo, but for actually measuring with feeler gauges I like a straight edge.

    Checking the relief in the middle, and on both sides to see about twist ( or poorly seated frets ) might be interesting, too.
     
  10. HookedOnTeles

    HookedOnTeles TDPRI Member

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    I'll have to look up checking relief against the straight edge but willing to try it all. Makes sense what you're saying. Thank you!
     
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