Shrill sound: Maple neck?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Billycaster21, Jul 11, 2021.

  1. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    Great!!! Saddles can definitely make a difference. A cheap fix. I like it!!

    I didn’t believe in saddles changing tone dramatically, until I changed from 6 point to 3 point on my Tele.. sounded like a different guitar.
     
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  2. brashboy

    brashboy Tele-Meister

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    If you read it on the internet, gotta be right...
     
  3. bluesguy62

    bluesguy62 TDPRI Member

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    Intriguing dilemma you have here. Time for a couple "scientific"If experiments, then. For starters, we could try swapping the wiring harnesses of both Teles and note what happens. If both sound the same after the swap, then it isn't the wiring.

    Since we now know it isn't the wiring, we can try swapping pickups. Once again, note any changes in tone. If nothing has changed, then we know it's not the wiring or the pickups.

    The next experiment would be to swap necks. If even this doesn't bring about any tonal changes, then it's definitely the hardware. Usual culprits are the tuners, nut or the bridge (most always the saddles).

    I almost forgot.. make sure you have a fresh set of strings of the same gauge/brand on both guitars before conducting each experiment. This is to eliminate strings as a factor.

    Do give these experiments a try and let us know what you discover.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
  4. intensely calm

    intensely calm Tele-Meister

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    Hahaha, I get a kick out of these threads.
    I learn that everyone hears the same thing, but differently. That's pretty amazing.
    Wood can be warm and bright, or cool and warm, or bright and dark, or...
    Not mocking anyone, just really get a kick outta these conversations and our use of some terms to vaguely discribe sound. It's not easy.
    The cause of the body neck combination could be any number of thngs, as everyone is pointing out.
    When I read the "b" string was particularly shrill, I immediately though of a past experience when a truss rod resonating to certain notes...only when struck on the "b"string. Very strange issue, and only happened in the cold and dry winter time. Off-topic and likely unrelated to this thread.
    Good luck to the OP with finding the solution.
     
  5. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The ‘62 bridge pickup is pretty tame, the ones I have aren’t shrill at all. Might be something with the treble bleed circuit, which is the only thing it sounds you have that connects to the tone circuit. Give that a look, maybe install another one to see how that sounds. There are some issues with Fender changing the polarity of some models of pickups, too - that can cause some phasing issues when wiring. They’re about the only two things I can think of. But, get the wiring diagram for your wiring (there are a few options) and trace each wire visually to make sure they all go where they’re supposed to. I think that’s where I usually start when something doesn’t sound quite right.
     
  6. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

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    I find that stiffer wood causes this. Even quartersawn vs regular maple will sound brighter. A tight neck pocket will be brighter as well.

    Could be electrical issue, too, as someone mentioned. Check caps, pots, etc.
     
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  7. Ironheadslim

    Ironheadslim TDPRI Member

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    This was fun!

    Some of you even missed the OP’s post with the solution. It was a slightly defective bridge. I had a Am Std Tele with a bad cut on the nut also on the B string and that string rang above the nut just enough to make you go batty.

    My experience is the pickups and amp are by far the biggest factors in tone.

    God bless!
     
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  8. RhinoV

    RhinoV TDPRI Member

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    The Mahogany body is going to sound warmer than the Alder and the all maple neck is brighter than one with a fingerboard of Pau ferro, rosewood, or even ebony. So, swapping the neck may only be part of the solution...all other things being equal, there are some who will argue to no end that "tonewood" is a figment of the imagination and it doesn't make any difference...but I have been servicing, playing and building guitars for over 40 years and I will go on record and say that it DOES make a difference....if you end up not getting it to sound the way you like, then sell the body and get another Mahogany body. In fact, I have had to build several projects for some blues players in the past, and I always recommend that they opt for Mahogany Strat or Tele bodies. The guitars sound richer, punchier, sustain with better overtones at high volumes etc.
     
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  9. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    A while back, I watched that video of the guy making a Strat body out of concrete. At the end of the video, after assembling the guitar (which still had a typical neck by the way) and playing it, he concludes that wood doesn't matter. And, he says, "It all comes down to the pickups, the amp, and of course, the player."

    No, it's not that simple. Cardboard saddles are going to sound like cardboard saddles just as much as a bad player will sound like a bad player.
     
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  10. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Holic

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    Exactly the same, never. To many variables involved to make that general statement.
     
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  11. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Holic

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    I think it really depends on the type of cardboard. The corrugated stuff sounds way different to my ears.
     
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  12. TommyGunz

    TommyGunz Tele-Meister

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    Double check your nut slot and saddle work. Improperly cut nut slots and saddles often lead to this problem. I didn't read all 6 pages...sorry if someone already mentioned this.
     
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  13. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire

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    If the bridge is vintage style, is the B string touching the height adjustment screw? That can cause weird shrillness.
     
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  14. larsjm

    larsjm TDPRI Member

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    The affect of the bridge on any guitar is an often-overlooked contributor to the overall sound and feel. Changing saddles, the material it's made out of, etc, etc, can transform a guitar almost as much as changing the pickups. So yes, a defective bridge would make a guitar sound horrible.
     
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  15. GAS Giant

    GAS Giant Tele-Meister

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    I built two teles, using identical alder MJT bodies, both with maple necks, both with identical circuits and the same pickups. They were wildly different. One was much more aggressive and trebly, requiring the tone to be rolled down for most situations (still a great guitar, but just aggressive). One was a straight bridge with brass saddles, the second had a bigsby. I don't think that the bigsby had a "mellowing" effect. A rosewood fretboard would probably calm it down. I eventually swapped the neck on the bright guitar from a maple baseball bat U to a slimmer maple V...very little change in tone. Without a clear correlation between the components and ultimate sound, I would say that there is still a magical Heisenberg uncertainty principle in operation...We can predict tendencies, but not the final result. Gear junkies love to dwell in the abstract world of how to achieve the greatest tone, but we always come back down to earth when we hear the actual guitar or amp.
     
  16. Teleboss

    Teleboss Tele-Meister

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    Overwound pickups help thicken the sound. I’ve built a few Esquires and always use overwound pickups and rosewood fretboards. I always get a good thick sound that will have some spank when needed. There’s no law that says you have to set your tone knob on 10. I turn mine down most of the time, then adjust to what the song needs.
     
  17. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    I am squarely and unashamedly in the camp that wood affects sound. But as to the degree of making one shrill and one not... I have no clue. And I really don't think anyone else does. It's like snowflakes. They're all different. You put two organic pieces of material together that is not replicated anywhere else in the world and IMHO it's bound to be different. As to how much I don't think anybody knows. But to say there's absolutely no difference between the two seems overly generalizing to me. Maybe it's less then people claim, or maybe it's more than people claim. I find that all things made by man, will have differences. Those differences will be greater when organic materials are used(I feel I have to clarify that of course all materials in a guitar are organic, but the way wood is harvested for furniture and guitars is way less man refined than metals and plastics), like wood. I mean it's MOSTLY wood that a guitar is made of. Percentage wise. There are no two trees that are the same. A piece of wood from the same tree is going to be different than another from the same tree.

    Anyways... regardless of that debate:

    My advice is I wouldn't swap necks on the two you got just to prove or disprove anyone's theory. If you got a sound that really works for you, my advice is LEAVE IT ALONE. You made two, one sounds awesome to your ears. I'd say that was a success. And then either just work with the 2nd one with the tone down, or sell it, or make 2 other guitars.... :)

    I'm assuming you are playing these through the same amp to compare. One other thing is that you may come across an amp that works better with the maple necked one and tones down the highs some. Or just use it as a wall hangar.

    I say when you get a guitar you really like the sound AND playability of, celebrate that.

    Also:

    My ears have changed as to what I like the sound of. I typically was always really annoyed with tele and strat bridge pups and when playing by myself it would be like, I just don't like that sound. But now after recording a lot I'm more drawn to these frequencies cuz of how they sit in the mix. The last song I did on bass I used the bridge pup on my Jazz bass, with a maple neck, and it does sound bright to me. But how it sounds in the song for that particular one, I really like. I even played it through a guitar amp. But for years I was always looking for warmer sounds and something has changed within the last year with me. LOL. I still like warmer sounding guitars when it's just a guitar playing. And even sometimes in a song. But now I'm appreciating the more trebly tones. Only took me about 30 years to figure that one out. LOL. And fwiw, over this last year I would feel like I HAD to use the tone knob turned down on my Tele to use the Bridge pup. But for some reason now I'm running it full out.... It's weird... Either my ears have change or something in my brain, IDK. Same amp..... I do futz with the eq sometimes but it's never overly drastic changes. But sometimes small changes on an amp eq do a lot too.

    I did have the tone knob turned down on my Jazz bass on that particular song to about 1/2 way. It sounded just right to me.

    So, maybe your maple necked one would sound good if you had it in a mix with other instruments. ??????


    So if you don't want to read my whole response, here's the cliffs notes: Cool you got one you like!!!! The other one may work for you down the road.... with maybe a different amp, or settings, or pedal, or something can change. But at least using the tone knobs is a good option and no reason not to. That's why they are there. :)

    Now wheres the pics of these bad boys? :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
  18. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    There's a slight difference in the recording from what I can hear, but both guitars have a Maple neck on the right? One thing is how each guitar is setup, are they the exact same because a minute adjustment can make a big difference.
    I personally have had 5 or 6 plywood guitars in my lifetime and I can tell you that all of them have been difficult to nail down that right sound, which is why I only have 2 left. To me, plywood has a flat tonal response. You can make a guitar out of anything, doesn't mean it's going to sound good to everybody because we all have different levels of hearing ability(some can tune the guitar by ear, some can't. I had to train my ear for that.)
    Microphonics is a unintended by-product of the pickup. Any vibrations other than string over pole vibrations can be picked up by the coil and converted to signal. This is one of the reasons why no 2 guitars will sound exactly the same Whatever makes up one guitar will be slightly different from another even if they're made from the same type wood and even from the same tree or if a different hardware is used. You can pot a pickup or seal it with epoxy to lessen the effects of microphonics, but you cannot completely stop them. As long as a coil is involved, their will be microphonics. Even Alumatone type pickups have some microphonics.

    If you're happy with plywood and can't tell any difference, be happy.
    If someone else says they can tell a difference, it doesn't mean they're lying because you can't hear it.
    A guitar that's held by a player can hear that sound and even feel that guitar whereas you sitting away from it may not hear anything different. Lets face it, most people go to a concert to be entertained by what they hear and see, not who's playing what.
     
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  19. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Curious if you can hear the steel in a Tele bridge from being mounted to a steel bridge plate vs. mounted to wood, and how plastic and steel differ in sound. Also can you hear the plastic in a les paul since the humbuckers are actually mounted to the plastic rings. Solid body Gretches have a layer of foam under the pickup which acts as a "spring" to adjust pickup height, how do you classify the sound of foam? Curious minds want to know.
     
  20. Stringeyfinger

    Stringeyfinger TDPRI Member

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    Sounds to me that it’s pickups are reverse polarity some pups come with black and white wires reversed ‍♂️‍♂️
     
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