Which tele should I modify? CV vs MIM

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by 1664, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. 1664

    1664 NEW MEMBER!

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    I want a telcaster with a humbucker in the neck position and a normal tele bridge pickup.

    I'm not trying to make a micawber clone, just want a versatile guitar with that configuration. Since I will modify a normally appointed telecaster to get there, I'm leaning towards using dual concentric pots to give me a volume/tone for each pickup.

    My first guitar ever is a MIM Tele Standard which I bought new in 2009 and currently has Fender Nocaster pickups and a Wilkinson bridge but is stock otherwise. I bought a Don Mare 00038 which has been on a shelf for years waiting for this project and have a humbucker for the neck that came out of an old Greco.

    Recently, as I prepared to finally start making this thing, I got the thought that maybe I should leave the MIM tele alone since it already has upgraded pickups. At the same time, I came across a CV BSB telecaster and snapped it up with the sole purpose of putting the 00038 and neck humbucker in.

    Long story short, I like the classic vibe more in both playability and sound. The pickups are far lower output, but have more character (and twang) both with and without gain. The MIM sounds acceptable, but hasn't ever wowed me. It never had much twang although I don't play much country (classic rock/punk/indie). It is also less different in sound from some of my other guitars with PAF or p90 type pickups.

    Therefore, I'm thinking about reversing course. Hack up the MIM, leave the CV stock or close to it (already needs a new jack cup, maybe find slightly hotter pickups eventually). It seems like having a twangier tele with lower output pickups would be a more unique tool for me.

    I'm not overly concerned with resale value on either guitar, fwiw. The MIM I will probably never sell. The CV was pretty cheap to begin with so I don't have a ton in it to lose.

    Anyone been through a similar thought process or have any advice?
     
  2. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    Sounds like the MIM would be the guitar to mod, and that the CV needs to stay just as it is.

    On a side note, I have been a hard rock/metal guy for a long time and as such always played really hot pickups. However, in the last couple years I have found myself falling in love with the character and dynamics you find in the lower output, more vintage voiced pickups. I enjoy playing those types of pickups a lot more than say, EMG 81/85 or a Duncan JB.
     
    Charlodius likes this.
  3. 1664

    1664 NEW MEMBER!

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    Thanks for the note, I believe it and I am maybe experiencing a similar revelation.

    This CV has me re-thinking my entire approach to pickups. Typically I have settled into the slightly overwound/vintage hot type realm regardless of guitar/type, but now I am realizing that may be a mistake; it might be time to find a more vintage output PAF, p90, etc.

    I can always push the gain back up to where I want it using treble boost, overdrive, etc. But the CV has a sound that I can't get out of the MIM tele regardless of where I set the volume/tone. Not sure if that would be true or not with my other guitars, but only one way to find out.
     
    gregulator450 likes this.
  4. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    IIRC, the MIM bodies are already routed for a neck HB.
     
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  5. jiri_c

    jiri_c TDPRI Member

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    mim standards (i had one, 2011) have two main weakneses in my way of feeling the guitar. meh pickups, and modern bridge that suffocates the tone even more. these you can swap for another, and here you go.

    if you feel better with CV, leave it alone, and hack the standard.
     
    1664 likes this.
  6. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Holic

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    This ^^^ is exactly my experience! I have found I like getting the gain more from the amp or a pedal rather than a high output pickup! I recently got to install a set of Ybarra-wound vintage spec single coils in a strat, and those pickups were some of the nicest sounding, most dynamic pickups I have ever played. I could crank the amp gain for heavy sounds or get really sweet clean tones by backing off. They were much more versatile than a hot pickup. If I could only get my hands on some vintage spec humbuckers... LOL
     
    1664 likes this.
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