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> Tele Shopping, Need Tips
Mertay
post Jun 17 2015, 10:42 PM
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Going to shop for a friend who'll probably buy a USA standard Fender Tele, we'll probably look at some slightly lower priced ones too. At least I'm sure the brand will be a Fender, we'll probably have 5 maybe 6 options to choose from.

He's to me a beginner, has an epi LP with a beefy neck and an aged squire bullet. More into chords than solo, no distortion doesn't pass amp overdrive. Definitely not a metal guy, think more like hit pop-rock tones. Likes bands like live, RHCP, John Frusciante and acoustic based indie stuff.

Test amp will be a Pro Junior III as thats what will be next on his to buy list. Though played a few, I never compared Tele's before. Any tips? smile.gif


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Chris S.
post Jun 18 2015, 12:37 AM
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It seems everyone is getting a Tele other than me unsure.gif

I've only played a MIM Baja Tele and and an American Standard Tele.

Personally, I liked the neck on the MIM a lot better.

That's about all I can contribute tongue.gif


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Darius Wave
post Jun 18 2015, 08:29 AM
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Probably Posterboy or Ken would be most helfull here smile.gif The only opinion on /Fender guitars I ever had is:

1. Japan is damn close to U.S.A incase of quality (in some case even or beter)
2. No chance to judge series - judge the guitar you hold in your hands

I was always a fan of tele tones but never made myself a gift of this kind smile.gif Had a Tele Bullet from the 80's once. Then hada lot of Tele's in my hands but never owned one again. Probablymy favourite was 52' reissue "blonde". Comparing to the am standard at the same moment it seemd to have more low mids - sort of less scooped and better breaking through the mix. But again, I speak of 2 particular guitars, do not want to judge the whole series


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Mertay
post Jun 18 2015, 03:16 PM
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I wonder if its sort of an elder growing pain for me (a humbucker guy) to play more and more single coil guitars although I don't own one, maybe the universe is sending me a message? biggrin.gif

There are so many practical ways to select a Gibson but a Tele is so different from wood choices to electronics. I don't want to confuse myself testing too long in the store.

Currently what I have in mind as ultimate test is neck humbucker sound and try finding the most balanced and deep sounding. We once changed a Squire PU's to Fender noiseless ones and the bridge tone to me wasn't an extreme change though neck was.

Probably since Tele's use lighter wood, the one with the most body vibration would deserve more attention?





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klasaine
post Jun 18 2015, 04:38 PM
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As Darius mentioned, Japanese and Mexican Telecasters are generally just as good as the American versions but ...
If you can afford a USA made Fender you are guaranteed that it will increase in value. You will never lose money on a USA guitar.

Alder is the most common wood for new Teles but Ash is probably the best wood for both weight and resonance (Pine too but those are very rare).

I don't have fingerboard preference - Rosewood or Maple, doesn't matter. I've heard very bright RW Teles as well as dark sounding maple board Teles.

I personally dig fat necks. Not for everybody though.

Stock neck pickups can be a little anemic. It's more about the blend between the two. A good stock Tele neck pkup should be clear and output (volume) balanced with the bridge pkup. *A 'Twisted Tele' neck pkup is just a Strat pkup.
Slightly overwound pkups (Texas Tele) in a Tele is a cool option. I emphasize 'slightly'.

I like 'stock' 3-position wiring. I don't dig the S-series or 'grease-bucket' wiring/switching.

I prefer the traditional 3-saddle bridge for true tele tone (and snap).

Let us know. I'm interested to see what you find.


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Mertay
post Jun 18 2015, 06:26 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 18 2015, 03:38 PM) *
...
Let us know. I'm interested to see what you find.


Thanks! some cool info there smile.gif

If I remember correct the pickup height can't change much on Tele's?

I mean when checking the balance between the pickups, should I keep in mind that they are adjustable or is it more of a feeling thing when switching between them when comparing balance?


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klasaine
post Jun 18 2015, 08:17 PM
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You have a lot of variability with pkup height on a Tele (or you 'should') and the height adjustments are most noticeable with single coil pkups.


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Mertay
post Jun 18 2015, 09:17 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 18 2015, 07:17 PM) *
You have a lot of variability with pkup height on a Tele (or you 'should') and the height adjustments are most noticeable with single coil pkups.


Noted, thanks again smile.gif


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Mertay
post Jun 21 2015, 01:32 PM
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Bought an maple American Standard Tele smile.gif

We had about 10 options to choose from, 2 mexican and rest american. One of the mexican was vintage blond color the other I can't remember.

2 Americans were American standard (one maple one rosewood)
2 of the americans were vintage blond color (one expensive and other more affordable vintage model)
one of them HH standard telecaster. There are 1-2 more I can't remember now.

For tone selection, I prefer someone else playing the guitar. I requested my friend to play mostly mid to upper fret barre chords on each PU selection among what he's comfortable with.

Each guitar eliminated the other, like first was ear-warming and the second was better than first so first was eliminated etc... if unsure then they're saved for the next round smile.gif I guess I was the main guy making the calls but everyone (including the friendly 2 store guys) seemed to agree with each other always.

This trick worked very good, we decreased the options to only 3 quicker than I imagined. I focused on the guitars which had the most presence but still had a sweet top end but also I was very careful to balance the volume from amp when needed.

In our case, sadly the expensive ones were better smile.gif mexicans were eliminated without hesitation (very muddy), we also eliminated the vintage spec. ones as they were too harsh. They maybe great for fingerpicking but simply not what my friend was looking for, maybe not the best vintage models to our luck as well as I usually prefer those types of tele's. Other Americans were also usually muddy though better than mexicans.

Funny thing is the 3 best were the maple American Standard (we bought), the HH Tele and if I remember correct again an American with a rosewood fingerboard. The rosewood Tele when compared to the maple its wasn't a very hard choice either. To make final calls and inspect, I played them too.

I admit the HH Tele was very unexpected smile.gif it didn't sound as much of a tele but sounded great, the PU's were very low output (it had the lowest output of all guitars) and the splits were quite good single-like. Though impressed, it simply wasn't what we were looking for but do try if you see one in a store...

So we went to his house to his crappy amp but it didn't sound as bad on that amp as we expected biggrin.gif I don't recall a guitar so inviting me to turn the tone knob, a small 4/1 turn makes the best difference. Stayed there for the night and played a little more in the morning, I liked it more and more as I played smile.gif


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klasaine
post Jun 21 2015, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Jun 21 2015, 05:32 AM) *
Bought an maple American Standard Tele :)looking for but do try if you see one in a store...

So we went to his house to his crappy amp but it didn't sound as bad on that amp as we expected biggrin.gif I don't recall a guitar so inviting me to turn the tone knob, a small 4/1 turn makes the best difference. Stayed there for the night and played a little more in the morning, I liked it more and more as I played smile.gif


Another one comes to the dark side laugh.gif

Backing the tone knob off 1/4 turn is the 'hidden' sound in a Tele - especially on the bridge pkup. It darkens the tone but (because it's a Tele) it retains it's attack.
Fender puts many different types of pickups in their US axes. Do you know specifically which ones you got?




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Mertay
post Jun 21 2015, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 21 2015, 03:47 PM) *
Another one comes to the dark side laugh.gif

Backing the tone knob off 1/4 turn is the 'hidden' sound in a Tele - especially on the bridge pkup. It darkens the tone but (because it's a Tele) it retains it's attack.
Fender puts many different types of pickups in their US axes. Do you know specifically which ones you got?


biggrin.gif

The tone pot was also interesting, when full open it somehow locks and needs a little extra strength to turn but once turned very small friction. Probably a safety incase turned by accident on stage (specially if the plate is reversed like you mentioned on other topics)

On the website it says Custom Shop Twisted Tele PU's but I don't know if the guitar we bought is a new model since Tele's can wait in the shop for a long time.

A bunch of papers came with the hardcase, one had a parts list I asked him to check that and will report back here. Though, a trem. arm came with the hardcase too so I'm not certain if they didn't mix the hardcases in the store biggrin.gif


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klasaine
post Jun 21 2015, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Jun 21 2015, 10:13 AM) *
The tone pot was also interesting, when full open it somehow locks and needs a little extra strength to turn but once turned very small friction. Probably a safety in case turned by accident on stage (specially if the plate is reversed like you mentioned on other topics)

On the website it says Custom Shop Twisted Tele PU's but I don't know if the guitar we bought is a new model since Tele's can wait in the shop for a long time.


Ah, the detent most likely removes the tone control from the circuit.
All fender (passive) tone pots on their amps and guitars are 'cut' controls so just below the detent is tone on 10. The detent bypasses the tone circuitry completely.

A 'Twisted' Tele neck pkup uses alnico 5 magnets and 42 gauge wire with a taller bobbin and more wire - like a Strat pickup. Tone and output is about the same as a typical Strat pickup. They also use a nickel/silver pickup cover as opposed to the traditional brass cover. The brass cover can attenuate a lot of top end. The taller bobbin with 42 gauge wire and a nickel/silver cover gives you a pickup that is closer to a Strat in tone than a trad Tele pickup.


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Mertay
post Jun 21 2015, 07:57 PM
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Ah thats pretty cool, I was thinking of doing that (bypass tone) to my own ibanez with a push/pull pot but later on after modifications nailed the high balance (wasn't easy smile.gif ) and went for splitting...

Checked the serial number and its 2014 model, then checked that year and yeah its the Custom Shop Twisted Tele PU.

To be honest I don't think it (neck PU) sounds anything like a single coil, at least on that guitar (other guitar was more muddy). I can say it has a bit wider freq. range favoring the highs, most obvious is its a bit more upfront sounding but when played on clean or specially drive it reacts typical to a Tele PU. I mean I don't think I can get it to sound like a single coil even if I tried with the amp settings.

Though taking that cover off the neck PU might be a different story. I've seen on web some preferes to take it off, never played one but I'd guess with this PU model Fender might have aimed for that sound without the need to remove the cover...

Next week hopefully my friends will meet as the other one has a Squire with all electronics upgraded, orange cap.s and n3 noiseless PU's. Comparing will be fun as I'm guessing they'll sound very different smile.gif

This post has been edited by Mertay: Jun 21 2015, 07:58 PM


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Mertay
post Jun 25 2015, 09:35 PM
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While guitar was fine when I played, friend called and said there was a buzzing on the B string, I told him to change the strings as new guitar string are always terrible.

He did but said nothing changed, went to his house and he was right the buzzing was terrible-sounded like a sitar biggrin.gif . First I tested the saddles like checked intonation the changed height etc...but it didn't work.

Then I checked the nut, and understood the the B string gap was too wide. By too wide, its impossible to see with naked eye. Fortunately the store I regularly go to was very helpful. They even offered to change it but since we liked the sound so much they're going to get it fixed to a known luthier in my city, probably insert a new nut.


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