So, what has your Tele told you lately?

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
160
Manitoba, Canada
The latest incarnation of "General Lee" (the name I use for my Tele) is a 2020 Vintera modded 50s I picked up last summer. Since then I've de-modded/re-modded it to great effect. The woods and finish of this little Mexican bandido are second to none. The neck in particular, is an outstanding example of Fender craftsmanship currently coming from the Encinada factory. And this from a man who has owned several top of the line American beauties along the way. However, I couldn't warm up to the pups that it came with. Not that they were bad (especially the TT in the neck), but neither were they really "speaking" to me. A couple of months ago I dropped in a set of SD Five-Twos. In addition, I built a Faraday cage to cut the noise (an incredibly good move). Then, almost last but by no means least, I changed out the brass saddles on strings 3-6 for a couple of Fender threaded steel ones. Finally, after experimenting with several sets of strings of different gauges and construction, I installed a set of D'Addario NYXL 9.5s. Oh yeah! Perfect match for these pups.

This puppy is not only speaking flawless Spanish and English now, but it's telling me that all the little tricks I've learned about Teles along the way (as outlined above) have not been pure figments of my musical imagination. They all work together to create a truly synergistic and satisfying musical experience. It really is incredible how a few seemingly minor adjustments can profoundly impact the voice of such a modest instrument as the venerable Tele.

So what little tricks have you come up with to coax a more lively and scintillating conversation out of your favorite boat oar lately? C'mon, I showed you mine, now you show - er tell - me yours...
 
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General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
160
Manitoba, Canada
Speaking of Tele conversation, have any of you checked out Lari Basilio's work on this instrument? An incredible talent, her tone is one of the best I've heard in a long time. Pushing the limits of the new breed of pop/rock guitarists, her flawless technique and melodic sensibility seems tailor made for Fender type guitars. Go seek...
 

BuddyHollywood

Gretschie
Sep 11, 2009
483
Venice, CA
My Telecaster may not have ever happened if I wasn't locked inside for most of 2020 and 2021. When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade Telecaster!

- Pine body found on eBay
- Maple neck found on Reverb
- Fender Broadcaster bridge pickup and Twisted Tele neck pickup found on eBay
- Wilkinson Bridge from Amazon
- Wilkinson Tuners from Amazon
- 4 way switch
- CTS pots from Amazon
- Fender parts from Amazon
IMG_1839.jpg
 

Emergence

Gretschie
May 25, 2022
379
New York
Mine started it’s life as a MIM Nashville Deluxe. I won an eBay auction for it 15 years ago. It was my first electric guitar after a long hiatus necessitated by raising a family and launching a career in bioengineering. It was a good guitar to start with but its shortcomings were maddening. Look below. It’s nothing now like it started out back then.

The hum was maddening. The middle pickup did nothing for me. When I played Telecasters st GC I found myself gravitating to the bridge and neck pickups combined, not available on a Nashville. A couple of years later I bought a Gretsch 6118T Anniversary. Could a Telecaster be more like that and be a better Telecaster at the same time.

Fender came out with an Elite Telecastet with N4 Noiseless pickups. I loved the sound and the silence. I ordered a loaded pickguard from Stratosphere. Installing it wasn’t easy. The mint pickguard looked awful on candy apple red. I got an antique white one. The neck pickup was a tad wider than a standard Telecaster neck pickup. A Dremel fixed that. Stacked pickups are deeper than standard pickups. A drill with a 1/4” bit gave the mounting screws someplace to hang out. And then there was the S1 switch. Old solder had to be wicked off before new connections could be soldered. And the control cavity on my MIM had no room for it. The Dremel helped with that too.

So this is what I’ve got now. Everything fits. Everything works. It’s not what it was. It’s what it was meant to be. It’s amazing. It’s got an ashtray bridge cover. I hate stamped metal string trees. It’s now a disk. It’s got a real case, a Fender tweed case, not a dumb bag. You can make pretty much any Telecaster into the Telecaster of your dreams. Ask it. It’ll even show you how.

0063A206-7D31-44CF-9546-67931F489A8B.jpeg
 
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General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
160
Manitoba, Canada
I've often thought about adding a Bigsby. For me, the visual effect is ultra cool on this guitar. But after market BBys are few and far between up here in my neck of the woods, and part of me can't bring myself to committing to such a highly specialized mod...
 

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
160
Manitoba, Canada
Mine started it’s life as a MIM Nashville Deluxe. I won an eBsy auction for it 15 years ago. It was my first electric guitar after a long hiatus necessitated by raising a family and launching a career in bioengineering. It was a good guitar to start with but its shortcomings were maddening. Look below. It’s nothing now like it started out back then.

The hum was maddening. The middle pickup did nothing for me. When I played Telecasters st GC I found myself gravitating to the bridge and neck pickups combined, not available on a Nashville. A couple of years later I bought a Gretsch 6118T Anniversary. Could a Telecaster be more like that and be a better Telecaster st the same time.

Fender came out with an Elite Telecastet with N4 Noiseless pickups. I loved the sound and the silence. I ordered a loaded pickguard from Stratosphere. Installing it wasn’t easy. The mint pickguard looked awful on candy apple red. I got an antique white one. The neck pickup was a tad wider than a standard Telecaster neck pickup. A Dremel fixed that. Stacked pickups are deeper than standard pickups. A drill with a 1/4” bit gave the mounting screws someplace to hang out. And then there was the S1 switch. Old solder had to be wicked off before new joints could be soldered. And the control cavity on my MIM had no room for it. The Dremel helped with that too.

So this is what I’ve got now. Everything fits. Everything works. It’s not what it was. It’s amazing. It’s got an ashtray bridge cover. I hate stamped metal string trees. It’s now a disk. It’s got a real case, a Fender tweed case, not a dumb bag. You can make pretty much any Telecaster into the Telecaster if your dreams.

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Great post man!
 

GlenP

Country Gent
Jul 23, 2019
2,357
WA
I have SD vintage/Broadcaster pickups in my homebuilt. “Rides just like a little bit of Heaven here on Earth.”
 

CousinWarsh

Synchromatic
Jun 24, 2018
960
Western NY
My tele and I may be having a miscommunication right at the moment...I just had a SD mini humbucker put in the neck and it’s first practice is tonight but it sounds off to me. The middle position is out of phase Andy I’m still adjusting pickup heights. I’m not sure if it sounds off because it’s different or off because it’s bad. We’ll work it out, we’re old friends, it might be saying put me back the way I was....
 

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oneforsorrow

Synchromatic
May 15, 2020
977
Iowa
My tele and I may be having a miscommunication right at the moment...I just had a SD mini humbucker put in the neck and it’s first practice is tonight but it sounds off to me. The middle position is out of phase Andy I’m still adjusting pickup heights. I’m not sure if it sounds off because it’s different or off because it’s bad. We’ll work it out, we’re old friends, it might be saying put me back the way I was....
Would love to know how this works out. I've been considering one of those mini's for my Reverend Buckshot.
 


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