So, what has your Tele told you lately?

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,831
Tucson
Actually, General Lee, my Telecasters don’t actually talk to me. You might want to see a specialist. :) Just kidding mate.

My Teles definitely leave a strong mental impression, even if they are at a loss for words. Among my electrics, my Custom Telecaster FMT HH, is the guitar I’ve owned the longest. I chose that model, over an American made ‘52 RI, which is what I was shopping for, the day i first took note of this model. 19 years later, it still looks and plays, just like new.

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I have a Squier CV ‘70s Thinline, with the incredibly unique wide range HBs. No, these are not the literal CuNiFe pickups of the early ‘70s, but Fender actually did put some effort into capturing the sound of those rare, and expensive pickups. It’s a great sounding guitar, and the prior owner, one Winfield Thomas, modified the neck pickup to make it a bit less dark. As a result, both pickups together have an out of phase sound which is actually very interesting.

Being a Thinline, it’s light as a feather and plays accordingly. It’s the guitar on the right, in the photo below.


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The guitar on the left is my newest, a MIM Custom Thinline, with Fender Noiseless pickups. It’s the most traditional of my three Teles, and plays beautifully. Fender Noiseless pickups are stacked humbuckers, that Fender has developed over time, into an excellent sounding pickup that sounds like a single coil to my ear. The Noiseless Strat pickups are Clapton’s pickup of choice, and for a single coil sound in a Tele, these are my first choice.

I spent several hours playing this guitar, just tonight. It’s like an old pair of shoes, in spite of having only been in my possession a few months. While this violates several social conventions, and possibly would be considered an act against nature in some places, this thing is the Surf guitar. Yeah I know, Surf is played on Offsets or Strats, but this gets a better Surf sound than my old Jaguar and the lack of a whammy doesn’t really blunt the effect. If I was playing a strictly Surf gig tomorrow, I’d probably bring this Tele.

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.

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Great story. I love hearing about things like this. You took a good basic instrument, improved it, and made it your own. Classic American Hot Rodding, as applied to a guitar.

Three pickup Teles were kind of a thang, for a while, and they do offer the position 2 and position 4 sounds of a Strat, but the stock Nashville Tele wiring doesn’t give you the neck/bridge combination. The never MIM Nashville Teles allow this with an S-1 switch, and James Burton model selects the neck and bridge combo, but excludes middle pickup, when the switch is centered. while I’m not a likely buyer, the Burton Telecaster is a great design.
But yet I had a beautiful orange G&L at one time and it even came with a case ;)

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I love that color.
My 1992 American Standard complained for almost 30 years that she needs a family. Then I'm stuck at home, bored and lose all self control. She got what she asked...

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We’ve ticked at least two of the same boxes. great collection.
 

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
160
Manitoba, Canada
Great post Synchro. Actually, I have seen several specialists. And they all say the same thing - that I'm a totally lost cause and there is no cure for my Teleholicism...
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,831
Tucson
Great post Synchro. Actually, I have seen several specialists. And they all say the same thing - that I'm a totally lost cause and there is no cure for my Teleholicism...
Same here, I’m afraid. When I stop to think about it, I’ve had at least one Tele for the past 29 years,
 

General_Lee

Gretschie
Apr 23, 2022
160
Manitoba, Canada
Yeah, my Gretsch, Gibsons, Martin D-18, and even my other Fenders (Strat, Jazzmaster) are all beautiful (and satisfying) mistresses, but my Tele is the wife I can never let go - have never stopped loving - and could never live without. Go figure...

Oh yeah, and it never stops talking to me...;)
 

SneakyPete

Electromatic
Mar 7, 2022
81
Australia
When I was playing lots of gigs in the '90s a standard USA black tele was my main guitar. A true no fuss workhorse. With a good amp, some pedals and some taste you can do just about anything with a tele. Towards the end of that decade the tele was stolen, case and all, and geez at the time that really hurt. No insurance, one day I had a tele and the next day I didn't. Never saw it again. I still had a Strat but never really liked the feel. In fact, whilst I appreciate this may make some people laugh, I've never really liked 3 pickup guitars. That middle pickup somehow just makes it harder for me to relax.

Anyhow around that time I started getting into hollows and semi hollows and have never really looked back. I still have a few solid bodies but rarely play them, a g&l strat, a pretty cool mosrite copy and this tele below that came to me thru an unusual turn of events.

In 2008 Hohner (yes Hohner of harmonica fame) were celebrating their 150th anniversary and to mark the occasion they commissioned luthier Andre Waldenmaier of Stauffer Custom Guitars in Germany to make a limited number of each of two teles. One was a high end copy of the Prince guitar, the other this one, the Artist Elite Black Prince. Apparently he made 30 of each. The attention to detail in the build is absolutely outstanding, a really beautifully made guitar. Hand wound pickups by Harry Hausel and some top notch parts. Oooh and that body binding is alternating strips of ebony and maple.
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But ya know, it's a 3 pickup guitar so I really never play it! 🙄😀🙄
 

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SneakyPete

Electromatic
Mar 7, 2022
81
Australia
In fact I'm probably gonna get around to selling the guitar above to fund another guitar. I've never tried a chambered Jet with filters and I think it's time I did!
 

BuddyHollywood

Gretschie
Sep 11, 2009
484
Venice, CA
Yeah, my Gretsch, Gibsons, Martin D-18, and even my other Fenders (Strat, Jazzmaster) are all beautiful (and satisfying) mistresses, but my Tele is the wife I can never let go - have never stopped loving - and could never live without. Go figure...

Oh yeah, and it never stops talking to me...;)
Yeah, my Gretsch Duo Jet is to me what your Telecaster is to you. I love playing my other guitars but the Duo Jet is the 1.
In fact I'm probably gonna get around to selling the guitar above to fund another guitar. I've never tried a chambered Jet with filters and I think it's time I did!
Telecasters are sturdy, sound great and play great. They are a perfect one electric guitar for everything and everywhere if you need consistency, reliability and performance. Once they are set up they are plug in and you're off to the races. A Jet is maybe not as bullet proof but sounds even better than the best Telecaster I've ever heard and they play great too. It may take a Jet longer to acclimate to a new environment than a Telecaster but if you can give it the extra 15 - 30 minutes it needs it will deliver. Jets are built more like Gretsch hollow bodies than standard solid body guitars.
 

WillyW

Electromatic
May 3, 2022
68
ABQ
In fact I'm probably gonna get around to selling the guitar above to fund another guitar. I've never tried a chambered Jet with filters and I think it's time I did!


PM me if you must, but how much would that cost me to get shipped to the US?
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,831
Tucson
Yeah, my Gretsch Duo Jet is to me what your Telecaster is to you. I love playing my other guitars but the Duo Jet is the 1.

Telecasters are sturdy, sound great and play great. They are a perfect one electric guitar for everything and everywhere if you need consistency, reliability and performance. Once they are set up they are plug in and you're off to the races. A Jet is maybe not as bullet proof but sounds even better than the best Telecaster I've ever heard and they play great too. It may take a Jet longer to acclimate to a new environment than a Telecaster but if you can give it the extra 15 - 30 minutes it needs it will deliver. Jets are built more like Gretsch hollow bodies than standard solid body guitars.
I have little firsthand experience with Filtertron Jets, so I’ll limit my comments to Dynasonic Jets.

I think of a Dynasonic Jet as being a Tele on steroids. It’s not exact, by any means, but if I was playing a gig and had to use a Dyna-Jet instead of a Tele, I wouldn’t complain. More to the point, it would do just fine as a Tele. The note attack might be a bit different, a bit less “spank”. Then again, this is not going to sound identical to a Tele, having a completely different bridge and tailpiece design, but beyond the second row in the audience, it probably wouldn’t be detectable. :)

It’s also a pretty good Surf guitar. It has a nice bright sound, and a vibrato tailpiece. It’s almost like a Jaguar, but without the problems associated with an Offset’s bridge.
 

wildeman

I Bleed Orange
May 10, 2015
16,118
norcal
I tried esquire wiring with the multiple caps and resistors and I got so confused I just put the other pickup back in....

I may try again.... but I won't change my strings.....
I lucked out and found a pre made control plate used at my local, only Hadda solder two wires🤘
The pickup I found used too, I don't know what it is but it's HOT, round 10k and it's Alnico. Got around$200.00 into this and it rips!
 


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