Other Guitars

Dynasonic on a Tele, with Bisgby-on-a-Tele discussion

1

This ties in loosely with Ruger's thread about Bisgbifying a Tele (something I'm looking into at the moment as well).

This guy's solution is the B5, screwed directly to the body, with a Mastery bridge. That's all well and good, nod nod.

But the demo is also interesting for the specs of the guitar - a Dyna at the bridge and some foil pickup at the neck. You can really hear clearly the conjunction of Tele and Dyna qualities in the tone - more during chordal work than during lead-lickin'.

Worth a listen.

2

I had a tele with two T-Armonds (in soapbar covers), a mastery and a Bigsby B5. Cool guitar, but for all the custom parts, expense, set up work, etc....the result is fairly unspectacular. It's a slightly louder, ballsier tele, with a finicky Bigsby, and a lot of the spanky steely twang of a regular telecaster is lost in the process.

3

It does seem that the more you mess with the classic Tele recipe, the more you risk losing what's special about a Tele. It's not that it's not a great platform for building a guitar that sounds pretty much however you want it to sound - but it's hard to get away from good Tele pickups and still keep a recognizable Tele voice.

4

It does seem that the more you mess with the classic Tele recipe, the more you risk losing what's special about a Tele. It's not that it's not a great platform for building a guitar that sounds pretty much however you want it to sound - but it's hard to get away from good Tele pickups and still keep a recognizable Tele voice.

– Proteus

My experience has been it's not so much the pickups as that stock tele ultra simple bridge setup. I have partscaster teles that both have the string-through three saddle bridge, but one has P90's and the other has Kay Kleenex Box pickups, and both still sound a lot like a telecaster - they just hit the amp much harder and have more bass and midrange. But all that spit and spank and twang and cluck is still there.

5

But which Tele bridge? Through-body or top-loader? I guess

string-through three saddle bridge

probably means string-through. But I have two teletypes with top-loaders, and they don't sound appreciably different in the spank-and-response department from my string-through Fender Standard.

6

Yes, string-through-body in my case. And yes, toploaders sound like a tele too. But somehow, Bigsby teles with the B5/Jazzmaster bridge combo don't, and they feel different too.

7

So to retain true telecity while Bigsbificating, one is stuck with the endless plain of Paul A Goldberg which is the B5. (The baroque complication of that piece no doubt Paul A's revenge on Leo's simple guitar, crucial ideas of which coughcough may or may not have been borrowed from Paul. Sort of Leo's tribute to him.)

8

I'm not sure if this helps, but I put a Bigsby on my Tele. (I think it was a B5) The body was made from the last bit of red spruce from the more than a century old homestead in Nova Scotia that I grew up in; old growth native trees, so I didn't want to drill into the guitar until I was sure I really wanted the Bigsby on there. So, I used the Vibramate adaptor. It was an easy install and worked very well. In the end though, I decided I liked the simplicity of the Tele design, stable tuning, and took the whole thing off. Originally I had a Wilkinson bridge and saddles, but splurged and put on a Mastery bridge and saddles. That was an improvement in terms of clarity of response across all six strings, and I'm happy to have had the Bigsby experience on the Tele, and glad that I tried it with the adaptor before the final decision.

The Bigsby did affect the sound. Tele twang aside, there is a simple purity of tone, mostly from the neck pickup, that a well set up Tele with good pickups has. That's what really drew me to the idea of a Tele; the simplicity of design and tone. BTW, I went with a top loader bridge because when I read up on it, a lot of Tele players favored that for feel; it works for me, and most recently it received a 24.75" neck. The only problem now is that I like playing the Gretsches so much that the Tele has never made out to a gig.

9

I had a tele with two T-Armonds (in soapbar covers), a mastery and a Bigsby B5. Cool guitar, but for all the custom parts, expense, set up work, etc....the result is fairly unspectacular. It's a slightly louder, ballsier tele, with a finicky Bigsby, and a lot of the spanky steely twang of a regular telecaster is lost in the process.

– WB

Hate the bar, but that's the look I'm going for on my Cabronita. I really dig the cleaner look of the smaller bridges over the Callaham.

I currently have 2 T-90s in it, and they are great, but I MUST try the T-Armonds... why not, since they're drop ins? This video of the TA neck sold me:

To me, while the T90 has a fat gritty ballsiness to it, the TA sounds like it might be a bit cleaner, while staying fat... which also sounds great. Actually, the 90 in the bridge and TA in the neck might be my perfect solution...

10

My experience has been it's not so much the pickups as that stock tele ultra simple bridge setup. I have partscaster teles that both have the string-through three saddle bridge, but one has P90's and the other has Kay Kleenex Box pickups, and both still sound a lot like a telecaster - they just hit the amp much harder and have more bass and midrange. But all that spit and spank and twang and cluck is still there.

– WB

For anyone interested, this is also a perfect description of T90s in a tele.

11

My experience has been it's not so much the pickups as that stock tele ultra simple bridge setup. I have partscaster teles that both have the string-through three saddle bridge, but one has P90's and the other has Kay Kleenex Box pickups, and both still sound a lot like a telecaster - they just hit the amp much harder and have more bass and midrange. But all that spit and spank and twang and cluck is still there.

– WB

I can confirm what Walter is saying here. I built this a few years back. I thought it would sound more like a 56 Les Paul crossed with a tele, but no, pure tele. A bit bolder twang, but still tele.

12

I can confirm what Walter is saying here. I built this a few years back. I thought it would sound more like a 56 Les Paul crossed with a tele, but no, pure tele. A bit bolder twang, but still tele.

– built4speed

That is one gorgeous guitar!!!

13

Interesting, so it’s the bridge on a tele that contributes to a majority of its tone?

14

Interesting, so it’s the bridge on a tele that contributes to a majority of its tone?

– Hipbone

solid hardwood body, fixed bridge, bolt-on 25 1/2" scale neck - IMO and YMMV

15

so it’s the bridge on a tele that contributes to a majority of its tone?

Gotta be a big chunk of it. I've been playing a teletype a lot recently - Garrison f-hole body (small chamber under it, otherwise solid), top-loader bridge, Fender neck, and it sounds 100% Tele.

16

I have a Tele that started as a MIM 50s "lacquer" Telecaster. I added a B5, but I used a Rutters slotted Tele bridge and saddles, and I put in TV Jones Tele pickups. To me, it still sounds and plays very much like a Tele, but the pickups have a touch of Dyna to them. I got a deal on a Guitar Mill white blonde nitro body, so I swapped it for the original MIM body, which was a tad heavy. I've tried other ways of doing a Bigsby on a Tele in the past, and this is my favorite setup so far.

17

solid hardwood body, fixed bridge, bolt-on 25 1/2" scale neck - IMO and YMMV

– WB

I do think the tele bridge pickup plays a roll... for example, a hardtail strat has all those attributes, but it doesn't sound like a tele. Something special about the tele bridge pickup, imo.

And while I do agree that a tele with P90s (T90s in my case) still sounds like a tele (and not like a Les Paul Junior for example), the pickups do change the sound... not into a different guitar, it's still a tele, just a fatter/dirtier/whatever tele, when compared to standard tele pickups.

And a tele with 2 PAFs (or WRHBs) doesn't sound nearly as (standard) tele-ish, IMO, as these other pickups we have been discussing.


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