Other Guitars

The TELECASTER’S Tool Shed…(2015)

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While the main grounds of the GDP are reserved for the big Gretsch Clubhouse on the hill, and rightly so, I've bumped into many a hard pickin' Tele player wandering these same hallowed paths during my sojourn here. Over the years there have been some great threads on various aspects of Tele love, lore, and general technique. Sadly, many of these same threads got dusted in the great GDP calamity of 2014. Therefore, I thought it might be kind of fun to build a little tool shed in the wooded and shady back lot of the GDP, wherein we might once again celebrate and share our mutual love, history and knowledge of this wonderful player's tool.

There is no central theme to be found here. Only an open door in which Telemasters of all levels can hold forth on one aspect or another of Leo's seminal masterpiece at any time they may feel the urge. Think of this thread as a kind of general central repository of Tele info. Pics, stories, queries, comments, techniques, and general lore are all welcome.

So there it is. Grab a hammer, some nails, a couple of picks and of course your favorite non-Gretsch guitar (i.e. the Telecaster), and let's get this little tool shed up and decorated with some good old-fashioned Tele tails tall and true (or even not). Somebody pass me a cold beer and we'll get started...

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BTW, this thread was inspired by member Michael Bauer, a fine and knowledgeable gentleman who is currently examining the potential for the new Classic Players '60s Telecaster that Fender has issued. With luck, he will chime in with some solid info as to the specs of this cool new offering.

3

Well, alright. I'm pretty sure there'll be some traffic on this thread. There's not much I can say about Telecasters that's very profound, but I do have and use one. If I busted mine or it got stolen, I'd go get another one without even thinking about it.

Most musicians I know agree that a Tele is the first electric guitar you want to buy, and the last one you'll want to sell. I have fancier, more expensive guitars, but none of those match the downright honesty--for lack of a better word--of a Telecaster.

4

Well, alright. I'm pretty sure there'll be some traffic on this thread. There's not much I can say about Telecasters that's very profound, but I do have and use one. If I busted mine or it got stolen, I'd go get another one without even thinking about it.

Most musicians I know agree that a Tele is the first electric guitar you want to buy, and the last one you'll want to sell. I have fancier, more expensive guitars, but none of those match the downright honesty--for lack of a better word--of a Telecaster.

– Viper

Please allow me to dissent, Sir Viper.

I have a 2005 American Ash Deluxe Telecaster. Sure, it is a fine guitar. Yet, somehow, I have never truly bonded with it. I suppose that that could be due, in part, to my love affair with other guitars, including its cousin, the Stratocaster, such that the poor Tele just didn't get to see all that much action.

If one wants a slab guitar that can twang with the best, then the Tele is just fine. But, that has never really described my musical interests. I prefer a guitar that has more subtleties, nuances, and somewhat hidden characteristics that reveal themselves over time, rather than one that immediately bares its soul upon the first touch.

So, never really bonded. But, I know that that is just me because so many players whom I have admired over the years have played a Tele. And I keep it in hopes that I will discover the joys that so many others have found in it. And, it does, in fact, have a very useful voice if one is playing country music with it.

I will post a photo of mine somewhere later in this thread. But, it is butterscotch with a natural fretboard and black pickguard. It's a very traditional looking Tele.

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Isn't there a telecaster forum out there?

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I've got my VERY first Telecaster I'm in the beginning stage of building.First time owning a Tele. It's a 2010 factory 2nd Nashville body I picked up a few months ago along with a 2014 nitro maple neck.I've managed to round up all the parts indcluding a SD Jerry D. bridge pup w/7 way control setup.Just gotta get started on it. Then alas... I picked up my best friends 2008 HWY1 Tele also.So now in a matter of a few months I have one and a incomplete Tele.

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Isn't there a telecaster forum out there?

– NJBob

Actually, I believe there are a few, but I know that many GDP members would like to exchange their views specifically with other members here, since there is already a shared history and mutual respect between our members that is not necessarily readily available at those other forums. In any case, this is just ONE thread...

9

I've tried many different types of guitars over the years, but hollowbodies and Teles seem to be what do it for me. I've always wanted to try my hand at building a guitar completely from scratch, and I made that happen last summer and fall by building myself a blackguard style tele. After about 5 months this was the end result, and I couldn't be happier, especially for my first time at bat. I built the body and neck by hand, cut the pickguard and lacquered it, and wound the pickups too.

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I prefer a guitar that has more subtleties, nuances, and somewhat hidden characteristics that reveal themselves over time, rather than one that immediately bares its soul upon the first touch. - Ric12String<

No subtleties, nuances or hidden characteristics? Ric old son, you must be holding your mouth wrong! BTW, looking forward to those pics...

11

Beautiful work built4speed. That is one dandy looking guitar. Especially as a first effort. BTW, is that an ash body? Also, what's the name on the headstock? I can't make it out from the photo...

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Beautiful work built4speed. That is one dandy looking guitar. Especially as a first effort. BTW, is that an ash body? Also, what's the name on the headstock? I can't make it out from the photo...

– General_Lee

Thanks. It's actually a spruce body. It was only intended to be one of a few practice bodies, but the grain, weight and resonance of the body were actually quite nice, so I just used it. The name on the headstock is my own last name - Ward. The logo was done by fellow member JBennett.

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Alrighty then! A Sprucecaster! Rock on!

14

Here's that same picture of my Tele. My only complaint with my Tele, and most of them, is that the neck pickup is pretty weak, more so since the neck is shimmed for the Bigsby, and I need a boost to drive the distortion pedal into the range I like. I've been considering a mini or floating humbucker for it, I've got a guitar with an old Benedetto pickup that would be close to the sound I want.

I have a vintage Space-Control that I'm going to put on it, if I ever get a new bridge base made up. I bought Dunlop locking strap buttons twice for the guitar, but somehow they were never put on.

The guitar was a long time in the making, after many years of wanting one, I saw the B-16 and had to do something. I had originally bought a Squier Affinity Telecaster and the Warmoth neck that is on the guitar, but the Affinity had a huge square hole the size of the bridge, so that had to go, the new body is a Warmoth.

Things you can't see, the neck is a quarter-sawn "vintage modern" and it has a 12" radius, 1 11/16" at the nut. Fender Noiseless pickups, 4-way switching. The body has no bridge pickup routing. The bridge is floating. The tuners are Mini Rotomatics. the string-tree is from a vintage Tele, if i remember correctly. That's a modern Space-Control bridge, the base is a piece of aluminum, the screws are offset at an angle.

16

I own 9 Tele-like objects, but only have possession of 8, and the one I'm missing is the only one that's actually a Fender Telecaster (I don't have it because I ordered it last June and it's not done yet; yes, it's orange). I assembled/built 3 of them, modded the hell out of most of the others, and one of the ones I built isn't quite right yet. "Fender Telecaster" was the first guitar brand/model I ever heard of as a child, and figured that was the guitar to have. To this day I don't know if I'm partial to them because of that, or because (most of) the music I play works so well with them.

9, hmm, it seems like I'm forgetting one, and it just occurred to me I was. So 10. The latter one was a basically-good, low-budget Tele, and on the advice of another guitar player I met, I put a set of Zexcoil hum-canceling pickups in it. Scott Lawing makes these pickups, and he's a smart guy, the pickups are well made, but they were mostly designed for Strats, and these pickups make this Tele sound like a Strat. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just not what I was going for (if I want a Strat-sound, I have some 3-pickup Ibanez Talmans that sound Strattier than most Strats). So there's my contribution. If you want pictures, I can probably come up with some.

17

This is what I love about the Tele, it's industrial design applied to the guitar in a very pure form.

18

Here is my Tele: MIM Standard Tele; Vintage Vibe CC Neck pickup; Indian Iron custom, tooled leather pickguard, B16 Bigsby, and, and AL-9.5 Tru Arc.

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I agree with Hammerhands about the industrial design and if I were to ever get a Tele, it would probably look similar to his in comment #14 except that I might Macawberize the neck pickup. This is a guitar IMO that looks better worn and used.

My biggest issue with Fenders is that I generally do not like their necks. Snorre has a nice chunky neck on the one he brought to the Balto-DC roundup. It seems that everyone should own a Tele and/or Strat "just because". One day I may join the club.

edit - Damn! There I am writing away about how a worn Tele looks good and AndyJ made a liar out of me before the post even hit!

20

I'm kind of surprised to be given credit for "inspiring" this thread, but even though I am mainly a Gibson guy, I do love Teles with a passion. I was having a discussion with the General off-line about Teles, but other than that, this caught me by surprise.

I fell in love with the first Tele I ever played back in the day, which was an already very old Broadcaster with an awesomely huge neck and tone to die for. Even then, I played Gibsons (Les Paul and 345), but I always envied that Tele tone, which no other guitar seems to be able to get. Over the past few years, my "seat time" with Teles about equals the time I spend on Gibsons. I fell in love with the new AV series, and have a '52 RI and a 6 1/2 pound '64 RI. The new Fender pickups are the best Tele pickups I have heard, so I cheerfully replaced my older AV Teles with the new ones.

I have been intrigued with the new Classic Player Baja '60s Tele. I have a Classic Player '60s Strat, which I like. The new Baja has an AV '58 bridge and an AV '52 neck pickup, alder body, 9 1/2" radius, and 4-way switching, which allows for two out-of-phase sounds (one in series which is fatter and louder). I had just mentioned it to the General, which is what, I guess, led to this thread. Not sure if I am buying it, but am thinking hard about it.

Teles are really the only Fender guitars I ever liked (well, until they took over the Gretsch operation). So simple, yet so versatile, I have seen Joe Pass play jazz on one, and I can't think of any style of music that a Tele won't excel at. There are so many Tele players I love, from Roy Nichols to Steve Cropper to Muddy Waters to Albert Collins to Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck (in their early years). The list is too long to name 'em all.

So to the guy who referred us all to a Tele forum, my apologies for my part in this. But I always thought that Teles and Gretsches appealed in similar ways (although they sound vastly different), so I don't see it as totally out of bounds.

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Here is my Tele: MIM Standard Tele; Vintage Vibe CC Neck pickup; Indian Iron custom, tooled leather pickguard, B16 Bigsby, and, and AL-9.5 Tru Arc.

– AndyJ

Whoa, Andy, I love that one!

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i couldn't think of a thread/topic where i'd feel more at home. Just like built4speed - hollowbodies (gretsch's specifically) and teles are what do it for me. And i've been for about the last 6 or so years trying to fuse the two concepts together perfectly to bridge the feeling of "i want it to be a little more of the other thing" when i'm playing either. My first go at it was this :

which is my favorite guitar so far.... but i've decided i like sonic blue more than daphne... and that i HATE b5's .... so i'm fashioning another build that's inspired by this one, but will be slightly different... and will actually have a hilotron in the neck position. (thank's aaron for your help with this so far).

i have the body ordered... and most of the parts ready at home. i think i've drawn up a photoshop of it somewhere...i'll have to look for that and add the pic if i find it.

and i'm with you michael. There's something similar in the appeal of gretsches and teles. Im not a country fanatic (i can't even really qualify as anything more than an occasional appreciator), but i think there might be something to the fact that they're both widely used in the seminal recordings of that genre. It's not just twang... there's something earthy about them both... that sets them apart. Can't put my finger on it. In any case - the tele-only forums seem to have a significant population of those who turn their noses up at steering the beloved tele in the gretsch direction. It might be nice to be among those who could see that having some valueso... thanks !!

all hail the gretsch lover's telecaster !

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I've been playing a tele more than my Gretsches the past couple of months. It's an MIM FSR model - everything I thought I'd hate - noiseless pickups, active electronics, etc. But it's got a big old Baja neck on it, and by far the most versatile guitar I own. If it wasn't for the lack of Bigsby, I could play virtually anything on it.

Not mine, but it looks like this

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/...

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Here's my "Telebasterd" that I re-built from parts from Giffenf. This guitar just makes me smile whenever I pick it up - and it's orange!

Warmoth body, no-brand flame-maple neck, T-Armonds in soap-bar mounts, Barden's Gatton in the bridge position and a B5 Bigsby. This sucker is LOUD and TWANGY!

Thanks again Frank!

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i couldn't think of a thread/topic where i'd feel more at home. Just like built4speed - hollowbodies (gretsch's specifically) and teles are what do it for me. And i've been for about the last 6 or so years trying to fuse the two concepts together perfectly to bridge the feeling of "i want it to be a little more of the other thing" when i'm playing either. My first go at it was this :

which is my favorite guitar so far.... but i've decided i like sonic blue more than daphne... and that i HATE b5's .... so i'm fashioning another build that's inspired by this one, but will be slightly different... and will actually have a hilotron in the neck position. (thank's aaron for your help with this so far).

i have the body ordered... and most of the parts ready at home. i think i've drawn up a photoshop of it somewhere...i'll have to look for that and add the pic if i find it.

and i'm with you michael. There's something similar in the appeal of gretsches and teles. Im not a country fanatic (i can't even really qualify as anything more than an occasional appreciator), but i think there might be something to the fact that they're both widely used in the seminal recordings of that genre. It's not just twang... there's something earthy about them both... that sets them apart. Can't put my finger on it. In any case - the tele-only forums seem to have a significant population of those who turn their noses up at steering the beloved tele in the gretsch direction. It might be nice to be among those who could see that having some valueso... thanks !!

all hail the gretsch lover's telecaster !

– variantboy

I have been giving serious thought to a 4th Tele (beyond the Baja): a '70s hollow body w/Bigsby and flat-wounds to see how she'd do as a rockabilly and early R&R guitar. I love yours! Tell me more about it, if you don't mind…

You got exactly what I was getting at about Teles and Gretsches, especially Gretsches with Dynas: that earthiness and directness.


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