Early FENDER CUNETTO NOCASTER: questions (pics)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by YOGA64, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. YOGA64

    YOGA64 Member

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    I might get this early (October 1996) FENDER CUNETTO NOCASTER very soon. :omg

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Does anybody know if they originally had the blend switching arrangements, or a regular 3 way Tele style with tone knob :huh

    Also, can you tell me a little bit about the pickups?
    I've heard the the lead pickup was REALLY hot, like 10-11k, was that the case?
    What about the neck unit?
    Was it dark, or more like the custom shop Nocaster units that are available today?
    Do they blend well together?

    Please share your experiences :munch
     
  2. adamg

    adamg Member

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    * Yes, they had the 3 way "blend" switching stock. neck, neck/bridge, bridge

    * Yes, it was a hot 10K + pickup for the bridge.

    * No not dark, but definitely "ballsy". A good pickup

    * Can't say, liked the ones I have heard

    Best,
    Adam
     
  3. johan

    johan Member

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    Awesome guitars
    Mine's from 96 as well.
    I measured mine, always thinking the bridge pup is 10k because it sure sounds like it.
    Turns out its 7,8k or something. Bright, lots of bite but I love it.

    Let me know if you turn it down
     
  4. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    I play my friend's Cunetto Nocaster usually one set per gig and it's a great guitar.

    Only downside is that it bends hard--it's fairly stiff.
     
  5. vanguard

    vanguard Member

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    the bridge pup is wire 43 (rather than the "standard" 42); so even though it's wound to around 10k, it's not "hot" like if it were a 42 wound to 10k. 10k wire 43 equals 7k wire 42 in a way.
    the neck pup is basically the same as the current nocaster.

    if it's wired the same as a current nocaster, it should be: dark neck - neck w/ no tone control - bridge w/ neck blend option.

    i like the current nocaster bridge pup much better (and the fat neck), but the cunettos are getting very collectible because they are no longer made.
     
  6. YOGA64

    YOGA64 Member

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    Thanks for the info everybody!

    Just one thing is not really clear:


    dark neck - neck w/ no tone control - bridge w/ neck blend option

    or the usual Tele:

    neck, both, bridge with tone control on all of them? :huh


    A couple more pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. johan

    johan Member

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    No idea, I bought mine used and most switch to modern wiring.
    Does it matter? Easy mod
     
  8. YOGA64

    YOGA64 Member

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    Not really, just curious...............
     
  9. jayn

    jayn Member

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    I don't believe that's true on the early ones. They are around 7.5K as another poster mentioned. They also kick ass and are at least the equal of any other Nocaster sets, IMO. The neck pickup is the twisted Tele with longer magnets for a more Strat-like tone. Also, both the pickups on the early ones have alnico II magnets, not alnico III.
     
  10. YOGA64

    YOGA64 Member

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    Interesting,
    so it seems they changed quite a bit as time went on, or not.......:bounce

    We need more data.........:agree
     
  11. pokey

    pokey Supporting Member

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    How early? Mine was made Feb 97 and the bridge measures 9.73k - neck 7.6k. There is no rwrp so there is hum in the middle position.
     
  12. vanguard

    vanguard Member

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    hopefully Eldred can chime in but your info, AFAIK, (and i've studied this a lot) is incorrect. Fred Stuart and the then-custom shop boys modeled the original ri nocaster after an authentic specimen they brought in and dissected. that particular nocaster had the "lap-steel" pickup, i.e. wire 43 wound to about 10k. This is the pickup they copied for the nocaster. They used this pickup (with alnico V mags. . .fender never uses II) until aroun 2000 when Abigail Ybarra was checking out a nocaster and said something to the effect of, "this pickup's not right, it's too hot." She gave them the wire 42 to mid 7's recipe and they switched at that time (also to alnico III mags). unless i'm wrong here, and i highly doubt i am, those are the only two pickups ever used in the nocaster. some cunetto nocaster bridge pups were underwound, some over. I've had 6 and had one as low as 8.3k and one as high as 11.3k.

    and as for the neck pup, the twisted tele wasn't even invented when the cunettos were being made. The cunetto nocaster has virtually the exact same pickup as the current nocaster set, i.e. wire 43 to about 7.3k w/ a german-silver cover.

    no disrespect, but without mike chiming in (and i got all the aforementioned info directly from him and fred stuart) i'd consider the above as close to the truth as we'll find.
     
  13. YOGA64

    YOGA64 Member

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    Thanks for your help and knowledge, this is what makes TGP so great :agree

    So I guess what they came up with was an early BROADCASTER lead pickup,
    not that I have any experience with those sort of pickups, be it vintage or modern replicas.............

    Would my assumption be in the ballpark soundwise?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  14. vanguard

    vanguard Member

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    yep. listen to keef play micawber at the bridge position for an idea of how that pup sounds (though that guitar has an original lapsteel pup from the late 40's). he has several "cunetto-era" nocaster bridge pups in other guitars too. the CS winds them just for him.
     
  15. YOGA64

    YOGA64 Member

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    Wow, thanks! :omg

    You really are an amazing source of knowledge......:agree
     
  16. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    My Nocaster is from May '96 so I guess it's an early one.

    I am the second owner, and I bought it in late '96 from the original owner. Mine is wired like a normal Telecaster, Bridge, both pickups, neck pickup, and is NOT wired with a blend switch arrangement. It's possible that the original owner changed it, but I have never heard of Cunetto's being wired with the blend switching. I thought that was something Fender did with the "Time Machine" guitars, after Cunetto? I could be wrong.

    I have also read that the bridge pickup on the early Cunetto's is wound a bit too hot as others have said. I have never measured mine, and I don't have a meter, but it certainly sounds a bit beefier than other Tele's I have owned. Very "Keef".

    The neck on mine is not anywhere near as big as what NoCasters are now known for. Actually, I'd call mine more of a medium size. It's the thinnest neck on all the guitars I own measuring 0.828 at the first fret and 0.891 at the 12th. Definitely not the baseball bat neck that some NoCasters have. In general, I thought the Cunettos had slimmer necks than that later Time Machine series?
     
  17. YOGA64

    YOGA64 Member

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    Thanks,

    let's keep other players report their experiences with these guitars.......:munch
     
  18. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Supporting Member

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    Nice! Make sure you post a picture here....

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=614977

    I bought my 'nocaster new in '97, it has the standard neck/both/rear switching.
    If that rear p/u is a bit brite or harsh, just roll the tone knob down a smidge.

    Mine has 10's and is just "a bit" stiff (not too much) but....she sounds and plays great - LOVE THAT TELE!
    My buddy had a real '52 blackguard - his had a bit more "bell like chime"' unamplified (albeit not a huge difference) but plugged in mine sounded much better.
    I've been to a ton of vintage shows and I still haven't played a tele that plays or sounds better.

    I haven't played mine in a while, I need to rectify that....
     
  19. vanguard

    vanguard Member

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    the cunetto nocasters are killer guitars to be sure, but i find it interesting they command the prices they do seemingly solely on their rareness. what with fat necks being very popular right now, and with the 10k keef-pup being sort of a niche sound, the 2000's nocaster (also discontinued as of last year) seems to have the more desirable features. they also buckled down on esoterica with the 2000's nocaster: dowel plugs in the body, neck pocket lip, tadeo taper, occasional diagonal seams, random maple truss-plugs, etc.

    collectibility really is a strange thing. . .
     
  20. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    No doubt, collectibility is a strange thing...

    But the higher prices for Cunetto's is not solely on their rareness, IMO. There are some things that make them more desirable than the more accurate "Time Machine" series to a number of players, hence the popularity and the higher prices. The biggest things are the 9.5" radius and the screaming bridge pickup. The pickup is definitely not a "niche sound" and is sought after by many players for a reason. These are both significant advantages to me over the more vintage correct "Time Machine" relics that came later. Combine that with the fact that these are the original relics, and I can see why they go for a bit more. Prices on Cunetto's seem to have dropped a bit the last few years, along with everything else. I can see why they would be higher than other versions, but I agree that they were definitely over-valued a few years ago when they were at the height of their resale value.

    Having said that, I have never played a better sounding Tele including a few vintage pieces that I no longer own. This one is a definite keeper for me.
     

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