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even more Tele: the jazz/clean adaptable Tele

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by rorschah, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    So, even more pickup questions.

    I just put a post asking for the best pickups to get the old-school twang-and-bite-and-crunch Tele, and the most frequently recc'd was Lollar Vintage, followed by Fralin Blues Specials, followed by Rio Grandes.

    Normally I treat my Tele as my blues/rhythm guitar, and hack at that thing with a pick and rock out. Lately, I've pushed the thing up to .12's, which seems to be bringing out a *lot* of good things in this guitar. Last night, I was playing it unplugged and fingerstyle, which I'd never exactly done before, and it was weird... all sorts of lush, rich, warm sounds starting coming out of it.

    It suddenly felt like a lot of the tones that I want for my jazz playing. But I *definitely* can't get tones like that with the current pups (stock '98 MIM I think).

    So I'm starting to change my thinking: is there some way to make this thing adaptable, so that somewhere in it are a lot of the bridge-bitey and neck-crunchy Tele tones, and somewhere else are clean tones that keep the richness and warmth.

    Maybe a more traditional Tele bridge, and a cleaner-more jazz oriented pup? Would that keep the crunch in the mid position?

    And what sort of pups? Is this still Lollar and Fralin and Rio Grande land, or is there something else that's good for this sort of thing?

    Sorry that I keep posting - I just love *sound*, and I'd been lost in guitar-land with crappy tone for a long time, and you guys have been giving me incredible advice.

    Thanks!

    -thi
     
  2. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    And whaddya'all think of Duncan STL-1 and STR-1? I got an offer for a pair, cheap. Are just a different sad land from the Lollars and Fralins? Or is it a 97% -> 100% of the same thing.

    -thi
     
  3. No Code 5

    No Code 5 Member

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    I really like the Duncan Alnico II I run in the neck of my tele... very musical cleans.

    I play no jazz... but the tones can be very smooth and musical with the right amp settings.

    It has kept me from converting my tele to a bluesboy (hb neck) on several occasions.
     
  4. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    And what's the difference between the Lollar and the Fralin Blues Special?

    They sound similar from description on HC.

    -thi
     
  5. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    Check my thread in this section titled: Most Amazing Vintage
    Pickup Repros
     
  6. gls500

    gls500 Member

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    They're similar in style. I've had both, and I prefer all forms of the Lollars. It's a matter of taste, really. Oddly, I felt the Lollars are MORE responsive to touch, and have a little extra sparkle to them.

    Just goes to show - different strokes, and it's all what sounds good to your ear. I think you'll do fine with any of the above, though.
     
  7. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Kinman Broadcaster pickups. Full lead tone with strong mids, over powers the neck a bit but in a good way. Darker sounding neck pickup which sounds very good for jazz stuff. The middle position is to die for if set up right. Biggest plus no hum.
     
  8. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    I don't know if you up to routing and such but I had a Tele which was routed out nder the pickguard with a Gibson mini-humbucker in the neck. That guitar sounded amazing on the neck pickup. VERY hollwobody-esque jazz tones.
     
  9. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    Yeah, but I bet Ted Greene didn't have MIM pups.

    I'm not really one for throwing tons of money trying to get some specific tone. It's just... really... it sounds a lot nice acoustic than plugged in. A *lot* nicer. There's all this sounds that my fingers and that guitar can get, and it's mostly gone when I plug it in. That's

    I'd actually be happy with the sound of the current American Standard Telecaster. I just figure... if you're gonna change out the pups, why not play a little, try to get a little more clarity.
     
  10. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Callaham Control Plate:

    [​IMG]

    Excellent grip on the tallish heavily curled knobs. Great taper across the dial for volume swells, wah sounds and an endless palette of colors on tap.
     
  11. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

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    Austin, TX y'all
    I think w/ Lollars, Fralins, or Rio Grandes, you can get a good jazz sound... if you go with Rio Grandes, you might want to use a tallboy in the neck, and a muy grande in the bridge...

    But with any of these pickups, if you use the neck pickup, maybe with the volume rolled-off a bit, and the tone rolled-off a bit, and use your fingers, and get the right amp settings, you can get some very useful tones for jazz... especially, if as you say, the guitar has a good unplugged resonance and tone...
     
  12. duckbunny

    duckbunny Member

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    A Barden neck pickup with a .22 cap on the tone control gets me absolutely any jazz tone I can think of - without noise. I use 'em in 5 of my teles.


    -db
     
  13. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    You can get great classic Tele tones on a budget by swapping the MIM pups with some Fender Original Vintage.
    These are standard equipment on the '52RI and sound great imo.
    The neck pup is round and smooth with enough bite when you need it.
     
  14. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    All of the pickups suggested are great pickups. Personally, I've found my holy grail in Hamel pickups for vintage style and Bardens for non-vintage style tele pickups. Great range of tone in both.
     
  15. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    The EMG-T's are capable of a very pleasing woody tone with the tone pot rolled back..
     
  16. DonM

    DonM Member

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    Keep the neck pup between 6k to 6.4k and easy on the wax... maybe just a bit in the head of the cover and none on the coil,

    it will Jazz ya plenty!
     
  17. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    I've got Muy Grandes in both positions on my ash ASAT, and I think they are very, very versatile. The neck pup sounds sweet and warm clean or dirty, the bridge has bite but lots of body, and the middle position has the full low end but more sparkle than the bridge alone.

    Very happy with this setup! With hollowbodies lying around, I don't often go straight to the ASAT for jazzier tones, but it can do just about anything.
     
  18. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

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    More than one way to skin a cat:

    [​IMG]

    It may be cheating, but Snarling Dogs Very Tone peday can "jazz up" your guitar. With this pedal I can get very nice hollow-body archtop - type tones with my ASAT Classic.
     
  19. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    A good jazz to rock/blues Tele is something I think about a lot. My Mirocaster has a Lollar CC blade in the neck, a Lollar Tele special in the bridge. I'm very happy with this set up. The blade is cleaner and nearly has as much range as the humbucker in my Reverend semi-hollow Manta Ray, and has a little more of a vocal sound. Takes a bit of routing tho.

    If you don't mind routing, why not just put a bucker or mini bucker in the neck? ... The kiss on my list is the Barden rails, which do fit in the usual hole but are a little pricey.... Finally, the most bang for the buck that I've come across are Bill Lawrence noiseless. That's what I put in my MIM tele, and it really was a wonderful, versatile guitar after that. I played jazz plenty, with just the neck pickup.

    I like the four-way switch with series and parrallel in the Tele, the fourth position really gives more sparkle and is a little louder.
     
  20. Mike T

    Mike T Member

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    I have my Tele set up with Bardens, a Vintique bridge, and a 4 way switch. I have the standard cap on the tone pot, I can't think of what it is now. But I've used that guitar everywhere from a rock band playing Zepplin to a solo dinner music gig in Saratoga playing 'The Way You look Tonight" and "What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your life" to an R&B gig playing James Brown.... Switch the amp for the gig, but use the same axe... works for me!
     

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