Explain the reasoning behind the Tele Custom to me

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by james..., Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Member

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    90% of the way tonally is a lot more authentic than 10% of the way. So much that Telenator even sold Alnico versions, which Fender could have done. I've converted WRHB's to magnetic poles before, and it completely changes the tone.

    Just because a pickup from a relatively small builder retails at $420, doesn't mean it would cost Fender much. With Fender the difference in parts would probably be under $10 per pickup, not $420. How do I know? Because I've modified current Fender WRHB's and know the cost of the difference in parts.

    So it's more a case of Fender not thinking that they'll get a significant increase in sales from a fairly small cost. That might not matter much to someone building dozens of guitars a year, but when selling on Fender's scale, consistently finds ways to save $20 per guitar, they get to add zeros to the end of their profits.
     
  2. 305thODST

    305thODST Member

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    I played one some years back when I was a new player. Didn't really understand the ins and outs different types of pickups, magnets, woods, etc. back then. Fast forward to a later time when I knew more but had my own guitar. I was watching the actual owner play it and suddenly thought, "Why does it have a Humbucker in the neck position but a SC in the bridge? If you wanted one of each, wouldn't it make more sense to have it the other way around?" But before then, ignorance was bliss. I played it. I liked it. I was none the wiser.
     
  3. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

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    I agree, if some of these WRHB rewinders can mod your current fake WRHB pickup for around $90, or sell a complete pickup for $120, why can't Fender make one that sounds more like the originals?. Their pickups aren't exactly inexpensive, they could do it easily using the same FeCrxx (whatever) magnets the pickup modders use, and they would have a guitar that is closer to the vintage ones. It seems they just think that not enough players care about the sound of the original WRHB's to put that much effort into it. I think it sucks, the unique thing about that model (and the Starcaster and other guitars that used them) was those WRHB's, and it is insulting for them to put out the muddy fake ceramic mag WRHB into the reissues IMO. They product about 10 different variations of "Custom Shop" Strat and Tele pickups to attempt to recreate the original sound, there is no reason they can't do that with the WRHB.
    Al
     
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  4. mildew

    mildew Member

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    I could never understand tele's with humbuckers. Why not just play a LP ? Now my #1 is a 25.5 scale with a light body and HB's and i finally get it - a Fender type guitar with HB's is its own sound, different to SC Fenders or LP guitars. The twang of a Fender style with the fatness and low noise of HB's.
     
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  5. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer New Mods On The Block Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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  6. Bossanova

    Bossanova Silver Supporting Member

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    You know he had that thing stuck on the bridge position 99% of the time, right?!? ;)
     
  7. Bossanova

    Bossanova Silver Supporting Member

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    on the bridge ;)
     
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  8. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Supporting Member

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    That’s not a Tele Custom.
     
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  9. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Love that Strat...very cool sunburst!
     
  10. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer New Mods On The Block Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Close enough ... just like in horseshoes.

    I actually used to own two original '72 Tele Customs in natural finish. Cool guitars. I also owned a '74 Tele Deluxe.
     
  11. ChipOnly

    ChipOnly Supporting Member

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    72 custom owner here, this is my take -
    I like the tele bridge pickup a lot but I don't like the tele neck pickup that much, so there is a different pickup at the neck instead. Get it?
     
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  12. VintagePlayerStrat

    VintagePlayerStrat Supporting Member

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    Really interesting stuff. Thanks!
     
  13. Digidog

    Digidog Member

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    I read the article right away when you posted the link, but I got the impression that all arguments about costs and specialized production was more a lazy way to dodge the true authenticity that Fender boasts about.

    With today's advances in metalurgy and production I don't buy the alleged reasons. I think it's more about what you and others have said: That close enough is good enough, while keeping costs to a minimum.
     
  14. Wino67

    Wino67 Supporting Member

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    "It worked for Traci Lords" is all the explanation you need.
     
  15. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    IMO, it was all about stealing some of the 'other's' market.
    Think Big Picture and business and market grab.
    Fender lived on one side of the pond, Gibson on the other.
    And occasionally, they Each would come up with a model that 'leaned' into the others' Sphere of Influence.

    On the Fender side, you had the Custom which 'leaned into' Gibson's market w/o leaving the Fender beachhead completely.
    And on Gibson's side, you had models like the Marauder and S1 which 'leaned into' Fender's market w/o leaving the Gibson beachhead.
    These models are where they met in the middle of the pond.
    I mean, look at them, they're the same guitar more or less, with the DNA imprint of the Parent Co. still there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    The Wide Range Humbucker in the reissue guitars do not sound like the originals in the 1972 - 1979 era.
     
  17. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    Traci Lords was not in Deep Throat.
     
  18. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    There are zero PickUp makers who build a pickup that captures the exact WRHB selling at $90 to $120. Telenator sells one @$450 that is an exact reproduction right down to the threaded Cunife magnets used in the originals. Lollar and Novak build the next closest to the original - although both aren't the 'exact' sound - they are very good. Both sell around the $200 range. I suspect that Fender could - and does put authentic WRHBs on their Custom Shop versions (most likely they buy them from someone like Telenator and re brand). They can't get the price point they need on the Standards if they were to invest in an expensive clone. But overall I believe they market to people who aren't invested in 'authentic' tones - just like Gibson doesn't put out a true PAF Humbucker (even though they easily could build them). The primary issue is ROI - considering that perhaps 2% of Fender/Gibson buyers have ever played a true WRHB/PAF - the other 98% wouldn't know one if it bit them on the Butt - and that 98% are the ones buying the guitars these days.
     
  19. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

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    I played those tele customs several times in the 80s because I loved Keef. Never did like the WRHB at all. Now that I have learned to operate a tele I would like to try one again. I think dumping the 1 Meg pots to 250 would make an improvement to my ears.
     
  20. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    IMO putting a 250 M Potentiometer on the WRHB would wreck what the pickup does best. 250 M would send too much of the high end to ground. If you wanted that kind of tone - I would use the Tone Pot and back it down until you carve off the top end.
     

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