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Nocaster thoughts after 3 weeks

usc96

Member
Messages
1,520
This is a follow up from the Nocaster Insanity thread a few weeks back.

After a year of wanting a telecaster (I've been playing a Les Paul for two years, but started on a Mustang so I'm not new to Fender), I broke down and bought a Custom Shop Nocaster for Christmas. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. I've played friends' teles, but I was never lucky enough to try a Nocaster.

Coming from a Les Paul, I expected a less loud, but nice sounding clean twangy guitar. From the outset, I liked the way it sounded and especially enjoyed the new sounds I was getting through the effects on my pedalboard. I did not expect they would sound that different, but some effects seem to be voiced better for Fenders.

I've kept the wiring original, though I was almost certain that I was going to switch to modern wiring. As currently wired, the neck pick up is just useless on its own. The Bridge pick up sounds like a dream though. At first I couldn't understand the rational behind the vintage wiring. Then I started playing around with the blend knob. Now I see the magic. The blend is wonderful sounding. My only complaint is why can't the neck pickup be useful on its own, plus give us the blend option.

I haven't been playing the Les Paul much over the past 3 weeks, but my years of prejudice had me still thinking the Les Paul has a fuller, and therefore, a better sound. However, today while recording using both guitars, it hit me that the Les Paul is not better, just different. They both have their own sound, but I'm starting to see the Nocaster as my go to guitar. :JAM

The Nocaster is lighter, but it has a thicker (9.5" radius) neck. I can get some real unique and more diverse sounds out of it. The Nocaster really play well with effects. I'm guessing it's a humbucker v. single coil thing, but I'm really noticing a difference here, especially with effects like chorus and vibe. Both guitars sound nice through my Deluxe Reverb. They are both very well built. The Nocaster stays in tune great. I'm not saying I have a problem with the other staying in tune, just that the Nocaster seems to not need much adjusting. I'm not skilled at setting up guitars, but the Nocaster just sounds intonated perfectly. Finally, neither are hard on the eyes. ;)

So far, I'm really digging my new guitar. As Ferris said, If you have the means, I really suggest that you pick one up. :cool:

 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,128
Just did the wiring change to mine today.

As nice as the Blender circuit is the guitar is even better all around in all positions with the modern wiring.

You will like it much better I am sure.
 

Samba

Member
Messages
483
My only complaint is why can't the neck pickup be useful on its own.
I'm not fond of tele neck pups - the metal cover really does muffle things considerably. I've now got an uncovered Fralin Blues Special in the neck, and it's made my Tele into a guitar that I enjoy in all positions. People are often too eager to swap out pups, but when it comes to Teles it's a necessity for the neck.



 

Samba

Member
Messages
483
While I'm glad your neck p/u swap worked out for you I disagree.I love the neck p/u tone on my Nocaster.I've changed the wiring to modern.I get plenty of snap from the neck.
And I'm equally glad that you're enjoying your stock pup. Though the question remains: have you tried an uncovered tele neck pup? If not you might just find that it goes beyond having enough brightness or snap. There's an airiness and complexity to the neck tone with the Fralin that transforms the Tele experience. I could give the usual 'YMMV' disclaimers, but I'm sure that you're aware of the inherent personal subjectivity when it comes to tone. :)
 

Samba

Member
Messages
483
I've tried many Teles w/o the cover.Some Teles need it.For some reason my Nocaster sounds great with the cover.I've played many that were dull in the neck.
I tried to erase my original post but you were too fast.I didn't mean to come off harsh :BEER
I didn't feel that your original response was harsh in anyway. :) What have you tried in the neck incidentally? I've got a T project on the go presently, and I'm thinking about either routing for a full sized strat pup, or trying the SD custom shop uncovered pup. Since discovering the Fralin, I'm lovin' Teles again.

 

gkoelling

Member
Messages
17,212
I didn't feel that your original response was harsh in anyway. :) What have you tried in the neck incidentally? I've got a T project on the go presently, and I'm thinking about either routing for a full sized strat pup, or trying the SD custom shop uncovered pup. Since discovering the Fralin, I'm lovin' Teles again.

Don Mare now has a neck pup called a "S-Telly" that he says sounds like a strat. The man is one of the best and if he says it's a strat pup in tele clothing, that's what it is.

I'm seriously thinking of buying one for my current tele build. I just need to decide on a bridge pup to go with it.

Check them out here: www.donmarepickups.com


Good luck in your search.
 

205

Senior Member
Messages
564
Just did the wiring change to mine today.

As nice as the Blender circuit is the guitar is even better all around in all positions with the modern wiring.

You will like it much better I am sure.
I agree!
Do the modern wiring, you'll have a much more usefull guitar.
If you like it now you're going to love it after the wiring change.
It's easily reversable if you don't like it, but i doubt you'll want to go back.
 

openbar

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,961
My stock 52 reissue neck pickup is killer. I always thought people were lying to themselves when they said their tele neck pickup was great, but this one really is! I can get that Jimmy Bryant tone, now too bad I can't get his chops.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,916
As currently wired, the neck pick up is just useless on its own. The Bridge pick up sounds like a dream though. At first I couldn't understand the rational behind the vintage wiring. Then I started playing around with the blend knob. Now I see the magic. The blend is wonderful sounding. My only complaint is why can't the neck pickup be useful on its own, plus give us the blend option.
You get the neck pickup by itself in position #2. Position #3 is the neck pickup with a capacitor that removes the high end...but you can change the capacitor to a different value to make that position more usable.

However, I agree...at first I didn't see the benefit of the stock wiring either, but I find a lot more tones available with the blend control than I ever did with a tone control
 

usc96

Member
Messages
1,520
Here's the layout from the Fender website:

3-Position Blade:
Position 1. Bridge Pickup (+ Neck Pickup with Blend control counter - clockwise)
Position 2. Neck Pickup
Position 3. Neck Pickup with No Tone Control (dark vintage circuit)

Apparently I like the Neck pickup sound a lot, just not the dark vintage circuit).
 




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