You guys will be proud - I finally "get" Teles

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Garrett Bagby, Jan 26, 2007.


  1. Garrett Bagby

    Garrett Bagby Member

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    Maybe I just had to mature, but I used to HATE Teles, especially ash/maple Teles. They were like the fat ugly older sister of the Strat. But over the last couple years, I've become more and more smitten with the Telecaster. I finally gave in today when I found a nice used '04 Deluxe Nashville model.

    It's honey blonde ash with one-piece maple neck and tortoise pickguard. Hands-down the best value Telecaster out there, IMO. For the most part, I'd say the fit and finish is on par with the US-made models I've seen. I A/B'd it with a '99 Am Std Tele (which cost nearly twice as much), and the Nashville just killed it.

    This guitar has a very wide frequency range. It can get a bit bright, but I actually use the TONE CONTROL, something I rarely feel a need to utilize on other guitars. The Tex-Mex pups actually sound quite good, too.

    I'm also impressed at how much the sound changes just by where I play over the pickups. I know this affects any guitar, but it is particularly effective here. It's such a complex guitar, full of many great sounds even without switching pups.

    My only real gripe is not with the quality, just the Tele design: There's too much obstruction of the picking path! The combo of ashtray bridge, middle pickup and 4-ply pickguard make it a little uncomfortable to pick.

    The ashtray is particularly annoying. What do you Tele nuts do to work around it? Or, is there a good replacement that doesn't have the "walls"?
     
  2. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I guess you just get used to it. I pick just in front of the bridge, so it isn't a problem. A traditional Tele has no middle pup, so I don't have that to deal with. First go round, the low strings on the body/guard take getting used to. After awhile, it became a normal feel for me
     
  3. thefishingline

    thefishingline Supporting Member

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    I don't use the ashtray anymore got rid of it
     
  4. nickreynolds

    nickreynolds Member

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    I'm assuming your talking about the "ashtray" cover that goes over the bridge?

    That gets in the way big time lol, but the OP seems to be talking about how the bridge has lips that get in the way of palm muting and picking that would be normal on a strat.
     
  5. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    Garrett,
    Strangely, after playing for well over 20 years, I too have just started to appreciate teles. In fact, I bought my first tele yesterday. An American std. I certainly did consider the Nashville, but the USA std. won over in the end.
    The USA has a more modern flat, bridge plate, with no "side ridges". These are freely available as aftermarket accessories for quite reasonable prices. Try ebay - loads there, eg. http://cgi.ebay.com/CHROME-Telecast...5QQihZ003QQcategoryZ41407QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    Good luck in getting it sorted to your satisfaction !
     
  6. thefishingline

    thefishingline Supporting Member

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    Good point..that takes some time to get used to
     
  7. fierce_carrot

    fierce_carrot Member

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    Tele players are a group all unto themselves. The first thing about owning a tele is learning to play one like a tele, they just aren't like other guitars.
     
  8. randuro

    randuro Member

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    Tele's are like women....finicky, quircky, hard to get used to...but, when you find the right one, she will steal your heart away. And even if you cheat on her, you'll always come back to her.....and regret your moment of weakness:D Oh and another thing, play it hard, they like that....:dude
     
  9. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    I've been jonesing after a Tele for a while. Concerning the bottom half of the ashtray bridge piece, didn't I see one that didn't have the raised side edges sometime back (or was that on a copy)?

    Brett
     
  10. fierce_carrot

    fierce_carrot Member

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    Brett


    yes there are ashtrays without the raised edges available.
     
  11. DejavuDave

    DejavuDave Member

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    Congrats and welcome to the brotherhood. I own a few exceptional guitars but my Tele's No. 1. Don't tell me wife.
     
  12. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
    As mentioned previously, there are many aftermarket bridges that address the issue of the bridge sides, to some extent.

    As I believe the 3 saddle bridge is a big part of Tele tone, you may want to look at some of these:

    Callaham Tele bridges have lower sides and a single cutaway on the bottom:
    http://www.callahamguitars.com/
    http://www.callahamguitars.com/partstel.htm
    http://www.callahamguitars.com/brdge_T.htm

    [​IMG]


    Glendale offers both single and double cutaway versions of their vintage stainless steel and American Standard replacement bridges:

    http://www.glendaleguitars.com/bridgeplates.htm
    http://www.glendaleguitars.com/Bridge.htm
    http://www.glendaleguitars.com/americanstandard.htm

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And don't forget, you can just grind down the sides of your existing bridge for free.
    :AOK


    Of course, if you settle on a 3 saddle bridge and decide on bridge style and material (magnetic/non-magnetic), then you can decide on what kind of saddles you want, the the material, and then pickups, and then...
    http://www.glendaleguitars.com/saddles.htm

    Then when you finish your first Tele, then you can start on your second.
    Oh yes, there will be a second one......
    :D
     
  13. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    What he said :AOK, but always well worth the effort of understanding them. A Tele inst everybody's guitar, but they can do things no other guitar can do! My band prefers my LP, so I have to fight to get the Tele in whenever I can lol.
     
  14. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    randuro, you get my vote for "post of the month." :AOK
     
  15. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    Amen!
     
  16. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Thanks for the info. It took me a while to warm up to Teles. To me, they always looked like unfinished Strats with broken headstocks, but that sound just got to me. Finally got the chance to try one, and the first time, it just wasn't for me. After going to 0.011's on my Strat for a while, I went to try a Tele again (that sound!) and fell in love. A friend had the Tex Mex cousin to my Tex Mex Strat (same color). Been trying them out when I get the chance and of course, the American is the one that feels/sounds the best to me. Another friend has one of those MIJ's and it sounds/plays like nothing else I've had the chance to play (he set it up really nice), and it's more immediately affordable so I', pretty sure there's one in my future.

    Brett
     
  17. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    +1 also, to randuro!

    For whatever reason, I've never had a problem with an ashtray bridge but we're all different.

    One of the nice things about a tele is, if you don't like a part of it, it can be easily altered. There are a lot of quality aftermarket parts available to make the guitar just right for you.

    As tonedaddy said, there will likely be a second one. I have an ASAT Classic Custom, a parts black guard, I'm collecting parts for another and have an idea of what I'd like to build after that. Hopeless...

    Welcome to the world of tele's!
     
  18. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    Garret,

    They call it Gattonizing the guitar. Someone has already posted the glendale bridge with the sides filed down. That eliminates the picking issues. I brought my bridge to a friends who had a wheel grinder and did it in 5 minutes.

    And you will start to wonder how & why an Esquire is the one most awesome guitars out there. Esquire; the guitar of Men and hot Lasses!
     
  19. AlexF

    AlexF Member

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    I've always really liked teles to play, but found them somehow spikey (but then I am a 'Paul player by background). What changed the whole world for me was a guy came round with a '58 tele and plugged it in my Sewell Wampus Cat, a kind of perfected tweed Pro. We both looked at each other with mouths open, then big smiles. Just a HUGE fat full creamy sound. Amazing combination.
    Al
     
  20. fierce_carrot

    fierce_carrot Member

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    Tele's are just not like other guitars. If you really want to jump into playing a tele, go after that "spank. Throw some 9's or 8's on it, set the action low, plug in a compressor and WATCH OUT.

    Something to pay attention to, some of the baddest mofoes on the PLANET are tele pickers. Vince Gill, Brent Mason, Brad Paisley, Kieth Urban, Redd Volkert, Jon Jorgensen...

    and of course

    Keith Richards.
     

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