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merciful-evans

guitar shop visit

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I went to my local store today and tried out some guitars. I bought what I went in for, but tried a few others while I was waiting around for adjustments to be made. I tried out a Fender Duo Sonic because I’ve been curious about these for some time. It’s simple (simple is good SFAIAC) but didn’t quite have the sound I wanted. I put this down to the ceramic pickups. I liked the handling very much.

 

1st Telecaster experience…

I also tried out a very pricey Fender American Elite Telecaster Thinline. This is the first time I had ever played a Tele. Some of you have chastised me about this. Ok, I’ve been & done it.

It sounded great, it felt nice too but I was incapable of playing it. The problem is the E strings are too close to the edge of the fingerboard. Within seconds I was pushing the strings right off. So it’s probably the last time I will ever play a Tele too, because I checked out the others and this is obviously a design feature.

 

The Mexican Strat was surprisingly good. I had heard negative things about these, but I can confirm that it was a damned sight better than the 1970’s USA Strat I had used for 20 years. When I see such ‘classic’ guitars now priced at £/$thousands I just remember mine and the phrase ‘fools and their money’ pops into my head.

 

Just for diversion I looked at the Epiphone Masterbilt archtops (they have ebony fingerboards!). I didn’t play them, just an in situ strum to hear the sound. They were all surprisingly quiet. Lovely to behold but disappointing projection.

 

This visit was the solution to my quest for a guitar with a classic Fender Sound. My failures have been posted here.

Notable failures were:

 

1/ The Flaxwood I bought a few months ago & returned to Thomann.

2/ The pickups I had fitted to the Esprit (sounds great but NOT Fender-like).

 

 

I’ll post up what I bought tomorrow with pix. You will all be disappointed at my choice. Cheap, modern and nasty. [rolleyes]

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You played a tele for the first time today, and you're a geezer.

 

You didn't like said tele and in fact, not the next one either because apparently you find yourself too good for a bit of E-stringitis.

 

Do I have all of this right?

 

I'm incredibly confused and don't know what to make of this.

 

rct

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Did not like Telicaster! That's all the statement I need. Actually I hate them too and I've never even touched one in my life. I just think their ugly. Now that might get me kicked off a Fender site but shouldn't on a Gibson board. Gibson's are Gorgeous to me. I do think Strats are beautiful and I've played some not hooked up and couldn't get used to the fretboard. I do love this new surf green jaguar and can't put it down. Still not used to the vibrato arm but I'm improving some.

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Coincidence 1 - yesterday I tried a Tele. I have never really had a decent play of one, but have tried a few. This Japanese 52 Reissue was superb in the body (very light) - just felt great. The neck wouldn't suit me though (too deep for my relatively small hands - but I did like the v shape) so that ruled it out, and the very rounded fret board would take a bit of getting used to but wouldn't be a show-stopper, and the small frets I'd want to replace which costs a lot... so I'll keep waiting for the perfect lightweight body, thin neck, butterscotch finish Tele for now.

 

Coincidence 2 - with my main guitar I have been a bit prone to slipping both E strings off the board lately (not helped by detuning a half step I suppose). The fretboard edges are so (beautifully) rolled with use that the last re-fret needed quite a taper on the fret edges so I've lost a bit of usable width. I have asked for a new nut with the E's moved just slightly inboard and then the other strings spaced evenly within. That should do it - its a pretty standard width at the nut so there's a little room to move (compared with my very narrow nutted 69 Epi).

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Actually I hate them too and I've never even touched one in my life.

This is pure blasphemy :)

 

I get that you don't like the looks, but I guarantee that you love the sounds which can pretty much only be produced with a telecaster

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Yeah, I'm not getting the lack of love for Teles. At one time, I never thought I'd have a Tele, but over time, I really started to like the sound of a stock Tele neck pickup, and I'm a jazz guy. When I had a chance to make an even trade with a buddy of mine for an American Standard Tele (2007) for my Studio LP (1996), I am positive that I got the best part of that deal. The Tele has a D-shape neck that is shallow and feels great. It also came with a coil splitting Dimarzio Tone Zone T humbucker on the bridge. It feels great, plays great, sounds great, and I like it very much. That said, it is my third or fourth favorite.

 

Also, I have a Gibson ES-335 (2002, Memphis) in which I have a hard time doing pull-offs on the 1st string because it slips off the fretboard. It seems the frets taper too quickly on the ends contributing to the problem (or perhaps the radius is too low). (I've gotten used to this and compensate.) I have an Epi Dot and don't have this problem. I don't have this problem with my Tele, either. Could it be the OP plays with too much pressure on the strings?

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...I don't have this problem with my Tele, either. Could it be the OP plays with too much pressure on the strings?

 

I am happy to serve, so listen up kids.

 

Two things:

 

1.:a.) The bridge is often a miss, that is, in the wrong place. For long time 70s to 80s all tele bridges were off. People like me complained and whined and in the mid-late 90s when the American Standard was named, they finally made the permanent position the correct one.

 

Seriously. Leo put it off a tad and never fixed it, and being true red blooded Americans, FMIC just did what they did yesterday, for 30 some years, even though it was wrong. Lotta the old ones are pretty whack, Gatton had whats-his-name* fix his with a whole new stainless bridge.

 

B.:2) The neck heel/plate/slot can be off. One is off just a tad and by the time you get to the nut it is off quite a bit in guitar dimensions. Tune down a whole step, loosen screws, pull neck to right spot, tighten screws, tune it back up.

 

Stop sniffling and man up. We did this with three screw necks after every other gig in the 70s. Punks.

 

AND WE INTONATED THREE SADDLE BRIDGES WHEN YOU ALL WERE PLAYING GI JOE.

 

Yer welcome.

 

rct

 

*Monterose. Jim Monterose? Jack? Monterose, made the bridge and inserts for the neck. You know who I mean.

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Do wut?

 

how many of his posts do you have to read to get the guy. LOL!

 

 

and he tends to be right about the tele issues, it can be addressed...

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I made a terrible mistake buying my MIM Tele.

And dropping in the Custom Shop 51 NOcaster pickups and the Orange Drop cap between the STOCK(!!!) CTS pots was even a bigger mistake.

 

My problem is that I can't stop playing it.

 

Another important thing was to set it up right, and no, factory spec isn't right for me.

And only because I can't justify it right now, and a price tag that I think it's simply demential for a Fender, Ididn't walk out this saturday from a store in Madrid with a blonde Vintage 52.

And......ah what the heck just.......

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I'm only a novice but I too wanted a Tele for it's bright, clean tone. Being almost a pensioner with little cash to spare, I bought a used Squier Affinity in excellent condition recently. The neck seems too narrow for me having been only used to my acoustic and I'm not sure it's the one for me. I still like the look of it though.

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Wouldnt that kinda just be a normal way to play any guitar?

 

Yeah - guess I've never understood when people talk about pushing strings off a Fender's fretboard. Never experienced it myself.

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Yeah - guess I've never understood when people talk about pushing strings off a Fender's fretboard. Never experienced it myself.

 

If the nut is too low, relative to the bridge, while standing with the guitar, pull-offs on the skinny E and even the B become difficult. The E string pulls right over the side, and pull-offs on the B string end up getting gaffled up with the E and get tangle-y.

 

If the nut is too high, relative to the bridge, while standing with the guitar, plonked down barres, the way you usually do them in a hurry, push the fat E off.

 

If you are ever watching a guitar player that doesn't barre the F as much as say you do, and he tends to use a lot of 5ths(maj/min) chords by using just the A and the D strings without the low E it is because some of the music of our youth was played that way and some of it is because of the aforementioned low E flopping off. Or so I've read on the internet and seen in my own highlight reels.

 

rct

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rct: You're confused because you didnt read it properly. I never said I didn't like the Tele. I said I couldn't play it.

 

C_RAM: I wasnt bending stings or using vibrato. I was changing neck position quickly. I will admit to clumsiness. Its just that most other guitars are more forgiving of clumsiness. 3 years ago I passed up a Godin A6 Ultra for the same reason. A friend was with me. He was pushing the E string off it too.

 

Remember when eveybody was *****ing about the 2015 Gibson wide necks? Lots couldnt understand why the string spacing remained the same. I did. I bought one. Still loving it.

 

I too have gone on record here & said I find Teles ugly. But that Elite Thinline was the best looking one the in the shop! The natural wood & the different scratchplate design was actually swaying me.

 

The Tele sound was great. [thumbup]

 

 

PS The Albert Collins clip is great.

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C_RAM: I wasnt bending stings or using vibrato. I was changing neck position quickly. I will admit to clumsiness. Its just that most other guitars are more forgiving of clumsiness. 3 years ago I passed up a Godin A6 Ultra for the same reason. A friend was with me. He was pushing the E string off it too.

 

Yes, often it is put to clumsiness when really that "clumsiness" is how we play. I can slop my left hand all over the neck on all of my guitars and not have that happen, but if I get hold of a slightly out Fedner I will push the strings off one end or the other or both. It happens. It was bad when they were three screws, it would move over the course of a night. That was when Monterose came up with his inserts, stainless steel screws into them kept the neck still even for Gatton.

 

I too have gone on record here & said I find Teles ugly.

 

Consider yourself reported.

 

rct

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If the nut is too low, relative to the bridge, while standing with the guitar, pull-offs on the skinny E and even the B become difficult. The E string pulls right over the side, and pull-offs on the B string end up getting gaffled up with the E and get tangle-y.

 

If the nut is too high, relative to the bridge, while standing with the guitar, plonked down barres, the way you usually do them in a hurry, push the fat E off.

 

If you are ever watching a guitar player that doesn't barre the F as much as say you do, and he tends to use a lot of 5ths(maj/min) chords by using just the A and the D strings without the low E it is because some of the music of our youth was played that way and some of it is because of the aforementioned low E flopping off. Or so I've read on the internet and seen in my own highlight reels.

 

rct

 

Thanks, I get your explanation - seems something like that shouldn't be present on a new guitar.

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Thanks, I get your explanation - seems something like that shouldn't be present on a new guitar.

 

We accepted Fedner for what they were. Warts and all they were and are still an absolute joy to make music with.

 

Same for Gibson, they have their problems I guess, just not as obvious.

 

rct

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For years I would try Tele's and experience the exact same thing. I found the fret boards too narrow for my taste giving me difficulty playing.

 

I have since found two exceptions. a 1980 USA Fender Black and Gold Tele, with a heavy brass 6 saddle bridge and what to me to be a very comfortable rosewood fret board and maple neck. And an Agile Tele with a 3 saddle bridge and again a very comfortable maple fret board and neck. I can play either one for hours without my fingers feeling cramped or slipping bends. The only problem is the Fender weighs like 11 lbs.

 

So if you like the Tele tone, keep looking, there are some out there that are playable exceptions.

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For years I would try Tele's and experience the exact same thing. I found the fret boards too narrow for my taste giving me difficulty playing.

 

I have since found two exceptions. a 1980 USA Fender Black and Gold Tele, with a heavy brass 6 saddle bridge and what to me to be a very comfortable rosewood fret board and maple neck. And an Agile Tele with a 3 saddle bridge and again a very comfortable maple fret board and neck. I can play either one for hours without my fingers feeling cramped or slipping bends. The only problem is the Fender weighs like 11 lbs.

 

So if you like the Tele tone, keep looking, there are some out there that are playable exceptions.

 

Good idea. Agiles are not (easily) available in the uk, but there are other copies. I like MIJs such as Greco, but MIJs are always the classic spec of 21 frets and a tight 7.25" rad neck.

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