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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Disappointed in the sound of my Tele build

Lakewaydr50

USA

Nov 12th, 2017 04:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

First time poster, glad a found you guys. Here’s what I have: My project started life as an early 90’s Squier Telecaster and basically all that’s left of that guitar is the body. The rest is new. SchalerTuners, Mighty Mite maple neck, new bridge, with the body drilled and string ferrals added, copper shielding through out. All new electronics, with a Jerry Donahue Seymour Duncan at the bridge and and STK-1n at the neck. The deal is it sounds almost as if the strings are slightly muffed playing it unplugged. It had a much brighter sound in its stock configuration. My goal was to make it even brighter and it seems for now I’ve gone the wrong way. Any ideas?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Enjoying

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Nov 12th, 2017 04:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The number one cause of muffled acoustical tone on a screw-neck guitar is the neck joint. Make sure you have a clean wood-to-wood mating surface and the screws are snugged down to keep the neck from shifting.

Next culprit would be the bridge. Make sure the little height screws on each saddle are firmly in contact with the bridge plate, and also ensure you have a string break angle of about 20 degrees or better over the bridge saddles. And if the bridge is lifted even a little bit, it can rob tone from a Tele. Ensure it's screwed down tight to the body.

Next item is the nut. Cheap plastic nuts do rob tone and sustain from a guitar. Quality material like bone, Tusq, Melamine, Corian, etc., go a long way to making better tone than plastic.

Tuners really don't affect tone that much. They either work or they don't. One of the few times they can improve tone is when you have a thin, lightweight neck. Installing chunky tuners adds mass to the headstock and does make a positive difference.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Nov 12th, 2017 06:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
What he said!!!

I had a very similar reply typed up but forgot hit submit!

Most everything I know came from Peegoo anyway!

The only thing I'll add is, unfortunately, every build is a bit of a crap-shoot. Sometimes there is no obvious or tangible reason for a "tone turd". Hopefully this not your case!

I have switched necks between two strats expecting to get a particular result and it just didn't happen. Switched everything back and called it good.


Peegoo
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Nov 12th, 2017 06:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good point, Mick.

According The Holy Book (Wrnchbndr's letters to the Phillipinos, chapter 27 verse 1), "Tone just happens."

Some guitars can be composed of top-shelf components and still be duds in the tone department.

Lakewaydr50

USA

Nov 12th, 2017 08:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I’ve been thinking about a new body or just parting it out and using the proceeds to buy something else. A friend just bought a new MIM Tele and I really like the tone on it.

hotblooze

World Traveler

Wood, magnetic coil and strings.
Nov 12th, 2017 08:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm joining this Dead Poets Society to add if the pickup magnets are soaking up the tone. How does it sound acoustically if you pluck and snap the strings real hard ? What happens if lowering the pickup heights and play normally ?

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 12th, 2017 09:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Is your Squier body nade in Korea? Some of the early MIK Squiers had plywood bodies. I don't mean edge-glued, I mean literally plywood. I'm not a great believer in the importance of "tone woods" in solid body guitars, but it would be worth looking in the neck pocket or body routs to see if that's what you've got. Might have to scrape or sand off some finish to be able to see.

Another thing to look at is the cutting of the nut slots. They should slope downwards toward the headstock, not be parallel to the fretboard or have reverse slope. Either of those can cause fuzzy, dead tone.

And if you don't have a string tree on at least the top two strings, add one.



wrnchbndr
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Nov 13th, 2017 10:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Have someone else play the guitar through their amp and get an opinion. Sometimes I perform a mod and the result is quite alien to what I expected. Its the anticipation of a result that may be skewing your objectivity. The guitar might actually be awesome in a way that you're not open to appreciate at the moment.
But then, maybe something is just wrong. A second set of eyes and ears is often very helpful. I enlist help shamelessly.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Nov 13th, 2017 11:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As mentioned earlier, make sure that the screws go through the body easily and the neck will set firmly to the body. The holes only need to be slightly larger than the screws and not sloppy, otherwise, it's easy to knock the neck out of alignment with the body, resulting in the strings being off center to the neck.
So, if the screws slip through the body with a slight bit of resistance, then you've got it right!
Once you have insured you've got a good neck to body fit, check all of your hardware and make sure that all screws are firmly snuggled then go over your setup, string height, neck relief adjusted, intonation and that your string saddles are not rattling and are sitting firmly to the bridge base. This should show improvement. If you have some nut slotting files to adjust your string slots, this would probably be a good time to insure that they are indeed correct and giving good angles and allowing the strings to move freely and give you proper intonation once the saddles are adjusted.
Anything else is/should be minor in adjustment and the instrument should resonate. Now that you've done all of these things, it's just a matter of adjusting pickup heights. Try the Fender specs first to make sure that the magnetic pull from your pickups is not causing the strings to prematurely stop from vibrating, as mentioned earlier, too high of single coil pups can make your strings do weird things, and one of the issues is the lack of sustain! Lower your pickups and check the sound for balance and evenness in volume between the two. You will probably find that the front pickup will be lost than the bridge pickup to even up the volume differences. Because the bridge pickup is nearer the saddles, it doesn't affect the strings as much as the front pickup will. This is due to the tension and support the strings have there and the magnetic pull from the front pickup being too high, will cause the strings to loose their vibration and other weird harmonic issues.
So, go over your entire setup and you might find the reason for your lack of sustain and dullness that a properly setup guitar should give.
Best regards, Woody

JJuran
Contributing Member
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Boston Area

Nov 13th, 2017 05:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

>>Wrnchbndr's letters to the Phillipinos, chapter 27 verse 1

Peegoo - you owe me a new keyboard as I just spit a mouthful of beer all over this one ...

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Nov 14th, 2017 08:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You guys are quoting chapter 28.
Chapter 27 discusses the value of a good pizza crust and that craft beers are always too hoppy. All of this was settled at the council of OTL in 2014 over the last of the carrot cake and bacon. The word for word translation is actually, "Guitars make noise and someone somewhere is going to be screwed up enough to like it regardless of how offensive it is." But when I wrote this in the original text in the original Greek, I was on a sugar high from too many double stuffed oreos setting up some kid's Ibanez to drop C tuning. I was angry

M Tracy
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Lafayette IN

Nov 14th, 2017 09:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

All drop c setups get rainbow strings, I don’t care what they asked for.

JJuran
Contributing Member
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Boston Area

Nov 14th, 2017 10:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That's why I got so upset over Peegoo's post. How could anybody NOT know that? I mean, really ... :)

Peegoo
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Enjoying

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Nov 14th, 2017 11:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow. I was quoting from memory. Thanks for setting the record straight.

I'm currently revisiting the gospels of John, Paul, George and Ringo. I particularly like the passage from George 14:5, where Saint Hubbins advises George, "You know what I want. You know what I need."

JJuran
Contributing Member
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Boston Area

Nov 14th, 2017 02:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ah .. Saint Hubbins ... His gospels are inspiring. "My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo" and "Talk about mud flaps, My gal's got 'em."

Tonight I'll revisit the writings and quotes of Tufnel ...


hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 17th, 2017 05:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I got nothing that hasn’t been mentioned, but I want to post this. I had a strange problem with a 30” short scale fretless bass I made last year that had one note, the F on the G string that sounded different that all the others, it was hard to discribe, but a lesser volume like it didn’t want to sound and a bit of a weak growl. Reading through these recomendations I tried lowering the pickup/pole piece below the G and the note disturbance vanished.

Thanks for the idea hotblooze. Now I can continue the set up. I kind of stalled out when I came across this problem.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 03:06 PM, Nov 18th, 2017)

hotblooze

World Traveler

Wood, magnetic coil and strings.
Nov 18th, 2017 08:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hushnel, wild guess but I'm glad it worked for you.

(This message was last edited by hotblooze at 08:50 PM, Nov 18th, 2017)

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Disappointed in the sound of my Tele build




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