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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Parallel reality

greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jun 2nd, 2019 08:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I found a very lightly used Parallel Universe American Elite Nashville Tele (wow, that's a mouthful) in a local shop and it followed me home. I've had a MIM standard Tele, a J5 Tele and a G&L ASAT Tribute over the years. Good guitars, but none of them became a favorite. They had to compete with a PRS Custom 24, American Professional Strat, Collings 290, Gibson LP, and others.

The PUAENT I now have is beautifully finished in antique cherry burst, nitrocellulose. Neck and fretboard are maple with compound radius. The body had the belly cut I like and contoured body. The heel is contoured for easy access to the higher frets. Fender locking tuners too.

The real difference in this guitar is the 3 pickup system with 5 way selector plus S-1 switch. The bridge pickup is a Fender Shawbucker. Unlike other Nashville Teles which have a Strat pickup in the middle, this one has a '64 Tele bridge pickup in the middle position. The neck p/u is a '64 Tele neck. The hardtail bridge has individual saddles.

The guitar looks fantastic and is very comfortable, but what about the sound? The neck pickup sounds as expected, a bit on the mellow side. The middle pickup sounds very much as expected, with twang and growl I was looking for. The Shawbucker is a bit disappointing, I must say. It is very bright for a HB, it did not seem to have the high-output I expected. In fact, the output of the middle pickup and the Shawbucker were almost the same, with not a great deal of tonal difference between them. The Shawbucker in my Pro Strat , on the other hand, has a definite higher output than the single coils. I did lower the middle and tried to raise the Shawbucker to give the HB more punch. Unfortunately, Fender mounted that pickup directly to the body, so there's not much to be done there.

The 5 way pickup selector is good for blending bridge/middle or middle/neck. I'm not sure I like the positions 2 and 4. They lose the high end. As does the S1 switch. That's supposed to allow all three pickups to be engaged at once, but all I notice is muddiness.

So, do I love this guitar? Well, I do like the middle position for pretty authentic Tele sounds. The Shawbucker is good, but without the kick of a PAF. The 5 way selector - meh. The S1, yuck. And it is very comfortable to play and looks so good too. I'll keep it and see if I can live with the limitations. If not...

Disclaimer: I'm very picky and each and every one of my other guitars has some thing(s) I don't like about them too.

(This message was last edited by greg1948 at 12:45 PM, Jun 3rd, 2019)

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jun 2nd, 2019 05:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

Congrats on the new (to you) PUAENT!
I like the sound of all the atypical appointments you listed too.

"The 5 way selector - meh. The S1, yuck."

Yeah, I'm not a fan of the S-1 either. It can be replaced with a mini toggle if you're so inclined.

A mini toggle is so much more practical for real-world on-the-fly switching.

And BTW, FDP Rule #37 applies here ;^)


greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jun 2nd, 2019 07:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just made an interesting discovery about the Shawbucker. I think it is in some kind of coil tap mode. When I lightly tap the screw side of the HB with a little screw driver, it produces a loud click. Tapping on the other half produces very little response. I double checked two other HB guitars, one with a Shawbucker, tapping either side of the coil produced equally loud clicks. In fact, when I set the PRS HB into single mode, I got the same result as with the Tele Shawbucker.

I took off the control panel just to see if there was an obvious loose wire, but all looked in order. If the Shawbucker is operating in SC mode, no wonder I'm not getting the oomph I'd expect from it. I'm going back to the dealer tomorrow and have him check into this further.

BTW, took the guitar to a jam this afternoon and it sounded great!

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 2nd, 2019 09:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Shawbucker is a very low output humbucker, so what you're hearing in the tone may be normal. DC resistance only runs around 7 or 8 ohms.

If you have an ohm meter, plug a cord into the guitar, select the humbucker, turn the S1 off, turn the controls to max, and measure the DC resistance between the tip and ring of the free end of the cord. If you're only getting one coil, the reading should be very low, like 4 or 5 ohms.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jun 2nd, 2019 10:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

Isn't that what S-1 switch is for; to split the HB?

That's how my HSS Lonestar Dlx Strat was wired.


Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 2nd, 2019 10:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

On the PUAENT, the S1 serves as an "Add Neck" switch.

click

greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jun 3rd, 2019 07:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Te52, thanks for the tip about resistance. I took reading as you described and the result was not surprising to me. The resistance of the Shawbucker in the Tele was 3.5 ohms. I measured the Shawbucker in my Strat and that was 7 ohms. That kind of confirms my suspicion that something is wrong with the pickup itself, the wiring or in the switches. Either way, I'm going to have it checked by the tech where I bought the guitar. Hope it's a simple fix. To be continued....

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 3rd, 2019 10:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, seems like something is definitely wrong. 3.5 ohms is going to give you a very anemic output.

Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**********
**********

VA

Jun 3rd, 2019 10:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

K?

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 3rd, 2019 01:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, in both my posts, I should have said Kohms, not ohms. And I am assuming (correctly?) that greg1948 also measured 3.5 Kohms. Thanks, Leftee.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jun 3rd, 2019 03:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

"On the PUAENT, the S1 serves as an "Add Neck" switch."

Ah yes, thanks Te.

I've done the "7 sound" switching on a couple of strats, but utilised a mini toggle as I mentioned above. Much easier than a push-button.

Greg, hopefully you can get that HB sorted out without any problems. Let us know...


greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jun 5th, 2019 11:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mystery solved! The guitar tech found exactly what I suspected: the HB was wired in SC configuration. Probably left the factory that way. I got it used, but I don't think the first owner would have rewired the P/U for SC mode.

Anyway, now the guitar sounds as I expected it to. I have the tele bridge pickup in it's unusual location in the middle. It's pretty hot and I love the bark and growl. The bridge pickup sounds as it should and now the HB is at full output and sounds like.....a HB!

Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**********
**********

VA

Jun 5th, 2019 01:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don’t believe you actually *have* said guitar.

(-;

(This message was last edited by Leftee at 03:28 PM, Jun 5th, 2019)

greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jun 5th, 2019 07:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just spent an hour bonding with my new guitar. Glad to say, I was loving it. Clean to crunchy amp settings worked best overall. Lows were tight and the upper ranges had real "air." Even the 2 + 4 setting on the selector switch had their own distinct flavor.

With a bit more gain, the HB sounded punchy but still having good top end.

The S1 switch - don't have much use for it. Even when engaged for all 3 pickups, all the sparkle is gone.

Overall, very happy with guitar now that it's working as it should.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jun 6th, 2019 01:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Great result!
Hope the shop didn't charge you for the repair!


greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jun 6th, 2019 05:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

No charge. I would have raised holy hell had they tried. But they did the right thing and I'm good with that.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jun 6th, 2019 06:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

Excellent!


greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jun 6th, 2019 03:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Revisited the S1 switch... There are some useful tones derived using it. The differences can be subtle and most effective with very clean tones on the amp. With pickup selector in first position (HB), S1 will mix the neck pickup. Sounds mellower with good overtones. Selector in 2nd position mixes HB w/middle (Tele) p/u. S1 adds the neck again. Just a shade of difference, but it's there. Selector 3rd pos, S1 adds the neck, possibly out of phase, taking off some top end but leaving plenty of chime. In the 4th & 5th positions on the selector, the S1 does nothing.

It took some close listening to discern the differences, but they do add variety to the tonal palette (been reading too many guitar ads). Would I miss it if it weren't there? No, but I can see some value in it now, whereas before, I didn't like it at all.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Parallel reality




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