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strat pickup replacement - Maybe I'm crazy but humour me
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 2190
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratocasturbator wrote:
there are some pics on his website. looks like a standard strat--one pic shows a black one with three single-coil sized pickups. I, for one, am very happy to see a strat used this way. in my opinion, the "tradition" of jazz guitar "tone" could use a little shaking up. nothing wrong with the sound of Wes or Jim Hall etc., but we have more tools and arguably a broader sonic palette than they did in the 50s. if this is the most creative genre of music, why not use them?

one current practitioner who uses the fender jazzmaster (a '59!) in a jazz vein is Nels Cline. he pays the bills with Wilco but his solo outings are very informed by the avant/free records of the 60s... for instance he did a great tribute record of Andrew Hill compositions. Cool


Nels Cline on Andrew Hill? I gotta hear that!

Anyway, regarding your first paragraph, I agree.

I know it's cliche to say this, but I don't listen to many jazz guitarists, mostly piano and saxomaphone at the moment...

So, to try to emulate the classic hollow body sound isn't, intuitively, my top priority.

I've been researching a bit, I think strato-bater is right about the springs, it seems to be a significant difference in tone between strats and teles.

And I think that will make a big difference between "hard tail" strats (with no springs) vs. your average strat. So I wonder if Chris's guitar there is a hard tail.

Right now, after playing a bunch of guitars and doing more poking around, I think that a coil tapped thin line tele might be ideal, but with a shorter scale length and I might even enjoy a narrower neck. So I don't know where that leaves me, but those cambell american's were pretty cool.
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

or I could just play whatever guitar I wanted and get a $4,000 amp.
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Generic Sobriquet



Joined: 03 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I normally don't like to recommend FMIC products, but check out the TC-90.
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stratocasturbator



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JJ--I highly recommend doing the shorter scale neck with a tele. I've got one on my main "jazz" tele (w charlie pickup) and it's got a great feel. and a heavier set of strings doesn't pose as much "fight"...great low end.

the TC-90 recommend is solid too. is that a mahogany body? anyway that's a guitar I'd still like to build--a mahogany body tele with appropriate neck pickup (cc/p90/humbucker) and a fat short-scale neck. guess I should plan to build two, huh? Cool
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a tele with the shorter scale? All the teles I've seen, including the tc-90, have a 25.5" scale.
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stratocasturbator



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not seen a short-scale tele available via major commercial builder, but perhaps a small custom builder could do it. or you could just order a replacement via warmoth and bolt it in yourself. it's a "conversion" neck so it fits to the existing placement of bridge & pickups (otherwise it gets complicated having to reposition those things). Cool
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MangoTango



Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 307
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratocasturbator wrote:
JJ--I highly recommend doing the shorter scale neck with a tele. I've got one on my main "jazz" tele (w charlie pickup) and it's got a great feel. and a heavier set of strings doesn't pose as much "fight"...great low end.

the TC-90 recommend is solid too. is that a mahogany body? anyway that's a guitar I'd still like to build--a mahogany body tele with appropriate neck pickup (cc/p90/humbucker) and a fat short-scale neck. guess I should plan to build two, huh? Cool


Maybe this, then:

http://www.sweetwater.com/guitargallery/electric/custom/sICF09001115/
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Generic Sobriquet



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That has a 25.5" scale, too.

Looks to be a TC-90, just with two each tone and volume control, instead of the TC-90's master volume and tone controls. Big difference! Hur. And yet another reason I loathe FMIC. Oh look, we added two knobs and a painted-on signature, now it's a signature model! And don't forget, it says "Fender!" Rolling Eyes


I swear I knew of a 24.75" scale tele, but I can't access it in my noodle. Like strato said, you can get a Warmoth or USACG conversion neck and stick that in whatever brand will accept it—or just get a Warmoth or USACG guitar. But, in that case, I don't really know why to bother with a tele specifically, unless you're just really into the look or something. Surely there are other guitars that would satisfy you that are alder or ash, semi-hollow, have tappable humbuckers, and a 24.75" scale.


By the way, add the Godin Flat Five to my previous list.
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JakeJew



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GS, feel free to go on a rant: What do you have against Fender exactly? Bear in mind I'm no fender advocate or anything, so it won't be my feelings you'll be hurting.
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MangoTango



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, the TC-90 looks to be a cross between a Tele Thinline and a double-cut Les Paul Junior. The Adkins looks like the illegitimate offspring of a Thinline and a SG Special. Neither would float my boat, particularly.
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stratocasturbator



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for me one of the main reasons to bother with building instruments is so that one can ultimately possess a telecaster or strat that is BETTER than that made by FMIC. and at a significant cost savings... nothing wrong with liking telecasters--I happen to like the body shape. it sounds good and is comfortable to play. I just like mine with real nitro lacquer (though it's a little-mentioned fact that a lot of the "early" fenders were actually shot in acrylic), one-piece bodies of quality wood, and neck contours that contribute to, rather than detract from, the overall tone.

the last time I had the sort of anti-corporate-satan feelings of animosity toward FMIC (as per gensob) was about 12 years ago when they were flogging their new esquire "reissue" for $2500. I built a really nice one for about $600. Cool now I just laugh at the prices and their "custom shop" marketing spiel. once you break down the actual steps and costs to building a solidbody, you realize just how big a percentage of FMIC's outlay must go to advertising...
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratocasturbator wrote:
for me one of the main reasons to bother with building instruments is so that one can ultimately possess a telecaster or strat that is BETTER than that made by FMIC. and at a significant cost savings... nothing wrong with liking telecasters--I happen to like the body shape. it sounds good and is comfortable to play. I just like mine with real nitro lacquer (though it's a little-mentioned fact that a lot of the "early" fenders were actually shot in acrylic), one-piece bodies of quality wood, and neck contours that contribute to, rather than detract from, the overall tone.

the last time I had the sort of anti-corporate-satan feelings of animosity toward FMIC (as per gensob) was about 12 years ago when they were flogging their new esquire "reissue" for $2500. I built a really nice one for about $600. Cool now I just laugh at the prices and their "custom shop" marketing spiel. once you break down the actual steps and costs to building a solidbody, you realize just how big a percentage of FMIC's outlay must go to advertising...


Interesting. I, obviously, have never built a guitar. Where do you get your material? I was looking at stewmac.com and from that site I added up some figures and it looked like $1k to make anything decent.

Edit: Also, how many hours did it take you, approximately, to build your guitar?
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stratocasturbator



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JJ--I only use stew-mac for the internals--pots and caps and wiring and bone nut blanks (and I do like some of their tools). for bodies & necks I usually go to warmoth or usa custom guitars. ebay and craiglist sometimes have used bodies and necks on the cheap but I've always bought new bodies & necks because I believe that good tone starts with good wood and I don't want any surprises. I also do all my own finishing work so a used item would likely require stripping/refinishing, which I've only done once and is not fun. a basic tele body on warmoth I think still costs 157. necks vary but for a new one with decent wood you're looking at another 150-200. you can spend a lot or a little on pickups, as well as hardware. so the 600 I quoted is on the lower end--you can certainly spend more on parts if you want something in particular (e.g. I'm fond of brazilian rosewood and am firm in my belief that my two favorite necks were worth every penny...). the question about man hours is also dependent on whether you finish the guitar yourself. if I ordered pre-finished body and neck, I could certainly put together the instrument over an average weekend. but finishing with lacquer requires about 20-something coats, including color coats, clear coats, sealer and primer, so that's a labor of love that takes several weeks. and certain kinds of woods require more surface prep. swamp ash, for instance, requires a lot of grain filler. so it's hard to guesstimate the total man hours but if I'm doing if from the bare wood my builds typically take a couple of months. I also give the lacquer some time to "gas off" so it isn't too soft before I start playing it regularly. if you're a bit obsessive like I am, it's a fun and rewarding hobby. and you wind up with an instrument that's tailored to your particular taste. don't get me started on neck contour.... Cool

here's my main "jazz" tele, with usacg body, warmoth neck, harmonic design super 90 bridge and jason lollar charlie christian neck pickup. swamp ash body, conversion scale maple neck w/brazilian rosewood slab, callaham bridge & control assembly. DIY!!!

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planetguy



Joined: 11 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beautiful gtr....love that color.
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JakeJew



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I've made my decision:

After playing a bunch of guitars I decided I would like to keep the strat as a strat. I'd like to replace the neck pickup with a (ideally high quality) strat style pickup that has flat or adjustable pole pieces.

Any recommendations for pickups that fit this bill? Assume budget is a non-issue.

Also, anything else I can do besides or in addition to the pup replacement to make the volume level more even string to string? It's driving me crazy!
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