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should i or should i not?

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  • should i or should i not?

    i have this MIJ 72 Tele custom reissue (yes a lefty)
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    this guitar does not get much playtime for several reasons
    - i'm more a strat guy, which covers all my fender jangle needs
    - the neck PU sounds a bit too muddy, in band setting it gets in conflict of the eq range of the bass player, so its there more or less not useable
    - the bridge PU is a bit too weak, it could use more bite
    - the neck is ok and nice, but my warmoth strat neck is nicer

    i always wondered, why the humbucker was at the neck and the single coil at the bridge....

    so i'm playing with the thought of modding it

    things i have in mind:
    - put a bigsby on (B5 with vibramate to make it reversible)
    - replace bridge pickup with a single coil sized humbucker, which one?
    - don't know what to do with the neck pickup
    - replace the neck with the same kind big headstock warmoth strat neck i have on my strat
    - add thicker strings (0.12 instead of 0,10) and tune it down two step to D standard

    and than play some stoner rock stuff with it...

    nothing is a must, altough i would like a bigsby equiped guitar

    i really don't need it, i really don't need to put money in a guitar if the play time it gets, stays the same (which is highly possible)
    changing the neck might be overkill
    it would be a fun mini project

    so either talk me out of it, or tell me why you would do it, and if you do it, what pickups would you use? and for what sound?


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  • #2
    Sell it. Buy a Strat with a humbucker in the bridge.

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    • t_e_l_e
      t_e_l_e commented
      Editing a comment
      i have already two great strats, i don't need another one...

      and nobody buys a lefty tele, and if i sell it i would regret it for sure

  • #3
    Ok, some suggestions:
    A push/pull on the neck pickup for either series/parallel, or a coil tap. Would brighten the pickup a bit.
    Bridge pickup, a Duncan lil 59'er might be what you need.
    The Bigsby is up to you. I never liked them on a tele, but that's just me.
    Unless you HATE the neck, why replace it?
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    • #4
      First thought: Raise the neck pickup, you'll get more output. As for the bridge pickup, Seymour Duncan makes a couple of humbuckers specifically for replacing the angled one in a Telecaster.
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      • #5
        Originally posted by badpenguin View Post
        Unless you HATE the neck, why replace it?
        cause i have a faible for large strat headstocks...

        thx for your suggestions

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        • #6
          Nearly the same as a tele delux ? i like the look of it,i think the big headstocks look a bit dumb on these , i`d sort the pickups out and keep it, plus you have the controls like a les paul.,whats not to like.

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          • #7
            I'd put a TV Jones Starwood Tele in the bridge and a humbucker-sized TV Jones Powertron or Classic in the neck.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by badpenguin View Post
              Ok, some suggestions:
              A push/pull on the neck pickup for either series/parallel, or a coil tap. Would brighten the pickup a bit.
              Bridge pickup, a Duncan lil 59'er might be what you need.
              The Bigsby is up to you. I never liked them on a tele, but that's just me.
              Unless you HATE the neck, why replace it?
              ^bolded^ I like this pickup in this situation.

              Suggestion for neck: HB-sized P90.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by catscurlyear View Post
                Nearly the same as a tele delux ? i like the look of it,i think the big headstocks look a bit dumb on these , i`d sort the pickups out and keep it, plus you have the controls like a les paul.,whats not to like.
                yep, but fender japan never made a lefty Tele Deluxe, and i only saw one picture of an original lefty 70's tele deluxe which had a ridiculous price tag on it, before that doubted that they ever existed.

                and yes if i would have had the choice in the first place, i would have gone for a tele deluxe, cause i as i said like the big headstock and i guess a humbucker at the bridge is more usefull...

                there are so much pickups to choose from, so its very hard to decide...
                if i'll get new pickups for it, i also install the bigsby, unless you convince me, that the bigsby is a stupid idea, beside some of you don't like it for the looks...

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Grant Harding View Post
                  I'd put a TV Jones Starwood Tele in the bridge and a humbucker-sized TV Jones Powertron or Classic in the neck.
                  Good call, cause I have a Gretsch Power Jet and it sounds amazing. I've only seen vids of the Starwood, but what I have heard sounded very fine.


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                  • #11
                    I have the same guitar in the MIM Road Worn version and it suffers from some of those same issues (especially in regards to the p'ups). I bought the RW version because I wanted the thinner finish for a bit more vibe. I think it delivered that.

                    I have a large collection of guitars, so most (including this one) only get occasional play, and during those times my brain thinks of mods, but then it goes out of rotation and I don't follow through. BUT!! if I were to mod it, I'd get a Lollar Regal Humbucker for the neck, and find the best bridge p'up that would have the umph that both you and I find missing. (Maybe something voiced like an early Broadcaster p'up) And although I like Bigsbys, they do have the tendency to make the tone deeper. Where I actually want to go is go in the direction of "more twangy", so I would not be into the Bigsby mod. I do already have a Muddy Waters Signature Telecaster with a Fender Bigsby mod, and it's definitely a bit of a deeper darker sounding Tele. Still sounds good, but like there was a Les Paul in that Tele's family tree.

                    I've also always thought that a bridge HB and neck single coil would make more sense, but it seems like the idea of the Deluxe is to have the two ends of the spectrum, and then to be able to blend in more twang to the HB with the single coil. Problem being that these RI WR p'ups don't "twang" so the concept falls a bit short. I once found an old video of Dolly Parton singing Jolene where the guitarist was playing an original, and it was interesting to hear how much closer the original WR p'ups sound like a Fender single coil tone.

                    On a closing note, even though I'm no fan of the Fender RI Wide Range, it didn't stop me from buying 3 MIMs with that pickup in it. The others are a '72 Deluxe and a '72 Thinline. I find that the RI WR sound better on the '72 Thinline, which to me makes sense (i.e. Thinlines tend to be brighter guitars). And for the Deluxe, I find that the bridge WR p'up produces good classic rock sound with some OD, but in general, they'd all benefit from a p'up upgrade, whether that be Lollar, Novak or a mod to the exising p'ups. Certainly if I change them all out, that would be a cost well over $1K

                    But again, the Deluxe and Custom need it more than the Thinline.
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                    • #12
                      i used to have a bigsby on my SG years ago ,i was not that impressed with it ,it was a bit of a whimper up to a strat trem , it might look ok on your black tele though ,
                      try getting a neck pickup around 6k output preferably in the same style i think that will probs jangle .
                      on my jaguar i sent my bridge pickup to kent armstrong to rewind the coil ,it was 6k originally but asked kent to wind it up to 8k and it now has so much b alls it sounds proper rock and still has loads of bite ,he didn`t charge much and is a great option for keeping the original pickup
                      have you seen that about base plates for single coil pickups ,but yours may already have one on ,apparently it`s supposed to beef it up a bit

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                      • #13
                        again thx for your (long) responses.

                        somehow i prefer the twang of a strat to the twang of tele. i played a '52 reissue of some kind in a store, and all i can say is i like the strat sound more.
                        so here i'm not in the search of the classic tele sound, if i want twang i grab the strat which is my main.

                        i'd like to have a rock or punk kind work horse, think power chords, ac/dc etc. for this the stock bridge pickup sounds to thin and the neck too dark
                        adjusting the pickup height does not do much as there is not much room to adjust the neck pu and raising the brdige one is not enough

                        no metal shred, no active pu's, no clean either, straight rock and crunch is the goal

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                        • #14
                          Powertron in the neck then.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Grant Harding View Post
                            Powertron in the neck then.
                            ok i will have a look and listen to some demos of

                            then i would need a neck pickup

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