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  1. #1901

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    Here is my entry for this thread...

    Fender American Showcase Telecaster Rosewood Fingerboard Limited-Edition Electric Guitar | Guitar Center

    This is the American Showcase Telecaster. As I understand it, this is exclusive to Guitar Center. Mine is the Limited Edition Sky Blue Metallic Burst paint job. I just wanted an American Telecaster, so I tried several at shops around town and this one felt the best for my style of play. The 12" radius probably had a lot to do with that. The Telecaster is simple and just all around comfortable to play. With Guitar Center's veteran's discount, it all seems reasonable to me.

    Of course, one thing leads to another and I ended up finding a used mint Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb amp (the black model), saving me several hundred dollars. I prefer the sound of the blond, but the looks of the black version. I purchased from Sweetwater, the same Celestion speaker used in the blond version Neo Cream Back 8 ohm 12") and have the firmware for that model. So over the next few days, I will hopefully get enough energy to swap the speakers and the firmware update is certainly easy enough. Then, I will have both the sound and appearance I wanted in this amp to go with my Telecaster. If I feel the need for effects, I have just one pedal - Boss GT-1000 Core which is really a whole pile of pedals. I rarely use any effects though so maybe the amp's own reverb and occasionally tremolo will suffice.

    Tony

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #1902

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    Which is this? More Tele or more archtop? Red Tribute Archtop | timbramguitars


  4. #1903

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    I don't know, Big Daddy, but it sure is purdy!

  5. #1904

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    Which is this? More Tele or more archtop? Red Tribute Archtop | timbramguitars

    Oh, nice! If the price is right, I’ll take one in Fiesta red with double binding!

  6. #1905

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    Which is this? More Tele or more archtop? Red Tribute Archtop | timbramguitars

    To me, a Telecaster has a certain general look and the variations that to me say "Telecaster" fall within that general look. So, to me, the guitar in the picture is an archtop or some derivation of that style, but definitely not Telecaster. Admittedly, this is a very narrow view, but it is how I see it.

    My comments in no way are saying that this isn't a great or beautiful guitar; just not a Telecaster. A Telecaster is simple and purely functional but not intended to be a work of art as is the guitar in the picture.

    Tony

  7. #1906

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbeltrans
    To me, a Telecaster has a certain general look and the variations that to me say "Telecaster" fall within that general look. So, to me, the guitar in the picture is an archtop or some derivation of that style, but definitely not Telecaster. Admittedly, this is a very narrow view, but it is how I see it.

    My comments in no way are saying that this isn't a great or beautiful guitar; just not a Telecaster. A Telecaster is simple and purely functional but not intended to be a work of art as is the guitar in the picture.

    Tony
    Does this one of mine still count? Telecaster Love Thread, No Archtops Allowed


  8. #1907

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Does this one of mine still count? Telecaster Love Thread, No Archtops Allowed

    That is up to you. I expressed strictly my opinion and chose my wording to that end. We each will have our own mental image of how a Telecaster (or any other iconic guitar) appears.

    Tony

  9. #1908

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbeltrans
    That is up to you. I expressed strictly my opinion and chose my wording to that end. We each will have our own mental image of how a Telecaster (or any other iconic guitar) appears.

    Tony
    It’s all good! I was just curious ;-)

    Funny thing about this guitar is, inspite of all the differences (24.75” mahogany neck, mahogany body, thinline, P90 pickup), it still has some tele-twang. It only shares the body shape and the bridge with the archetypal tele, so I suspect the Tele’s bridge-construction plays a substantial role in creating the tele-sound! (I can’t imagine the body shape being responsible for that)

  10. #1909

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    It’s all good! I was just curious ;-)

    Funny thing about this guitar is, inspite of all the differences (24.75” mahogany neck, mahogany body, thinline, P90 pickup), it still has some tele-twang. It only shares the body shape and the bridge with the archetypal tele, so I suspect the Tele’s bridge-construction plays a substantial role in creating the tele-sound! (I can’t imagine the body shape being responsible for that)
    Well, the picture you posted does serve to illustrate the point I as making. That picture does bring to my mind "Tele", while the picture of the Tele that looked more like an archtop does not. But that is just me. Others may feel differently.

    My inclination regarding Tele twang would be that the pickups would contribute greatly to that sound. To me, Tim Lerch's Tele doesn't have that twang. For me, the sound, while important (I much prefer Tim Lerch's sound) doesn't necessarily have to define Tele so much as the look that the Tele image brings to mind. Calling an archtop a Tele just seems wrong to me, but hearing a Tele like Tim Lerch's doesn't.

    Here is another weird one...to me, Tele is really an American thing, so when I bought mine it had to be American and not MIJ or MIM, though examples of each that I have played seemed perfectly fine.

    For me, the thing about Teles is that they are so simple and their size is so comfortable and they play so easy when set up right. Every once in a while, there is a design that just works and the Tele is classic in that regard.

    I am sure this sounds weird to some, but then we are all different in so many things with this being one.

    Tony

  11. #1910

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    I think the history of the Tele's electrics sheds some light on its original purpose, tone, and subsequent course change. Even in its early days, Fender made changes to alter the spectrum of its tones. From Duchossoir's book and documentation, the selector switch in the first Tele (1951) was wired front to rear for neck pup with a shunt cap, neck without the cap, and both pups together. The front pot was a master volume, and the rear pot was a "blend" control that altered the balance of neck to bridge and only worked with the switch in its rear position. The bridge pup alone was not selectable until 1952, when the switching was changed to neck with cap, neck without cap, and bridge. At the same time, the rear pot was changed to a tone pot that only worked with the switch in the middle and rear positions - the relatively dull and boomy front position was left intact. With these changes, there was no longer a way to use both pups together. The catalog called the '52 and later switch positions "short duration rhythm tone", "full concert tone", and "lead or take-off tone".

    Even the Esquire had a 3 way selector and 2 pots, despite having only one pickup. The switch positions offered similar options to those on the Tele. The front inserted a cap shunt to roll off the treble and make it sound deeper. The middle position connected the tone pot, and the rear position bypassed the tone pot and ran the pickup directly to the output jack. With the original Tele and Esquire, Leo seemed to have been trying to make versatile working guitars that could be used by anyone playing any kind of music. I've never seen a credible explanation of the reason for the change in Tele wiring within months of its introduction. It's logical that Don Randall made or helped make that call, as he was a player and worked directly with the artists who used early Fenders and provided feedback for ongoing improvement. But for whatever reason, making the bridge pup selectable by itself was not in Fender's original design and he seems to have thought that a deeper, less twangy sound would be important for the success of the instrument. It appears that he was correct, even if he was also a few decades ahead of the market.

    Over the years, the Tele bounced back and forth from one tonal extreme to the other. Tele models with varying degrees of hollow bodies were introduced. Seth Lover was even hired by Fender to design a new humbucker for them, and they put it first into a 1971 Tele. So they made consistent (if sporadic) efforts from the beginning to get away from the twang with models meant to capture a different group of users. In that context, what we're seeing now in the Tele clone market is not inconsistent with Leo's concepts, with the notable exception of his legendary frugality. A guy who used car paint because it was cheap and told his workers to spray only enough paint to give the guitars recognizable color (because paint was money) would probably have choked on a $30k model. And he would have found a way to make a guitar that sounded the same (or better) and looked almost as good for 10% of the production cost.

    But the design and evolution of the Tele under Leo's guidance suggest to me that he envisioned Teles for jazz 70+ years ago.

  12. #1911

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    I wonder, did the early Telecasters come with an ashtray cover, and could it be that the ashtray design of the bridge was actually meant to be covered by this metal part for the purpose of reducing single-coil noise via the heel of the right hand resting on its surface?

  13. #1912

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    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome
    I wonder, did the early Telecasters come with an ashtray cover, and could it be that the ashtray design of the bridge was actually meant to be covered by this metal part for the purpose of reducing single-coil noise via the heel of the right hand resting on its surface?
    I'm pretty sure that even the original tailpieces were grounded, so the ashtray would have provided a bit of noise shielding whether or not the player's hand was resting on it. Duchossoir and others suggest that the metal covers over both Tele pickups were used to add shunt capacitance to the pickups, which means that they had to be grounded. This would roll off more highs, further reducing the tinny twang. The distance between the cover and the bobbins is the main determinant of the added capacitance, but the ashtray seems to me to be far enough above the bridge pickup to have minimal effect on the frequency spectrum of the output. There are formulae to calculate it, but you need precise measurements.

  14. #1913

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I'm pretty sure that even the original tailpieces were grounded, so the ashtray would have provided a bit of noise shielding whether or not the player's hand was resting on it. Duchossoir and others suggest that the metal covers over both Tele pickups were used to add shunt capacitance to the pickups, which means that they had to be grounded. This would roll off more highs, further reducing the tinny twang. The distance between the cover and the bobbins is the main determinant of the added capacitance, but the ashtray seems to me to be far enough above the bridge pickup to have minimal effect on the frequency spectrum of the output. There are formulae to calculate it, but you need precise measurements.
    Very interesting, although the electronic details are beyond me.

    Anyway, if taming of the highs was a goal, the choice of bridge-pickup orientation (i.e. the direction of the slant) seems counterintuitive to me.

  15. #1914

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    Do new Telecasters typically come with some form of "ashtray" cover these days?

    My American Showcase Telecaster (2021) came with a half-size cover rather than the full "ashtray" that covers the entire tail piece. I haven't used it, but it is there if I want it.

    Tony

  16. #1915

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbeltrans
    Do new Telecasters typically come with some form of "ashtray" cover these days?

    My American Showcase Telecaster (2021) came with a half-size cover rather than the full "ashtray" that covers the entire tail piece. I haven't used it, but it is there if I want it.

    Tony
    I don't think so.

    But it's curious, since the only reason for the upward bending of the traditional bridge baseplate is to hold this cover in place, right?

    Similarly, isn't it ironic that this traditional baseplate, plus the slanted bridge pickup it encompasses, are integral to the esthetic appeal of Telecasters, even though they were probably meant to be hidden underneath the cover, not exposed to view, in the first place?

  17. #1916

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    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome
    Very interesting, although the electronic details are beyond me.

    Anyway, if taming of the highs was a goal, the choice of bridge-pickup orientation (i.e. the direction of the slant) seems counterintuitive to me.
    Remember that Leo was a radio repairman with an education in accounting. He literally knew nothing about guitars and had only a childhood familiarity with music from piano and saxophone lessons. Much of what he tried fell short of his own goals for it, thus the rapid changes in control layouts in the first year of the Tele.

    I can imagine that he thought the bridge pickup orientation would give a broader frequency spectrum by making the bottom strings fuller and mellower while adding sparkle to the top. Remember that the first Tele wiring scheme only let the bridge pickup be used in combination with the neck - so he probably didn't care what the bridge unit would sound like by itself. His repeated attempts to use capacitance to offset brightness may well have been band-aids to correct sharpness he didn't expect in both the Tele and the Esquire (which only had the bridge pickup but threw a cap across its output in the front switch position and a tone pot in the middle position). I wonder if many players ever used the Esquire with the switch in the rear position.

    And knowing Fender's penchant for frugality, I can't help but wonder if he used those neck Tele pickups because he got them cheaply and had to slant them because the polepiece spacing was wider than the strings on his guitar

  18. #1917

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Remember that the first Tele wiring scheme only let the bridge pickup be used in combination with the neck - so he probably didn't care what the bridge unit would sound like by itself. His repeated attempts to use capacitance to offset brightness may well have been band-aids to correct sharpness he didn't expect in both the Tele and the Esquire.
    Fair enough. This sounds plausible.

    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    And knowing Fender's penchant for frugality, I can't help but wonder if he used those neck Tele pickups because he got them cheaply and had to slant them because the polepiece spacing was wider than the strings on his guitar
    Or he was just copying the lap-steel guitar that his prototype was supposedly modeled on?

  19. #1918

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    The red hollow Tele that bigdaddylovehandles shows is delicious. I could make it my main rig.

  20. #1919

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    Oh, nice! If the price is right, I’ll take one in Fiesta red with double binding!
    It retails for 6 grand and limited production.

  21. #1920

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    I'm excited like a five year old as I have commissioned a new tele style build to local builder Jochen Imhoff (Sign Guitars). Inspired by Nils Landgren Funk Unit's guitarist Andy Pfeiler, but different.
    This will be a guitar that's made for Jazz and Funk, but I guess that it will play any other genre as well.
    It will have a hollowbody pine body with mahagony top and strat like comfort shapings, maple neck with rosewood fretboard. Two humbuckers wound by Harry Häussel (who makes pickups for Michael Sagmeister). For the peghead and pickguard Jochen will come up with individual designs.
    Lately we started to use in-ear monitoring and the 60 cycle hum became more and more annoying to me. I also hope for a little more grown up and authoritative tone from the buckers. Jochen suggested some low wind and clean sounding variants, so there will still be sparkle and tellyness.
    Also I have an impingement syndrome in the right shoulder and playing archtops and traditional teles is difficult (painful) to me – strat contours help a lot as I don't have to put the shoulder forward. At least thats my rationalization for getting another guitar. I would have bought a PRS hollowbody if I could cope with the aesthetics and ergonomy of these.
    Jochen builds some wonderful tasteful guitars that have a wonderful worn in look and feel without artificial relicing. Check him out on facebook: Log into Facebook | Facebook

    Also check out Andy Pfeiler with Nils Landgren – very elegant jazzy funk – and a nice tele style guitar with a twist:
    Last edited by guavajelly; 11-02-2021 at 02:27 AM.

  22. #1921

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    I know this is a Telecaster love thread, so I'll probably get slammed for saying this, but I've always thought the Telecaster was one of the ugliest guitars ever made.

  23. #1922

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Haze
    I know this is a Telecaster love thread, so I'll probably get slammed for saying this, but I've always thought the Telecaster was one of the ugliest guitars ever made.
    This is the Telecaster Love Thread. You want 12A, next door - the Telecaster Hate Thread.

  24. #1923

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    This is the Telecaster Love Thread. You want 12A, next door - the Telecaster Hate Thread.
    Don't need no hateration
    Holleration in this dancery


  25. #1924

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Haze
    I know this is a Telecaster love thread, so I'll probably get slammed for saying this, but I've always thought the Telecaster was one of the ugliest guitars ever made.
    When I first started my guitar trek, and my function was merely to host a rock bands' practice sessions at my rented farmhouse, the band in question had a teenage wunderkind who played a Tele, and at the time my opinion was largely akin to yours. It (the Telecaster) certainly lacked the glitz of the rhythm player's ES-345 TDSVT on which I began to learn to play, but I confess the lad made that Tele sing. Subsequent years of guitar ownership and exploration eventually brought a 1966 Custom Telecaster to my door and wouldn't you know, it began to grow on me. As a card-carrying member of the Bauhaus-inspired Form-Follows-Function school of design, the logic and economy of the instrument gradually impressed itself on me deeply. There is a beauty in simplicity, and an elegance in efficient use of materials. Its sunburst finish un-dimmed by its decades as a case queen it is just at my left elbow as I type this.
    I have changed my mind.

  26. #1925

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Haze
    I know this is a Telecaster love thread, so I'll probably get slammed for saying this, but I've always thought the Telecaster was one of the ugliest guitars ever made.
    My Danocaster is deeply offended by your crude remarks.

    Telecaster Love Thread, No Archtops Allowed-img_2557-jpg