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  1. #1

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    This should be a fun topic..... slightly driven by G.A.S. but lately I’ve been contemplating about a new Telecaster. I love my ES-125 but I am very charmed by the small format and convenience of my Modern Player P90 Thinline Tele. But I like the sound and feel of the ES-125 better. Which - naturally - makes one wonder if it would be possible to catch more of the ES-125 vibe in a Telecaster design.

    So I came up with this:



    Specs would be:
    - thinline or even completely hollow body design
    - mahogany body material
    - mahogany 24.75” scale neck with Gibsonesque headstock
    - single P90 (Lolar underwound or SD Antiquity)
    - 1 volume, 1 tone
    - small tortoise pickguard
    - hardtail bridge

    Most practical (as in easiest to assemble) would be a thinline body design with hardtail bridge, bolt on neck and soapbar P90.

    But I am looking into possibilities to go even more ES-125 and do a trapeze tailpiece, wooden bridge and dogear P90. Just haven’t figured out how to fit that into the Tele-design.

    Now since I have several P90s laying around, as well as a mahogany bolt on Les Paul neck, I am seriously looking to realize this this guitar. But I am no luthier and have very limited resources and space for wood working and paining/finishing, so I would like to use as many readily available parts as possible.

    Any thoughts/suggestions? Where can I find a body as described?

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Warmoth. You can get it finished or unfinished, and completely custom.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy View Post
    Warmoth. You can get it finished or unfinished, and completely custom.
    Good one, yes definitely a good option!

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  5. #4

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    25.5 scale

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat View Post
    25.5 scale
    I would like the same scale as my ES-125, so 24.75". Of course this means any body with pre-routed bridge cut out and/or holes can't be used, since for the 24.75" scale the bridge would be in a different position. A hard-tail bridge would be a practical solution for that I figured (Although I wonder how much of the ES-125 sound and vibe comes from the tailpiece and wood bridge....)

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  7. #6

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    I have a heavily chambered mahogany jazzmaster-shaped guitar with 24.75” scale length, mahogany neck, tele hardware, a Pete Biltoft-built Charlie Christian pickup in the neck and a P-90 in the bridge. Two points:

    1) It sounds great

    2) It is a very different sound and feel than my mid-50s ES-125.

    I’d recommend you do it, because “moar guitarsz!!!” with the understanding that they are different beasts.

  8. #7

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    you couldnt have a full hollow body and and use that type bridge..it would have to be mounted to a centerblock...

    here's a true hollow beauty by toru nittono..with the bridge and tailpiece type needed
    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-03517bb0d44132bc602eef513f8f456a-jpg

    cheers

  9. #8

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    To me, 3 on a side just doesn't look right on a Tele body but YMMV

  10. #9

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    Toru does beautiful work!!

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis View Post
    To me, 3 on a side just doesn't look right on a Tele body but YMMV
    I can do a snakehead, but the body top needs to have a La Cabronita pickguard. I also would be ok with the hot dog control route/plate. Rear route not so much. Oh, and I still have issues with an f-hole on a Tele body. It's a very contemporary body shape and the traditional f-hole design is way out of place IMHO. Something with a cat's eye would suite my eye better. Just sayin'. Carry on.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis View Post
    To me, 3 on a side just doesn't look right on a Tele body but YMMV
    For some reason, the gibson style headstock is what I find most jarring about that one too.

    Strangely Ernie Ball's headstocks seem to look alright to me on fender-styled guitars.

    Lost the finish and binding.

    I think if you were going to do Warmoth and have a bolt-on neck, the tune-a-matic bridge's height might pose some angle issues. A hardtail might the easier and I am fairly certain would be the cheaper way to go. A top loader would have a looser feel, a little closer to a Gibson (though not exactly the same) than a through body.

    ...And in a tele why not put a bridge pickup in while you are at it.

    Valley Arts made these based on Carlton's specs:
    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-larry-jpg

    I think I would go for a Lollar 50s wind p-90 in the neck. I have already done a Lollar CC pickup in the neck of a tele and was really pleased with the results.

  13. #12

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    Get a 4+2 and keep the straight Fender style string pull, like ernie balls have.

  14. #13

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    Mine has semi-hollow mahogany body with maple top (unfinished from Skip Ellis, with a hand rubbed boiled linseed oil finish), an old Warmoth maple neck with rosewood fingerboard "borrowed" from my other Tele which the got the factory neck back. It came with a Pete Biltoft HCC pickup, as seen in the photo, and is currently sporting a Stew-Mac Golden Age that sounds really good. There's no bridge pickup. Also Stringsaver saddles on the bridge to de-twang it and reduce the spike around 2k Hz. Good jazz tone.

    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-ab4dfd2a-cee8-48ef-b1cc-2fd77dc0110b-jpg

    Doesn't sound much like an Es-125 Sorry about the picture being sideways, the board editing functions to rotate photos aren't working. Landscape orientation must be the default, even though the photo itself is in portrait.
    Last edited by Cunamara; 07-06-2019 at 01:35 PM.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  15. #14

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    I like that one Cunamara!

    Guys, understand I already have a good Telecaster, an Modern Player Thinline P90 body with a Squier Classic Vibe neck on it:



    It’s a pretty great guitar but it’s a Tele. The goal with this one to get a Tele-sized ES-125.... I don’t really know how realistic that is but for me it’s also an experiment.... that’s why I want (and need) to keep it low budget as well.

    I have a neck already:


    And a number of P90s:


    I have too many parts laying around of unfinished past projects and instead of just buying new guitars (have all the guitars I need really) I want to see if I can create the tone and feel I am after by careful selecting the parts and construction of which I think are responsible for that. Or at least find out.

    My theory is that a P90 and a mahogany 24.75” neck should take me in the right direction. I suspect the wooden bridge and tailpiece of the 125 play a big role so I am trying to find a similar construction for a Tele body. Neck angle will be an issue indeed. My plan is to first experiment with a cheapish thinline body and a hard tail bridge and see what that brings. After that I can always take it furter and angle the neck and try a modified archtop bridge and trapeze tailpiece.

    I have plenty of parts to experiment with:



    (Oh man, the stuff one gathers in 30 years of playing guitar.....)

    So now I am scavenging the auction sites for a Tele body I can use....

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    you couldnt have a full hollow body and and use that type bridge..it would have to be mounted to a centerblock...

    here's a true hollow beauty by toru nittono..with the bridge and tailpiece type needed
    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-03517bb0d44132bc602eef513f8f456a-jpg

    cheers
    I like that one! With a P90 and a 24.75” scale that is pretty much the guitar I have in mind!

    (Oh and maybe an f-hole

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zedism View Post
    Get a 4+2 and keep the straight Fender style string pull, like ernie balls have.
    I hear ya, but the goal of this experiment is to stray as far away as possible from the Fender characteristics and get a Gibson in a Fender package ;-)

    Maybe it’s impossible but I want to find out and it should be a fun ride anyway.....

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  18. #17

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    Built my jazz Tele couple years ago, and use it quite a lot. Actually I made two, and Rio has the other one (if he still has it). Lightweight (2,5 kg) and a single 57 classic. Good luck with the project and eager to see how it comes out !


    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-f23081aa-c5d0-4f6e-a6ab-202c3a4bacc2-jpg
    "Oh, those jazz guys are just making that stuff up!" - Homer

  19. #18

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    I have toyed with an idea of same kinda project. Then I found this (this is with humbuckers, but anyway):

    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-7d67fc2b-1076-4863-b207-fa37f7d1ad0a-jpeg

    USED Fender Squier Master Series Telecaster Electric Guitar - | Reverb

    (No, I did not buy this, still just ’toying with an idea’!)

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    I hear ya, but the goal of this experiment is to stray as far away as possible from the Fender characteristics and get a Gibson in a Fender package ;-)

    ..
    In that case, maybe look at one of the hollow PRSi.

  21. #20

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    Maybe I’ll end up building something like this ;-)


    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    In that case, maybe look at one of the hollow PRSi.
    Nah, that’s too easy and is beside the purpose of the project! And I don’t just want to buy another guitar, I want to make one using up my parts supplies ;-)

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  23. #22

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    This one works real well!! DiMarzio 36th Anniversary. Chambered mahogany with curly maple top. It's a top loader so a little 'looser'.
    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-jazzyt_2-jpg

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-ab4dfd2a-cee8-48ef-b1cc-2fd77dc0110b-jpg
    Bite my tongue on dissing the f-hole. This one works for me.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    I like that one Cunamara!
    Thanks, man! Very happy with how it turned out.

    The goal with this one to get a Tele-sized ES-125.... I don’t really know how realistic that is but for me it’s also an experiment.... that’s why I want (and need) to keep it low budget as well.
    OK, so here are my thoughts about chasing Gibsonishness:

    Mahogany neck with 24.75" scale. The overtone structure of the shorter scale is different than the long scale neck and will reduce the tendency towards twang. I'd be inclined to a rosewood board since that's probably what the ES-125 has.

    Chambered mahogany body, too, but alder would not be too far off the mark either. Warmoth will make one for you with TOM and stop tailpiece mounting holes and an angle neck pocket, if you want to go new. If you're (like me) looking for the economical option, auctions and Craigslist may turn up something. If you can get a TOM low enough to the top (maybe even routing some relief underneath it so that it recesses into the body a bit), you might be able to get away with just a shim in the neck pocket to get over the bridge with decent action. You could go with a tailpiece in that scenario too.

    What you will end up with is more sustain than the ES-125 has, but if you like flat wounds that will reduce that effect on the wound strings somewhat. Tapewounds, perhaps. Big gauges, too- .013s. Might even get some thunk.

    Don't use metal bridge saddles. GraphTech Stringsaver saddles would be a reasonable choice; I find they make my guitars sound "jazzier" rather than "countryer" even with a Fender style bridge.

    Amplification will matter as well. My jazz Tele sounds very, very different through my Polytone Baby Taurus than through my tweed Deluxe or my Clarus/RE cab. The Polytone gives it a more hollow archtop-ish vibe compared to the others.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  26. #25

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    We came pretty close to your spec during the last two years that we were building guitars. It's hollow except for a small block under the bridge. Most of them were 24.75" scale length with either spruce or cedar tops.

    This particular one sounded like this.



    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-l354fulllengthv2-800-jpg
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  27. #26

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    I had my friend and luthier Laurent Brondel build me my idea of a perfect “jazz” telecaster a few years ago. As you can see, it was very much inspired by some of the guitars that Tim Lerch plays. Overall, it weighs 6 lb. 10 oz. (3 kg). It has a swamp ash body, a C-shaped with some ample shoulder birdseye sugar maple neck with Jescar EVO 47104 frets, a slightly wider than standard 1-11/16” (42.9 mm) nut width and 2-1/8” (57.2 mm) bridge spacing. For pickups he used Jason Lollar Charlie Christian for Tele (neck) and B.S. Tele (bridge). These PUs are not dead quiet, but the slight noise is tolerable to me given the wonderful balance between clarity of a single-coil and warmth of a humbucker that they deliver.

    __________________________________________________ ____________________________________
    Bob


  28. #27

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    LJ, Fender/Squier made some short scale telecasters a while back...



    Squier Vintage modified thinline telecaster, 24.75" neck...
    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-md_0301240544_xl-jpg
    This one has a hollowed Adler body.

    Have fun and catch youse laters matey
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  29. #28

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    I have one of these. Someone earlier referred to a Gibson in a Fender package. I would say this is it, other than the head stock.

    Built in the Cort factory; 2 humbuckers and a 24.75" scale. Set neck.



    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    I have toyed with an idea of same kinda project. Then I found this (this is with humbuckers, but anyway):

    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-7d67fc2b-1076-4863-b207-fa37f7d1ad0a-jpeg

    USED Fender Squier Master Series Telecaster Electric Guitar - | Reverb

    (No, I did not buy this, still just ’toying with an idea’!)

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by va3ux View Post
    I have one of these. Someone earlier referred to a Gibson in a Fender package. I would say this is it, other than the head stock.

    Built in the Cort factory; 2 humbuckers and a 24.75" scale. Set neck.
    Yes a very interesting guitar! Although I would expect it to be more in the Les Paul or maybe 335-league. I would like to steer into the ES-125 or maybe 330-direction. I think P90s and hollowness are necessary for that but maybe also the attachment of the strings to a tailpiece and maybe even a wooden bridge. I have no clue what role a bolt-on neck vs a set neck plays in this concept, but I suspect the influence of that is quite small: I have a Framus semi that is roughly a 330 with a bolt on neck and I don’t find that reacting any different soundwise from my guitars with set necks (125, 333, Sheraton).

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  31. #30

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    I know I posted this in the Tele love thread, by here it is again. This is my version of the Tim Lerch Tele. Even has the same Biltoff CC pickup. Unlike a lot of players on this forum, I like a wide neck and plenty of space between the strings for my stubby fat fingers to be able to pluck strings. This one has a 1-7/8" nut and 2-3/8" string spacing at the bridge creating an almost cross-over feel to it. I love it so much I'm making another guitar (a ES-350T looking thing) around this same neck geometry. Despite being chambered, it is a wee heavy for me. Otherwise it has proven the perfect jazz machine.
    Attached Images Attached Images The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-img_4313-png 

  32. #31

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    Hey Randolph, don't be posting pics like that unless you're ready to take orders! Nice tele!

  33. #32

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    Maybe this should be a thread of its own, but has anybody experience on B&G Little Sister guitars? Private Build or Crossroads models? They come with their own P90 or humbucker.

    I played once a humbucker version for a 3 minutes. It has definitely its own solid feeling. I am looking for a P90 version for a decent price, maybe used. Have not seen very many second hand ones.

    Hmm... maybe this is not quite teleish... but a bit like ES125'ish!

    Electric Guitars - B&G Guitars

    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-b-gc-jpgThe Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-b-gp90-jpg

  34. #33

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    Here's mine. Also posted in the Tele love thread. One piece lightweight swamp ash body, ebony fingerboard on roasted maple, Earvana nut, SS frets, Fralin P-92. Concentric volume/tone and 6 way rotary varitone. I got the bridge from someone called Telenator, but he stopped making them.
    Attached Images Attached Images The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-img_1884-jpg 

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    ...

    The Ultimate Jazz Telecaster-b-gc-jpg
    They make me think of a pretty girl with the right gap in her teeth considering that the f-holes are reversed.

  36. #35

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    Lammie, do you live in earthquake country? I've never seen wall hanging like that. Some serious belts and suspenders going on there!

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    Lammie, do you live in earthquake country? I've never seen wall hanging like that. Some serious belts and suspenders going on there!
    Yep, in the heart of SF, but I hope not to leave my heart here. Nothing is truly earthquake proof, but I am trying my best.