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  1. #1

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    OK - I've decided to build one more. The Allparts body I've been using for a couple years is just too heavy (close to 8 lbs) so I ordered some nice Paulownia to build a lightweight body. Got it planed, glued up, and bandsawn over the last couple days so need to start thinking about pickups and color. Colorwise, I'm thinking red or ivory bisque (a real neat Rustoleum color I've used before). Need suggestions for pickups - I have 'No Casters' right now and like them but might want to try something else - maybe go back to a Vintage Vibe CC in the neck and the 'No Caster' bridge pickup.

    Open for suggestions - what would YOU like in your dream Tele? (No P90 content, please)?
    Last edited by Skip Ellis; 05-12-2021 at 02:55 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis
    OK - I've decided to build one more. The Allparts body I've been using for a couple years is just too heavy (close to 8 lbs) so I ordered some nice Paulownia to build a lightweight body. Got it planed, glued up, and bandsawn over the last couple days so need to start thinking about pickups and color. Colorwise, I'm thinking red or ivory bisque (a real neat Rustoleum color I've used before). Need suggestions for pickups - I have 'No Casters' right now and like them but might want to try something else - maybe go back to a Vintage Vibe CC in the neck and the 'No Caster' bridge pickup.

    Open for suggestions - what would YOU like in your dream Tele? (No P90 content, please)?
    If you’re a traditionalist, I liked the Cavalier Fat Lion I had in the neck of a Tele I recently sold.

    Or...

    It wouldn’t really be a traditional Tele anymore, but Ronin Foilbuckers (not cheap) sound great, can be wired for splitting the coils, etc.

  4. #3

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    Know what you mean about guitars being to heavy. Playing long gigs with a heavy guitar gets quite noticeable on the shoulders after a while. Having a lightweight guitar is really worth it!
    I got a local luthier to build me a partscaster with a sugarpine body from Allparts last year.
    I wanted a fatter sound than the typical tele pickup, but many humbuckers sounds to dark for what i wanted, so my luthier suggested a humbucker from Amber pickups called "the spirit of 59". It uses aged alnico 5 magnets, and sounds quite a bit brighter than the humbuckers on my other guitars.

    I'm very happy with the result.
    Here's a recording using that guitar:


  5. #4

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    Lollar Vintage T’s… they sound supertelecasterish!!!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    If you’re a traditionalist, I liked the Cavalier Fat Lion I had in the neck of a Tele I recently sold.

    Or...

    It wouldn’t really be a traditional Tele anymore, but Ronin Foilbuckers (not cheap) sound great, can be wired for splitting the coils, etc.
    I have a Fat Lion in the bridge position of a Tele that has a Humbucker in the neck position. I also have a Lion in the bridge pickup of an old 70's Tele. Rob will wind them to your liking. Super nice guy, very honest and his prices are reasonable. He has a lot of pre made choices as well. He's also done guitar for many years, in Northern NJ.

    Cavalier Guitar & Bass Pickups


    When I used to swap pickups more often, I often bought used, if you don't like them they are easy to sell and you don't lose much in the transaction. Good luck.

  7. #6

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    I really like these:

    Noisefree T Neck – Bill and Becky Wilde Pickups

    Noisefree Tele Lead – Bill and Becky Wilde Pickups

    And these:

    Area T™ Neck | DiMarzio

    Area T™ Bridge | DiMarzio

    I've really liked the sound I've gotten with both. The Area Ts are a little smoother, the Wildes are fat and clear but a little bite at the top end.

    Although my current favorite combo for jazz is the Tele body you sold me, maybe 8 years ago now (semi-hollow mahogany + maple top), with a Gibson Classic 57 in the neck position, no bridge pickup. Very good jazz sound, very light but seriously neck heavy as a result- it's a "sitting guitar." I really liked the VV HCC it came with but finally just couldn't get on with the hum in my 113 year old house...

  8. #7

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    So here's a curveball...definitely not for everybody...

    Bt when I get some bread I'm going to drop one of these TK Smith C.A.R. pickups into the neck slot on a tele partscaster that has been mid-build since Covid started...

    TK Smith | TK Smith


    Tele Pickups? **Pic Added**-img_2865_grande-jpg


    Added note to PatrickWD: I don't know yet if it's necessary to enlarge a humbucker route for this. Might have to carve a little deeper. We'll see.
    Last edited by Flat; 05-12-2021 at 01:26 AM.

  9. #8

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    Nice! I have seen Bill Frisell use that CAR pickup in one of his guitars. Quite a unique sound.

    Is the routing for the pickup a different size than a humbucker?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Fender
    I have a Fat Lion in the bridge position of a Tele that has a Humbucker in the neck position. I also have a Lion in the bridge pickup of an old 70's Tele. Rob will wind them to your liking. Super nice guy, very honest and his prices are reasonable. He has a lot of pre made choices as well. He's also done guitar for many years, in Northern NJ.

    Cavalier Guitar & Bass Pickups


    When I used to swap pickups more often, I often bought used, if you don't like them they are easy to sell and you don't lose much in the transaction. Good luck.
    Hahaha, i grew up in that town (Park Ridge, NJ). Too funny.

    Well, if i ever want one of his pickups i will save a few bucks on shipping!

  11. #10

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    Other than P-90s ....

    Regular "tele" pickups are so versatile! Look into some other brands for fun: Amalfitano; Porter; Lambertones ("Blondies!"); Bare Knuckle, etc.

  12. #11

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    I have Area Ts in my Tele thinline assembly. No complaints and easy wiring for a 4-way.

  13. #12

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    what would YOU like in your dream Tele?”

    I am (still) planning a tele with mahogany body, double binding, Dakota red finish, 24,75” scale, rosewood fretboard, TOM bridge w/ stop tail and two humbuckers. Classic 57s, Seth Lovers or Ants. Cream coloured cabronita style pickguard.

    I know, somebody might say that there would not be a lot of ’tele’ left there. But hey, I’ve got already one with all the usual teleisms.

  14. #13

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    Check out Rumplestiltskin I had the White Rope set and they are great and affordable boutique Tele pickups. I think there are sound clips on the website and the builder is very good about answering questions.

  15. #14

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    Set of Joe Barden pickups or Bill Lawrence microcoils. I have all three on a Nashville style tele.

  16. #15

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    Cavalier pickups are excellent! But I love the CC Rider Tele neck with a ceramic magnet as well!

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis
    ...The Allparts body I've been using for a couple years is just too heavy (close to 8 lbs) so I ordered some nice Paulownia to build a lightweight body. ...
    Nearly 8 pound body? That is spectacularly heavy. What's the weight of your paulownia body? Here's mine, ready for paint and then completed, built by Erik Hansen of Hansen Kustoms. The completed guitar weighs 5 3/4 pounds, and is equipped with a set of Klein Nocaster pickups:
    Attached Images Attached Images Tele Pickups? **Pic Added**-hansen-tele-paulownia-body2-jpeg Tele Pickups? **Pic Added**-8hansen-sonicblue-paulownia-5-8lbs_1176-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-12-2021 at 08:50 PM.

  18. #17

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    GFS has good quality Paulownia bodies. I got one for my Tele a few years ago--noticeable improvement in the weight. Very resonant wood--soft though, so don't beat it up too much.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    GFS has good quality Paulownia bodies. I got one for my Tele a few years ago--noticeable improvement in the weight. Very resonant wood--soft though, so don't beat it up too much.
    I got one from them a few years ago and it wasn't very good. This time, I found a dentist in NC who grows the stuff and got enough for a two piece body (he has one piece but it was too wide for my planer). Was very happy with the quality and he's a lot cheaper than most of the blank suppliers.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Nearly 8 pound body? That is spectacularly heavy. What's the weight of your paulownia body? Here's mine, ready for paint and completed, built by Erik Hansen of Hansen Kustoms, The completed guitar weighs 5 3/4 pounds, and is equipped with a set of Klein Nocaster pickups:
    I haven't weighed it yet - still have the router template screwed on so will wait until I get all the cavities routed. It's going to be really light I can already tell.

  21. #20

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    Very personal. There’s a lot of variety, so the more you say what you’re after, the better the recommendations.

    Love the SD 59 with A2 in the neck of my tele for jazz. In the bridge, the SD JD is hard to beat - classic tele with an extra punch.

  22. #21

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    I have Bill Lawrence Micro-coils in my Tele - they are great - big and round sounding for jazz but can still deliver a classic Telecaster sound. I am still tempted though to put a Dynasonic in the neck position.
    Last edited by entresz; 05-10-2021 at 10:05 PM.

  23. #22

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    I’m sure to be in the minority, here, but the neck pup on my CV Tele sure does the trick when it comes to a super solid jazz sound. It’s an Alnico lll and has a wonderfully fat and clear tone. It might be the only guitar I’ve had that I didn’t want to mod. Not bad for $399 brand new.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by entresz
    I have Bill Lawrence Micro-coils in my Tele - they are great - big and round sounding for jazz but can still deliver a classic Telecaster sound.
    Interesting. I thought about those when I bought my noiseless Tele pick ups from Wilde, but all the demos I found focused on more typical Tele tones. From my reading about the Microcoils, capacitor choices are quite broader in range then with a standard Tele pickups (anything from .0047 to .047 and both below and above. Using capacitance to manage tone with those pickups seems to be much more flexible).

    What pots and cap did you end up with? And how is output? Alnico or ceramic?

  25. #24

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    Pretty much decided to stick with my 'No casters' since I have them and am reasonably happy with the tone. Here's the cutout body - 3lbs - 1.7 oz. I still have to do the round overs and drill jack hole (do the round overs first - ask me how I know ). Will probably put on a couple coats of wood hardener before final sanding - this stuff is soft! Maybe add a couple hardwood dowels where the strap buttons go. Don't think I need to do it for the bridge since it's string through and there's no tension on the screws. For anybody thinking of using this stuff, use real sharp router bits 'cause it tears out easily - I'm dreading the round over process.
    Attached Images Attached Images Tele Pickups? **Pic Added**-paul-tele-jpg 

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis
    Pretty much decided to stick with my 'No casters' since I have them and am reasonably happy with the tone. Here's the cutout body - 3lbs - 1.7 oz. I still have to do the round overs and drill jack hole (do the round overs first - ask me how I know ). Will probably put on a couple coats of wood hardener before final sanding - this stuff is soft! Maybe add a couple hardwood dowels where the strap buttons go. Don't think I need to do it for the bridge since it's string through and there's no tension on the screws. For anybody thinking of using this stuff, use real sharp router bits 'cause it tears out easily - I'm dreading the round over process.
    Hrr...I once made a combo cabin with Paulownia. Light as a feather but soft, very soft. In the beginning I didn’t realise how soft! I almost could rip the 19 mm board with my hands! (But only almost.)

    My pal made the fingerjoints but every screw hole I made I had to consider thoroughly: is there something firm in the other side.
    I think that it stayed in one piece only because the tweed fabric I covered it with, and the glue and the shellac layers.

    Interesting to hear how does it sound. Keep us informed!

    So good luck to Your project and be careful out there!

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis
    ...For anybody thinking of using this stuff, use real sharp router bits 'cause it tears out easily - I'm dreading the round over process.
    Skip: why not use a really small radius for the roundover (I personally prefer a really small roundover radius) - that will probably mitigate the potential tearout.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-12-2021 at 08:50 PM.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickWD
    Know what you mean about guitars being to heavy. Playing long gigs with a heavy guitar gets quite noticeable on the shoulders after a while. Having a lightweight guitar is really worth it!
    I got a local luthier to build me a partscaster with a sugarpine body from Allparts last year.
    I wanted a fatter sound than the typical tele pickup, but many humbuckers sounds to dark for what i wanted, so my luthier suggested a humbucker from Amber pickups called "the spirit of 59". It uses aged alnico 5 magnets, and sounds quite a bit brighter than the humbuckers on my other guitars.

    I'm very happy with the result.
    Here's a recording using that guitar:

    Beautiful tone and playing!

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Skip: why not use a really small radius for the roundover (I personally prefer a really small roundover radius) - that will probably mitigate the potential tearout.
    I use a 3/16" radius bit

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Interesting. I thought about those when I bought my noiseless Tele pick ups from Wilde, but all the demos I found focused on more typical Tele tones. From my reading about the Microcoils, capacitor choices are quite broader in range then with a standard Tele pickups (anything from .0047 to .047 and both below and above. Using capacitance to manage tone with those pickups seems to be much more flexible).

    What pots and cap did you end up with? And how is output? Alnico or ceramic?
    Fairly sure mine are neo magnet Microcoils. They have adjustable poles (although the adjustment doesn't really do much for string balance).
    I'm using the stock pots/caps in my MIJ Tele - 250k pots and standard 0.047 cap.

    Output is comparable to the stock pickups - they're not super high output. They have a bit more midrange heft - the high frequency is smoother than the stock pickups. Clearer and cleaner, but not sterile at all.