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Into the TELEsphere! - now w/ pix

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(@slejhamer)
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Was gassing for a Tele ... went shopping ... got one!

Pix this weekend!

8) 8) 8)

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@apache)
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Yeah! HNGD! :D :D


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(@moonrider)
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Was gassing for a Tele ... went shopping ... got one!

Pix this weekend!

8) 8) 8)

HNTD! They're addictive.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Congrats! 8)


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(@chris-c)
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Nice one! :D

I darn near came home with one yesterday too. A shop in town had a 20% off all stock sale for two days only, so I went down and had a good old ferret through the range. A plain ash bodied Tele was the one that I rather fancied, so I had a good long fondle and fret session with that one... I also spent some time with a Gibson 335 (out of my price league right now.) and 3 Epiphones - a Casino, Sheraton II and a dot.

Amazingly though, I came home with what I'd gone for in the first place, which was an interface/effects rack. I did sneak in a set of M-Audio BX5a powered monitors for the computer though..... Got to go a little bit crazy when there's a sale on.

Have a great time with your new Tele. I'm just a teeny bit envious now.

Chris


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(@rparker)
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Well, it's the weekend and I don't see any pics.

J/K Congrats, and HNGD. I supposed you'll give us the lowdown on model, etc, when the pics arrive?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Yep, meanwhile, we could do a poll!

Color: Black, white, sunburst? I say "red wine".

(Chris, be careful with those 335s, they are awesome guitars... Once I played a red 335 -the classic color- in the store and I was a couple of weeks thinking of it!)


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(@slejhamer)
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Sorry Nuno, she's a bleached blonde! Olympic White, I think is the official name.

I went out to try a bunch, from the Squiers to the lower-end Americans. I really liked the feel of the neck on the American Special - similar width as the one on my PRS SE, maybe a little thinner front-to-back. I wasn't expecting to like the super-jumbo frets (someone else called them 'railroad tracks,') but I really liked the way the neck played.

But the kicker was the Texas Special pickups - a little warmer but also with more clarity than anything on the less expensive models (MIM, Hwy 1, etc.) The neck pickup really stood out.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@slejhamer)
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I was worried about intonation with the vintage brass saddles, but it's good!

Oh, it's a 60th Anniversary model:

String-through body:

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@slejhamer)
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Made in USA!

Here are the guts:

WHY would I open it up like that?

Well, first, to show something a bit unusual: notice there's more than one capacitor on the tone pot, and there's also a resistor inside the black heat-shrink tubing. That's Fender's "grease bucket" tone circuit, which supposedly retains a bit more midrange as you roll off the tone knob, so your tone doesn't get too muddy. Works for me!

And second ... because I couldn't possibly have a guitar that didn't need at least one modification!

In this case, I changed it to "50's wiring," aka "Gibson 50s wiring." This is a really simple mod, moving one wire. It's similar in function to a treble-bleed circuit to retain treble when rolling off the volume. This works MUCH smoother than any treble-bleed though. Now I can roll off the volume without any notable change in tone; just cleans up the amp really nicely.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@slejhamer)
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Here's the shopping story:

I was at GC. Had a decent sales guy helping me. Helped me line them all up, etc., then left me alone. Came back a few times to ask how I was liking them, took away the ones I didn't care for. I kept going back to the American Special; loved the feel, loved the tone. Tried it in a Blues Jr., a Twin, an AC30. Loved it.

I pointed out that one of the two American Specials they had, a sunburst, was badly dented; he was surprised, but checked it out. Came back and said, 'we can knock off fifty dollars for that.' I said "FIFTY? I'd expect more like TWO HUNDRED." Seriously, it looked like someone took a hammer and banged it up in several locations. But anyway, I didn't want sunburst. So I was going over the white one in my hands and noticed an inch-long scratch in the finish on back, as well as a shallow 1/4-inch wide ding on the front. I pointed these out and asked what he could do. Same fifty dollar reduction. I said sorry, but these are dinged-up floor demos, and I'm not paying that much for them. So I left!

... and went to a local mom-and-pop shop. They're small but they have a lot of higher-end gear, several Fender Custom Shop models, and as many high-end Taylors and Martins and Breedloves as any GC. (I bought my import Breedlove there, too.) They had one Oly White American Special on the wall --- for $150 less than GC! I asked what was wrong with it... nothing. Was it new? Yes. Comes with the gig bag? Yes. You'll put new strings on it and set it up for me at no extra charge? Yes. Sold!

Somewhere in that discussion I did pause to play it through some more amps ... notably a Mesa Boogie TransAtlantic head. OMG what a little killer! And, while I was in the amp room, there was a guy doing some serious riffing on a Custom Shop Tele through a Twin I think. I asked him if he wouldn't mind playing around with 'my' guitar for a little bit, so I could compare the difference in much more capable hands. He agreed! And yes, there was a difference. The Custom model had "that" tone. You know the one - the mother-of-all-Telecasters tone. Mine had a different tone, slightly less twangy, slightly darker, a little beefier which I'll attribute mostly to the Texas Special pickups. And a $3000 difference in price! But overall I was pleased with how the Am. Special held up next to the Custom. We also talked about the differences in the necks and the overall feel, and how overall he thought I was getting a great deal for the price. The guy was really generous with his time, and I'm grateful!

While I was waiting for them to finish the set-up, another customer came up to me and said he thought my Tele sounded great when he heard it (he was in the amp room at the time.) We started chatting - he was buying a nylon-string Taylor for studio work ), and we are both big prog fans - talked about Yes and early Genesis and so on. Now, I'm not usually too chatty, but get me going on prog and I don't stop. This guy was the same way! Ah, but I digress.

So, long story ... but there you go.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@trguitar)
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Looks like a piece of junk to me ....... :P

Seriously, beautiful guitar! It sounds like you really like it too. Thats one of the things I don't like about GC. Everything is beat up. Of course, you can play everything too so I suppose that cuts both ways.

Congratulations!

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@rparker)
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Well, she sure is a beaut! Congrats! There's a lot to love about a Tele. Even my cheapos. One of my cheapos has the American p/ups in it now and I love it. I am curious about the mod that you showed. I'll re-read it again and digest what you're saying and do some research. I would not mind clearing up some mud. on a couple of my other guitars.

Anyhow, congrats yet again! 8) 8)

ps. I'm quite pleased to hear that you enjoy the American Special. It's nice to hear that a slightly lower cost guitar more than held it's own against the Standards and such (or did I mis-read something?).

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Many congrats! Beautiful blonde. I like very much that color for that pickguard/fretboard combination. Possibly it is my favorite, I prefer it to the conventional transparent yellow. But a Tele is always a nice instrument.

Superb pictures!


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(@slejhamer)
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It's nice to hear that a slightly lower cost guitar more than held it's own against the Standards

That's my opinion, but I'll have to admit it's a little different from the American Standards - the neck profile, the mega frets, the saddles, and of course the Texas Special pickups. A Tele purist looking for the Don Rich "Bakersfield sound" might not like it.

The 50s wiring mod for a Tele is discussed HERE; you simply take the wire that connects the volume pot to the tone pot, move it to the center lug on the volume pot. That's it!

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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