NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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garyfanclub
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NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by garyfanclub » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:45 pm

Well... this fell into my lap pretty suddenly.

So here it is, a well-loved ‘75 Tele Custom. Same year and color as Keith, yadda yadda. Was originally looking for a Tele Deluxe of similar vintage, but after trying a few, realized the WRHB bridge sound wasn’t for me, so here I am in Tele Custom land.

Loving it so far - the neck is much more playable than my 52RI, with amazing wide, low frets. It’s a little on the heavy side, maybe 9 ish pounds, but being used to heavy Jags, this is a cake walk. Really really really love how aggressive this thing sounds. Plugging into a ‘76 Silverface Twin, the bridge pickup is downright searing - must be the 1 Meg pots. The WRHB is subdued and wooly, and is engulfing with a little bit of overdrive. Was really looking forward to the middle position, but something’s amiss and it thins out quite a bit if you don’t roll off one of the pickups. Will have to look into that.

The guitar itself has had some parts replaced, but nothing meaningful. One of the volume knobs is an ancient replacement. The saddles have been replaced, but the bridge plate appears to be original - it’s a 6 saddle, no idea when they transitioned. The finish is beat, and heavily checked - looks awesome up close.

Anyway, pics!

Image

Image

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BoringPostcards
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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by BoringPostcards » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:09 pm

NICE!
"Can you please pass me a jug of winter light?" - Lee Ranaldo 2000
Det er mig der holder træerne sammen.

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Gavanti
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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by Gavanti » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:13 am

Congrats! Those are really fun.

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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by gringopig » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:00 am

Very nice! I will always love a guitar with witch hat knobs.
HNGD to you!

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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by kosmonautmayhem » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:03 pm

Excellent! I think these are my favorite tele.

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garyfanclub
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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by garyfanclub » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:28 am

Thanks dudes, really excited about this one!

A couple things I noticed, playing the high E (fretted) through the neck WRHB sounds pretty muffled. Tried adjusting the pole piece and not much difference in volume.

The bridge pickup is pretty high, and didn’t have the right screwdriver to lower it. Could there be a magnet magnetic issue here? Could it also explain the imbalance in the middle pickup position?

The high E is pretty bright and metallic through the bridge, so I’m hoping it’s not a pickup problem with the WRHB.

Might need to take it over to Southside have them take a look. Hoping it’s just a saddle/nut issue that can be resolved with a setup. Truth be told, this thing doesn’t appear to have had one in quite some time, and it deserves one!

Update: Dropped it off at the tech, he says the magnets are all out of whack in the WRHB, but he says that’s not uncommon as people frequently monkey with the pole pieces.

One more!

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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by wooderson » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:04 pm

Telenator on the Telecaster forum (TDPRI) had a thread on adjusting WRHBs - he was producing WRHB clones until they closed up shop earlier this year. From what I gathered, almost all of the adjustment should take place raising and lowering the pickup itself, then fine tuning with the pole pieces.

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Marc
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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by Marc » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:30 pm

Nice guitar! I had the Mexican reissue version for quite some time which I upgraded with a ce a decent wiring harness, a Custom Shop '67 bridge pickup and a Creamery Wide Range humbucker in the neck. I had similar issues as you describe. In my case the thin sound in the middle position was because the pickups were wired opposite polarity to each other. I just reversed the wires on the bridge pup and that fixed it. Would be surprised if yours was like that from the factory though. The neck humbucker will always massively overpower the bridge and I had to make a volume blend with the two sets of knobs.

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garyfanclub
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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by garyfanclub » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:19 am

Marc wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:30 pm
Nice guitar! I had the Mexican reissue version for quite some time which I upgraded with a ce a decent wiring harness, a Custom Shop '67 bridge pickup and a Creamery Wide Range humbucker in the neck. I had similar issues as you describe. In my case the thin sound in the middle position was because the pickups were wired opposite polarity to each other. I just reversed the wires on the bridge pup and that fixed it. Would be surprised if yours was like that from the factory though. The neck humbucker will always massively overpower the bridge and I had to make a volume blend with the two sets of knobs.
Interesting, thanks! Sounds almost like a cocked wah in the middle position, wide open with both pickups. Will definitely update the thread with the techs findings - really hoping someone hasn’t butchered the inside of that WRHB.

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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by clef051 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:25 am

Nice guitar i like those. :w00t:

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Marc
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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by Marc » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:34 am

garyfanclub wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:19 am
Marc wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:30 pm
Nice guitar! I had the Mexican reissue version for quite some time which I upgraded with a ce a decent wiring harness, a Custom Shop '67 bridge pickup and a Creamery Wide Range humbucker in the neck. I had similar issues as you describe. In my case the thin sound in the middle position was because the pickups were wired opposite polarity to each other. I just reversed the wires on the bridge pup and that fixed it. Would be surprised if yours was like that from the factory though. The neck humbucker will always massively overpower the bridge and I had to make a volume blend with the two sets of knobs.
Interesting, thanks! Sounds almost like a cocked wah in the middle position, wide open with both pickups. Will definitely update the thread with the techs findings - really hoping someone hasn’t butchered the inside of that WRHB.
That's exactly how mine sounded - really thin and nasally in the midde position. It was because the bridge pickup was made by Fender and the Wide Range Neck was made by The Creamery and they obviously work to opposite polarity as their standard spec. I just reverse wired the bridge and it cured it. Even though your guitar might be original it is possible one of the pickups was made to the wrong polarity... it might have slipped through quality checks. It's no big deal to fix.

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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by Howlin_Wolf! » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:03 am

Sorry I’m joining this thread a little late but I have ‘73 I picked up a year or two back and had similar thoughts about the pickups... the humbucker is massive sounding but quite dark, the middle is a brighter, more usable humbucker tone but the bridge is the thinnest shittiest sound possible. I wasn’t sure if it was an issue with the pickup!? It’s a shame because it’s an awesome looking/playing guitar but it’s a bit of a one trick pony as a result.

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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by spiffy chap » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:41 am

Howlin_Wolf! wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:03 am
Sorry I’m joining this thread a little late but I have ‘73 I picked up a year or two back and had similar thoughts about the pickups... the humbucker is massive sounding but quite dark, the middle is a brighter, more usable humbucker tone but the bridge is the thinnest shittiest sound possible. I wasn’t sure if it was an issue with the pickup!? It’s a shame because it’s an awesome looking/playing guitar but it’s a bit of a one trick pony as a result.
Yeah I ended up changing the bridge pickup out for a Lindy Fralin or Lollar. Can’t remember right now. The bridge pickup in mine just sounded terrible before.

The combination of the WRHB and Tele bridge don’t really work well together in the stock setup. You’d have to change settings and whatnot to balance things out.

I never tried swapping the pots, but that could definitely open up the tonal options.

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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by garyfanclub » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:58 pm

I’m with you guys on the bridge pickup, painfully bright I’d you don’t roll off the tone a bit. That said, the middle position is pretty rad with a little bit of tweaking - roll the volume off on the WRHB, tone down on the bridge. You can hear that tone all over “Some Girls”.

The WRHB is intense on its own, especially with the volume all the way up - love it for some Neil Young style freakouts ala the Dead Man soundtrack. Not my favorite clean sound though, a bit too wooly and muffled for me.

Maybe I’ll try out something else in the bridge position one of these days, but I’d feel (perhaps irrationally) guilty given that this was a one owner guitar that’s been in this configuration for going on 40 years.

Howlin Wolf - let’s see some pics!

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Re: NGD: 1975 Telecaster Custom

Post by bossaddict » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:15 am

I have a '73 version of this. These are great guitars. Congrats on yours!

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