Author Topic: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)  (Read 3008 times)

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 891
    • View Profile
Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« on: July 29, 2016, 04:04:22 AM »
I recently modified my Strat to accommodate two humbuckers. I chose some zebra-style PRS SE pickups. These are manufactured by 'G&B', who seem to get around a bit. I chose the pickups because the general consensus online is that they are good sounding is somewhat dull. They are also trem-spaced. I took a gamble that 'dull' would translate into 'sounds alright' when transplanted onto a Fender instrument, and it worked!

However I'm just not a Strat person. I love my MIM Tele and don't wish to modify it for personal reasons. My Strat was 2nd hand, so isn't precious to me. I do however like the neck.

My plan is to purchase one of these: https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_hbt1952.htm

I would modify the heel of my Strat's neck to fit the Tele pocket, route it for humbuckers and buy a Wilkinson Tele half-bridge.

Does this seem like a silly idea? The Harley Benton route seems to be the most cost effective way of getting a bunch of Tele-style hardware together, with the option of selling the parts I don't need.

Rob

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2016, 10:08:46 AM »
I see you point about the components.
Have you seen their stuff before?
I tried that once on some bass body and ended up tossing or at least not using everything before I was done.

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 891
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2016, 12:50:13 PM »
I have a Harley Benton electric mandolin, and I have some of their pedals somewhere (an ODB-3 clone and something else I forget). Never touched one of their guitars, and no idea who the OEM is either.

I've bought a Harley Benton Tele on Ebay. It was a bit cheaper, though I saved zero money from buying direct from Thomann, the advantage is that Thomann are currently out of stock on this particular model. The one I've ordered is Mary Kaye blonde, and has a top-loading bridge only.

For me it is the most cost-effective way of getting a Tele body in that finish, with the option of scraping back more money down the line. The output jack, control plate, knobs, switch tip, neckplate and screws will be recycled into my build. The neck, pickguard, bridge, pickups and pickguard will go back up on Ebay.

slinkp

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 841
    • View Profile
    • slinkp home page
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2016, 04:45:22 PM »
I don't think it's a silly idea at all, as long as you realize it'll be a frankenstein with no particular value except to you.  Nothing at all wrong with that: I think it sounds like a fun project and just might result in a great player.


Rob

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 06:48:31 PM »
Well then you know what to expect I would do it.

wellREDman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2016, 06:25:14 AM »
I used a Harley Benton tele for my twin neck, the worst part about it was the neck so that shouldn't be a problem for you
 I got caught out because the one I used turned out to be Gibson scale rather than fender scale length so when I looked at upgrading the neck it was gonna be a ball ache, but the one you linked to is the right scale

exiledarchangel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
  • I like big necks and I cannot lie
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2016, 10:02:16 AM »
You may be surprised from the quality of those Harleys, I've been told from friends that have bought them just for fun that they actually have very nice finishes, the necks are very playable and the pickups are good too! Maybe they need some minor fretwork, but alot of new and much more expensive guitars (I won't say names...) need this treatment too, so...
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 891
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2016, 02:51:12 PM »
I'm not keeping the Harley Benton neck, just the body. The body seems to be the best way of getting an Ash Tele body with the correct thickness (Squier Affinity Teles are thinner) and in the appropriate blonde finish.

The neck is from my 2013(ish) MIM Strat. The neck is very comfy, and I've leveled and polished the frets (they needed it!). The Strat itself was a weirdly dead sounding guitar. I was absolutely taken with it for the first week I owned it, in part because it made all the correct Strat noises. At the end of that week I realised the pickups were pretty lifeless; though the bridge pickup was tolerable. Strats just don't seem to ring like a Tele does. I can hit my Tele as hard as I want and it still bounces back. Everything you throw at it comes back as playing dynamics, whereas I find Strats a bit more idiosyncratic and wiry, which translates into what I feel with my hands somehow.

I appreciate that the instrument I build won't have any value. To me, hopefully, it will have supreme value! The thing I love about Teles is that with the tone wide open it is pure Tele,but with the tone rolled back to 8 it starts to get muscly and Les Paul-like. I'm hoping that the humbuckers give it a slightly warmer, muscly edge, and a warmer jazzy edge to the neck pickup. I'm 100% certain that an HH Tele is my perfect guitar, as it has the attack of a Tele with the warmth of a Gibson, less the ice-pick edge of a single coil Tele or the mud of a Gibson.

I might add some photos to this thread if I can actually do quality work. My first trick will be to build humbucker router templates....

Fender Japan and Greco have all built Telegib replicas. For clarity, Seymour Duncan built a couple. The one for Jeff Beck has the double-cream bridge humbucker, grey pickguard and chopped Fender bridge. Seymour traded this for Jeff Beck's Yardbirds Esquire, though depending on who is being asked the trade was more or less begrudging on Beck's part. Seymour Duncan then built himself a second Telegib, using a natural-finish Tele body with contours sanded in. This instrument has double zebra pickups and a Gibson tune-o-matic bridge. This is the instrument that was copied for the Seymour Duncan 35th Anniversary guitar, and recently Duncan made himself a copy of this in red.

Here is a fine pair of Greco TL600Js.


66Atlas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 651
  • Time has little to do with infinity & jelly donuts
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2016, 11:18:15 AM »
Babicz makes a tele-style bridge that takes a humbucker if you want to keep that look. 

Rob

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2016, 04:22:27 PM »
Just keep this thread going as you do the mods please.

chromium

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2313
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2016, 05:17:40 PM »
I've been GASing for a HB equipped Tele off and on.  I thought a dual HB setup would be slick too (like the SD Beck build).  Hadn't seen that particular Greco model before - pretty cool!

Here's a recent build by Danocaster that I really like:




Folks seem to say favorable things about those, but cost of admission is kinda steep (for me). I'll probably also end up going the route of a parts build in the future to try and achieve something similar.

Look forward to seeing yours progress! 8)

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 891
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 02:03:16 AM »
That Danocaster is basically the far more professional version of what I hope to achieve.

I have a bridge that is similar to the Gotoh mentioned above. It is basically a flat Telecaster plate (like a MIM bridge) with six saddles. I Bubba-modded it to accept three Wilkinson compensation saddles and, latterly, my father helped me modify the Tele body it was on to work with string-thru spacing.

I've jumped ahead here. This is my third parts Telecaster that I'm building now. The first was a total mutt of low-cost Ebay parts, which I built as a 'stealth Esquire'. The second paired a Mighty Mite neck (with a bootleg decal) to a Squier Affinity body that was very light and thinner than standard. I think it was pine if anything.

My father inherited his father's tools. My grandfather built model steam engines (00 gauge) from raw brass, and machined a lot of parts himself. Immediately after WW2 the quality of model railways was, obviously, not up to scratch. My grandfather was offered money for his locomotives back in the day because they were of a much higher quality than what was commercially available, but he held on to them. He also modified stock locomotives to either change their specs to different models or to make them more accurate. He was quite a clipped, precise gentleman with a no-nonsense attitude, so the idea of him doing something as whimsical as driving model engines around still seems pretty contradictory.

My father and I tried to use my grandfather's drill press to drill out the Squier body, but the holes still ended up all over the place...

slinkp

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 841
    • View Profile
    • slinkp home page
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2016, 05:36:27 PM »
You're certainly not alone in thinking there's something magical about a tele with humbuckers, at least for the neck.
For one example. I am rarely impressed to be in the vicinity of famous guitarist's guitars, but for whatever reason, I was really tickled to see this particular oneup close (behind glass):


... as part of this exhibit http://www.stonesexhibitionism.com/

It's perhaps not as famous as its owner's number one favorite humbucker-equipped tele, which apparently has a PAF in the neck position:



BeeTL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
    • View Profile
    • Lowe Custom Guitars
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2016, 08:53:31 PM »
Assuming the pockets follow the same spec, you shouldn't need to modify the S-Type neck, but you will need a new pickguard to make things look tidy:


exiledarchangel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
  • I like big necks and I cannot lie
    • View Profile
Re: Building a Telegib (HH Tele)
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2016, 12:24:54 AM »
I'm not keeping the Harley Benton neck, just the body. The body seems to be the best way of getting an Ash Tele body with the correct thickness (Squier Affinity Teles are thinner) and in the appropriate blonde finish.

The neck is from my 2013(ish) MIM Strat. The neck is very comfy, and I've leveled and polished the frets (they needed it!). The Strat itself was a weirdly dead sounding guitar. I was absolutely taken with it for the first week I owned it, in part because it made all the correct Strat noises. At the end of that week I realised the pickups were pretty lifeless; though the bridge pickup was tolerable. Strats just don't seem to ring like a Tele does. I can hit my Tele as hard as I want and it still bounces back. Everything you throw at it comes back as playing dynamics, whereas I find Strats a bit more idiosyncratic and wiry, which translates into what I feel with my hands somehow.

I understood that, I am just saying that you may be surprised by the neck of the HB and decide to keep it.
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.