Author Topic: Played some Fenders yesterday  (Read 2967 times)

Chris P.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4419
  • Warwickhoer
    • View Profile
    • The La La Lies
Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2015, 10:58:15 AM »
Haha! I liked the Tele Bass, but for gigs I always had the Thunderbird and the Rick with me and this one was #3 so I sold it.

I have three Warwicks to four Höfners. At the moment just one Fender, one Gibson, one Rickenbacker, two Gretsches, a HS Anderson, a Dano, a Squier. I think that's it:)

godofthunder

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6221
  • Keep On Rock'n !
    • View Profile
    • Johnny Smoke
Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2016, 09:04:08 AM »
  So it isn't just me! I always hated those graphite rods, tone sucking over engineering!
Maker of the Badbird Bridge, "intonation without modification" for your vintage Gibson Thunderbird

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17187
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2016, 05:37:00 PM »
  So it isn't just me! I always hated those graphite rods, tone sucking over engineering!

I've played other basses that supposedly have graphite bars and sound fine. There's just something about the way Fender does it. Graphite tubes with maple rods inside, stiffer at the ends than in the middle -- just doesn't make sense to me. A rectangular bar resists bending forces much better than a round rod anyway. Of course I wouldn't care about the method if I liked the way they sound.

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 811
    • View Profile
Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2016, 07:12:05 PM »
From what I've seen at the Tele forum over the years, the folks who sing the praises of the upper line Squiers wind up modding just about every thing on them. You rarely hear of a MIM Standard with everything upgraded, and plenty of them are left stock.

I have a MIM Standard Tele, and I have to agree with what you say here. I added a second string tree as the A was zinging behind the nut, and I added a 1-ply black pickguard to it out of personal preference. Otherwise it is a fine instrument, that I don't see requiring any other mods. My MIM Standard Strat is not so good however. The middle and neck pickups are toneless, murky and dull. The vintage saddles seem to mop up all the attack and highs as well. The pickups look like shitty ceramic units as well. The Tele is ready to go, but the more complex Strat just isn't as well executed, for whatever reason.

I've also owned a MIM Standard Jazz bass (2013). It is now a complete Frankenstein as I was never 100% happy with it, but for reasons I never quite figured out.

My MIM Strat is sunburst, so it will be a multi-part body with a veneer over the top, trapped forever in a thick poly finish. Fender make these MIM instruments to a price point and don't spend a cent more, hence why they route Micky Mouse ears into the end of the neck pocket to allow for slop, or route circular impressions into the body so they can easily attach the template for the screw holes. The glue joins between body parts on my Jazz bass telegraph quite clearly through the finish. Other companies also chuck out instruments on the cheap, but Fender seem to do a better job of letting you know you aren't playing their top-line instrument. I've dissected a far cheaper Aria jazz copy and found the routing was similar to vintage jazzers, with a seperate control cavity and neck pickup route.

Having said all that I really like my Tele, and Strat probably just needs better pickups, a fret polish and some proper saddles like Graphtechs. Part of me wants to turn the Strat into an HHH beast with a trio of PAFs.  8)


Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17187
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2016, 10:48:26 PM »
I hear you, but don't knock ceramic magnets. Maybe these particular pickups don't sound good, but there are some great pickups out there that happen to have ceramic magnets. It's all in the design.

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 811
    • View Profile
Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2016, 04:45:04 PM »
No issue with ceramics really, but they aren't working in this Strat. I wager Fender used very generic flatwork, and the number of turns of wire on the bobbin, and then glued ceramic magnets to the bottom as a cost-saving measure. There are apparently mod kits out there to let you insert alnico rods into the bobbin, having first removed the ceramic magnet.

To put it another way, you can buy a lot of 'hot' humbuckers on Ebay, wound to 16 k or so. These will be built on a generic humbucker platform, and simply overwound, without any other consideration for tone production. This doesn't mean all 16 k humbuckers are bad!

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17187
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: Played some Fenders yesterday
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2016, 06:13:47 PM »
Update: I was near Willie's American Guitars in St. Paul on Saturday and stopped in for a few minutes near their closing time. There was a lightly used American Vintage '63 Precision RI on the wall. This is from their latest series. It looks and feels much more like the originals than their earlier AV series, Fender really got that right this time. So I plugged it in. The tone was amazing! It has its own special "Pure Vintage '63" pickup. Not sure how it differs from others but it just nails the tone. While I wouldn't choose a C width neck or a 7.25 in radius, the back profile of the neck felt great. Street price on these are $2K new, this one was $1450.

This one was strung with flatwounds which had dark blue silks. Not LaBella 760FM, not D'addario Chromes. Wish I knew what they were.