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Loose Sound When Bending Notes


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ok, i have a question that may be totally stupid. i built a tele thinline and i just put in 2 vintage seymore duncan single coil pickups. sounds great but up around the neck, when i bend notes far... i totally loose the sound. its just muted for a second till i bend it back in pitch. i'm assuming im bending the string past the pole so its not amplified anymore but i've never had this problem on a guitar before. has anyone ever heard of this happening? i wasnt sure if i maybe wired something wrong and now it works but not totally like it should or if that's just something that happens. if anyone can help at all, that would be great. we head into the studio in about 2 weeks and im not sure what to do. thanks so much...

Edited by caliber
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Yeah, I would agree with fretting out.

Back in the early 1970's I got my first Telecaster. I had the same problem and it really fit that I was bending the string past the pole pieces - cause I had just finished reading an ad for blade type pickups.

So I took the guitar to a tech. He listened to me play it and my complaint. He put on a recording of "Sweet Dreams" by Roy Buchanan. I loved the tone, and Roy was bending notes all over the place, much more than I was. But there was no drop out.

The tech set up my Tele. I didn't like it at first because it seemed so weird. After a week I became used to it and would never go back to the old setup. He set it up (according to him) just like Roy's was set up.

The setup is simple. Higher action... just a 1/4 to 1/2 turn more on the D & G string saddles. The other four saddles are screwed up even more... whatever it takes to place the strings at a completely flat horizontal plane at the bridge. No following the radius of the neck here - it's kind of like having a compound radius, but the radius is on the strings and not the fretboard.

On a Tele, especially with a 7.25 - 9.5 fretboard radius, it will give much cleaner sounds and you'll realize that stuff about dropoff due to the string going past the pole piece of the pickup just doesn't make any sense. The tech explained to me that the magnetic field does extend beyond the pole piece, and since the pole pieces are the same polarity (meaning they repel each other), there is no drop off of magnetic field between pole pieces.

Oh yeah, the tech also noted to me that when I bent a string up I wasn't bending parallel to the fret. When I bent my finger was sliding closer to the fret which was muting the string.

Give it a try - the worst that could happen is that you will no longer think that strings following the fretboard radius with low action will give you the best sound.

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wow... thats a great start. i'm going to head back home here in a little while and they these things out. im not sure if its fretting out or not but i think i'll be trying that action setup too. i cant say thanks enough for all the help...

have a great day guys...

Edited by caliber
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