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Well the toasted tele has been treating me so nicely I thought I would make another just like it! A blonde cousin, you might say. Going to try to let this one take a different route to completion-slow, a little at a time, deliberate, you know. I want something with a finer finish and built with high quality parts. I tweaked the shape a little bit to make it less aggressive. I love the look and simple concept of an esquire but I may miss the neck pickup. Going to try to play bridge only for a few days and see if I really want to go that route. If not-maybe I will install a stealth neck pickup. 

2 piece maple neck, single dot inlays at the 5 and 12 frets 

vintage tuners

possible forearm contour

3 saddle compensated bridge

pine or ash body-still mulling that one over. Probably ash, but a nice slab of pine could be fun.

Translucent blond finish

Considering the bill lawrence Q filter in place of a tone knob. And a coil tap? a varitone? I'll prototype some circuits in V1 and find out what I like. 

Does anybody have a recommendation for a tele bridge that will allow the pickup to be as far as possible from the saddles? Probably a top-loader, because it will allow the saddles to get close to the back of the bridge without creating a crazy break angle. I like the bridge pickup sound, but I find I prefer it when the pickup is further from the bridge to introduce just a bit more warmth. 

blondie-14.thumb.png.9cf5ee412cede367ae811f6119df0c3c.png

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4 hours ago, Charlie H 72 said:

Does anybody have a recommendation for a tele bridge that will allow the pickup to be as far as possible from the saddles? Probably a top-loader, because it will allow the saddles to get close to the back of the bridge without creating a crazy break angle. I like the bridge pickup sound, but I find I prefer it when the pickup is further from the bridge to introduce just a bit more warmth. 

IIRC, the Lawrence Q filter is recommended for humbuckers, it 'kind of' turns them from full HB sound to a SC sound, if I'm remembering correctly, it wouldn't be recommended for a regular Tele bridge, but you should check my math on that to be sure.

 

Yes, I know exactly what you mean and have aimed for that myself more than once. The only real way I came up with was to move the location of the bridge itself, to 'scoot it up' toward the neck as much as possible within intonation tolerances. This means the saddles will be moved farther back toward the back end of the bridgeplate.

Thus separating the pickup and the saddles from each other as much as physically possible. Which I think you already have grasped the concept, based on your toploader comment.

Check any other similar build you've done and have properly intonated. Then measure the distance from the nut, precisely, on that guitar. From the high E to the low E, know those distances so you know your saddle travel tolerances. Because you're going to be pushing it to its limits and you don't want to wind up with a low E that won't intonate because the saddle wants to be further back than you have the actual physical room for movement.

Use that measurement along with how much saddle travel you have available to mark your bridge placement location. That's really the only way to get distance between the saddles and the pickup.

Unless you use a generic string-thru bridge that has no pickup cutout in it, those 'shortie' bridges.

One of these things...with this, you can (obviously) put the pickup anywhere you want it.

short-bridge-for-tele.jpg

 

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A shortie bridge was what I was thinking of as well. On the image above it shows that you could use 1/4" longer adjusting screws to make the string angle even shallower.

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Posted (edited)

Good call on the measuring drak-who would have thought that measuring would get me anywhere! The shortie bridges are cool but I think this build needs the classic ashtray. Based on that method and my experiments with the bridge pickup last night I should have all I need to get the right sound. Any recommendations for the most versatile bridge pickup? Don’t need a lot of output.

The q filter seems like a bit of a legend -I have seen multiple accounts-some say it makes a bridge pickup sound more like a neck, others say it makes a humbucker sound more like a single coil, and lots of people say it “effectively removes windings from the pickup.” The only thing to do in this scenario is try one out! I’ll report back.

Edited by Charlie H 72
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One option might be a half ashtray combined with a separate pickup mount like below. The item in the picture has been sold out, don't know if it was self made or custom. Anyhow, cutting a full lengtht ashtray into two should be no big deal. Making the separate parts look good may be more challenging.

kuva.png.e37d449775e68af90d4ffad407ae5585.png

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Oh interesting! I had not thought of that. Functionally it’s spot on, but design wise it will be quite a challenge.. hmm. The best answer here is a custom bridge but that’s probably not in the cards. Maybe I should just go for the stealth neck pickup after all. Actually- I could put it on a blend pot and use it as a tone control. Something to think about. 

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Just learned that american standard bridges are significantly longer than the vintage bridge on my current "tele" (by 5/8" or so), and I think that will get the pickup where it needs to be as long as it can be a top loader. These ones from rutters and glendale look like they would work quite well-not cheap though! The glendale is drilled as a string thru but I'm maybe an email or two could change that? 

https://ruttersguitars.com/rutters-modern-bridge

https://glendaleguitars.com/bridge-plates/

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I have both Tele type of bridges, the big long heavy Gotoh jobs, and many Glendales which I more normally use.

I will tell you, yes there is a difference in length, but there's no difference between the ferrule holes and the pickup cutout.

In other words, you can take one off and slap the other one right down in its place (which I have done before), no problems.

Following your logic, they would not be interchangable, yet they are indeed interchangable.

So, I don't think there's any additional room between pickup and saddles, they're the same as far as actual footprint goes.

MAYBE a little more saddle travel on the big flat brass Gotoh bridges, maybe a little more.

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Thanks drak. Yes I noticed that-lots more room behind the saddles but ferrules still line up. There are some modern sized top loading bridges (by Rutters and some others) which would open up that extra length for saddle adjustment.

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The best thing to do to put this to bed is to call Becky or Shannon at Wilde Pickups directly.

Their phone number is easy to find and if you get the answer you need you can order it right then and there on the phone.

I've talked to both of them occasionally over the years, they're both reasonably helpful and nice people to deal with.

There is a forum dedicated to Lawrence, but typing and waiting for answers (to me) is the slow path to answers.

When I want answers and a phone number is available, I always call the person, 1000 times more effective usually.

YouTube Q-Filter on Tele

Wilde Pickups YouTube Channel

Wilde-Gate Forum

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Thanks drak! Yup so true on the phone call thing. Even if I have to go thru some crazy menu I prefer to pick up the phone if I can talk to a real person.

 
I hadn’t heard of that Wilde forum til you posted it-there were actually some good answers there already. People recommend a microcoil and a q filter for esquires, which I am game to try. It seems a little out there/non-traditional, but in the worst case I can swap it out and try something else. 

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Ok so microcoil and q filter it is, as well as that Rutters bridge.

As I was playing I realized that I could get a much sweeter tone if I pick around the 18th fret-so maybe I will make a 17 fret neck and push it into the body a little more for greater picking range. Don’t think I’ll miss those top frets. Anybody know of guitars that have shorter fretboards like that?

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1 hour ago, Charlie H 72 said:

Anybody know of guitars that have shorter fretboards like that?

Danelectro pro has 17 frets to the end. A lot of other Dano's seem to have 19 frets.

Would you leave the neck pocket the same as a typical Tele, continue the neck underneath the pickguard and just stop the fret board short at the 17th, or approach it another way?

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Good question-and thanks for the reference! Always found Danos to be cool.
 

I was imagining shifting the whole neck up a few frets and the bridge back correspondingly, so the actual center of gravity moves towards the nut, but that would make normally accessible frets a bit harder to reach. So maybe a compromise-neck “tenon” under pickguard and a little neck shift. 

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I think I’m settling on a few things. Really just posting here to make them “official”

it will be a 19 fret-17 threw the design off too much, but 19 will be easy enough to do. 

After seeing a few blonde pine tele bodies I think that’s what I’ll go for.  Now to source some nice pine.. 

And I am considering a one piece maple neck-they just look so good! I know truss rod adjustment can be a pain but no seam on the neck is in keeping with the whole minimal theme. Still considering here and I’d be happy to be swayed in either direction. 

I want to make the maple as light as possible and then match the body paint to it. I recall somebody here used a ceramic coating for their maple neck and it was gorgeous, matte/satin, and looked quite simple to apply - who was that? 

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Got some wood-8/4 ash planed to 1-5/8” and a piece of 5/4 maple for the neck. Could probably get 2 necks out of it. All for a grand total of $35! Woo! The ash is heavy so maybe there will be some chambering? I went in looking for pine but they had none above 1x so-no luck there. Pretty stoked about this ash anyway though.  8E5B7DED-B25A-44B1-A02C-FFA5E4A13BDD.thumb.jpeg.22a70ef97a0c0e85624e8476073cf000.jpegD134847B-99A2-4723-9DC6-403E7211C9D8.thumb.jpeg.a4ba3c30d89a05c42e2ede93294a259d.jpeg

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