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Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions
http://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=117922
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Author:  Rockerwhite1963 [ Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

I just bought a new Modern Player Telecaster and I love it. The issue I’m having is that the local Fender dealer “set it up” when I didn’t ask them to and I can NOT get that good ole Tele “spank” out of it. It appears that all three pickups have been raised to the max and that’s kind of what it sounds like...A Strat with a SSH configuration. Can anyone give me me just a rough estimate of a “standard” height for all 3 pickups to get that classic Tele twang? I realize that fine tuning is up to the individual but I’d like a good average height to start with.

Author:  stratele52 [ Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

Google ;

https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/art ... -properly-

Twang is more about the amp ( 80 % ?) and your finger.
Wich amp do you have ?

Author:  Rockerwhite1963 [ Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

I have a Fender Twin ‘68 Custom Reissue, a Peavey Classic 50 410 w/Celestions, and a Blackstar Club 40. I’ve been a musician for about 40 years but strictly a rocker and have always played Les Pauls and Strats with the SSH config. This is my first Tele and I know it’s a cheap one, but I wanted to dip my toe into some clean chickn pickn. Even with my amp on bright and added high end, and using either a Keeley 4-knob compressor or a Xotic SP, I just can’t seems to get “that sound”. First I blamed the 3 pickup config but if I’m full neck or full bridge, that leaves the equation. It just seems like the music store guy jacked them as high as he could without too much magnetic pull.

Author:  stratele52 [ Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

Look here and listen the demo ; Thos guitar sound great. Is that the sound you are looking for ?

https://www.theguitarjunky.com/fender-m ... us-review/

Try to screw down the pickups.

Author:  jmattis [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

Pickup height is a personal thing, so you just need to experiment.
You already have a starting point; the pickups are too high for your taste (the guy at the store may have been a high output & gain lover...), so start with the neck pickup and lower it until you're happy. Balance the low/high output by tilting the pickup if necessary.
Then match the other pickup's output with the neck - balanced, or you may like to leave the bridge a bit higher for lead power.

And a hint: do this with your favorite string set, not with the factory stock ones.

Author:  Rockerwhite1963 [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

Great info. Thanks!

Author:  stratele52 [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

A Modern Player Telecaster cost less than $500

A set of 3 good pickups may cost half the price of the guitar........
Body is pine wood :shock:

Author:  jmattis [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

stratele52 wrote:
Body is pine wood :shock:

Oh, you prejudicious you...
Would you have the same (shocked) attitude with an early fifties pine Tele? Or with the Telebration series "Old Pine" version? Or the Custom Shop Pine models (there's been quite a few)?
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Author:  stratele52 [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

I have the same attitude about pickups too. what about you ?

Author:  Rockerwhite1963 [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

My question wasn’t to start “model prejudice”. I know this is a 500.00 guitar. But I also know that it sure does have some quality features and plays like a guitar costing much more. And pine was the original wood for Telecasters. This is NOT my primary guitar but I don’t have “guitar envy”. My collection is pretty impressive. And I have done all my own setups for at least 25 of my 44 years (including pickup installation). Again...this is my first Telecaster. And I didn’t see the need to invest 1500.00 in a top of the line American whatever since my primary genre is classic rock. But I am VERY impressed with this guitar. But I really only bought it to play around with that twangy sound that is way out on the fringe of the music I like. I’m used to the old “set em high and fry em” mentality. So I am used to setting my pickup height very high. Just enough to not get the harmonic warbling you get when they are too high. I guess I have to change my way of thinking here to get that “woodier” tone. I’ll probably set them at 2.4mm in the bass side and 2.0mm on the treble side and then just try to get a constant volume across all pickups. I just didn’t know if there were lower settings that were common to that twangy sound on a Tele.

Author:  stratele52 [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

You did not answer about my video yesterday

Listen the demo ; Those guitar sound great. Is that the sound you are looking for ?

This guitar must be in top shape for this test drive.

Author:  Rockerwhite1963 [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

Yes. That is very close to the sound I’m looking for. Mine sounds nothing like it

Author:  jmattis [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

Rockerwhite1963 wrote:
I’m used to the old “set em high and fry em” mentality. So I am used to setting my pickup height very high.

That's how the "old Teles" usually were setup. But that seems to have changed; I think that the "contemporary" pickups are voiced rougher that "vintage" ones, and sometimes lowering from "the usual" gets better results. (IMHO, a primary example on that is Texas Specials.)

Rockerwhite1963 wrote:
My question wasn’t to start “model prejudice”.

Nahh. St52 and I nag at each other from time to time, but I don't think either of us takes it totally seriously - just two old men passing time. I have nothing but respect for stratele52, and I've learned a lot from him.

stratele52 wrote:
I have the same attitude about pickups too. what about you ?

On the other hand, you doubt the wood and pickups, on the other you say the sound of the MP Tele on the demo video you posted is great..? So, do the specs mean more than the sound? 8)

To both of you gentlemen:

On the pickups replacement idea, my SOP is always to get properly used to a new instrument before major mods. Sometimes that 'getting used to' takes quite long.
If after that period (usually some months to a year, but some say learning a Tele is a life long journey...) something still is wrong, it's either sell or upgrade.

Here's an old topic about MP Tele+ pickup upgrading, with valuable contribution from the late great Martian:
https://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=64457

Author:  Rockerwhite1963 [ Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

Rockstar, THANK YOU for the reference to the post by Martian! That’s exactly the kind of info I’m looking for. The link for the Modern Tele demo DID sound great. But mine sounds NOTHING like it on any position. First, I sort of blamed the Fender guy for adjusting them at all. I prefer to handle my own setups. And even though they are way too high (I’m going to lower them tomorrow), I have a feeling that I may have actually gotten one with a faulty pickup at the neck. It’s the one that sounds the least like a Tele when IMO it should sound the most vintage and authentic. The coil tapped bridge humbucker sounds fair but since it’s not a true single coil set in the slanted position of a “regular Tele” I didn’t expect much. From the center pickup and back, I’m pretty satisfied. But the neck pickup is either going to sound like I expect when I lower it, or replacements are going in. Like someone mentioned before, replacing the pickups will cost half what the entire guitar cost, but so what? The guitar plays and feels fantastic. If a set of pickups will give me the range of tones I want...that’s what we’re all after, right? Again, thanks for pointing me towards Martian’s wisdom!

Author:  stratele52 [ Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern Player Telecaster pickup height questions

Rockerwhite1963 wrote:
Yes. That is very close to the sound I’m looking for. Mine sounds nothing like it


The video should, I guess, show the best guitar possibilities for the "twang" you're looking for.
What else do you have to do besides lower the pickups?


Just follow what Jmattis write yesterday about pickups height. It take few minutes to adjust and hear what it sound.

About pinewood and the quality of the pickups your lack of reaction about the video and the height of the pickups led me to deviated to other possibilities.

Good luck and report :)

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