Calling Telecaster experts

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LebarqueLebarque Frets: 938
A friend has given me his Tele to fit a new neck pickup, due to it being muddy. Sounds like it's deliberately like this - how they did it back in the 50's? If so, is there just a cap I need to snip off or something? 

It's Japanese, approx 25 years old, refin. Is it worth anything? (Thus meaning I should leave it alone?) Pics below

Serial no.
https://i.imgur.com/xadlQhr.jpg

Sticker on back of headstock:
https://i.imgur.com/xadlQhr.jpg
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  • If it’s a 52 copy, the 3 way selector goes bridge - neck - neck (dark sound) if you google dark sound tele it will explain what to do to get the middle selector on bridge and neck together like a conventional Tele. I doubt very much that he needs a new pick up.
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  • If it's a mij fender the pickups will be awful. 
    A set of mojo pickups will sort it right out
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    I could be wrong, but I don’t think the Japanese reissues came with the 50s wiring. Even with the modern wiring, Tele neck pickups can be muddy - caused by the cover. Depending on the thickness and type of the metal it adds capacitance and magnetic damping, both of which dull the tone.

    You can sometimes improve them enough by disconnecting the cover - although this can increase noise - but as meltedbuzzbox said, MIJ Fender pickups are renowned for being crap, and you’re probably better just replacing both of them with some good quality ones.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • chris78chris78 Frets: 261
    Worth anything? Not really. Wood is often decent though.
    Japanese teles had lousy electronics all round. As well as the pickups, they benefit from wiring replacement. 
    For a blackguard, I’d go Lollar or Klein. For cheaper, a set of pickups from a baja would be brilliant. The Twisted Tele will brighten the neck.
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  • chris78 said:
    Worth anything? Not really. Wood is often decent though.
    Japanese teles had lousy electronics all round. As well as the pickups, they benefit from wiring replacement. 
    For a blackguard, I’d go Lollar or Klein. For cheaper, a set of pickups from a baja would be brilliant. The Twisted Tele will brighten the neck.
    Depending on condition I'd say it's worth 350-500. 

    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • I like the MIJ stuff a lot, but the pickups and wiring are usually shit. Add a neck pickup cover that make it even worse and it's always a good idea to put something better in there. 
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  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2999
    chris78 said:
    For cheaper, a set of pickups from a baja would be brilliant. The Twisted Tele will brighten the neck.
    I keep meaning to ask this question is there a difference between the Broadcaster and twisted tele pickups in the Baja and those fitted to custom shop teles?  Are they fitting custom shop pickups in the Baja or pickups wound in Mexico to the same specs? 
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  • I recently purchased a Telecaster neck pickup from Alegree.  It’s wound on longer alnico slugs than a standard Telecaster neck pickup and produces a Strat like tone rather like the twisted telecaster pickup. These pickups are hand wound and you have several options, I ordered mine without a cover as the cover can dull down the tone. Service was great and the pickup arrived within a week with a lifetime warranty. 
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  • TINMAN82TINMAN82 Frets: 101
    The pickups on my 2017 American vintage 52 are perfect and I’d thoroughly recommend. Neck pickup is a nice mellow contrast to the bridge. Thoroughly recommended.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1629
    Buy these:

    https://www.mojopickups.co.uk/product/vintage-relic-59-tele/

    Thank me when you stop grinning! :)
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1831
    A lot or the higher end Fender Japan guitars have USA pickups, I'd check what's in there before spending your money on upgrades that may not be needed
    Do me a favour and like this:

    https://www.facebook.com/MarkedCoversBand
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  • robgilmorobgilmo Frets: 1729
    If it was a 62Ri Ive seen the early ones sell for stupid money.
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1831
    robgilmo said:
    If it was a 62Ri Ive seen the early ones sell for stupid money.
    A 'V' Serial number id 1996-97 so it's not a sought after one, the early JV serial's made in '82-'84 are the ones that command big money
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    John_A said:

    A 'V' Serial number id 1996-97 so it's not a sought after one, the early JV serial's made in '82-'84 are the ones that command big money
    I've yet to see a JV Squier sell for more than £600 in the real world, although people certainly do ask stupid prices for them. The *very* first with the large Fender and small Squier decal might possibly be worth a bit more.

    Mid-90s MIJ Fenders seem to go for up to about £500, but a refinish devalues it.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1831
    edited September 18
    ICBM said:
    John_A said:

    A 'V' Serial number id 1996-97 so it's not a sought after one, the early JV serial's made in '82-'84 are the ones that command big money
    I've yet to see a JV Squier sell for more than £600 in the real world, although people certainly do ask stupid prices for them. The *very* first with the large Fender and small Squier decal might possibly be worth a bit more.

    Mid-90s MIJ Fenders seem to go for up to about £500, but a refinish devalues it.
    Agree the JV Squiers tend to go for around the £600 mark, but the higher spec JDM JV's like the ST-115 go for at least twice that, there aren't many around so you don't see as many for sale as you do Squiers

    The guitar above a a JDM Fender, not a Squier
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    John_A said:

    Agree the JV Squiers tend to go for around the £600 mark, but the higher spec JDM JV's like the ST-105 go for at least twice that, there aren't many around so you don't see as many for sale as you do Squiers
    Interesting, I've never seen one of those. I thought the Fender (as opposed to Squier, even if small) badged ones were all after '84. Learn a new thing every day :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    John_A said:
    Wow, that's a bonkers price...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1831
    ICBM said:
    John_A said:
    Wow, that's a bonkers price...
    It is!  Dictated by rarity/collectability as are a lot of things.  They are great guitars, but I wouldn't pay that for one.  There-again, it's probably no more than a new custom shop and definitely more interesting
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  • chris78chris78 Frets: 261
    Adam_MD said:
    chris78 said:
    For cheaper, a set of pickups from a baja would be brilliant. The Twisted Tele will brighten the neck.
    I keep meaning to ask this question is there a difference between the Broadcaster and twisted tele pickups in the Baja and those fitted to custom shop teles?  Are they fitting custom shop pickups in the Baja or pickups wound in Mexico to the same specs? 
    Wound in Mexico to same specs, but have different coloured wiring.
    Ive played a baja side by side with a cs and the differences in my view were down to wood and not pickups
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  • ZoolooterZoolooter Frets: 310
    If they're ceramic get rid anyway. If alnico, I'm assuming you've lowered the bass and raise the treble side. Always works when I do it to get rid of mud in a tele neck pickup. Assuming also it doesn't have a brass cover on it.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3482
    edited September 18
    ICBM said:
    I could be wrong, but I don’t think the Japanese reissues came with the 50s wiring. 
    Photographs of the OP's guitar control cavity would confirm this one way or the other. (JV Squier Telecasters had the three-way bridge/neck/muffle wiring and a stupidly slim neck.) 

    One quick test is to attempt to lodge the three-way selector switch half way between the central and bridge positions. If this yields a different sound from any of the three existing options, the wiring must be the '52 circuit. 

    chris78 said:
    Wood is often decent though.
    Damned by faint praise, methinks.

    Right now, I have under my roof an AVRI '62 Stratocaster and an MIJ FSR Sixties Stratocaster. Unplugged, the American guitar is louder and sustains for longer. The American guitar does what most people would wish that the MIJ one could do. Both play nicely but the American guitar gives back more of what the player puts in.

    Having said that, the MIJ re-issue is a fine platform for modification. If the owner is happy for it to look like a "vintage" Telecaster whilst sounding very unlike one, all manner of pickup upgrading possibilities are open. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 20989
    edited September 18
    I ditched an original 58 neck pickup for one of Oil city’s big pole piece Liquidators. 

    Absolutely the best Tele neck pup in history.

       @TheGuitarWeasel ; will assist! 

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 938
    edited September 18
    Cheers, chaps. I will open her up in the next few days and report back.

    P.s. He's already bought a new pick-up for it, which he wants me to fit. I'm just checking whether I even need to. It's a Dimarzio affair I think. Not my cup of char, but each to their own.
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  • rossirossi Frets: 481
    A set of Toneriders will set him up .Lots of love in teleland for them .
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 938
    Right. Better late than never. Here are some gut shots. So what wiring is this that's causing the neck pickup to be muddy? How can I rectify it? Thanks in advance.


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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    That’s standard ‘modern’ wiring, but all the parts apart from the caps are dreadful quality... and the jack will be unless it’s already been changed.

    I would replace the lot - CRL switch, CTS pots (you need 8mm bushings unless you want to drill out or replace the plate - they do these now) and Switchcraft jack.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • robgilmorobgilmo Frets: 1729

    That looks like it was mixing cement on a building site! I bought a new plate for my Baja, a genuine Fender one, it only cost a few quid.
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  • Lebarque said:
    Right. Better late than never. Here are some gut shots. So what wiring is this that's causing the neck pickup to be muddy? How can I rectify it? Thanks in advance.


    Do what @ICBM ; says ... all the components on that plate are total garbage, the switch in particular is totally 'Noddy and Bigears'.
    Put in CTS Pots (you will probably have to ream the pot holes in the plate to take the fatter shaft), CRL switch, switchcraft output jack and a single Sprague Orange drop cap .... and everything will feel, and almost certainly sound a ton better.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9752
    Same stuff as was in my Paisley - total crap. Swapping that lot for CTS, CRL and Switchcraft will make a big difference

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