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Thread: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

  1. #1

    Default Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    I my tenor tele came in yesterday, I quickly converted it to GDAE and have had about 24 hours with it. Here are my first thoughts:



    Thanks,
    Baron
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  3. #2
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Collins-Hill View Post
    I my tenor tele came in yesterday, I quickly converted it to GDAE and have had about 24 hours with it. Here are my first thoughts:



    Thanks,
    Baron
    Iím sold.I have the same amp and string trees.Funny they left them off,they put them on the cheapest models.

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    What string gauges did you use? Not being an electric player, I was going to try using .010, .0135, .025, .034 from a daddario exl110bt set to start. The strings in the specs on the fender site seem awfully light. Why would you put light strings on a shorter scale instrument?

  6. #4

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Baron. Here's a few comments I hope will be helpful.

    60-cycle hum - welcome to telecasters. You can either get used to it or take some measures that will tame or eliminate it.

    You can tame the hum by creating a Faraday cage with copper sheets and rewiring using a star-grounding technique. I go into it here http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ktop-make-over. A google search should be beneficial as well.

    If you want to eliminate the hum you need the pickups to be RWRP (Reverse-Wound-Reverse-Polarity) to each other. Reversing the windings is as simple as reversing 2 wire connections. Reversing the polarity is a bit more complicated, but not by much. The good news is Fender claims to be using Alnico magnets on the pickups. Unlike ceramic magnets, the polarity of Alnico can be reversed using a special machine. There is a guy in my town who does it for $5 a pickup (pickup must be removed from the instrument) and I can attest that it works great.

    Assuming you do a RWRP job to your pickups you will now have a hum-cancelling configuration when both pickups are on (selector in the middle position). The neck and bridge pickups soloed will remain the same tone and hum (which you have to learn to get used to with a tele) while the tone of the middle position will change slightly.

    Standard wiring will have the 2 pickups wired in parallel which will give a slight volume drop [and humbucking if you do RWRP]. Wiring them in series will provide more output but the tone will be darker and prone to distorting, which is good or bad depending on what you're going for.

    Instead of hard-wiring the pickups in series, I'd change one of the pots to a push-pull and wire it so I could switch between parallel and series depending on what I'm needing. While you're at it, I'd also change the other pot to a push-pull and have that one reverse the phase of the pickups. This provides a nasally "Peter Green" type tone that can really cut through a mix when circumstances make that calling.

    In short I would:

    - shield the pickup cavities creating a Faraday cage
    - rewire the electronics using a star-ground topology
    - reverse the polarity of one of the pickups (the one your picking hand won't be hitting as that can create noise)
    - rewire the pickups as RWRP so they humbuck in the middle position
    - replace the volume pot with a push-pull and wire it to switch between series/parallel
    - replace the tone pot with a push-pull and wire it to switch the pickup phase

    Optional:

    - replace the 3-way selector with a pickup blend pot so I can dial in the exact pickup mix I'm wanting
    - add a string tree

    On the string tree - Fender traditionally only uses one on the top 2 [of 6] strings and I guess they figure since this only has 4 strings and the top 2 strings are in positions [from the nut] where they don't normally use a tree that everything is fine. If it needs one, it's simple enough to add one. My Fender 5-string electric mandolin came with a string tree but I ended up adding another before the tuning stabilized. Roller string trees really help with short-scale instruments.
    Last edited by Verne Andru; Nov-16-2019 at 5:21pm.
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  7. #5

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    For the 60hz buzz, at minimum, ground the pickup and wire cavities. You can do it cheaper than copper with aluminum tape you can buy at any hardware store. Make sure that each cavity is connected to the ground wire. Alternately, you can use conductive paint inside the cavities, and cap them with aluminum tape on the underside of the cavity covers.
    Like this: http://sjryder.com/mandobird.html
    Again, make sure they are grounded, or it does little to shield them.
    Another option is to use wire that is shielded, with the ground coiled around the lead wire. Almuse make pickups like that. You can rewire from the pickup to the pots using shielded wire.

  8. #6

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    I’m sold.I have the same amp and string trees.Funny they left them off,they put them on the cheapest models.
    My guess is they couldn't get a string tree and the fender script all stuffed onto the tiny headstock so they went for the branding, but I could be wrong. Adding an aftermarket string tree might be the only way to go, but it'll likely go right through the middle of the logo.
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  10. #7
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    I would put trees on all the strings.

  11. #8
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    I’ve painted cavities with One Shot lettering enamel metallic silver with good results.

  12. #9
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Baron,where the frets okay.
    Thanks
    Douglas
    Also,when you put fingers on the strings does the hum leave?

  13. #10

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    Baron,where the frets okay.
    Thanks
    Douglas
    Also,when you put fingers on the strings does the hum leave?
    Yes, frets are great. The hum does stop when either hand makes contact with metal.

    Thanks,
    Baron
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    What's the case like?

  15. #12
    Registered User d18daddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Where did you find this? Looks like everybody is sold out.

  16. #13

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by kmmando View Post
    What's the case like?
    Cheapish gig bag that also comes with the mini strat. Nothing to write home about but does the job. I hope I can find a better solution down the road.
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  17. #14

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by d18daddy View Post
    Where did you find this? Looks like everybody is sold out.
    I pre-ordered early and was even bumped off a list and scrambled to find one of the last ones in stock. It definitely required acting fast. I hope you can find one!

    Thanks,
    Baron
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  19. #15
    Registered User spufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Nice job, thanks! Sounds great and they really got the look right. Bummer about the ninth fret marker, but otherwise that thing is pretty sweet.
    Blow on, man.

  20. #16
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    I bought a Douglas 3/4 size hard shell case at reverb and my Squier mini strat fit well.($50)

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  22. #17

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Eastwood might have some cases that fit as well.
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  23. #18

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Nice job Baron. Thing has some grunt on the low end at some settings. I Like it.

    Scott

  24. #19
    Registered User MdJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Cheers MS - was this the case you bought ? DOUGLAS EGC-200 3/4 ST BK SHORT SCALE GUITAR CASE

    https://www.rondomusic.com/egc200st34.html

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  26. #20
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by MdJ View Post
    Cheers MS - was this the case you bought ? DOUGLAS EGC-200 3/4 ST BK SHORT SCALE GUITAR CASE

    https://www.rondomusic.com/egc200st34.html
    Thatís the one.No longer have it,I sold it with the guitar.A good case.

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  28. #21
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Baron - Thanks so much for your helpful demo, as i've been waiting years for Fender to make this model. And now I'm looking forward to their production getting up to speed to meet the demand so I can have one also. A few questions about yours, please sir:
    * how much does it weigh?
    * how's the neck straightness?
    * is the lack of a string tree still an issue?
    * and what are the tenor guitars hanging on the wall behind you?
    Thanks in advance...dan

  29. #22

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by dan in va View Post
    * how much does it weigh?
    * how's the neck straightness?
    * is the lack of a string tree still an issue?
    * and what are the tenor guitars hanging on the wall behind you?
    Thanks in advance...dan
    Weight: Not sure and my scale just broke this morning

    String Tree: Still toying with the idea of adding one, but haven't yet, it is certainly playable as is.

    Other Tenors: A Gretsch archtop in need of repairs and my trusty '66 Martin 0-18T. I also have a Kalamazoo KTG-21 archtop, a Gibson/Earnest Frankentenor made from a 125T 3/4, and a 30s National Triolian tenor.

    Thanks,
    Baron
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  30. #23

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Update: 5 pounds 7 ounces.
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  31. #24

    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Curious about it in CGDA.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  32. #25
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    Default Re: Fender Tenor Tele - First Impressions

    Baron - i greatly appreciate your making the effort to weigh it and answer my questions. IMHO this is a really great weight for this instrument. All interesting pieces in the herd for sure, especially the 3/4 125T. You've been extremely helpful and with this info i've decided to wait for one like yours. The butterscotch is wonderful. Thanks again and a meaningful Christmas to you and yours.

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