Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Custom - Argh!!

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Mossman, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I only know my speed
    You know it's a sickness when you just bought a guitar that fills your heart with joy every time you play it, but you can't stop thinking about the 'one that got away' (so to speak) when you're not.

    You know you've got it bad when you're getting all excited about having a custom pickup made for a guitar that you don't even own yet!

    You know you probably need professional help when you take said desires to a group of other sick people for validation and enabling. :)

    Oh well... here I go again.

    My recent acquisition of the Squire Classic Vibe '50s Tele was not an impulse purchase. I considered buying one for over a year before I finally pulled the trigger, and went through a perpetual cycle of GASsing for it, then talking myself out of it, then GASsing for it again, etc... During that time, the Vintage Modified Telecaster Custom also competed for my affection:

    0F1ECCAB-6904-4D7B-86B1-E71B61EBCA46-4435-00000DEA72A94B0A.jpeg

    I mean... Just look at it. It's so... Badass!

    I think part of what prevented me from buying one is that you don't see these in stores nearly as much as the CV '50s. I think I've only played a VM Custom in a store once, whereas, I can't recall ever being in a big-box guitar store when they didn't have at least one CV BSB hanging on the wall. The other factor was that I didn't care much for the so-called 'Wide Range Humbucker" (it's just a regular sized G&B humbucker under that large cover, and they fill the rest of the space with wax). Crappy pickups have never really put me off a guitar purchase in the past, but I didn't know if there was an affordable replacement for it.

    If I had seen these more often, and I knew of a replacement for the WRHB that didn't cost an insane amount of money, it probably would have been more of a contender... As it was, the Custom faded out of my consciousness and the CV became the primary focus of my desire.

    Now that flame has been rekindled upon the discovery of 'Brandonwound Custom Pickups'. They make a reproduction of the WRHB that's reportedly very faithful to the original. No, it doesn't have threaded CuNiFe pole-pieces like the original. That material has truly become 'unobtainium', since nobody makes those magnets anymore and nobody wants to, but they claim that the sound of the original pickups came from the coil design and the strength of the magnets... Not the magnet material.

    Frankly, I don't care how accurately they reproduce the sound of the original WRHB, I just want it to sound good, which the stock pickup does NOT (and I don't like the new 'revoiced' Fender WRHB either).

    The Tele Custom (both Squier and Fender versions) seem to be designed for high-gain applications, and they do sound good with OD and distortion... But you can say that about almost any pickup, really... Played clean, these pickups sound like pure ass.

    I checked out the usual suspects: SD, Fralin, Lollar, and some more 'boutique' options: Mojotone, the Creamery, Telenator... Prices range from $180-$200 per pickup (except Mojotone. They're $130, but I think they're too bright). GFS has a WRHB replacement for $37, but there's no way to tell what those sound like. Some suspect they might sound just like the Arctec WRHB from China. :)

    At any rate, Guitar Fetish doesn't have any in stock.

    The Brandonwound pickup costs $125 (still a little spendy for a pickup, but it's not $200, either), or you can send them your stock WRHB and they'll rebuild it to their specs for $90. I doubt I can do that with the Squier pickup, though, since it's just a normal sized humbucker.

    Comparing demos of the various pickups, I like the sound of the Brandonwound best. I know that's not an entirely accurate way to judge a pickup, but it also gets a lot of love from the Tele community.

    My questions for AGF are:

    Does anybody here own a VM Telecaster Custom? What are your thoughts?

    And what are your experiences with WRHBs? Has anyone tried any of the various replacements? What are your opinions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Why not ask Buddha Tim about one? If he can duplicate the sound of the original, I'm sure it would be less expensive that the one you linked...
     
  3. Tsukiyomi

    Tsukiyomi Well-Known Member

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    +1. Tim @Buddha Pickups was going to be my first suggestion. I'd be willing to put money on him being able to make you something with exactly the sound you're looking for.
     

  4. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I had thought of that, but I didn't think he was set up to do WRHBs. At one time, he gave me a list of the types of pickups he can make, and I don't think he mentioned those.

    I'm sure he'll chime in, now that he's been mentioned in the thread.
     
  5. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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  6. Buddha Pickups

    Buddha Pickups Well-Known Member

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    WRHB parts are scattered amongst a few sources, I've never delved into carrying them.

    I could only rewind the stock pickup, which I've done multiple times.
    I can't do threaded magnets but the spiel about only vintage correct bobbins will hold the vintage correct wire is blowing a little smoke.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  7. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, there you go, problem solved. Get ye to buying a Vintage modified...
     
  8. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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  9. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    The stock pickups in the case of the VM Custom is just a regular size humbucker. From what I understand, it's not about the number of winds, it's the shape and size of the magnetic field.
     
  10. Texas Slim

    Texas Slim Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Not a WRHB, but-
    Have you thought about a humbucker-sized P90? The GFS Mean 90 actually sounds pretty good.
     
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  11. PV 1955

    PV 1955 Well-Known Member

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    I've heard varying descriptions of these Fender labeled "WRHB" pickups in the Squier VM Tele Deluxe but whatever they are, I think they sound excellent... at least through my amps into my ears. ;)


    Squier Tele Deluxe 002.jpg Squier Tele Deluxe 001.jpg
     
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  12. Buddha Pickups

    Buddha Pickups Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the fender wrhbs that I've rewound are internally just humbuckers with a big strip of cotton wrapped around the bobbins to fill the space.
    Threaded magnets will certainly be the difference vs bar magnets like in a regular humbucker
     
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  13. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Sorry, I've got to pay more attention. I also assumed it was that larger dimensioned humbucker like the original. If it isn't then no need to overcomplicate things...
     
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  14. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

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    I dont know about "widerange" humbuckers, but by the name, you might wanna look into a Fralin "Big Single" humbucker neck.

    They cost a fair sheit-ton, but are different. Single rubber bar magnet (so I have read) between two coils.
    Maybe Tim can comment on this design. Did D-Armonds use rubber bar magnets?

    "A Lindy Fralin original design! The Big Single is a Humbucker that has a big, round single-coil sound with no hum. It’s beefier than our Twangmaster, but cleaner and more articulate than our Hum-Cancelling P-90. We offer two versions: a 42-Gauge version, and a 43 Gauge version."
    With the Big Single, you’ll get a bouncy, round single-coil tone – with no hum. We pack all the fat-sounding goodness by hand into a great looking No-Hole Humbucker Cover."



    I have played them in one build. They do sound big and bouncey and no hum. The tone is beautifully big, and they can get nicely dirty like in vid.
     
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  15. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Fralin actually makes a WRHB... It costs $200. No thank you, Lindy..
     
  16. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for the Buddha rewind, and HNGD Moss!
    I didnt realize the overall dimension was different.
     
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  17. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but this isn't a NGD thread. I'm still thinking about it, and soliciting opinions about the guitar and pickup options.
     
  18. zacsdad

    zacsdad Well-Known Member

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    There's a few Fender WRHB reissues on fleabay for about $60. Not sure if those are the ones you're referring to as not liking
     
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  19. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but yeah, I was referring to reissue/devoiced WRHBs... If those were the originals, you'd need a second mortgage to buy them.
     
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  20. frozensoda

    frozensoda Well-Known Member

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    I have this guitar and I’ve researched the different options for a new neck pickup.
    The Brandonwounds you mentioned get good reviews, and, from what I’ve seen, are the cheapest in terms of price.
    My problem with this guitar ended up being the opposite of everyone else’s. I like the stock neck pickup, and I find the bridge pickup to be a bit lacking.
    I haven’t given up on it yet, I just have to find the right amount of pickup heightening and tone knob twisting.
    But, back to the neck pickup, Catswhisker pickups in England will convert your existing pickup into one with the rod magnets and bigger bobbins for $86, but, you’ll probably get killed on shipping.
     
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