#1
Hi all,

I recently just purchased a brand new Fender 72 Thinline in the natural finish. While I do love the look and feel of the guitar, I'm starting to get a little concerned over the sound, especially at higher volumes.

I mostly play ambient music (think Hammock, Explosions in the Sky, Caspian) and I use the neck pickup a lot. Im starting to notice it gets "muddy" and almost has a bit of gain to it when I play on the neck pickup or bridge pickup. Im not really getting the clean and crisp sound I wanted out of it. Im playing through a Vox AC15c1.

I heard that changing the pots from 250k to 500k does ...something? Would that solve my problem?
#2
Fender WRH (originals and RI) are in between in tonality/output compared to single coils and typical humbuckers/PAFs. If you want the crisp, clean, bright sound of single coils, stick with single coils. WRH's are somewhat a compromise.

You could look into getting some more expensive WRH replacements (Lollar Regal, Telenator T3), or try to find original Fender WRH's. The RI WRH's are really a shadow of the originals, as the originals had CuNiFe threaded magnets and some other lovely bits, the RI's are more so a standard humbucker with a cover that sound kind of similar to the originals. In fact when I listen to online comparisons of the RI's compared to the original, I mostly hear the difference in the midrange- the originals are a tiny bit more scooped.

However, I personally do not really have any problems with my 72 RI Tele with an AC30C2 (Blue in). Typically whenever you are comparing humbuckers to single coils, presuming this is what you are doing, the humbuckers will have a stronger midrange emphasis which will easily eat up the headroom of your amp and cause some OD/mud. Really, you may need to adjust some settings to allow the 72 Tele to cut through like you are expecting. Or even use some outboard EQ to scoop mids a bit- but then you might as well just keep using a single-coil guitar.

I most often use the middle pickup position on my 72, for clean tones. It cuts a bit of bass and midrange and allows some of the high-end to pop through a bit more. Also keep in mind you are using an AC15, which is a "clean" amp but moreso a British clean rather than American- there is likely to be some grit at high MV levels.

One more option for you may be to sell your 72 (I guess you have a MIM or MIA) and buy one of the MIC versions (which have the same WRH RI's), get it set up, and then you may not feel as burned- and you would have the money left over to look into WRH replacements or some tone-shaping pedals, or a Celestion Blue if your AC15 does not have it in.
Last edited by Will Lane at Feb 24, 2017,
#3
yeah changing the pots (if they're 250k) might help a little.

the stock wide range humbuckers are just regular humbuckers in bigger covers. as will said, they're going to be warmish-sounding. swapping them for more accurate wide range-style pickups from another manufacturer might be worth trying, too.

i know the thinline is more chambered than genuinely semi-hollow, but I reckon that's not helping, either. i always fancy (though i could well be wrong) chambered and semi-hollow guitars don't have as tight of a bass as solidbodies.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
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#4
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah changing the pots (if they're 250k) might help a little.

the stock wide range humbuckers are just regular humbuckers in bigger covers. as will said, they're going to be warmish-sounding. swapping them for more accurate wide range-style pickups from another manufacturer might be worth trying, too.

i know the thinline is more chambered than genuinely semi-hollow, but I reckon that's not helping, either. i always fancy (though i could well be wrong) chambered and semi-hollow guitars don't have as tight of a bass as solidbodies.
IIRC the center is solid, the sides are hollow (to a degree). Definitely not semi-hollow by tradition. It gains a bit of resonance while sacrificing a bit of clarity imo.
#5
Putting in a 500K pot will increase the top end, not the bottom end. To change that will require a pup swap.
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#6
^ Yeah. I was just working on the basis that more treble might help a little, depending exactly on what he means by "muddy", but you're quite right, if he means too much bass (or similar), it's unlikely to help.

Quote by Will Lane
IIRC the center is solid, the sides are hollow (to a degree). Definitely not semi-hollow by tradition. It gains a bit of resonance while sacrificing a bit of clarity imo.


Yeah I think it might only be the side where the f-hole is that's hollowed out. And only more or less under the f-hole. But I could be wrong.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
Normally "muddy" means a lack of top end. In which case a 500K pot may fix that. Alternatively you can do what I did to my Squier tele and simply disconnect the tone pot. Same basic effect.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#8
Quote by Cathbard
Normally "muddy" means a lack of top end. In which case a 500K pot may fix that. Alternatively you can do what I did to my Squier tele and simply disconnect the tone pot. Same basic effect.
Is there a realistic benefit to doing that (pot ups or disconnection) compared to basic EQ (scooping mids a bit/boosting highs)? It is not really that the highs are not there IMO, as my 72 RI with the AC30 can still take your head off, it is just that they are less apparent in comparison to other pups.
Last edited by Will Lane at Feb 27, 2017,
#9
Quote by Cathbard
Normally "muddy" means a lack of top end. In which case a 500K pot may fix that. Alternatively you can do what I did to my Squier tele and simply disconnect the tone pot. Same basic effect.


i'd have said muddy was bass, but i guess it's one of those things that can mean different things to different people

would disconnecting the tone pot affect the value of the volume pot? i know it'll add a bit more highs than having the tone pot there, everything else being equal, but would it compensate enough for the too-low volume pot? (that's a genuine question, i've never tried it. i have guitars with no tone pot but they have the "right" value volume pots.)
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
Quote by Will Lane
Is there a realistic benefit to doing that (pot ups or disconnection) compared to basic EQ (scooping mids a bit/boosting highs)? It is not really that the highs are not there IMO, as my 72 RI with the AC30 can still take your head off, it is just that they are less apparent in comparison to other pups.
i do it so that I don't have to change the EQ on my amp when I swap gutars mid-gig.

Dave_Mc Disconnecting the tone pot effectively doubles the resistance across the pup for high frequencies. Well at full scale deflection anyway.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
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Last edited by Cathbard at Feb 27, 2017,
#12
Quote by tonyd927
does anyone own this specific guitar and have experience with this?
As I said, I own the exact same guitar and almost the exact same amp (AC30C2 with a Blue in) and do not have your problem- or rather, it could be solved through equipment other than your guitar- EQ, a sparkly boost pedal, etc.- even the Celestion Blue itself does a lot for the sound.

If you wanted a simple, cheap solution, that involves modifying your guitar, try changing to pots to 500k. If you want a not so simple, expensive version, get some higher-end WRH's. Or maybe you just do not like the sound of a humbucker- if you stay in the humbucker route, you will likely not be able to avoid breakup at the same levels you set on your amp for your lower-output pickup guitars.
Last edited by Will Lane at Feb 27, 2017,
#13
Quote by Will Lane
As I said, I own the exact same guitar and almost the exact same amp (AC30C2 with a Blue in) and do not have your problem- or rather, it could be solved through equipment other than your guitar- EQ, a sparkly boost pedal, etc.- even the Celestion Blue itself does a lot for the sound.

If you wanted a simple, cheap solution, that involves modifying your guitar, try changing to pots to 500k. If you want a not so simple, expensive version, get some higher-end WRH's. Or maybe you just do not like the sound of a humbucker- if you stay in the humbucker route, you will likely not be able to avoid breakup at the same levels you set on your amp for your lower-output pickup guitars.


Sweet, I'll give the pots a shot. Would these do the trick?
https://www.amazon.com/Fender-Thinline-Telecaster-Wiring-Harness/dp/B0143HK01E
#15
Quote by Cathbard

Dave_Mc Disconnecting the tone pot effectively doubles the resistance across the pup for high frequencies. Well at full scale deflection anyway.


oh ok
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Personally, I like Bourns pots. American made and really good quality.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
Have you tried adjusting your pickup height? That would be the first thing I would try since it's free and easy to do.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#18
If you do decide look for a new pickup, I'd suggest something brighter. Fillertron style pickups from TV Jones or Lollar or some such would be top of my list.

Here's what TV Jones pups sound like in a 12-string Tele/Gretsch hybrid from local (to me) lutherie, Hi-Tone.


And a Texas Twang Master Tele:
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