Telecaster Bass: curing "Mudbucker Syndrome"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Chef, Sep 17, 2006.


  1. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Very glad you're happy with the bass as it now is... congratulations!
    But I have to play the devil's advocate for a second here.
    The stock Telecaster humbucker "sonically useless"?? I think not! Imagine playing, say, "La Grange" on a Modulus or Alembic!! Sometimes there's a perfect use for mud.
    But still, enjoy it!
     
  2. Nice review. I wish I could hear it.
     
  3. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    In the studio has has good limited applications. Live-whole 'nuther deal. The single coil early P/Tele is much better live, as is the later split coil P. At least in my personal experience, I could not EQ the Tele humbucker into anything that sounded better than a kick drum tuned to a few different notes-it's not a live mix cutting machine. I tried, for decades! I've owned this bass since 1980, tried to use it with: swr super redhead, bmax, navigator, TFB...by the time you cut enough lows, and add enough highs to make it "audible" instead of "felt," it no longer sounded like anything good either.
    YMMV, etc...

    For me, this is a huge improvement. The DS can and does generate huge lows like the old humbucker, but alo provide enough clarity to make it a sonic killing machine.

    If it helps, of the other basses in my current arsenal, it's probably most similar to my 1981 G&L L1000 in "oh my gawd" dual coil with bass boost mode...

    alan
     
  4. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    3 piece band, guit, bass drums, so lots of space for me;)
    Pretty straight ahead swing band, really fun stuff, lots of oddball changes-stuff you can add all sorts of passing tones in any direction with-fun!
    Played thru the backline provided swr supre redhead...and was back to rolling tone of to about 60 or so. Plenty of presence and highs, musta been a room anomoly on Thursday night.
    The guitar player is appreciative of old wood, and immediately noticed the Tele...he was playing an early 70's Gibson fat body hb of some sort (sorry, never been a gibson guy-it sounded sweet tho!). He noodled around on it for about 5 minutes before the show before he figured the pickup had been changed.
    It fit the music well, wide supportive low end, clear cutting highs...but, second set I hadda pull out my upright-it just fit the vibe better. This is nothing negative about the DS-Tele,,,it just ain' an upright!

    More after tonights job...
     
  5. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz!

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    You playing at "Jazz" tonight? Maybe if the wife is feeling better we could swing by.
     
  6. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Nossir, private party/wedding reception kinda dealio...
     
  7. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Big outdoor gig...piano, bass guit, drums, horn section.
    It was a wedding reception, music was all "cheap party trash," rock, funk, danceable stuff...Thorogood, Doors, Chuck Berry, The Band...whatever folks requested...etc.
    TFB 420, Schroeder 410, DS Tele, and a G&L El Toro just for to have a second sound.
    The DS-T continues to just impress the heck outta me. Big, beefy, clean, more than enought top end to cut a live mix...

    That's about it...I looove this bass!
     
  8. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Okay, I stand corrected. Sounds like you've made a nice upgrade.
    One thing: I have a 1981 G&L L2000... I believe G&L basses in those days gave you the choice between "humbucker" (with the switch pointing toward the bridge) and "single coil with bass boost" (with the switch pointing toward the neck). Anyway, I know the sound you mean, and if the Tele sounds similar to that, you've got it made!
     
  9. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Is your '81 really an L2000???
    They were in the catalog that way, but I've never seen or heard one...
    The L2000 Series E is more typical (that's what mine is), and has a preamp...regular L2000 were passive, and really, really, really rare...IIRC.
     
  10. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Sorry, right you are: mine's an L2000E. But I almost always use it in passive mode! ;)
     
  11. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Seen a bunch of Tele's bought and sold recently, so a bump for you guys who might be interested in this mod...
     
  12. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Just hadda bump this up, for two reasons...
    The new Squier Vintage TB is a dirt cheap platform for this, and won't "devalue" a vintage Fender...
    And I've been playing the crap outta this lately, and it's freakin' awesome.

    So there.
     
  13. fish slapper

    fish slapper

    Nov 17, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    Clef;

    I just discovered this thread. This is an amazing mod. I've always wanted a Tele with the muckraker but I've heard a Dark Star on a 62RI and they are amazing. Now, I'm keeping my eye out for a Tele to try this.
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Where'd you get the pickgaurd?
     
  15. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Fish, the new Squier Vintage TB is ~$250 new, and is a nice copy of my Tele Bass...
    Brendan; I got it from "Das Bootman" on ebay...
     
  16. SurrenderMonkey

    SurrenderMonkey

    Aug 18, 2006
    Liverpool
    I find it pretty cool that you stuck to your tele bass all those years, even when the sound wasn't quite right for you, then drop in a darkstar in it to pimp up the old faithful. No dodgy painwork, no fancy pre, no messy routing, just the pickup, et voila!
     
  17. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, stuck with it might be stretching it...I didn't play it much execpt for studio work that warranted that sound.
    Live, it just didn't work well. I had a hard time making sound like anything much except an earthquake. The BBE B-Max did a pretty decent job with it, but I didn't care for the BBE's wierdly interactive tone stack.
    The DarkStar came along and turned her back into a great live axe; which I'm really grateful for as she is really light, resonant, and the neck is a dream, for me...
     
  18. jsamans

    jsamans

    Mar 11, 2007
    Fall City, WA
    I've just got one of the Squier tele basses -- it is an absolute steal at ~$250, as long as you keep the fact that it is a Squier in perspective. Really a fun bass though.

    When I first played it through my V4 with a 2x15 it was "mudbucker city". I've never played an original tele bass, but this one sure did sound exactly like everyone said they did. Cool for reggae, and some sorts of rock and blues but very limited.

    I then played it through my Workingman's 10 and was able to get less "thump" -- but I had to EQ it so that it basically made the WM10 sound like a cardboard box.

    Last night I put it through the paces with my band, through my SVT 4 Pro with a Mesa/Boogie Powerhouse 4x10 and an Ampeg PR-410H. I found that running it biamped, with highs going to the Mesa and lows to the Ampeg, I could get a pretty decent sound out of it. I was able to keep the thump and rumble AND give the mids and highs more definition and balance relative to the lows. Of course I lose a lot of headroom running the amp like that, and it takes a lot of tweaking to get the rig set back up to play a "regular" bass through it, hehe.

    One thing I noticed on the Squier is that the output on that pickup is HOT. I had to turn my gain down way lower than usual.

    I don't know if it's worth putting a $200 pickup in a $250 bass. And for now, I'm having fun exploring the "mudbucker syndrome" :D Hey the cool thing is that even through the gobs of mud I can still discern a distinct P-Bass sound. Or is that wishful thinking maybe on my part? :p

    Here's a pic of my Squier:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. fish slapper

    fish slapper

    Nov 17, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    Well, I'm going to hold out a little longer. Its been a while since I had a Squire. I bought the 51p tele Squire guitar for my son a couple years ago and it was a complete train wreck. The fretwork was terrible and I never could get it intoned. But you can't argue with $250 :confused:
     
  20. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've not seen a bad report on the Squier TB yet...
    If I had a GC or such here, I'd already have one.


    "Can you say double DarkStar?"







    Sure, I knew ya could.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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