Though as stated in my previous post, I do feel I lack the talent to become anything other than a very basic player! However, one thing I do enjoy is the kit itself and have acquired a few different guitars - all significantly different in both style and sound. One 'style' I am missing and would like to try is the classic Fender Telecaster, but having researched this, it would seem that to get anything like this I'd have to part with £300+ (AlNiCo Pickups, brass bridge saddles...) for a Squire Classic or say something from Vintage Gutars, which to be honest I'm not really willing to spend on a bit of a whim - so enter project guitar upgrade! Look for the cheapest Tele' style guitar I can find and kit it out with Alnico Pickup, brass saddles and maybe some decent tuners (if necessary). So enter the Fazley FTL218YB. The cost of this was £66 delivered to my door from BAX Music in the Netherlands 4 days after placing the order. So what was I expecting for this amount of money, well truth be told not very much, but what I wanted was a decent neck and a Tele' styled body and it certainly met these expectations. The neck (22 fret) is actually very nice, well fretted, well finished, can be easily adjusted (came almost dead straight so slackened off the truss rod after it had settled for a few days to give it a bit more relief - a slight forward bow). As a players guitar it would be a bit of a failure as the nut is cut too high so goes out of tune when playing at the headstock end, but this is an easy fix and I'll lower the slots shortly. The bridge is awful, not the plate, but the saddles as these seem quite badly made and have very uneven string spacing, though I did get the intonation almost spot on - not bad for a three saddle bridge. but the biggest failing is totally as expected the pickups. The bridge one has a harsh unrelenting brashness that is totally fatiguing to listen too. Using the guitars tone control doesn't help at all as it goes from over bright to totally muddy with nothing in between. I suspect a high value capacitor has been used to tame some of the top end, but this has the side effect of limiting the tonal range! The neck pickup is diametrically opposed to the bridge, in that it starts off warm and muddy so the tone control can't be used at all! Selecting the middle position blending the two pickup is the only way to balance the situation and get something that sounds like a guitar! Of course I could use my amps tone controls, or my graphics pedal, but you should always start from a good position. Anyway, AlNiCo V pickups are on order as are some brass saddles which will address the string spacing issues, total cost so far:
Guitar = £66
AlNiCo Bridge Pickup = £17.74
AlNiCo Neck Pickup = £15.74
Brass Bridge Saddles = £9.99
Total = £109.47
So just over 1/3rd the cost of say a Vintage Branded Tele' copy, or just under a 1/3rd for a Indonesian made Squire Classic Vibe, or less than 1/6th the cheapest Mexican Fender
Held off from worrying about the machine heads as they seem OK, not the best feeling, but seem to function well enough, but a decent set of Wilkinsons will only run to about £25 if I think they are needed.
The guitar does have a few other issues, but these are either cosmetic in nature and I'm not at all worried about that, or will be addressed when the upgrades are added.
If you want a 'blow by blow' update as the changes are made let me know and I'll start a new section on the main site.
Born in 1956 (so getting on a bit now) I'm married and have two wonderful children we all live in Devon in the South West of England - on the Cornish border.