I was down at Guitar Center, the other day, to get some nylon strings for a Kay classical I repaired, and I stopped by the used guitar rack to check out what was there. I was surprised to see a guitar I thought had been sold, back on the rack and significantly marked down.
Raines Thinline Telecaster copy. I had looked at this guitar, when it was priced at $225.00 higher, and just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger on buying it. But, I wanted it prettry badly. I have been looking for a Thinline, for a while, but the new versions at the store, whether the $300 Squire-by-Fender models, or the $800 Fenders with the humbucking pickups just don't sound as good as I remember the vintage ones sounding.
So, I pulled the Raines down and plugged it in. Man, did it sound good! The neck felt a bit weird, but the pickups were awesome, and the chambered body added some meat to the sound, unlike the actual Fenders I plugged in as comparison. This guitar sounded like I expected a Thinline Tele to sound!
However, as one of the employees pointed out, there was reason the guitar had been marked down:
Still, the sound was awesome, and I have a Squire Tele I bought a while back, with a bad switch and a horrible bridge pickup that I was planning on modifying. I thought about it for about 20 minutes, as I bought my strings and took them out to the car. Eventually, I went back in the store and bought the guitar (for less than the cost of the bare Thinline-style body from a guitar parts supplier), and started planning on the modifications I was going to make.
It turns out that I do, so I will be working on a cover plate (and a higher-quality, adjustable, bridge) and I'll make it a permanent change.
An interesting problem has made itself apparent to me, lately. For some reason, all of my guitars with single-coil pickups hum like mad, in my house, when plugged into my amp. Now, I know that humbucking pickups were developed just for curing this problem, but the hum I get in my house is much more noticeable than what I get with the same guitars and amps, elsewhere.
I don't know if the wiring in my house is contributing to it, or if there is a microwave tower close by, irradiating the heck out of me, or what. I've tried different outlets in the house, to see if it's a bad ground, but I get no difference from outlet to outlet. Oddly, the Telecasters are the worst offenders, but the Harmony and the Gibson exhibit the same problem, just not quite as pronounced.
I have a humbucking Telecaster bridge pickup I may put in the Raines (I wouldn't change the neck pickup, since it sounds so good). But, I'd rather find the underlying cause and fix it, so that I can play all of my guitars without all the noise, which is a real problem when I try to record something. I find myself using the black Tele Custom with the two humbuckers to record, regardless of which guitar I think sounds best for a particular song, simply to get a clean track recorded.
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