Tele Deluxe - My first Warmoth Build


Junior Member
Here’s the story of my first Warmoth build: I started getting into electric slide guitar two years ago, and wanted a guitar dedicated to slide for open E tuning. i had three electric guitars at the time: Fender Strat 50th Anniversary (I bought in ‘04), a PRS Custom 20 (bought in 2006), and a PRS McCarty (bought in 2007). I bought the McCarty with the intent on using it for slide (I had the Warren Haynes slide guitar DVD, and he was using a PRS McCarty). At the time, I was going back and forth between a SG and that PRS … the PRS just crushed the Gibsons in quality. I ended up going overseas for a year, then pretty much stopped playing guitar for several years. I sold my amp (Peavy JSX 120) and most of my gear (not the guitars though).

In 2018-2019, I was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, and bought a Resonator and had it shipped out … started getting back into it, and learned some Elmore James, Robert Johnson, and Eric Clapton stuff in open G and D. In 2020, I bought an amp (Fender 15 watt), and started getting into electric slide again using that McCarty. When I used to go to concerts (before kids), I brought that McCarty to a few to try to get autographs. It’s signed by Warren Haynes, Joe Bonamassa, and Derek Trucks. I figured i should stop using it and just keep it in the case … so, decided to build one instead of buying a new one (I don’t have PRS or Gibson discretionary funds any more :). Since all my slide guitar heroes have Gibsons, I went with a Tele Deluxe (humbuckers with 4 control knobs).

i bought this body and neck from the showcase:

body is alder, neck is goncalo alves.
Went with Dark Moon pickups, Alnico 2. The customer service was awesome! I asked for pickup recommendations, they asked about the body/neck wood, music style, sound preferences, etc.

I went with Dark Moon pots and PIO caps, and a Warmoth pick guard:

two things about this made me not love it:

1. upper fret access is not good … the first song I learned was Statesboro Blues, and it’s hard to play the second half of Duane’s solo.
2. the strings felt SUPER stiff compared to my PRS … the only thing I can think of is that it has a slightly longer scale length.

for these reasons, I immediately started a second build :)
Thanks, but it appears you have a thing for teles … lol.
I’ll post some pics of my third build, which is also a tele … a hot rodded, high end tele :)
2. the strings felt SUPER stiff compared to my PRS … the only thing I can think of is that it has a slightly longer scale length.
If strings feel stiff you're probably using too heavy a gauge. Try going down half or whole step in gauge. Say from 10's to 9,5 or better yet 9's.
The "scale-length-to-slinky/stiff-feeling" argument have always sounded so weird to me.
I hear it all the time for instance when I mention me preferring 24" scale necks. "Nah, they feel to slinky ...".
That's all a misconception. It's the type of gauge of the strings that will determine if a guitar feels slinky or stiff.
Now having the same gauge strings on two guitars with different scale length will of course feel different. But again - the solution is simple - choose the right gauge on the guitar that feels off and the problem is solved.
Well you do say your running .12's for strings and a 25.5" in std tuning is going to be pretty stout. SRV used big strings but usually was tuned down a half step. Maybe try that if you don't wanna switch gauges.