Thinline Tele Build - Bridge Options Question - TOM vs. Fixed Bridge

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
I am working on an order for a Thinline Tele with Roasted Swamp Ash Body and Lam Top (also considering Black Korina, but that is another story). I don't plan on using a pickguard. After the learning issues I have had with my current Warmoth Strat build tremolo, I am looking for a hardtail bridge with the goal of easier string changes and less complex adjustments/tweaking. I am planning on Fralin Pure P.A.F Humbuckers with the Fralin pre-wire control plate wired for coil splits. I really like the TOM/STP seems nice, especially as it eliminates the need for ferrules. If I went with the TOM bridge but using top and bottom ferrules, that is another option, but takes away the "benefit" of not having to string through the guitar. Finally, the normal hardtail tele bridges like the Narrow Spaced Strat® Flat-Mount Bridge seem like maybe the least complicated option. Not sure. Anyway, any thoughts or suggestions on pros and cons for these approaches based on my goals of less tweaking and easy string changes would be much appreciated. I am thinking the TOM/STP might be introducing variables which could lead to "geometric" complications, so it might not be a good choice for my requirements.
Finally, not related to bridges, but I was considering finishing the guitar with Tru Oil but am now leaning towards having Warmoth finish in clear.
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
I don't have much thoughts on the TOM/STP.

On the Tru-oil vs Warmoth finished, if you want glossy / smooth, I think it's hard to justify Tru-oil I know that product has a lot of fans here, and I guess it can be brought to full gloss. For me, there' s two show-stoppers with that product. The SDS lists a proprietary oil alongside the BLO component. The balance is stoddard solution, which I'd  rather not handle. Beyond the time I'm going to spend finishing a guitar and inhaling the solvents in the finish, I want to know all the ingredients, I'll be holding this tool intimately for years, after all.

 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,232
One thing to consider with a TOM/STP is that it would need a body with an angled pocket. You may find either a normal hardtail tele bridge or a narrow spaced Strat flat mount bridge. Both require string ferrules as they string thru the body.

Finishing bodies in Tru-Oil or Danish Oil is doable but does require some time and patience. It really depends on yourself and confidence level.
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
stratamania said:
One thing to consider with a TOM/STP is that it would need a body with an angled pocket. You may find either a normal hardtail tele bridge or a narrow spaced Strat flat mount bridge. Both require string ferrules as they string thru the body.

Finishing bodies in Tru-Oil or Danish Oil is doable but does require some time and patience. It really depends on yourself and confidence level.
Thanks as always for your support. I was wondering on the angled pocket thing. If you don't order the neck at the same time I am wondering if that would cause an issue. I am planning on a strat neck but not 100% decided on that yet.
In short, what I am looking for in this second build is stability and easier maintenance, and something different that offer me the ability to expand on my sound. So, while I continue to explore my options I also took a look at the Regal body. I like the look, especially in black korina and clear (as is shown in a thread on the LP gallery), but when I try the build it looks a lot lighter than the one on the forum thread. I prefer a darker, stained look.
Again, I am just looking to take another iterative step towards finding equipment that allows me to get the sound I am looking for. On that note, I also considered replacing my Blues Junior amp with a Friedman Wildwood PT head, but I am not sure if replacing the amp is a better option than building a second guitar with humbuckers. Decisions, Decisions. It would be nice if I had unlimited funds, but ... Anyway, thanks again, your insights are always much appreciated.
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
Sadie-f said:
I don't have much thoughts on the TOM/STP.

On the Tru-oil vs Warmoth finished, if you want glossy / smooth, I think it's hard to justify Tru-oil I know that product has a lot of fans here, and I guess it can be brought to full gloss. For me, there' s two show-stoppers with that product. The SDS lists a proprietary oil alongside the BLO component. The balance is stoddard solution, which I'd  rather not handle. Beyond the time I'm going to spend finishing a guitar and inhaling the solvents in the finish, I want to know all the ingredients, I'll be holding this tool intimately for years, after all.
Thanks Sadie, I agree that although finishing myself interests me from a learning perspective, the time and logistics (smell/toxicity) are concerns.
 

teleme01

Senior member
Messages
371
i had a similar mind romp in considering the many bridge types,  my 1st inclination was tom and the possibilites with a tom include trapezze or bigsby.  i ended up with the gotoh 510 with the option of taking off the tremolo bar and using the axe as a fixed bridge ...  so many options for bridge types,  the correct answer would be more guitars.
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
teleme01 said:
i had a similar mind romp in considering the many bridge types,  my 1st inclination was tom and the possibilites with a tom include trapezze or bigsby.  i ended up with the gotoh 510 with the option of taking off the tremolo bar and using the axe as a fixed bridge ...  so many options for bridge types,  the correct answer would be more guitars.
Indeed! Over time I am thinking of 4 guitars total, electric guitars that is. (1) My current Warmoth Strat, (2), (3), and (4) - not sure what order as follows: Telecaster, Regal, and Hollow Body like an ES-335 type guitar. Right now it is between the Tele and the Regal. I like the Regal on the gallery page that is all Black Korina but when I spec it out on the Warmoth site the top just looks like unfinished wood, not darker.  I am also toying between the more hands on wiring for a Regal and being able to buy a pre-wired Tele control plate. For some reason I just really like the TOM/STP bridge/tailpiece but I don't know how it would work on the Tele, and not just a Tele but the Thinline.
 

teleme01

Senior member
Messages
371
i just got a thinline and really love it,  things to consider is when you take away all the weight, you could have nose dive and so therefore imo you should look at the heavier woods, since it will be weight relieved
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
teleme01 said:
i just got a thinline and really love it,  things to consider is when you take away all the weight, you could have nose dive and so therefore imo you should look at the heavier woods, since it will be weight relieved
For the tele I am still considering Roasted Swamp Ash or Black Korina. Not sure if Mahogany is right for a tele or not, but I do like it also.
 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,593
I would 1st think about and define what you want this guitar to do vs your currents as well as future builds.

Write it out specially. Each guitar and what you want to accomplish tonally.

Doing so keeps you free from the snares of duplicating what you can accomplish in music. You mention having funds limits, and I always found this a good way to approach this.
 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,593
For the Tele, what do you want it to do different than your planned Regal build?

That may require rethinking your pups/electronics. 

As far as color, that’s a finishing option and should not weigh in the body style.

As far as angled or not neck pocket. That is a function of your bridge choice, not that of a headstock design or facsimile.
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
to TBURST Std: Thanks for the good advice. What you suggest is kind of what I have been doing the past few weeks, minus the actual textually documenting. Originally I was looking for more Blues tones from the Tele, inspired by Tab Benoit. So, thus Thinline and Humbuckers. Then I started reading a bunch about how the "new" Wide Range Humbuckers were not at all similar in tone to those in the 72 Thinline. Then I started looking into a Thinline with more vintage P.A.F. humbuckers. Then I started looking at bridges and just liked the look of the TOM/STP. This then got me looking at the Regal. So, a slippery slope as they say. It is hard to describe the sound I hear in my head that I want to create but I guess it is sort of warm and "airy", definitely not metal. But I also want to be able to diversify a bit with this next build and play not only Blues, but also American/Country type sounds. Gorf Murlix's playing with Lucinda Williams comes to mind.
Anyway, your advice is sound and I will put some work into that approach starting tomorrow. Again, I am thinking 4 builds in total, and as I said earlier, even more than just sound this time is my desire to build something that will be easier to get setup and tuned in then my Strat with Gotoh tremolo.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,232
Time differences so a bit of a delay to my response. I have read the discussion so far and my recommendation is to build a Tele.

Why because a Tele is a stable reliable base and straightforward. And because you want versatility and stability here is what I would recommend.

So Tele - fixed flat mount bridge for better adjustment with different radii of necks.

(TOM/STP I should have mentioned before are generally a fixed 12" radius that you can adjust up and down for height but not the individual saddles which often come without notches for the strings. So not much use with a 10-16" compound radii neck)

Pickups for lots of versatility perhaps a pair of P-Rails from Seymour Duncan or at least one as a neck pickup. They can act as Humbuckers, P90s or single coils. You can even add a Strat type middle pickup, e.g Brent Mason has a Tele bridge pickup, hot strat middle and a mini humbucker in the neck of a Tele and used it on lots of sessions.

A note on necks. Have a look here. https://warmoth.com/guitar-body-neck-pockets and note that the shape of a tele neck pocket and heel are different to a Strats. But you could put a Strat type neck into a Tele neck pocket but not the other way around.

Here is a Tele build I did a while ago which you might find a useful read. 


Natural Ash Tele


Lets keep this thread going and we can zero in on a spec for a Tele and a set of parts if that works for you. I honestly think you might not need much else if the Tele is made versatile enough.

 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
I'm not sure if your "airy" is what I mean by silvery or a lot of chime in the tone. Anyway, I achieved silvery with a selection of Lollar pickups and added a lot of warm overtones with a rosewood / mahogany chambered body.

In line with Tburst, my next build will be all maple with exception of a rosewood fretboard. My desire for this axe is something with a lot of top end clarity, which maple should deliver well.
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
Sadie-f said:
I'm not sure if your "airy" is what I mean by silvery or a lot of chime in the tone. Anyway, I achieved silvery with a selection of Lollar pickups and added a lot of warm overtones with a rosewood / mahogany chambered body.

In line with Tburst, my next build will be all maple with exception of a rosewood fretboard. My desire for this axe is something with a lot of top end clarity, which maple should deliver well.
Maple is nice but when I select choices in my builds I don't like the look of the maple options like Flame, Birdseye, etc. Of course what the actual product would look like is different than the pictures. I will look at Lollar pickups also, and the SD that stratamania suggests. I was leaning towards Fralin pickups again but am completely open to other options as like all aspects of the guitar building process, I am clearly in the early stages of my learning. I have ideas of what I want to hear but am not knowledgeable yet in knowing what pickup options and combinations deliver what results.
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
stratamania said:
Time differences so a bit of a delay to my response. I have read the discussion so far and my recommendation is to build a Tele.

Why because a Tele is a stable reliable base and straightforward. And because you want versatility and stability here is what I would recommend.

So Tele - fixed flat mount bridge for better adjustment with different radii of necks.

(TOM/STP I should have mentioned before are generally a fixed 12" radius that you can adjust up and down for height but not the individual saddles which often come without notches for the strings. So not much use with a 10-16" compound radii neck)

Pickups for lots of versatility perhaps a pair of P-Rails from Seymour Duncan or at least one as a neck pickup. They can act as Humbuckers, P90s or single coils. You can even add a Strat type middle pickup, e.g Brent Mason has a Tele bridge pickup, hot strat middle and a mini humbucker in the neck of a Tele and used it on lots of sessions.

A note on necks. Have a look here. https://warmoth.com/guitar-body-neck-pockets and note that the shape of a tele neck pocket and heel are different to a Strats. But you could put a Strat type neck into a Tele neck pocket but not the other way around.

Here is a Tele build I did a while ago which you might find a useful read. 


Natural Ash Tele


Lets keep this thread going and we can zero in on a spec for a Tele and a set of parts if that works for you. I honestly think you might not need much else if the Tele is made versatile enough.
I didn't realize you are in the UK. I like the UK a lot. Wish I was there now! Earlier this year I bought a coffee roaster from a guy who makes them "by hand" from Killgarth, UK. A Cormorant. Lots of great artisans in the UK.
Anyway, as to your email, it is very helpful, and as you say, good to keep the discussion going. It helps a lot.
Here are my current thoughts based on what you and others have suggested:
(1) Telecaster Body (not Thinline) in Swamp Ash with no lam top. For now I am thinking that skipping the finishing myself is a better option. So I am thinking of having Warmoth finish it in Clear., Satin
(2) Top Rout - Neck - Humbucker, Middle - Strat (Single Coil), Bridge - Humbucker. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that routing for Humbucker would work with the SD P-Rails? If not, do I need to rout for P-90?
(3) 7/8" (22mm) Side Jack Hole
(4) Hardtail - Narrow Strat® Flat Mount. Note: Not sure on this one, I am looking for something like what you used on your 2014 build based on your suggestions. Something like the Gotoh Humbucker Tele Bridge maybe? If you have another suggestion, let me know.
(5) No binding, no special body contours
(6) Square Side Jack Plate. Not sure if I also need the Electrosocket Jack?
(7) Schaller S-Locks
For the pickups, I was leaning towards Fralin again, and having them pre-wire the control plate, but am completely open to the SD. I went through the entire SD soldering course a while back and am OK with doing the wiring myself. So, if SD, which P-Rails's are you suggesting? The P-Rails or the P-Rails Triple Shot Set? For the middle pickup I can look around a bit on that and get if from SD or elsewhere. Does going with HSH greatly complicate the wiring? Do I then need a 5 blade switch?
For the neck I will likely use Hipshot again. They are working great on my Strat.
I don't want to use a pickguard but I guess if I decide to I can order one like on your 2014 build if it is cut for a Neck humbucker.
I think this covers things for now. Any thoughts, etc. you or others might have are appreciated.
On an unrelated note, I looked at your thread on installing locking strap locks and I will follow that logic this time. You will be "happy' to know that I have adjusted to my horn strap button being off center and have learned to "love it' and lie with it without any anxiety.
(5)
 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,593
Well find someone that has close to tone you want and research what they use.
You reference Tele Thinline.  Is the looks the only aspect, or have you heard one and that was the tone?

If the latter, only WRHB do that.  Look to Curtis Novack for those.
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
TBurst Std said:
Well find someone that has close to tone you want and research what they use.
You reference Tele Thinline.  Is the looks the only aspect, or have you heard one and that was the tone?

If the latter, only WRHB do that.  Look to Curtis Novack for those.
Definitely not for the looks. Basically I started from liking Tab Benoit who plays a 1972 Thinline, but I have kind of moved on from that now.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,232
I am from the UK but do not live there any longer.


(2) Top Rout - Neck - Humbucker, Middle - Strat (Single Coil), Bridge - Humbucker. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that routing for Humbucker would work with the SD P-Rails? If not, do I need to rout for P-90?
(4) Hardtail - Narrow Strat® Flat Mount. Note: Not sure on this one, I am looking for something like what you used on your 2014 build based on your suggestions. Something like the Gotoh Humbucker Tele Bridge maybe? If you have another suggestion, let me know.

(6) Square Side Jack Plate. Not sure if I also need the Electrosocket Jack?
(7) Schaller S-Locks
For the pickups, I was leaning towards Fralin again, and having them pre-wire the control plate, but am completely open to the SD. I went through the entire SD soldering course a while back and am OK with doing the wiring myself. So, if SD, which P-Rails's are you suggesting? The P-Rails or the P-Rails Triple Shot Set? For the middle pickup I can look around a bit on that and get if from SD or elsewhere. Does going with HSH greatly complicate the wiring? Do I then need a 5 blade switch?
For the neck I will likely use Hipshot again. They are working great on my Strat.
I don't want to use a pickguard but I guess if I decide to I can order one like on your 2014 build if it is cut for a Neck humbucker.
I think this covers things for now. Any thoughts, etc. you or others might have are appreciated.
On an unrelated note, I looked at your thread on installing locking strap locks and I will follow that logic this time. You will be "happy' to know that I have adjusted to my horn strap button being off center and have learned to "love it' and lie with it without any anxiety.


2. You would need a humbucker rout for P-Rails.
4. Gotoh Humbucker Tele Bridge would work but not with triple shots.
6. An oval (what Warmoth calls a football) jack plate would be better. Often there may not be sufficient space for a square jack plate. You would not need an electro socket but just a regular jack such as a switch craft or Pure Tone.
7. Good to hear on the Straploks.
I was suggesting P-Rails, the option with the triple shot means you are using pickup rings. Which would mean you would need a different bridge than the Gotoh Humbucker Tele Bridge.
HSH would make wiring schemes involve more possibilities but are doable. But HH is using P-Rails may be more than enough.
A 5 way will give more possibilities than a 3 way switch but perhaps one of the Freeway switches may become a better option.
A pickguard will make life easier especially if you have a middle pickup with a top rout. If you just did HH with humbucker rings or for the bridge humbucker a Tele humbucker bridge. It would make life easier.

 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
stratamania said:
I am from the UK but do not live there any longer.


(2) Top Rout - Neck - Humbucker, Middle - Strat (Single Coil), Bridge - Humbucker. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that routing for Humbucker would work with the SD P-Rails? If not, do I need to rout for P-90?
(4) Hardtail - Narrow Strat® Flat Mount. Note: Not sure on this one, I am looking for something like what you used on your 2014 build based on your suggestions. Something like the Gotoh Humbucker Tele Bridge maybe? If you have another suggestion, let me know.

(6) Square Side Jack Plate. Not sure if I also need the Electrosocket Jack?
(7) Schaller S-Locks
For the pickups, I was leaning towards Fralin again, and having them pre-wire the control plate, but am completely open to the SD. I went through the entire SD soldering course a while back and am OK with doing the wiring myself. So, if SD, which P-Rails's are you suggesting? The P-Rails or the P-Rails Triple Shot Set? For the middle pickup I can look around a bit on that and get if from SD or elsewhere. Does going with HSH greatly complicate the wiring? Do I then need a 5 blade switch?
For the neck I will likely use Hipshot again. They are working great on my Strat.
I don't want to use a pickguard but I guess if I decide to I can order one like on your 2014 build if it is cut for a Neck humbucker.
I think this covers things for now. Any thoughts, etc. you or others might have are appreciated.
On an unrelated note, I looked at your thread on installing locking strap locks and I will follow that logic this time. You will be "happy' to know that I have adjusted to my horn strap button being off center and have learned to "love it' and lie with it without any anxiety.


2. You would need a humbucker rout for P-Rails.
4. Gotoh Humbucker Tele Bridge would work but not with triple shots.
6. An oval (what Warmoth calls a football) jack plate would be better. Often there may not be sufficient space for a square jack plate. You would not need an electro socket but just a regular jack such as a switch craft or Pure Tone.
7. Good to hear on the Straploks.
I was suggesting P-Rails, the option with the triple shot means you are using pickup rings. Which would mean you would need a different bridge than the Gotoh Humbucker Tele Bridge.
HSH would make wiring schemes involve more possibilities but are doable. But HH is using P-Rails may be more than enough.
A 5 way will give more possibilities than a 3 way switch but perhaps one of the Freeway switches may become a better option.
A pickguard will make life easier especially if you have a middle pickup with a top rout. If you just did HH with humbucker rings or for the bridge humbucker a Tele humbucker bridge. It would make life easier.
Thanks again. So here is where I see things now: 2 SD P-Rails pickups with Triple Shot, but with a different bridge. Can you suggest one? 3 way blade given only 2 pickups. Football jack. And I am leaning back towards roasted swamp ash. Everything else would be the same. Pickguard like the one on your 2014 build.
 
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