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New-to-me '72 Telecaster Thinline RI + upgrades
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Thread: New-to-me '72 Telecaster Thinline RI + upgrades

  1. #1
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    Default New-to-me '72 Telecaster Thinline RI + upgrades

    Actually, I got it last Friday, but just getting around to posting this. Now you know why I've been selling a bunch of pedals...

    I'd been looking at used '72 RI Thinlines off and on for a few months, but hadn't pulled the trigger on one for one main reason: With my spousal "one in , one out" agreement, I would have to get rid of an existing guitar. The logical one was the Squier Cabronita I bought a year ago, but I didn't want to give it up since it's my only guitar with a Bigsby vibrato. But while poking around on Reverb.com a couple of weeks ago, damned if I didn't come across a nice Thinline WITH A BIGSBY!! Problem solved! Not only that, but it was not the usual natural or sunburst finish--it was from a special Thinline production run in custom colors back in 2002. This one is Daphne Blue, but they also made them in Candy Apple Red, Surf Green, Shell Pink and Lake Placid Blue at that time. The Bigsby is not a factory installation but an aftermarket unit from ZZ Guitarworks. Looks to me like they started with a Bigsby tailpiece and then modified & re-badged it, adding a bridge assembly of their own design. It doesn't require any drilling of the guitar body to install--it's held in place by the bottom strap button plus the string tension across the bottom roller. Sounds like it would be kind of flimsy, but it seems very solid. I wouldn't try what Steve Vai does at around 0:40 into THIS CLIP, but for my modest vibrato needs, it's quite stable enough.

    Not only that, but the Fender Wide Range RI pickups in the guitar had been upgraded by Curtis Novak to the configuration of the original '72 Wide Range humbuckers, which used individual threaded rod magnets rather than the typical humbucker construction with a bar magnet under steel pole pieces. It's a pretty expensive modification (Novak charged about $150 per pickup for the mod, as I understand) but imparts great clarity & string definition, as well as nailing the unique tone of the originals.

    I really love the look & feel of the guitar. It's in great condition and I love the color. I dialed in the saddle heights and intonation, and the guitar plays very well. The sound of the Novak-modified WRHBs definitely lives up to the claims. They sound to me like a middle ground between single coils and humbuckers--very open and chimey, with more girth than a single coil; not the power and warmth you'd expect with a classic PAF-style humbucker, but with greater note articulation and a brighter top end. And through an overdrive pedal into my Allen Sweet Spot, the tone is to die for. And I really don't notice any loss of sustain from the conversion from the stock string-through configuration to the top-loader design needed for the Bigsby. Just a really cool guitar and not something you see every day!

    Below are several photos posted by the seller. I haven't taken shots of my own yet, so these will have to do.

    P.S. If anybody is interested in that Squier Cabronita....sorry, it's already sold!

    72_tele_thinline_RI_in_case.jpg 72_tele_thinline_RI_body.jpg 72_tele_thinline_RI_bigsby.jpg 72_tele_thinline_RI_bridge.jpg 72_tele_thinline_RI_mounting_plate.jpg
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  3. #2
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    Nice score Vood. Congrats.

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    Cool, DVM! Bigsby's scare me though: and this from a trem fan!
    Axen: Jackson DK2M, Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, Reverend Warhawk 390, Taylor 914ce, ESP LTD Surveyor-414
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    Very cool axe. Lusting for a thin line led me to my first electric, and now six electrics later I still haven't had one.

    What's the neck like on these?


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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidsmoke View Post
    Lusting for a thin line led me to my first electric, and now six electrics later I still haven't had one.
    Well, whose fault is that?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by kidsmoke View Post
    What's the neck like on these?
    Very similar to other recent vintage Tele's I've played. Not real thick, not real thin. I find them very comfortable to play, but then again I've noticed that I seem to be pretty non-discriminating when it comes to neck thickness vs. many other players. The current specs on the Fender website say it's a U-profile with a 7.25" radius, but this one really doesn't look or feel that round to me--more like 9.5" and it feels like a C profile to me. So maybe the neck has changed over the years, since this is a 12 year-old guitar.
    DVM's Ever-Expanding Gear List:

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    Amps & Cabs - "Kap'n Kerrang-aroo" BYOC 18W TMB kit amp head; Mojave Coyote head; Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Lacquered Tweed Ltd. Ed.; Allen Sweet Spot kit amp; BYOC Tweed Royal kit amp; Epiphone Valve Jr. combo + mods; Drive 2x12 cab / Celestion G12M Greenback + G12H30; AB Custom Audio 1x12 cab / Celestion Alnico Blue

    Pedals/Effects - ZILLIONS, including DVM's Home-built Pedals - See some HERE and HERE, TOO!

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    That is a sweet looking git! Love that colour!
    The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by duhvoodooman View Post
    Actually, I got it last Friday, but just getting around to posting this. Now you know why I've been selling a bunch of pedals...

    I'd been looking at used '72 RI Thinlines off and on for a few months, but hadn't pulled the trigger on one for one main reason: With my spousal "one in , one out" agreement, I would have to get rid of an existing guitar. The logical one was the Squier Cabronita I bought a year ago, but I didn't want to give it up since it's my only guitar with a Bigsby vibrato. But while poking around on Reverb.com a couple of weeks ago, damned if I didn't come across a nice Thinline WITH A BIGSBY!! Problem solved! Not only that, but it was not the usual natural or sunburst finish--it was from a special Thinline production run in custom colors back in 2002. This one is Daphne Blue, but they also made them in Candy Apple Red, Surf Green, Shell Pink and Lake Placid Blue at that time. The Bigsby is not a factory installation but an aftermarket unit from ZZ Guitarworks. Looks to me like they started with a Bigsby tailpiece and then modified & re-badged it, adding a bridge assembly of their own design. It doesn't require any drilling of the guitar body to install--it's held in place by the bottom strap button plus the string tension across the bottom roller. Sounds like it would be kind of flimsy, but it seems very solid. I wouldn't try what Steve Vai does at around 0:40 into THIS CLIP, but for my modest vibrato needs, it's quite stable enough.

    Not only that, but the Fender Wide Range RI pickups in the guitar had been upgraded by Curtis Novak to the configuration of the original '72 Wide Range humbuckers, which used individual threaded rod magnets rather than the typical humbucker construction with a bar magnet under steel pole pieces. It's a pretty expensive modification (Novak charged about $150 per pickup for the mod, as I understand) but imparts great clarity & string definition, as well as nailing the unique tone of the originals.

    I really love the look & feel of the guitar. It's in great condition and I love the color. I dialed in the saddle heights and intonation, and the guitar plays very well. The sound of the Novak-modified WRHBs definitely lives up to the claims. They sound to me like a middle ground between single coils and humbuckers--very open and chimey, with more girth than a single coil; not the power and warmth you'd expect with a classic PAF-style humbucker, but with greater note articulation and a brighter top end. And through an overdrive pedal into my Allen Sweet Spot, the tone is to die for. And I really don't notice any loss of sustain from the conversion from the stock string-through configuration to the top-loader design needed for the Bigsby. Just a really cool guitar and not something you see every day!

    Below are several photos posted by the seller. I haven't taken shots of my own yet, so these will have to do.

    P.S. If anybody is interested in that Squier Cabronita....sorry, it's already sold!

    72_tele_thinline_RI_in_case.jpg 72_tele_thinline_RI_body.jpg 72_tele_thinline_RI_bigsby.jpg 72_tele_thinline_RI_bridge.jpg 72_tele_thinline_RI_mounting_plate.jpg

    I can appreciate this Vood.

    I bought a '72 Telecaster Deluxe RI with the new style WRHB's and may upgrade (I have a NOS new style extra WRHB waiting to get sent in). Actually I dig the sound of the WRHB's in this Deluxe quite a bit. I also bought a '72 Telecaster Custom RI and dig the WRHB in it but I don't think it is the same thing for some reason. This is the one I may replace with my rebuilt one after I send it in.

    I know a lot of people are not exactly fond of these guitars, especially with the new style WRHB's but I dig mine. I like my Custom better than the Road Worn HS that I compared it to that had the SD '59 neck and this is no slouch of a guitar. They just have significantly different tones. The WRHBs have a sound of there own, even the new style ones.

    The blue is beautiful and I bet you really dig this new guitar. What amp/rig are you playing thru? All that mass added by all that metal has to affect the tone. How would you describe the tone? Somewhat different from a tele but definitely not a typical HB sound?

    By the way, did you ever get to see the Band jamming or playing up there at Big Pink or in the surrounding area. Those had to be the days. I heard Daryl Hall was building a new performance hall up that way as well. I'm not sure if it is done yet but it sounds like it will be much more significant than Daryl's House. Any truth to that rumor? That should be close to you as well.
    Duffy Bolduc
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