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Strat-Tele hybrid

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by shunter, May 21, 2020 at 9:05 AM.

  1. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    I’ve got a hardtail strat body that I’m going to put a tele pickup and bridge on in an attempt to build something that combines the strat neck sound with the tele bridge sound; the best of two worlds.

    I’m thinking only 2 knobs: master volume and tone for the bridge. I know this doesn’t make much sense but the idea is for the guitar have few options and just do a couple of things well.

    is there anything I should be watching out for, given this will only be the 2nd guitar I’ve assembled.

    I appreciate I’ll have to lose a bit of wood to fit the tele bridge pickup. I think I need a modern 6 saddle bridge given the location of the string holes versus the neck.

    What’s a good cheapish bridge to fit? What metal might give the most teleish sound. I’m looking for quite an aggressive bite.

    thanks
     
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  2. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Strat-Talker

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    Ooh, yeah, I don't know where the holes are in relation to the scale length.

    I know the string through holes are in slightly different locations vintage vs modern on US made Teles. I don't know how those compare to hardtail Strats.

    Fender did a parallel universe Strat with Tele hardware, white blonde and parchment. It looked beautiful.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    My understanding is that on an astray bridge the mounting holes are nearer the neck than the string holes and the reverse is true on a modern 6 saddle bridge so I’m going for the latter or it won’t work, plus the modern bridge is more compatible with the strat aesthetic.

    is chrome or steel the way to go?
     
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  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Tele 3-barrel half bridges are all over ebay/amazon for under $10-$20, brass and compensated both. Measure string spacing and saddle widths you have now and what you look at.

    Measure scale length from the nut for final bridge placement using E and e strings to ensure alignment to the neck.

    If you use a full tele ash tray bridge you'll need a unique pickguard, the half bridge should allow using a standard Strat pickguard and make it easy to swap loaded pickguards if you want to try other setups. You'll need to put different screw holes in the Strat pickguard for the Tele pickup (many have done this though).

    A Tele's tone and wide versatility and myths are explained by the full steel bridge plate, but actually come from ergonomics (where the body thigh cut and strap pins are located relative to the bridge) and the Strat volume knob blocking much of the string playing combine to cause a player to pick in different locations. Volume knob block alone makes many players pick between the middle and neck pickup while a Tele gets picked with your palm on the bridge or behind the bridge so your pick is on top of the bridge pickup or between the bridge and saddles (for Twang!).

    A Tele bridge pickup with a base plate gives more output as the magnetic flux is reflected at the strings rather than going out the back side of the guitar.

    .
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020 at 9:45 AM
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  5. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    I need the bridge pickup to be anchored to the metal I think and not into a pickguard or into the wood. A half bridge would maybe be easier but it’s not tele enough and I can’t see an ashtray bridge would align with the position of the string holes.

    is steel the best for bridges?
     
  6. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Strat-Talker

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    Did you measure from the nut to the string through holes of your Strat?

    I will measure my Tele with vintage bridge for you, if that would help.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
  7. MrNeutron

    MrNeutron Strat-Talker

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    I'm in the middle of putting a shortend Tele bridge onto a "formerly tremolo-routed body" that I converted to a hardtail. It definitely helps things if you have a "blank slate" to begin with.

    There are some issues to overcome, especially if your body has the standard SSS pickup routing. The end of a standard Tele bridge will kinda hang off in pickup cavity space when mounted where it will intonate. You have to chisel or route a little bit of wood in the bridge pickup's cavity to allow the bigger base of a Tele pickup to physically fit in a Strat routed for a regular Strat-sized single coil. A Humbucker or bathtub route will deal with that effectively. Your pickguard-to-bridge-fit will need to be as perfect as you can get it, so no parts of the now bigger pickup cavity will be visible.

    Where it will intonate is where you want the peak of your high E saddle to sit, as far the location of your bridge for scale length. That's your 25.5" scale length from the fretboard side of the nut. Left to right gets determined by centerline. But a lot of times a neck has some room to move around in a pocket, and possibly may not hit the exact same location twice after removal and replacement of the neck for whatever reasons. For that reason, as far as left to right placement is concerned, I think it best to put 2 strings on the bridge at each "E" location, and see how the the strings look on the fretboard. Make certain the bridge is placed where either of the E strings won't easily slip off the ends of the frets.

    To eliminate that "string hole alignment" issue you spoke of (and to help a little with easier string bends), I plan on using a shortened bridge with the option of being a top loader. You can set the bridge's location independant of any string-thru body holes. My guitar's body won't even have any string holes drilled in it, for now. If you have a vintage 3-saddle type "Patent Pending" bridge, it's pretty easy to drill those for top loading.

    All this stuff is resolvable. It's not new territory; it's been done numerous times. Ya just gotta get a bit creative. I will say that it's much easier to buy a Hybrid body from Warmoth, and build that. You can even get them routed for a middle pickup, Strat pickups, or whatever, For me personally, I like the Strat's body shape & ergonomics, and the Tele's bridge pickup sound, with a Tele's controls. I just like doing things the hard way, and have the parts and time to do it.......
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020 at 6:17 PM
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  8. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Gold Member

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    My take on a hybrid.

    Strat neck - Tele Bridge - SG electronics.

    GXT004-103 sm.jpg

    Termites optional.
     
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  9. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    A strat body cut for telecaster pickups would have been the way to go with say a twisted tele for the bridge or alternatively a swimming pool route or a Humbucker route but the hardtail SSS strat body was all I could find at what seemed like a reasonable price.

    im ok losing some wood to fit the tele bridge pickup but I’m not sure I follow the bit quoted above. I was thinking the bridge would sit nicely on the body given it’s a hardtail and the only potential issue is the position of the string holes on the body versus the string holes on the bridge: are they the right spacing. (Im keen to use the string holes in the body as opposed to fitting a top-loader. I’m reasonably confident the strat neck Ive ordered is compatible with the strat body I’ve got. I think!

    nit worried about pickguards. I can get one cut to order, I should think.
     
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  10. MrNeutron

    MrNeutron Strat-Talker

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    I apologize for not being totally clear up above, @shunter. And I likely made a mistake when I typed it.......

    A lot of what I was talking about depends on the pickup routing your guitar has. It is relatively easy to put a Tele bridge pickup into a Strat body if the Strat body has a Humbucker Bridge pickup rout, or a Bathub rout. You can place the Tele pickup at pretty close to the same proximity as the Strat's using the pickguard as the mounting point with these types of routing. Now, I'm speaking strictly of hardtail bodies here. If you wish to keep the Tremolo, you pretty much have to use the pickguard to mount the pickup after removing enough lumber to accomodate the Tele pickup.

    The standard SSS rout will require a small chunk of wood removed to accomodate using a standard Tele Bridge. Most of it will come out of the part of the cavity nearest the bridge. This way will have the most bridge plate contact for a full length Tele bridge.

    Humbucker routs and bathtub routs won't give the same amount of contact under the bridge as reglar ole SSS routs.

    Maybe some crummy pics might help.....
    Here's the Humbucker inspired routing I did on my guitar body (more to accomodate the Tele bridge pickup than a Humbucker):

    IMG_20200521_182848095_BURST000_COVER.jpg

    Here's the Standard Tele 3-saddle bridge on that rout. Now, notice that I still would need to remove even more wood in the direction of the bridge mounting holes to let the Tele pickup clear and fit using this bridge. It needs a crescent shaped chunk to be removed for the G, B, & E portion of the bigger Tele pickup's base plate. And the part of the Standard Tele's bridge closest to the neck would probably not rest on any wood at all. Definitely wouldn't touch with a Bathtub rout. This bridge still needs to come back further about 1/8" or more align to with the bridge mounting holes.

    IMG_20200521_182924651.jpg

    Here's my StewMac Shorty bridge sitting where it will bolt up. The pickup will need to be bolted to the pickguard for that. I will likely make a pickguard of aluminum for the pickup to bolt to, and will notch the area of the cavity I need to that will allow the Tele pickup to sit closer to where it would if I used a full length bridge.

    IMG_20200521_182945865.jpg

    Hope this helps kinda explain what I meant above. And it shows that it's only a concern with my body's routing, or ones similarly routed. Probably won't be an issue with standdard SSS routs.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020 at 11:08 PM
  11. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster

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    maybe try an AM pro bridge, it has modern fitting and spacing but maintains the traditional tele vibe and has nice quality brass compensated saddles..
     
  12. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    I see what you mean, the full tele bridge is indeed floating in space somewhat. I’m going to remeasure but I think with a modern tele bridge I should have enough wood to support this thing. Maybe getting an sss body was a fortuitous way of retaining as much support as possible as the enlarged cavity I have to cut won’t be any bigger than it absolutely has to be.
     
  13. mistermikev

    mistermikev Strat-Talker

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    imho where h represents humble... "the strat sound" comes from the middle and neck. not just the neck... but perhaps you meant that... and/or perhaps the neck alone is the sound for you.
    in that interest... of achieving both sounds in one guitar... you need a fwd wound bridge, and a rev wound neck to get 'the tele sound'... (of course a tele bridge would be key) and you then need a fwd wound middle pickup to achieve the "4 pos" with middle and neck. that's what it would take for me anyway. so pretty simple to do... with a 5 way switch... just replacing the bridge and middle pickup... but the order you get may or may not be 'sensible'.
    afa bridge... gotoh or die imo.
    just one aholes o.
     
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  14. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    Ok I hadn’t thought of that as I’m not so keen on the 4th position, so I thinking I’d have 2 pickups only and only two controls. But let me see understand your point better: you’re saying a regular tele bridge pup and a regular strat pup, both together wouldn’t sound especially close to a tele with both pickups selected?
     
  15. tubejockey

    tubejockey Strat-Talker

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    Sounds like it might be easier to get what you want with a tele body. Get an unfinished one, do forearm and belly cuts, put in a strat neck pickup.
     
  16. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    No. Has to be a strat body
     
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  17. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    Reading this discussion has renewed my interest in the Parallel Universe WhiteGuard Stratocaster:

    Fender_whiteguard_3_1200.jpeg
     
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  18. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Gold Member

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    I had forgot that was out there.
     
  19. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    That’s a great looking guitar. I’d have gone for that layout with a twisted tele if I could have found the body at a reasonable price
     
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