Mas Grande

My pal Kearney is a fan of the cheap guitar. Give her props, as they say too often nowadays – she’s going to The Berk and studying bass after many, many years of just dreaming of doing so.

Last week or so, she mentions in passing that she’s been jamming with a cat who went out and grabbed himself a Rondo, and then upgraded it with some Seymour Duncans or whatevers.

So, I’ve got a Telecaster which I refer to as my “cheep Mexi Tele”. After a little quick research, I’ve just discovered it’s vintage 1991, made in Ensenada, Baja California. When I bought it, I was itching for that “Tele sound”. I’ve hung on to it for several years now. I did some sessions in Kearney’s studio years ago where I brought both my Strat and my Tele, and Kearney insisted – I mean insisted on me using the Tele. It’s really funky, after all.

Well, I gave the Tele a present yesterday. I managed to solder everything in OK too. Let me tell ya – it sounds blistering, just through my little crate amp. I can’t wait to play it through a larger rig, preferably one with tubes.

The neck position pickup is the real kicker. Gone is the mushy, unresponsive goo that the stock neck pickup sprayed unevenly across the room. You can hear overtones all the way up to the screaming heavens of 20K – and beyond! Seriously, it sounds wicked pissah. Can you tell I’m psyched?

The other thing that’s amazing is the dynamic response. Last night, I was just picking along lightly and wallowing in Pretenders-esque Tele twang. Then – boomchakkachakka! When I laid into the strings and leaned on them hard, the pups began to growl like grown dogs. What can I say? Even Viv was impressed.

Maybe after the paychecks start up again I’ll put some whatevers on my Strat. I’ll get them from Steve. You should too, if you’re in the market.

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