Contemporary Telecaster HH

Discussion in 'Squier Telecasters' started by Lanaka, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

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    Feb 11, 2020
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    YUP, Twin Town in MN! Turns out I bought their last one!

    I stuck it into the cart, then sent an email enquiry to confirm it's there, and got a response the following morning saying that they got it. I immediately paid for it and it shipped within 48 hrs. Midway thru this period, the website updated the guitar from "In Stock" to "Unavailable." Less than a week later it has hit the shores of the island.

    Well, actually, I EXPECT it to land in the next 12 hrs. USPS has it "in transit" from MN since Friday with 2 stops logged, so I reckon it was at the Cali hub yesterday and now flying over the Pacific. From the Airport, theres one more jump to local PO, before it gets flagged as "Out for Delivery." It should arrive here tomorrow and I'm eager to unbox and see it! I will post the arrival and unboxing tommorow! Happy happy joy joy!

    PS: I hope ye wasn't planning on buying that one, if so, I'm sorry. :( Naaah, not really! ;)OKOK, a little! :p Tho seriously, as this model is quite recent, I'm sure that a few more are still lurking about at the MSRP. Good luck in finding one! :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  2. drewcp

    drewcp Dr. Squier

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    That's awesome. They are local to me. I'm very familiar with that store
     
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  3. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

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    Feb 11, 2020
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    Ohhh COOL! Please tell Andrew Bell (he's the one who answered my enquiry) I said "Mahalo nui loa kakou," or in English, "Thank you very much!"

    Just got an update from USPS, they may be late, dunno how late they'll be in arriving tho, but we'll see.
     
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  4. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    It's 1am here Monday morning and just got an update from USPS, Kaʻalalā has landed in Hawaiʻi. It may arrive on time after all!
     
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  5. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI

    Hey JsJr, was browsing for parts at the STRATosphere, when I ran across this listing.

    https://stratosphereparts.com/fende...e-neck-telecaster-12-radius-6105-frets-maple/

    The specs are almost identical to the Squier Contemporary Telecaster HH, altho I dunno if the neck heel is compatible. I figured ye might be interested in this as I recall yer complaint about missing the tall thin jumbo frets. :D
     
  6. Jsjr

    Jsjr Squier Talker

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    Los Angeles
    Yes, that neck is very close to the one on the contemporary guitars. The only difference is the tall narrow frets on the Fender neck compared to the jumbo frets on the contemporary. That's a really nice neck at a reasonable price. I would have bought that Fender neck instead of the rosewood John 5 neck I purchased had the opportunity presented itself. You'll have no issues at all mounting the Fender neck to the contemporary body.
     
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  7. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
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    That's good to hear, looks like Squier is getting better compatibility wise! The routing on the Nashville body that was also listed there looks remarkably similar to what's under the Contemporary Telecaster HH's pickguard. I suspect the Squier used the Nashville as the basis for this model.

    OH, that reminds me...(see next post)
     
  8. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    NGD: The Flame, Kaʻalalā, has arrived!

    What follows is my initial impressions on opening box and first look at it.

    The first thing I noticed RIGHT away is the difference in the neck. Kakaha, a 2017 guitar, had semi-gloss neck and fretboard so had a slight amber tint. OTOH Kaʻalalā has a full satin neck and board, only the headstock front is red glossy. The rest of neck and headstock has a whitish tint, to rephrase @Jsjr, it looked like it's bleached. Hmm, may have to stain the beck amber, but will wait a bit. Maybe Hawai'i's climate will tint it for me. At least I like the feel of the red '20 neck better, even tho I prefer the look of the black '17 guitar's neck better.

    The Flame's body and headstock red metallic finish looks flawless at initial inspection. Closer look reveals no visual issues...so far. The pickguard is a 3-ply white-black-white as opposed to The Force's Light Mint Green-Black-light mint green 3-ply. The chrome hardware looks identical. I do notice that the vintage style jack cup is not neatly seated into the body. Like the black one, I'll need to replace it with a new modern bolt-down cup. Hmm, the switch is slightly bent towards the strings, it's not too bad, just enough to be noticable but should not affect the functionality of the switch. No matter, as I intend swapping the entire plate assembly anyway. Strings themselves looks to be in fairly new condition with NO sign of corrosion, that I will probably leave them on for now.

    Hmm, gonna have to decipher the serial, CYKG20009485.

    I'm pretty sure it's China @ Yako, dunno what KG means, year 2020, #009485. So it's definitely a COVID China guitar. I bet very few guitars was made in China last year.

    And YES, once I realized its a '20, I rubbed it down with a sanitizer wipe, waited a bit before I wiped it dry, and THEN washed hands. Seriously doubt the virus would've survive a half year, BUT, who knows where it was between 2020 and now.

    Unfortunately, the box it shipped to me in was for a Squier Affinity Tele MN BLK, so its not it's original box. So I have no idea of its original ship date to Twin Town. I suspect it probably spent some time on the floor as a display/demo. Altho, it does not show any sign of use at all. Still the Mainland WAS hit harder than here in Hawai'i.

    So better safe than sorry. Def do not wanna get infected so soon before my turn under the needle.

    The Hawai'i State Gov are now working on the 65 age bracket + restaurant/hotel/tourism/education employees (after starting with the 75 age + Frontline critical workers). Next will be the 55 bracket and secondary public and hospitality employees (basically people working in the 65 bracket that doesn't have direct contact with the public). Then everyone in the 35- up bracket, finally the rest of the people @ 18-up.

    I'll post later with playing impressions and finally pics. It's way past lunch time as I've sat outside all day waiting for this one to come in! I'm HUNGRY!!! :D

    -Lan
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  9. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Ok, playing impressions.

    Both pups on Kaʻalalā seems kinda weak to me, even after I've had set them to the same heights as Kakala. So it's a good thing I have replacement pups already flying in. Should be here within the week.

    I really like the feel of the neck under the left hand. The satin surface absolutely doesn't get sticky to the hand. Loved the fretboard has a tiny bit of rolled edge and the frets themselves are quite excellent altho there are a few frets that are not perfect but should be an easy fix with a few touches of the fret files.

    Switch is a bit scratchy and binds slightly in its throw travel, think it got slightly bung up a bit during it's travels (dunno which one tho. But suspect it's not on the trip to me because there's no matching indentation on the insides of the shipping box.

    The knobs turns smoothly with no scratchy or popping sounds.

    The output jack is a bit wibbly wobbly a "feature" of the vintage style cup, methinks. I'm gonna swap that out for a modern cup and screw the puppy in so it ain't moving at all! (Cue Grouchy Smurf's voice) Ah HATE loose parts! I can't for the life of me understand why Fender/Squier don't make the modern cup standard equipment across all Telecasters. Obviously except for vintage reissues, altho IF I were to buy one of these, I'd STILL swap those danged cups out!!!

    On closer inspection, I'm not sure if the neck is even coated with anything. It looks bare wood to me. I may have to take the guitar to a luthier to verify this. If it IS bare wood, then an amber semi-gloss fretboard and amber satin neck is needed ASAP to protect it from Hawai'i's humid climes. If it IS coated, it's VERY thin to point I cannot tell.

    Pics upcoming, I've been really busy last few days. I promise!

    -Lan
     
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  10. Jsjr

    Jsjr Squier Talker

    Age:
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    Jan 11, 2017
    Los Angeles
    Can't wait to see the finished projects
     
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  11. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Good news finally! After 10 days of nail biting wait with NO updates from UPS, my VST/JB pup set for Kaʻalalā has arrived!!!

    Here's a pic of the unopened package.
    IMG_20210423_125818_HDR.jpg
    I'm deliberately covering my addy with my thumb but ye can see SD's addy.

    BTW here's a pic of the background. ;)
    IMG_20210423_125905_HDR.jpg
    The eagle-eyed may see Kakaha hiding behind my Agile Les Paul. Kaʻalalā is hiding to the left, behind the Les Pauls. It's a shy guitar, LOL. Oh that reminds me. I'll be working on the pics of the twain as soon it stops raining...want to take them outside and shoot them under the indirect sun to bring out their metallic glory!

    On opening the box, there's, oddly enuff, a brochure for the SD Antiquity line on top.
    IMG_20210423_132341_HDR.jpg
    Guess SD is trying to encourage me to try tgeir Antiqities, but they're SO danged expensive! Not to mention, most of my guitars look in better shape than the reliced looks of the pups...e'en the older guitars I have from the 80s and older.

    Here's the rest of the box contents: the Antiquity brochure, a SD sticker, and the pups.
    IMG_20210423_132446_HDR.jpg
    Ooh a sticker! I'll stick it onto my metal attache case, e'en tho I don't use it for guitars. It's my ghost hunting gear box.

    A closeup of the pups themselves!
    IMG_20210423_132914_HDR.jpg
    On the left is the Vintage Stack Tele neck and on the right is the visually matching Nickel JB HB. Hope these two plays nicely with each other!

    Since the rest of the electronics hasn't arrived yet, I'm going to install the new pups in situ with the existing Squier electronics. Gonna be interesting to see how the Vintage Stack Tele neck reacts to the 500k pots.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  12. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Btw, forgot to mention that I went ahead and ordered two custom wiring schematics from Guitar Electronics for Kakaha and Kaʻalalā. I'm gonna try wire up the guitars myself. I can do it IF I have the necessary schematics handy.

    Both guitars will use the 3-knob 920D plates in reversed configuration with 2 volumes, 1 tones and 3-way switches, but each guitar will operate slightly differently. I also asked GE to design the schematics using solderless connections for the pups.

    Kakaha, with 3 stacked single coil pups, will have 3 B250k pots, with linear tapers. First is the volume for BOTH neck and bridge. Second is volume for middle ONLY. Tone will affect all 3 pots. The 3 pups will be balanced at max volume via height adjustments. The 3-way will switch between neck and bridge ONLY, as per standard Telecaster operation. Middle will be added by dialing in its volume. Middle ONLY will be by turning the volume of the neck/bridge to zero. And I can have ALL 3 pups running by selecting position 2 on switch and dialing in both volumes as needed. The tone pot will have 0.33μF caps. I will be using G.E.'s variable treble bleed circuit since I have no idea what value resisters I wanna use.

    Kaʻalalā, with a humbucker and a stacked single coil (of which SD recommends to use 500k & 250k pots, respectively). I'm thinking B250k volume first for the neck pup and a B500k volume next for the bridge humbucker. Both pups are height adjustable. Here I had no idea on the appropriate value for the tone pot with mixed pups, so I asked GE whether a B300k pot OR a different value is a better choice. I told GE that they have discretion on the value of the tone pot. Again tone cap of choice is 0.33μF. Also using the GE variable treble bleed circuit again on the volumes. The 3-way switch will operate as standard Telecaster.

    Both guitars will use a Puretone output jack of appropriate colored finish along with a matching modern cup...no more wibbly wobbly cups for me!

    This should give me the simplest operation with the greatest amount of versatility....I hope, LOL!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
  13. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Just to hedge my bets I went ahead and ordered the Hot Stack Tele bridge pup from The STRATosphere. My backordered Vintage Stack Tele neck/Hot Stack Tele bridge with Guitar Electronics is still open. The STRATosphere HST is already on the move in the mail to here.

    The plan is to go ahead with installing the JB in red Kaʻalalā and use the black Kakaha's neck pup. And I'll initially use the VST and HST in Kakaha with the stock 500k pots just to see how I like the sound of them with these pots, altho I suspect SD's recommended 250k pot will probably sound best). If they arrive early, I will even try the 300k pots as well. For easier pot changes, I'm gonna use the grounding lugs instead of soldering the wires direct to body of the pots.

    My SD Custom Shop "Hot Twang Banger Stack Strat" is currently awaiting the fabrication of the Twang Banger copper plated metal base and the single blade. Once they're in hand then they will wind the coils. Im expecting the "HTB Stack" to ship mid to late May. Hopefully by June the project will be done, along with Kaʻalalā since the components for both guitars are being ordered at same time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  14. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
    51
    260
    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Personal Update: Just had the first Pfizer COVID Vaccine shot this past Wednesday afternoon. Hoo boy, MASSIVE headaches all day Thursday, I think I now have a reference for a migraine. :mad:

    Today, Friday is first time I have not had a serious headache, which is good cuz that was compounded by the pain in left arm due to a pulled/torn tenon in the lower end of the upper arm. Been dealing with that one for over a month.

    Project Update: The Hot Stack Tele is scheduled to arrive tomorrow! Happy happy joy joy. Still waiting on the 2 electrical schematics, for which I can then order the electrical parts for 3 guitars (Kakaha, Kaʻalalā, and Kaʻālilelile). That reminds me, I've as yet to start design on the electricals for Kaʻōlinolino. More details forthcoming on that on the "NGD eBay Squier Telecaster FSR" thread.

    https://www.squier-talk.com/threads/ngd-ebay-squier-telecaster-fsr.185717/page-2

    However, I'll do that while I'm on the bus to my scheduled doc's appointment (follow up checkup for the arm).

    -Lan
     
  15. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Update: The Hot Stack Tele pup is scheduled to arrive maybe tomorrow (after being delayed AGAIN).

    I've gone on a completely different direction on the plans for Kaʻōlinolino and Kaʻālilelile (see deets in their thread if interested), but short version is that I no longer need the SD pups for them, so am going to cancel my waiting order with Guitar Electronics for the VST/HST pups (which I now already have) and instead use the $ as credit towards the remainder of the electronics bits/pieces to complete the projects.

    Plans for black Kakaha remains unchanged and will progress as planned.

    For the red Kaʻalalā, since I now need to find a new neck pup, I probably order another Vintage Stack Tele neck from SD.

    The other option is to either retain the stock neck pup from Kakaha OR use a another SD neck humbucker. Perhaps the nickel '59 or Jazz, or the Whole Lotta Humbucker neck. Hmm, think I'll for now use the Kakaha stocker neck for now until I decide what to put there.
     
  16. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    260
    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Update: The Hot Stack Tele pup is scheduled to arrive maybe tomorrow (after being delayed AGAIN). Actually the 1st and the 3rd has passed, so may have to call STRATosphere and ask them to find out what's up with USPS.

    I've gone on a completely different direction on the plans for Kaʻōlinolino and Kaʻālilelile (see deets in their thread if interested), but short version is that I MAY go EMG on both, but that's not set in stone as I'm still in early research stage for these two guitars.

    For the black Kakaha, everything seems to have settled and is now 100% firmed. For red Kaʻalalā, it's still a bit shakey, but looks 90% firm on the HS setup with the JB/VST set, altho I may consider keeping it HH, by adding 2017 Kakaha's neck pup (which for some reason sounds WAY better than the neck pup on 2020 Kaʻalalā, I'm guessing its a sunset model downgrade).
     
  17. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    I've changed my mind, I find I REALLY like the sound of the Vintage Stack with the Hot Stacks together that I'll keep the red Kaʻalalā that way and order a third pair of VST/HST pups for the black Kakaha to work along my Hot Twang Banger Stack Strat in the middle. The second set has been commandeered by the red Bullet Telly, Kaʻōlinolino, LOL!

    The nickel JB, along with a new nickel '59 4-wire will go into another guitar, most likely one of my Les Pauls. Hmmm...which one?

    I will eventually be changing the pickguards to stainless steel versions, but those are quite expensive so that will be done last. Not to mention the company that makes them is still getting itself back up to speed after nearly a year of semi-shutdown. Hate to see how much shipping will cost for them to get here from Australia. :eek:

    Control wise, they remain same as planned. The knobs and tips OTOH, will change a bit. I have a set of stainless top hat knobs enroute to me from the Mainland. And I just found a source for stainless switch tips. Tis a good thing that stainless will visually work well with both red and black metallics guitars! Only thing left is to find someone who can make a stainless copy of the 920D control plate! Oh and stainless humbucker trim rings.
     
  18. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
    51
    260
    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Well, I just picked up the Strat, now omw back home on da bus. Sheez, been hot/muggy all week, NOW it starts raining. :(

    Cant wait to get home and put the guitar thru the wringer test. Then start dismantling it in prep for the upgrades.

    Hmm, the indian laurel board is interesting. First time I have this fretboard wood. Definitely doesn't look like a rosewood, BUT is better looking than pau ferro. I already know I no likey the pau ferro as a tonewood too.

    Gonna be interesting what laurel will contribute to the basswood body.
     
  19. irvinlamar

    irvinlamar Squier Talker

    Age:
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    31
    Mar 15, 2021
    Decatur, AL
    Lipstick in the neck and H.B. bridge... Maybe a H.B. with the single coil switch in the bridge..
     
  20. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Thanks for the reply and input! I just realized I posted my last in the wrong thread, LOL. It's supposed to be in this one:

    https://www.squier-talk.com/threads/ngd-ebay-squier-telecaster-fsr.185717/

    And I actually have something like what ye suggested. Its on a 2005 Yamaha EGC-103C, a red metallic reissue of Yamaha's 60-70s era Flying Samurai. In that one I went really off the beaten track by swapping out the SSS pups for a SD Lipstick Tube Strat in neck, RWRP Surfer Strat middle and a Twang Banger Strat in bridge. So I can have a Tele, a Strat and a Danny in one guitar.

    Below is the unmodified pic of the guitar.
    00U0U_85rAUMeMGz8_636x900.jpg

    I think when I get it outta storage, I'm gonna slightly revise it a bit: Vintage Stack Tele neck, RWRP Lipstick in middle and a Hot Stack Strat in bridge. Actually now that i think on it, gonna ask SD whether they can create a mild stacked Lipstick. If they can, then that's whats going into middle. Then I'll have noiseless set in another guitar!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021 at 3:04 AM
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