Harrier Mistral Telecaster Copy

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Roger
Posts: 548
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:02 pm
Location: Southsea

Harrier Mistral Telecaster Copy

Postby Roger » Sat May 12, 2012 6:39 pm

Well, the rather wet Bank Holiday weather was the ideal opportunity to finally finish (for the time being :) ) my Telecaster copy project. As you may remember I bought a Harrier Mistral new off eBay for £39.99, direct from Harrier. Seemed like a silly price for a copy, particularly as it is strung through the body. Due to moving etc etc I just hadn’t had time to do any work on this guitar, but also I think I was putting it off to a certain extent because I hadn’t attempted anything like this before. Anyway here is a summary of what I have and haven’t done:

1. The finish and fittings on the body are fine. The pick-ups are more than adequate for home use, so the only thing I’ve done is to fit a Trev Wilkinson bridge with brass compensating saddles. This has improved the sound I think and also the intonation is pretty well spot-on now. To my ear the guitar has that nice, but harsh Tele sound.

2. Wilkinson tuners have been fitted, which are a VAST improvement over the originals.

3. There was plenty of work to do on the neck and frets. Firstly the ends of the frets needed to be smoothed down as they were protruding from the sides of the fretboard. I think this had become worse since moving house (see comments re my Crafter at the end of this posting). The frets were then buffed to remove any roughness. Next to the fretboard, which is UNFINISHED maple ie no varnish. This was quite rough and needed a bit of work to get it smooth. I then applied some Gibson premium fretboard conditioner, which has improved the appearance and feel of the fretboard (Russ not sure what this is exactly - do you know?).

4. Finally the guitar was fitted with Ernie Ball 9’s. Set-up included a little truss-rod adjustment, setting the action (the Wilkinson Bridge even came with an allen key!) and the intonation (used the Zoom G2 tuner for this - very useful).

All in all I’m really pleased with how the guitar has turned out, at it looks good , sounds like a Tele and plays well. OK the neck could be a bit thinner and the nut doesn’t look too robust, so these may be things for the future.

All of the new parts were purchased from http://www.axesrus.com/axecart.htm. Have to say that I’m REALLY impressed with every aspect of their excellent service - they even replaced a tuner that I’d damaged myself (too much midnight oil and the odd pint!) free of charge (thanks again Jackie!). Highly recommended :D

Finally just a quick mention about my Crafter acoustic (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=941), which had become very difficult to play due to a change in environment ie moving from an older to a newer property. Well thanks are due to Gordon, Bob and Russ - carefully adjusting the truss rod by 1/8th turn at a time did the trick - it's fine now :D

Best to all and thanks for the advice,

Roger :D
Last edited by Roger on Sat May 12, 2012 9:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Roger
Posts: 548
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:02 pm
Location: Southsea

Re: Harrier Mistral Telecaster Copy

Postby Roger » Sat May 12, 2012 6:42 pm

PS Would be grateful for advice about setting pick-up height. Think I'm there, but all help and comments appreciated :D
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Paganwolf
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 11:28 am
Location: Walsall

Re: Harrier Mistral Telecaster Copy

Postby Paganwolf » Sat May 12, 2012 11:19 pm

Hi Roger

Single coil pick-ups should be adjusted to sit with the treble side slightly higher than the bass for a good tonal balance. Fret the two outer strings at the final fret, then adjust the pickups so the polepiece tops sit 2.5mm and 3.5mm from the treble and bass E strings respectively. On a Stratocaster, it is possible to push the pole pieces slightly from beneath to make them proud of the pick up casing (but not too much or they will never remain in place again), I would assume this could be done on the bridge pickup of a Telecaster too. Don't have the pickup too close to the strings however as the magnetic fields can stunt the natural vibration of the string leading to a muddy tone and negligable sustain.
The Axesrus link is very good, I've been on it for an hour, you may want to look at Stewart Mcdonald too http://www.stewmac.com/, although based in the US, he is very prompt at getting stuff over to the UK.

Regards
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Roger
Posts: 548
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:02 pm
Location: Southsea

Re: Harrier Mistral Telecaster Copy

Postby Roger » Sun May 13, 2012 12:28 am

Thanks for that Paganwolf and a belated welcome to the forum from me :D (I'm originally from Birmingham, but now live on the South Coast).
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