Kevin, your amp setup sounds pretty interesting. I saw Manual Scan play at the Secret Society Scooter Club 25th Reunion show at the Casbah and thought you guys really rocked. Great power pop. Little amps are cool. I played a Fender Super Champ once in the 80's and was blown away by the sound. It was an 18 watt tube amp w/a 10" speaker. Carvin makes a little amp that switches between 16 and 5 amps w/a 12" speaker. I wanna try it when I get time, but they only have a few stores so I'll have do it when I'm in Sacramento or S.D.
So since my last post in August I got some more stuff. I called up Lindy Fralin, he answers the phone himself. He said the metal cover on the Tele neck pickup does indeed cause the dark sound, and the reason is the metal used. Most Tele neck pickup covers are multiple metals plated together. I think he said they use nickle, brass, copper and chrome. His, I think, are nickle and chrome. I got both the neck and bridge Tele Stock Replacement pickups from L.F. and had Rich Hoeg, [hoegguitars.com
] , put 'em in along w/a fancy pickup cover and some compensated bridge saddles which help the intonation. They pickups sound really clear and bright. The neck pickup does sound something like a Strat pickup. Since I still haven't figured out how to post pictures, even with special powers, you can see the Tele here [www.flickr.com
] and here: [www.flickr.com
I also got a 12-string electric from Carvin. Ya gotta see this one: [www.flickr.com
] and: [www.flickr.com
] . It's got active tone controls that can boost the treble and bass, which create a really nice tone. It's got coil splitters and phase shifter, which I don't use too much. On this guitar I like to use the bridge pickup set to double coil.
On my Washburn, [matsumoku.org
] , I like to use the neck pickup set to double coil (it has push-pull coil splitters on the volume knobs). I had it refretted recently w/stainless steel frets. I dropped this guitar once when I was holding it (caseless) while riding a skateboard down one of the Henry St. hills in Mission Hills. It bounced head over tail at least once and survived!