Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Telecaster Shielding, Part Two

I already had a 4-way pickup switch in the Tele, as well as a tone pot with a push-pull switch on it to select either of the coil taps on the bridge pickup.  I'm keeping the pickup switch, but I'm changing out the volume and tone controls and rewiring the whole enchilada.  (Mmmmmm enchilada).

Here's the control plate with the old volume control (at the lower left) removed, and the old wiring still in place.

As you saw in the last post, I wrapped copper tape around the pickup leads and passed them though the access holes, making sure they contacted the shield in the control cavity.

I had accidentally bent the shaft of the tone pot.  I was coming down to The Dungeon with the Tele in my hand, I slipped and whapped the tone knob.  It bent the shaft!  I was going to replace the pot/switch anyway.  Originally I had used a splined-shaft pot and the set-screw knob didn't work real well with it, as you might imagine.  So I had procured a proper solid-shaft pot.

Here are the two pots I'm using to replace the old ones.  Both are 250K audio taper pots with push-pull DPDT switches.  These are made by Alpha.  I was concerned that I'd have to mod them to get them to turn fast, but they are perfect out of the box.  What a bargain!

When I disassemble stuff like this I always make diagrams so I can put it back together properly.

This is my drawing of the pot wiring - I marked it up here so you can see a mod I like to do on my guitars.  Most guitars are wired in such a way that when you turn down the volume pot, you lose treble.  That's because the volume "input" comes off the same place in the circuit as the volume "input" from the pickups, and the volume gets loaded down by the tone circuit.

If you move the "in" lead (the one going to the left terminal of the tone control) to the center tab of the volume control, your problems will be solved.  This is the "Gibson 50s" or "Fezz Parka" mod.  I find it's far more natural sounding than the typical "treble bleed" mod with a cap and a resistor.  It's certainly easy enough to try.  If you don't like it, it's easy to switch back.

Ok, back to the Tele. 

Here's the mostly finished wiring.  New push-pull tone pot that controls the coil tap on the Don Mare 2-Speed Stingray bridge pickup.  And a new pot/switch for the volume control - I have the switch wired to throw the front pickup out of phase.  It gets a serious volume drop and sounds really thin.

I also changed my .03 tone cap to an .02 as an experiment.  Me no likey.  I'm going back to the .03 I had in there.  Fortunately, unlike a Strat or Jazzmaster, it's super easy to change that cap without dismantling half the guitar to get to it.  Aren't Telecasters great?

Here's the guitar put back together.  Now I have 11 tones with just one switch and 2 knobs!  And the best part is it looks stock.

Here's the bridge - from Glendale guitars.  Love, love, love this thing.! I also have compensated saddles also from Glendale.  This is the 'twang' set - aluminum E/A and brass for the rest.  Supposedly the incredible Redd Volkaert uses this set too.  You get terrific clarity and twang on the bass strings with the aluminum saddles.  New wound strings sound like the bass strings on a piano.  (I know, it's overused as a comparison).

Another neato thing are these great heavy knurled knobs from Callaham Guitars.  Really cool to look at and great to grip for volume swells.


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