Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Lollar El Rayo, Cavalier Twin Lion Pickup Installation on Telecaster

Now I'll put the new pickups on the Tele.

In my search for a humbucker with more clarity than the usual humbucker, I came across the Lollar 'El Rayo.'  It promises to be clearer and cleaner.  In fact, the Lollar website says "Don't like humbuckers?  Think again."  So I sprung for one.

The pickup itself is impeccably made, like anything from Lollar.  You may recall I have a tapped Lollar P-90 in my ES-225, and it is just fabulous.

The other pickup that's going in is a Cavalier 'Twin Lion' from Cavalier Pickups.  Cavalier is a  custom shop run by Rob DiStefano.  The original pickup was one of Rob's stock ones, and I really liked it.

I liked it so much that I wanted to try another one - in this case a tapped Bakersfield/Fat Lion model.  The Bakersfield tap is about 6.3k and the Fat Lion tap is about 9.6k, both measured on my Fluke DMM.

I had gotten El Rayo with 4-conductor wiring so I could wire it with a coil shunt switch.  And of course, there are 2 taps on the Cavalier pickup.

I wired them both up with push-pull switches.  The Lollar is on the neck and the Cavalier is on the bridge (duh).  So now I have 2 push-pull switch pots on the guitar.

Tested the wiring, and it worked fine.

But then I ran into a slight obstacle.

For whatever reason, there is a raised 'block' in the middle of the control cavity.  This raised area is fouling the volume control switch. Dagnabbit!

Now, every Tele I've ever worked on has had the old-style flat bottomed cavity.

Like the missing truss rod adjustment slot we saw in the last installment, this too has me scratching my head. 

What to do?

Out comes a chisel and hammer.

I make like Lenny DaVinci carving a statue and have at it.

Only difference is that this isn't art!
Thwack, thwack, thwack.

Not quite as easy as the truss rod slot, but just as effective.

A big rubber mallet is such a good thing to have when working on guitars, don't you think?

You can see the bare wood where I removed that silly raised area in the cavity.

I sort of understand the truss rod access not being there.  A lot of 'modern' Teles don't have a heel-adjust rod.  Ok.

But this I don't understand.  Wouldn't it be easier to rout the whole cavity flat like our hero Leo did in the first place?


We just glue a small piece of aluminum foil (the poor man's RF shielding material) over the bare wood and we're back in business.

I also consolidated a couple of ground leads so there are a couple less connectors at the star ground.

Now we move on to Final Assembly.


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