September 20th, 2009, 05:09 PM
Hello everyone...I have a tele thinline '69 reiussue, which I love, but the volume and tone knobs are essentially on off switches. I've heard that a lot of people changed the 1M pots to 250k, which would presumably fix this problem, and would also eliminate some of the extreme brightness going on, which would be nice too.
Anyone out there who has done this before? I think I can figure out the soldering process, but any suggestion where to buy the pots? Audio or linear? Cheap or expensive? etc.
Thanks so much!!!
September 20th, 2009, 05:21 PM
I am planning on changing mine to 250k pots.
I am also changing the pups to a set of CS '51 NoCaster pups.
Measured them today, neck is 7.26 & bridge is 7.47 ohms.
September 20th, 2009, 06:23 PM
I changed the volume pot to 250K and left the tone knob at 1M. Took care of the excessive brightness you mentioned, but still have lots of room on the tone pot. I like the way it works.
September 21st, 2009, 12:28 AM
Awesome, thanks. Any advice on where to get the pots/what kind of pots to get? Does it really matter, or are pots a one size fits all sort of thing?
I'm kind of new to the whole guitar modification thing. I've read about audio vs. linear pots; is one kind standard for pots? I'm under the assumption audio would make the most sense for a volume knob...?
September 21st, 2009, 06:36 AM
Audio taper is the preferred way to go because they work the way we hear. Most folks in these here parts prefer CTS pots, available online from any number of outlets. If you live in metro Baltimore, there are a bunch of good independent guitar shops around. Call around first to see who has what in stock. And you might want to pick up some tone capacitors while you're at it, as installing a new one is far easier than desoldering and reusing the one you currently have.
September 21st, 2009, 08:01 AM
As Parma TeleMon noted audio taper is most commonly preferred.
You'll need pots with a solid shaft to fit your stock set-screw knobs correctly.
I like the CTS pots made like these (http://www.mojotone.com/item.asp?pid=80102&pg=45000&id=2112360) from Mojo, with the short .25" bushing and dimpled bottom. The pots I most often find in Maryland local stores are the more common Allparts branded pots which have the longer .375" bushing and flat bottom like these (http://www.mojotone.com/item.asp?pid=21955&pg=45000&id=9010040). If you get those with the longer bushing, you'll need a couple of extra washers (either the star or flat type) under the pickguard or else the knobs will be left sticking high off the pickguard surface. I also prefer the dimpled bottom style for its easy turning. I can get the flat bottom style to turn as easily by disassembling it, removing the excess grease in the pot bottom and lubing it with good spray tuner cleaner; or by spraying lots of that lube/cleaner through one of the holes and using it a while (turning it a lot). But the dimpled bottom type turns easily when I get them, without having to work on them.
September 21st, 2009, 03:37 PM
Thanks so much!! Is the capacitor thing a big deal? I have absolutely no knowledge regarding capacitors. Does the kind(value?) of capacitor make a difference in the sound?
September 21st, 2009, 04:30 PM
Yup. The lower the value, the brighter the tone.
September 22nd, 2009, 10:35 PM
Awesome, thanks. How do I know what is a high/low value? I mean, what is the range of capacitor values? I feel totally in the dark about these things...Is there a good book/website about this stuff?
September 23rd, 2009, 12:37 AM
Well I killed two birds with one stone. I removed the two neck pickup control pots from my '72 custom (250k) and swapped them for the pots in my '69 thinline (1 meg). It was very worth while on BOTH guitars. Not only did it help the '69 thinline in the ways you guys have posted, it also opened up the neck humbucker in my '72 custom, it's not as muddy now...
September 24th, 2009, 02:04 AM
I have a 69 Thinline Sunburst Ash Body. I made this change too. New 250 K pots, new Fender 3 way switch, a set of Fender original vintage pickups, a .33UF capaciter, and a set of Brass Saddles. This made a guitar that I not only love to play, but sounds great.
September 24th, 2009, 06:34 AM
Brass saddles made a big difference on my '69 also. Amazing what a couple of tweaks can do. The only downside is that now I have to take my Tele along any time I want to give an amp a decent test drive as there ain't nuthin' on the wall like my Tele.
....This is my Tele. There are many like it but this one is mine.
September 24th, 2009, 06:57 AM
ENC2 have a look at stewmac.com free information on understanding guitar wiring. It has helped me to show people I build for and helped them make a choice about what caps give what sound. I agree, lower value (e.g. .022Uf) gives a brighter tone with say vintage p/ups. Otherwise use .05uF or .047uF for a mellower sound-and YES do use some type of treble bleed cap. even if it's just a .001uF on the volume pot.Cheers.
September 24th, 2009, 07:44 AM
I didn't like the original bridge plate, the corner edges were uncomfortable to my palm and so I tried a FENDER PAT PEND plate which in my experience on other Teles was more comfortable. As an unexpected consequence of the bridgeplate change it seemed to sound better also. Later I swapped the FENDER PAT PEND plate out for a Hwy 1 plate which, like the original, is stamped with the simple FENDER parallel to the saddles instead of parallel to the pickup. I made that swap for two reasons, one was to have a bridgeplate with the FENDER stamp like the original, and second was to see if it made the Tele sound different/better. I think it sounds better.
I tried brass saddles on mine and they made a difference, but I didn't like that difference. I like the sound of mine better with steel saddles; YMMV. I had Glendale compensated steel saddles on it and it sounded good but I had problems with the plain steel strings slipping sideways so I switched back to the original non-compensated, grooved steel Fender saddles.
I've tried a few different pickup sets in mine and have settled on the set Fender puts in the AV '62 Custom Tele.