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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

4 way switch mod

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by hepcat59, Aug 26, 2017.

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  1. hepcat59

    hepcat59 TDPRI Member

    9
    Nov 29, 2008
    Austin, TX USA
    I've got a 4 way switch in one of my Teles. It gets louder in the 4th (in series) position, as expected, but the tone becomes much darker with loss of treble. I was hoping for more volume while retaining the same tone. Anyone have any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc. Thanks in advance.
     

  2. peterleroux

    peterleroux TDPRI Member

    65
    Oct 1, 2009
    South Africa
    Placing the pickups in series lowers the resonant frequency of the circuit, making it sound bassier. It's an inherent property of the series position, and what people mean when they say it sounds like a humbucker
     
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  3. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
    This is inevitable. You could mitigate some, with 500k pots and . 22 cap, but the series position will always be darker. Learn to work with it - think of it as a dark humbucker, which it is..
     
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  4. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Wire a .02uf cap in parallel with the neck pickup. This retains all low end and humbucker "beef", but dumps some highs from the neck. This accentuates the bridge treble, making the position seem brighter.

    I like it because it's less congested sounding than full series. A bit more open. Bigger cap for more effect, smaller for more subtlety.
     
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  5. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    What p-ups ? Which p-up is grounded ? If its Tele neck and bridge try switching the p-up that is ground. I d switch p-up for p-up, not just the + and G of the pair, grounding a p-ups finish darkens it slightly.
     
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  6. danpan

    danpan Tele-Meister

    203
    Sep 25, 2013
    South Dakota
    I have 4-ways in 2 of my Teles. I love the sound for certain tunes from Santana to Western Swing. Very useful, just takes a little experimenting!
     
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  7. hepcat59

    hepcat59 TDPRI Member

    9
    Nov 29, 2008
    Austin, TX USA
    Thanks for your response... to answer your question as to "what p-ups"?.... I have a Lollar Special T in the neck (which has 3 leads specifically set up for the 4 way mod). The bridge is a Budz pu. I don't know the model. I'd like to get the Lollar Special T bridge p-up too.
     

  8. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Here's a diagram of what I'm talking about. Assuming your 4-way is wired with Series in the forward-most position, all you need to do is add the .02 cap shown.


    Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 12.05.59 AM.png
     

  9. hepcat59

    hepcat59 TDPRI Member

    9
    Nov 29, 2008
    Austin, TX USA
    thanks, I will have to give this a try.... it looks simple enough..... BTW, I love your comment on a laquer finish. So true!
     
    moosie likes this.

  10. Tommyd55

    Tommyd55 Tele-Meister

    218
    Sep 25, 2013
    Southern Missouri
    I know this is not showing a 4way switch but take note of the wire in red change. It's all that is needed to get rid of the treble loss when you roll the volume down. Easy to try . It has worked for me every time I used it. Just move one wire on the vol pot . It might help, it might not in this situation,, but regardless this is how I would always wire my teles. You don't need any treble bleed circuit added, this one mod takes care of that.
    This is what is generally known as the Fezz Parka mod.. it works.

    click to enlarge.
    duncan-tele-wiring-fezz-parka-mod.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

  11. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    That partially addresses treble loss when rolling down the volume pot, which is not the issue here.

    Regardless, I prefer a treble bleed circuit to accomplish that, because this "red wire" aka 50s aka vintage wiring, makes volume and tone pots interactive, in a weird way.
     
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  12. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    27
    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    Fezz parka mod only functions as a treble bleed when the volume is rolled back. It keeps the guitar from getting too dark. This will NOT help a series wired guitar w/ the volume at '10'

    Because the resistance and inductance of the two pickups is added together you get less of a resonant peak and the resonant peak sits at a lower frequency, as well. You can use 500k or 1Meg pots to gain some highs back through the resonant peak. My teles both have series options and I run at least 500K volume and treble to keep the highs open. A 'no load' tone works great with a 500k volume, as well.
    It'll affect all the pickup's tone but it's fairly easy to compensate, or you can try a wiring trick to get the pickups to 'see' more potentiometer resistance in the series position without affecting the resistance the other pickup positions.

    Series position will always be darker than parallel. It seems maybe you're only looking for an output boost? The series position is not ideal for that. You will get some output boost, but you will always notice the midrangy thick humbucker like tone in the series position because of the large increase in inductance of the two series wired pickups. If you want more volume with the same tone, you're barking up the wrong tree. Get a boost pedal and you will be able to get WAY more gain than you'd ever achieve from series wiring, and you wont get the tonal coloration. Either that, or learn to like the series position for what it really is. Access to a thick humbucker tone on a tele...
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

  13. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    In my direct experience that is only sometimes true. Coil shape and whether the coils are the same is also a deciding factor. The typical HB tone comes from the squat coils. I made a dual Squire p-up HB. At the same DC ohm, 7.9K, as a HB and having poles w an AlNiCo bar like an HB, the inductance is probably very close, but it sounds totally clear and Straty.
     

  14. user34603

    user34603 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    67
    94
    Dec 5, 2016
    Richmond VA
    This is a 4-way Tele switch mod problem, but unrelated to the opening question. Mine is this: I used a diagram to wire up the switch, as I have done several others in the past. This time I have normal bridge and neck alone. But the 'both on' positions (parallel and series) are thin and weak sounding. Those are positions 2 and 4.
    I installed a Schecter PT bridge pickup which is a clone of the Duncan Quarter Pounder with 2 wires while I had the guitar apart.
    I'm thinking I may simply have 2 wires backwards and that causes the 'both on' positions to get thin and weak. The new bridge pickup may be black hot and white ground (backwards of what I am accustomed to).

    If the bridge and neck pickups are not both with white hot and black ground... I can see why I would be out pf phase. But I don't have a way to know which is ground and which is hot on each pickup (stock Affinity neck and Schecter PT bridge)... no meter, etc.

    Anyone know the answer ? And don't tell me to just try stuff... I'd like to know the answer to fix it with 1 resolder task.... not fool around 'trying stuff'.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017

  15. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Tele-Holic

    Age:
    57
    598
    Jan 4, 2017
    Wales
    Sounds like you're 'out of phase'. Swap the leads on the neck p/up over.
     
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  16. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    Ya switch two
     
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  17. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    No fooling around, but it doesn't merit it's own thread? Hmm
     

  18. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    I does sound like they re phased wrong. I'm 90% sure thats it. If its not its the switch, in fact look at it just before you rewire since the hood's up.
     

  19. user34603

    user34603 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    67
    94
    Dec 5, 2016
    Richmond VA
    I would not figure on a 4-way Tele switch to be faulty.... they are stamped out by machines just like a CRL... all alike. The obvious thing I notice is the new Bridge pup has black and white wires and the stock Neck pickup the same. But I have no way to verify each pickup is hot white and black ground .... and a neck pickup usually has a tiny copper wire to be snipped and then a separate ground from the pickup cover to the volume pot rear face. But the Affinity neck pickup does not have one visible. Some posters in other places indicate that if no small copper wire is visible, no need to do anything (pickup is grounded with 1 black wire). I don't know how to figure it out since I am not much into how to find the answers. And I don't want to take it to a repair guy to pay his rate for a simple fix if I can discover what it is.
     

  20. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    Forget the lead wires, they re just Bl start, Wh finish of the coil wind. If they are reverse wound or reverse poled they ll be out of phase. Every winder seems to prefer either clockwise or counterclockwise. Duncans are usually OoP w Fenders.
     

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