69 Thinline to 72 Thinline - Pickguard /Electronics Conversion questions

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Chris Rex, May 17, 2019.

  1. Chris Rex

    Chris Rex TDPRI Member

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    Hello all!

    New to the forums, and you guys seem hands-down like the best place to come for help/advice. I am interested in doing some modifications to an existing '69 style thinline' body as well as looking into working with a 72 thinline.
    Being as how these are not in my possession yet (And may or may not be depending on the answers) I was hoping someone with experience with these models may be able to help with some questions.

    Please keep in mind that I'm not so interested as to the cost factor/'is it worth it versus buying something different', but mainly the feasibility of these situations and just a general curiosity which drives these experiments :) There is a friend who I am constantly trading parts with, so that's why I like to tinker...

    In a nutshell:

    1- Would a 72' thinline pickguard fit on and cover the screw holes of a 69 style thinline? It APPEARS to be so when i use cutouts and overlays, but was wondering if anyone has any direct experience, or even both guitars in possession to eyeball it. Is there any other physical factor that might be an issue?

    For explanation: there is a 69 style thinline body that I may trade for that I love the color/shape of, but I want to try and put an older WRHB in the neck and a filtertron in the bridge (A combo that I love on other Teles that I've 'Frankensteined'. So i am thinking about routing the holes a bit larger and then putting the 72 pickguard over the newly widened pickup holes.


    2- A bit of background: I've drilled 4 holes in a standard tele control plate and gone with 3 pots and a les paul style toggle switch.
    Referencing the 72 or 69 thinline again, and assuming no additional routing, if I got a custom pick guard and left the control area blank, is there room to squeeze those same 4 controls in the control area of the thinline? I guess a simple way of asking is: " Is the routed control area of a thinline the same 'area' as a standard tele control cavity?

    Sorry for the book... I tend to over-explain things!
     
  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Welcome, Chris!

    No, I've done the mockup with the very parts you're talking about, and really nothing at all matches from the '69 style to the '72 style. That fellah with the German name they hired to do the '72 started basically from scratch. Through holes in the wrong places, routing all different/incompatible so that even if your '72 style body happens to be a 4 hole variation on that template, the amount of work is so extensive it simply makes no sense.

    If you're going to do additional pots on something that started with just the two, you may wanna use Alpha or other miniature or Asia spec pots. The big ole CTS pots need tons of space.
     
  3. Chris Rex

    Chris Rex TDPRI Member

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    Thank for writing!
    I completely get that they don’t match up... I guess I was just more curious as to whether the 72 Pickguard (and any new holes) would COVER any remnants of the 69 holes etc :)
     
  4. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When you eyeball the two guitars side by side, one would assume there'd be a fair amount of shared reference points. But the '72 is a "Clean Sheet of Paper" design and not an adaptation as one's eyes would suggest. I was sort of shocked just how absurdly difficult it would be to come up with a conversion because separate tone and volume controls when HBs and WRHBs are involved (with or without single coils) is a real worthwhile thing to accomplish. In other words, there's a genuine, practical reason as to why one basically never sees this conversion brought to fruition.
     
  5. Chris Rex

    Chris Rex TDPRI Member

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    Thanks again! Keep in mind tht I am referring to the thinline version of the both the 72 and the 69, not the 72 deluxe (which has the separate volume and tone controls)
     
  6. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    No. The 69 Thinline and 72 Custom and 72 Thinline have different routes and mounting. The Deluxe and 72 Thinline are somewhat similar. Even then not identical. There's big routes under the pickguard that don't exist in the 69. Rossmeisl designed all of them and there's plenty of space in the 69 cavities for components. There's a solid 'bar' of wood between the neck pocket and bridge with routes for the pickups, but either side of that a hollow batwing.

    You'd be better off getting a pattern pickguard cut - there's people who can custom supply a 69 MOTS guard bevel cut on the edges for dual hummer pickups.

    One issue Boris has alluded to - even if you get the pots mounted on the 69 pickguard and button it all up they probably will end up where you don't want them in a non-ergonomic stagger or right where you'd rest your fingers or hit with your pick. Sometimes guitar designs don't make much sense until you screw with them and find out there's a reason the control layout and pickguard was left just so.

    One problem you will have with your proposed pickup combo is a stock Filtertron like in my Setzer is not a strong output pickup.

    I built a 72-style Custom Tele for my friend with a real WRHB - it's a hell of a lot more volume than a 52ri pickup. We had to go to a SD Hotrails bridge to get balanced output or in between or bridge-only it was like it had a broken wind.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I often forget that, since every '72 Thinline project I've ever drawn up always has the 4 dials. I just think they're mandatory on that design. Guitar Center/Musicians Friend commissioned a '72 Thinline with those features about 9 years ago.

    Like this:

    https://reverb.com/ca/item/2128952-...caster-rare-upgraded-like-72-thinline-reissue
     
  8. Chris Rex

    Chris Rex TDPRI Member

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    Thanks again everyone, for the food for thought!
     
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