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

Can a Tele Custom be converted to dual Single Coil?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Mad Kiwi, May 14, 2018.

  1. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

    Have a near new MIM Tele Custom that i like the feel and sound of BUT i'm not really fussed on the neck WHRB so much though I do like Tele Neck pickups.

    So i'm wondering if you can get a custom pickguard that will convert the WHRB back to a Tele neck SC pickup.

    AND is it worth doing or are there other issues making it not so simple like different / bad placement, wont fit etc...?
  2. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2011
    What is it that you like about your Tele Custom? Is it the neck? Having 4 controls? Do you especially like the bridge pickp?

    If you think about what it is that you like about it your decision should be more straightforward. Can you easily find those qualities elsewhere? or transplant them from your Tele Custom, or do you need to put a s/c neck pickup in. I'm sure that you can have a pickguard custom made to fit, but a simpler (possibly temporary) solution might be to get a humbucker to single coil mounting ring to test out the theory. Pickup position may not be ideal, but would be near enough to make an assessment.

    Best of luck.
  3. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2011
    I don't know if there is a conversion ring readily available to fit the Tele Custom mounting specifications, but it should not be too hard to make our own from a scrap of pickguard material (surely that is what the trem cover plate on a Strat was meant for).
    ianstrike and jaybones like this.
  4. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

    Thanks for the thoughts so far.

    I like the guitar in general and almost get on with the WHRB but its always just not quite there.....

    I do like the dual controls so figure making it more a traditional sounding tele with a SC at the neck might be a good solution. I have many Humbucker guitars (LP's, Gretschs etc) so that sound isn't really required anyway.

    These guitars down here are $1899.00 NZ (quite expensive) it's not my first choice ( a normal Tele would have been) but I landed this Musicians Friend blem for around $950 NZ and really like it aside from the average to me sounding WHRB and a non issue to me chip in the paint :).

    I checked out Warmoth for a custom pick guard but they don't offer this mod.

    Wondering if anyone has done it, knows where to get the necessary pickguard and to offer some for's and againsts....
  5. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Meister

    Jun 4, 2010
  6. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
  7. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

  8. tealsixtysix

    tealsixtysix Tele-Meister

    Sep 6, 2015
    Massachusetts USA
    This is easy. Call Warmoth and ask if they can make you a Tele Custom pickguard with a regular single-coil Tele pickup (or whatever you want) cutout in the neck. It's not shown as an option on their site, but I bet the answer will be "yes". (If not, call WD, ask the same question. At least one of them will do it, and it won't be expensive.)
  9. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    Mar 12, 2016
    San Antonio
    Sound wise I can’t imagine it’ll be too different from a regular tele. Maybe a little more highs because of the pot. The pickup choice will have more influence.

    You could test it by taking the WRHB out and screwing the tele SC into the body. You could auction all sorts of pickups that way in that space.

    I’m all for having a made up mind and knowing what you want. Just curious, rhy aren’t you auditioning various other WRHb?

    In general people aren’t impressed with the fender reissues and there are a few people making replacements.
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  10. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

    I have had a squire Custom with a similar sound and didn't really go for that either. I guess I've never really known what a WHRB sounds like and both I have now tried just seem to be missing something. It's not something I lust for. As mentioned above I only bought the guitar as a cheap (to us in NZ anyway) Tele.

    I know I like a Tele Neck pickup (a lot) so figured I could convert it to a Tele pickup.

    Its a good comment on the pot though, never even thought of that. Would probably change that to normal Tele as well.
  11. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    Mar 12, 2016
    San Antonio
    That makes sense. I’m just one of those guys that has old romantic memories of the original WRHBs. So much so that I’m considering breaking my $600 guitar purchase rule to get a vintage-y custom.
  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    This Strat started as an HSS and I cut a scrap piece of black plastic to fill the hole and orient the single coil at an angle -- since I have the flexibility I set it at the Hendrix angle (and it matters for that tone).

    You could easily do the same with yours.

    The other option is you could split the neck humbucker you have into two coils. Push/pull tone pot with 'down' being single coil and 'up' being both coils in parallel or series. You might convert the switching to a Strat blade and get a 5-way with three single coils.

    If you are just not liking the tone of the humbucker ... check your volume pots and see if the humbucker gets a 500kohm and the single coil a 250kohm and if not maybe mod them. Sort pots for high/low on their spec. I've cut kohms down by putting a fixed resistor across the outer two lugs before but this only works if you have a too bright pickkup and want to darken/sweeten it some. Lower the pickup as low as it will go will sweeten it up too. Tone cap changes are often useful. I used to swap pickups until I learned to navigate the control parts.

  13. jayvan

    jayvan TDPRI Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  14. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Holic

    Apr 10, 2014
    I’ve always wondered about WRHB pickups having never had the chance to get fully acquainted. But I understand that it is quite hard to get real versions because Fender puts regular HBs under WRHB pickup covers in some of their products. Do you know if the WRHB you have are faithful reissues?
  15. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Meister

    Jun 4, 2010
    Southpole likes this.
  16. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Aug 6, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    I've posted about this before, but I found the re-issue WRHB neck too muddy and I designed a custom "split single" to replace it under the hood of the WRHB cover, fitting in w/screws and all to look identical but sound COMPLETELY different. It is two mini coils, 3 strings each, with opposite polarity for humbucking performance, but using threaded-pole magnets (no bar magnets at all) and wound to give a total series two-mini-coil inductance in the neck pickup of about 2.3H just like a strat neck. Works like a charm, sounds like a Fender SC (which it should, given the electrical specs). Because I'm not a winder, I had Smitty at MJS custom pick-ups make it up, down to the mm in dimension and number of winds to my spec. I can recommend him highly. It wasn't too expensive and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

    So, you can get SC sound, retaining the humbucker capability, and retaining the visual harmony of the WRHB look. Some will say it can't be done. They are wrong.
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    Mad Kiwi likes this.
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