Do you love the selector switch on a Tele? Didn't think so...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DHart, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA

    I've got eight Teles now. I love Teles! But all along the way, I've NEVER loved using the pickup selector switch because with it's long-throw, it has always felt slow, clunky and awkward to me.

    There is a great solution just for people, like me, who aren't crazy about the standard Tele selector switch: the Les Paul style selector switch!


    The Les Paul style switch is easy to rotate to make it operate "up-down" or "forward-back", or at a 45º angle! It takes just the slightest effort to make a pickup change with the switch - quick, easy, and virtually effortless. Yep... I love 'em!


    I've converted four of my eight Teles with Les Paul style switches and it's just a matter of time until that long-throw clunker switch is gone on my Teles.


    Here are two that I've converted, with standard and reverse-position:

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  2. VintageGearMan

    VintageGearMan TDPRI Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    Canada, Quebec City
    Dont have this issue since I had my luthier rewire all of my one tele so that the two knobs are volumes for each pup and the switch is 2 tone presets in the neck and middle position and the bridge is a bybass
  3. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I agree that a Gibson toggle is best! I did it on my sig guitar (sadly that guitar overall didn't work for me though). But I never change pickup mid-song (I'm busy singing!) so the whole thing is kind of moot for me.
    DHart likes this.
  4. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I don't fix unbroken things!
  5. Fireball519

    Fireball519 Tele-Meister

    Dec 26, 2014
    Walland, Tn
    Great mod! Danny Gatton did the same thing in the 80s but he ended up going back to a standard(albeit bent over)3 way switch
  6. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    This thread isn't for people who find the standard Tele selector switch just fine as is. You folks might as well move along to another thread and don't waste you time on this stuff.

    THIS thread is for those who find the standard Tele selector switch to be clunky and awkward! :)
    The Angry Possum and Bigpernz like this.
  7. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

  8. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    That sounds like an interesting "fix" to something that some people believe isn't broken! ;-)

    Leo didn't have the Tele "perfected" way back when, but it was fine for its day!

    Today, we have some nice options that for many players, make the guitar even better! :).

    Contour rib cut on the back of the body, Les Paul selector switch, the modern bridge, different neck profiles, pickup variations, switching options galore!!! And... I love these developments!

    Unlike some (yes, we're all different in our sensibilities and our tastes) I have no sentimental, emotional, nor physical attachments to how a vintage Tele might have been back in the old days.

    Vintage correct was never of any particular significance to me, even though I was around during the vintage times; I was eighteen and playing Strats as a guitar teacher way back in 1968.

    To me, the new Fenders are better than they ever were back then. And the myriad options we have available to tweak guitars to our likes and needs are wonderful!

    I know that some purists are probably getting their panties all in a twist over threads like this, but it's OK... they can have their own guitars any way that they like them. And the rest of us can enjoy our guitars however we like 'em. Fair enough?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  9. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

    Nov 24, 2016
    Duarte, CA
    I replaced the switch tip on my Fender with one from an old G&L. That thing won't come off like the Fender one would.
    DHart likes this.
  10. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA

    If you like the old switch, I say great. Now, go find another thread to read and enjoy it! There is nothing here for you. ;-)
    Whiskerz and El Tele Lobo like this.
  11. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2009
    I wired mine up with bluetooth. My roadie uses an app to change the pickups for me. It works great, he gets annoyed sometimes when I call at home to make the switch but I'm sure he'll get used to it.
  12. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I don’t like the traditional switch, or it’s placement.
    Thats why I moved it “up top”, like on a Les Paul or 70s Tele Custom, and replaced it with a Gibson type swich.
    When my Chet became my #1, I got so used to it’s switch placement I had to move the switch on my #2 avatar Tele.
    Much better, for me.
    DHart likes this.
  13. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    I like what you did with yours!

    I'm ok with the traditional placement, but that clunky, long-throw switch is ergonomically terrible and the angle of motion is bad. Yes, one can get "accustomed" to it and "make do"... by why do that, when a much nicer and more ergonomic option can be had!
    El Tele Lobo and brookdalebill like this.
  14. blille

    blille Tele-Afflicted

    I don’t think the Les Paul switch is superior at all but I’m glad it works for some people.

    I don’t like the angle of the Tele switch so I have mine angled.

  15. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    As a member here, you and the few that hit like to your post I suspect are in the minority. More stuff gets fixed here, or asked how to, that doesn't actually 'NEED' fixin. Lot of mods, mods mods...

    El Tele Lobo and DHart like this.
  16. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    I've used a toggle mod a few times on various builds....

    I used one on a lefty tele for a mate of mine who had trouble getting to a fore/aft selector switch.... plus he was a gibbo kinda guy, hence the gibbo HB and a P90.... trying to bring him from the dark side...:D

    3 way gibbo switch.jpg

    Kev on strat.jpg
  17. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    inovation of any kind is good , it shows we are thinking as a spiecies, but not mods work for every one , good idea for those inclined

    I replaced all 5 way knife switches with 3 way so I dont have to screw around with my tone ( the beauty of finding what works for you) just not for evey one

    Kudos on the mod if it works for you!
    El Tele Lobo and DHart like this.
  18. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    It’s not an either:eek:r — I love the Tele 3-way blade switch (as seen on my Tele), I love the Gibson-style 3-way toggle (as seen on my PRS SE245 and my Jazzmaster).
    The one I’m not so keen on is the fiddly Strat-style 5-way blade on my Shergold Masquerader, I plan to change that to a 3-way.
    What I am more concerned about is switch direction. I want it to go fore-&-aft, not up-&-down — I’ve turned my two toggle switches round so they do that. Not something you can fix in a Strat without a new pickguard...
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  19. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Interesting... some like fore to aft, some prefer up & down. I find a blend between the two works best for me. Sort of a fore/up to an aft/down motion. And with a quick, short throw... all the better! The Les Paul style switch enable rotating so the motion direction can be whatever you prefer. And, it's short & quick.
    AAT65 likes this.
  20. Aussiedave

    Aussiedave TDPRI Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    I just ask Alexa to change my selection for me. :D
    warrent, AAT65 and soulman969 like this.
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