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

"Nashville-ing" an American Special

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by atomfissure, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've got a 2012 Am Special tele with the older Highway 1 Texas Tele pickups, and have been thinking about adding a middle pickup like in the style of a Nashville. I love the current pickups just as they are, and don't want to swap them out. These pickups are higher output then "normal" I am looking for some guidance into how to find a pickup that will match up with these. I've seen specs in the neighborhood of Neck: 9.77k, Bridge 16.27k. Though I can't seem to find where I read it, I remember seeing that they are Alnico 5, N/CCW.

    I like the sound of Alnico II, but its not a dealbreaker. I assume that since the pickups are N/CCW, I want to find one that is S/CW in order to get the hum-cancelling, out-of-phase, strat thing.

    My questions are:
    Is it safe to assume that the output, wind, and polarity of my pickups are going to be the same or "close enough" to the specs found via research?

    What output do I want to look for in a middle pickup to fit in with my current pickups? (I realize this is subjective, and am open to either advise or "conventional wisdom")

    Are there any pitfalls to putting an Alnico 2 pickup with two alnico 5's that I should consider?
     

  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Can't answer your questions, but just wanted to add that the American Special body would have to be routed out to accommodate any middle pickup, and the pickups you're referring to are referred to by Fender as "Hot Vintage". Just in case any reader is confusing them with Texas Specials or Tex-Mexes.
     

  3. preactor

    preactor TDPRI Member

    Age:
    59
    88
    Nov 27, 2009
    gainesville, ga
    Might want to try the Bill Lawrence 5 way switch mod. Worked great on my Peavey Reactor.
     

  4. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yeah, I'm comfortable with having the body routed. I have a tech I trust really well.
     

  5. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    That's interesting. I didn't know about it before and just looked it up. It seems like that would be good for some of the "position 2 and 4" sounds, but I also like the sound of the middle pickup on its own. My plan would probably involve an extra toggle, push/push, or push/pull in order to get middle pickup alone, as well as tele neck/bridge if possible.
     
    Steve Holt and asnarski like this.

  6. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Sep 25, 2008
    Berwyn, IL
    I don't understand the desire to clutter a great guitar with an unneeded extra appendage. I personally hate having a middle pickup that is only in the way of my playing style, but that is my peccadillo. Realize that you will be lowering the value of the guitar if you go to resell it, but you may not have that intention.
     

  7. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've already decided I'm never reselling it. This is my #1. The object is to be able to get some strat approximation sounds when I want them. If I find the middle pickup to be in the way, I take it out and put a standard pickguard back on. Other than the knowledge that there's a hole underneath the pickguard, no harm done.
     
    hellopike likes this.

  8. Vintagebrit

    Vintagebrit Tele-Holic

    atomfissure likes this.

  9. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA

  10. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Anyone have any thoughts re: the pickup situation?
     

  11. Abe

    Abe Tele-Meister

    310
    Mar 16, 2003
    I don't have a specific recommendation re: pickups, but I'm guessing you will want a fairly high output strat pickup in there. My reasoning is that if the pickups are truly that hot (and that sounds WAY HOT for a neck pickup...), you will need a hot middle to keep it fairly low to the pickguard. The biggest complaint about strat middles is that they get in the way of one's picking motion. Keeping the pickup low can help. But if you throw a 6K middle pickup in there you may need to run it pretty high to try to compensate for volume.

    Good on you for trying it. For what it's worth, I put in an order for a custom T-style in January. I specified a route for a 'bucker in the neck as well as a strat middle. It will be delivered Nashville style with a T-style single coil in the neck, but I wanted the flexibility. I also specified that I wanted a 5-way with the middle position able to do either middle pickup solo or neck/bridge using a push/pull pot on the tone control. We will see what the Suhr gnomes come up with...
     
    atomfissure likes this.

  12. Pajama

    Pajama Tele-Meister

    341
    May 12, 2003
    I have 3 Joe Bardens in my Tele with a separate volume control for the middle pickup. I have the neck and bridge connected to a 4 way switch so I can get the parallel/series thing going.
     
    atomfissure likes this.

  13. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I emailed a similar question to Seymour Duncan, who recommended a texas hot bridge pickup which comes in at around 10k. That output seems right to my otherwise underinformed mind: closer to neck than bridge, but slightly hotter than the neck. The issue with that is that its N/CW. My understanding is that I would want a S/CW in that position to get the hum-cancelling, stratty-quack thing with my current N/CCW pickups.

    What would I potentially be giving up going with a N/CW pickup in the middle position? Hum-cancelling or quack?
     
    asnarski likes this.

  14. MMARSH

    MMARSH Tele-Meister

    354
    Jun 21, 2015
    CA
    I'd say split the difference and look for a middle strat pickup in the 12-13K range. You'd want it RWRP to get hum cancelling in 2 and 4 and a more authentic strat tone in those positions (mentioned already?)

    My Nashville has a five way switch wired like a strat. I added a push-pull pot to the tone control to get the bridge pickup always on - this gives me the classic tele both-pickups-on and a (less useful but cool) all-pickups-on. It's an easy mod and very easy to wrap your mind around in a gig situation.
     
    atomfissure likes this.

  15. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    @boris bubbanov IIRC, you know a bit about these pickups. Does that output seem in the ballpark of what you know?
     

  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Well, Bill Lawrence taught me to only compare pickups based on Inductance (Henries) and I have no idea what the values are on these pickups. They were I think exclusive to the ash bodied, vintage tunered, 12" board radius "Highway One Texas Tele" and at least half the people I remember having that guitar, tended to yank them out and put Fralins or Budz or Mares or SD Broadcasters or CS No-Casters or some other pickup they preferred.

    They were mostly OK. A little harsh sometimes, I thought. Been a while.
     
    atomfissure likes this.

  17. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    I don't know if you have a argument there.
     

  18. atomfissure

    atomfissure Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    634
    May 31, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Is there any good way of testing the polarity and direction of the wind?
     

  19. MahoganyStratDZ

    MahoganyStratDZ Tele-Meister

    350
    Mar 5, 2012
    USA
    I like the nashville idea and tele, but I have to say I think a 4-way and or not the S-1 with it will preserve the body routing and give you a decent array of tones in the Tele. And I agree with this...

    "Bill Lawrence taught me to only compare pickups based on Inductance"

    Which brings me to the 4-way with a Tele set. Its more reliable in this case as they are already matched for this instead of trial and error, and with all the tones matching imho. Theres a few sets which work great also.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017

  20. Strebs

    Strebs Tele-Meister

    173
    Dec 24, 2015
    Birmingham, AL
    Yes, a compass works. Super easy.

     

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