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

RW/RP Volume Loss?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by mnutz, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. mnutz

    mnutz Tele-Afflicted

    I've always been a Les Paul humbucker guy. I briefly owned 1 strat and I've only played teles for a few years. I've owned less than a half dozen. I've experimented with aftermarket pickups just a little bit.

    I'm not entirely sure I really even know what the middle position on a standard 3 way tele should sound like. I play on the bridge probably 90% of the time, the rest on the neck. I really never use the middle position.

    That said, I've never experienced this issue on my other teles. I get a noticeable volume loss in the middle position, also the tone is thinner. I have tried switching the wires around and verified it is not a phase issue.

    The pickups are a matched set of Fender Custom Shop Blackguards. They sound awesome separately, not so in the middle position.

    From what I've read, it looks like these pickups are RWRP and I don't know if any of my other teles have been that way.

    Does anyone else have this set? Or have you experienced the same thing with RWRP pickups?


  2. mnutz

    mnutz Tele-Afflicted

    Bumpity bump.

  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    It's possible you have a funky switch, but when you place the switch in the middle position if you do have rwrp pickups there is an element of frequency cancellation - in parallel you get half the impedance of a single pickup. Depending on the pickups, what you're hearing is the missing frequency and softer response of the lower impedance. Non rwrp may appear louder in parallel due to non-cancellation

    It's why the middle position is often referred to as the 'rhythm' position - it's a softer and less- strident.

    Trad Tele pickups is less than hummers, but the single coil has more 'bite' in terms of treble response. In parallel singles will give you less than hummers Pays your money....
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
    mnutz likes this.

  4. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    I agree with Dacious. It could be the switch. It does sound like a phase issue, but you say you've already ruled that out.

    If you have a store relatively close to you that stocks Teles, go plug in a few to get a better idea how it's supposed to sound.

    The middle position on a Tele sounds nice and balanced to me, almost like an acoustic electric sound, minus the piezo quack... It's the middle position that makes the Tele a favorite with singer songwriters like Bruce Springsteen, Merle Haggard, and the time I saw him perform live, Bob Dylan, just to name a few.

    I have all of my Teles set up with RW/RP neck pickups, even my Triple Tele, which my pickup guru had to remagnatize for reverse polarity, then wired it in backwards to mimic the reverse wound effect. While there might be a slight drop in certain frequencies, it is not a marked difference in volume level like you're describing...

    I had something similar happen once with a Les Paul... It turned out to be the switch.
    mnutz likes this.

  5. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    Reverse phase.
    mnutz likes this.

  6. mnutz

    mnutz Tele-Afflicted

    Okay so I must've had some other funkiness going on in there before. I gutted and re-wired the entire thing, really it was a mess before. I put in new CTS pots, new CRL switch, new cap and a Stew Mac treble bleed. Wired according to the Fender diagram that came with the Blackguards. Still "out of phase".

    So I reversed the wires on the neck pickup. Now I've got the black wire going to the switch, and the white wire to the pot. Everything sounds perfect. No volume loss in any position, balanced through all 3.

    So how is this possible that a set a matched Fender pickups are out of phase with each other?

  7. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    Are they reverse poled ? You can check w a compass or hand held weak magnet. Don t use Neo.

  8. mnutz

    mnutz Tele-Afflicted

    Not sure what you mean. They are, from what I understand, RW/RP.

  9. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    RP reverse poled. Ones N . Ones S. I bet if they re supposed to be RWRP someone put in the magnets backwards.
    mnutz and JayFreddy like this.


    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Could be as simple as the wires were reversed at the factory. White where the black should be and vice versa.

    As long as it's working, go with it.
    mnutz likes this.

  11. mnutz

    mnutz Tele-Afflicted

    So to install a 4 way switch, do you have to reverse the wires, or flip the magnets?

    When I bought this guitar it had a 4 way installed. I switched it to a standard 3 way and have had this out of phase problem ever since.

    So maybe the PO flipped the magnets to do the 4 way?

    It sounds awesome now, just still wondering why I have to have the wires reversed for it to sound right.

  12. mnutz

    mnutz Tele-Afflicted

    Strange, I just found a thread on here from March of 2017 titled...
    Installed Fender CS Blackguards. Great but...

    The OP stated that he installed a brand new set of the same pickups as me, and he had the same out of phase problem. 3 people in that thread all said they had the exact same problem with Fender CS Blackguard pickups.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.