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Second partscaster: the Telelestercaster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Blue Bill, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Bon jour, Andre.

    J, thanks for the kind words. I did consider a router, but that seemed even scarier than the Dremel. When a router mis-behaves, all heck can break loose. I was in Home D yesterday and I did pick up the little router attachment, but haven't used it yet. I got it for a formica job I'm doing on Monday.
     
  2. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Got in a couple hours: The collar of the acoustic/electric switch is only about 3/8 tall; so the hole needs to be deepened, leaving less than 3/16 inch of top thickness. Yikes, I hope I don't go too far:

    DSCF2099.JPG DSCF2101.JPG

    Here's the installed switch:

    DSCF2102.JPG

    Now, where the heck do all these wires go? At this point, my plan is to wire all three pickups, from the 5-way switch, wired Strat style, through the master volume, with the tone pot set up as a master tone, no separate tone controls.

    There's a push-pull pot, which controls the piezo output and dark/bright tone switch. I think I'll wire this up and just stuff it into the control panel. I'm hoping I can adjust it to a sweet spot, then leave it inside the control cavity. If it turns out that pot needs to be adjusted more often, I'll need to figure where to put it, where it will be accessible.

    The pick guard needs to be modified to fit under the 22-fret fretboard, and needs a hole for the middle pickup.

    DSCF2105.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
    eallen likes this.
  3. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    Wow Bill, you are getting closer. Keep it up!
     
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  4. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    OK, let's get these wires under control. Three pickups, through the 5-way, master volume and master tone. Then the piezo outputs, controls, battery, and 6 ground wires. Eenie meeny, which cap to use? I picked a small, clean-looking white axial, Mallory maybe? Think there's any way all this junk will fit under the hood?
    DSCF2107.JPG DSCF2112.JPG
    DSCF2108.JPG
    Wait, there's two more wires, a red and a black... oh yeah, that's right, I need an output jack. Now, where's the 7/8 spade bit? My nerves are kicking up again thinking about drilling a huge hole in the side of this thing. Wish me luck!
     
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  5. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    ...and tootsie rolls are mistakenly wired as caps...lol
     
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  6. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    "...and tootsie rolls are mistakenly wired as caps...lol"

    Hi Ebb. Yeah, I stuck those in to see if anyone is paying attention. Some Stewmac booty.

    Ready to drill:
    DSCF2114.JPG

    I sharpened the bit before drilling, everything went smoothly:
    DSCF2120.JPG

    The output jack supplied with the Ghost system is a stereo 1/4 inch switched affair, with 4 wires. I think the switch disconnects the battery when the cable is unplugged, to save the battery. You can use a splitter to send the magnetic output to the electric guitar amp,and the piezo output to an acoustic guitar amp. Or, you can plug in a mono plug, and have both sounds sent to one amp.

    I got everything wired up and installed the LP style jack plate.

    One more thing. Earlier, I neglected to install a bridge ground wire. This is a pain, because the bridge was a bear to get screwed down, with all those wires and channels to deal with. I was too impatient to do that now, let's throw a string on and give it a whirl!

    I was so exited, I almost peed my levis. I found an orphan string, yes, the string holes are off kilter, but it went through easy enough. Plugged in, switch on, and... nothing. Huh boy, not a peep. I popped off the top control plate and used alligator clips to jump the magnetic pickups to the unplugged cable. Sounded pretty good. Nice tone.

    Next stop: troubleshoot junction. I'll re-visit all the connections, etc. There's a trimmer pot on the PCB, it's possible that needs to be turned up, but I installed the back covers already and I'm too tired to do anymore tonight. Any suggestions are welcome!
     
  7. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I guess I wasn't too tired after all. I removed the back cover and monkeyed around a bit. The little connector they call the Summing Strip, which jumpers the six saddle pickup outputs into one, had gotten unplugged during the process. Everything's tiny, so it's hard to see. I snugged it up and tried again. It's an interesting feeling, hearing these pieces of wire and wood finally produce a musical note, after all these months. Everything seems to work, hooray.

    I did a cursory string height adjustment and a quick volume balance adjustment, I'll do a real setup when I can. The neck is really nice. It's wide, like some old Les Pauls I've played. The stainless frets feel good, different somehow, but I can't really describe the difference. I'm surprised how heavy it is, just under 9 pounds. I thought I had removed a lot of material. It must be that brass string block, there's a pound right there. It really rings, looks like it will be a sustainer.

    I'll do the cutouts for the pickguard, and spend some time fine-tuning the input/output levels. I'll take some pictures and try to figure out how to record a sound clip as soon as I can.

    DSCF2124.JPG DSCF2126.JPG
     
  8. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    .
    Very cool
     
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  9. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    I'm happy you sorted it out easily and now have great sound.
     
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  10. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I'm kinda bummed. While everything works, and it plays like a dream, and, pardon me for saying so myself, it looks pretty nice. But, the output of the 3 mag pickups, which, according to the installation manual, must go through the active pre-amp, which changes it, and I am just not happy with the sound.

    It is slightly compressed, and the attack, when the pick first hits the string, has a "digital" sounding click, or boink sound. It's not extreme or anything, but I find it too distracting. Plus, position 2 and 4 on the 5-way switch, which are the out-of-phase sounds, sound really thin, with a significant drop in volume. The whole point of going Nashville, with the Strat layout is to get these sounds, so it bites that these are virtually unusable.

    Hmmm. Now what? My two options seem to be, one, rip out the piezo setup and go straight magnetic, or two, see if I can figure a way to re-wire things so the mag pups go directly to the amp, and still be able to switch to the piezos for the acoustic sound. Which, by the way, sounds kind of cool. It's like some people warned me; it doesn't sound exactly like an old Martin, but is different enough to create a dramatic change in tone.

    Has anyone every messed around with one of these piezo setups? I would be grateful for any suggestions or advice.

    The neck is really great, those guys at Musikraft do a great job. The stainless frets felt a little scratchy at first, but after an hour or so playing,they are as smooth feeling as regular frets. It really feels like a Les Paul, with the 10 inch radius and the 9 pound weight. I actually raised the action up a bit. I first set it up as low as it would go without buzz, but it was so low I could barely feel the strings.

    I have no idea how to make a video, (I still use a flip phone), I'll eventually get around to posting some kind of vid or sound clip.
     
  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Middle mag shouldn’t actually be out of phase. You get a bit of comb filtering when two pickups are active, which is what results in the slightly “phased” tone, but you’ll lose way too much signal if the middle is actually out of phase with the others. Swap its hot and ground wires and see if that helps.

    As far as sounding compressed, running the preamp at 18v might help, but only if the manufacturer has specified this as allowable.

    Edit: It may be entirely possible to run the mags passive with the piezo active. I have a bass wired this way, and it’s great. I blend the buffered piezo signal passively with the mags, using a selector switch.
     
  12. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    CT, Thanks for the advice. It's possible the middle pickup is out of phase, although, the white wires are all connected to the plus side. I'll try reversing them on the middle one. Also, this morning, I read through the installation manual, and I think it said somewhere that it works with either 9 or 18 volts. If I can figure out where to hide another battery, I ll try that too. Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  13. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    Sorry to hear your are disappointed with the Piezo/magnetic combination.

    It's been a while since I installed mine and do not remember how I did it. I'm sure I followed the instruction to the letter.

    One question comes to mind, did you use the Stereo jack that comes with the kit?

    I know I have a micro switch that will give me three options, Mag alone, Piezo alone or both together.

    Is this your setup?

    Do you use a stereo cable with two outputs, one you can put in the acoustic amp, the other in the electric amp?

    Finally, it was three questions :p
     
  14. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Hi Andre, Yes, I did use the stereo jack they provided. Like you, I figured it would be best to do everything the way they recommend. I also have the microswitch, that they provided, it came pre-wired with the little 3 pin plug attached. I haven't tried the stereo splitter yet; I think I have a stereo-to-2 mono cable somewhere, I'll look around.

    Ask as many questions as you like!!
     
  15. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 6, 2009
    dublin
    In so many ways i do not wanr this thread to end.. Beautiful job and an inspirational story dude
     
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  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    I zoomed back through your thread, but couldn’t find the answer: Are your three mag pickups made by different manufacturers? If so, there’s a decent chance that the color coding doesn’t match up. I know, for instance, that Fender and Duncan wire colors are reversed, so combining one of each results in phase reversal. Like I said, it’s super-easy to swap hot and ground wires, so best to just try it.

    Also, see my edit above: you may be able to run the mags passive with the piezo active.
     
  17. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Well it's not over yet! Thanks for the kind words. :)

    CT, the neck pickup is a Lindy Fralin Blues Special, the others are Fenders, CS Twisted Tele bridge, and CS Texas Special middle. I haven't had a chance to try reversing leads.

    I am really wishing I could go straight passive mags with the piezos active, through a 3-way that allows blending in the middle position. What kind of buffering are you referring to, a passive circuit, or a buffering amp of some kind?

    I don't think Ron Kirn has anything to be worried about, I've made plenty of boo-boos. Here's some pics:

    DSCF2129.JPG DSCF2131.JPG DSCF2133.JPG DSCF2137.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  18. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    Really looking great. Love the grain on the back, the subtle burst, looks really classy. Well done!
     
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  19. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    The Cafe Walter PZP-1 is a simple piezo buffer, inexpensive if you buy it, even cheaper if you (have the skills to) make it. All it does is match the impedance of the piezo to something you can mix with mags. My use is piezo into PZP into one side of the selector switch, with the mags going into the other side of the switch. Pretty basic. There are similar devices available from other manufacturers, or you may be able to re-configure what you already have.

    Thanks for the photos and the entertaining copy; this is a great project that turned out looking killer!
     
    Blue Bill likes this.
  20. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Thanks CT, that looks like the ticket. I already have a Switchcraft switch I may be able to use to switch from mag to M+P to piezo. Thanks again for the advice and the kind words,
     
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