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Strange Happenings with CS Texas Special Tele Pickup Set

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by kgriffithguitar, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. kgriffithguitar

    kgriffithguitar TDPRI Member

    47
    Aug 27, 2012
    Columbus, GA
    Hi all – I have a very weird situation with a set of Custom Shop Texas Special Tele pickups. The neck is the one with the 3 wires (black, white, and yellow). I got these used off of ebay. The seller has a great reputation and I think he was cleaning out his spare parts and getting rid of stuff that was lying around, so I am unsure of the age of these pickups. When I went to install them, I encountered some weird stuff. What I love about the Tele Texas Specials is that the neck is so full and has so much midrange it approaches P-90 territory. When I soldered the neck pickup in, I soldered white to the switch and black and yellow to the back of the volume pot. It sounded thin and nasally and there was quite a jump in volume when I moved the switch from just the neck pickup to neck + bridge or just bridge. The neck is rated at 9.5k and the bridge at 10.5k so I don’t think there should be a volume increase like that. I tried several different configurations for wiring. I tried using a 5 way switch and doing a Nashville. I tried a 3 way switch. I tried switching the black and white wires and I also unsoldered the yellow wire and just taped it off. Nothing seems to make any difference. The neck is still oddly thin sounding (nothing like a TS Tele neck pickup) and there is still the volume jump when I switch the bridge into the mix.

    Also, both pickups seemed to distort. I had them lowered flush with the pickguard and bridge plate. Then I tried raising them some but still it was distorting through a clean amp setting. Then the bridge pickup started feeding back at some very low volume settings. I actually have another TS Tele bridge pickup that was in the guitar before this. I had a Twisted Tele in the neck position and neither one of them did this. The one thing I have not yet done is measure the output of these pickups with my multimeter. Also, maybe with all the soldering and de-soldering I did I have cooked the pots on the wiring harness. I was going to try switching out the pots and maybe that would help.

    Please let me know if this sounds like anything you have heard of or if you have any ideas regarding this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     

  2. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Definitely check all your solder work, as well as the DCR of that neck pickup. If it has an internal break, it can sometimes still play but output only the highs because of something called "capacitative coupling." My FSR Tele had that when I first got it; Roy Buchanan's "Nancy" Tele did too on the bridge, which helped him get those wah-wah sounds right from the guitar.
     

  3. kgriffithguitar

    kgriffithguitar TDPRI Member

    47
    Aug 27, 2012
    Columbus, GA
    Thanks man - I am going to measure the DC resistance as soon as I get to the house and see where that leads. I think that is going to tell me something, but I am starting to think I have multiple issues going on here. No biggie. I will take care of them one at a time until it's resolved.
     

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  5. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 19, 2011
    Merseyside UK
    Fender supply a wiring diagram with the boxed pickups. Don't know if it makes any difference.
     

    Attached Files:


  6. kgriffithguitar

    kgriffithguitar TDPRI Member

    47
    Aug 27, 2012
    Columbus, GA
    Woah! Any idea what it means when the pickup works but sounds harsh and tinny and gives NO reading on a multimeter? The bridge pickup reads 10.23. That makes sense for a TS Tele bridge pu, but I get nothing from the neck. Very strange.
     

  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    This sounds like it may be the culprit. Internal break in the wire. Mine measured out at around 6.5 MegOhm, whereas the replacement measured 7 kOhm.
    Just to clarify, you got an "overlimit" reading when trying to measure between the black and white leads? Did you check the range on your meter?
     

  8. kgriffithguitar

    kgriffithguitar TDPRI Member

    47
    Aug 27, 2012
    Columbus, GA
    When set on Ohms, the multimeter reads 0L when I first turn it on. I read the bridge 3 different times and each time it read 10.23. However, I could not get the neck to change from the default 0L that appeared on the screen. I am assuming because the bridge sounded and worked OK, that the multimeter was set up and working correctly. I had a TS Tele neck pickup a few years ago and it read 9.5 exactly every time I measured it on this multimeter. Hope this helps and makes sense.
     

  9. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Yeah, neck pup is shot.
    The OL will show when you start up the meter as it does a quick self check, and if you have the leads separated from each other, your resistance is effectively inifinite. If the neck pickup is also showing over limit, you don't have continuity.
     

  10. kgriffithguitar

    kgriffithguitar TDPRI Member

    47
    Aug 27, 2012
    Columbus, GA
    Many, many thanks. I'm grateful for your help on this one and so glad that this site exists. What a great community =) OK, I have to go contact an eBay vendor about a defect.
     

  11. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Happy to help man, that's why we're here!
     

  12. rsegundo

    rsegundo NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    46
    1
    Aug 10, 2017
    Wylie, Tx

    Does anyone know what the value of the cap within the Texas Special diagram? I have a new set too and it's completely blank in the instructions. Tried Google and Stewmac and got 2 million different recommendations.
     

  13. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    FTMP, what cap any diagram SAYS you should use don't mean jack for the pickup. Probably why it doesn't show the value.

    A person should use the value cap that makes the pot work how THEY want it to. It's YOUR geetar, YOUR ears.

    >Tried Google and Stewmac and got 2 million different recommendations.<

    If you do a search here, there are more threads than Zuckerberg's has dollars.

    Let me save you three days of reading, and the utmost confusion in the end.

    Most common for a nice sweep ( to not get too muddy if you don't want that at 10) is a .022µF. That is pretty much been in all Fenders for many years.


    If you want it a little more aggressive, and darker faster. then .047.

    Wah wah- .1

    I acually don't use the tone control much so don't want it to be to crazy on darkening things when I crank it so find a .022 works well. I even tryed a .01 once and that was real nice actually. You didn't have to be too critical with the tone knob, just give it a wheel of fortune spin when you wanted thing a little darker and voilà !


    Caps are pretty cheap, if you aren't sure what to do, buy a few different values and with some jumper leads try them all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
    Gibson and SPUDCASTER like this.

  14. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 19, 2011
    Merseyside UK
    ^^^^^
    I use 0.022uF on mine.
    If in doubt try 0.022uF, 0.033uF and 0.047uF see which is best for you.
    Fender use 0.1uF with the Greasebucket filter on the 2013 American Special which has CS Texas Specials.
     

  15. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    68
    Mar 17, 2003
    Hendersonville, TN
    Usually it is a .022 uf but if you don't get enough usable band when turning the tone control down
    try a .015 or .018 uf. If .022 uf is too much band then go up.
     

  16. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    WNC Isothermal Zone
    Maybe I missed something, but according to Tuxedo Poly's posted diagram, the Black and White wires get soldered to switch contacts, while the Yellow wire gets soldered to ground, no?

    :rolleyes:
     

  17. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    >Black and White wires get soldered to switch contacts, while the Yellow wire gets soldered to ground<

    Yup, that's a weird scheme on that Fender Diagram that comes with the pups. Seems they aren't promoting (suckering you into) buyin' their 4 w switch.

    That one there is: #1 bridge, #2 Neck and middle series, # 3 Neck.


    Howz things Ray ?
     

  18. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Friend of Leo's

    May 14, 2008
    WNC Isothermal Zone
    FABULOUS, Steve. Down to two American Special Tele's, two Martin A/E's (a DC16GTE-Premium and a new GPCRSGT) and two amps (new Peavey "Cyclops" Bandit and new BOSS Katana 50). Lovin' the retired life in NC!

    And you?
     

  19. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    Goin' great thanks, glad to hear you're lovin' the new country.
     

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