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Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by bottomfeeder, Jan 15, 2013.
Can I get a brief synopsis from one of you knowledgeable Telefites?
Delta-tone is Fender's marketing label for a no-load or full-pass pot used for a tone control. When you turn the tone knob up to 10, the wiper disconnects, and you no longer have any path to ground through the tone cap, and the tone is a little brighter as if there were no tone control at all. This is a great solution for people who like the vintage wiring on a strat for the wide-open bridge pickup, but still want the option of rolling back the tone control. There's a thread here (by Rob C IRRC) on how to modify a normal pot to have that function. Can't be done with a volume control (unless you have a separate switch) but it's a great idea for the tone control.
TBX is a stacked pot with a center detent, two capacitors, and IRRC, a resistor. It's another option for a tone control. My subjective take on how it behaves is that between 10 and 5 (the detent) it doesn't do much at all, and betwee 5 and 0 it progressively rolls off any of the sparkle that identifies the instrument as a single-coil Fender guitar. It's used on the Eric Clapton models along with an active midrange boost.
Greasbucket is a tone control used on the Highway One models, where there are two different caps and a resistor. It behaves as if you have switched from one value cap to another as you roll back the tone control, taking off more of a slightly narrower band of frequencies. As you first turn down the tone knob, it rolls off a small amount of a pretty good band of trebles (highs and high-mids, lets call it). Then as you roll back further, it's taking out a lot but only the highest frequencies (just the highs, leaving the high-mids). Their marketing copy at the time indicated it was friendlier for high-gain setups. I suppose it's aimed at leaving a little more treble in the mix for people who use mid-scouped modern amp.
Delta tone is great, but TBX and Greasebucket are solutions to a problem that didn't exist.
The last variant of popular Fender wiring features would be the "S-1 switching" scheme where you have a pushbutton inside the skirt of the knob, to activate series/parallell wiring options (again, it's something we already thought of with the four-way switch on a tele).
Thanks for the primer
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I have used the TBX tone controls for years and at stage levels it is a very useful tool.
At the 5 position it is the same as a regular tone control at 10. From 5 to 10 you see increased presence, from 5 to 1 you have increased mid range and tone roll off.
For a gig with varied music styles it works very well.
I like mine fine too. The TBX tone control came on the new American Standard Teles and Strats when they came out in 1987-88, I believe. My '91 Amer. Tele and '95 Amer Strat have it. I think the Delta Tone replaced it around 2000.
I didn't like the TBX. It just never suited me. The Delta was a lot better for what I was after. I took the TBX off my '87 Strat when I changed pups. I don't have the Delta on my Teles. I had it on an Am. Std., but then I turned it into an Esquire, and pos. 1 has no-load tone. That option is good for a lot of chicken pickin' stuff. The more options the better.