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This Is Awfully Strange....

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by soulman969, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. DrBanana

    DrBanana Tele-Holic

    657
    Feb 22, 2011
    London
    Great to hear you've finally got you guitar sorted. But, I'm confused - you say your tech has wired as per normal but you now have everything in a different order?
    Is this cos he's reshuffled everything deliberately or the switch is doing something different than it should?
    Sounds like an interesting option anyhow.
     

  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Hi doc, nice of you to chime in. I know a lot of you guys are awaiting the explanation of this one. I'm not even certain I'm at the bottom of it yet so I'll go with what I know for certain for now. To clarify.

    With the new switch, and wired as per a diagram that would have had this sequence; Pos.#1 Bridge, #2 B/N Parallel, #3 Neck, #4 B/N Series, (with #1 being closest to the volume knob and #4 closest to the neck) the series position didn't work. This is the same issue I had in addition to other problems related to the old switch malfunctioning too.

    To get it working properly Joe rewired it so that Pos.#1 = B/N Series, #2 = Bridge, #3=B/N Parallel, #4 = Neck. So the order is not reversed but rather reshuffled (my description) with B/N Series moving from Pos#4 to #1 and everything else moving up one spot to the north towards the neck.

    Pos.#2, #3, and#4 are in the same order as a traditional 3-way; Bridge, B/N Parallel, Neck. So as you can see it's not wired in reverse order but rather a new order all together. The two B/N combination now bracket the Bridge as opposed to the Neck.

    I rather like it since it puts all three solo position together at the back of the selector sequence. If I'm soloing the Bridge as I often do I can just flip back one notch to fatten it up in Series or flip forward one notch to smooth it out in Parallel.

    I still haven't got it straight in my mind as to why it works this way and not the other but I sent a copy of the diagram of this wiring scheme to my friend sjtalon. He's done a lot more modification projects with these switches and pickups than I have and he may have a better idea about it than I do at the moment.

    Once we get if figured out, IF we get it figured out, I'll be happy to post a copy of the wiring scheme or a link to it if anyone is interested. In the meantime I'm simply gonna enjoy the new guitar and compare those Keystones to the pickups in my other Tele's.

    Hope this clarifies what I know about it so far. :D
     

  3. DrBanana

    DrBanana Tele-Holic

    657
    Feb 22, 2011
    London
    This Is Awfully Strange...

    Lol... Well it sounds like you've happened upon something that works for you anyway - and at least you're playing your guitar again, which is the important thing.

    Be good to see this wiring scheme if you get it, I've never really been completely happy with the series in position 4 but wouldn't want it as one of the middle positions either, position 1 may be the way to go...
     

  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO

    Yes it works and if I can only figure out why this works and the other didn't I'll finally be able to sleep peacefully without question marks running through my dreams. It's one of those things that when you look at it you don't think it will work the way it's wired but it does.

    I've got it diagrammed by hand but haven't got in a format that I can post on here yet.

    So for now if you want to PM me your email I can attach it and get it to you that way. Otherwise maybe later today I'll be able to figure out how to post a copy of that diagram in this thread.

    I may need to do that just so others can look at it and see if they can figure out why it works the way it does.
     

  5. Bubbalou

    Bubbalou Tele-Meister

    284
    Feb 28, 2012
    Euless, Texas
    soulman969, can you post a link of the scheme your tech used please or send it to me?
     

  6. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    Soulman made this wonderful diagram AFTER installation.

    Best of luck Tele land !!!! :eek:
     

    Attached Files:


  7. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Well that solves that little problem pardner. I was trying to figure out how to get that PDF file to copy over to here and you got it done for me. This should eliminate the need to send it out attached to any number of emails. :D

    Yes, here it is guys but with the disclaimer that neither me or my tech can tell you exactly why this works. In comparison to the other diagrams it appears to be missing a ground from the Volume Pot to the A3 terminal on the switch and there is no other ground wire from the switch going anywhere else. :confused:

    In addition to that of course is the fact that the wiring is completely different than those diagrams from Acme or others that show a wiring scheme for a 4-way installation where the B/N Series setting is in Pos.#4 on the selector. In this case the B/N Series setting is in Pos.#1 and the other three are in the sequence of a typical stock 3-way switch. So; Pos.#2=Bridge, #3=B/N Parallel, and #4=Neck.

    In other words Series moves from to the top of the selector to the bottom and everything else shifts one notch north towards the neck. I kind of like it this way since all three soloing positions are now in a sequence next to one another and the Neck only is at the top which is fine since I use it sparingly.

    Maybe someone else can try this scheme and/or look at this and figure out why it works the way it does. So far I have not but I'm far from an expert on such matters.

    Now that all is said and done I'll be able to compare these Keystones to the Alnico V's and Nocasters in my other Tele's and offer an impression on the differences.

    To one and all thanks for your help and advice, your interest (or morbid curiosity over my many failures :oops: :lol:),and for sticking around for the outcome. As best as I can give it this is it. :D

    Edit Note: The diagram shows the switch upside down from the way it will install. You're looking at the wiring as it appears from the bottom of the switch with the plastic side facing outward. When attached to the control plate and installed everything is flipped and that plastic side will face inward towards the pickups.
     

  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    OK, I've had a chance to spend some time comparing the Keystones to the Nocasters so far and I promised I'd write up what I experienced. First let me say that there are similarities in that they both tend toward a vintage tonality but you can definitely tell you're listening to two distinctly different pickups.

    They Keystones are very open sounding and transparent almost to perfection. They're very uncolored and there's a depth to them as opposed to a presence. Almost like you're hearing through them to the character of the guitar itself if that makes any sense. They're also mellower tonally than the Nocasters but not muddy or lacking in definition. Just a bit darker and smoother is all.

    By Pickup Position

    Bridge: Twangy but not harsh. Not as prominent and lacks a bit of the "spank" of the Nocaster. Still very funky when you want that for chickin' pickin' or funk/soul licks. Sounds a little more "nasally" whereas the Nocaster "quacks" a little more. Output of the Nocaster seems a bit stronger but because of their basic tonality it's hard to tell. Not that much difference though.

    Neck: I'm not as impressed with the Keystone's as I am with the Nocaster. I think it's that "transparency" compared to the Nocaster having more "sparkle". It remains there even when you back off on the tone so it has a bit of a "hollow" sound to it. The Nocaster neck sounds "fuller" and adds "bottom" as you roll back tone on it. I do solo on the neck of the Nocaster but I probably won't on the Keystones but I do like the way Root-V chords or shuffles sound because of that "transparency".

    Parallel: This one setting where you can really hear some difference and both sets of pickups sound beautiful. These Keystones really shine when you have the balance of both pickups. You get great highs on the upper strings and a nice round bottom on the lower so you can play both full barre chords or three/four note chords and either sound great.

    To me this is where you can really tell the two apart but it's still kind of that same basic vintage thing. In comparison to the Nocasters I'd just call the Keystones smoother in tonality with less of the Nocasters characteristic harmonics but not lacking in their own. It's just a different character. The Nocasters seem bolder somehow with exactly the same settings.

    Series:I think this is where the Keystones pull ahead of the Nocasters. Their "transparency" keeps them from getting overly dark so soloed notes seem sharper and more percussive. That "boldness" or "fullness" character of the Nocaster gets much darker in Series than the Keystones. The Keystones have kind of a "smoky blues" vibe to them in Series.

    Of course I played the solos both clean with a Tweed setting on my Roland Cube and then with the same setting put more gain to add just a little dirt. The "fullness" of the Nocasters adds a little more grit when you dirty it up a bit. I think if anyone wanted a real full distortion sound the Nocasters would win that battle. I don't typically play with that much distortion.

    Bridge Soloed: This ones easy. The Nocasters bite much harder whereas the Keystones are a little sweeter. When you dirty it up a bit the Nocasters seem to push a little harder and the Keystones stay cleaner.


    Keep in mind that I'm not playing through a tube amp so YMMV and I only used the Tweed setting for the solos and the JC setting for rhythm and fill playing and some chickin' pickin'. I didn't really run them through all of the other amp simulations that Roland has. I want to compare them again using the Dyna Amp setting because it's sensitive to pick attack and see what I get from that.

    As for the CVC, it's a gem. The action is very low, the neck is very fast, and it plays with a nice light touch. You can over bend pretty easily getting used to it. It took a little adapting going from the "V" neck to this shallower "C" neck on the CVC. I can see why guys with bigger paws don't care for it as much. It probably does feel like a toy to them if they playing a chunkier neck, especially if it's a "U" shape.

    Well as this is just one man's opinion you can take it as you will. Like I said YMMV depending on what style you play in and what amp you play through. :D
     

  9. Bubbalou

    Bubbalou Tele-Meister

    284
    Feb 28, 2012
    Euless, Texas
    My exact same experience with the CVC. It is a gem. My hands are small and take to the neck nicely but did so with the American Standard Tele I played today (with a fatter neck). I loved everything about the American Standard but the pickup tone. In that area the CVC beats it. They were just weak and thin sounding to me (neck and Bridge). I did like the tuners (noticably better than CV's), neck, body curvature on back and the beautiful trans red finish. But I have always loved Trans Red. Curious, why does Fender not offer more guitars with binding these days?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    I think that traditionally Fender has made very few bound or double bound Teles like a CVC which is really just a facsimile of a 62 Custom Tele.

    I always wanted one because I thought that Sunburst finish with the binding looked so sharp but they were quite a bit more money so I couldn't afford it then. Now I own one just like it for about what they went for in the 60's and thanks to wage inflation I can afford it easily. LOL

    I don't know this for a fact but I'm guessing that part of it comes from the fact that the Tele was an "everyman's guitar", simple and affordable. But in the 60's Gibson began producing an LP "Black Beauty" with the white tuxedo binding on the top edge. Those 62 Custom Tele's were produced to compete with that look. Leo was big on offering what the public wanted to buy and I imagine Gibson was selling a lot of LP "Black Beauties" so Leo wanted to offer a classier Fender and he couldn't bind a Strat.

    Maybe after CBS bought them that kind of thinking as far as marketing goes died. The Tele history books will give a more thorough answer but it seems that I remember reading about something like that in one of them.

    Today they seem more interested in the sheer number of different models they offer but I do admit I'm surprised that they don't offer it in the MIM line. All they need to so is take a MIM Standard in Sunburst with a Maple Neck, Double Bind it like a CVC, call it a Tele Classic and sell that $20 more worth of plastic and labor for $150 to $200 more and it will sell to folks who just have to have the name Fender on their headstock. :rolleyes:
     

  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    OK, today I compared the Keystones to the Alnico V's and this is my basic impression in answer to this question.

    The B/N Parallel of the Alnico V's is more similar to the Keystones than the Nocasters. A little sweeter and mellower but still not quite as much as the Keystones. It could be because the strings are new but in addition there just some nuance to those Keystones the A V's lack. Maybe it's that transparency that allows more harmonic content but the Keystones tonality is definitely more complex.

    Don't get me wrong. I like the Alnico's and I think if a guy was looking for a good all around stock pickup they're very good but just not as complex as the Keystones. In actuality to me the Keystones are more like an Alnico V plus than a Nocaster minus. They both have the ability to have that sweeter mellower tone.

    In B/N Series the Alnico's darken more which is great if you want to push power chords clean or over driven but not so good on the solos. The Keystones are definitely the winner of the Series shoot out. Soloed they're more defined than the Alnico's both clean and over driven but they don't have that big fundamental bottom end the A V's do. A hard rock guy would probably like them better but a blues guy like me would probably prefer the better note definition of the Keystones. Overall they're just a bluesier pickup.

    Bridge only the Alnico's sting whereas the Keystones sing if that makes any sense to you. Sweetness versus sharpness with a little more mid range and spank to the Alnico's more like the Nocasters. Here it just depends which way you prefer to go. I can see some country players or funk players preferring the A V's and the blues and rock guys the Keystones because of their openness.

    Neck only none of the other two can match the Nocaster. It's very shimmery and bell like. The Keystones try but they have that transparent or "hollow" quality to them and are not as smooth and the Alnico V gets smooth but also darker and less defined but not unusably muddy. I would solo the A V neck and the Nocaster but probably not the Keystone. That one was designed to work in balance with it's partner in the bridge and that's what it does best.

    There ya' go. I've compared them all but of course somebody else may hear them totally different. If I ranked them it wouldn't be hard. First=Nocaster, Second=Keystones, Third=Alnico V's. and if I rated them on a scale of 1-10 with the Nocasters being the ten then the other two would be about 8.5 and 7.5 so a guy really can't go wrong anyway you look at it.

    A person would spend a considerable amount more money for the CS Nocasters but if you want the best the best costs more. The Keystones and Alnico V's are much closer in price. I think only about $20-$25 more for a set of Keystones where the CS Nocasters are 2 1/2 as much. So best value for the dollar if I guy wanted to upgrade stock pickups and still retain some vintage flavor would be the Keystones hands down.
     

  12. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    After all this time of mine spent chasing a solution to wiring in that damn switch I can't believe someone hasn't looked at this wiring scheme and commented on why they believe it works when it seems like it shouldn't. LOL

    If there is another one like it anywhere to be found I haven't tripped across it yet. I'm not bumping this for my own glory especially since I didn't discover it and I'm happier than hell that it works. I'm just the eternally curious sort who always seeks answers.

    Has anyone else experimented with this yet and if so what results do you get? Enquiring minds want to know. :D

    [​IMG]
     

  13. tfsails

    tfsails Friend of Leo's

    Oct 11, 2010
    Richmond VA
    I just saw the last few posts here and studied that schematic fairly intently while comparing it with what I did with my MIM Tele. I have the two B/Ns in the middle with bridge in 1 and neck in 4.

    Your tech essentially just wired the switch in such a way that what most schematics have in position 4 is in your position 1. It's not rocket science--the switch can be wired to have any pickup combination in any switch position.

    The main thing here is that you're happy with the setup, and it sounds like you are. When I went to modify my axe, I thought (and still do think) that it's stupid to separate the two B/N positions, so I wanted mine in the middle. I'm not one to bang my selector from position to position, and I pretty much always keep it in the same position throughout the song, so banging it around is a non-issue with me. I have a friend who installed a 4-way the "preferred" way and then reinstalled the 3-way because he had trouble finding the neck-only position (#3). I bought my switch from him and rewired it to my satisfaction.

    Enjoy your Tele! Don't worry about what others think--it's YOUR guitar and YOU are the one who needs to be happy with it.

    I still wish I'd been able to get my hands on it and figure it out for you! Maybe if you're ever in VA we can get together and do some pickin' and grinnin'!
     

  14. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    Each pickup has BOTH of their coil wires to the switch, and the switch doesn't have any terminals to ground. Take a switch diagram and go though which lugs are in contact at each position and somebody tell us how it works. So the mystery isn't that the functions are changed per lever position ( that can be optional), it is how can it work?


    Good luck with that !
     

    Attached Files:


  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Oh I gotcha on what he did tf and I'm happy as a clam that I've got it working this way. For me having the Series at #1 is nice since it puts my three solo positions together and the neck out of the way but I can also understand the logic of having Series and Parallel side by side. What ever works right?

    I wasn't concerned about what others opinion of it was. I just wondered how my guy got it to work this way when it wouldn't work any other way for either of us because it's so unconventional, and if anyone else had either seen this scheme or tried it this way that's all.

    One of my questions is how did he manage to ground this thing proper. Every other diagram has a common ground to the pot from the bridge pickup. Not this one. And every other diagram has a ground going from the pot to A3. Not this one. I'm not a tech but I can see that this is out of the ordinary as far as my understanding of the circuit goes.

    It wired more like a conventional 3-way plus Series than any of the other 4-way schemes I've seen yours included. A couple of guys with some experience wiring 4-ways like yours or with the Series in #4 have scratched their heads too. They've never seen it wired this way either. Guess I'll call it the Armani Mod after my luthier friend who also doesn't quite understand why it works either and he did it. LOL

    No big deal. Just my inquisitive nature. :D
     

  16. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    Could be the bridge pickup coil ground is like a lot of things these days......................wireless.

    :cool:
     

  17. tfsails

    tfsails Friend of Leo's

    Oct 11, 2010
    Richmond VA
    I've tried wrapping my brain around this schematic business for about an hour now. I guess I'm far enough removed from my electronics career to be losing something in the translation. I'd have to have a switch in my fingers to move and visually figure out which terminal is which before I could give an intelligent answer about your grounds and how each pickup is turned on and off and series/parallel. Unfortunately, my only 4-way switch is in the guitar so I can't get to it right now.

    Bottom line is everybody's happy. Happy playing!
     

  18. Bubbalou

    Bubbalou Tele-Meister

    284
    Feb 28, 2012
    Euless, Texas
    Same here
     

  19. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    LMAO!!! Sure why not? Ya' know originally I thought the guitar was possessed but now I'm thinking it's blessed. There's an invisible ground in there somewhere I'll bet.......or maybe it is wireless. It's the trend ya' know. :D
     

  20. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Oh I am guys. Happily playing it every chance I get. Between this CVC and the Nashcaster my poor bass is getting orphaned and I have bass lines to work on for gigs. LOL

    Yeah same with me tf. I'm not gonna pull the 4-way out of my MIM and rewire it this way just to satisfy my curiosity. I had the CVC torn apart long enough so having all three of the main "players" in top working order is all good with me. The MIM is getting setup for slide which means I've already got that little project to do and pulling it apart will just delay that process. I'm not all that fast with a soldering iron that I can yank things apart and have them back together in an hour.

    So, tf, Bubba, sj thanks for staying in the loop and along for the ride. It has been interesting to say the least and if I never find out why that will be fine too. I don't need to know why an internal combustion engine works the way it does either to enjoy driving a car.

    Thanks for all the help guys. :D
     

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