Two Tele mods

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by navigate40, May 15, 2019.

  1. navigate40

    navigate40 TDPRI Member

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    In the search for new tones, I came up with two mods to two of my tele's that I thought might be worth sharing. One install has an piezo bridge for acoustic tones (white tele). The other adds a second tone control to the control plate:

    telemods.jpg
    The Seafoam Pearl tele on the right has 1 vol and two tone controls. I found a 3 hole tele control plate online, already had 500k pots and some caps. Found a simple two HB, 1 vol, 2 tone wiring diagram on the SD site. Wired it myself. Wiring was very straight forward....and....you must be thinking...yeah...my strat is exactly this! True....and I have a strat...and an LP. While playing the LP, I thought....why can't my HH tele do this (tone control)? Finding a 3 hole control plate made it possible...and easy.

    LOVE the results. Really like being able to adjust the tone of each pup.....Adds the flexibility and tone control of an LP while making it simpler. This worked out GREAT. Cost basically nothing.

    One note: It is VERY tight under the control plate. I had to Dremel out the pocket a tiny bit to get it to fit.

    teleacoustic.jpg

    I bought a Brenner piezo bridge for the tele, $65. It was a very simple, straight forward add (replaced the brass saddles). I wired it and the magnetic pickups to a stereo output jack (included). Works great and adds a pretty realistic acoustic tone to the tele. Simple and cheap.

    I use a TRS to mono TR cable to split the signal (seen in the above pic). A mono jack straight in gives only the magnetic signal...so....this mod is transparent for playing the guitar as an electric. No difference at all.

    One thing I was concerned with was the ability to intonate. It may be hard to see, but the bridge is machined with some intonation built in. You can adjust the bridge forward and back on both ends to fine tune. Worked fine, intonation and action are great.

    Playing yielded some interesting finds. The bridge is sensitive enough that you do not need a preamp...it is plenty loud. However, when using a preamp, the tone is nicer. AND.....using a TC Electronics Body Rez pedal yielded fantastic results. This was a little unexpected, since that pedal is made for acoustics...but it made the tone just fantastic.

    Interestingly...you probably are already thinking this....this guitar can now by played in stereo. You can send the output to two different amps. AND...switching between electric and acoustic, on the fly, can be done fairly simply....just use a tuner pedal to switch on and off...or use the vol on the tele.

    Anyway...I think these are two interesting mods, that can both be done very cheaply. Expands the tonal possibilities quite a bit.

    And....of course....now everyone knows, I have too much time on my hands (retired :) and cannot leave well enough alone :)

    Thanks
    John

    [Note about the guitars: The white tele has a Fralin strat blues pickup in the neck, Fender '52 in the bridge....fantastic combination for a wide variety of tones. Great combined. The green has a set of SD Alnico II pro HB's....about as close to Gib 490's as you can get while being different and worth having in addition to an LP]
     
    AAT65, hellopike, nojazzhere and 2 others like this.
  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Very innovative. I love when people step out of the box with their mods. Would love to hear sound demos of them both. If you record any, please post them here.
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    You might consider a phase switch on the Seafoam Pearl.
    A push/push or push/pull pot would give you another tone, without modding your plate.
    That tone is an acquired taste, but it gives a Peter Green/My Girl/Third Rate Romance/T Bone Walker “snarly” tone.
    Thanks for listening.
     
  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool . Thanks for posting.

    Sheryl Crow has an ice green Tele with a piezo pickup in the bridge unit. It's good that the separate acoustic like signal can be processed entirely separately. Might do something similar on a future build .
     
  5. navigate40

    navigate40 TDPRI Member

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    Thank you!

    The 1 vol, 2 tone tele mod is really nothing special...but it puts the tele in the zone of an HH strat or LP, in terms of tone control. I like my strat and LP, but really like playing the tele...and want tone control for each pickup. It works great. I think it is a great advantage in getting the kind of sound you want.

    I will try to get a sound file together for the piezo bridge tele. I guess I have to have a SoundCloud account in order to post it here? Or can I post a sound file directly?

    Brenner does have a couple posted and they are very good. The sound does not replace an acoustic, but it is a very desirable tone. Put through a preamp or the TC Body rez, it does not sound like a cheap acoustic, but a really good acoustic like tone that you could see playing out or recording with.

    I will try to see what I can do. I do have a Behringer UMC22.

    Thanks again. Fun projects and...very cost effective.

    J

    ps - Lobo....you can play these anytime you want.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  6. navigate40

    navigate40 TDPRI Member

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    Quick playing sample, please excuse any playing issues, wanted to get this to you.

    Recorded using a Behringer UMC22 into Audacity. Tele is direct in, acoustic is via a mic. Tracks are mono.

    White tele

    1. Magnetic neck pickup, Fralin blues strat
    2. Bridge pickup, Fender '52
    3. Piezo
    4. Piezo + TC Body Rez
    5. Epiphone AJ45ME acoustic

    If I did this right the Sound Cloud file should be below:

     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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