Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

What am I looking at here...wiring...

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by joshigh, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. joshigh

    joshigh Tele-Meister

    369
    Jun 10, 2003
    Plant City, FL
    So this is my old trusty '52 RI that I bought here on the forum probably 13+ years ago.

    It doesn't get played much anymore but I want to start bringing it out again. I've never been in love with the controls, it's kind of all or nothing, wide open sounds best, anything rolled off goes to crap quick.

    I'm thinking about getting a pre-wired harness and just re-wiring in the pickups. I want to get something with good taper, treble bleed and clarity when the volume and/or tone is rolled down.

    From the looks of what I have here, can you tell what's going on? There is too much solder on the pots for me to tell what they are. I'm pretty sure I have Van Zandt pickups installed, based on hearsay from the prior owner. They sound fantastic, I just need some more control.

    [​IMG]
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  2. tessting1two

    tessting1two Tele-Meister

    255
    Apr 13, 2014
    Southern California
    Looks like you've got standard tele wiring on a reverse control plate (3 way switch to the rear) including a treble-bleed cap on the volume pot. The pots should both be 250k audio taper. The soldering leaves a lot to be desired so I certainly wouldn't blame you for wanting a new harness so everything under the hood is clean and reliable. I'm a fan of RS Guitarworks volume pots for their taper and feel. They sell kits as well if you don't want to hunt down the rest of the components to save a buck or two.

    There are two ways to retain clarity as you roll down the volume: the first is what's know as the 50's Gibson mod (aka Fezz Parka mod, aka Ted Green mod) where you simply move the tone control to the middle lug of the volume pot instead of the outside lug. This makes the volume and tone controls interactive like old Gibsons.

    50's Gibson wiring (note the standard control plate configuration):
    [​IMG]

    The second method is to use standard tele wiring but employ a better resistor/capacitor treble-bleed network across the volume pot. There are many ways to skin this cat and finding what works best for you might require a little trial & error. I find that most of the recommended capacitor values are too high and actually retain too much high end as the volume rolls down. Personally I wouldn't use anything over 680pf. As for resistors, it depends on the specific taper of your volume pot but I find the sweet spot somewhere between 68k and 150k. Keep in mind this is using the resistor/capacitor in parallel. Others prefer them in series (like Kinman pickups).
     
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  3. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut

  4. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.
    That's a beautiful Tele - I'd upgrade the wiring in a heartbeat though.

    'All or nothing' to me says you have Linear (non-audio) pots - so the usable range is bumched up at one end of the pot's travel.

    A simple fix would, as you suggested, be a wiring harness.

    Shouldn't be a big job to replace your existing wiring at all - and a harness (if you decide to go that route) is just about the simplest way of all.

    Edit : I'd keep the original plate and knobs though - that patina is awesome.
     
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  5. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Tele-Holic

    Age:
    38
    891
    Feb 26, 2017
    Manchester UK
    Whatever happened to the soldering proverb 'the bigger the blob, the better the job'? How about a couple more ounces of solder in there see if it gets better

    And where is the clown comment about 'tone solder'?
     
    joshigh likes this.

  6. beninma

    beninma Tele-Meister

    Age:
    40
    287
    Mar 17, 2017
    Massachusetts
    Is this normal for guitars?

    I learned soldering on more intricate stuff (circuit boards, computer stuff) and my MIM Tele looked horrific when I opened it up. I would have thought a MIA vintage one would be a bit more elegantly wired/soldered. This one looks horrific too.

    I'm redoing mine now I think there is going to be at least 12" less wire inside it when I'm done and several ounces less solder.
     

  7. joshigh

    joshigh Tele-Meister

    369
    Jun 10, 2003
    Plant City, FL
    I'm not sure how this came to be. I've left it untouched since I bought it many years ago. I'm a novice on the soldering iron but even jobs I've done look better!

    One thing I forgot to mention is that my bridge pickup is sounding very anemic, that's really what made me open it up to take a peak. It sounds like a wire is loose or disconnected, basically it sounds like the output is cut way low, like a transistor radio or something.
     

  8. trouserpress

    trouserpress Tele-Meister

    207
    May 4, 2015
    Leipzig
    Your bridge pickup might be haunted by a ?faint / hidden? short-cirquit. Take an ohm-meter and check what it reads between + and -.
     
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  9. tessting1two

    tessting1two Tele-Meister

    255
    Apr 13, 2014
    Southern California
    Since you're rewiring things it would be wise to measure the DC resistance of the pickup to make sure nothing has shorted or broken. You should get a reading anywhere from 6k-9k ohms. If you get a significantly lower reading or you can't get a consistent reading then the pickup would need to be repaired or replaced.
     
    joshigh likes this.

  10. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    My AV models were very cleanly put together. No hidden mess.

    And the wiring on my CS Strats is functional art. Just gorgeous work. No, it doesn't matter. But it kinda does... Same as not seeing a bunch of glue blobs when you peer inside a nice acoustic.
     

  11. joshigh

    joshigh Tele-Meister

    369
    Jun 10, 2003
    Plant City, FL
    Welp. I pulled the wiring tonight since my new kit will be here tomorrow. I went ahead and pulled the bridge out and sure enough, I'm not getting any readings on the bridge pickup. I even tested against an extra Nocaster pickup I have lying around to make sure my multimeter worked right. I get readings on the Nocaster, but not the Van Zandt.

    I emailed VZ to see if I could send it in for a checkup/repair to see what they say.
     

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