Wiring for a Tele with a P-90 in the neck?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by thrashmetl, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Tele-Holic

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    So I've done a few searches on this and I can't really find too much info. I'm trying to figure out how to wire a Tele with a P-90 in the neck and a traditional Tele pickup in the bridge.

    P-90's are darker than Tele pickups, obviously, so I'm trying to figure out how to remedy that problem and balance them out. I've seen people recommend higher pot values, but all that really does is brighten up the P-90 and make the bridge even brighter and doesn't solve the problem at all.

    I like my neck P-90's pretty bright and clear, not all dark and smokey like a 50's brass covered Tele neck so I'm going to have to run higher Pot Values, but how do I keep the bridge treble under control and balance it with the neck?
     
  2. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    Why not try 500k vol pot and add 470k across the bridge pickup?
     
  3. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Tele-Holic

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    I'm a novice here, so give me a little more detail as to where the 470 goes. And are the any other values there or is 470 pretty much what everyone agrees upon?
     
  4. ChicknPickn

    ChicknPickn Tele-Holic

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    I built a vintage-style Tele with a Bill Lawrence Keystone in the bridge and a standard-wound Armstrong P-90 in the neck. I did a fair amount of homework on wiring and visited a number of discussion boards around the 'net to get ideas and hear of other people's experiences with 500k and 250k pots. Ultimately, I chose to install a 4-way switch, 250k pots, and no treble-bleed circuit. This guitar is versatile because of its wide tonal range, as you can imagine, but I will say that I like to boost the P-90's treble at the amp. The dark, smokey sound is very nice, but to me, the pickup isn't all that it can be without the right treble enhancement. I don't mind using the amp to get the P-90's sound where I want it, but I know many people want to have all the control at their fingertips. I have to say that the two combo positions (series and parallel) are dynamite.

    I used this design:

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/pdfs/support/schematics/tele_4ws.pdf

    Where the P-90 is a two-wire pickup, it is easily dropped into this design.
     
  5. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    Try this. I'm not sure if the added load will/won't be enough for your particular setup. You may need to experiment with the pot value as well as the resistor value.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. MrDJoers

    MrDJoers Tele-Holic

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    If you didn't already buy yourself a p-90 look at a Fralin one. He likes to underwind pickups compared to others and his should have more high end and sound more bell like.
     
  7. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Tele-Holic

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  8. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    I don't quite understand the question. The SD link has a neck humbucker (while yours is a P90). Most humbuckers also like to see 500k load, so my diagram can be applied if you use a HB instead of a P90.

    If you mean whether SD diagram works the same way as mine, then the answer is no.

    Fender sells a 375k volume pot which can be a compromise solution. If you're happy with that you don't need an extra resistor.
     
  9. old_picker

    old_picker Tele-Afflicted

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    sorry for asking the obvious
    the cap is a .047??
    the resistor knocks a little brightness off the bridge to counteract the effect of the 500k vol pot??
    another resistor should be on the other side for the middle position??
     
  10. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    The cap should be matched against the particular guitar, based on your personal tastes. I'd start with 0.022uF.

    The resistor makes the resistive load to be 242k (close enough to 250k) if the pot is exactly 500k - only on the bridge only position. For bridge + neck and neck only positions, the load is 500k, so the tone should be brighter.

    If you want bridge only and bridge + neck to see 250k load, move the resistor from the current position on the diagram to a new location, connecting between the back of the pot and the lug pointed by the arrow.

    Don't forget to insulate the leads of the resistor.
     
  11. old_picker

    old_picker Tele-Afflicted

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    so based on the wiring as per diagram - bridge alone will see 250k load but middle postion [bridge + neck] the bridge will see 500k and be a little brighter in the blend ??
     
  12. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry I did not respond earlier (3 months ago:oops:), yes, the way it is drawn the middle will be a little brighter. If you use the alternative (see the arrow) it would be a little darker.

    FWIW, the change in tone is subtle (to my ears anyway).
     
  13. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv TDPRI Member

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    Old post I know but I have a similar dilemma. I'm doing a tele build with a Novak wide range in the neck and a 50's style bridge pickup and I'm not sure the best way to wire these to preserve the right tone. The WRHP would need a 1M and the tele bridge pickup a 250k. Originally I was thinking of using a dual 1M pot and using a resistor across the lugs to mod one half of the pot into a 250k but then I'd have to wire the switch after the volume tone network. This looks like it's putting a resistor across the leads of the bridge pickup in order to mimic the pickup seeing the smaller load but without a schematic I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what's going on in the diagram. If it's doing what I think a 330k resistor should have no problem getting me there however. Any thoughts?
     
  14. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    1M in parallel with 330k will give you approx 250k. So the pickups will "see" the right resistive loads.

    However, the circuit (and the tone to your ears) may not behave the same. Using a 1M pot with 330k across results in a circuit that is more sensitive to the downstream load (e.g. cable, cable lenth, amp input impedance, etc). It is unlikely to behave exactly the same way as using a 250k pot.

    Having said that, I've not tried it and you may fine the result just what you're looking for.

    Note that you can place a cap (or a cap + resistor) instead of a resistor. I would suggest some experimentation.
     
  15. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv TDPRI Member

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    Interesting, so what about the dual ganged pot idea then? The only real drawback I can think of is additional wire runs but I might be missing something. I'd really need to actually draw out a diagram to visualize it better.
     
  16. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    I only know of one 1M/250k dual pot and I don't know if they are log or linear taper.

    It should be possible to have the neck hooked up to 1M and the bridge to 250k, and both to either 1M or 250k (you have to choose, I'd be tending to 250k).

    So, a circuit is possible, but unless you can get a log taper pot such a circuit is useless.
     
  17. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv TDPRI Member

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    I shouldn't need a 1M/250k as I can strap a 330k across the outside two lugs on one side of a 1M/1M pot creating a 1M/250k. I'm more concerned that there's some drawback to such a circuit that I'm not considering.
     
  18. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    Using a 1M/1M with 330k is actually not as good (flexible) as using above circuit with a 1M pot and 330k resistor. This is due to the limitations of where you can put the tone circuit.
     
  19. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv TDPRI Member

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    So I drew up a schematic since it's much easier for me to visualize things that way. It looks to me like a straight ahead Les Paul setup but with both pickups sharing a tone setting. What exactly is the limitation of this sort of circuit? It seems like it would work fine. :confused:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

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    That circuit always adds the two pickups circuits together. Even if you're taking the voltage from one pot, the effective electrical circuit is the two pickups, two pots and 330k in parallel, all the time.

    The limitation I was talking about is in regards to the placement of the master tone, where it would have to be placed at the 'output' of the pot. Some call that '50's wiring' and in TDPRI it is also known as 'Fezz Parka' wiring. (obviously some would prefer that and hence don't see it as a limitation)
     
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