2016 MIJ Telecaster - pots question

spencer

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I recently picked up a great 2016 MIJ Telecaster and had a few questions about the pots.

I’m planning on putting in some new pickups and wondering whether I should replace the pots and wiring while I’m in there.

Am I right in understanding it’s not as simple as buying CTS pots, as they won’t be the right size for the plate/knobs? Would I be better off simply replacing the whole thing, control plate, knobs and all?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is that a treble bleed installed from factory on the volume knob?

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TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

Personally, I’d not worry about the pots unless they are failing.

Yes, they are metrically sized. I forget the specs. But, the threaded barrel part and the shaft are metric. Pretty sure CTS, etc. make metric versions. You could use the current knobs in that case.

So, you can do that, or get a new imperial sized control plate to match non-metric pots (you will need new knobs in this scenario). The holes for mounting it to the body won’t quite line up with the body holes from the old screws, but if you’re careful it will work. And, I don’t think the current selector switch mounting holes will line up either(?). So, new switch probably needed too, if you go that way.

So, back to my original position, which is, don’t bother if they’re working fine.

What is it you don’t like about the current pickups?

Pax/
Dean
 

Fretting out

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Hi.

Personally, I’d not worry about the pots unless they are failing.

Yes, they are metrically sized. I forget the specs. But, the threaded barrel part and the shaft are metric. Pretty sure CTS, etc. make metric versions. You could use the current knobs in that case.

So, you can do that, or get a new imperial sized control plate to match non-metric pots (you will need new knobs in this scenario). The holes for mounting it to the body won’t quite line up with the body holes from the old screws, but if you’re careful it will work. And, I don’t think the current selector switch mounting holes will line up either(?). So, new switch probably needed too, if you go that way.

So, back to my original position, which is, don’t bother if they’re working fine.

What is it you don’t like about the current pickups?

Pax/
Dean

Plus 1! If they work then I wouldn’t replace them

As long as they function and are the correct value the pots don’t care how much they cost

As far as the plate I don’t know about current models but for my mij tele I just bought a new USA spec plate, knobs and wiring harness

I didn’t have any problems fitting the USA plate
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi again.

I didn’t have any problems fitting the USA plate

Yeah. The only time I’ve done it, it wasn’t a problem at all, I just screwed the screw in at a slight angle for it to bite.

When I switched back later to the original metric control plate however, that particular body hole was then too big / offset / messy. I had to glue in a bit of wood and make a new hole. No big deal though. That time round I was sticking 500K pots in and used US sized ones. I just reamed the pots’ holes in the metric plate a little bigger (and let it take a few ‘accidental’ spins around the drill bed for ‘authentic’ wear :)).

Pax/
Dean
 

spencer

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Thanks for the advice!

I like the bridge pickup quite a bit, but the neck pickup is quite microphonic and generally a bit dull. Just interested to see if I like other pickups a little better. Who knows, I may end up putting the stock pickups back in!
 

Matthias

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Full size alpha pots will probably fit, are quite cheap and not too far behind CTS on quality. While these stock parts are cheaper and a little more delicate than what you find in Mexican and US Fenders, they’ll work. While I replaced my 97’s innards when a pot shaft came loose, my ‘94 has had more hammer and the cheap components still work fine. It’s a myth you need to automatically replace these. If you’re gigging though, you might want to put something more robust in. Just those long bare cap legs can flex and short the signal if your volume pot comes loose, as I’ve experienced first hand.

It’s worth keeping MIJs stock if you tend to flip guitars as they often fetch more than MiMs used, especially after a few years and if it’s a colour or model you can’t get otherwise.
 

Geo

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You could measure the pots to see how close to 250K. If within 10% of the max or 225K usually okay
if you want an decent sound change when turning. Sometimes if it is low on the volume pot not a big deal
but can be more of an issue on the tone pot. Issue being having to turn the control more because of less
sound change.
If you change pots to CTS a drill size just slightly larger than the current hole will do it.
 

teleplayr

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I upgraded the electronics on my MIJ Tele to full sized 250k (CTS) pots and a US made four way switch and a .022 cap.

I used an "Allparts" control plate on mine and it was a perfect fit.

I saved the original plate & controls.
 

fraser

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I had my 97 cij strat apart not long ago, and i see it still has the original little pots.
Still working fine, and i use them a lot.
Also that guitar has never been babied, at all.

The pickups are not original, and theres some wiring and tone cap that arent original, but the pots have never been removed, there is still some of the plastic from the pickguard protector film sticking out under the washers even.
 

Sax-son

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I have a CIJ Paisley Telecaster with that same exact harness. Although it worked fine and didn't have any problems with it, I always thought it had a "cheap" feel to it. I replaced the whole harness, control plate and knobs with CTS, CRL and vintage Fender specs. I am much happier with it now.
 




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