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'75 Tele Custom Wiring/Controls

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by choosebronze, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. choosebronze

    choosebronze TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    I have a 1975 Tele Custom. The wiring (from before I bought it) is a bit different from the published diagram. I'm wondering how the switching/controls are intended to work? Something about the tone was bugging me but it took me a while to figure out what. I traced out my wiring if that helps.

    Position 1: Neck only- works fine. Neck volume and tone controls are active, bridge vol and tone controls aren't.

    Position 3: Bridge only- works fine. Bridge volume and tone controls are active, neck vol and tone controls aren't.

    Position 2 is where I'm confused and it's a little hard to explain: Both pickups are active as expected, but either set of controls effects the entire output signal. For example, right now I have the pickguard (and neck pickup still in it) uninstalled to the side, and I have a string on the guitar, so only the bridge pickup can pick up that string. In the middle position if I turn down the neck volume, output still goes down. If I turn down the neck tone, treble decreases. The reverse is true, in Position 2 the bridge controls affect the entire signal including output from the neck pickup.

    So with only the bridge pickup having a string above it, the neck pickup's controls are affecting the output signal. I hope what I'm saying makes sense. It's not the behavior I'd expect. Very grateful for any advice or errors with the wiring. Here's a drawing of how this thing's wired, I don't see any errors but obviously I'm missing something. On the gray/black dashed wires, that's the braided outer layer.

    Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 10.10.23 PM.png
     
  2. choosebronze

    choosebronze TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    I did a search last night but somehow didn't find this other thread until this morning: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/telecaster-custom-72-how-to-balance-the-middle-position.348919/

    Seems to suggest this is how the wiring is supposed to work? If so I can't figure out why. Each pickup has its own volume control which go to opposite sides of the switch. When the middle position connects the hot from both pickups, I still don't understand how each volume control could affect global volume.
     
  3. choosebronze

    choosebronze TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Ok sorry. The lack of replies made me do more research. I've never owned a Les Paul. I've only ever had one guitar with a 3-way toggle and 2 Volume pots and I wired it myself, apparently inadvertently with independent volume controls. I guess I just assumed that's how things were supposed to work. After reading about Les Paul's it seems like these dependent volume controls are the norm, and the treble loss from wiring them independently doesn't sound worth it, so I guess I'll just have to get used to it.
     
  4. Bella

    Bella Tele-Meister

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    Hi Choosebronze - glad you found the answer you were looking for. My 72 Custom was wired the same way or similarly, IIRC. Rolling off volume to 0 in middle position would act as a sort of kill switch for both pickups. I've since replaced the humbucker with a humbucker-sized P90 and rewired it following a 59 LP schematic, but I think it still operates similarly (I dont hang out in middle position much).
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    You have it right. On any two-pickup guitar wired with separate volume and tone, the parallel position means both tones and volumes have an overall affect on the signal. It's possible wire it differently, but that creates it"s own issues.
     
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