Baja - Back To Basics?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by overlock, Mar 22, 2016.

Would you change your Baja to standard Tele switching?

  1. Yes - I like my Telecasters the way the good Leo intended.

    7 vote(s)
    23.3%
  2. No - I love all that new-fangled switchery

    16 vote(s)
    53.3%
  3. I am conflicted

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  4. Meh - don't give a rat's whatsit

    4 vote(s)
    13.3%
  1. overlock

    overlock Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had my Baja for a while now, and I've decided I don't care for the fancy switching. I never use the S1 at all, and the 4-way pickup selector is a bit rubbish. In positions 1 and 4, it lies so far down against the control plate that it pushes the switch tip off. Which I find weird, because I put a 4-way in my Highway One and it has no such problems.

    Anyway, I've ordered the parts I need to make up a bog-standard tele control plate, and the current one will stay intact in my parts drawer in case I ever change my mind. I'll probably flip the plate, Kirchen-style, just for the craic.

    So I'm just curious to know where the weight of TDPRI opinion lies on this matter: is the S1 and 4-way more hassle than it's worth, or do you like having the extra options?
     
  2. robinn

    robinn TDPRI Member

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    For me, I don't care about S1/4-way wiring. I myself would make it into an esquire with some kind of eldred mod, those broadcaster style PU's are great ;-)

    Btw: if you're talking about the wiring that Leo intended, you're talking about true vintage style-wiring, which is according to this source (https://www.lollarguitars.com/blog/2014/03/tele-wiring-battle-royale/):
    Position #1 (switch to right): Bridge pickup w/tone control
    Position #2 (switch in middle): Neck pickup w/ tone control
    Position #3 (switch to left): Neck pickup with no tone control and treble rolled off (pre-set bassy position).

    You're probably talking about 'modern' wiring: bridge, both in parallel, neck (all w/ tone control).
     
  3. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I went through a couple of iterations but settled on this and could not be happier. Been like this for months.

    - Flipped the plate so the volume control is near my pinky and the switch does not get knocked when strumming.

    - Dumped the S1 switch and rat's nest of wires. Put in a new pot, wired vintage to tone.

    - Made the 4 way switch order: Bridge > Both Parallel > Both Series > Neck - so that the extremes of the throw are standard tele. (I kept having to hunt the neck alone otherwise - now it's just at the end so quick change is easy mid song). I did try a 3 way but missed the series option after a week.

    Very, very functional now. Should be stock like this IMHO.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. overlock

    overlock Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, they could shave a few dollars off the production cost by ditching that S1.

    I've been wondering, too, if there's any good reason for having such a wide gap between the volume and tone knobs when it leaves the switch jammed up so tight against the volume (tone, I presume, in your case). Seems to me that space could be more judiciously allocated. Maybe a custom plate would be in order.
     
  5. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

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    Who wants to know?
    Ordered a new control plate from Rock Rabbit for this very reason.
     
  6. TheRumRunner

    TheRumRunner Tele-Afflicted

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    I too found the 4-way and S1 finicky so I took a different approach. I turned my Baja into an Esquire and wired it up:

    POS1 - straight to PU
    POS2 - Vol only
    POS3 - Vol Tone

    She is a real screamer in POS1, very raw. The PU is a Lollar.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    DW
     
  7. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    I much prefer the Baja wiring to a standard 3 way. Love the half out of phase parallel sound. Love the full series sound.
     
  8. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Totally agree with all of this! My only addition is to lose the lips on the vintage bridge plate. Then it's perfect.
     
  9. Peter Rabbit

    Peter Rabbit Tele-Holic

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    I have done the same as Guitarteach, but added a push-push for the phase (replaces the S1) and it has been my number one for quite a while.
     
    martin82 likes this.
  10. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    My Baja gets a lot of work. I have assumed the push/push pot is a weak link- but it hasn't caused any problems yet. When/if it does, I will replace it with a standard pot- and a 3-way switch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  11. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've had my Baja 4 years. I use the S1 all the time. It has never caused me any problems. I love having the extra options.
     
    songtalk likes this.
  12. swingtime

    swingtime Tele-Meister

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    I replaced the stock pickups on my desert sand Baja with Bardens. I like the second position with the S1 engaged Don't care for the 4th position. Volume pot sucks. S1: noisy. For the rest: absolutely a killer guitar.
     
  13. Peter Rabbit

    Peter Rabbit Tele-Holic

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    swingtime: I didn't know that S1s were noisy. How does that manifest itself?
     
  14. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

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    Noise.

    ;)
     
  15. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm one of the conflicted - every now & then I find a gnarly distorted sound that sounds thicker with the out of phase setting, for some reason. Clean out of phase doesn't do much for me, especially since I got a Strat. I had mistakenly assumed out of phase & "quack" were the same sound.

    And I have found that I do not like that the neck pickup is not at the end of the switch's throw, which wasn't a big deal until I got the Strat.

    Makes me wonder about a 5-way switch & ditching the tone pot switch? I might if anything needs replacement. Not something I'd be motivated to do otherwise.
     
  16. swingtime

    swingtime Tele-Meister

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    Noisy as in: the switch makes a clicking sound when used....
     
  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .
    You folks are undoing your Baja's while I'm modding mine closer toward a Baja!
    The 4-way switch for series humbucker tone is on the soon-to-do list.

    (rescued Affinity Tele with Baja pickups, treble bleed, and greasebucket)
    +1 on the reverse control plate trend.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. PenCapChew

    PenCapChew TDPRI Member

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    Hmm... That's not a bad idea. I've been thinking of doing away with the s-1 switch in my Baja as well and I might give this a try.
     
  19. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I wouldn't remove the S1 switching unless it failed, and probably not even then. You can always just ignore it if you don't use the extra sounds.
     
  20. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic

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    I just finished wiring my Baja tonight thanks to dsutton24. This Baja was made with parts I had been acquiring over a period of time; '50s classic series neck with vintage tuners, '60s classic series body, wilkinson bridge, twisted tele neck pickup, and Seymore Duncan Antiquity bridge pickup. Since I had no Baja electronics and controls, I wired it with stuff from the parts bin. Went with the 4-way switch, treble bleed, and skipped the S1 idea. I like it a lot, but wouldn't mind using a Rutters 3/8" over control plate though.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 8, 2016
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