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Baja finish and S-1 switching

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Telarkaster, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Telarkaster

    Telarkaster Friend of Leo's

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    Hi! I asked these questions buried in the "90 minutes alone with a wall of Fenders" thread in the Bad Dog section, but since it's a specific Tele question I thought I'd repeat it here for better visibility:

    -What do you think of the thick goopy finish on the Baja blonde blackguard models? Did you get used to it? How does it wear over time?


    -S-1 switching: I was never a fan of them, but I was so distracted by the beautiful neck of the Baja that I didn't even notice that it had the S1. How do they sound to you in the parallel-series modes? Are they fragile? Have you replaced your 4 way switch with a 3 way? If so, why?

    Any other reason why I should not buy this guitar? I can't get over the playability of the neck and the sound of the pickups, been a while since I've been this smitten by a guitar. Tell me about yours!
     
  2. Tdot

    Tdot Poster Extraordinaire

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    The body finish? Mine is sand, and looks feels the same as my other MIM's.

    I like the extra odd sounds, feels solid to me, I'm keeping it.

    I'm happy with mine.
     
  3. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    I played a Baja through a Champ 600 and loved it. The S-1 switch does seem a little cheesey, but the tones it gives you put my strat-jones to rest.

    I'm wondering if the push button switch can be replaced by a regular push-pull pot for a more classic look and solid feel.

    The finish on the blonde does have that highway1 kind of washed out look and feel to it.
     
  4. BrianF

    BrianF Friend of Leo's

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    Yes...the S1 switch just performs a normal DPDT switch function. It can be replaced by a push-pull switch pot or just install a DPDT mini-toggle switch on the jack plate between the 2 pots.
     
  5. 777Brad

    777Brad Tele-Meister

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    I have also been considering a Baja.

    Will someone please explain the parallel/series & in phase/out of phase thing?

    Also, what is DPDT?
     
  6. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    DPDT is dual pole dual throw. Look at the Seymore Duncan site for schematics that show how to wire up a dptp to make it go out of phase.

    All Baja's use the exact same body as the 50's Classic ASH wood painted with polyester.
     
  7. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    S-1 Switch Up:
    Position 1. Bridge Pickup - Sounds great, VERY twangy.
    Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups (In Parallel) - Like a twangier, less punchy version of a Strat inbetween position
    Position 3. Neck Pickup (Standard Tele) - Very warm, but with plenty of clarity
    Position 4. Neck and Bridge Pickups (In Series) (Fatter Tone Than Position 2. and More Output Than Position 1., 2., or 3.) - as it says, fatter than position 2, with a slight Stratlike quality, and is definitely higher output.
    S-1 Switch Down:
    Position 1. Bridge Pickup - Same as above
    Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups (In Parallel)-Out of Phase - Same as above but with more quack.
    Position 3. Neck Pickup (Standard Tele) - Same as above
    Position 4. Neck and Bridge Pickups (In Series) Out of Phase - Think Peter Green - nasal, but usable.
     
  8. Fourth Feline

    Fourth Feline Tele-Holic

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    Hi :D

    Re: the paint job:

    Mine was O.K. Sprayed a bit thin near the rear strap pin if anything.
    I did not really notice / compare it on mine, as the ( lovely ) wood grain still shows through, and I'm too busy enjoying the rest to bother really.

    Re the S1 :

    Yes it does give you extra tone options, but if anything I am considering going back to a 3 way, just because I'm an old fashioned guy who likes the basic Telecaster sounds. I bought mine because I fell in love with the neck and general feel / look / sound of the basic guitar. It may sound stupid - but the S1 was just gravy. For me it was a much more affordable way to own a 'real' 50s style Tele, but with the much prefered 9.5" radius and that lovely chunky yet comfortable neck.

    Re being smitten :

    I can only agree - and then agree some more. It is the best thing I have purchased in many a long year . I have not touched my existing collection much since the Baja arrived 3 months ago. Even the stock pickups sound great, - and what a great price !

    :D
     
  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Baja, the only reason to buy a Baja is to keep some guy in New Orleans from buying them all. The other 3 still have the stock pickguard.

    [​IMG]

    Seriously, it is a great guitar. I personally think the Twisted Tele and especially the Broadcaster where meant to be 6 way switchable; most of my partscasters are 4 way, 3 way is for Esquires only. I will leave a stock 3 way alone, sometimes.

    The S-1 is not armor plated like the rest of the guitar. I've reworked the one on my second hand Baja, it was a bit loose.

    As for the body, order a nice one piece light ash from Tommy at USACG and have it finished by Roxy. I promise you can sell that blonde Baja body if in nice shape for decent money. The desert sand body on all mine, much less in demand.
     
  10. 777Brad

    777Brad Tele-Meister

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    Thanks J-man,

    However I don't fully understand the whole parallel/series & in phase/out of phase thing. What exactly does it mean?
     
  11. Telarkaster

    Telarkaster Friend of Leo's

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    Wow! Thanks for the great replies. I did a search on all the Baja posts in the past year and got a lot of great info. I didn't realize there were that many threads, especially in the last month! It seems that people either love them or hate them, either they play a dud (possibly from a rushed, bad batch) or a gem. Either that or the neck is either too big or just right for them.

    Borris, that's a great idea about swapping the body out if I don't bond with it! I fell in love with it for the same reasons that I ended up buying a Casino and a Strat last year: the neck and the pickups. Everything else is secondary to me. And I might just have to save it from being picked up by you! ;)

    The finish on the Baja I played is very glossy, and the grain in visible through what looks like an inch of gloss, but it's an illusion. To be honest I didn't notice it when I was playing, I was distracted by the neck and the sound of the Twisted Tele neck pickup. I think it will grow on me, and it looks very traditional, albeit a bit shiny. I think the HWY 1s are more matte...

    J-man, thanks for the breakdown on the the different sounds, that's just what I was looking for, especially your added comments. The more I look at the picture you posted of yours in another Baja thread (the one that Scotland was freaking out over with reason), the more I like it!

    Thanks for the input tdot and 4th Feline! I was just wondering if any S-1 switches have crapped out yet. I believe if something isn't broken don't fix it, but I'm handy enough with a soldering iron that all I would need is a new pot, knob and 3 way switch if something went wrong with the S-1. If I had to fix it, I might just reverse the control plate while I was at it...

    777Brad, from what I gathered when researching the S-1 switch on a Strat (same idea on a Baja), this feature combines the two pickups to act as a humbucker. A humbucker is really two pickups stuck together, and they cancel out each other's hum, hence the name. If the current runs in parallel, it's split between the two pickups and joins up together after, and has a certain sound (usually thinner and weaker). This is the standard middle position on a Tele, or an inbetween setting on a Strat (positions 2&4) that make it quack. If it's in series, that means the current runs through one pickup and then the other, one after the other. This has a different sound, fuller and fatter like a neck or a bridge humbucker on a Les Paul for example.

    If they are out of phase I think that means the coil is wrapped around the magnet in a different direction and will have a different sound too, more nasal. I could be wrong though, I'm not an electrician...

    I found this info for you, hope this helps.

    http://guitarelectronics.zoovy.com/category/wiringresources.1basicwiringfaqs/#q18

    As to how this applies to the Baja, think of the neck and bridge pickups being played together as two parts of a humbucker:


    What are the differences between coil tap, series/parallel & reverse phase?
    With a single 4 wire humbucker, there are six possible modes. (Diagrams & Switch Usage)
    1. Series-In Phase This is the standard humbucker wiring. Maximum power output with strong bass and smooth attack. (hum canceling)
    2. Single Coil (South) Just the South coil of the pickup alone. Good traditional single coil tone with a sharper attack. (not hum canceling) Use in combination (series or parallel) humbucker in "North coil mode" or a standard single coil (north) for a hum canceling Strat/ P.R.S. style tone.
    3. Single Coil (North) Just north coil of the pickup alone. Almost the same tone as the south coil but slightly different due to its different position. (not hum canceling) Use in combination (series or parallel) with another humbucker in "South coil mode" or a standard single coil (South) for a hum canceling Strat/P.R.S. style of tone.
    4. Parallel-In Phase Great single coil style tone with no hum. Best option for clean, bright tone without the noise of standard single coil wiring. Strong treble with crisp attack but lower power output. (hum canceling)
    5. Series-Out of Phase Thin "phased" sound with good power. Great for funk. (not hum canceling)
    6. Parallel-Out of Phase Thinner "phased" sound with low power. (not hum canceling)


    Now to work on how to pay for one. Hmm... tax refund time is just around the corner... I have a feeling that I'd better jump on it before it goes, I don't see many around here...

    Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate it!
     
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