Bill Lawrence 5 way mod on my Tele. It came out great.

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by kmckenna45, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. kmckenna45

    kmckenna45 TDPRI Member

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    I'd previously posted a query about installing a middle pickup in my Tele to get a "Strat" sound - and one of the folks replying recommended that I instead try the "Bill Lawrence 5 Way Tele circuit". It sounded like a great alternative (no routing, minimal $$$).

    It took about 2 hours all total to rewire and complete - I'm super happy with the result and no longer need the middle pickup.

    If anyone has any questions about it - let me know.

    BTW - I used the .022 uf and .01 uf Orange Drop caps.

    The only thing I'd do differently is buy the OEM Fender 5 way switch. I bought an off brand for less $ - but there's a lot of soldering to do on the 5 way terminals, and I think a very well made 5 way switch would be easier to work with.

    Cheers

    https://www.premierguitar.com/diy/mod-garage-the-bill-lawrence-5-way-telecaster-circuit

    Here's a demo of that sound, on a Jerry Donahue tele, go to 8:42



    No, not me, full disclosure.
    +.5 or so. I put a five position switch in a Tele (GFS Fatbody in the neck, Fralin vintage in the bridge, MIM ash body, maple neck in the avatar) and it sort of does the Strat thing, but does not come as close as the guitar in the demo. A bonus, though, is that the position at the 1 (or 5), what looks like the bridge only position, is a nice cleaner version of the neck pickup alone, a great rhythm or jazz tone.

    I agree that unless you can get a body routed for it (or can do it yourself), putting a Tele bridge pickup in a Strat is no easy proposition. You might think about getting a Strat pickup set with a strong bridge pickup—I got Lollar Dirty Blondes—and then do a wiring trick, transpose how the bridge and middle connect to the switch. What would be neck+middle becomes bridge+neck, like a Tele. You still have bridge+middle, for the Strat quack, and the (to me) richer Strat neck pickup tone. I did this, and my Strat may displace my Tele as #1.

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  2. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Afflicted

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    You might like it even better with a .0047uF cap instead of the .01.

    I do, and the Premier Guitar attributes to Mr. Lawrence the quote, "The smaller the cap, the sweeter the sound." My experience corroborates that.

    The article says to try sizes between .005 and .02, but .005 is hard to find, .0047 is close enough, especially with tolerances what they are.
     
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  3. ChicknPickn

    ChicknPickn Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    When Bill was alive and working, I asked him about wiring for a Gibson neck humbucker and his 280TL in the bridge. He took the time to draw it out by hand and mail it to me, suggesting that I try a 4-way switch. The result was superb. Between the quality of the product and the friendliness of the service, I became a Lawrence promoter. Would love to know what I did with that drawing . . . . .
     
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  4. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    I do a 5-way standard on my builds. I use a Schaller Megaswitch M for an easy cavity fit and a couple ready combo options.


    Eric
     
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  5. kmckenna45

    kmckenna45 TDPRI Member

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    I actually bought a .0047 at the same time, since i was already paying for shipping. I used the .01 because of the article, and I didn't know what "sweeter" meant.

    I think I'm going to open it up again and put in a better 5 way switch, eventually. I'll put in the .0047 at that time.

    Thanks.
     
  6. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

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    Alligator clips are your best friend. When doing wiring, I always use clip leads to play with different values, and see what works for that particular guitar and my mood at the time.
     
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  7. preactor

    preactor Tele-Afflicted

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    Did the same mod on a Peavey Reactor. Love it!
     
  8. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Nice. I put Bill Lawrence pups in my 1989 Strat around 2001. I had some questions about wiring or something so I called their number, Becky answered, and he ended up chatting away for an hour or so. I didn't know anything technical so I just listened mostly. I'm sure I asked questions trying to sound smart, and he would just respond, knowing I'm a neophyte, and never mocking. Just talking away about all kinda dynamics about pup winding, pole pieces, distance from strings etc.
     
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  9. Billy3

    Billy3 Tele-Holic

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    Love that 5 way Bill wiring! If you're a fan, try the Anderton 5 way with a push pull for half or oop option. Very cool. It has it all. 1B...2B/N parallel 3N...4N with cap of your choice...5B/N series.. Add a push pull for half or oop for positions 2 and 5 and call it a day! Most versatile Tele wiring with a standard 5 way switch out there. Keep on picking.
     
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