Bill Lawrence 5-Way Telecaster Mod Question on 5th Position

scotprice21

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I hope this is the right place for this question. I recently did the Bill Lawrence 5-Way Telecaster mod, and am running into an odd issue. I used my multimeter to measure pickups but get no reading in the 5th position (all the way down)...All other positions come out with a reading, but not this one. When plugged into amp there is sound coming from the 5th position but it seems that the tone knob is acting as a volume knob. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the wiring diagram I used
 

LGOberean

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I have a tele that has Lawrence's 5-way wiring scheme, together with the Keystone set of tele pickups. But I didn't install the pickups or the switch or wire it up myself. t's the tele on the left in my avatar pic, built for me by Bob Logan of Logan Custom Guitars. So I can't help you sort out the wiring issue, but I'd be interested in your take on that "5th position" sound once you get it sorted. That neck pickup with 10% less bass I call "Neck Lite." I'm curious about how you use it.

BTW, I tend to think of that as "1st position." I've seen an image of Lawrence's wiring scheme in presumably his own handwriting that counts it down the way you do, so it's just my way of thinking of it, I guess. But it makes more sense to me that the count should move from back to front, that down is back toward the bridge and up is towards the neck.

Oh, and here is that image I was referring to, don't know if that'll help, but here it is...

1642624548176.png
 

scotprice21

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I used one similar to that drawing except it had a third wire coming from the neck pickup to the ground.

The 5th position, or 1st position (however you want to call it) sounds pretty normal to me...The odd thing to me is that the tone knob seems to have a more readily apparent influence.

Ive gone back over all the wiring and everything seems to be wired correctly
 

moosie

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BTW, I tend to think of that as "1st position." I've seen an image of Lawrence's wiring scheme in presumably his own handwriting that counts it down the way you do, so it's just my way of thinking of it, I guess. But it makes more sense to me that the count should move from back to front, that down is back toward the bridge and up is towards the neck.
For what it's worth, Fender uses the 1=bridge-most scheme, too. And because of that, so do I. Most other sources (apparently not Bill) follow suit. Always useful to have a common language.
 

bigtank

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Is your tone knob on 10? I had a similar problem but realized I wired the pot backwards. When the tone was at 10 it acted as a kill switch.
 

Tuxedo Poly

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How is the tone control designed to work? Grounding the end lug seems a bit unusual.

Below is the drawing with an alternative more conventional cap wiring.

Bill_Lawrence_5_way_and_hoop_cap_mod.jpg
 

tubejockey

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How big is your tone cap? If it is too big it will cut all frequencies.
The series cap in position 5 will block your dmm from reading ohms, this is normal.
 

moosie

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How is the tone control designed to work? Grounding the end lug seems a bit unusual.

Below is the drawing with an alternative more conventional cap wiring.

View attachment 942243
Yeah, I didn't notice that. New to me. Far as I can tell, at most, the control might taper a little different. Because as more signal sees the cap, less (but not zero) is able to bypass the cap, through the other resistor (other half of the pot). But at the extremes it should act same as the regular way.

WAIT: bypass the cap... and dump to ground. Thus acting like a vol pot.

I'd revert to the regular tone pot wiring.
 

moosie

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I think the cap size question was to ensure you weren't off by an order of magnitude, say a 0.22 uf cap. That would 'eat' most of the audible frequency range.

Regarding the wiring, yeah, eliminate the wires to that grounded tone pot lug. It should be empty. Then ground that lead of the cap to the back of the pot.

Like this:

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 09.03.42 PM.png
 
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Dan German

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I used the hand drawn Lawrence diagram as posted by @LGOberean and it works just fine. The switch position closest to the volume knob (what Lawrence labels #5) is as billed, neck pickup with less bass. I find that I use all 5 positions at various times, something I’ve never found to be true with other non-standard wiring diagrams. I hope one of the answers in this thread fixes what’s not working in your wiring, because I would never have a Tele style guitar without this wiring.
 

eclecticsynergy

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The 5th position uses a capacitor in series so a test using DC will read zero. It's still passing signal, though.
No DC gets through a cap but it will pass AC above a certain frequency. Hence, less bass in the tone.

People tried for years to analyze the great-sounding bridge pickup of Roy Buchanan's famous Tele, Nancy. But nobody could ever get a DCR on it. Some speculated there was a break somewhere in the windings. Eventually Don Mare discovered there's a cap in series, all the time. Legendary tone, zero DCR.

EDIT: Found my link to Don's forum post about his experience with Nancy:
 
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