Can a 4-Way switch give you PAF tones?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Itgoesto11, May 14, 2020.

  1. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    On my Baja position four doesn't sound v humbucker to me. It's a decent full sound and useful, but hasn't got the depth or snarl I'd expect from a good 'bucker.
     
  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    A series Tele setup will give you a humbucker in the 12-16kohm range which covers the same range as the Hot Humbucker types out there (Super Distortion, JB, etc). The volume dial back to clean up can get you a lower impact on the amp and achieve more of a PAF tone.

    Even a regular humbucker will be slightly darker in a Tele because of the 250k volume pot where humbuckers get their brighter and more mid-range tone out of 500k volume pot(s).

    So there are some trade offs for the flexibility.

    But I won't own a Tele to play regularly without a 4-way switch. .... Nor a Strat without an Armstrong Blender (classic SSS blends to HSH).

    .
     
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  3. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, snarl is a good way to describe a PAF, especially in the bridge position. A 4-way sounds cool, but isn't the same.
     
  4. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    In this context there is no point in comparing the dc resistance: the coils of tele pickups aren't shaped like humbucker coils, the magnetism is coming from a different place, and the wire gauge usually isn't even the same. A tele neck pickup is typically made with thinner 43awg wire, which has greater dcr per foot of wire. That's why a tele neck pickup measuring 7k is almost always much weaker than a strat pickup measuring 6k (which is typically made with thicker 42 awg).

    Same thing with humbuckers: PAFs measuring around 8k are made with 42awg. The hot humbuckers you mention are usually made with 43 or even 44awg wire, making any comparison of dcr meaningless.

    The resistance of a pickup only makes sense if all other factors are equal, like coil shape, wire gauge, and placement/composition of the magnet.

    Otherwise it's like comparing two cars by just the number of cylinders without taking into account how big each cylinder is, or how fast each piston can move.
     
  5. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Any series mod to wire two pickups intended for use as single coils will sound different than a vintage output humbucker. YMMV depending on the particular pickups, their height, etc. but in general you'll get a pretty dark tone that can be muddy. Just as splitting a vintage-output humbucker yields an overly thin, weak tone. It might be useful to you, but to me it's not. As a general rule, a designer (of anything) is best served trying to make a product that does one thing really well. Tele pickups were never designed to be used as humbuckers, and humbuckers were not originally designed to sound good tapped, so if you get a usable sound just consider it a bonus.
     
  6. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Yup. One thing I like about the 4-way is just the boost in volume. I find it handy for a solo where I want some more midrange, or if I want a really bass heavy boomy sound for a bass line. It adds another useful voice to a tele.
     
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