Converting Japanese wiring to USA Pots, switch and wiring

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Craig Williams, May 6, 2021.

  1. Craig Williams

    Craig Williams Tele-Meister

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    Got a Japanese Tele with the cheapo dime pots and nasty 3 way switch. There is no issue with swapping out the pots and switch to US rotary style and wiring it basic US Tele?

    By the way, Is it common for guys to swap out the 250k volume pot to a 500K? (I must first qualify I'm not a picker and my Tele essentially a rhythm guitar) One of the best Teles I ever had had an amazing sound, jangly like a Rickenbacker. I eventually changed the scratchy pots, not even checking with a couple of 250k. Then it just didn't sound the same. After a bit of investigation I realized the vol pot was 500k, I replaced it with a new 500k and it sounded great again. is this something many people do?
     
  2. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Surprised to hear this. Electronics on every MIJ guitar I’ve owned is/has been top-notch, including my 2013 Tele ‘52RI.
     
  3. Craig Williams

    Craig Williams Tele-Meister

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    Funny you say that, mine is a 2013 Tele TL52 lol. I wouldn't say there is anything wrong with them other than a bit scratchy. But if you look inside it is definitely wired cheaply. Smallest gauge wire I have ever seen used on any guitar. Little dime pots and the plasticky 3 position switch which I have had trouble with before

    IMG20210505174805.jpg
     
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  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Install the typical MIA branded pots, switch, jack and you'll have a more durable and pleasant experience.

    When you are ordering your switch ... Get a 4-way switch so you can put both pickups in series for a stealth Les Paul humbucking tone. That is my Tele 'auto mod' because it's useful and an inexpensive capability extension.

    .
     
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  5. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

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    If you use the same control plate the USA pots won’t fit in the same holes, you will need to enlarge them.
     
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  6. Tarkus60

    Tarkus60 Tele-Meister

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    I know they are kind of expensive, but I really like a 920D wiring kit, comes with everything you need.
     
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  7. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    Idiot that I am, I swapped out my allegedly rubbish Japanese switch and pots on my first MIJ Tele for also allegedly superior US made ones.

    Made the guitar sound like total rubbish since the volume pot was so far out of spec (it went really shrill), and I needed to add a resistor across it to bring it in line. And not one but both pots developed a case of the scratchy crackles a mere year or so down the line.

    I’m not saying one country of origin is better than another, but rather, anyone can turn out suspect stuff at times. My second MIJ Tele came with US switch and pots and it’s been trouble free. Whatever.

    My feeling is, if things are working, leave them alone.

    And, for single coils anyway, no, I don’t think it is common to go to 500K pots. But, your ears will decide. There’s no real right or wrong.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  8. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    The Japanese switches and pots are just as reliable as the US stuff.
     
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  9. Craig Williams

    Craig Williams Tele-Meister

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    What about the treble bleed thing I have read about? How do you achieve this and what is it for?
     
  10. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Scratchy pots need cleaner with a lubricant. Nothing wrong with dime-sized. Is the switch causing a problem?
     
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  11. Craig Williams

    Craig Williams Tele-Meister

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    Getting like a crackling / popping, seems to be when I touch the pick guard. need to explore it a bit more but every chance it is the switch
     
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  12. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    Pickguard static on a Telecaster is a well known issue. You can change the switch if you like, but that won’t fix it. Rub a dryer sheet on it for a quick fix, shield/ground it for a long term fix.

    telecaster pickguard static
     
  13. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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  14. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Rather than a treble bleed I move the wire for the tone pot from the outside of the volume pot to the center lug. This is also known as 50’s wiring
     
  15. Craig Williams

    Craig Williams Tele-Meister

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    You could be right actually, there is no shielding on the underside of the pick guard. I have a tortoise red shielded guard on the way so may make a difference. What do you mean rub a dryer sheet? I have some aluminum tape I could use. I imagine static only after a lot of strumming?
     
  16. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    You can rub a dryer sheet (fabric softener sheet) like Bounce, etc on the pickguard to dissipate the static on the pickguard the same way it dissipates static in your laundry.
     
  17. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Afflicted

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    Okay, Doc.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. danlad

    danlad Tele-Meister

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    Funnily enough I ended up with 500k all round in my CIJ after discovering CTS pots wouldn't fit and that is all I had that did fit. Never changed them, never felt the need to. I also put in a 4 way switch (which was the whole reason I was in there to begin with) and just ended up using slightly longer machine screws with a nut to get by any differences in the switch mounting. Been so long I have no idea what brand it was or anything unfortunately, but had no problems.
     
  19. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Comprehensive answer IMO, of course:
    1. Use contact cleaner on the switch and pots. If that improves things, leave the swtich and pots in.
    2. The size of the pots and the way the switch looks don't matter.
    3. If pots & switch must be replaced, just build or buy a new assembly on a new plate.
    4. Use a dryer sheet to de-static the guard. You don't need shielding to fix static buildup.
    5. Be sure the bridge, thus the strings, are grounded with a wire under the bridge and soldered to a pot.
    6. The size of the wire doesn't matter. It's passing millivolts.

    Figure out the root causes of the issues and fix those. Don't fix what isn't broken.
     
  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    YES!

    I’m probably on the outside of this debate. I use CTS pots and proper tone bleed. It’s worth it. The value of the pots depends on what you want to achieve. If nothing else, spending a few bucks and a few minutes under the hood will keep your guitar from ever failing as long as you own it.
     
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