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Custom Thinline Tele Kit

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Secretagentslothy, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. Secretagentslothy

    Secretagentslothy TDPRI Member

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    Hello everyone! I have a quick question here that someone might be able to help with! I recently built a Tele, and everything seemed to be working correctly, wiring wise. I made sure to test everything while soldering etc. when I actually play through my gear though, the guitar cuts out, cracks, pops, had most of the time have low volume. The weird thing is, when I sit down to play, it works somewhat better, but standing makes it go crazy. I have tried both 1/4” cable and wireless 1/4” setups and get the same result. So, I’m turning to the forums to see if I can get some help!

    A bit about the wiring setup.
    Single coil in the bridge, hum in the neck. Both PUPS only have 1 shielded wire and 1 grounded wire. The PUP wires are soldered to the actual metal on the pups as well. When I got the kit, the selector switch was loaded, so I just had to attach the PUPS to the switch. I’ll tear the guitar apart in a few and post photos as well. If anyone could give some advice on this, or even walk me through getting it going, that would be so great! I play at a church on Sunday and would love to play my Tele!
     
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  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Judging from the sitting/standing thing, I’d suspect the output jack...
     
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  3. Secretagentslothy

    Secretagentslothy TDPRI Member

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    Well, I actually pulled it out and made sure everything was tight and wired properly, but I'm still having the same issue!
     
  4. Secretagentslothy

    Secretagentslothy TDPRI Member

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    jack.jpg switch close.jpg switch.jpg
     
  5. Secretagentslothy

    Secretagentslothy TDPRI Member

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    Its a 3-way switch, 1 tone, 1 volume.
     
  6. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You only get cut-outs and crackling from bad connections. Regardless of how things look, you have at least one bad connection. No offense, but the components you have are not top quality components.

    In most cases of crackling and cut-outs, I start from the amp and work toward the pickups. Make sure your amp connection is good AND the cable is good. Try a different, quality cable. If we are clean so far, wiggle the cable in the guitar socket. What happens? If ANYTHING happens, it needs to be investigated. It is a cheap socket that can easily be upgraded to a TrueTone or Switchcraft Dual Contact jack. Buzzing can also be minimized by shielding the output wires. If you don't want to use shielded wires, at least twist them which can help cancel buzz. Shouldn't have much to do with crackling though. ALSO, make sure your jack lugs aren't contacting ANYTHING inside the jack cavity. Sometimes a little pressure from contacting wood on the side can make a cheap jack misbehave.

    Having eliminated the jack and output wires, I pull the plate, plug into an amp, and start poking solder joints, starting with the tone pot, capacitor, volume pot, wiggle/tap all wires/connections.

    NOW, we come to the most trouble prone component - the 3-way switch. They gave you the cheapest 3-way switch available. Even properly wired and soldered, they tend to be noisy and can have intermittent cut-outs. Work the switch through the positions and make sure there is no noise or cut-outs. If so, just replace it with a better quality switch. In fact, I would just replace it regardless - they are junk and short-lived. If it is noisy internally, you can try hosing it down with contact cleaner. You can also go through and tap all the switch connections if you wish, and may even find a bad connection, but 6 months down the road the switch will likely start getting noisy when switching positions.

    At this point, assuming everything downstream is OK, you are looking at pickup wiring and the pickups themselves (unlikely). Again, wiggle all the leads and grounds and see if it makes any noise. Tap on the pickups with a wooden stick and see if you can generate the offending noise. If so, you likely have a bad pickup and it should be replaced. But again, it is unlikely to be a pickup problem.

    Shielding cavities, lead wires, and grounding the bridge well can all help to minimize buzz, but not likely the source of crackling and cut-outs. I think if you follow this troubleshooting list, you will quickly isolate the problem.
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Also - I can't see your wiring or soldering very well, but it looks pretty good - not sloppy at all. Something I forgot above - it is a good idea to make sure your pots and switch are screwed on well and have good continuity with the plate.
     
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  8. Secretagentslothy

    Secretagentslothy TDPRI Member

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    Awesome! Thanks much. Yeah, I tried to take the best photos that I could to share, but i have a cheaper phone haha
    I'll start with what you have given me here and see what I can do! My current isue for upgrading is just money at the moment. I don't mind playing cheap stuff for the moment as long as it works.
    As far as the cavity shielding and stuff, I haven't done it, but I'm not currently getting any hum at all. Everything seems fine, I just have a crackling/popping problem. Also, something to do with the volume of the PUPS. It's like they aren't as hot as they should be. Absolutely no sustain, and I have moved them as close to the strings as I could, so I assumed that it would be a wiring issue.

    If you need a better look at the wiring setup, let me know, and I'll see if I can help out! :D
     
  9. DjimiWrey

    DjimiWrey Tele-Holic

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    a "real" tele switch might fix it
    i had a similar problem with a pos switch in a cheap thinline clone

    would like to see pics of the guitar tho.. luv me sum thinlines
     
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  10. Secretagentslothy

    Secretagentslothy TDPRI Member

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    Absolutely! I'm definitely going to look around for upgrades in the future. I really want it to be top notch! Here are some attached photos that I had taken of it last week after finishing it! :D 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg
     
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  11. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds like something is grounding out or something is losing connection. Reflow all solder joints, double check for any stray copper strands, clean it up with electrical cleaner. I’ve never had this issue, but flux is somewhat conductive and I’ve heard of that causing issues if it isn’t all burned off or cleaned up.
     
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  12. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Like that rustic finish! Does the plug feel loose? Could it be the actual physical connection inside the jack is loose? Possibly bend the spring bar over to tighten plug connection.
     
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  13. Secretagentslothy

    Secretagentslothy TDPRI Member

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    Everything feels tight on it! That's what I don't understand. I think I honestly just might start from scratch here today and see what I can do. A ton of great tips here already that would definitely get it going!

    The rustic look is so cool! I wanted to have a distressed look to it! I used "Rustoleum: Carbon Grey" for the stain and I plan on using a satin for the finish eventually. I have the materials, but wanted to get it going and play it out for a bit now. I was too impaitent hahah
     
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  14. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

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    I am a Satin Guy also. After owning a $1400 Tele with 9 oz. of Gloss, that chipped and cracked, I have built over 50 Partscasters, and all Satin. I suck at Wiring, so no help in that Dept.
     
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  15. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

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    Not a Fan of Alpha Switch, or Mini Pots! Time for a New Wiring Harness. My hand is not steady enough, to be a Good Solderer, so I go to the Pro's.
     
  16. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice looking guitar. Love the finish. Enjoy.
     
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