Dark wiring circuit difference

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Fender-guy, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    854
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    I bought a bunch of fender caps, treble bleed/tone saver for my telecaster project.

    I was going to do the dark circuit found on 53-67(I think) teles. I have a broadcaster wired also with a dark circuit. So is there a difference in these dark circuits? I can’t really find a answer. I know the broadcaster has a 15k resistor added to the switch, and a 0.05 cap.

    I’ll be using a 0.1 and 0.05 cap and it’s wired different than the broadcaster dark circuit. So how can these both be dark circuits or are they different tone wise?
     
  2. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,577
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Location:
    Earth
    While I have the dark on my 51 Nocaster I built, I can't say about later years. However, I think Fender dropped the dark sometime in the late 50's, but I could be wrong on that. I'm sure someone out here will be able to help you out though! I LOVE the dark on my 51, especially when running it through some dirt ;)
     
  3. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    854
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    Oh yeah I like it on my broadcaster too. It’s just I want to try this other dark circuit. Just trying to figure out if their the same tone or not.

    This is what I’ll be doing 19D5F2F8-5746-456C-B9B5-E041D3087B4D.jpeg This is the broadcaster. Both are a dark circuit but are they the same tone? D2783A8E-3718-4025-A018-6FB3ABD3C506.jpeg
     
  4. maplestor33

    maplestor33 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2019
    Location:
    asdf
    The very first version of the Telecaster circuit (volume & tone) had a .05 dark cap in the neck position which they changed to a .1 shortly after.

    If your Broadcaster is wired like the diagram above, balancing the switch between the neck and the middle = Telecaster neck position (.05 dark cap) with the tone pot fully clockwise.

    Do you hear any difference between the two positions?
     
  5. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    627
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2020
    Location:
    Texas
    The “dark circuit" Fender used from mid 1952 up to late 1967 ….

    leo really stuck to his guns on this.
    Not a fan personally.

    I like Gibsons 50s style wiring in a tele.
     
  6. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    854
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    Well I’m still waiting on parts so really the only test is to wire this new tele project like the top photo. My broadcaster is already wired like the bottom pic with the “broadcaster with blend”. I guess they’re both considered a dark circuit I’ll have to see or hear the difference here soon once I get all the caps.
     
    Chipss36 likes this.
  7. maplestor33

    maplestor33 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2019
    Location:
    asdf
    You wanted to know if there's a sound difference between the two circuits. In that case, your Broadcaster is all you need. Just balance the switch between neck and middle and you can A/B the two dark circuits in your photos in real time. No witchcraft, no hoodoo, it's that easy.
     
  8. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    854
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    Duh, yeah you’re right. I actually like that position and I like the bridge and middle position also.

    I guess just looking at these diagrams got me confused. They look completely different but both considered a dark circuit. They 15k resistor is throwing me off.

    So another question then. Will the neck pickup position be as dark as the broadcaster?
     
  9. maplestor33

    maplestor33 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2019
    Location:
    asdf
    I'll try to change tack.

    Your Broadcaster. Pick it up, plug it in. Strum a chord.

    Switch, neck position. Broadcaster 'dark' circuit, resistor in series with neck pickup. Feels like home. Slap the bass.

    Next.

    Switch, balanced carefully, between neck and middle position. In-between position (like a Strat, but not a Strat, dirty word, that). Broadcaster 'dark' circuit with the resistor out of the circuit. No resistor. Trust me.

    Broadcaster 'dark' circuit with no resistor? Telecaster 'dark' circuit.

    In this case, the first version, .05 dark capacitor, with tone potentiometer all the way up. Identical.

    Again, identical.

    One Broadcaster, two 'dark' circuits. Mud city, happier than a pig in ****.

    Switch to, switch fro. Listen, compare, report back.

    More mud, you say?

    Telecaster 'dark' circuit? Tone potentiometer is in play. Roll it off? Tone capacitor and dark capacitor in parallel. More mud.

    All aboard! Next stop, the Bayou.

    First iteration, .05 dark capacitor + .05 tone capacitor = .1 capacitor. Getting hairy out there.

    Second iteration, .1 dark capacitor + .05 tone capacitor = .15 capacitor. Whoa, we're waist deep in it.

    Embrace the mud.

    Hope that helps.

    (?)
     
  10. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    854
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    Yup that helps big time. I just need the caps to get here so I can get this thing together. I actually like the mud and especially through my 63 bandmaster. It’s very useful for rhythm
     
  11. maplestor33

    maplestor33 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2019
    Location:
    asdf
    Absolutely, great for rhythm and very underappreciated. Only downside to the Telecaster version is that the in-between position is identical to the neck position. But you do get the tone potentiometer to play with, so there's that.

    One other variation that might be worth looking at is the Esquire. This is the way I have my dark circuit wired:

    [​IMG]

    The in-between position is your standard Telecaster dark circuit, .05 dark capacitor with the tone potentiometer in the circuit.

    The neck position is my personal favorite of all the dark circuits. Think of it as a slightly brighter dark circuit, with a volume drop baked in.

    In the neck position you have a capacitor and resistor in series with the pickup, before the dark capacitor.

    The resistor has the same effect as the one in your Broadcaster. It dampens that typical 'wah' hump that you get when you roll your tone off, except the effect is much more subtle. The resistor value in the Broadcaster is way too high, in my opinion.

    The two capacitors act in series. Two .05 capacitors gives you a value of .025, brighter than the in-between position. The tone potentiometer is out of the circuit, so no further fiddling.

    The two capacitors also act as a voltage divider, a fixed potentiometer in other words. They drop half the voltage, half the volume (-6dB). It's the same as rolling down your volume pot from 10 to 8 or so.

    It's great when you want to switch from lead to rhythm. There's a touch of volume drop, enough to duck under the band when you want to switch to strumming, all at the flick of a switch. A very well-thought-out circuit.

    Not happy with the volume drop? Adjust the ratio between the two capacitors to taste. Works just like a potentiometer.

    Unsatisfied with the mud? Dark capacitor affects both positions. Neck capacitor only affects the neck position. Combined capacitor value in neck position is always less than the lower of the two capacitors.

    Playing with the resistor value changes the damping effect at the neck position, or you can take it out altogether.

    The neck position is always going to be brighter and lower in volume than the in-between position, but it's very easy to fine-tune the circuit to your preference.
     
  12. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,387
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hoggtown, KY.
    I have the BC blend on my 50s T-style, but with a couple of differences. Sans the 15k resistor & a .022 for the dark circuit. Love it to pieces. :)
     
  13. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    854
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    Again all great advice. My broadcaster when I got it, it was converted to a modern tele wiring. Which is cool but defeats to purpose of how the guitar was designed.

    So I bought a Luxe capacitor kit and put that back to stock. A lot of guys don’t even know about the 3 way 5 way switch ordeal. They’re actually the same just no detents for position 2 and 4 like found on the 5 way. So a lot of guys scrap the dark circuit because of this. Very usable and it was designed that.

    For this kinda 59 tele project I want to keep it stock to a 59 with the caps that would be found in a 59. So I guess there are 2 dark circuits, similar but slightly different. Which is what I want.

    Next will definitely be a esquire project and I’ll do that one stock as well.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.