DIY Nashville Power Tele

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by eddym, May 11, 2020.

  1. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    Thanks very much!

    I’m hoping so. It should be a good versatile beast for a covers band type situation. I’ve tried Jimmy Page wiring in a couple of Les Pauls, and although it’s fun to play about with, I never found the endless combinations much use in a live situation.. But this should be much more useable!

    The 2 and 4 strat positions are absolutely nailed, I laughed my head off as soon as I strummed a dm as per ‘Sultans of swing’, it sounds like a strat. The bridge pickup IS very P90, which I love, but the 7k tap sounds kind of between a strat and Tele bridge pickup, so very useable too (so much more so than a split humbucker) and both positions play very nicely when combined with the middle or neck pickups.

    They all actually sound great too when blended with the piezos!

    I’ve got to hand it to Q pickups though, it was so fast for completely custom wound stuff. I’ve boight from Creamery, Oil City and Bate Knuckle in the UK, and they have all been fantastic on all levels as well, but Q pickups so far seem to be every bit as good. But £106 for 3 custom handwound pickups with clearly top quality materials used is an absolute bargain!
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  2. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    Sadly, no parts in the post today.. All I’ve been able to do is cut out the rectangular holes for the two slide switches.

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  3. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Wow man. That is some totally complex wiring! That said, I’m itching to try a piezo type bridge someday. Can’t wait to see this completed.
     
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  4. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    It shouldn’t be too long providing the post isn’t too much more delayed..

    Honestly, the wiring isn’t as complicated as it looks. It’s just got lots in there.

    The magnetic pickups wires make it look very crowded, the bridge has 4 separate cloth wires, the neck has 3 (coil tap and separate cover/base plate grounding) and the middle pickup the regular 2. I also asked for the pickups to have quite long leads in case I end up needing to route the wires differently, but they should fit this way.

    The Graphtech wiring is just block plugs into the board as per the instructions and connecting them up at the jack and controls. That said, I am using different switching slightly, but it’s nothing complex at all.

    So far, I like the sound of the piezos, it doesn’t sound exactly like an acoustic, but it is a nice sound and is close enough to bluff intros to songs etc, but if you were doing a Nick Drake song or something it would not do the job.

    Put it this way, it seems like a better solution than an acoustic simulator pedal!
     
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  5. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    This thread popped up - and I listed the Lindsay Buckingham Guitar that Rick Turner did. Was always intrigued by the whole piezo bridge idea for acoustic sounds. As I play(ed) in an acoustic duo - who knows if that will ever start again!?? :confused: - I was always keen to have or build something capable of what they do, cos I sometimes used electric guitars on certain songs, but having the acoustic elements included in one guitar would be cool.https://www.tdpri.com/threads/guitar-you-want-but-is-out-of-your-price-range.1023775/unread
     
  6. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    Yeah that Lindsay Buckingham guitar would be a very nice choice!

    To be fair, up loud at gig volume, it may sound a lot closer. My current comparison against an acoustic (which also has a piezo) is skewed a fair amount because I can always hear the acoustic guitar as well as the amp. If I were to crank it up past the point of the unplugged sounds being such a large proportion of the whole to more of ‘an audience’s ears’ level; they would probably start to sound a lot more similar.

    It does feel quite funny to be fair, it would probably seem less strange if it were installed on something with f holes like a thinline, or even a larger bodied semi like a 335 or country gentleman.. But then I kind of like the fact that it provides sounds that you don’t expect by looking at the type of guitar.

    We shall see :)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  7. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    Well, the postman disappointed; again!

    So not much progress other than making a spacer so that the switches are set into the body a little. It should make the plastic tip poke out around 3-4mm rather than 7-8 which would catch my fingers when using the regular controls.

    As you can see, it is made out of two thicknesses of 3 ply pickguard offcut material glued together.


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  8. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    Almost done!

    The postman has been, and he bought the long awaited switches and volume pot for the piezo.

    First thing was to sort out the switches fitting into my little spacer plate and wore them up.

    I then squeezed them in to their very tight spot sandwiched between the volume and tone pots.


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  9. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    Having gotten everything in place, I test d it to make sure that nothing had been dislodged by my tinkering.

    I then had to use a chisel to create a thinner spot in the overhang of the cavity so that I could position the piezo thumbwheel pot in a sensible position without being too close to the edge of the plate or encroaching on the switch.

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    I marked it out with pencil on masking tape and then mounted the pot to the lower wall inside the cavity just under the little overhang. I could then screw the wheel onto the pot which makes pokes through the control plate.

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  10. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    I then carefully marked out where I wanted the slot to be and used a small disc to cut the slot. I then tidied up with a small file.

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  11. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    A final inspection of all of the wiring, and then the pots and switch were fastened to the control plate.

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    The whole control plate could then be carefully lowered into position with the thumbwheel mercifully lining up with the slot!

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  12. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    Then a simple case of fitting the knobs and switch tip. I went for these Gretsh knobs, I really like the fact that they are a little larger in diameter as well as a little shorter than normal knobs you’d see on a tele.

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    I was really pleased how the stripes came out in the sunken switch. I had intended to just colour it black if the stripes looked silly, but you only see it when looking closely and I quite like it.

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    The freeway switch works very well and is not impacted at all by the thumbwheel which is parallel to it.


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  13. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    I am really pleased how my calculations worked out with regard to how much the piezo controls poke through the control plate. From the front they look as though they might get in the way, but they are nicely set back and you’d only touch them if you intended to.

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  14. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    So overall, there are a lot of different sounds available.

    The pots are:
    master volume and control (magnetic) and piezo volume.

    The slide switches are:
    Upper:
    -Darkest piezo eq
    -Middle piezo eq
    -Brightest piezo eq

    Lower:
    -Magnetic
    -Magnetic + Piezo
    -Piezo

    Tele style blade switch
    Lower bank
    (As per standard tele)
    B
    B+N
    N

    Upper bank
    (Middle 3 strat positions)
    B+M
    M
    M+N

    Also, each of the above where the magnetic bridge pickup is involved can be used with it tapped at 7k, giving a total of 9 separate magnetic configurations.

    The piezo can be used by itself in any of the three eq presets, or blended with the magnetic pickups in any combination. This gives a crazy total of 27 different possible combinations!

    Of course most of these would be so similar that it would make little to no difference, but all the same, for all of that to fit into what is essentially a standard looking Nashville Tele, I’m really pleased!

    Also, as mentioned in an earlier post, the wiring has a true bypass. The tone knob in the down position is the piezo system off with the battery disconnected. In bypass the magnetic signal goes from volume pot to jack tip as per a standard wired guitar. Pull the pot up and the ghost system engages!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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  15. eddym

    eddym TDPRI Member

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    I’ve been playing this guitar for a few days now and am still very impressed with both the magnetic ‘Q’ pickups and the Graphtech ghost system. As I suspected, with a bit more volume, it really does sound quite electro acousticy!

    So far I have found that although using the bypass switch makes ‘an audible thump’ (as Graphtech describes it), the noise is not that bad and being on a push push pot, it is very fast to swap from magnetic to piezo. The blended sounds are very nice and may be very useful in a band situation, but generally I find myself using it on full piezo or full magnetic. By using the bypass switch, I can go straight from magnetic to whichever setting the piezo/both/magnetic switch is on. (Graphtech call this a QuickSwitch).

    However, there was a problem.

    If the QuickSwitch is in the ‘piezo only’ position, I found that even when the preamp is bypassed, the magnetic pickups still do not operate. I did a bit of exploring and experimentation and found that the ‘QuickSwitch’ simply shunts either the magnetic or piezo straight to ground, (or neither to get the ‘both’ position).

    As a result, the magnetic pickups still have a route to ground through the QuickSwitch even though the preamp board is completely out of the system and not powered.

    So the solution is to have that connection to earth switched, and in order to make it a ‘one press’ operation, it needs to be on the same switch as the bypass. The bypass switch already uses both poles, (one to choose if the preamp or volume pot is connected to the Jack tip, and the other to turn the board off).

    I tried to locate a 3 pole switched pot, but no luck.. Obviously, I could use a 3p2t latching switch like you might use in a stomp box, but they are quite large and I think would spoil the look.

    I tried a few different ways of using the pot’s up and down movement to connect/disconnect the earth, but none of these were particularly reliable.

    Eventually I used sacrificed a couple of switching pots to make my own 3 pole, push push pot.

    It was a fairly involved hour or so and I didn’t take many pictures, however, this is the inside surface of the pins before I cleaned it up.

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    Having installed the additional pins and managing to get them straight and secure, I had a go at a prototype body (pictured below). After a little fettling, I got it working nice and smooth and pretty much indistinguishable from the dpdt it was before I cracked it open. Once I had it set, I popped in a new conductor clip for the new middle pole and assembled.

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    It works an absolute charm, yes it was tight to solder onto the pins with them so close together, but by no means impossible! I managed and I’m by no means a pro and was using cloth type wire which is quite fat.

    Sorry about the super long post, but having had fruitless searches for 3 pole pots, as well as different options and installation tips for ghost systems, I thought this may be of some help to someone down the line.

    I could draw a wiring diagram for the whole thing (this would be paper and pencil, not on a computer) but at this time there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of interest in it; but please let me know if it would be any use and I’ll do one ;)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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