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How to brighten up my 52 Hotrod Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by tele_jas, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. tele_jas

    tele_jas Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a '52 Hotrod Telecaster. The electronics were replaced, before I got it, with 250k pots and the bridge pickup was replaced with a Don Mare El Black Crowe pickup (a slightly hotter "Broadcaster style" pickup). Neck pup is the stock SD mini-bucker.

    I love the tone of this guitar, but I noticed that when I play it live and I switch to any of my other Telecasters, all my other guitars are significantly brighter on my amp (Vox style amps). Actually, the Bright switch is about right.....But I only have a bright switch on one amp, my other (main amp) doesn't have this. So, if I change guitars in the middle of a set or song, I'd have adjust my treble & cut (depending on which way I swap).

    If my 52 HR was just a little darker, I wouldn't mind..But it's considerably darker. Would larger value volume/tone pots make it brighter (500k)? Or what about bypassing the tone pot all together to see if that helps any?

    Any suggestions? I'd like to make it close to my other Tele's so I can just grab it and go.

    I know I'm going to get some people tell me "it's good to have different sounding guitars", but this doesn't work well in a live setting if you break a in the middle of a song and need a quick guitar swap. It doesn't work if you have to run back to the amp and adjust the settings too, if your amp is even accessible - some venue's, it sits off stage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those came with 375k pots, correct? I have a Firebird with minis & 300k pots It is too dark for my taste too. Those values are fine for the single coil but leave me wanting more for any HB.

    Plenty of diagrams with a 500k pot wired with a resistor so the single coil sees a lower value when selected. I think that's a good option. I have a few saved in my imgur account.
     
  3. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Friend of Leo's

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    Just set up with the darker guitar, setting amps settings for it. Then set up your other guitars by using their tone knobs. Memorize those settings after you set it up for future reference.
     
  4. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe installing steel saddles instead of the brass ones would brighten up the acoustic tone and give it more bright twang which will be amplified by the pickups into the amp.I notice Teles I play with steel saddles always give a bit more brightness compared to brass ones.
     
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  5. Vintage Fan

    Vintage Fan Tele-Meister

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    Try any or all of these items....Experiment with your pickup heights. Sometimes lowering the pickups brightens things a bit. Try D'Addario steel strings, Install 500k pots or 1meg pots, steel saddles, tusq nut, install Fender 50's Road Worn pickups, remove the neck pickup's cover...Use George L cords with brass plug ins. Use thin picks....all will brighten the sound, so try one at a time so as not to go too bright.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  6. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I have a SC bridge and Firebird neck in a partscaster.

    Started with the 375k volume pot and a no load 250k tone pot.

    Went to a 500k volume pot and a 470k resistor so the SC could see 250k.

    Had it wired so the Firebird(500k), the Firebird/SC(500k) and the SC(250k). Got the schematic from member warparker4.

    The Firebird I'm referring to actually is a Cavalier Phoenix. Cavalier's "Firebird" offering.

    I would try the 375k or 500k before doing anything else. Just economically speaking.
     
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  7. tele_jas

    tele_jas Tele-Afflicted

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    That's kind of what I'm thinking.

    With needing to brighten up both pickups here, should I replace both pots with a higher value pot or just the tone, or just the volume?
     
  8. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I would start with the volume pot. Get a 375k and a 500k pot. A couple of pots won't set you back too much. You'll also need a 470k resistor. Any Radio Shack should have those.

    Do you work on your own stuff or go to someone? I'm out in the middle of nowhere. I do about everything but fretwork.

    As bender66 said, the Hot Rod came with a 375k volume pot originally. At least I'm fairly sure it did.

    I looked up the "El Black Krow"(A5 magnets/7.4k DCR) and it should be fine with the 375k volume pot. You do have a tone knob on the guitar if needed.

    Start with the 375k, if that doesn't fit the bill. Go to the 500k and resistor the bridge pickup.

    You can do a search here for the B(250k), B+N(500k) and N(500k) schematic. Or contact warparker4.

    This is where I would start. Good luck!
     
  9. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    [​IMG]

    The tone pot is entirely up to you. Leave it for starters.
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    500k volume pot. You could try a 1Meg volume pot for more brightness. Use an ohm meter to measure the actual pot values (they can be +/- 10% from target so if you have several find the highest kohm one for this)

    0.047uF cap in series with the dark pickup or in series at the switch if both pickups are dark.

    If the tone cap is 0.047 then put in a 0.033 or 0.023uF tone cap and use the 0.047 as the series cap.

    SD forums have a thread about fixing muddy pickups with the series cap. Elsewhere are scattered notes about Roy Buchanan's Nancy Tele bridge pickup had a deep break in the coil in such a lucky spot that the coil still worked but as if it had a series capacitor to give the brighter tones he got out of it.


    Later, plug this guitar and your backup guitar into your amp and change the pickup heights to better match volume and breakup.

    .
     
  11. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't think a mod is the right way to go.... I would call the doctor: sounds like your tele is ill.
     
  12. absurdocaster

    absurdocaster Tele-Meister

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    I have a stock 52 hotrod and haven't noticed the same issue (although I'm using fender amps). Have you considered return it to stock? I'm not sure what the exact stock set up is but I know that Fender set it up so the pickups worked well together and remained balanced. It is certainly a hotter set up than a standard 52 tele.
     
  13. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Not sure what amps he's using. Someone changed the original wiring scheme, that's the problem.

    I/we have suggested that he return it to the 375k volume pot(original spec) and if that isn't bright enough go to a 500k.
     
  14. absurdocaster

    absurdocaster Tele-Meister

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    Thanks I missed the details in the earlier posts. A quick draw post problem on my end.
     
  15. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Been there, done that. It's all good.
     
  16. tele_jas

    tele_jas Tele-Afflicted

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    Dr. Z Stingray and a Morgan DAG15...Both pretty bright, AC15/30 voiced amps.
     
  17. KB11

    KB11 TDPRI Member

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    Seems simple enough to change out the bridge pickup for a more normal sounding one.
     
  18. Corgitodd

    Corgitodd Tele-Meister

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    1 meg pot like on 70s teles. You'll be so bright folks will call you Sunny.
     
  19. tele_jas

    tele_jas Tele-Afflicted

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    When the amp is dialed in for this guitar, the pickups are a GREAT match for each other...So I don't want to change that.

    I just need to brighten up the whole guitar, not just the bridge, so I'm going to try 500k pots.
     
  20. mckeeiain

    mckeeiain Tele-Meister

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    I will always own a tele with the standard pickup config SS; HOWEVER the 52 Hot Rod is one of my dream guitars. I love the sound of that SD mini-bucker and have heard few guitars that I like more.
     
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