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Middle pickup

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by golfnut, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

    Jan 15, 2008
    Every time I get the itch for a strat I buy one then I realize why I've sold every one in the past. Not so much because I can't get that strat quack but theres just more about them I dislike than what I like.
    I don't like the bridge pickup at all. I don't like how close everything feels, volume knob, etc. I don't like the shape and contours of the body. I don't like the bridge, although a hardtail would fix that.
    So I've decided to maybe do something that I did one other time, along time ago in the 80's put a middle pickup in one of my tele's. Well I'm definitely not going to hack up my custom shop 52 so I'll look at doing it to my Brad Paisley silver tele.
    Generally I really like the tone of this guitar as well as the feel of the neck. Its not an expensive guitar so no worries about losing value.
    I remember the tele I did it to many years ago it was a simple small switch mounted on the control plate that switched the pickup off and on.
    I was wondering if putting in a 5 way switch would be better. Would it in any way affect the tone on the bridge or neck pickup. I wouldn't want to do that.
    I'm open for suggestions on the best way to do this. I wouldn't be doing the work my self.
    I realize this won't get me exact strat tones but it gives me that quacky strat like option.
  2. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    You're best off with a 5-way IMHO. Unless the only thing you're going for is quack, it'll limit the utility of that mid pickup to have it only off or on along with one of the other two. My Gretsch 5622 does this with the mid pickup, and the result is that I seldom use the mid and am actually redoing the wiring this weekend to switch that on-off switch for a 3-way that'll allow me to isolate the mid pickup or use it along with the B/N selector to get all the regular options.
    The mid pickup on a Strat is actually a bit of a secret weapon, a lot of guys discount it or just use it for quack like you mentioned but it really has a sound of its own. For example, it's the quickest way I've found to get the Lindsey Buckingham tone; for "Rhiannon," for example, put it on mid-only, roll, the tone down to 5 or 6, and fingerpick. Bam, it's right in the zone.
  3. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Meister

    Dec 4, 2007
    NYC and VT
  4. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2018
    Erie, CO
    5-way with a secondary switch that engages the bridge/neck combo or an all on depending on where the 5-way is set.
  5. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    How a middle pickup will serve you in a Telecaster depends on the middle pickup. To me, a low wind middle pickup sounds good alone and it blends better with bridge or neck pickups. I like the CS ‘69 in my FCS ‘69 Stratocaster. You won’t want to lose the bridge and neck in your Telecaster. Two good options for seven sounds are a Fender S1 switch or a push pull pot. A good tech should be able to wire either option for you.
  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 2, 2003
    Tele: 5 way, hot middle pickup, so it can be down low, what's not to like?

    Strats can definitely take time to get used to for sure. I found at first that I had a lot of trouble. Now, I prefer to mostly play Strats really. But you need to "float" a bit with the picking hand. The volume knob proximity is something great for me. I far prefer a middle pickup tone to combined neck and bridge tone.
  7. Mr. St. Paul

    Mr. St. Paul Tele-Meister

    Mar 26, 2013
    Saint Paul, MN
    My Modern Player Plus (replaced the bridge humbucker). Has the stock 5-way switch for Strat tones. Added a push/pull volume pot that puts the neck pickup on no matter where the switch is. So you can get neck + bridge. Or all 3 pickups at once, if you want to get crazy!

    Having a middle pickup and a 5-way switch doesn't affect the tone of the other two pickups.

    MP Tele.jpg
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