Modding a neck pickup on a single coil tele

donnyfolds

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Not sure if this is the right subforum for this question, I'm new to DIY guitars.
I just got a Noventa Telecaster and have been curious about the possibility of installing a humbucker.
I can't find anything online about adding a neck pickup to a single coil guitar like a LP junior, so I'm not sure if it's even possible.
Any help is appreciated, specifically on how this would work in terms of wiring and difficulty.
Is it possible to mod a switch, a second set of knobs and a neck pickup into this guitar? Thanks
If it makes it easier to answer, It doesn't matter that I'm new to modding as someone else would be doing it.
 

KokoTele

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Is it possible, sure, but it's a lot of work. If you're asking, there's probably a big learning curve for you. None of the tasks are that complicated, but could be daunting for the uninitiated.

You'd have to disassemble most of the guitar, route for the new pickup, then drill a hole with an aircraft bit from the neck pocket through the neck pickup cavity to the bridge cavity so you have a place to run the wires.

If you want to use the existing control cavity, I'd use a Gibson-style switch where the Volume knob is and then use a stacked concentric pot in the other hole for both volume and tone controls. You could also route the cavity like a standard Tele and use a regular control plate and switch.

Then you'd have to reassemble and wire it. None of these tasks by themselves are complicated, but put them together and it's a sizable project. For a pro, it's probably about 4 hours of work from start to finish. For a newbie, you'd have to start with getting a router, bits, and templates, and learning how to use them. And then you'd have to get a soldering iron and learn how to use it.

If it's a hobby you want to start, then dig in and enjoy the process. The more you do, the better and faster you'll get, and the investment in tools will be worthwhile. If your goal is just to mod this one guitar, either trade it in on one you want or pay someone to do it for you.
 

donnyfolds

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Is it possible, sure, but it's a lot of work. If you're asking, there's probably a big learning curve for you. None of the tasks are that complicated, but could be daunting for the uninitiated.

You'd have to disassemble most of the guitar, route for the new pickup, then drill a hole with an aircraft bit from the neck pocket through the neck pickup cavity to the bridge cavity so you have a place to run the wires.

If you want to use the existing control cavity, I'd use a Gibson-style switch where the Volume knob is and then use a stacked concentric pot in the other hole for both volume and tone controls. You could also route the cavity like a standard Tele and use a regular control plate and switch.

Then you'd have to reassemble and wire it. None of these tasks by themselves are complicated, but put them together and it's a sizable project. For a pro, it's probably about 4 hours of work from start to finish. For a newbie, you'd have to start with getting a router, bits, and templates, and learning how to use them. And then you'd have to get a soldering iron and learn how to use it.

If it's a hobby you want to start, then dig in and enjoy the process. The more you do, the better and faster you'll get, and the investment in tools will be worthwhile. If your goal is just to mod this one guitar, either trade it in on one you want or pay someone to do it for you.
Thanks for the quick answer, if it's possible that's all I needed to know.
 

crazydave911

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Is it possible, sure, but it's a lot of work. If you're asking, there's probably a big learning curve for you. None of the tasks are that complicated, but could be daunting for the uninitiated.

You'd have to disassemble most of the guitar, route for the new pickup, then drill a hole with an aircraft bit from the neck pocket through the neck pickup cavity to the bridge cavity so you have a place to run the wires.

If you want to use the existing control cavity, I'd use a Gibson-style switch where the Volume knob is and then use a stacked concentric pot in the other hole for both volume and tone controls. You could also route the cavity like a standard Tele and use a regular control plate and switch.

Then you'd have to reassemble and wire it. None of these tasks by themselves are complicated, but put them together and it's a sizable project. For a pro, it's probably about 4 hours of work from start to finish. For a newbie, you'd have to start with getting a router, bits, and templates, and learning how to use them. And then you'd have to get a soldering iron and learn how to use it.

If it's a hobby you want to start, then dig in and enjoy the process. The more you do, the better and faster you'll get, and the investment in tools will be worthwhile. If your goal is just to mod this one guitar, either trade it in on one you want or pay someone to do it for you.
Uh, a Tele already has a wire channel and compatible switch. Isn't it, route for the pickup, route the pickguard, add a cap for the 250k pots and ride? All I did to my thinline 🤔
 

KokoTele

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Uh, a Tele already has a wire channel and compatible switch. Isn't it, route for the pickup, route the pickguard, add a cap for the 250k pots and ride? All I did to my thinline 🤔

That would be a good strategy, except donnyfolds' guitar looks like this:

1649473555322.png
 

Moldy Oldy

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Yes, definitely possible. Humbuckers are pretty big so the pickguard would be in the way. Not a difficult technical problem but you’d need some creativity to decide how to make it look right. For the extra knobs it might be kind of cool to add another control plate like the one that’s already on there, between the current plate and the output jack to sort of continue the angled line. I think you could put the switch in the normal LP position by drilling a wire channel from the new pickup route but you could also put it under the pickguard.
 

old wrench

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Sure, it's possible :)

If you want to maintain the stock look, but add a neck pickup -

The way I'd do it, is to route the pocket for the humbucker - then using a 3/16" or 1/4" "aircraft" bit (which is only an extra-long bit, like 12" long), I'd drill through the neck pocket at an angle, so the bit passes through the neck pickup pocket and on into the control cavity to create a path for your humbucker wiring

That'll take care of the additional pickup and it's wiring without changing or modifying the appearance of the guitar.

Then, if you want to more or less maintain the stock look - go with the switch and concentric control pot for your volume and tone like @KokoTele mentions.

.
 




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