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Modding the out of phase options on a Fender S-1 switch system ?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Nads Mikkelsem, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. Nads Mikkelsem

    Nads Mikkelsem TDPRI Member

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    Hello there ! Recently converted to the Tele cult, I figured I would create an account as I had found some solid advice on here in the past on various topics even as a non-Tele user. Introducing myself soon after I get this posted !

    I play a Baja equipped with the S-1 switch which gives me access to the pickups' series wiring, as well as two out of phase options activated with a push/push knob. I find myself not using the latter in spite of the interesting frequency change they provide, as they sound too thin to my ears ; therefore I would like to know if I could mod them so as to beef them up or simply replace them altogether with another feature (a boost perhaps ?). Preferably I would keep the push/push knob as I find the concept very practical, nonetheless it would be better if I could actually make some use of it.

    Thank you in advance for your answers !
     
  2. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    If you like to go for beefier tones, you can convert the push pull to a cap selector. For example, currently your tone control might just have a 0.047 or an 0.022uF cap, you could pull the knob and change it to a 0.01uF, or a 0.006uF for a fatter, less muffled tone when you get near the bottom of the tone control.
     
  3. Nads Mikkelsem

    Nads Mikkelsem TDPRI Member

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    Interesting remark, haven't thought about that. Do you actually mean I could put two caps in there, one of them (lower value one per se to shorten the knob's frequency range) being activated by the push ?
     
  4. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah https://www.fralinpickups.com/2017/11/08/2-tone-caps-1-push-pull-pot/

    I'd suggest using a standard value for one of the caps, .022 or .047, for "stock" mode, and the for the "pull up" mode, it becomes more a matter of preference, values between 3nF and 10nF give different "cocked wah" sounds, with increasing frequency as the value of the cap drops, but once you get to about 1nF you dont hear much difference.

    This video demos some of those low values. 001uF = 1nF = 1000pF



    In this demo they might all come across as muffled because he's using low Q P-90s, in a Tele or Strat you get a much clearer honk, and if you pair it up with overdrive, you get a very fat mid range.

    I have this mod going on a Strat, I think the cap value I chose was 6nF when pulled up. It allows a Strat or Tele to pull of a humbucker like tone. I'd suggest running two wires out the side of the guitar, attached where the cap is supposed to attach, so that you can try various cap values, then when you find a value you like, twist or solder it in place, and tuck it into the control cavity.

    Most other mods I know of, such as OOP, PTB, Fender TBX, no-load/blower, Q-filter, all have the effect of increasing the treble, or cutting back on the bass and mids. When it comes to increasing mids and bass, the stock tone control already does that to a large extent, so all that really remains is series pickup combos and different capacitance. The different capacitances change the frequency of the attenuation knee.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  5. Nads Mikkelsem

    Nads Mikkelsem TDPRI Member

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    That's some great info there ! I love that cocked-wah type of sound, getting it directly through the knobs instead of fiddling with EQs or pedals sounds exciting to say the least.

    I'm no handyman though, at least when it comes to electrical duties. I have to give my guitar a setup anyways, I'll most likely get the tech to add new caps as well on that occasion.
     
  6. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Or some go really nuts with switchable tone options :)

    B.B. King Lucille

    Epi Blues Hawk.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  7. Nads Mikkelsem

    Nads Mikkelsem TDPRI Member

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    Regarding the S-1 switch on my Tele, the push only works on combined pickup positions (parallel and series). Would it be possible to activate the lower value capacitor on all 4 positions ? I'd be obliged if you someone could explain, it's my second time swapping pickups and I'm starting to get into that electronic side of guitar things.
     
  8. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    If the tone control is global (works with all pickup selections), then this mod would be global also. You're just swapping the single capacitor value with two different values using a push/pull, so however the tone knob works in general, it would continue to work that way.
     
  9. AAT65

    AAT65 Poster Extraordinaire

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    First of all if I were you I would rewire the guitar so it only has the 4-way switch and the S1 is out of the circuit completely. Once you have that working correctly then use the S1 to select one of two tone capacitors.
    The S1 is a 4-pole Double Throw (4PDT) switch. You’re only going to need one pole for this. According to the Baja wiring diagram the current setup uses 3 of the poles.
     
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  10. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    If the S1 provides fat series tones and you like that, I'd not remove it.
     
  11. Nads Mikkelsem

    Nads Mikkelsem TDPRI Member

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    I would like to keep that feature out of all three. Reading your post makes it unclear to me whether it is possible to do that without getting rid of the entire "system"
     
  12. EddieLocrian

    EddieLocrian Tele-Afflicted

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    You said Baja so ...

    Badger.JPG

    Ok Eddie.
     
  13. AAT65

    AAT65 Poster Extraordinaire

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    In the case of the Baja wiring the S1 only reverses the phase of positions 2 & 4. Yes you can have “fat series tones” without it: when you wire up the pickups you have them either always in phase or always out of phase.

    I guess AntiguaTele is thinking of the Elite wiring where there is a 3-way switch and the S1 changes position 2 from parallel to series. (Personally I think this is the best wiring setup as I much prefer 3-way to 4- or 5-way switches.)
     
  14. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    OP says "I play a Baja equipped with the S-1 switch which gives me access to the pickups' series wiring, as well as two out of phase options activated with a push/push knob"

    based on this info, I say leave the S-1 and turns the push pull into a cap selector, if you want more "fat tone" variety.
     
    Nads Mikkelsem likes this.
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