Mods to Modern Player Plus

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Mr. St. Paul, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Mr. St. Paul

    Mr. St. Paul TDPRI Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Saint Paul, MN
    Last March, I bought a Modern Player Plus. Like many people on this forum, I liked everything about it except the underwhelming bridge humbucker. After digging into this forum, I came to the conclusion I should replace the humbucker with a higher output model capable of 4-wire splitting and change the mini switch to a 3-way for humbucker/series split/parallel split.

    Then I ran across the push/pull pot mod to allow neck/bridge. Since this is the setting I use most often, this was very appealing to me. At this point I realized this was more soldering than I felt comfortable doing, so I reached out to a local tech. He quoted me a good price and I started buying parts.

    The switch and pot were were easy, got them from Stew-Mac. The pickup took a little searching. I eventually went with the dual lipstick humbucker from Guitarfetish. The video with Earl Slick demoing them sounded exactly like what I wanted--some more oomph in the humbucker setting, but with plenty of sparkle. Dropped everything off and waited for it to be done.

    A little over a week in, the tech called me. The bad news--he couldn't wire the pickup how I wanted. The GFS pickup has their "proprietary KwikPlug system". The plug has 4 wires and a ground, and rhe website claims you can get all the wiring combinations. But with the plug, you can have humbucker and split--period. The tech said he could take the plug off to get to the wires and do the wiring how I wanted, but it would take a bit of work.

    I figured...heck with it. I knew how I wanted it done, and what's a few more bucks? If I DIDN'T have it done that way, I'd always wonder how it would have sounded every time I played it. So I told him to go ahead.

    I picked it up today. The GFS pickup is rated at 12K, but the tech ended up lowering the neck and middle pickups and raising the humbucker up to balance them out. Took it home and plugged it in. I'm much happier with it. The humbucker setting has more drive than the stock pickup, but has a bright tone that puts it in Tele territory. The split settings are still not as strong as I would like, but sound much better than what I had before.

    Pairing the middle/bridge in parallel gets a nice Strat tone. Neck/bridge in parallel is the classic Tele in the middle position. Switching to neck/bridge series gives the 4-way switch option. All in all, the guitar now has FIFTEEN different pickup settings! I doubt I'll use all of them, but better to have and not need, right?

    It's getting late here, so I'll work on pics/sound clips tomorrow.
    dan40 and LutherBurger like this.
  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Just to clarify, I think it's just terminology... 'series split' and 'parallel split' aren't real things.

    You have two coils inside the 'bucker. The 'normal' wiring that everyone thinks of as 'humbucker' is the two coils in series.

    You can also wire them in parallel. No split going on. Both coils are in use, just in parallel. Should deliver a tone close to the full humbucker, but less output, more highs, more clarity.

    Then, the split (not series split) is just using one of the coils, shorting out the other. No series or parallel, just a single coil.

    Hope that helps when you try to explain to the next tech what you have in there...
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