Opinion on the Fender Telecaster Dark Circuit

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by acranford9, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. acranford9

    acranford9 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    98
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Location:
    68 second Avenue
    Any guitar that you will find from 1950 to around 67 have this circuit; But most people change the circuit to modern wiring. It was originally a bass pickup selection, but was also used for jazz.
    I have a AV52 Telecaster that has the dark circuit, and I rarely use it; But sounds really cool on the overdrive channel on the amplifier playing notes above the 12th fret. I was just wondering what most of you fought about this circuit, and why you change from this circuit to the modern circuit.

    PS I'm being serious
     
  2. echofuzz

    echofuzz TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    41
    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Not quite the same, but I wired my homebrew tele w/ filtertron neck like a gretsch: 2 independent volumes & 3 way tone switch. My deep switch is a .027 so not as deep as the fender dark circuit but youre right-the overdrive & fuzz sounds great in the deep setting. Maybe switch the deep cap to a little brighter if you want a more usable sound? Or use a 4-way switch to have modern & deep circuit on the 4th position.
     
  3. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    2,598
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    austin texas
    I never keep the dark circuit...it is useless for my needs.It might be cool for someone who plays more old school jazz or who wants to fake basslines on a guitar.But it is much more beneficial for me to have the 3 regular tones...treble,neck and both.If I ever needed a deep bass sound,I can always select the neck pickup and roll off the highs with the tone control....it sounds just about the same that way as the pre-set bassy position anyways.
     
  4. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    991
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    St Petersburg,FL
    I like it on my Esquire build (.022mfd), it's a great sound for slide lead work. Middle is vol/tone (.047mfd),vol only. Thinking of changing the Vol to a 1M pot and the tone to a TBX just haven't done it yet...but the dark setting will stay. It's a sweet vocal sound to me at least and it records really well too.
     
  5. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,673
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan
    Don't like it myself. I find no purpose in it for what/how I play.
     
  6. geetarfreek82

    geetarfreek82 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,011
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Moosic, PA
    I like to have at least one guitar with the old Broadcaster/Nocaster wiring (dark, but with the blend setting to get both pups on). But then again, I like/play jazz lol
     
  7. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    18,050
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    Agree 100%.

    Even though Leo had created the Precicion Bass in 1952, he never realized that the pre-set bassy sound on the Telecaster was obsolete. It took CBS to wire it to "modern" ...
     
  8. moonshiner

    moonshiner Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,692
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    Milyucky, Whiskonsin
    I love the dark circuit.. Darker the better.. I think it's awesome and use it quite a bit.. Especially with oodles of OD...

    All my teles (save my esquire and my deluxe with filtertrons) are wired to 50's Broadcaster specs with blend pots and dark circuits.. IMO, modern wiring is less versitile.. But you know what they say about opinions...

    Here's an example... I am sure you'll know it when you hear it...
     
  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    79,431
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    As I once overheard, "Useless as t*ts on a boar shoat!"
    You get a similar effect by leaving the cover on the amp, and facing it to the wall.
    A felt pick may help, too.
     
  10. Tidepoolbay

    Tidepoolbay Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,840
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Franklin New Jersey
    I own five guitars, three Telecasters and two Esquires that all have it. I use and have never changed the wiring.

    One thing I do is no reverb with the tremolo going playing rythem. This gets the Hammond B-3 type of groove when playing.
     
  11. vanguard

    vanguard Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,348
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    +1. i am a die hard nocaster wiring proponent. the blend position is invaluable; instead of just "middle position" you get all the cool tones in between. the mid position is esquired neck pickup ,which is just the kick that pup needs to get some bite in the treble and some clarity. i put a .022 cap in the dark position, and it kills for jazz, slide, and fuzz pedals love it.

    i find the modern wiring very limiting, as i've never liked the sound of the "tone" pot; just sounds like a gain reducing, low-pass to me. i leave the tone in my esquire only (with a huge .070 cap) for manual wah effects.
     
  12. rolling56

    rolling56 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,023
    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Location:
    Mangling notes since '81 in SW Misery
    I still have the dark on my 2 year old to me '52 AVRI and use it and still on the fence to change it to modern or blend wiring.
     
  13. Gareth John

    Gareth John Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,510
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    England
    I like the dark circuit. You can play the intro to "She's the one" by Springsteen and then flick it to the bridge. Works perfrectly. That is my one and only use for it haha
    I do like it though, it makes the guitar unique to my other guitars.
     
  14. peteb

    peteb Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,200
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cascadia
    I prefer to call it the deep position instead of the dark position.

    The early literature said it is for deep rhythem.


    I use it only occasionally, but the main reason I don't change it is you can still get both pickups, just put the selector in the in-between position.
     
  15. gaddis

    gaddis Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,372
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    I love the deep rhythm setting. I think I am the only one though. It is great for strumming chords. I've never used it in a band situation, but playing at home I use it often. I can't quite put my finger on what the appeal is, but to me it sounds deep and smooth.

    I've never had the opportunity to compare the deep rhythm setting on Teles from different eras, but on my '67 it's perfection.
     
  16. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    31,486
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Bakersfield Ca.
    I like the middle blend sound so much that the modern wiring offers I dont use the dark vintage wiring.
     
  17. caliban335

    caliban335 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,955
    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    It's not for me.
     
  18. dan79

    dan79 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    949
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cumbria, England
    Grear discussion here and some interesting opinions :cool:

    I've only had my 52RI a couple of days but I'm in love with the dark circuit - as others have said, sounds great with loads of fuzz, if thats your thing!;)

    I love the sound of both pickups too but I've got my 60s Classic for that - its great having something different and I'm in no rush to change.
     
  19. gaddis

    gaddis Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,372
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    Followup - I never use mine with distortion, always clean.
     
  20. vanguard

    vanguard Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,348
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    just want to make sure everyone's clear:

    there are two different vintage "dark" circuits

    1. '52: bridge, neck, dark neck.

    2. '51 (nocaster): bridge with blend knob for blending in neck pickup, neck with tone bypassed, dark neck

    i don't find the '52 wiring useful at all. no "blend" position is an instant deal-breaker.

    the '51 wiring not only gives you the modern "middle" position with the blend all the way on, it gives you every shade in between the two pups too. so for those like Mark who love the middle position, the '51 wiring is actually the "ultimate" position.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.