Please Help With Strange Wiring In '72 Custom - Advice Needed On Best Alternative Please

BluegrassPicker

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I'm in the process of installing a CuNiFe WRHB in place of the existing MIM WRHB which I installed several years ago. I'm not the original owner of this original '72 Custom (not RI) and it appears that someone has completely changed the wiring from stock to a method that I'm having trouble identifying from information here and on the web.

There is a treble bleed on both volume pots on this guitar, and it doesn't look like the 50's or Modern LP wiring that I've seen on the web, and it is not the OEM Tele wiring from the diagrams that I've compared this with.

Additionally, there are 1meg volume and tone pots on the WRH neck circuit and 256k pots on the bridge PU which is a single coil Tele pickup (possibly OEM but unknown).

I don't mind if I have to re-wire this completely for the best results, but I'm not sure if I should leave the configuration as-is or re-do it all in a more appropriate or better configuration. The guitar functioned what I consider to be normal previously, so if the consensus is that it's better as-is, then I'm ok with that as well.

I would greatly appreciate any comments, suggestions or input for the best way to proceed - redo to stock Tele '72 Custom wiring, redo for 50's, Modern LP, tone bleed or no, or whatever might be best. My question for those who have experience in this situation is "what would you do"?

My goals and usage is for a twangy and clean country tele, not heavy metal, and probably just using the volume and tone controls wide open with no or minimal adjustment while playing.

Also, while I'm "under the hood" doing this, I'd like to put in the best combination of pots to complement the Fender CuNiFe WRH and the existing Tele single coil in the bridge. 1megs for the neck and 256k for the bridge or 1megs for all or 512k's? Again please let me know what you would do.

Thanks in advance, I appreciate any assistance with this project.

BluegrassPicker

Here's the wiring that is in the guitar now:

Tele-Wiring.jpg


IMG_20221111_140837197.jpg
IMG_20221111_140736067.jpg
IMG_20221111_140900721.jpg
 

Boreas

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I can't tell from the pix or diagram - how/where is the output jack wired in - after the switch?? Typically, when I look at a guitar circuit, the signal is generated in a pickup, sent to the switch, then to the pots, then output jack. But I admit I have never worked on one of these. Sorry, hopefully someone else can help, but I can't figure out what the pix are showing. It looks very odd to me. Perhaps it is wired that way to minimize noise, but most of the long leads appear to be shielded. I mean, if it works, it works, you can leave it as-is or follow a known/published diagram of your preference.

You may very well want different pot values on the bridge and neck pickups. Usually vintage WRHBs were paired with 1M pots, and as a rule of thumb, SC pickups are paired with 250k or 500k pots - usually 250k. But there are no hard and fast rules. I have many Teles with 500k SCs. But 500k will give a pickup a brighter tone than a 250k, and 1M even more so. But how your pickups are wound and your personal preferences will determine the best combination of pot values and tone circuits.
 
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NoTeleBob

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Looks fairly normal to me. The 1 Meg on the WRH is to try to keep it bright. The 1 Meg tone is overkill IMO. Just messes with the tone control curve. Treble bleed is in the eye of the beholder as it were.

If it was me, I'd keep the volumes as is. Wire a master tone control (250k) and a master bass control using the 1meg. I'd dump the treble bleeds or at least start without them and see how it is.
 

BluegrassPicker

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I can't tell from the pix or diagram - how/where is the output jack wired in - after the switch?? Typically, when I look at a guitar circuit, the signal is generated in a pickup, sent to the switch, then to the pots, then output jack. But I admit I have never worked on one of these. Sorry, hopefully someone else can help, but I can't figure out what the pix are showing. It looks very odd to me. Perhaps it is wired that way to minimize noise, but most of the long leads appear to be shielded. I mean, if it works, it works, you can leave it as-is or follow a known/published diagram of your preference.

You may very well want different pot values on the bridge and neck pickups. Usually vintage WRHBs were paired with 1M pots, and as a rule of thumb, SC pickups are paired with 250k or 500k pots - usually 250k. But there are no hard and fast rules. I have many Teles with 500k SCs. But 500k will give a pickup a brighter tone than a 250k, and 1M even more so. But how your pickups are wound and your personal preferences will determine the best combination of pot values and tone circuits.
Thanks for your reply and advice. The output jack is indeed wired after the switch. I'm thinking 1meg for the WRHB and perhaps 250 for the bridge.

I'm a big fan of the "Bakersfield sound" and Roy Nichols and Don Rich, and that's the sound I'm hoping to achieve. From what I can gather (I could be wrong) Tele's from that era were stock with 250's on the SC. Does that sound correct?
 

BluegrassPicker

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Looks fairly normal to me. The 1 Meg on the WRH is to try to keep it bright. The 1 Meg tone is overkill IMO. Just messes with the tone control curve. Treble bleed is in the eye of the beholder as it were.

If it was me, I'd keep the volumes as is. Wire a master tone control (250k) and a master bass control using the 1meg. I'd dump the treble bleeds or at least start without them and see how it is.
What value tone pot would you put on the WRHB if it were yours?

I'm not sure how to wire master tone or bass controls as I have no diagram to refer to. Do you have a link to an example? Thanks.

Cutting the bleeds would be the easy part.
 

LowCaster

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I would gut it, and do this, nice and clean like.
reuse what you can, but I would put it all as stock as possible.
The main difference between this diagram and Bluegrasspicker’s diagram (except Pots value and bleeds) is the pickups « signal » being wired to the center lug vs left lug. Do you know what difference it makes?

Fralin’s is certainly correct, but when in the middle position, two pickups in parallel, if one volume is turned down, the other pickup is shut down too, no sound gets out.

With the existing opposite wiring, each volume can be turned down independently, without shutting the other. Am I right?
 

wabashslim

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The main difference between this diagram and Bluegrasspicker’s diagram (except Pots value and bleeds) is the pickups « signal » being wired to the center lug vs left lug. Do you know what difference it makes?

With the existing opposite wiring, each volume can be turned down independently, without shutting the other. Am I right?
You are right. As for the bleeds I'd disconnect just one end of each to see how you like it, so much easier to reinstall if it needs them. Don't let the anti-bleeders push you around, they have issues. Personally I like the wiring as it is...maybe those tone pots could go to 500K for the sake of the taper.

All guitars with controls for each pickup are wired pickups > pots > switch > jack.
 

NoTeleBob

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What value tone pot would you put on the WRHB if it were yours?

I'm not sure how to wire master tone or bass controls as I have no diagram to refer to. Do you have a link to an example? Thanks.

Cutting the bleeds would be the easy part.

I'd use a 250K pot for the tone. Or 500K if you like because it's a humbucker... if you have to buy one, get a 500K.

I'll dig out a wiring diagram for the tone options that you could adapt.
 

NoTeleBob

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The main difference between this diagram and Bluegrasspicker’s diagram (except Pots value and bleeds) is the pickups « signal » being wired to the center lug vs left lug. Do you know what difference it makes?

snip

The difference is having your tone control tap off the volume pot before the signal goes through the volume pot or after the signal comes out of the volume control. The practical difference is known in the Gibson world as 50's wiring vs. Modern wiring. 50's wiring tends to bleed off less treble as you turn down the volume control. Modern wiring removes treble as you dial back.

 

LowCaster

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The difference is having your tone control tap off the volume pot before the signal goes through the volume pot or after the signal comes out of the volume control. The practical difference is known in the Gibson world as 50's wiring vs. Modern wiring. 50's wiring tends to bleed off less treble as you turn down the volume control. Modern wiring removes treble as you dial back.

This is true but I think you are missing my point. So let’s try make this clear:

’50s vs modern as shown in your link is relative to the position of the tone pot.

’50s means the tone pot is wired « after« the Volume pot, that is, wired to the same lug as the output wire.

Modern means the tone pot is « before » the volume. That is, wired to the same lug as the input (from the pickup) wire.

Fralin shows a Modern wiring just as Fender does ( https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/Original/10001/SM_011018XXXX_Am_Orig_70's_Tele_Custom.pdf ).

Now what’s with the OP’s wiring?

Here the tone pots are wired on the volume pot to the same lug as the pickup, or « before. So it is a Modern wiring, just as Fralin’s/Fender’s. Except that the use of the volume pot lugs is inverted… What is the effect of this inversion: see post #8.
 
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Steve Holt

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I can't tell from the pix or diagram - how/where is the output jack wired in - after the switch?? Typically, when I look at a guitar circuit, the signal is generated in a pickup, sent to the switch, then to the pots, then output jack. But I admit I have never worked on one of these. Sorry, hopefully someone else can help, but I can't figure out what the pix are showing. It looks very odd to me. Perhaps it is wired that way to minimize noise, but most of the long leads appear to be shielded. I mean, if it works, it works, you can leave it as-is or follow a known/published diagram of your preference.

You may very well want different pot values on the bridge and neck pickups. Usually vintage WRHBs were paired with 1M pots, and as a rule of thumb, SC pickups are paired with 250k or 500k pots - usually 250k. But there are no hard and fast rules. I have many Teles with 500k SCs. But 500k will give a pickup a brighter tone than a 250k, and 1M even more so. But how your pickups are wound and your personal preferences will determine the best combination of pot values and tone circuits.

So in my experience I've noticed that when you have one volume and multiple pickups, the signal goes pickup >> switch >> volume/tone >> output.

When you have 2 volumes and 2 pickups, the signal goes pickup >> volume/tone >> switch >>output.

In the first scenario, you're sending all signal to one volume and selecting the pickup you want. In the second you have to be able to control the volumes of the pickups and then select which you want on.

So OP that wiring looks fine. The only thing is that the input/output is reversed from how it normally is. I don't know what affect that has, if any. Someone above spoke to that though.
 

Boreas

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So in my experience I've noticed that when you have one volume and multiple pickups, the signal goes pickup >> switch >> volume/tone >> output.

When you have 2 volumes and 2 pickups, the signal goes pickup >> volume/tone >> switch >>output.

In the first scenario, you're sending all signal to one volume and selecting the pickup you want. In the second you have to be able to control the volumes of the pickups and then select which you want on.

So OP that wiring looks fine. The only thing is that the input/output is reversed from how it normally is. I don't know what affect that has, if any. Someone above spoke to that though.
Makes sense. Thanks for straightening me out Steve! I should learn to keep my mouth shut.

Although I have a couple guitars set up this way, the wiring is buried and difficult to tell HOW they are wired unless you are experienced with them. And because of the difficulty pulling pots and such from hollow-bodies, experimentation is discouraged. But Fenders put everything in your face, so the simpler Teles/Strats have been my guides thus far.
 
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Steve Holt

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Makes sense. Thanks for straightening me out Steve! I should learn to keep my mouth shut.

Although I have a couple guitars set up this way, the wiring is buried and difficult to tell HOW they are wired unless you are experienced with them. And because of the difficulty pulling pots and such from hollow-bodies, experimentation is discouraged. But Fenders put everything in your face, so the simpler Teles/Strats have been my guides thus far.

Nah, don't keep your mouth shut. Questions are how we all learn!
 

Boreas

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Nah, don't keep your mouth shut. Questions are how we all learn!
Thanks. Well then - if the OP will excuse the sidetrack - here's another:

WHY, are the dual Volume circuits wired in a different direction than the single V circuits? To reduce the number or length of runs? I know they are typically shielded wire, so noise shouldn't be an issue. Is a problem created when two side-by-side circuits wired "pickup-switch-pots-output" are in the center switch position? Is there an issue with two V pots working properly in that scenario? I am sorry, I am electron-impaired and have trouble with electrical circuits. With my reptilian brain, I still view electrical circuits as water and plumbing!:rolleyes:
 

NoTeleBob

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This is true but I think you are missing my point. So let’s try make this clear:

’50s vs modern as shown in your link is relative to the position of the tone pot.

’50s means the tone pot is wired « after« the Volume pot, that is, wired to the same lug as the output wire.

Modern means the tone pot is « before » the volume. That is, wired to the same lug as the input (from the pickup) wire.

Fralin shows a Modern wiring just as Fender does ( https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/Original/10001/SM_011018XXXX_Am_Orig_70's_Tele_Custom.pdf ).

Now what’s with the OP’s wiring?

Here the tone pots are wired on the volume pot to the same lug as the pickup, or « before. So it is a Modern wiring, just as Fralin’s/Fender’s. Except that the use of the volume pot lugs is inverted… What is the effect of this inversion: see post #8.

Oh, I see your point. My WAG is that it's dropping treble to ground. It might also be doing some funky things with the curve. In fact, based on some demos I've seen on a scope, I'd be almost certain that it is.

But I don't have enough theoretical electronics knowledge to tell you with certainty.
 

LowCaster

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The only thing is that the input/output is reversed from how it normally is. I don't know what affect that has, if any.
When the switch is in middle position (two pickups in parallel) if you turn one volume down it sends the signal from that pickup to ground, so it takes that pickup out of the circuit without affecting the other pickup. Whereas with the more traditional Fender/Fralin wiring, turning one volume down would send the output of both pickups to ground (remember they are in parallel) and silence the two pickups, same as creating a short between the ring and tip of the output Jack…

I have been experimenting on this and made a simplified diagram (no switch , no tone) to help myself understand what happens when the pickups are connected to the center lug of a volume pot:
F71900B9-8FEA-427B-9686-4742A9A1C2A4.png



Oh, I see your point. My WAG is that it's dropping treble to ground. It might also be doing some funky things with the curve. In fact, based on some demos I've seen on a scope, I'd be almost certain that it is.

But I don't have enough theoretical electronics knowledge to tell you with certainty.
Me neither. Sure the vol and tone pots value affect the tone, and the way it is wired may have some effect too. That’s what I hear with my Esquire when switching from position 2 (Vol+tone, tone to 10) to position 1 (Vol only, tone bypassed): Noticeable gain in the highs.
Regarding the 50s vs Modern wiring, it is a thing, but I have never been able to do a fair comparison. I have guitars wired both ways though, but my feeling is that the difference is subtle compared to other factors (pickups, tone cap and pots values).
This is why I chose to emphasize here the more practical question of the volume wiring over the more subtle effect of the tone wiring.
 

BluegrassPicker

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I'm kind of confused, but I greatly appreciate the discussion.

For my purposes of wanting clean tone with as much independent volume and tone controls as possible which of the wiring diagrams below would be the best or more appropriate one to use? My existing wiring, Fralin (same as Fender OEM), '50's or "Modern"? They are each wired different in some ways.

Sincere thanks to everyone.

Fralin.jpg 50s Wiring.jpg ModernWiring.jpg Tele-Wiring.jpg
 

LowCaster

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Regarding vol/tone independance, Fralin’s and Modern (Gibson style) and your diagram all seem equivalent to me.

Do you like what you hear now? If yes, change nothing. If no, then switch to the wiring you like, but tonewise it’s the choice of tone caps and pots values that is paramount.
 




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