SD Little '59 in Esquire style conversion.

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by KelvinS1965, May 22, 2016.

  1. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I'm converting my old Affinity Tele to an Esquire to differentiate it from my more recently bought 50s Classic. I wanted to fit a humbucker at the bridge, but as it's a top loader guitar it wasn't easy to find a suitable conversion bridge, so I've gone for the Little '59 instead.

    I couldn't find much about it apart from very old threads on here and elsewhere, so I've taken a leap of faith (after listening to a few Youtube videos) and it should arrive tomorrow. I just thought I'd start a thread to give more current information about it once I've installed it to my Tele.

    I've fitted a blank control plate to my guitar and really like the clean lines, so I plan to connect the pup directly to the jack. I've done this already with the existing pup but I'm not very familiar with it anyway since I had fitted a set of Fender OVs to this guitar (now moved to my 50s Classic). It does seem bright, but actually works OK with my 1 watt Marshall JMP-1H, so we'll see what the '59 sounds like after a straight swap.

    Depending on the results I may add a volume control with a pull switch to allow me to split the coil on the '59. I wonder if anyone else has tried this pup wired direct to the jack?
     
  2. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Cool project. If it was my project, I would do a temporary hook up for the coil split by running lead extensions out of the control cavity. I would try series/parallel at the same time. Then it would be possible to evaluate the split-coil sound without drilling your blank plate and buying and wiring a pull switch pot.

    I think the Affinity body may not be as thick as a standard body. That would make the control cavity shallower. So early on in the process, be sure to test fit the pull switch pot under the plate

    My personal preference would be to have functional volume and tone controls and a three-way switch. Normal, bypass tone and volume, and cocked wah on the 3-way. There could still be a pull switch for the coil split.
     
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  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    That's a good idea re the coil tap wiring. I think I'll make a sort of 'junction box' in the control cavity so I can try different split coil sounds just using 'choc block' type connections.

    The Affinity body is thinner than my 50s Classic for sure, so if I end up with a pull switch then I'll have to check dimensions before I order.

    I understand the preference to have the range of sound options, but I already have the 50s Classic (with Fender OVs), a Strat, LP with P90s and another Epiphone LP with humbuckers. I'm focusing on this guitar having a voice of it's own rather than trying to produce lots of different tones that may encroach on the sounds of the above guitars. I also like the look of the guitar with a blank control panel for some reason as pic below:

    Esquire 2.jpg
     
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  4. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

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    you can wire a standard tele 3 way switch to give you series/parallel/kill options with the SD p'up, might be handy if you don't have a volume control!
     
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  5. Mountianjustice

    Mountianjustice Tele-Meister

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    When I installed the lil59' in my affinity, I couldng hear a change from humbucker to split coil/coil cut/singlecoil mode so i wired it for series parallel and thats how it still is to this day. Sounded much better than the split mode
     
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  6. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    ^^^^^
    I agree with mountain justice. The series and parallel are the way to wire the lil59.
    It's too wimpy as a single coil IMO.
    I didn't like the way this pup compressed so I pulled it out of my esquire and dropped a tapped alnico pickup in.
     
  7. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I just wired it in and gave it a quick try. So far I'm liking it just straight without the taps, but I'll have a play with the options later. It has a fair bit more output than the OV in my 50s Classic so it nicely overdrives my Marshall JMP1-H to give a great dirty tone. Not sure what the spacing should be from the strings, but I've set it to 2.5mm treble side and 3mm bass side to start with. More tweaking to come no doubt.
     
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