Share your Tele Tweaks !!

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Doug 54, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. OaklandA

    OaklandA Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    i like 4-way switching on mine. Of course you have to have RWRP pups to do it...so I guess tweak #1 for me has been a pup change.

    Also have had every Tele I've ever owned copper shielded throughout.
     
  2. PSWoods

    PSWoods Tele-Meister

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    I'm curious about that, too, now that you mention it. I didn't catch that distinction when I first skimmed this topic.

    I can tell you that if your neck needs to be a little hotter and brighter, just moving the tone control to the same lug as hot bridge lead is a great mod, working as you noted. It balances nicely, b/c the overall output is still loud in all 3 positions (as opposed to loud loud soft before).

    I have a Duncan Vintage 54 in neck and an obnoxious hot ceramic bridge pu, and they balance great doing it this way.
     
  3. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Any of you mess with different string winds, or make it top loader???
     
  4. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    JMPRO.... now belongs to the club with his cool top load bridge idea!!!
     
  5. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

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    Two

    2004 Lite Ash:
    300k Volume Pot, 250k Fender No-Load Tone pot. Replaced crap switch with Fender 3-way. Replaced bridge plate with Fender. Sanded off headstock logo and replaced with vintage style logo (and then refinished the headstock).

    Replaced 3 saddles with AllParts (they got the flathead adj screws like the vintage teles) Compensated brass saddles. Shimmed the neck for lower action. Thinking about replacing the nut (maybe brass or bone, IDK). It OWNS the CLASSIC vintage Telecaster tone!

    1998 MIM Tele:
    Replaced bridge pickup with Duncan Lil '59. Routed body and installed a middle Strat pickup. Fender bridge plate, AllParts compensated 3 brass saddles.

    Drilled third hole in control plate. Wired 2 Volumes (one for both the neck and middle, the other for the bridge), one master Tone, all 500k pots. The Volume for the lil59 is a push/pull coil splitting switch. 5-way Strat switch replaced the old 3-way.

    Installed a birdseye maple Strat neck (22 mdm jumbo frets), used a 70s style "Fender Telecaster Custom" headstock decal. Two string retainers. Shaved the pickguard under the fretboard overlap to ensure neck shim had room. Installed the OEM version of the Earvana nut (no lame looking screws, less flimsy and more mass/hardness than the standard Earvana replacement kit).

    The combination of the comp saddles and comp nut make for intonation only my Les Pauls could achieve. The nut does suck *some* "snap" in the tone.

    Since it's got a bit of each of 50s Les Paul (bridge pickup sounds eerily like a 59 LPaul), Stratocaster (middle pickup, and guitar neck), and Tele (neck pickup, body, bridge, saddles, control plate) MOJOs... I used a chrome Tele knob, an amber LPaul tophat knob, and a white Strat knob (Tone), in that order on the control plate.

    Finally, ALL of my customized Telecasters get a '77 chrome car wing embedded into the body (my secret on how I do that)... my Gibsons and non-Telecasters (I hate Stratocasters, so I don't own any) will have to wait for another forum :)
     
  6. voided3

    voided3 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hello. On Squier Teles, I do a lot of stuff; just check out the thread Squier Frankentele for all I did to mine. Besides the addition of a middle humbucker, I did small subtle stuff like adding a second string tree and filing out some of the fretboard into a steeper radius on the 12th fret on up. I'm also a fan of not having a tone control on guitars usually since they (in my opinion) cut some output, and with a volume knob you lose highs when you roll it off anyway. But yeah, that's what I do with Squiers at least, the actual Fender ones are better quality wise so they don't really need a lot of stuff done for better playability, but modding is always a hoot. Thanks!
     
  7. Vince a

    Vince a Tele-Holic

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    OK, finally got around to re-soldering things . . . all good now. My thanks to the guy who told me really heat up the pot before soldering grounds to it. Now the soldering sticks solid!

    Moved the volume pot wire from the outer lug to the middle lug . . .

    Changed 10's to EB Rock and Roll nickle 9's . . .

    Set the Texas Specials to factory settings, then a bit closer, and after grabbing a slightly heavier pick, played the dang thing.

    It's heaven to my ears, and . . . I think . . . I'm finally done with that guitar.

    Unless, someone here, has a mod that "I just need to try!"
     
  8. GUITARmole

    GUITARmole Tele-Afflicted

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    JohnnyCrash,

    How does the combo of Earvana AND compensated saddles work out?? I've noticed that with an Earvana nut and factory 3 saddle bridge the saddles are all even (straight accross) and intonation is very close to spot-on. I'm afraid if I installed compensated tuners my intonation would actually be worse.

    Also, I haven't really noticed any tone dulling or lack of "snap" from the Earvana nut with open strings (they ring loud and twangy) and once you fret a note the nut is pretty much out of the tone equation...correct?
     
  9. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ummm...

    I position the screw holes on the knobs to the same visible position so they can be a volume or tone control point of reference.
     
  10. J. Hayes

    J. Hayes Friend of Leo's

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    Heavily modified Tele

    My favorite Tele is an '83 sunburst top loader. When I still lived in California I had Steve Soest in Orange County put a pair of Gibson mini-humbuckers in the neck and middle positions. I also had the control plate reversed with the volume knob to the front and 3 mini-toggles installed of on/off of the pickups. The guitar also has a Seymore Duncan quarter pounder in the bridge position. To round everything out it has a P/W long throw B-bender and Keith/Scruggs pegs on the 1st and 5th strings lowering them a whole tone each. On the 6th string I have the HipShot extender peg to lower that string to D. All in all, this is the coolest guitar around my area and everyone around here would love to have this one but it's mine and I ain't lettin' it go.....JH in Va.
     
  11. gtroates

    gtroates Tele-Meister

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    How bout a tele diet mod? (Fat back to standard)

    After owning a number of different teles with various four way (series/parallel) and five way switches (for splitting neck humbuckers), I decided to simplify my tele playing life. Now I have completely changed the wiring on my number one which started out life as a Candy Apple Red American Series Hot Rodded Fat Tele by changing to 250K pots, one cap only between the pots (so no treble roll-off mod).

    After trying different humbuckers, all of which had great strong points I kept having trouble with the no twang factor, they were great neck pickups but the bridge/neck single coils combo and the bridge only with the 500k pot weren't the way I like them. So I switched my pickups out to a Seymour Duncan STR-1 neck and a Van Zandt Flat pole bridge with the SD website 1966 tele wiring schematic setup. Now my tele is a twang machine in the bridge, a great neck sound for jazz playing with the volume rolled back a bit and the tone rolled off more, I like to have the knob set screws both pointing straight up for this sound because it is easy to find it by sight . The neck bridge combo is the soul, funk and R and B sound I always think a tele should have in the middle switch position.

    I considered leaving the Fat Tele stock to just trade towards a '52 re-issue, but the neck didn't feel comfortable to me like the thicker one on mine. I have the look/feel/sound all together in one tele finally and I only :lol: had to change out all the wiring, pots, pickguard and pickups to get it. After five other attempts at a number one, I think I'll stay with this one for a while as it now is. Please don't anyone tempt me with one more mod, my resolve is weak and I just stopped remembering the smell of smoking solder, it was stuck in my nose for a while there.
    Brian
     
  12. j0shua

    j0shua TDPRI Member

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    Great thread!

    On my CIJ '52ri, I've put in Allparts brass comp saddles. The electronics are all upgraded to CTS and Switchcraft, with a Sprague Orange Drop and cloth wire. There's a 4-way switch in there, too. The original matt plastic pickguard was removed in a hurry, and replaced with a US '52ri shiny blackguard.

    After reading this thread, I'm gonna try the middle lug vol pot mod, and will flip the control plate. I'm used to the Strat vol knob within reach, so hopefully this will help.

    On the CIJ '72 Thinline, the electronics have been upgraded, too. Also has a 4-way mod but missing the ground wire to the neck pup, which I'll wire in soon enough. It also has vintage style nickel Strat saddles replacing the chunky chrome ones.
     
  13. sirloin

    sirloin TDPRI Member

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    My '73 tele has a .001 cap between the outside and middle lugs on the volume. Noticed this isn't shown on the mod diagram where you move the tone pot wire from the outside lug on the volume to the center. Should this cap be removed to make the mod work? My tele is thin sounding and I'm trying to get more mid-range and less treble. Thanks!
     
  14. Al Nico

    Al Nico Tele-Meister

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    sirloin,

    Check to see if you have 1 MEG pots. If so, swapping to 250K pots would make the biggest difference.

    I don't believe leaving the cap across the lugs does anything with the circuit set up with the mid-lug tone bleed mod, but you should remove it as it is not needed. Personally, I like the sound of a standard tone circuit with a 0.001 uF cap in parallel with a 150K or 180K resistor across the lugs. For me, it gives a smoother volume roll-off than with the mid-lug mod. Of course, that's only with my setup.
     
  15. sirloin

    sirloin TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Al Nico! After looking at Richie Fliegler's Maintenance and Repair book, it seems a '73 tele probably does have a 1 MEG Volume pot.
     
  16. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, the 73 ( if stock ) should have 1meg pots. My 71 came stock with them. I wired up a new control plate with 250K's and dropped it in, carefully preserving the original. A few months ago, I put it the original control plate ( including the treble bleed cap ) back in. It actually sounds very good with the stock 1megs, but I do prefer the 250Ks, ( without the treble bleed, with 50's mod ) so they will going back in soon.
     
  17. FraKo

    FraKo Tele-Afflicted

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    Some little tweaks on 2 tele's

    Just a few tweaks:

    1) Johnson JT800 tele clone (black/rosewood):

    - 4-way switch
    - graphteck nut


    2) Fender Standard MIM (3-color burst):

    - 4-way switch
    - original Fender (Joel Terry's gift) vintage bridge w. Göldo comp. brass saddles

    They both have Webstrings (11/50) rounds mounted.

    As you can see, I really DIG the 4-way...

    Next steps: I think about putting Duncan's on the Standard MIM, and put its stock pup's on the Johnson. This latter could deserve a set of compensated saddles, too, though the stock slotted ones aren't bad at all.
     
  18. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    In the time that I started this thread to recently--- I have gone from top-load strings 1-4..... to now using the 6 saddle Gotoh brass/chrome plated bridge. With all my bending--- I feel more stability with that bridge.

    Did the topload to slightly ease the bending.... but now going string-thru again, it's just an increment tighter.

    PLUS, twang wise, very little difference!!

    I plan to put Sperzels on all strings EXCEPT the D. If it fits with the Sperzels, I'll keep the regular Schaller tuner (non-locking) since I top-wind the D string.
     
  19. agaveman

    agaveman TDPRI Member

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    This mod is really great! Will it work on a 72 Thinline reissue as well? Thanks for the cool and easy mod!
     
  20. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Roy Buchanan:

    Putting a nickel under the D/G saddle....
    Sonically --- who knows??? (any input???)

    However, this allows more of the screw thread staying in the saddle--- IF some threads were not contacting prior to the nickel.
     
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