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Stacked HB vs. single coils re: the "Nashville Wiring Problem"

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Okieactor, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Hey All, I'm wanting to do a Nashville build.

    I bought a used tele set (neck/bridge from a 2015 USA tele) the other day.

    Then I read this:
    https://www.fralinpickups.com/2019/08/02/the-nashville-tele-problem/

    So...
    1. How big of a deal is this? (obviously hum cancelling and in-phase in positions 2 and 4 would be best, but is it a must have?)
    2. Did I screw up in what I bought?
    3. If I went with mojotone or dimarzio area T/area 61s or something would that make it easier or harder to figure out, since those are single-coil-sized, but are hum-cancelling themselves?

    Thanks all.
     
  2. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    You want in-phase in all pickup combinations. Out of phase will sound thin and yucky with single coils. Hum canceling is less of a priority, and it can be minimized by shielding your guitar cavity with copper tape or shielding paint.

    I had a Nashville Tele where I wired it up as a 4-way Telecaster so I could get all the traditional 4-way sounds. Neck alone. Bridge alone. Neck/Bridge in parallel (and in phase). Neck/Bridge in series (and in phase). Then I set up the middle pickup where I could turn it on by flipping a mini-switch. (You could also use a push-pull pot). That allows you to get N+M, B+M, and N+M+B. All of it was in phase. If one of the positions hummed more than any other I never noticed it because I had copper shielding tape installed.

    Think about it. If you are using true single coils then the only time you get hum-cancelling is when you have two pickups working in combination that are RWRP. But if you are using bridge or neck alone then you will get hum. So regardless of complexities created by adding a middle pickup, at the end of the day if you are using single coils then your best solution for reducing hum is to use shielding.

    If all three pickups are self hum cancelling by being stacked humbuckers then it's really easy. Just go ahead and wire up however you like, presuming they are set up to all be in phase. If one pickup ends up being out of phase with the other two, just reverse its leads.

    If you stick with the pickups you have and your middle pickup ends up being out of phase in either the M+B or M+N position, I would say try it both ways and see if you like the M+B (in phase) or the M+N (in phase) better for that classic Strat quack. Wire it up for that position, and then you have one optimized Strat sound in your Tele. Ignore the other out-of-phase quack position, or maybe you'll find it has some interesting application when you intentionally want to sound like a drowning duck.

    One huge advantage of the Tele design is you can have your control cavity open with the guitar strung up and strings installed. That makes it easy to test different wiring options to see how it sounds. On a Strat I do my best by tapping on the pickups with a screwdriver to see how it sounds while the pickguard is off the body and flipped over, but sometimes it's hard to confirm out of phase vs. in phase just by tapping.
     
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  3. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Makes sense.

    Middle switch is interesting. I had thought of maybe a concentric pot or something where you could roll the middle in and out of any other combo.

    Well, sort of, I think. I think the idea would be that if you have like a set configured for a nashville, where the neck and bridge are both south up, middle north up, then you'd be able to hum cancel in positions 2 & 4 if you play in a bar with bad grounding or neon signs or something...?

    I'm kind of thinking you may be right here, this may be the simplest way to go...still thinking.
     
  4. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Or maybe something like this here, with a blender pot, or just as-is without the blender pot?
    And then in a scenario where it's buzzy, just use bridge/middle as much as you can?

    upload_2020-9-11_16-5-39.png
     
  5. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fwiw I only notice hum at home. In live gigs it’s not an issue. Between songs I just mute with tuner pedal.
     
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  6. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    So...I'd just buy any normal middle strat pickup? If I want it to just be SSS, with hum canceling in bridge/mid? Or are there different polarity or winding ones?
     
  7. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    You could take a compass to the pickups you have and figure out their orientation. Then order rwrp to that from custom winder like Cavalier. They can explain what to do. But as noted, if your Tele neck and bridge are rwrp with respect to each other, then you can only be rwrp to one but not both of them.
     
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  8. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    The Fralin article is discussing a "problem" that doesn't exist on Fender Nashville Telecasters unless you introduce aftermarket pickups. Fender Nashville Tele pickups are in phase with each other.
     
  9. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Ok, so I'm using fender pickups out of a normal tele, not a nashville.

    I think my remaining question is if I buy a Seymour Duncan vintage flat or vintage staggered middle strat pickup (labelled rwrp), will that be in phase with my pickups, and hum cancelling in B/M position? That's what I'd like to try.

    My pickups:

    Neck: definitely north up. Pretty obviously CCW wound (can see that the copper wire on the white comes from edge, while the black goes closer to middle of coil).

    Bridge: definitely south up. I would have to assume CW wound because the colors of black and white are reversed from the neck. (Origin of the copper wires is less clear on the bridge than neck, both copper wires seem basically the same angle).

    20200913_100202.jpg 20200913_100128.jpg 20200913_100120.jpg
     
  10. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    It should be. I just redid my Nashville Tele with a set of Fender Original Vintage Tele pickups and a Seymour Duncan SSL-2 in the middle. Not hum cancelling but sounds great. Hum cancelling is overrated anyway imo...
     
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  11. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Okieactor, o one else can tell you whether you need noise cancelling. In my own guitars it's an absolute must-- all my playing is live in either rehearsal studios (many of which have crummy electrical wiring) or in dive bars/clubs, all of which have crummy electrical wiring. Hum/buzz from single coil pickups is absolutely crippling, and I have to have either noiseless pickups (in the "single coil sounding" camp, Kinmans or Bardens), or an Ilitch noise reduction system (for my Nocaster and my SG Classic, both of which have single coils) or humbucking pickups of various types (humbuckers, filtertrons, mini-humbuckers). But my experience has nothing to do with what you need in your guitars given how/where you play. If you need noiseless, get noiseless. If you don't then don't.
     
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  12. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    I may try to make it work S-S-S, do the copper foil, and then look at like DiMarzio areas or Duncan stacks or Fralin split blades if the hum is not acceptable to me.
     
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