Tele pickups in a Strat ... needing a bit of help

Whiskeyneck

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Hello!

So, it's been a long while since I've posted, but I've been been lurking around, and not playing much guitar the last few years. Mostly bass while my elbow healed up after an injury ... but I'm been dying to play some 6-string again, and have decided to cook up a little chemistry experiment. I'm needing at least one piece of advice, and I'm hoping someone here may be able to help.

My two favorite Fender sounds are like a lot of folks -- a strong Tele/Broadcaster bridge, and a lush Strat neck. I do like the Tele neck pickup a great deal as well, and I've decided to combine all three in a different way in my beat-up experiment MIM Strat. I'm planning on putting a La Brea Tele set in the bridge and *middle* of my Strat -- the Tele neck will be the middle pickup. I have had a Suhr ML set up in there, and a few years back, swapped out the ML bridge p'up for a Don Mare Joel Foy Tele pickup, and I adored what that did in this guitar.

At this second, I don't know which Suhr pickup to install for sure. The neck and middle are the same pickup, middle is RWRP. Bridge is the hotter variety. Again, as this is an experiment, I'm looking to get help as to which Strat pickup to employ to get the least amount of trouble in this first phase. I believe I could use the Suhr ML neck, and the only issue is that I would lose the humbucking in position 4, but I'm ok with that for now. Or would it be smarter to use the middle pickup that's already RWRP? Would any of you have experience or thoughts on potential issues I'm not envisioning at this point?

I did a search for a similar question, and didn't have much luck -- but if someone's already gone down this route, please point me in the right direction and I'll delete this post. Thanks in advance for any thoughts and friendship you can offer. I know it may sound silly to some of you, but I have been wanting to do this for a long time, and I think the qualities that sometimes don't get much love in a Tele neck, might sound great in a Strat middle. If it sucks, no big loss, and I have a Tele waiting to take the La Brea's if I don't like it.

Thanks in advance and please take care!
 

Peegoo

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@Whiskeyneck said, "I know it may sound silly to some of you, but I have been wanting to do this for a long time..."

Have you considered converting your Strat to a Tele--and installing a Strat neck pickup?

Like this...a Strat with a Tele bridge and Strat neck pickup:

Ash-Strato-Tele.jpg


Or maybe even this--a Strat with a Tele bridge pickup:

Peegoo-Killer-Bee-Strat.jpg
 

Whiskeyneck

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Hi Peegoo -- the bottom orange strat is my current set up, with 2 Suhr ML strat pups and a Don Mare Tele in the bridge. I'm going to swap out the Don Mare and the Middle for a La Brea Tele set, which will put the traditional Tele Neck pickup in the middle position. I want to experiment with that sound, and that set up -- so close to what you have here, just a bit different.

Am I dumb to anticipate any sort of phase/polarity issues with the Tele neck in the middle, and a Strat neck in standard position? Thank you!
 

Peegoo

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Anticipate any sort of phase/polarity issues with the Tele neck in the middle, and a Strat neck in standard position? Thank you!

Hard to say because I don't know how those pickups are wound. If you have a phase problem, find out which pickup (middle/neck) is causing the issue and flip the leads.

You'll have to isolate the cover (do some minor surgery and add third wire for the ground) on the middle pickup if you need to flip its leads. This preserves the shield function of the metal cover.

How-to-Convert-Tele-Neck-Pickup-Isolate-Cover.jpg
 

eclecticsynergy

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I'm not sure you'd get good position 2 quack with Tele pickups in the middle and bridge.
Still, I haven't tried it - you might.

Instead of putting the Tele neck pickup in the middle, have you considered locating it right next to the Strat neck? That way you could get something close to Tele middle tone in position 2, tele neck tone in position 3, and position 4 would give you a quasi-neck-humbucker-in-parallel-mode. Position 5 still being Strat neck tone of course.

If you do put the Tele neck in the regular Strat middle position, I might suggest swapping the switch connections for middle & neck. That way you'd get bridge & middle in position 2, Strat neck in position 3, neck & middle still in position 4, and middle in position 5.

Seems like it could be weird but it's actually pretty easy to get used to. Strat players were doing that for a bridge/neck combo tone long before blender pots became widely known.
 

jvin248

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.

All you need to do is set up the bridge and middle pickups then test the neck pickup wired in the way you think you want. If there's a problem then swap the Strat neck pickup leads.
Or use the Strat middle pickup as the neck pickup, test and swap leads if a problem.

Bridge pickups are very important to wire the 'coil start' as the 'ground'/black and 'coil end' as the 'hot'/white leads to cut noise -- as bridge pickups are more often used for heavy gain distortion while neck pickups get more use 'clean' or low gain.

+1 if you like the traditional Tele Bridge + Neck tone, then swap the neck and middle pickup 'hot' wires at the 5-way switch lugs. This converts the 5-way to a 3-way + 2-way where the 3-way end of the switch is like a conventional Tele plus the extra Strat #2 Quack and middle pickup alone.

Since this is an experimental short-term rig, you might install toggle switches for 'on the fly' swapping which pickup is neck/middle and positive/ground wires on those two pickups. That way you can figure out which way you like it best from an extended play period and then go back in and remove the extra switches. Don't even need to drill holes in the pickguard if you run longer wires outside the cavity or use a split pickguard like Jaguars have where you can take off a small plate rather than remove strings.

.
 

stormin1155

Tele-Holic
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I put a tele pickup in the bridge position in a strat and found that if I flipped it so the two screws were facing toward the neck, it would fit without having to route the body cavity.
 

David Menke

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Hello!

So, it's been a long while since I've posted, but I've been been lurking around, and not playing much guitar the last few years. Mostly bass while my elbow healed up after an injury ... but I'm been dying to play some 6-string again, and have decided to cook up a little chemistry experiment. I'm needing at least one piece of advice, and I'm hoping someone here may be able to help.

My two favorite Fender sounds are like a lot of folks -- a strong Tele/Broadcaster bridge, and a lush Strat neck. I do like the Tele neck pickup a great deal as well, and I've decided to combine all three in a different way in my beat-up experiment MIM Strat. I'm planning on putting a La Brea Tele set in the bridge and *middle* of my Strat -- the Tele neck will be the middle pickup. I have had a Suhr ML set up in there, and a few years back, swapped out the ML bridge p'up for a Don Mare Joel Foy Tele pickup, and I adored what that did in this guitar.

At this second, I don't know which Suhr pickup to install for sure. The neck and middle are the same pickup, middle is RWRP. Bridge is the hotter variety. Again, as this is an experiment, I'm looking to get help as to which Strat pickup to employ to get the least amount of trouble in this first phase. I believe I could use the Suhr ML neck, and the only issue is that I would lose the humbucking in position 4, but I'm ok with that for now. Or would it be smarter to use the middle pickup that's already RWRP? Would any of you have experience or thoughts on potential issues I'm not envisioning at this point?

I did a search for a similar question, and didn't have much luck -- but if someone's already gone down this route, please point me in the right direction and I'll delete this post. Thanks in advance for any thoughts and friendship you can offer. I know it may sound silly to some of you, but I have been wanting to do this for a long time, and I think the qualities that sometimes don't get much love in a Tele neck, might sound great in a Strat middle. If it sucks, no big loss, and I have a Tele waiting to take the La Brea's if I don't like it.

Thanks in advance and please take care!
PXL_20210725_200603604.MP.jpg

Build up a Tele or Strat from Warmoth or whoever you pick. This has a Tele bridge and 2 strat pickups Neck & Bridge. With the 5 way switch you can get the Strat quack and switch to a Tele bridge sound. This is unlike the Fender Nashville, and is a happy compromise to get both sounds out of 1 guitar. Building your own, you pick the components and setup the way you want.
 

timbgtr

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I'm not sure you'd get good position 2 quack with Tele pickups in the middle and bridge.
Still, I haven't tried it - you might.

Instead of putting the Tele neck pickup in the middle, have you considered locating it right next to the Strat neck? That way you could get something close to Tele middle tone in position 2, tele neck tone in position 3, and position 4 would give you a quasi-neck-humbucker-in-parallel-mode. Position 5 still being Strat neck tone of course.

If you do put the Tele neck in the regular Strat middle position, I might suggest swapping the switch connections for middle & neck. That way you'd get bridge & middle in position 2, Strat neck in position 3, neck & middle still in position 4, and middle in position 5.

I transposed the bridge and middle on my Strat. Positions 3-5 are basically Tele-like, 2 is bridge + middle, and 1 is middle. I have a Lollar Dirty Blonde set, not the OP’s mix, but I’m very happy with it.
 

Frisco 57

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Jan 8, 2012
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772
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Arlington WA
Here's Another "Hybrid" Tele/Strat partscaster. Two Van Zandt Blues Strat and one VZ Blues Tele for pickups with a 5 way switch. It produces both Tele & Strat classic tones.

_DSC0018.JPG
 
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Zepfan

Doctor of Teleocity
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1658009686647.jpeg

This does great for me. The cavalier Fat Lion bridge gives fat Tele/P90 tones, the middle Gold Foil gives great bluesy tones and the neck volume only Firebird gives out great Strat Neck and Middle Pickup tones.
 

eclecticsynergy

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I transposed the bridge and middle on my Strat. Positions 3-5 are basically Tele-like, 2 is bridge + middle, and 1 is middle. I have a Lollar Dirty Blonde set, not the OP’s mix, but I’m very happy with it.
Great mod for a Strat. Nice having bridge+middle available without losing middle alone or middle+neck. I did the same for a roadworn with Fralin Vintage Hots and it's great.

Nothing against regular position 2, but that's my least often-used tone on a Strat by far.
Having a Tele-ish middle tone available is well worth sacrificing it IMO.

Didn't wire them all that way, though: one roadworn and an HSS that autosplits.
A couple others have the add-neck Gilmour switch, but several are bone stock.
And of course vintage ones don't have a five-way.
 




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