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Telecaster electronics

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by ReneJaszi, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. ReneJaszi

    ReneJaszi TDPRI Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering what kind of prewired electronics would you recommend for my new tele build. I was looking at Emerson Custom Prewired Kits what are your experiences with them. I mostly go from more expensive -> better theory. I can also get Allparts prewired kits which are half the price, but i guess not that quality.

    Thank you for your answers.
     
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  2. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Buy a soldering iron, pots , a cap, and some wire, done ! Why pay silly money for a half an hours work on your bench!
     
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  3. Dereksys38

    Dereksys38 Tele-Meister

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    I agree! Quality pots are not very expensive, and there are wiring diagrams for everything(and if there isn't, just ask us!;))
     
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  4. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    Half an hour for somebody who has soldering experience - and if not might make a complete mess...burnt pots, fried switch, whatever.
     
  5. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Holic

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    It truly is wicked easy to learn.

    Like anything - test on scraps till you're confident you'll get the result you want on the real part.
     
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  6. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    A half hour at my age is better spent elsewhere. There are other pre wired assemblies to consider besides Emerson.
     
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  7. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    Unless they are the original electronics assembled by Fender then they aren't telecaster electronics. ;)
     
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  8. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Who said anything about Fender, he is building a partscaster, not modding a Fender guitar.
     
  9. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    First of all, welcome aboard! Second, excuse any snarky answers you are likely to receive.

    I do NOT have direct experience with the Emerson kits or their pre-wired plates, but they are well-made with great quality components. However the oil-in-paper caps just add unnecessary cost. I DO have experience with 920D https://920dcustom.com/collections/t-style and they are excellent as well. Even Allparts and StewMac kits are good quality.

    But as people mention above, it isn't difficult to do it yourself for about half the cost - even with the same quality components, but it require you to have a soldering iron and basic tools. The end result won't be as tidy or pretty, but if done correctly, will sound identical and last just as long. If you envision yourself fiddling with guitar electronics in the future, now might be a good time to purchase the soldering gear and take it on yourself.

    If you do decide the DYI approach, STUDY the pix on the 920D, Emerson, and other websites to see what excellent techniques and detailing provide. It is always a good idea to shoot for perfection, but don't sweat what you end up with. Quality work takes time to learn.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  10. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    If there ever was a good 1st DIY project, this is it!
    Get a decent iron (consider it as an investment for future work). Watch a few YT videos or search here on how-to solder and jump in! For the first time I would recommend a heat sink (an alligator clip works fine) for the cap install, and have a couple spare caps and pots on hand just in case. FWIW, I have never burned up a pot or cap doing guitar/amp work even back in the early years.
     
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  11. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    A "decent iron" should not be a high-power Weller or other soldering gun that many of us have for around the house soldering. You will want something with a point or chisel-point tip (my favorite). A good entry level tool will start around $20 US. For starting out, you don't need variable power and such, at least with GUITAR wiring. Amplifier wiring would be better accomplished with a variable heat tool (more $$). I am still using this "turbo" model, but again, not necessary.

    https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-too...solomon-sr-137-turbo-heat-soldering-iron.html

    You will need a well ventilated space with moving air (to avoid inhaling fumes), and a good light positioned so as not to cast shadows on your work. Start practicing on scrap wire about the size you intend to use. Get a feel for how to "tin" wire ends, as you will do this a LOT! Then practice soldering them together and getting, good, shiny joints. As mentioned above, plenty of videos on YouTube, and a few are actually good.
     
  12. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    The tile is 'Telecaster Electronics'

    I thought it was already established that only Fender's are telecasters, thus 'telecaster electronics' can only be electronics found in Fender guitars? ... or the same electronics found in them, supplied by Fender. Emerson electronics cannot be 'telecaster electronics'

    Hey, it's not my rules.
     
  13. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Friend of Leo's

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    buying a kit vs parts is a decision best decided by the materials and tools available. The prime being whether lead/ tin solder is available in your location. Most lead free solder needs higher temperatures and is more difficult to use, making it easier to destoy components.
     
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  14. ReneJaszi

    ReneJaszi TDPRI Member

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    And what if I buy Fender electronics piece by piece would that be better (in quality or sound) or should i absolutely go for Duncan, Emerson or Allparts (Switchcraft, CRL) electronics. And if so, which of these.
     
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  15. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Difficult to answer your questions without more details. All of the manufacturers you mentioned supply good parts. But the main thing that is going to effect tone are is your choice of pickups - they generate the signal. You can pay $5-500 (US) for pickups. All will work, all sound different. Literally hundreds to choose from. How do you decide where to start?? Perhaps this thought-list will help:

    1. What is your PRIMARY intention with building this guitar? Resale? Personal use? Stage use? Recording?

    2. What is your total budget? Are you looking to build a masterpiece, or a beater?

    3. What guitars are you familiar with? Which ones do you like aesthetically, and which do you like tonally? Which do you prefer to play?

    4. What type of tone do you prefer? Humbuckers? Single coil? P-90? A mix? Pickup type will determine body rout placement.

    Once you drill down through the list and narrow down your choices, then you can start sourcing components. Different pickups sound better with certain components - pot values and tapers, capacitor values, switching/wiring type. Some manufacturers do a little better than others with components, but they aren't nearly as critical as your choice of pickups. Your components can help massage the tone from your pickups, but ultimately, the signal from the pickup has the biggest influence on what sound can be squeezed out of an electrical circuit.

    Bottom line - there is no right or wrong way to build a custom guitar. It is impossible for another person to know what you want to hear in your head. With every single component in a guitar, you will find people here that love them or hate them. At this stage in your hobby, determine what YOU want to end up with, what your budget is, and what parts availability you have. Once you have that figured out, we can help you a little better.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    To address another issue, some of the companies you mention are NOT manufacturers. For instance, Mojotone and Emerson, are companies that sell CRL/Switchcraft/CTS components with their brand on them. They do this by special-ordering components with specifications that differ from the manufacturers' OTC specs. For instance, Emerson "custom" pots may have closer tolerances on resistance values, tapers, and even turning torque. But they do not make them. Because they pay slightly more for these custom specs, it gets passed on to the customer. Don't get me wrong - still great parts - but starting to wander into the realm of esoterica and cork-sniffing. If you are trying to just create a decent guitar at an affordable cost, I would forget the esoterica. That is a rabbit hole you don't want to go down at this point. You should do just fine with Allparts as a source of components.
     
  17. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, we all know the rules. When someone's wrong on the internet - well, I don't have to tell you.
     
  18. ReneJaszi

    ReneJaszi TDPRI Member

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    I apologise for not providing enough information.

    I just want a high-end guitar that I made and I play. I do not want to sell it.
    I want to build a guitar because it feels different and stock telecaster don't have the things I want and I don't want to spend on a Custom Shop model.
    I looked at 2020 Fender Vinteras but I want a purple nitro finish and different pickups so adding that up I can modify a new fender 50's Vintera OR put it together myself for the same price (also the feeling that I created something)
    In the pickup department my plans are:
    • Bridge Pickup: '51 Nocaster
    • Neck Pickup: Twisted Tele
    • Controls: Present Day Tele
    This is taken from a 52' Fender Custom Shop tele. I love how twangy this pickup config. sounds.
    For the budget: I want to stretch it out over 1 or 2 years, so when I have some extra money I buy some parts. Slowly putting it together piece by piece. But the budget that I don't want to pass is around 1250 pounds.

    Thank you for your help it is greatly appreciated.
     
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  19. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Fender buys wholesale from these companies. A Fender bagged part will be Switchcraft, CRL, etc. The only difference is the cardboard tag on the bag and an extra dollar or so.
     
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  20. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I recommend learning to do it yourself. However, if like Snidely, you may not have a half-hour left (apparently :D:twisted:), I'd get a 920D. They use top quality components, are wired insanely neat, and honestly I can barely buy the parts for as cheap as they sell entire harnesses with control plate. To be clear, I've never bought one (from anyone), but I think I'd be pleased with the materials and workmanship in the 920D, and I already love the price.
     
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