The Four Way Pickup Switch for Teles

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by rsredden, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. rsredden

    rsredden NEW MEMBER!

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    Hello:

    I'm new here, so am unsure just what is allowed or not. I am going to ask a question about a specific patented product, so if people have an answer to my question, I hope it is okay for them to respond.

    I recently rewired a Tele knockoff (that may be frowned on here, but at the time, I could not afford the real deal, and the knockoff got wonderful reviews that turned out to be worth crap). Despite the wonderful reviews (I wonder whether they were posted by owners of the company and their family and friends), the wiring was cheap, the pickups were awful, and the frets were not even dressed. I initially plugged it in to try it out, and the hum was so bad that it did not allow for any musical quality sound production. I worked all of that out, and I now have an instrument that is reasonably enjoyable to play and sounds good, and the overall cost was still far less than the real deal. The process led to a question, though, and that is what I am bringing up here.

    As stated, I decided to rewire the thing and replace the pickups. When I went to rewire it, I decided to purchase a rewiring kit that would contain better quality pots and switch and good quality fabric insulated wire, along with the necessary caps. As I looked into it, I found wiring sets that included a switch that could be wired to allow for four tone selections among the pups, compared with the typical three of a Tele. I decided to go with that. I figured, why not make the wiring and soldering more complicated, as long as I could?

    That's where the brand issue comes in. The switch is an Oak-Grigsby four-way. The issue is this: I was readily able to follow the schematic and get the wiring done. I had a problem that took a bit to sort out with my multi-meter, because I cut the legs too short on the caps due to limited room in the wiring cavity and failed to use heat sinks, so I fried them, and with no connection between the terminals on the volume pot with the connecting cap fried, I had no sound output from any pickup setting, but once I replaced the caps more cautiously, everything was fine.

    As I said, I was readily able to follow the schematics and got everything to work, but I don't like taking such a passive role in wiring guitars. I typically like to study the schematic and get to a point that I can follow the signal from the shield of the output jack all the way through back to the tip and see how it goes as I change from position to position on the switch. The problem here was that the switch is a bit complicated to look at, and it is hard to see what is what. I am just interested to know if anyone can provide a schematic and description of which leads on the Oak-Grigsby switch connect to which and how they connect as the switch lever is moved from position to position. Thanks in advance for any consideration.

    Rob
     
  2. Muinarc

    Muinarc Tele-Meister

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    Maybe this will help a little bit.

    how-tele-switch-works_zpszgmilpdr[1].PNG
     
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  3. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    It's a 2 pole 4 position switch. For some weird reason no one bothers to label the tabs. The zeros or commons are the outside tabs and to add to the confusion at opposite sides of the switch from each other.

    0 1 2 3 4
    4 3 2 1 0

    Position 1 connects 1 to the zeros, 2 connects 2 to the zeros ...etc
     
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  4. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    The common wiring is not the only way to wire it. I have a hard time deciphering it myself. Both the switch itself and diagrams are both poorly designed IMO.
     
  5. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    Here you go. The 4-way is basically a 3-way with an added position in the #4 switch position of the pickups being in series where #2 is in parallel. The series position has a fuller humbuckerish sound that is very nice.

    FYI, caps are cheap to pickup individually & you only need 1. Good luck.[​IMG][​IMG]

    Eric
     
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  6. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Holic

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    I've just bought a 4 way switch so have been d/l some wiring diagrams.
    Just G***le 'Tele 4 way switch'.

    tele_4ws.jpg
     
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  7. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This diagram is missing the ground wire you have to solder if you have a silver pickup cover.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  8. MrClint

    MrClint Tele-Meister

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    So many youtube videos out there that detail the ground wire setup and when it's needed. I rigged up a four-way switch, so just about anyone can do it. It's one of the best mods for a tele, by the way.
     
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  9. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Tele-Afflicted

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    I wrote this out after fitting my first 4 way. It may help or be a bit confusing.

    Tele_4_way_lettered switch.jpg

    Position 1 Bridge Pickup Only (switch tip down ie nearest to volume control)
    The switch terminals a - b, f - j are connected
    Bridge pickup is live, neck pickup coil 'ground' wire is disconnected. (a is switched to b linked to c which is wired to vol and tone pots. Neck pickup coil 'ground' wire on terminal j is switched to terminal f which is not used)

    Position 2 Bridge and Neck Pickups in Parallel
    The switch terminals a - c, j - g are connected
    Bridge and neck pickups connected in parallel. (The neck pickup coil 'ground' wire on terminal j is switched to the ground on terminal h, the bridge pickup hot is switched a - c and connected to neck pickup hot wire on terminal c linked to b

    Position 3 Neck Pickup Only
    The switch terminals a - d, j - h are connected
    Neck pickup is live, bridge pickup is disconnected. (Bridge pickup hot is switched to spare terminal d). Neck pickup hot is already connected to tone control at terminals b - c and neck pickup coil 'ground' wire on terminal j is switched to ground on terminal h.

    Position 4 Neck and Bridge Pickups In Series
    The switch terminals a - e, j - i are connected
    Bridge and neck pickups connected in series. (Bridge pickup hot on terminal a is switched to terminal e linked to terminal i switched to terminal j. Neck pickup coil 'ground' wire is connected to terminal j. Series circuit is completed via pickup coil and neck hot wire to terminal b linked to terminal c wired to vol and tone controls.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  10. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Holic

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    So it does. I was originally going to do the neck pickup ground wire thing first, so I wouldn't have missed it.
    Then decided to go the full 4 way switch upgrade. Gonna rubber tube the bridge pickup while I'm at it.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Welcome to the forum! You don't need to tiptoe around non-Fender guitars, or patented items. We're a pretty free-ranging bunch. Just avoid talking about sex, drugs, religion, politics, and no hate speech. They're posted at the bottom of every page.


    With any switch, you can use a multimeter set to resistance, or to continuity check, and cycle through the settings, with the meter telling you what connects to what.

    The nice thing about these switches is that you can see what's going on. Mine here is not an O-G, I don't think, but it's built similarly. The switch is a 2P4T (two poles, or banks of terminals, and four different positions). One pole on either side of the wafer. Like most switches, there's a common for each pole, and it makes contact with one of the other terminals, based on switch position. Just looking at one pole here, the lug on the right is longer than the rest, which allows it to make continuous contact with the metal 'blade', no matter what position it rotates to. The little metal tab sticking up from the blade makes contact with one of the other terminals, in each position.

    The other pole is on the other side of the wafer, with the common diagonally opposite. Confirm with the meter before wiring it up.


    20190823_000919.jpg
     
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  12. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I use this wiring for 4 ways, it keeps neck and bridge on the ends of the switch, easier to find.......

    the extra jumper wire earths out the neck pu when you are on the bridge pu... so an open neck pu doesn't add any potential interference...

    Tele4-way switch hookup NEW extra jumper.jpg
     
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  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    +1 on the jumper.
     
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  14. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Tele-Afflicted

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    Oak Grigsby 4 way from a different angle.

    Oak_Grigsby_4_way_numbered02.JPG
     
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  15. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    Are you certain ? My last 4 way way looked like that, but as I posted, the C ommons were at opposite sides like that, but the 1,2,3,4 tabs ran in opposite directions as well. I don't know the brand, just one of the 2 or 3 common ones w good reviews. It was off eBay.
     
  16. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Tele-Afflicted

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    The Oak Grigsby design is such that when the switch is positioned so that one common is connected to its adjacent lug the opposite common is connected to its furthest lug. The switch is in position "1". Both commons are connected to their respective lug "1"
    C 1234
    1234 C
     
  17. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Doubtful. Think about how that would work. How would you make such a thing? You'd have to have separate wipers, one of them running in a direction opposite to the rotation of the handle.

    Simple and effective, it's why these are built like they are.
     
  18. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    the diagrams and info everyone provided is great, just beware that when you add the the ground wire for the neck pickup that ground is for the pickup cover. now depending on your soldering skills rather than chancing ruining a pickup you may want to consider soldering the ground to the lowest point on the pickup cover rather than the original cover ground lead that has been snipped to avoid pickup damage.
     
  19. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If you want to choose your own ordering for the 4-way.... Also, looking at the differences may help explain how it all works. Note, all have the anti-noise jumper that @trev333 mentioned.

    For instance, I prefer mine to be laid out Bridge, Series, Parallel, Neck.


    4-way Tele, all permutations.png
     
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  20. Muinarc

    Muinarc Tele-Meister

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    I also used that schematic plus the one below. This brings up a question I've been meaning to ask. I used a RWRP pickup in the neck, does that make the "parallel" position an out of phase+parallel?


    modified-4-way-telecaster-mod-youtube-new-switch-wiring-diagram.jpg
     
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