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Wiring a Tele-Esquire hybrid 5 way series / neck / parallel / bridge / bridge no tone

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by javiersobrino, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. javiersobrino

    javiersobrino TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    this is yet a new thread requesting help for wiring diagrams. I’ve search and, although I’ve seen some post talking about this, I’ve found no solution.

    I own a Tele with standard configuration but 4-way switch mod (series wiring). I’d like to go one step further and add the classic Esquire no tone option using a 5-way switch.

    I want to achieve the following:
    Position 1: Bridge no tone
    Position 2: Bridge
    Position 3: Bridge + neck in parallel
    Position 4: Neck
    Position 5: Bridge + nech in series

    As you can see, the overall timbre goes from brighter in #1 to darker in #5. Volume wise, #1 and #5 are louder, #3 quieter, #2 and #4 in between. Volume is working in all 5 positions.

    anyone could help me with a wiring diagram? Do I need a 5 way switch or a 5 way superswitch?

    Thanks I’m advance for the help!
     
  2. Billy3

    Billy3 Tele-Meister

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    If I were you I might think about a no load tone pot with the 4 way. You can bypass the tone pot on all positions. Pretty sweet. Keep on pickin!!!
     
  3. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Billy3 beat me to it -- put in a no-load pot!
     
  4. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I actually think this is possible with a 5 way Oak Grigsby Mega switch. Just follow the 4-way switch diagram, add a connect for the 5 position on the bridge, then put the tone pot switching onto one of the free poles. Try making your own diagram and posting it so people can check it for you.

    PS I wouldn't do this, I would use a no-load pot or an S-1 to defeat the tone control. That gives you the no-tone-pot possibility in all positions and avoids 5 way switching which is too many choices on one tiny switch.
     
  5. javiersobrino

    javiersobrino TDPRI Member

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    I guess I have found the answer myself, so I share it here...

    I have some extra complications that block me from a no load pot. The guitar has a piezo pickup, so one control is reserved for piezo volume and the magnetic pickups volume/tone control is a concentric 500k/250k pot. Also I want to be able to go “full twang” with the flick of a switch.

    The idea is to further develop the Esquire wiring concept (including the jazz tone circuit) while adding Telecaster versatility. Positions move from brighter to warmer.

    So, in the end I get:
    1. Bridge no tone
    2. Bridge tone cap 0.022uF
    3. Bridge + neck parallel tone cap 0.022uF
    4. Neck tone cap 0.022uF
    5. Bridge + neck series tone cap 0.047uF

    Volume is 500K, tone is 250k; higher value cap for series only to reach ultra warm tone if desired (just the opposite to bridge with no tone). Neck pickup cover is connected to ground as per series wiring recommendations. Tone circuit wired to the volume output (Gibson ‘50s style). To achieve this circuit, I need a 5-way superswitch.

    Wiring is as follows:
    POSITION 1: BRIDGE ONLY NO TONE
    Neck White = Connected To Output
    Neck Black = Connected to Nothing
    Bridge White = Connected to Output
    Bridge Black = Hard Ground to Pot
    Tone Circuit = Connected to Nothing

    POSITION 2: BRIDGE ONLY
    Neck White = Connected To Output
    Neck Black = Connected to Nothing
    Bridge White = Connected to Output
    Bridge Black = Hard Ground to Pot
    Tone Circuit = Connected to 0,022uF capacitor

    POSITION 3: BRIDGE & NECK PARALLEL:
    Neck White = Connected To Output
    Neck Black = Ground
    Bridge White = Connected To Output
    Bridge Black = Hard Ground To Pot
    Tone Circuit = Connected to 0,022uF capacitor

    POSITION 4: NECK ONLY
    Neck White = Connected To Output
    Neck Black = Ground
    Bridge White = Connected To Nothing
    Bridge Black = Hard Ground To Pot
    Tone Circuit = Connected to 0,022uF capacitor

    POSITION 5: BRIDGE & NECK SERIES:
    Neck White = Connected To Output
    Neck Black = Bridge White
    Bridge White = Neck Black
    Bridge Black = Hard Ground To Pot
    Tone Circuit = Connected to 0,047uF capacitor

    I believe this is correct, I’ll see how it works once wired. If anyone has a good tip that would help me or anyone else with similar needs, please add your comment. Also if something is wrong with my wiring diagram!
     

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
  6. javiersobrino

    javiersobrino TDPRI Member

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    Nashville Teles use 5-way switches, so it is not a rarity.

    In some passages, I would like to go from a bright tone to a very dark one, or just to a brighter one! So being able to have different cap values (even no cap at all) depending the switch position and pickup configuration will help me to do so.

    If the switch fits in the cavity, I prefer it to a button or a secondary switch. I do not want thousands of options, I rather prefer few (if 5 mag options plus piezo could be considered as “few“) options in a more intuitive and straightforward control layout.

    I might be wrong, but I think it will work for me... plus it is not an irreversible modification.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
  7. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    5-way switches are not rare, I didn't say that. They are just not that great to use - this is an opinion I have but I am not the only one - Leo Fender did not originally put 5 way switches on any of his guitars. They can be hard to use, especially in the middle of a song. For me, the priority with controls is simplicity and comfort - I need to use them without looking at them, while playing and singing. I have found that I cannot use a 5 way switch while playing and singing except to go from "1" to "5" and back again. 4-way, maybe, not 5.

    Your plan can be done - the diagram probably needs to be drawn by you though. You will need to buy a special 5-way switch for your purpose - it's called an Oak Grigsby Super Switch and it's sold at Stewart MacDonald (USA based) and other places. It has 4 sets of contacts instead of the usual 2 sets, so it is capable of unusual wiring like yours. Your chosen switching cannot be done using a normal "strat" 5 way switch.

    It might work for you, go ahead and try it! I've made and tried a LOT of different wiring diagrams over the years, just offering my opinion based on my experience.
    Edit: Oh I see above you have done it! Cool man.
     
  8. javiersobrino

    javiersobrino TDPRI Member

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    I understand what you mean, my best mod ever has been to get rid of the 5 way on my stratocaster and place a 3 way instead. On the other hand I am the worst singer ever, so I do not deal with the same challenges as you... people are grateful that I remain silent.

    Intentionally or not, I usually do not play with the pickups on my Tele mid song. I feel them to have too different timbre from each other so I rarely change pickups while playing, I do tweak volume or tone... but no pickup selector. I do just the opposite with my Strat o_O

    As a side benefit, having a 5-way switch, the standard bridge w/tone is the second position, the switch will be slightly far away from the volume knob (on Thinlines it is awkwardly close).

    Anyway, I bought the superswitch and some Orange Drop caps. I hope it works as expected... thanks for your advice!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
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