Wiring two humbuckers w/4-way switch & series/parallel push/pull pot

jjsmusic

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Hello everybody!

I decided to register since I've been just lurking around the forum for about three years now. So far I've been able to find answers to my questions without starting a new thread but this time I did not. Here's my problem:

I have a Squier Classic Vibe Tele that I'd like to upgrade. My local guitar tech already installed Allparts 250K push-push tone pot and replaced the original bridge pickup with SD Lil '59. I really dig the sound of the Lil '59 poles as parallel (that's the way the push-push pot is wired) sound it's pretty close to single coil sound. Anyway now I have one extra actual humbucker-sized '59 four conductor neck pickup and I would like to replace the original neck pickup with it.

What I know I need to do is to replace all the pots with 500K pots with push-pull (or push which I find more convenient) pot as the volume pot to be able to switch between series/parallel coils of the both humbuckers (I've noticed I prefer sound of parallel wired humbuckers instead of splitted). I also guess it's better to go with a 22 nF than 47nF cap on no-load tone pot. I would also like add 4-way switch in order to do the ordinary trick.

Has any one of you tried that kind of setup before? Is it even possible to wire your tele like this? How did you like it or does the sound of two parallel wired humbuckers in series or parallel sound "unuseful"? Is somebody able to provide me a wiring diagram to accomplish this kind of wiring? I also would prefer having the control plate reversed like this (starting from the neck direction): volume pot, tone pot & 4-way switch. I'm sorry asking for help but this is my first time soldering anything...

I know it's not a very typical way to wire your tele but actually I puchased the CV just because I liked the look and the feel (and not to mention it played great). Before replacing the original bridge pickup I kinda grow fond of the sound although I mainly play hard rock with it. This is my only tele and that's why I'd like to be able to get somewhat tele-ish sounds out of it eventhough replacing the single coils with humbucking ones.
 
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Peter Rabbit

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First, welcome to the forum!
To start, I don't think you can do series/parallel for both pickups using only one push/push, the way you can do coil splits.
I've not done what you're asking, but my experience with 'buckers is that wiring in parallel is pretty close to the split-coil sound, perhaps a little less defined in the upper mids and highs than split-coils. Parallel will cut the 60 cycle hum, though.
The cap choice is purely subjective, and also relies on the rest of the circuit. I would experiment here, alligator clips are your friends.
You should be able to cobble together a wiring diagram from several others, try phostenix's site for some good ones.
Best of luck, and let us know how you're getting on.
 

jjsmusic

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Hello again!

I've been busy working and gathering the parts I need for the build. Last week I decided to trade the neck to Classic Vibe Thinline neck since it was a bit chunkier than the original. Too bad I'm not sure if I like the color scheme so much anymore.

At the moment all I'm missing are a suitable black string retainer, a black neck plate and screws, a pair of black Schaller security locks and a set of black Gotoh SD91MG locking tuning machines. I had to order those online and still waiting for them to arrive.

I decided to go with Alpha push-pull pots since it was easier to find them locally. How ever I encountered a small problem since the pot in the middle is too long for control cavity... I'm not very talented in wood working but feel quite confident drilling a bit in the cavity. Do you have other ideas to remove the middle part of the wood from the cavity?

I think I'll also try to draw a wiring diagram and ask one of you to confirm it's correct before trying to solder anything. Also need to buy a soldering iron before that. :p

Here are some pictures of the project:

20160628_154549.jpg
20160628_153912.jpg
20160628_153926.jpg
20160628_154150.jpg
20160628_154233.jpg
 
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Wally

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You don't need that nut that spaces the pots away from the control plate. Without the nut, the control cavity might be deep enough. If not, it is best to use a router to deepen the cavity, ime. Mixing and matching pickups creates the dilemma you face with choosing Allie for the pots. I would opt for 500K pots so as to yield enough high end to keep the neck humbucker usable...and also that series arrangement on the switch gets big and powerful....it could get muddy with a lower value pot. I would suggest doing some experimentation with tone caps to see what you like. The tone cap comes into play only when you roll that pot down....I would start with a .022mfd....or a .033mfd sits in the middle of the two values you mentioned.
 

jjsmusic

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Thank you for the advice! Originally I added the extra nut in order to make the knobs sit closer to the control plate. I tried to fit it again after removing the nut but unfortunately it was still at least a nut height too long... I guess I'll try to check if CTS made pots are a little shorter.

I actually have two alternatives to go with the build since I have acquired a refinished Baja telecaster body (routed for a neck humbucker and no problems with the control cavity) as well. And actually I kinda prefer the looks of it over the double bound one:

20160701_124816.jpg
20160701_122309.jpg
 

Wally

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^^^^^ that's is why I suggested a router. You have to clear the bridge and the pick guard off of the guitar to do this job correctly, IMHO and ime.
 

jjsmusic

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Hello again!

Just decided to inform possible followers that I unfortunately had to abandon the idea of installing two humbuckers since I don't have access to a router... Thank you for the help!

I decided to go with single coils (hopefully Wilde Keystones) instead. Not sure if the guitar is that usable at all for me without the humbuckers but guess I can have another guitar to noodle around on a sofa. :)
 

Wally

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Be advised that there are such things as drill stops that fir on a drill bit to prevent drilling deeper than one would want. That would allow you to drill out some of that wood after some measurements.
 

soulman969

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We need to archive this photo so that every time someone thinks they just bought a Tele that's a one piece body we can show them what's actually under that finish. Most of them are three piece bodies just like this one. The grain pattern is beautiful.

Keystones are gorgeous sounding pickups. Install them with a 4-way switch so you have a series option and you'll get a bit closer to what having lower output humbucker is like. Keystones are one set of pickups that actually sound great in series.

20160701_122309-jpg.364433
 




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