Fig. 1 — Diagram address of singlecoil.com
Tele players generally ask about abacus alternation base to their instruments—a mod that lets you admission a able accent back you appoint both pickups. On a banal Tele, the pickups are affiliated in alongside back you use them together, but if you run them in alternation instead, the consistent achievement is hotter and louder, and this makes it abundant easier to drive your amp into saturation. If you’re appetite able-bodied Tele tones, alternation base will deliver.
There are several means to mod your Telecaster for alternation wiring. The best accepted admission is to alter the accepted 3-way auto selector with a 4-way switch. This keeps the three accustomed switching positions clear and artlessly adds a new complete in switching position #4. This is my adopted method, and I anticipate it’s the best advantageous Telecaster mod ever. I explained how to do this mod in a antecedent column, “Telecaster Alternation Wiring.” In that aforementioned column, I additionally call an addition arrangement that uses a additional 2PDT about-face to affix both pickups calm in series, while cardinal the ambience of the banal 3-way switch. But not anybody wants to bandy their 3-way selector for a 4-way assemblage or add that added 2PDT switch. The adjustment of settings on the 4-way selector isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and, similarly, abacus a additional about-face to a Tele strikes some guitarists as unnecessarily fussy.
But wait: If you crave that able dual-pickup tone, yet appetite to advance the Tele’s august simplicity, why not artlessly configure the 3-way switch’s average position to affix the arch and close pickups in series? Yes, you’ll lose the old average position with both pickups in parallel, but if the alternation affiliation is all you need, this base is for you. You’ll still accept admission to either the close or arch auto by itself, yet be abandoned one bang abroad from a hot alternation tone. It’s like accepting a abandoned preset complete in the switch’s average position.
So let’s investigate this lean, beggarly series-wiring scheme. The new switching cast for the 3-way about-face looks like this:
To activate this mod, you charge aboriginal analysis if the close pickup’s metal awning is affiliated to ground—which is the case for about all accepted Telecaster close pickups. If so, you’ll accept to breach this affiliation and adhesive a third, new arena wire to the metal cover.
If you’re appetite able-bodied Tele tones, alternation base will deliver.
How do you do this? How do you do this? Glad you asked: We covered this afore in “Preparing Your Tele for Future Mods.” If you accept a Strat pickup, a P-90, or some agnate single-coil in the close position, you can skip this step. For all added pickups antic a metal awning that’s affiliated to the pickup’s ground, you’ll charge to breach this affiliation afore you proceed.
Fig. 1 shows the wiring, which looks accustomed but is a little bit added circuitous than accepted Telecaster’s wiring. The important detail actuality is to affix the hot wire from the close auto to the aggregate pot’s ascribe lug, rather than anon to the switch, which is the accepted approach. There are added means to achieve the mod, but this is my admired adjustment because it’s simple to wire and you can calmly about-face the mod or advancement to a 4-way switching arrangement at a after date. And the adorableness of this is we still accept the accustomed operation of a accepted Telecaster 3-way selector. The alone change is the new complete for the average position; the added two settings are not affected. Also, you can absorb added mods into this wiring, such as the ’50s base that I’ve covered before.
While we’re discussing Tele wiring, I’d like to accomplish a point about grounding—something that comes up absolutely a bit with modders. Typically, you’ll see the two pots actuality affiliated to arena by active a wire from the aggregate pot’s case to the accent pot’s case, and again soldering the string-grounding wire that’s installed beneath the arch to the case of one of the two pots. Back you use a accepted Telecaster ascendancy bowl fabricated from conductive metal, you already accept a affectionate of accustomed accomplishments and you can skip the wire abutting one pot to the other. Just affix the string-grounding wire to the case of one of the pots and you’re done. Why? Back the pots and about-face are installed on the ascendancy bowl with their metal genitalia affecting the metal ascendancy plate, they actualize a absolute accomplishments system. This applies not alone to Telecasters, but all pickguards and ascendancy plates fabricated of conductive metal. To affirm this, artlessly set a agenda multimeter to chain and abode both probes on the metal pieces you appetite to check. If the DMM shows continuity, you’ve won. If not, again arena your pots or cement a allotment of chestnut antithesis beneath the pickguard or ascendancy bowl to add conductivity.
This alternation base offers addition account back you use a conductive ascendancy plate: The lug on the 3-way about-face that’s affiliated to arena alone needs a abbreviate bald jumper wire anchored to it. Artlessly catch the added end of the jumper amid the 3-way switch’s metal anatomy and the ascendancy plate, and you’re acceptable to go.
Okay, we’re done for now. Next time I’ll allotment a air-conditioned boutique tip with you—an accessible way to advance your frets and extend their lifespan while alteration strings. Until then, accumulate on modding!
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