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Tele 7-way wiring

8/15/1999 5:44 AM
Tele 7-way wiring
I am getting ready to buy a Nashville Tele, and of course intend to immediately mod it to have the 7-way switching available in the higher-priced versions. Can anybody point me to a schematic or instructions for rewiring my soon-to-be Nashville Tele from a 5-way to 7-way switching option ?  
Fred G.
8/15/1999 10:29 AM
Steve A.

    I'm not sure how Fender is wiring them up, but a p-p pot could be used to add in the bridge (or the neck) pickup to whatever combination is selected by the 5-way switch. Run a lead from the bridge pu hot to the switch and one from the switch to the vol pot cw terminal (or selector switch common). But there are many duplicated positions with that setup (like #3 and #4 will be identical w/ the p-p switch activated: middle and bridge).  
    So the Nashville Tele has a strat pickup in the middle? I believe that Fender makes a few custom Teles that do it right: move the tele neck pickup to the middle position and put a nice sounding strat pickup at the neck!  
    When people talk about a great sounding strat pickup they have, how often is it the middle pickup they are referring to? It seems to me that it is the neck pickup on a strat that I would really like to add to a Tele... now that would be one killer guitar!  
Steve Ahola
8/15/1999 8:45 PM
Mark Hammer
Sonically, yes. Physically, no. The polepiece spacing on a Strat pickup is a bit wider than a Tele, such that the strings and polepieces would not line up perfectly. Since the string-to-string spacing increases as one moves towards the bridge, however, by the time you hit the spot where the middle pickup goes, the polepiece spacing becomes acceptable, and a Strat pickup will work out nicely.  
The polepiece spacing is one reason why the DC resistance of Tele neck pickups is discernibly lower than Strat pickups. The narrower polepiece spacing yields a smaller overall coil circumference, resulting in less magnet wire (lengthwise) for the same number of turns. Not only are the bridge mechanics and body different on a Tele, but the resonance of the pickup is a little different too, as you note.  
I made myself an overwound Tele-size neck pickup using #41 wire and staggered Strat polepieces to go on my Epi Coronet (VERY narrow neck, same problem when trying to stick a Strat pickup by the neck). The tone is very Strat-like (especially for this guitar), and this was the only way I was going to be able to get that. So, it CAN be done, but sticking a stock Strat pickup up front will get you dead spots during bends.
8/18/1999 3:32 AM
Steve A.

    In checking the Fender site the other day, the custom Tele I really want has strat pickups for the neck and middle, and a Tele pickup on the bridge. ("You get the wood, you get the quack, you get the twang- sounds like heaven on earth!") I just got out my micrometer to measure string spacing at the neck pickup on several of my guitars and the widest one happened to be a Peavey USA-made tele copy (~2.00"). The other ones seemed to be around 1 29/32".  
    I'm glad you did bring up the issue because I had not really thought about it before! I really like the Fralin neck pickup on my Fernandez strat and I see that the strings line up perfectly with the pole pieces (on the bridge pickup the pole pieces are inside of the strings- which isn't necessarily bad because that might attentuate the sound from the high-E string a bit). It also helps explain why the Fralins sound so much better when set very low to the pickguard (that should allow the pickups to capture the sound more evenly although some of the strings are offset from the pole pieces).  
    I also noticed that my Peavey tele bridge pickup pole pieces line up perfectly with the strings (unlike most strat bridge pickups- with the slant angle and wider string spacing shouldn't the pole pieces be spaced further apart?) Fender's idea of one size fits all for their strats is not the only screwy idea they came up with. < g >  
Steve Ahola  
P.S. So didn't EC build "Blackie" from a strat body and a Tele neck (with the rest of the guts from 4 or 5 other strats he picked up in Nashville- or was that Memphis? Pawn shop or music store?) Just trying to keep my mythology straight...
8/20/1999 7:26 PM

I built my favorite parts tele with a tele vintage 3-saddle bridge and strat pickups in the middle & neck positions. (All pu's happen to be DiMarzio.) I used a 4-pole strat type 5-position switch. The coil selections are: B, B+M (strat),B+N (parallel tele), M, N. As of yet, there's no series/parallel pull switch, but that's easily added. The guitar looks pretty good, like about an early '60s. It's a sunburst alder body from StewMac (which came with a flawless paint job), has an amber tinted neck w/ rosewood board, and tri-lam black pickguard & pickup covers.  
For pickups, I chose the Twang King bridge, which actually sounds pretty good. This was before you could get the excellent '52 RI tele pickup from Fender, which is about the best deal going. The mid is a Blue Velvet, and the neck is a Class of 55. Both of these are same polarity, and opposite that of the bridge, so that it's quiet in the combination settings.  
The control cavity had to be undercut-routed to allow the wider, offset, 2-wafer switch to fit using the stock control plate.  
To rout for the strat neck pickup, you keep the stock neck pickup boundary on the neck side (that's really as far as you can go already) and enlarge toward the bridge and widen a bit, also. The middle pu rout is completely new. The pickguard cutouts were the hardest thing for me to accomplish after numerous mistakes.  
I'm glad someone else likes a tele with a pair of strat pickups. I view it as the best of both worlds for someone who likes to hold a tele, but needs a strat sound for the occasional blues number.  
8/21/1999 5:03 AM
Steve A.

    Yamaha makes their version of the 4 pole/5 position "megaswitch" and it should fit right into a Tele control compartment. (It is not offset like the ones with the open wafers, but then again I've always been suspicious of those sealed plastic selector switches.) It might be a good idea to try out the Yamaha switch first and then take the "router route" if someone has problems with the plastic switch.  
Steve Ahola  
P.S. Tell me more about the '52 RI pu from Fender! Is it anything like the SD Broadcaster?
8/23/1999 1:52 PM
Steve my warmoth thinline tele has the 52 RIs and sound very good. The series outof phase sound very cool. did you get the 5 way tele schematic I sent you awhile ago?  

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