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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Vintage vs. Modern Pickup Wiring Mods

009
Contributing Member
*********

USA

Aug 15th, 2018 05:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yesterday I bought my last guitar, a used 1964 Tele AVRI, blonde on ash. It wasn’t a great deal, but I wanted to buy locally so that I could examine it. Anyway, I haven’t lifted the control plate yet since it took me hours to finally find comparative diagrams of the two mods; I have no idea what I would be looking at. (I found a link to the pickups on a thread here, on the FDP.). There was an envelope included—parts kit—and it had a used disk capacitor and a *resistor* — not part of either scheme as far as I can see.... Someone has already been doing stuff.

I tried reading (on other forums) about the tonal advantage(s) of the modern option, something about rolling off highs... I don’t really know much about this stuff (call me Stock Boy). Reviews of this guitar’s pickups are very positive, one stating that they nailed Steve Cropper’s tone. His tone appeals to me, and when I hear the live performance of Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm” at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, I am blown away by Bloomfield’s guitar. So, I want the “vintage” tones, although I have no idea in what year the modern mod came to be. (Is it old enough that these ‘60s guys could have had that mod?)

So, could any of you guys with experience with these options offer opinions about them? You now know pretty much (sort of) where I’m coming from. The guitar sounds good as is, but tonally I’d need more time with it, but I want to go with a preferred mod option sooner than later.

(This message was last edited by 009 at 07:44 AM, Aug 15th, 2018)

Viera
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Aug 15th, 2018 06:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I bought my last guitar"

Yeah, right. :)

Sorry, couldn't help myself.
The FDPers with actual brains (as opposed to your truly) will be around shortly to help you out.

Enjoy that Tele.

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Aug 15th, 2018 06:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

Teles from the '60s had already departed from the set-up in place from the early '50s. In the early '50s, you didn't have the pickup selector switch choosing various pickups, "per se." Instead it was a selector switch giving you tone circuit options on the neck pickup. By the time the '60s arrived, that pickup selector switch became what we are most accustomed to nowadays--the choosing of various pickup combinations. Specifically--bridge pickup alone, bridge and neck pickup together, neck pickup alone. The tonal adjustment for the pickups is now handled completely by the tone knob. That's probably what you've got in place on the guitar you've got.

Hope that helps a little.

009
Contributing Member
*********

USA

Aug 15th, 2018 07:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

"'I bought my last guitar' Yeah, right. :)"
Well, probably, but while I was at the store, I was circling a couple of mid-sized Vox combos like a shark... who knows?

Here's the wiring diagrams for anyone interested in the configurations. These will help guide me to complete the selected mod once that decision is made.

Wiring diagrams

009
Contributing Member
*********

USA

Aug 15th, 2018 08:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I examined the wiring. It's the Modern Wiring. There are two differences from the diagram:

- black wire from output jack is soldered to the top of the volume pot and not the tone pot, as depicted... don't know if this influences anything

- the capacitor is a big disc (with correct capacitance/#503 [500v] = 0.05 uF) , and not (as I gleaned from YouTube) an "oil & paper" cap, as what also seems to be depicted on the diagram (cylindrical)



Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Aug 15th, 2018 09:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...- black wire from output jack is soldered to the top of the volume pot and not the tone pot, as depicted... don't know if this influences anything..."

It's fine, both those points are ground.

"...- the capacitor is a big disc (with correct capacitance/#503 [500v] = 0.05 uF) , and not (as I gleaned from YouTube) an "oil & paper" cap, as what also seems to be depicted on the diagram (cylindrical)..."

Well, there are "cap sniffers" who claim to be able to hear the difference between two caps of the same value but different construction, and there are those who believe "a cap is a cap." I am of the latter school. The value is important, the construction, meh. I would leave it alone.

009
Contributing Member
*********

USA

Aug 15th, 2018 01:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

Good to hear. I was just looking at Spraque oil-in-paper caps (Vitamin Q)....

So, got an opinion about Vintage vs. Modern wiring?

These rave reviews I read / mentioned were of newly acquired guitars, I assume (Sweetwater, MF, GC, etc.), and from what I understand, they shipped as "modern" with parts to convert it to "vintage" if desired. Nobody mentioned that they did a conversion. So, maybe I should just leave it as is / as Modern....

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Aug 15th, 2018 04:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

I consider the vintage wiring to be of historical interest only. There's no neck+bridge combination (one of the best Tele sounds), and the "bassy sound" position -- which Leo apparently thought would let a player substitute for an electric bass -- is pure mud.

I would go with the 50-year-old "modern" wiring in a heartbeat.

009
Contributing Member
*********

USA

Aug 16th, 2018 05:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, you guys. Yeah, I’m just going to leave it as is and start enjoying it. It sure sounded good in the store, at least with the minimal testing I did. The main demo amp/combo that day was a Big Fender Reverb 65, or something like that; it had separate inputs —normal, reverb — a bigger and maybe “better” amp than I own. Anyway, I’ve been wanting a telecaster like this for a few years.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Vintage vs. Modern Pickup Wiring Mods




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