Changing pickups on an American Professional II Telecaster Deluxe?

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
Long story short: I want to change the pickups on my 2021 Fender Am Pro II Tele Deluxe. This is proving to be very difficult - infact I'm not sure yet if it's even possible.

Why isn't it straightforward? For 2 reasons:

1) The pickups in these guitars (Fender 'Double-Tap' humbucker) are 3-screw mounted to the pickguard. A straight drop-in replacement would need to be the same... and there are none except Fender's own 'Shawbucker' from the Professional I series.

2) The guitar seems to have a custom, one-of-a-kind pickguard. No replacements exist, let alone aftermarket ones with different screw mounts and routing for other pickups.

I know getting real Wide Range Humbuckers (Regals etc) in this guitar, without extra routing and potentially other complications, isn't really possible. But I'd be happy to replace these Double-Tap's with some other PAF-sized pickups. However, the pickguard needs to have 2 screws for PAFs. I was initially excited to find that there are tonnes of pickguards for converting Shawbucker-equipped Tele Deluxes to PAFs. Here's one here:
https://reverb.com/item/12261896-wd-music-telecaster-deluxe-pickguard-paf-2017-cream

This fits the American Professional Telecaster Deluxe... then I discovered the Professional II has a different pickguard:
OxzDU7q.jpg


To confirm, and to check if all/most of the other screws are in the same place, I overlaid the Pro I and Pro II in Photoshop:
d8m0hAF.gif

It's otherwise identical except for the part that notches around the bridge plate and the screws for the bridge pickup.

I may have to get a custom pickguard made, which will cost an insane amount (was quoted about $100 USD just in postage alone). Or maybe I'll just live with some holes in my pickguard. I guess this model is so new that the aftermarket pickguard scene hasn't caught up yet - I hope they do. These are some of Fender's more popular models I hear, and surely I'm not the only one looking to swap out the Double-Taps for Creamery, Lollar, Mojotone etc.

I'll update on progress. If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it.
 
Last edited:

EasTXan

Member
Messages
978
All you need is a pair of tin snips, some scrap sheet metal and a tap to cut some threads. It's just a 15 minute job to make an adapter that has two screw holes and attaches via the single screw hole to the top of the pickup, then you can use any 2-screw HB.
 

dachuckster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
213
I'm not understanding your question..can you dumb it down for me with a short sentence?

I have one and I've changed pickups on it numerous times...stock, WRHB, regular hb...currently has a p-90 set installed.
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
I'm not understanding your question..can you dumb it down for me with a short sentence?

I have one and I've changed pickups on it numerous times...stock, WRHB, regular hb...currently has a p-90 set installed.

Is it a newer Professional II Tele Deluxe you have, or the previous one? Aftermarket pickguards exist for the Professional I (released in 2017), but not this Professional II (released in October 2020).... yet...

If you have changed pickups on a Pro II Deluxe, I'd love to know more details please.
 

dachuckster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
213
Ah, ok. Sorry. I have the previous one, and I ordered aftermarket pickguards for it but some of screw holes were a little off. Those few screws went in at a slight angle. My next pickguard for it will be custom made. I recommend you sending yours to pickguardian or any other custom pickguard vendor.

Check with precision guitars in Phoenix. They’re also on eBay and can be contacted there.
 

dju

Member
Messages
507
have you looked at Pickguardian?
looks like you can send them your pickguard to use as a template and they can make new one with a different pickup configuration. or maybe just different pickup mounting screw locations.
I have never used them so I have no idea about their service or quality but maybe somebody else who has used them can chime in.

good luck,
dj
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
Ah, ok. Sorry. I have the previous one, and I ordered aftermarket pickguards for it but some of screw holes were a little off. Those few screws went in at a slight angle. My next pickguard for it will be custom made. I recommend you sending yours to pickguardian or any other custom pickguard vendor.

Check with precision guitars in Phoenix. They’re also on eBay and can be contacted there.

No need to apologize - it's all good :)

I'm inching closer. Had a mini-breakthrough today when a Fender rep sent me the schematic diagram of the pickguard for this model guitar with all the exact measurements. I'll use it to shop around for a custom pickguard.

Be good to get the ball rolling - the Pro II Tele Deluxe has been out for a year now but no pickguard makers are making replacements yet. I'll try to change that, at least for myself!
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
have you looked at Pickguardian?
looks like you can send them your pickguard to use as a template and they can make new one with a different pickup configuration. or maybe just different pickup mounting screw locations.
I have never used them so I have no idea about their service or quality but maybe somebody else who has used them can chime in.

good luck,
dj

Thank you, I'm certainly looking at them now - infact I've emailed them to ask. I have the official Fender schematic for this model pickguard now, so I'm armed and ready!
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
Slight update if anyone's interested.

Fender sent me pickguard diagram with all the exact dimensions - jackpot! I found a guy on Ebay who was selling aftermarket pickguards for the closest models to this guitar: the American Professional Telecaster Deluxe (1st series) and the Chris Shifflet signature. I asked him if he cuts custom pickguards - he does. I sent him the Fender pickguard schematic for this Pro II model and he cut me a pickguard with 2-screw mounting for regular humbuckers - a first in the world for this model.

It's currently on its way to me. He's not going to add it to his 'shop' until I confirm it fits and works. I'll bounce back with an update when it's done.
 

ED_P

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,357
Sounds like you are set. My suggestions would have been-

1. Cheap way- Put short screws in the two top holes, with a nut under the pick guard to hold them in place on the underside of the PG, then just drill a new hole between them for the new real top pickup screw. Would still look clean- just 3 screws instead of one.

2. WD music products will cut you a new PG in any unorthodox shape for around $60 shipped. You can send them a tracing of the old one on paper, and they will even do that. They try and get very precise measurements from you beforehand, but you do assume all risk if it doesn't fit.
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
Sounds like you are set. My suggestions would have been-

1. Cheap way- Put short screws in the two top holes, with a nut under the pick guard to hold them in place on the underside of the PG, then just drill a new hole between them for the new real top pickup screw. Would still look clean- just 3 screws instead of one.

2. WD music products will cut you a new PG in any unorthodox shape for around $60 shipped. You can send them a tracing of the old one on paper, and they will even do that. They try and get very precise measurements from you beforehand, but you do assume all risk if it doesn't fit.

1. That would totally work. Why didn't I think of that!

2. I did approach WD music first, as they seem to be the masters of the custom pickguard. I don't understand why but I was quoted a jawdropping amount for postage, a fair bit more than the pickguard itself even (which was also very pricey IMO).

The shop I found on Ebay are in Scotland and were much more reasonable: $23 for the pickguard and about $15 postage. I'm taking the punt anyway and we'll see how it goes. If it's the same quality as the stock pickguard I'll be happy.
 

BRAD1981101

Member
Messages
3
Hi there. Did you ever receive the pickguard for this? If so I’d love to be able to get one for mine as well. Anyway I could get a copy of the schematic as well as the contact from eBay?. Thanks!!
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
Hi there. Did you ever receive the pickguard for this? If so I’d love to be able to get one for mine as well. Anyway I could get a copy of the schematic as well as the contact from eBay?. Thanks!!

Hi Brad!

Yes I did : ) But it arrived close to Xmas and I got busy at work, then it's been summer holidays and the luthier shut down for a bunch of weeks. Getting back into the groove now so will be back on this mission shortly - and I'll let you know how it goes!

Another thing I noticed about this guitar is there's a lot of resonance on the strings above the nut - sounds like plucking the string up there with a pick. It adds extra overtones and sustain, but without a noisegate, palm mutes have these high pitched background ringing noises. It's not tight like what I'm used to with my regular Tele (instant stop/go tightness). So what's the jam for that? I see the progressive djent dudes use some kind of velcro thingy that wraps around the headstock near the nut.
 

Valves-R-Us

Member
Messages
993
I was puzzled by my D string singing above the nut on a new Fender Duo Sonic. I posted the question as the lightest damping or touching the string (above the nut) snuffed the overtone vibe.

Add a second string tree or use a hair 'scrunchy' was the reply. Pretty sure it's acoustic and not reproduced through the pickups?
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
I was puzzled by my D string singing above the nut on a new Fender Duo Sonic. I posted the question as the lightest damping or touching the string (above the nut) snuffed the overtone vibe.

Add a second string tree or use a hair 'scrunchy' was the reply. Pretty sure it's acoustic and not reproduced through the pickups?

I could live with it if it was purely acoustic but it does seem to get back to the pickups and amplified. I'll try a hair tie or maybe even a rubberband. Even just lightly putting my finger over the strings above the nut dampens those overtones, so I think just about anything could work.
 

Valves-R-Us

Member
Messages
993
I could live with it if it was purely acoustic but it does seem to get back to the pickups and amplified.

One tip was interesting from a Tele guy. He places a small strip of Scotch tape around the G (his singer) just past the nut. Haven't tried it but I did learn how much strings vibrate past the nut.

I placed a small flat metal bar across the strings just past the nut. Strumming lightly the bar sung loudly and danced around. All strings were vibe city up there.

I thought the string energy was snuffed by the break over the nut? Nope, they vibrate quite freely even generating sound. As a Gibson guy I guess I never heard, felt, or even thought upper headstock strings were members of the chorus?
 

Somnospeed

Member
Messages
12
I totally agree about the palm muting sounding watered down. I faced the same decision as you; do I change the pickups and go down that mod road, or do I just move on. I decided to just move on. Picked up a Larry Carlton L7 and the Tele Deluxe Pro II is now going up for sale. I wanted a Fender Les Paul, but the Tele Deluxe Pro II is far from that. It's a great guitar, don't get me wrong, just doesn't fill the role that I hoped it would. It's official: There is no such thing as a Fender Les Paul... I tried. lol
 

Matty_K

Member
Messages
4
Hi Brad!

Yes I did : ) But it arrived close to Xmas and I got busy at work, then it's been summer holidays and the luthier shut down for a bunch of weeks. Getting back into the groove now so will be back on this mission shortly - and I'll let you know how it goes!

Another thing I noticed about this guitar is there's a lot of resonance on the strings above the nut - sounds like plucking the string up there with a pick. It adds extra overtones and sustain, but without a noisegate, palm mutes have these high pitched background ringing noises. It's not tight like what I'm used to with my regular Tele (instant stop/go tightness). So what's the jam for that? I see the progressive djent dudes use some kind of velcro thingy that wraps around the headstock near the nut.
Hey mate, greetings from Australia :)

I too would love to hear how the pickguard went.

My Tele Deluxe Pro AM II would go microphonic and squeal at gig volume levels with the gain up.

I got the stock pickups wax potted which solved the issue.
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,853
Howdy neighbour!

See, I thought they were waxpotted already - well, it doesn;t matter I spose as I'm replacing the pickups (with wax potted ones) anyway. Hopefully it will solve that. I might invest in a hairband (LOL) or rubberbands for the 'above the nut' thing to stop ringing overtones (cool for clean sounds but not so much with gain).

Guitar is FINALLY at the workshop - he's busy though so it could be a few weeks. I will report back then.
 

Matty_K

Member
Messages
4
It is hard to find the info on the pickups. Sweetwater states the original VMod uncovered humbuckers are lightly wax potted. Can't find a reference to it for the covered double taps.

The luthier that potted mine said lots of air bubbles came out when he potted mine. Could have been airgap between the covers and the bobbins? Who knows, but it doesn't squeal now.

However I may replace the PUPs as I'm not in love with their sound and think I got a little obsessed with solving the squeal problem rather than just replace the pickups.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom