Telecaster Standard Vintage Wiring?


I just bought a used 2008 Custom Shop Limited Edition '52 Heavy Relic Telecaster and nothing in the case had been touched. I found the notice that said:

The Vintage Telecaster Guitar is currently wired as shown in the drawings for "Standard Vintage Wiring."

B - Bridge pickup only
M - Neck pickup only
N - Neck pickup with highs rolled off

The person I bought the guitar from said that he hadn't made any changes to the guitar, and in the same plastic bag with the notice there was a .022k capicitor, so I assumed that the "Current Wiring" upgrade hadn't been done. Now I realize that the "vintage dark" setting (front selector position) has all the highs rolled off but on this guitar that front setting has as much high end as the other two settings, just with more bass. It sounds to me like maybe this guitar was already upgraded to "Current Wiring" somewhere along the line. Is there a way to definitely tell?


Silver Supporting Member
Post us a picture of the control wiring if possible. I'm sure we can look at it and figure it out.
Put the blade selector in the middle spot, then tap on the bridge pup pole pieces with a small metal object (with the guitar plugged in and systems on). If you hear a pronounced tap, it has been modded to "Modern". If not, then the all forward position has been modded in some other way. Does the tone control work in the all forward (more bassy but some top end) position? If so, you've got a sort of hybrid setup (I have one AV52 FSR modded like this more by accident than other) where the middle blade spot and all forward blade spots both govern the neck pup only - the number/values of caps in the circuit is just different. Or did I also use a resistor? I can't remember.


Just a note, the reason the original Teles had that 3rd rolled-off tone position with the cap was that some bands that didn't have a bass player would use the guitar as a "faux-bass". They later changed the wiring to the regular scheme of selecting each pickup and the middle position being the two pickups mixed. Some of the vintage reissue models come with the vintage wiring with the option to upgrade to the modern wiring, as explained above.



Silver Supporting Member
One thing you can do if you dont want to change to the modern b-b+n-n switching, you can replace the cap that's on the switch with a .01 or a .03 cap. It will be a treble roll-off instead of being so dark.

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