Tweaking Tele wiring with caps/resistors?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by MK50H, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    I would like to fine tune my Tele. Overall, I think it is close to where I want it, but I would like to brighten it up overall, and the neck in particular.

    So, I kinda feel that I should be able to add caps (or maybe resistors) to the circuit to tweak it. Will this work, and schematics or suggestions?

    I have 250K audio pots & a .022 cap, 4-way switching at the moment. I appreciate that I can go to 500K, but I like the feel of the pots I have, and I also suspect that 500K will make the bridge too bright.

    The pickups are really good, and there is no fault here. I ain't looking for a pup swap :)
     
  2. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    Exactly what it is that you want to acheive?

    Caps and resistors can passively alter frequencies, by passive, I meant they take away instead of adding or boosting.
     
  3. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    I understand what you mean caps & pots taking stuff away. What, I am hoping is to add the perception of more brightness, but in reality I guess I want less mids/bass.
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    removing the wire coming off the tone pot from the volume pot and putting it where the bridge pickup hits the switch will take said tone pot off the neck pickup while leaving it on the bridge pickup, adding a bit of brightness.

    if you don't want to change pickups or pots, there's not much else to do.
     
  5. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    Thanks, I will try that later. And do you know if I can tweak something to make the guitar brighter overall?

    Maybe I will have to try 300K or 500K pots, but I was hoping I could tweak what I have.
     
  6. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    You can add a treble retention network to the volume pot. When you turn down the volume pot from max, the bass and some mid, depends on the pickups, will be reduced where the high frequency will be retained.

    Any cap with the value from 150pf to 1000pf will do. Experiment with different values for desirable effect. The bigger the value, the brighter the sound.
     
  7. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    Thanks, but that's not really what I am after. I did the 50's mod to fix that issue.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    I think and some will agree that Roy Buchanan playing his 53 Tele had a unique sound that emphisized the brighter sounds. The Bridge saddles and the bridge plate were made of Cold Rolled Steel. Striking the strings with your pick/nails/fingers directly above the bridge pup or below it will had additional color to the tone, having the treble side of the bridge plate absent is another approach.

    I haven't myself replaced the cap with an NOS Ceramic Cornell Dubler or RMS with a .050 100 volt value not a reproduction, but I am using that Value. This is what Done Mare recomends. I know you mentioned you liked your pups but you should talk to Don anyway his Tele Kinesis(knowledge of all things tele) is comprehesive. What resistance does your bridge pup have anyway?

    Another key element is strings. I don't do this but Burton and a few others use banjo wire on the hi E starting on the B string with a 7 or 8 Gauge string.

    Treble boosters and EQ boxes are available but I get my tone going straight into the amp and keep the bass at 2 or3, mids at zero and treble to taste on my Super Reverb.

    Hope that helps

    PS Pine Tele does the trick too
     
  9. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    I have experimented a little with different picks, and I find that Dunlop Big Stubbies have an good impact on the tone I am getting. I am alos considering a bridge swap, I have read that it can make a big difference, but I am a little sceptical. Nonetheless, I will give it a go when I have sold some surplus gear.

    I am going to try my Sniper EQ box with the amp, but I'm really hoping to get the guitar tweaked without FX. I can get pretty close to where I want by cutting the mids (heavily) on my amps, but it just seems that I should try a get it right, straight from the axe.

    My pickups are 7.4k bridge & 6.89k neck.
     
  10. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Don't be sceptical but if the finish on the axe is too thick it wont help.

    A $10 fender reissue plat can be made flat to make better contact but the finish on the guitar must be open to allow the vibrations to penetrate. The bridge edge ground done by machine as well.

    This is what Glendale and Callahan do with theirs.

    They are not cheap but the GlenDale Saddles are for real not hype,the secret ingredient on a lot of setups for a lot of players. They make the bridge plate too, so take a look.
     
  11. jaydawg76

    jaydawg76 Supporting Member

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    This would be the first thing I would try. I REALLY makes a difference. Especially on the neck pup. Give it a try and I guaranty you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    This would be another good path to explore. A beefier bridge plate will add high end as well as sustain. That might be just what your looking for. You could also try some Glendale saddles with the aluminium or steel saddle on the low E/A string. This will help to bring things to life and add some more snap and presence to your sound.

    The tone cap upgrade is a cool trick too. Its not as dramatic as the other suggestions. I would try this last as its more of a refinement of your sound than the overall re-voicing it sounds like your going for.
     
  12. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    Well, I just tried, that and it is a big improvement, not just brighter, but more alive too. It seemed louder too, but maybe that was just my imagination.

    I still want a little brighter, though so I guess higher resistance pots are needed. I wish I could just modify the pot with an added resistor. Oh, well back to the hot iron.
     
  13. jaydawg76

    jaydawg76 Supporting Member

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    If you play with the volume on anything but full then you might need a treble bypass cap. As soon as you start rolling back the volume the high end going away.

    A 500k volume pot would be another option to get some more high-end.
     
  14. uncle psychosis

    uncle psychosis Member

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    An eq pedal?
     
  15. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    You need the opposite of the standard cap to ground tone control, an inductor like the Torres super midrange control might get you there. Also, higher value pots will shift the resonant frequency upward. Clip one side of the tone cap temporarily and listen. If it's too bright, then increase the pot value (but replace the cap). Attempting to high-pass (cut bass) with a capacitor will give you a phase shift. Cool, but not what you want. I actually did this to my tele to get half cocked wah tones without the wah.
     
  16. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    Thanks for the tips, but shouldn't the above be "If it's too bright, then decrease the pot value"?
     
  17. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Nah, you just misunderstood. If it's too bright with no cap connected, then reconnect the cap but increase the tone pot value to taste. If you can't get it bright enough with no cap, you're sol. Buy a graphic EQ pedal.
     
  18. MK50H

    MK50H Member

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    OK, got you now. I thought you meant to increase the value of the volume pot, now I see it's the tone pot. Cool, I will give that a try in the morning.
     

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