Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

  1. #1
    Junior Member Kirk A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    5
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    I am nearing the end of the beginning of my first project guitar, featuring Seymour Duncan pickups, of course. While I have committed to the baseline design, I am not ruling out future alterations.

    After nearly two decades with my Gibson Howard Roberts semi-hollowbody, and more recently an import 335-clone, I decided to build something that could be readily tweaked. My body choice was influenced by Steve Morse's original Tele, however I elected the Thinline style for weight reduction and responsiveness. The body features a brilliant quilted maple top over a one-piece mahogany back, while the neck is a quartersawn maple 22-fret Strat neck in a 12" radius with a walnut skunk stripe and a hand-rubbed tung oil finish. Both are from Musikraft. Since these were eBay purchases, and not a special orders, I routed the middle pickup cavity myself.

    Speaking of pickups, here are the selections that I've installed:

    • Neck: (H) Vintage Stack (STK-T1n)
    • Middle: (S) Quarter Pound Staggered (SSL-7)
    • Bridge: (H) Little '59 (ST59-1b)


    I have a Fender rotary 5-way selector and a pair of 500K push-pull no-name pots. (I would welcome advice regarding where to locate CTS brand 500K push-pull pots.) I will soon be soldering the connections for the following six combinations:

    1. neck humbucker
    2. neck split + middle humbucking combo
    3. neck split + bridge split humbucking combo
    4. bridge split + middle humbucking combo
    5. bridge humbucker
    6. (pull vol) middle single coil only


    I have some concern about how the single coil will sound through the 500K no-name pots (vice 250K units). I would welcome any recommendations for that portion of the signal path.

    I have a Big-D varitone shipping presently for hole#3 on the control plate. I have contemplated other varitones, but couldn't decide. So I've taken a gamble with this one, and may test others in the near future. (As above, I'd welcome any recommendations for suppliers offering CTS brand rotary switches, in the event that I create my own.)

    This has been an un-rushed DIY project to date, but now I am getting antsy to wrap it up and start playing it! 8^) I will look forward to reporting on the progress and the resulting tone for the finished product. (At the other end of the wire awaits a Mesa Boogie Mk.IV with an additional Thiele cab.)

    Cheers,
    Kirk A.

  2. #2
    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    My empire of dirt
    Age
    51
    Posts
    19,241
    Likes (Given)
    438
    Likes (Received)
    1880

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    You have obviously put a great deal of thought into your project guitar. IMO, you are right to be concerned about using no-name pots. It would be a shame to compromise all of those expensive components for the sake of a few bucks on the controls.

    CTS-equivalent quality 500k push-pull pots can be obtained through mail order suppliers such as Stew-Mac and Allparts.

  3. #3
    Skaforlifeologist super rad stuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    not vegas. ok, i lied.
    Age
    23
    Posts
    8,933
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    11

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    depending on what size pots you are looking for, i'd say get your pots from http://www.wymoreguitars.com for US(3/8") or the sites stated by funkfingers for metric sized pots. as far as your single/humbucker volume pot issue, i'd say it would be a good idea to have a stacked 500k/250k pot for this particular application.
    Yo, i'm Ryan™.
    Quote Originally Posted by lpmarshall View Post
    I've done this 3 times. I'm on my phone and drunk right now, so if I haven't responded by tomorrow bump this thread and I'll give you my input :-)

  4. #4
    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    My empire of dirt
    Age
    51
    Posts
    19,241
    Likes (Given)
    438
    Likes (Received)
    1880

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    Quote Originally Posted by super rad stuff View Post
    i'd say it would be a good idea to have a stacked 500k/250k pot for this particular application.
    Er, as far as I know, nobody makes a dual resistance, stacked pot with a push-pull switch built in underneath.

    IMO, a high output, single coil fitted into a mahogany bodied, semi-solid guitar will sound fine through a 500k pot. (It is certainly not going to make a regular Fender tone.)

  5. #5
    Skaforlifeologist super rad stuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    not vegas. ok, i lied.
    Age
    23
    Posts
    8,933
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    11

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    Er, as far as I know, nobody makes a dual resistance, stacked pot with a push-pull switch built in underneath.

    IMO, a high output, single coil fitted into a mahogany bodied, semi-solid guitar will sound fine through a 500k pot. (It is certainly not going to make a regular Fender tone.)
    i mean't a 250k/500k stacked volume and a 500k push pull tone
    Yo, i'm Ryan™.
    Quote Originally Posted by lpmarshall View Post
    I've done this 3 times. I'm on my phone and drunk right now, so if I haven't responded by tomorrow bump this thread and I'll give you my input :-)

  6. #6
    Junior Member Kirk A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    5
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I had never even considered a stacked pot before, but you're right -- that would be the ideal signal path, switching it with a pull tone. I will go parts exploring again, and see what I can come up with.

    I'll post a couple photos later.

    Kirk A.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Kirk A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    5
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    Added an avatar photo of the body as from its original sales listing. My personal shot illustrates the appearance of this project.

    -Kirk

  8. #8
    ObsoleteChickenPickingologist Butch Snyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
    Age
    48
    Posts
    5,210
    Likes (Given)
    22
    Likes (Received)
    17

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk A View Post
    Added an avatar photo of the body as from its original sales listing. My personal shot illustrates the appearance of this project.

    -Kirk
    The top on that body is absolutely sickening!

  9. #9
    Junior Member Kirk A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    5
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    After some reflection, I've decided upon not one, but two pairs of concentric 250K/500K pots. My competing ideas included:
    • CTS quality pots
    • Switched single coil channel
    • Varitone flexibility and experimentation
    • Pinky volume swells

    The varitone lost. The control plate will be reversed from standard with the volume pots on the neck end. A mini-switch in the middle of the three holes will perform the channel changing, and the hole on the bridge end will host the tone pots.

    The current design provides a fully parallel pair of 500K humbucking and 250K single coil signal paths. It leaves room to play with the volume knobs too. On the downside, I will need to take a stab at the initial cap values. I have explored that topic on this forum, but would welcome your suggestions. Regardless of whether or not I can hear it, I plan on choosing a PIO variety. (A listening exercise remains for a future test.)

    As I said at the outset, this is the end of the beginning. Once this is complete, I then plan to explore custom control plates; my surfing uncovered at least one source, not that I can remember it now. My notion is to lengthen it sufficiently to add one more hole, on the bridge end, beyond the 5-way selector. That hole would host the varitone -- or perhaps test equipment like a rotary switch populated with like-valued, differently-constructed caps for a true A/B/C test. Of course the cavity would be permanently lengthened as well -- actually just the top hole in my case, as the Thinline cavity is already enormous.

    I appreciate the feedback that was suggested here for voicing the single coil. That remains a significant design goal, because I am attempting to capture two distinctly different voices in one instrument. So, now it is time to order a second pair of concentric pots and knobs to accompany the pair already en route. And a suitable mini-toggle on-on switch.

    -Kirk
    Last edited by Kirk A; 10-08-2009 at 02:54 PM.

  10. #10
    Skaforlifeologist super rad stuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    not vegas. ok, i lied.
    Age
    23
    Posts
    8,933
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    11

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    imo, you'd be better served getting a handful of orange drop caps in several values(.015, .022, .033, etc) and figuring out which of those sounds best to you when you turn it down. once you've figured out which value, then get a PIO of the same value so you don't end up spending $40 or more on caps alone.
    Yo, i'm Ryan™.
    Quote Originally Posted by lpmarshall View Post
    I've done this 3 times. I'm on my phone and drunk right now, so if I haven't responded by tomorrow bump this thread and I'll give you my input :-)

  11. #11
    Junior Member Kirk A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    5
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default Re: custom Nashville-Thinline HSH Tele project

    Two bits of developing news:
    1. I've extended this thread to the tdpri.com Telecaster site, and something I saw there gave me an idea to carry to stacked, concentric pots idea to its ultimate conclusion. That idea is a custom Fender Super Duper Switch. My current switch has its two wafers with four poles fully allocated to the humbucking coil-tapping five positions. However, the addition of another electrically isolated wafer, on the opposite side of the existing pair, would allow me to create the typical Strat five single coil combinations, although two of my "single" coils will be coil-tapped humbuckers. Another switch is on its way to salvage the necessary parts to create the 10-way switching scheme. The challenging part may be extending the "driveshaft"; the remainder looks straightforward.
    2. Additionally, I've decided to take several steps backward and either buy or build a professional finish on the body. Trans-amber dye/tint. Nitro lacquer. The works. Ideally, I'd like to participate in the process. Lease the equipment and the premises, and shoot it myself. Or find a hobbyist, preferably local, to perform these services. Or quite possibly gear up to do this myself. I'm exploring all options, and particularly attempting to educate myself to the tools of the trade, pitfalls, etc. Your feedback and pointers are welcome! Especially web-based learning references. And suggestions for mahogany fillers.

    It seems surprising that something I had never considered before -- concentric pots -- have now become a cornerstone element in the design of this project. Now with its separate 250K and 500K pots, separate PIO caps, and separate switching, I am considering dubbing this as the All Purpose Model 1. I don't know who creates those artistic S-D wiring diagrams, but this design would make an interesting illustration.

    These steps will delay my finish, but I think that this is the right thing to do. A top like this quilted maple needs contrast for the grain and luster to shine.
    Last edited by Kirk A; 10-14-2009 at 07:37 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •