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Thread: Seymourize My Tele

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Member Detroitblues's Avatar
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    Default Seymourize My Tele

    I want to Seymourize my Telecaster.

    However, there are a few tricks up my sleeve I want to try first.

    Here's the setup...

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    Partscaster Tele with stock Fender Tex-Mex pickups and wiring harness.

    Body is routed for neck and bridge single coils only.

    Here's what I want to do.

    • Turn this into a hybrid Bluesboy/Stratocaster.
    • The idea is simple.
    • Route the neck to fit a Seymour Duncan Mini Humbucker
    • Route a middle single coil pickup
    • update the pickup selector to a 5 way switch.
    • have the 4 position (neck/middle) split the mini-humbucker for the Strat Quack sound.
    • The final trick is to make the middle pickup a 'ghost' pickup by hiding it under the pickguard.


    some of my concerns:

    • The output of the middle pickup won't be enough to match the mini-humbucker
    • The tone of the mini will be too bright using standard Fender pots (250k)



    What are your thoughts?

    Think it will work?

  2. #2
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    250k pots sound darker than 500k, youll be fine as long as you chose the right pups

    splitting a mini might not sound great, the sm1 for example is 6.3k which is about the same as an ssl1. dont bother splitting it unless you use a high output mini and then you may have balance issues unless you go hot all around.

    putting a hidden middle pup in and getting it to sound good is a right pita. the only time ive seen it done well with vintage output pups it required a lot of work. deepen the neck pocket a bit so the neck sits deeper in the body, routing the body for the middle pup, routing the pickguard thinner for the middle pup so you can get it closer to the strings, maybe shaving the bridge saddles so you can lower them enough to keep the action low since you lowered the neck in the pocket. you also should use a flat pole pup and keep the tone control off the middle pup.

    if i was going to do this with vintage output pups id go jd tele bridge, ssl2 middle, and sm1 or antiquity II firebird neck. if you want high output or a hot tele sound, id use 500k pots sm2n neck, and ssl6 middle. for the bridge you could go hot rails if you want a humbucker tone or stl3 or stl2 if you want a hot single coil tone.

    id actually suggest you skip the ghost middle and get a tapped tele bridge pup (either stl2t or custom shop tapped '53 jb) and antiquity II fb pup for the neck. wire the switch 5-full bridge 4-full bridge + neck 3-neck 2-tapped bridge + neck 1- tapped bridge

  3. #3
    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    I have a Tele Hot Stack and SM-1n in my Tele with 500K volume & tone pots and it isn't too bright. The tone control is wired 50s style with a .022 cap.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

  4. #4
    25's Nemesis Benjy_26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    The SM-1N does pretty convincing notch tones without spitting and is not too bright at all with 500k pots. I think it would balance well with standard tele and strat pickups.
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  5. #5
    Alnico 6/8 Chickenwings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    The only problems lie in that middle pickup arrangement.
    Hiding it under the guard will mean pretty much no pickup can do what you need.
    Also swapping to a 5 way with 3pups means you will lose the neck and bridge sound.
    That is a tragedy because a nice neck humbucker and gutsy tele bridge pup is a thing of beauty.

    Some alternatives:
    Wire the neck pickup so you can run it in parallel or split. You will be able to get some cool sounds combining that with the bridge which you otherwise would miss out on.
    Use 500k pots, but wire in a 510k resistor for the bridge pup so it will see a load of close to 250k at the volume pot. I have done this very thing combining a jerry donahue with a pearly gates neck in a tele. Everyone who heard that axe loved it. One of the coolest things about it was the in between position. More useful in bands and at gigs than that strat in between sound could ever be.
    Pros: cheaper and more versatile than your plan and using less parts.
    Cons: you dont get that knotch position sound, but you do get a neck and bridge combo (awesome) and some clear transparent tones when you add the split/parallel switch.

    Another alternative:
    Dont bother hiding the middle pickup. Let it sit there doing its thing like a nashville tele or brent mason's main axe.
    Pros: you can have the sounds you are after.
    Cons: You wont be able to get the neck/bridge combo unless you wire in a superswitch.


    last alternative:
    Wire it up as a tele.
    Pros: It does everything a tele does.
    Cons: none! teles are awesome!
    Last edited by Chickenwings; 05-12-2018 at 04:19 PM.
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  6. #6
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Mark Cearlock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    Fender tried the "hidden pickup" thing in the mid sixties with the Maurauder.. and we saw how that turned out.. 4 prototypes (and 4 more protos a year later without hidden pickups and some with slanted frets) and no production models.. cause it didn't work..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Marauder
    This article states that there were 6 production models, But other sources I have seen stated there were none.. ymmv
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  7. #7
    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    I'd say a '59 neck and a Broadcaster bridge (reliced to match the body of course) and a simple three way would be the best option you have. As other have said, the hidden middle pickup won't work. These two pickups cover a lot of ground, and wiring it neck/neck split and bridge/bridge, there are quite a lot of tones you can achieve. The 510k resistor trick will also help you out here.
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  8. #8
    Ultimate Tone Slacker zionstrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    +1 let middle pup show like a Nashville...

    Although I have to admit it would be fun to see is 2 and 4 are possible with hidden pup.

    2 and 4 quack better with low output middle, but agree with others it would be a PIA to get it right, so I circle back to Nashville pickgaurd.

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  9. #9
    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    Quote Originally Posted by zionstrat View Post
    +1 let middle pup show like a Nashville...

    Although I have to admit it would be fun to see is 2 and 4 are possible with hidden pup.

    2 and 4 quack better with low output middle, but agree with others it would be a PIA to get it right, so I circle back to Nashville pickgaurd.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
    You can get quack on a Tele without the middle pickup if you split the neck and middle, put them out of phase and in parallel, and put a .01uf cap in series with the neck or bridge Depending on which pickup the cap is wired to, you'll get a slightly different tone. I usually use the bridge as that preserves the most low end in the final result.
    Like the fool I am and I'll always be
    I've got a dream, I've got a dream
    They can change their minds but they can't change me
    I've got a dream, I've got a dream
    Oh, I know I could share it if you'd want me to
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  10. #10
    Ultimate Tone Slacker zionstrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    You can get quack on a Tele without the middle pickup if you split the neck and middle, put them out of phase and in parallel, and put a .01uf cap in series with the neck or bridge Depending on which pickup the cap is wired to, you'll get a slightly different tone. I usually use the bridge as that preserves the most low end in the final result.
    Totally agree- adding HOOP and Series is the mod we do most on Teles-

    On the other hand, it's only an approximation of the center pup- Because I mess with this stuff too much, I have a guitar that has middle pup and HOOP- 2 and 4 are significantly more quaky using the middle pup, but HOOP works better with series so there are always trade offs.

    But totally agreed for this build- Half out of phase is an easy mod.
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  11. #11
    Super Toneologist elelpe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seymourize My Tele

    If you insist to put a pickup in the middle as ghost pickup, try Cool Rails. FWIW, I had three P-90s tele with middle one as a ghost pickup. I used 3-way switch for bridge and neck pickup and a mini 3-way toggle pot for middle pickup (middle off - middle only - middle on). I didn't care about the sound of middle pickup on its own. I just wanted the quasi-quack. I could have used a blender pot for that middle/ghost pickup instead.

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