Souping Up My Tele Squier (reprise)
In my spare time, I tinker with my instruments so they give me more awesome results. This describes one of those mods.
I have a great playing 2-pickup Squier Telecaster (made in Korea). I previously upgraded it with a control plate that gives me six pickup tones.
I decided to soup up the Tele once again for even more performance and tonal options. My plan was to transform it into a Nashville Telecaster Deluxe equivalent. A woodworking friend helped me to create a body cavity for a middle stratocaster pickup using a Nashville Tele pickguard.
I ordered a special chrome metal control plate that I got on eBay designed to control three pickups. I searched for "upgrade nashville tele" to find it. It came with Bourns pots mounted to a printed circuit board with Treble Bleed to keep the brilliance from getting "muddier" as the volume is dialed back.
It has six mini toggle switches instead of the stock 5-way blade switch. Three of them are on-off-on and control each pickup by turning it Off or On (in either normal-phase or reverse phase.) The other three are on-on switches to put select pickups in either parallel or series circuit. The switch layout is simple and intuitive. The end result is an instrument that goes beyond the stock five pickup tones.
The solderless connectors made it a snap to wire everything up and install this upgrade. It just dropped in with no surprises. After the upgrade, I now have 35 unique pickup tones. (see the picture)
This upgrade is better than the 5-way switch because I can now do things that my Tele couldn't previously do. I can turn on each individual pickup (in normal-phase or reverse-phase) and put them in either parallel or series connection for fatter tones. I can turn on both the bridge and neck pickups to make it sound like a standard Telecaster. This also gives me all those Brian May (guitarist for Queen) Red Special fat pickup tones. And I can turn on all three pickups at once.
The versatility of this upgrade gives me "tone nirvana" with pickup tones I always wanted (but could never get from stock guitars.)
It seems like this guitar is the one that I consistently grab out of the rack. It's my favorite Tone Tyrannosaurus.