Information about the 4 Way Tele Mod
Adding a 4-way
switch to a Tele is one of my absolute favorite mods. Without any visual differences
to the instrument you get a totally different and really really useful 4th sound,
namely bridge and neck pickups in series. Normally, when 2 pickup are combined
in position 2 of a Telecaster, they are wired in parallel. This is a fine and
very classic Fender sound. The nice thing about the 4-way mod is that you don't
lose this sound, as the classic parallel sound still remains in position 2.
However, you gain this really beefy tone with the added series connection in
position 4. It provides a noticeably thicker and louder sound that is a bit
darker as well. In esssence, you've taken the 2 single coil pickups and combined
them to become a humbucker in this position. I like to kick this position in
The only drawback
of this mod (which in my opinion is pretty minor) is the potential for a bit
more added noise, but only when in position 1 (note: I refer to the "bridge
pickup only" position as position 1). I will explain the reason for this
noise. as well as a solution.
for the added noise in 1 position is due to the fact that the ground wire
on the neck pickup must be "lifted" away from ground and soldered
to one of the lugs on the 4 way switch (henceforth I will refer to this as
a "ground lift"). In a nutshell, when the bridge pickup is engaged
alone (in position1) your neck pickup isn't grounded because of the ground
lift, so you may experience some extra noise.
IS THE SOLUTION?
the metal cover of the neck pickup as a shield. To do this, you will
need to make a minor modification to your neck pickup. You will need to do
three simple things (please refer to figure 1 below):
the existing connection between the metal cover and the pickups ground
wire. To do this, simply break the connection between point
"C" and point "A" as depicted in figure
an additional wire to the metal cover. To do this, you don't actually
solder to the cover, but rather to the tab on the bottom of the pickup
(this is point "C" in figure 1 below).
this new wire to ground (usually this will be the casing of your volume
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