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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a hotrail pickup for my Tele bridge pickup and was wondering if anyone had interesting wiring ideas to combine this with a 4 way selector.

I was thinking maybe a 4th position with the hotrail split, or split combined with neck for more true Tele middle sounds.

I think the Pickups in series may be pointless as it would combine the very hot bridge with a lipstick and just be really noisy and over the top.

Would the Pickups out of phase be a cool sound?

Any suggestions or diagrams to share?

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I've been waving the flag for the Bill Lawrence half-phase-reverse mod of late. I first learned how to do it last year when reading up on the Fender Jerry Donahue Tele and can't say enough good things about it. It involves reversing the phase of either the neck or bridge PU, and removing a chunk of the bass from the neck pickup at the same time via a capacitor in series with the neck pickup. Normally putting a neck and bridge PU out of phase with each other results in a thin nasal tone and a noticeable drop in level. However, when bass content is removed/attenuated fro the neck pickup, the only phase cancellation that occurs is from whatever is in common between the two pickups, and that doesn't involve the bass. The result is something strikingly similar to a neck+middle sound from a Strat. Really, seriously. I was blown away. And if it doesn't sound exactly like that, it still sounds different from the other pickup settings, including N+B, and has NO discernible level drop. so still worth doing even if one isn't in search of Strat tones.

Now, whether your 4-way switch can accomplish that, and whether you would rather delegate such an option to maybe a push-pull Tone pot, and stick something else in the 4th switch position is another matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
That sounds awesome. It's the only reason I have a Strat around is for that sound.. If this was a factory tele I'd already do the Nashville middle pickup.

Here's a link to a premier guitar article with the history and a clear diagram.

Mod Garage: The Bill Lawrence 5-way Telecaster Circuit | Premier Guitar

I'll have to hold off and go pick up a five way. Didn't realize you could do so much with two Pickups.


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Thanks for chasing down Dirk's column and wiring diagrams. Very helpful. Though the genius of the idea is Bill Lawrence's, it really only rose to attention via Jerry Donahue and his custom Tele.

However, it is not JUST for Tele's alone. Earlier this year (I think), I picked up an old Vantage that was someone's "project" guitar, and refinished and rewired it. I installed a phase switch for the bridge pickup, and a bass cut toggle for the neck. Not necessarily applicable to your guitar, but I also installed a Peavey T-60 tone control for the bridge humbucker. These pan from one coil at the extreme, through both coils with no treble cut, to both coils with treble cut; thinnest to thickest. Now I'm certainly NOT going to get Strat tones from a pair of overwound humbuckers. But the phase-flip for the bridge, in tandem with the bass cut for the neck, get me a very usable cluckier sound from N+B, with no loss of volume, and the tone control I implemented also lets me select which of the two bridge coils I'm using. That won't matter much for a dual-rails where the two coils are closely snuggled up against each other. But with a conventional HB, switching which bridge coil one uses does produce an audibly different sound. Folks with a dual-HB guitar and dual volume/tone controls might want to consider a similar wiring scheme using push-pull pots. Lotsa useful flexibility. I'd really be curious what it could do for an SG, which normally doesn't have that much tonal difference between neck and bridge.
 
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