I brought GFS pickups to China to install in the Bacchus Tele, TC70 True-Coil noise cancelling Stratocaster type neck pickup, and the H102 Lil Puncher XL Modern Vintage Tele bridge replacement. I had already installed a Seymour Duncan JB humbucking pickup in the middle position.
At the same time, I replaced all the tuners and chrome screws. Since there were three pickups, I also brought a 5-way selector switch to replace the original 3-way. I already implemented a custom selection scheme on my American Standard Tele. I liked it so much, I decided to use it again. Basically, it allows you to use some extra selections that aren’t normally available with a 5-way switch. You can hard wire it, as I did, or make it selectable with an additional SPST switch. Here is the schematic:
3_way_pickup_wiring PDF drawing
The selector works as a 5-way normally does, with two exceptions. Normally, position 1,3, and 5 select bridge, middle and neck pickup individually, and the “in between” positions 2 and 4 select bridge/middle and middle/neck respectively. With my modification, position 4 gives you all three pickups, and position 5 gives you neck and bridge.
I have several reasons for doing this. For one, I happen to like the sound of the neck+bridge combination, and I refuse to give it up. The only time I play with the neck pickup only, is on my homemade Tele with a mini-humbucking in that position. Not on this guitar. When I installed and tested everything this time, I didn’t get as much tonal difference as I expected. So I reversed the phase of the middle pickup. It give me phase reversal in two positions, while preserving normal phase in the other three. So, I don’t have to have a raft of switches cluttering the front of my guitar (I don’t have the tools to mess with it now, anyway).
Here is the rundown on this dandy arrangement:
Position 1 – Bridge pickup, classic chicken picken country twang.
Position 2 – Bridge/Middle out of phase. Weird spacey hollow sound.
Position 3 – Middle pickup. Brassy, straightforward sound. Usually a little sharp sounding.
Position 4 – All pickups, Middle out of phase. This one is complicated. The neck/bridge combination is in phase, so it predominates. The middle out of phase tends to just knock out the lows a lot.
Position 5 – Neck and Bridge, together and in phase.
I’m quite happy with the result. I had a custom pickguard made to accommodate the Strat neck pickup, which is much larger than a Tele neck pickup. Alas, the Bacchus body has randomly different dimensions (probably to avoid Fender copyright infringement) and it didn’t fit. I pondered my dilemma and eventually realized that the Strat pickup would just barely squeeze into position on the original pickguard, if I removed the white plastic cover. So that is what I did. Time will tell whether the bobbin is strong enough to be exposed like this, I am not too worried about it because it sits quite low and is securely mounted.