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Thread: Mixing pot values on a '72 Tele Custom

  1. #1

    Mixing pot values on a '72 Tele Custom

    Howdy all... haven't posted to this forum before. Fender shut down theirs, and Chris Green's old Fender forum is long dead.

    Had a technical question about mixing pots (and I don't mean sativa and indica).

    I have a Mexi '72 Custom, classic series.

    I had another one years ago that was stolen. Long story short, neck humbucker and Les Paul controls is the only Tele that works for me... love it.

    The previous Tele had a pickup Maricela did for me out of the Duncan Custom Shop and I plan to order another identical to it. Additionally, for $200 Fender has sourced the unubtanium that is CuNiFe for an accurate WRHB.... so going for broke on this Mexi. Alder sunburst, pau ferro fretboard (big plus for me, dont like the look of maple and rosewood is a bit too dark on this guitar imo)

    Speaking of dark... here is the issue. The previous Tele and this one are a bit too dark on the neck pickup. I often want to turn tone knob up more than it goes. I want the current '10' to be '7'.

    Answer is obvious, for some reason the Mexis use 250k pots for both pickups. Bridge sounds great with 250k, but neck is a bit too dark. US made '72 Custom (non vintage) use 500k, and vintage used 1meg pots.

    Since I am going all out on the pickups, why not get nice pots to match? Thinking RS Guitarworks pots and caps.

    So here is the dilemma; I usually have this in middle switch position blending the pickups... 50/50, 70/30, 30/70, 90/10, 10/90... so both pickups active at once most of the time.

    I dont want to put 500k on the bridge, but if I leave it at 250k and neck at 500k, wont that average the load to 300something with both on? Can I get what I want by changing cap values? To either darken the bridge if I go all 500k, or brighten the neck if I keep 250k? I haven't ordered pickups yet, and since bridge is custom shop, I could ask them 'same as I had before, except voiced for 500k pots' as last resort.

    Lastly, not considering 1meg pots at this time, interview with Fender guy said the 1megs were only used back in the day because they had a surplus of them, and that the modern CuNiFe WRHB is ideal for 500k. If you disagree with that, make your argument for 1meg.

    Plan is to get pots and caps sorted first with factory pickups, then order the pickups (a few months ago Covid had SD Custom Shop in severe backlog, they asked me to contact them again 'in a few months', so not rushing that order).

    In short, help me get to ideal wiring for my ideal pickups in my ideal Tele.

    Alder burst with Pau Ferro is the wood I want. Love how she plays. Already threw some brass saddles on her. Know the pickups I want... I get the pots/caps sorted and I have my dream Tele. I get this dialed, and I can't beat it with unlimited budget at Fender Custom Shop.

    Here she is next to her sister (note, I want a better tortoise pickgaurd, the one I found doesn't match color well and several holes not quite right... any suggestions there?)

    Last edited by Voodoochild5150; 02-10-2021 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Pic not showing

  2. #2

    Re: Mixing pot values on a '72 Tele Custom

  3. #3
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Southern NH

    Re: Mixing pot values on a '72 Tele Custom

    google pic doesn't play nice here, don't use it

    i use imgur, still have to massage it by deleting a couple characters they add to their 'copy button' but, it's my computer my rules

    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  4. #4
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Mixing pot values on a '72 Tele Custom

    That Thinline is amazing. The other geeet ain't shabby either.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

  5. #5
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New York Finger Lakes Area

    Re: Mixing pot values on a '72 Tele Custom

    If you go with a lower resistance pot you'll lose high end and clarity.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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