Plans for my Telecaster Bullet

Discussion in 'Squier Telecasters' started by BBQedIguana, May 8, 2020.

  1. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    That actually was my original plan - to put a Gibson humbucker at the neck and leave the original Tele single coil at the bridge as that's how Andy Summers (of The Police) had his guitar set up. However, this black Bullet is going to play a lot more metal than pop, so I think dual humbuckers is still going to happen.

    BUT... I do see a 2nd Tele in my future - and it will likely be set up the way you suggest - I think I'm going to build an Andy Summers tribute Tele and play all my Police tunes on it. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. VM51SQ

    VM51SQ Squier-Meister

    215
    Apr 14, 2017
    oregon
    You can't go wrong with either one! I particularly like black on black...today!
     
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  3. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    ALRIGHT! 2 weeks later, and I finally got my first piece... the black pick guard! So I popped it on - it was a "genuine" Fender pick guard and it sure looked it. Compared to the stock white pick guard, it is exactly the same shape and thickness. Very nice for like $28!

    Another nice surprise is that my neck pickup is already routed for a humbucker! Not the bridge, but that is OK... I don't think it'll be too hard to do. And after putting the black pick guard on... I like it ALOT more than the original white...

    [​IMG]

    Rick
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  4. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    OK, after reviewing my finances, I decided to go ahead and order more parts:
    • PAF-style neck humbucker
    • bridge humbucker
    • "WeighLess" Fender guitar strap (I'm currently using a Fender strap from our Guitar Hero game!)
    • chrome trim rings for the humbuckers
    • Fender 500K volume and tone pots /w 22nF capacitor
    I'm also thinking of picking up a Fender mechanical 3-position switch to replace the one that came with my Bullet... but that might be on another order in a month or so (I'll also grab some parts for my Kitchencaster that I'm going to build out of the removed Tele parts!).

    Good times! This guitar will be one of the things that gets me through this weird/wild period in history.

    Rick
     
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  5. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    NYC
    My Bullet's switch failed a few days after I bought the guitar, so replacing it may be a good idea. But I'm not a fan of Fender (Oak-Grigsby) 3-way switches. The two I've owned have been kinda loose and floppy.
     
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  6. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    What would you recommend instead? Is there a good switch brand? I have heard that Swtichcraft jacks are pretty decent for output jacks - is there something similar for switches?

    Thanks! :)

    Rick
     
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  7. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    NYC
    I've never heard a complaint about CRL switches, but I refuse to shell out the bux for one. I'm happy with cheap box switches... except that defective one that was in my Bullet.
     
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  8. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    Actually, CRL aren't too bad... I just checked and I can get a 3-way here in Canada (eh!) for $37.50 CAD from Long & McQuade - that's almost double the Fender 3-way ($19.99) but if its a better switch, then it's still not a crazy price.

    Maybe... maybe... :)
     
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  9. Black Strat

    Black Strat Squier-Nut

    926
    Nov 30, 2014
    Virginia
    You use a Fender four way Tele switch?
     
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  10. VM51SQ

    VM51SQ Squier-Meister

    215
    Apr 14, 2017
    oregon
    Here is an entire wiring harness for $38. I installed it in my Tele build, and it's vey high quality !
    upload_2020-5-22_6-52-20.png
     
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  11. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    NYC
    No, I haven't tried one of those... yet. :)
     
  12. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    Alright! Some more parts have come in. I got my chrome trim rings for the pickups (I'll just be using one of them for the neck - the bridge already is essentially a big trim ring) and I got my 500K pots. I was a little surprised how big they are - especially compared to the cheapie pots from my old Nova Strat-clone (foreground). I haven't cracked my Tele yet to look under the control panel - it will be interesting to see what it has inside!

    Just waiting on the new bridge (that will take a humbucker) and my two Wilkinson humbuckers to show up. Patience Ricky... patience! :)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    The fisheye lens in my iPhone can really give some perspective illusions. In the pic above, the new pot and the old pot look similarly sized. But here's another shot of them side by the each:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    NYC
    When you remove the Bullet's control plate, you'll find that its two pots look like the one on the right in your photo. You'll also find that the holes in the plate are large enough to accept the CTS pots' wider bushings, which is nice -- you won't have to ream them out.
     
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  15. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    Still waiting on parts. The good news is I think I have enough spare parts to put together a partscaster. This is important because I want to prove to myself that I can completely rip apart a guitar and put it back together and have it work properly. If I can't make my partscaster "go", then I doubt I'll be brave enough to start pulling my Tele apart (although, honestly, I'm pretty confident everything will be fine).

    So here's what I've gathered for my partscaster. The only actual "Fender" part is the pick guard which came off my Tele. But once my bridge and pickups arrive for my upgrades, then the Tele's original bridge and pickups will go into this partscaster. But I don't have to wait - I've got a humbucker and some pots... WARM UP THE SOLDERING IRON!!!

    [​IMG]

    And on a completely unrelated note, I also found my old amp!!! Stand back... I'm gonna flick the power switch...

    [​IMG]

    LOL! Guitars are TOO FUN! :)

    Rick
     
  16. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    The partscaster is coming along nicely, and the humbucker bridge just showed up in the mail! All I am waiting on is the pickups but I can practice my soldering in the partscaster...

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    Soldering practice: COMPLETE! I wired up my funky little partscaster with its one ancient humbucker. To my amazement, IT WORKED! Right away, I hooked it up to my amp and by golly when I tapped on the pickup with a screwdriver, I heard noise from the amp! So I put the strings on (had to shim the neck a bit) and did a quick & dirty setup and took it for a spin. It sounds really good - amazingly good for something I randomly bolted together. The neck is from the 1980's so the nut was wrecked - I replaced that but I haven't sanded the new nut so it buzzes a bit. But the point of the exercise was to verify that I could indeed solder. I have done it in the past but always remembered it as an arduous task - I wasn't very good.

    But like anyone else in this modern age, I took myself to YT university and watched about a dozen videos. That showed me some problems with my technique that I straightened out - so I think I'm good! Now I just need my new humbuckers to arrive so I can put them into my Tele Bullet!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    I was playing around with DIY Layout Creator and came up with this wiring scheme for my Tele once my humbuckers finally arrive. Does this seem like a decent basic setup? I'm just looking for a simple 3-way switch layout - nothing fancy, no coil splitting or anything like that. I may move onto something more advanced later, but for now I'm just looking to get the guitar up and running with the new hardware...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    I guess the "Guitar Gods" heard me when I was making my diagram above - because that same day my pickups arrived!!! So, today was routing out the bridge pickup cavity a bit to accommodate a humbucker. I set the router depth to -1/8th so that I left the shielding paint on the bottom untouched. I'll just have to doctor up the sides I cut and the new "floor" area I added. I used a smaller router bit and that seemed to work great - much more control and it gave me smoother walls. I was really happy with how that turned out.

    Next was taking the Dremel to my pick guard and finishing it off with a straight razor and a small file. Overall it came out well, although I had one "slip" and gashed the pickguard a bit - but to me that just adds a bit of character! :)

    Last step for today was to dry fit everything. I'll tackle the soldering tomorrow and then I'll remount everything and see how she sounds. Overall I'm thrilled with how it looks at this point!

    BRIDGE PICKUP CAVITY ROUTING
    [​IMG]

    PICKGUARD AREAS TO TRIM OFF
    [​IMG]

    THE DRY FIT ASSEMBLY
    [​IMG]
     
  20. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Squier Talker

    Age:
    51
    85
    May 8, 2020
    Canada
    Everything has finally come together. I took my time today and drilled out the holes for the new bridge and in the pickguard for the neck pickup. I did run into an issue where my Oak Grigsby switch is simply too tall for my guitar. I could probably route out part of the control cavity, but I'd have like 1/8th to 1/16th wood left at the bottom. I elected instead to put the import box switch back in for now. I'll have to ponder that.

    Good news though - the CTS pots fit in no problem. I even managed to get my knobs put on them (but it was tight!). The soldering went very smoothly except for one bad ground wire on the bridge pickup - but I figured it out pretty quickly because the bridge pickup was way quieter than the neck pickup. Once I re-soldered that connection, they are the same for volume now.

    They don't sound the same though - the neck pickup sounds very mean and dirty - just the way I like it! The bridge pickup is brighter but still has a good mean streak in it. With the gain turned up on my amp, this guitar now sounds AWESOME!!! It's is exactly what I wanted! For sure this thing will chug!

    I'll still have to dial in the setup a bit - I did a quick & dirty setup just to get it in tune and play it. Tomorrow I'll sort everything out to the best of my abilities. :)

    I recorded a couple of tracks in GarageBand before I started my mods - so I'll record the same tracks again with my Bullet HH and see how big the sound difference is. I can already tell it's a big difference. The Tele twang is gone - which is what I was after with these mods. I love the look of the Telecaster, but I love hard rock and metal music. Now this guitar sounds PERFECT to me.

    Here's a crappy pic of the final outcome...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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