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Old 09-28-2017, 04:20 AM   #1
littlebadboy
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Default My Squire Classic Vibe mod project log

It seems that tele mod'ing is an in thing these days! Just like DanRode, I'm mod'ing my tele too! My last parts already arrived today and hopefully I'll have time to put it together this weekend.



Mine will have:
  • Artec Giovanni custom single coil sized rail humbuckers with full 64mm rails. Decided on this because they're the only one with Alnico 5.
  • Fender 500k vol pot, was thinking of 1 meg, will try this 1st.
  • Fender 250k tone pot but has no-load option - goes straight to output.
  • OG 4-way for: neck/neck+bridge south/bridge south/full bridhe humbucker
  • Might have a flip switch to go straight to output from pickup switch

Thinking of getting a spare control plate. Are they standard in size and screw hole position?

FillNYC is one of my tech advisers on this.

I guess it won't be a classic vibe anymore...

Video and sound of before and after results are in the works!
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:42 AM   #2
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My pickups arrived today as well, so I'm ready. I pulled the control plate to see how it's wired and to get some before pictures. I'll post them in another thread. Surprisingly, It has a "102J 100V" green chiclet capacitor as a treble bleed. I think that's .001uF but I'm not 100% sure. The tone cap is a 473J which seems to be .047uF.

I'm hoping to get close to a stock CV, so I'm really curious to see what your wiring looks like now. I'm also really interested in how it sounds with your mods.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DanRode View Post
I'm hoping to get close to a stock CV, so I'm really curious to see what your wiring looks like now. I'm also really interested in how it sounds with your mods.
I hope this helps... this is its current set up, but somebody said it has already been upgraded because it has Alpha pots and switch.







I will be recording its stock sound over the weekend and then the mod'ed sound.

In the picture below, the pot on the right will be my no-load tone pot. I am not good in soldering, so I am glad that the cap is already soldered. All I have to do is solder it to the volume pot, which is the one on the left.

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Old 09-29-2017, 02:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting pictures! Very Interesting. Does it have the stock CV pickups?

I don't know what post and switch the CV has stock. It all looks pretty solid to me, tho. From what I've read, Alpha pots are a solid alternative to CTS. I ca see that Alpha makes the switch as well but I have not read anything about those.

The cap appears to be a 102 500v which would be a .0001uF like mine. I can't see what the tone cap is.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:36 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting pictures! Very Interesting. Does it have the stock CV pickups?

The cap appears to be a 102 500v which would be a .0001uF like mine. I can't see what the tone cap is.
You are welcome! Yes the pickups are stock.

I installed the cap as the tone bleed. I will take a picture of the tone cap details after I have recorded the stock sound. I'm worried that I might break it off before recording anything.
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:45 AM   #6
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I read someplace that alpha pots is what's stock in CVs. When I bought the new plate, it was fully loaded, so I just used that- IIRC. Are your pots mini, LLB? That's what was in my CV Tele. In one of the pics of your new pots, it looked like one had a longer shaft. That would kind of bug me if one shaft was too long, and the knob was high.

I think you asked if plates were uniform, LLB. I bought 2 different plates from Amazon. One fit just fine, the second (pic posted someplace) that was just a bit too long, and I have it screwed under the scratch guard. Even if you bought a Fender plate, it's a gamble because the scratch guards aren't uniform across all models.

I'm gonna flip my plate someday. I have 2 sets of pups, and deciding which guitars they'll go into. I think I want to mod one of my strats, and can't decide which one gets the swap. Looking forward to both of you guys' mods. It's giving me incentive to make a decision.
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:16 AM   #7
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I already installed everything... and dayem! This baby is HOT!!! I like it! The no-load tone pot gives me the option to bypass the tone circuit giving me a direct sound from the pickups. It is AWESOME!

Right now, it seems that the Artec Giovanni GCT73 Telecaster Hot Rails Pickup on the bridge seems to be louder than the neck single coil being 11k Ohms compared to the lesser stock single coil. I will try to adjust pickup heights.

Question... do I have to adjust the heights until the volume is balanced? Or are humbucker bridge are just naturally louder? Or, up to what extent should I let the volume difference be?

Although I like the stock neck as is, I am thinking of an overwound alnico neck pickup.

A sound demo will be coming as soon as I find the sweet spot of the pickup heights.

Thank you Fill for the technical advice, Slim for encouraging the mod, and Moosie from another forum site.

This Squire Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster now have:

Artec Giovanni custom single coil sized rail humbuckers with full 64mm rails at 11k ohms Alnico 5
Fender 500k vol pot
Fender 250k no-load tone pot
Fender 4-way giving me:
1st: neck only
2nd: neck+bridge south
3rd: bridge split south
4th: Full bridge humbucker

This baby is now a keeper!

In the future, I'm thinking of:
A switch to also bypass the volume pot.
A drop D tuner
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:33 PM   #8
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Did you do all the soldering?.
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:00 PM   #9
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Pickup height adjustment and balancing is a bit like string height. Set it where you like it. I put the neck pickup at a height that the pick doesn't constantly hit the pickup and then lower the bridge pickup until they are the same volume. Some guys like to leave the bridge up high so when they turn it on, it screams and is super dirty. I understand it but it isn't my bag. I personally like most things balanced.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:39 PM   #10
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Did you do all the soldering?.
Yes I did! I could still smell the lead until I went to sleep!

I followed this diagram:


But instead of the 250k volume pot, I use 500k, and instead of the normal 250k tone, I used a no-load 250k for the tone circuit bypass option.
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