I have finally gotten around to doing something with the nice fender select tele body that I got last year. The body is a 2013 Fender American Select Malaysian Blackwood Top Chambered HH Tele body. It is a chambered alder body with a malaysian blackwood top, and the finish is gloss-lacquer.
It came as just the body, no hardware nor electronics, and I got it for about $230 including shipping. Not bad; the complete guitar new had a sticker price of upwards of $2,000, and came with a compound radius (9.5″ – 14″) birdseye maple neck, and a fender select tweed hardcase.
Fender equipped this model with 2 Fender Wide-Range humbucking pickups. Cool, so I found a set for a great price. I also got a Fender USA hardtail bridge for the project.
The first thing to do was to polish out some light scratches, which I did with some success using my random orbital and polishing pads.
Next I needed to see about mounting and wiring in the fender wide-range pups that I got on a loaded 72 RI p/g from clist for super cheap. Turns out that those particular pups are larger in size than typical hb’s, and the fender wide-range pups that went into these blackwood tele selects are regular humbucker size. So, I could not use them in this tele without making the routes in this beautiful body larger, which I would not do for obvious reasons.
I ended up selling that wide-range hb loaded p/g and bought a set of new uncovered Gibson 57 classics, again, for way cheap. I have heard great things about 57 classics and have always wanted to get a set. So, they arrived and they are 4 conductor, which is groovy because I’ll do individual coil splits using push / pull pots for both the volume and tone. The 57 classics are also quick-connect, so I’ll make some adapters to allow me to connect to a conventional soldered harness without having to clip the quick-connect ends off.
Custom wiring harness:
– Fender 3-way blade switch
– .022uf orange drop capacitor
– two 500k push / pull potentiometers
– electro-socket output jack
– vintage-style cloth covered hook-up wire
I made these adapters so that I could keep the quick-connect ends on the 57 classics and solder to my custom harness:
Here are pics after getting it all together. The neck is from a Fender USA Special telecaster, and it feels great. I got a set of chrome pickup rings, and used a skull and crossbones barrel type knob that I’ve been saving for a project like this, and also a gibson style amber knob just to mix it up a little.
I still need to do a couple more things, like drill the 4th neck plate hole into the neck (and put in last screw) and get the coil-splits to work. For some reason, after making the harness with push-pulls, pulling has no effect (no splitting), even though the 57 classics are 4-conductor (quick connects). It may just be that they are still 2 conductor pickups, but with 4-conductor quick connects. Need to contact Gibson.