SS8 (Modern TCB)

tele ss8 image

click for SS8 diagram & details

Another good suggestions from a customer: a bypass-able tone control. This option provides the same benefit as Fender’s no-load tone pot, though that wasn’t really the idea behind it. In our opinion it’s a more elegant solution than a no-load pot, plus it adds a couple of benefits that a no-load pot doesn’t.

We think of this control as a tone preset control. Rolling back your tone control to warm up the guitar may be just the ticket for rhythm work where you need to lay back in the mix a little, especially when using the bridge pickup. But when it’s solo time, you want it to cut. This control is perfect for that. Pre-set your tone control, and when it’s time to cut, simply push the little pushbutton switch. Voilà, full treble! Push the button again, and you’re back at your preset tone. So once you get the tone control adjusted right where you like it, you don’t have to change this setting in order to go to full treble. Just push the button to toggle between your settings.

Also, when the tone control is bypassed, it functions like a no-load pot. A traditional tone pot “loads” the circuit when it’s fully clockwise, because even though the attached capacitor is taken out of play (and therefore no treble frequencies are being removed), the pot is in fact a resistor, and remains visible to the circuit. Whether or not this is a problem depends on your perception: certainly none of the ‘50s and ’60s Teles that many players revere had no-load tone pots (which came about in the 1990s); but there is a tonal consequence of leaving the pot visible to the circuit, therefore many players like the idea of a no-load tone pot. Our implementation does this, by making the pot itself invisible to the circuit when it’s bypassed.

We offer this tone control with several of our popular Tele wiring configurations, including modern wiring. We call this wiring “modern” because Fender didn’t start out wiring Teles this way. In fact, there were a couple of different circuits used in the Tele’s first 17 or so years, neither of which is familiar to most younger Tele players. Fender finally settled on the wiring shown on this page in 1967, well after the January ‘65 purchase of the company by CBS. However, once finally adopted, it has become the standard wiring for Teles. It’s used almost universally by Fender for current Tele production, and even some of the vintage reissue guitars, such as the Classic Series ‘50s Tele, feature this wiring.

Modern wiring consists of a 3-way switch, with a master volume and a master tone. The available pickup combinations are:

  • Position 3: Neck Pickup
  • Position 2: Bridge & Neck Pickups in Parallel
  • Position 1: Bridge Pickup

Players with reverse-wound, reverse-polarity pickups receive the benefit of hum-cancellation in switch position 2.

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