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Help me figure this out -a Tele w/2 pickups and a 5-way switch???

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Stratatouille, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Stratatouille

    Stratatouille Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 16, 2013
    OK so I picked this guitar up last night at a pawn shop for next to nothing, I didn't have an amp to test it on but it plays acoustically fine. SO I plugged it into an amp this a.m. and discovered that it has a 5-way switch on it?! So it appears to have a humbucker in the neck and a single coil in the bridge. SO what in the world would the switch do? It makes different sounds on all 5 positions and when I pulled the wiring plate off it looks factory to me, and I was NOT able to reverse the volume tone knob and switch positions back to normal either.

    ESP LTD TE-202 is the guitar in question

  2. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    While I don't know the exact answer to your question, bear in mind that a humbucker contains two coils. You can also wire coils/pickups in series or parallel, so there are a lot more than five possible permutations.
    Triple Jim likes this.
  3. fezz parka

    fezz parka Do you Reach? Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    Going to Eden...Hey Brother...
    Looks like a cool guitar. Five way could split the humbucker. ..could be Jerry Donahue wiring too .

    For some of us, that is a normal control plate setup.
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  4. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 21, 2013
    Merseyside UK
    Looks to be the ESP LTD TE-202 Distressed 3-Tone Burst Rosewood which afaik came with standard 3 way switching.
    Were 350 euros new in Europe.
  5. DIYrocker

    DIYrocker Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 16, 2013
    Might be doing series/split/parallel with the humbucker, as Simon said.
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014

    Is the switch a normal 5-way or one of the '5-way super switch'es? If a normal 5-way Strat type, then it's easy to wire those neck pair of bobbins as single coils with the bridge so you start with an SSS Strat chassis and put in the 5-way for N/N+M/M/M+B/B. If a super switch then it could have a lot of variations and choices.

    If the tone knob had been converted to a blender knob (simulates tone) that could go from SSS into HSH or anywhere between. The Dan Armstrong Blender mod. I put it on my Strats.

    I wired this guitar up with a 4-way switch after separating the two humbucker coils into singles. So I have N/N+B/B/NxB series. I adjust pickup height and the screw pole heights as well to get tonal separation between the two coils so a little tone knob and I can fake a Tele neck pickup.
    You'll also note the reversed control plate use.

    This guy popularized it for me, then I tried it and now flip all my player Teles.