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SS3 (4-Way ToneShaper)

tele ss3 image

click for SS3 diagram & details

Wiring two coils together in series rather than parallel yields markedly different results. On Telecasters with 2 pickups, the traditional parallel wiring provides relatively consistent output across all three positions. A Telecaster with its pickups wired in series differs in that when both pickups are on at the same time, the combination produces higher output and a fatter tone. A 4-position Tele switch allows players to have both wiring options at once.

SS2 and SS3 wiring are very similar, the difference is in which switch position yields the series combination. As can be seen below, SS3 places the series combination in position 3, just like our ToneShaper products (hence the reference). This layout - where all the way back is the bridge pickup, and all the way forward is the neck pickup - mimics a normal Tele a little more closely than Fender's layout, which puts the series position all the way forward.

  • Position 4: Neck Pickup (standard Tele)
  • Position 3: Bridge & Neck Pickups in Series (fatter tone than position 2 & more output than positions 1, 2, or 4)
  • Position 2: Bridge & Neck Pickups in Parallel (standard Tele)
  • Position 1: Bridge Pickup (standard Tele)

Players with reverse-wound, reverse-polarity pickups receive the additional benefit of hum-cancellation in switch positions 2 and 3.

If your neck pickup has a cover, the cover must be isolated from the pickup’s black wire and a separate ground wire added to it in order to maintain its shielding capability (if your neck pickup is uncovered, then this is a non-issue). The exceptions to this are the Fender Texas Special neck pickup (which already has a separate [yellow] ground wire), and pickups that are bought from Acme Guitar Works as part of a prewired assembly (we’ll add a yellow wire to the cover for you). If you need to modify your neck pickup in this way, please refer to the illustrations in our documentation.

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