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Thread: TL-1A electronic upgrade question

  1. #11
    I've seen on some threads that when upgrading the pots they had to enlarge the holes for the pots to fit.
    If you want to with 24mm pots, the control cavity will require widening. From memory, it's only about 1.5mm (.75mm each side)
    but it wants to be done with at least some accuracy to avoid creating a visible gap at the edge of the control plate.

    Seems like it'd be a pain to deal with enlarging holes on the metal control panel.
    Or would I be better say getting a pair of gotoh pots and a gotoh control panel to avoid the hassle of enlarging the holes?
    FWIW, you would only need to enlarge the control plate holes if going to pots with Imperial size bushes (CTS, Bourns). Gotoh pots would have metric bushes, but again, if you want "full size" (24mm) pots, the cavity becomes the issue as mentioned above.

    It's completely doable with a variable speed hand drill AND using good sharp drill bits! Dull dodgy drill bits will end badly with this job. This can also be done with a step drill.
    Securely holding the plate whilst drilling is important. Don't just hold it down on a table/bench by hand. Whilst it can be done in situ, I prefer doing it off the guitar, but that's just me.

    The biggest risk is lifting or chipping the nickel/chrome plating. Drill from the shiny side and don't drill the hole to the full desired diameter all at once. Start with the smallest bit needed and increase by .5mm increments.

    Are there mini pots from any of the go to companies like cts, bourns, gotoh, etc. that just fit in the existing holes?
    Yes, definitely CTS & Bourns, not sure about Gotoh. Contrary to popular belief, Alpha actually make decent pots for guitar (Taiwan). They also make crap ones like you'll get from Jaycar. You just need to look at the right suppliers to get them, like proper guitar parts supply stores.

    edit: Just had a thought - I'm not sure the US mini pots bushes will fit a metric control plate hole. Probably close, but worth looking into.

    2nd edit: A quick search revealed the CTS mini pots have 3/8" (9.5mm) bushing, same as the full size pots.
    Last edited by McCreed; 09-02-2020 at 09:25 AM.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  2. #12
    Looks like Iíll be getting the gotoh mini pots then. Seems like the easiest option to deal with. I think thatís pretty much all the questions I had about upgrading the electronics dealt with now. Should be able to order what I need and get everything together now. Gonna be a while before everything is assembled though.

  3. #13
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    I have Bourns minis on both of my Tele's and they needed control plate holes enlarged.

    Best way I found was to run the drill in reverse and use the correct sized drill bit to match desired hole diameter. Running in reverse prevents drill bit from biting and wanting to rotate the job or causing other sorts of damage.

    Also done the 4 way switch mod and that require a bit of depth taken out of control cavity floor. 4 way does same as standard 3 way but adds both in series (humbucker mode) in last position. Sonds great when it works but both of mine only working on 2 positions and need to find time to diagnose and rectify the fault.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
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    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

  4. #14
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Tele control plates with full-sized holes aren't expensive if you do want to use full-sized pots.

  5. #15
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    I have found control plate holes easy to open with these. Click image for larger version. 

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