Telecaster control plates

Posted by keith on Mon, 01/29/01 - 00:17:13.

Okay, people, help me out here. I have a Telecaster which I love to bits, and which I therefore don't want to get rid of. However, ever since I bought it 15 years or so ago the control plate has irritated the hell out of me. The pick-up select switch is too close to the volume control, so that it you try to flick away from the lead pick-up quickly mid-song your finger catches the volume control and turns the guitar down. Now I cannot believe that I am the only person on the planet who has spotted this flaw in Leo's otherwise wonderful design. I also can't believe that there isn't someone somewhere who manufactures modified control plates with the controls set a little further apart. Anyone know anything? Or does anyone have any neat little tricks - finger yoga excercises?! - for operating the switch without hitting the volume control? The only suggestion I've had so far is to fit a Strat 5-way switch and block off the back two, giving a 3-way select on which vertical is the back position. Clever idea, but can we do better?

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Re: Telecaster control plates

If you have the "top hat" switch knob it's worse, switching to the barrel style may help. I've seen folks turn
the control plate around and then moving the controls so you have "vol"-"tone"-pickup switch ( in that order).
This seems to be a real messed up thing, you wouldn't screw with the vol control when you hit the switch,
but you'd have further to reach for the switch. On the plus side the volume control would now be closer and more
convenient for pedal steel like volume swells; if you never do that tho you probably wouldn't give a tinkers cuss.

But I've never seen an aftermarket plate w/ better spacing. Too bad 'cause I found some neat looking black plastic
knobs for my tele that made this problem worse and I'd still love to use them...

Doug

: Okay, people, help me out here. I have a Telecaster which I love to bits, and which I therefore don't want to get rid of. However, ever since I bought it 15 years or so ago the control plate has irritated the hell out of me. The pick-up select switch is too close to the volume control, so that it you try to flick away from the lead pick-up quickly mid-song your finger catches the volume control and turns the guitar down. Now I cannot believe that I am the only person on the planet who has spotted this flaw in Leo's otherwise wonderful design. I also can't believe that there isn't someone somewhere who manufactures modified control plates with the controls set a little further apart. Anyone know anything? Or does anyone have any neat little tricks - finger yoga excercises?! - for operating the switch without hitting the volume control? The only suggestion I've had so far is to fit a Strat 5-way switch and block off the back two, giving a 3-way select on which vertical is the back position. Clever idea, but can we do better?

Re: Telecaster control plates

Cheers, Doug. I saw a review recently of a Custom Shop Tele, and it was pictured with the control plate reversed as you describe, but it's not an ideal solution, as you point out. I'm wondering about getting someone to make me one as a one-off piece of metal work. I can hardly believe no-one makes them, but there yo go.:

: If you have the "top hat" switch knob it's worse, switching to the barrel style may help. I've seen folks turn
: the control plate around and then moving the controls so you have "vol"-"tone"-pickup switch ( in that order).
: This seems to be a real messed up thing, you wouldn't screw with the vol control when you hit the switch,
: but you'd have further to reach for the switch. On the plus side the volume control would now be closer and more
: convenient for pedal steel like volume swells; if you never do that tho you probably wouldn't give a tinkers cuss.

: But I've never seen an aftermarket plate w/ better spacing. Too bad 'cause I found some neat looking black plastic
: knobs for my tele that made this problem worse and I'd still love to use them...

: Doug

: : Okay, people, help me out here. I have a Telecaster which I love to bits, and which I therefore don't want to get rid of. However, ever since I bought it 15 years or so ago the control plate has irritated the hell out of me. The pick-up select switch is too close to the volume control, so that it you try to flick away from the lead pick-up quickly mid-song your finger catches the volume control and turns the guitar down. Now I cannot believe that I am the only person on the planet who has spotted this flaw in Leo's otherwise wonderful design. I also can't believe that there isn't someone somewhere who manufactures modified control plates with the controls set a little further apart. Anyone know anything? Or does anyone have any neat little tricks - finger yoga excercises?! - for operating the switch without hitting the volume control? The only suggestion I've had so far is to fit a Strat 5-way switch and block off the back two, giving a 3-way select on which vertical is the back position. Clever idea, but can we do better?

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