Author Topic: Tele Tidbit: Wiring the ‘reversed-stagger’ CRL-1452 threeway selector switch  (Read 4678 times)

Offline horge

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Wiring the ‘reversed-stagger’ CRL-1452 threeway selector switch

If, within the past several years, you have purchased a new spare 3-way selector switch
for a Telecaster-type electric guitar, from either Audiophile or one of the Yupangco music
stores (or online vendors like Angela Instruments)… you may have found yourself with a
3-way switch slightly-different from what appears in most online wiring diagrams. You will
have noticed that while the new switch has a form resembling the old CRL-1452 found in
older Fender Telecasters, it differs in subtle and fundamental ways.

First off, the new board is a very-pale green fiberglass, rather than brown phenolic resin,
Second and more critically, the soldering tabs are staggered in reverse fashion.

See below:

Fig.1 – Comparison of a vintage CRL-1452 and a newer-design CRL-1452

As far as I can tell, Fender still sells an original-stagger switch, but 3rd-party retailers. most
notably the online merchant Angela Instruments (and here in the Philippines, the aforesaid
Audiophile and Yupangco) are flogging selector switches with the newer, reversed-stagger
configuration. The change in tab-stagger has caused occasional confusion among DIY Tele

Telecaster wiring diagrams provided by Fender on its website (those using a CRL-1452)
clearly depict the original stagger, and using said diagrams w/ a reversed-stagger switch
won't work, even if one tries to “mirror-image” the original tab-soldering scheme. Neither
will attempting to follow another diagram (see Fig. 2) posted on TDP(RI), which seems to
depict a reversed-stagger CRL-1452:

Fig. 2 – Wiring Diagram producing a dead 2nd position on the reversed stagger CRL-1452

Wiring as depicted above will result in a dead 2nd position on the reversed-stagger switch.
If that’s what you are deliberately aiming for (the benefit of an middle “OFF” position) then
great… but if you want to get a conventional switching, meaning position 1 = neck PU,
position 2 = neck plus bridge PU’s, and position 3 = bridge PU, then here’s how you want
to wire/solder the newer switch:

Fig. 3 – Wiring a reversed-stagger CRL-1452 for correct, conventional switching

The above-right wiring works because of which circuits are completed, at each of the
three positions:

Fig.4 – Circuits completed, per switch position on a reversed-stagger CRL-1452

Wired correctly, and viewed as in the diagram above:
Position 1 connects the volume pot (by virtue of a direct wire) to the neck PU (by virtue
of constant wiper contact). Viewing the diagram above, only the right side of the switch
is live. Position 3 does the opposite, connecting the volume pot (by virtue of 2 jumpers)
to the bridge PU (by virtue of constant wiper contact). The middle (or second) position
connects the volume pot to both “sides” of the switch, hence both neck and bridge PU’s
(by virtue of jumpers and constant wiper contact on either side).

Photos of an actual installation.
My eyesight is going to pot, and thanks to arthritis, my digital dexterity is keeping pace,
so forgive the monkey-ass  soldering job below.

Fig. 5 – Control panel with a reversed-stagger CRL-1452

What you see is a working execution of the switch wiring diagram I recommend earlier in
Fig. 3, within the context of  the overall wiring proposed in Fig.2. And, yes, I know, but
I could not get better capacitors from DEECO, than what’s seen above. When I’d asked for
a .001μF cap at DEECO, the salesperson just stared at me with a displeased expression,
as if I’d asked her to find me a wet gerbil. See below.

Fig. 6   

It’s a good thing there were other salespersons there, who took time to rummage around
their storage drawers. They found the tiny devils for me, albeit disc-type. (If anyone has a
lead on where I can score inexpensive chiclet-type caps, .50 μF, .22 μF and .001 μF, here
in the Philippines or else online, kindly post or drop me a PM, thanks).

Hoping this post is even marginally-useful to some, Merry Christmas.


« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 02:44:09 PM by horge »

Offline xelalien

  • Philmusicus Addictus
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this should help when it comes to different 3/5-way lever switches, not just for Tele :)