#1
I play a lot of indie rock/post rock/post hardcore (thrice, O'brother, TWDY, EITS, GSY!BE, Mono, Ceremony, Foals) stuff with this guitar and i'm really interested in experimenting with and improving it as i've never done this with a guitar before.
I like this guitar as a whole and i picked it up at a reasonable price at £400 but it's a pretty standard sounding dual humbucker electric and i'd like to develop it's character and make it stand out a bit both sonically and aesthetically. Money isn't a massive issue as I have my student loan and work so i'd be open to most reasonably priced suggestions. The first couple of things i've thought about are changing the pickups out (perhaps p-rails?) and putting in 500k pots but i've read previously that wide range reissues are a different size from normal humbuckers so any advice as to how attainable new pickups are or how i'd go about getting them into this guitar would be welcome.

My current setup is
Fender telecaster deluxe 72 mim reissue > fender pt10 tuner > ernie ball vp10 > proco rat 2 > big muff > DD7 > L6 DL4 > Strymon Bluesky > EHX Freeze > Blackstar HT100 (gonna upgrade at some point)

If you guys have any modifications/pickups you could suggest that would be cool, cheers.
Fender Telecaster Deluxe/PRS SE Custom 24

Fender PT10 tuner
Ernie Ball VP JR
Proco Rat 2
EHX Big Muff Pi
Line 6 DL4
Strymon Bluesky
Boss DD7
EHX Freeze

Blackstar HT100
#2
Are you getting bored with the dual Humbucker set up? They're some P-90 pickups that are configured to fit into a Humbucker route (P-100's I think), those will certainly add a different sonic character to your sound. You could add some sort of tremolo system like a Bigsby. IMHO you mention that you want to upgrade your amplifier, if you are seeking a different sound wouldn't putting money towards that purchase be more prudent than modifying your guitar?
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#3
You can't put normal humbuckers or humbucker-sized pickups in. Wide Range pickups are much bigger; you need Wide Range-size pickups.

Luckily for you, there are several boutique pickup makers who can make any kind of sound you want in a Wide Range cover. Unluckily for you, they come at a premium price. For my money, at-the-creamery.co.uk is the best on offer; give 'im an e-mail describing the sort of sound you want and that you need it in a Wide Range size and he'll get it done for you, if you don't mind the cost. He has all sorts of covers for Wide Range pickups so you can choose something that stands out visually, too.

As it so happens, the pickups that are in Fender's Wide Range covers are just regular humbuckers with a hell of a lot of wax to fill the gap between them and the larger cover. They're not buitl like old style Wide Range pickups at all. This is bad for people that want a vintage-accurate sound, but great if you're happy to just mod your pickups like any other humbucker. You could try swapping the magnets inside—the stock ones are either A4 or A5, I forget which—for a slightly different tone. Swapping the control pots is also a very popular mod. Moving to 500k won't be a significant change from what you have now (you can hear what it will sound like by simply disconnecting the current tone control), but moving up to 1meg pots will provide a significant boost in brightness, clarity and output. Just bear in mind that 1meg pots tend to not give you such fine control as the stock 250k ones do, so if you're someone who likes to use their volume and tone controls a lot then replacing the pots may not be such a good idea.

There's all sorts of mods you can do by wiring capacitors and resistors in series or parallel with the pickups or pots. You could add a cap in series with a pickup to make it brighter or another value to make it darker.

Then there is the option of simply buying a new pickguard which can take normal humbuckers (or standard humbucker-size pickups). Unfortunately there is nowhere in the UK which supplies such things at a reasonable price, but you can get some from America (with an additional £10-£15 import fee once it arrives). Terrapinisland.com offers a perfect replacement for the '72 Deluxe's pickguard with almost any pickup combination you want; you could put a Telecaster bridge pickup in the neck position, have a Strat pickup and a P-90, whatever.

The '72 Deluxe is a good platform for modding once you get past the problem of the pickup size. There's really no end of things you could do to it, so have a think about what sort of sound it is exactly that you want to end up with.


edit: as for the P-Rails, eh. I have a set and have used them in many guitars before and they're great if you know what you're getting into, but don't let yourself be sold ont he hype. They may seem like they offer every tone you coudl ever wish for, but in reality the rail coils sound exactly like cheap Squier pickups—well, they are made in exactly the same way—the P-90s are considerably brighter-sounding than most people expect P-90s to be and the humbucker sound is quite odd, as it isn't fully hum-cancelling and has a wider response due to the uneven coils, like a PAF humbucker, but it has the huge output of a modern humbucker. Bit of an odd one and not something you should rely on. Make sure you go try out a guitar that already has P-Rails so you can see if they will really be useful. To me, the only tones I get out of them are the neck humbucker, joint rail coils, joint P-90s and the bridge P-90. Everything else is pretty flimsy.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Mar 8, 2013,
#4
Quote by DylanHendrix
Are you getting bored with the dual Humbucker set up? They're some P-90 pickups that are configured to fit...


I wouldn't necessarily say bored, but I understand the kinds of music I play can encompass a wide range of instruments, so it doesn't really make sense to me for both of my guitars to have such a similar layout (I have a Korean made PRS also). I have considered a Tremolo system but I don't think i'll use it enough to justify the money I'd spend. At the moment I'm between bands also, so when i'm playing it tends to be through whatever amp is available and when i'm using it the blackstar has a decent glassy clean tone with a pretty good spring reverb and my distortions all come from my pedalboard; A new amp isn't really at the top of my priority list currently. I also do a lot of home-writing and recording, and I'm also just generally interested in how i could make this guitar my own.

Quote by MrFlibble
You can't put normal humbuckers or humbucker-sized pickups in. Wide Range pickups are much bigger; you need Wide Range-size pickups...


Thanks for such a long and insightful reply, after reading this and having a look online, I think my best option would be to order/make a new scratchplate to fit whichever pickup configuration I end up choosing; seems to me that if I do that, there's a higher likelihood that in future it could save me a bit of money if i decided to swap out whichever i end up going with to a different set.

After reading up on the "wide range" pickups that come stock with the reissue, one suggestion towards brightening/clearing up the sound that I've experimented with is removing the pole pieces from the underside of the pickup, which has provided a different tone that i'm playing with currently and enjoying.

I can't say that I ever use the tone controls and since I bought a volume pedal my only use for the volume controls has been delegated to that, so on your advice I guess new tone pots would be worth putting in.
Capacitors and Resistors seem like an area of guitar that I could do with really educating myself on before I try and mess with also, haha.

I was definitely sold on the hype towards P-Rails, I'll be cautious towards them and go try a guitar with them out, I'll link some examples of some guitar sounds that i'm after below.

Strat's tone both distorted and cleaned up at the end
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byzeyLkvn9E

explosions in the sky - the stratocaster on the right
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER2_8zgpUQQ

O'brother (this is where the P-rail idea came from)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uflJpjdmyG8

Thrice (the rhythm with the twangyer clean tone and the chordier chorus parts)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDrTkd1618Q

if you could recommend me some pickups to try out based on these that would be cool. Cheers, dudes.
Fender Telecaster Deluxe/PRS SE Custom 24

Fender PT10 tuner
Ernie Ball VP JR
Proco Rat 2
EHX Big Muff Pi
Line 6 DL4
Strymon Bluesky
Boss DD7
EHX Freeze

Blackstar HT100