i was hoping i could get some opinions/comments on a couple of possible customizations on a telecaster. my first step is buying the tele, so this idea is still in it's infancy. my first idea is, as i'm planning on modding the guitar, and on a bit of a budget, to buy a used mexican fender or similar quality knock-off or would it feasible to assemble the guitar through a company like stewart macdonald? I don't mind the challenge of assembling the guitar, but for the sake of quality and simplicity I think it might be best to just mod a pre-exisiting guitar. Does anyone have a guitar assembled like this and if so, how is the tone/playability? And which direction would be the best to go in economical terms?

second question regards the pickups and wiring, and is an idea I've had for a longer time and done a bit more research on. The game plan is a dual humbucker configuration with 2 seymour duncan p-rails. I find the idea of a three way pickup pretty cool and think it would be pretty unique to have 9 different combinations on a 3 way selector switch. Does anybody have these pickups and like to comment on them? I've read reviews and heard them but I haven't played them. I was thinking of maybe ordering one and dropping it in a yamaha pacifica H-S-S guitar to try it out first before committing to two. Also I was thinking about wiring with a series selector switch too - would this be practical or too much? I've got the option on my strat and I love it so I'd like to incorporate it if possible.

well that's my theoretical tele, tho i might upgrade the bridge and nut if it needs to be done as well. Does it sound do-able/reesonable? Anybody have a similar set-up? Advice or suggestions? Any comments or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

thanks for reading
If you start with a pre-existing guitar that you've played and know to be decent, your end product should be quite good. With a Warmoth build there are no such guarantees, and the resale value is terrible.

The upside with Warmoth is that the parts tend to be quite good, and you can get pretty much anything you want. So for people with a specific vision that isn't available off the rack, it's fabulous.

It doesn't sound like you have any particularly unusual or specific needs, so it's probably more practical to find a nice guitar and mod it in this case.

P-rails are nice pickups, thick sounding and lots of different voices, although they're all pretty hot and growly. They're like the Taco Bell of pickups - plenty of interesting iterations but they're all just beef and cheese and tortilla when you get down to it. For people who want a heavy humbucker guitar with some extra flavors, they're a great choice. If you love singles and P-90s and are expecting each mode to sound like an excellent example of its pickup type, you may be disappointed. I love them in SGs, which also gives you the option of the Triple Play mounting rings. Should be good in a strat but don't expect much in the way of the usual stratty single coil tones. If you've played a strat with a Hot Rails pickup you might get some idea of the tone. It's not bad, necessarily, but it's not going to do the same quack or ring or twang you'd get from a standard set of Strat singles.

If you're doing the P-rails you already have more wiring options than you're going to know what to do with. I'd do a three-position mini toggle for each pickup, plus a series/parallel switch, and the pickup selector. There's a trillion other things you can add but things get out of hand in a hurry when you try to throw too much in. I'd start with just that wiring, there's plenty there already and you can always add more later.

For 800-1000 you can get a used USA strat and pretty much any set of pickups you want.
I used the prails before. You can get their special rings that have the switches on them. It's a lot easier then trying to write all that stuff to a blade switch and push pull pots.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
I have the P-Rails, with Triple Shot rings. It is the easiest way to get all of the sounds out of these pickups, as adding other switches is a PITA.
Really cool P-90 and humbucker sounds. The single coil sound alone isn't the strong point, but there are enough great sounds in there that it doesn't matter.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
I've got P-Rails. There *are* the Triple-Shot rings, but they're slow to work with while you're playing and it's difficult to see where you're set at a glance. I have a pair of on-on-on three-way switches that select single coil/both/P90 coil for each pickup. They're essentially the same as the TriSound switches on the early '80's AR300. Faster to work with and it's fairly obvious to see where you're set even on a dark stage.

Note that there are (last time I looked) three different output levels available on the P-Rails. Originally there were two, a "Neck" and a "Bridge", but they added a "Hot Bridge" as well. I've ignored the designations in selecting mine and have them mixes as I like them, but you should be aware that the sounds are significantly different, and that if the single coils are noisy normally, they'll be noisier in "hot" versions.
after getting this input i might be better off getting maybe a p-rail for the neck and maybe something like a chopper t/ fast track for the bridge. i'm more of a classic rock/blues with a bit of jazz and country player so i'm looking for something fat and warm on the the neck and a bridge that's clear and bites and that way i imagine i might get a bit more out of the single coil tone of the p-rail. i like playing clean or with a little dirt, rarely anything beyond a medium gain setting - is there any recommended p/u combos or would the set-up i have suggested work? i had originally imagined wiring an on-on-on switch but i'll defintely look into the triple shot rings. thanks for the response
Last edited by nocentsmusic at Apr 20, 2016,
so you want a humbucker neck with a single coil bridge? that's wierd. but you could do it.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
I'd think about getting a hot P-90 in the neck, or perhaps something like the Rio Grande Tallboy that splits to a 'real' single coil, or a Bluesbucker which is designed to sound like a P-90 and split to a strat single coil. Or you could just get a decent neck humbucker and wire it for series/parallel. I bet a Fast Track and a Bluesbucker would be pretty nice together. Or a more standard Tele bridge pickup and a PAF type neck humbucker. That's a nice combination, just make sure the bridge pickup is hot enough to match.

I really wouldn't be considering the P-rails here, honestly. Too hot, too woolly sounding to match properly with a tele bridge IMO.
ok thanks. i like those ideas. Picked up a used mexican fender tele over the weekend so I plan on playing it for a month or two and then go from there