SMG Review: AweSome Musical Instruments’ Telecaster
Hyper-Mod™ Control Plate

FROM GOOD TO AWESOME

Innovative products are often conceived when seeking to improve upon an existing design. In the case of Thomas Wnorowski, he recognized that the tonal possibilities residing within his Strat copy fell far short of their potential, so he set out to do something about it. By replacing the standard pickup selector with a series of individual switches, he more than doubled his palette of sounds. Today Thomas boasts a number of mods for getting the most out of one’s axe, a patented Pickup Tone Multiplier™ (PTM) switching system, and a company that lives up to its name: AweSome Musical Instruments. We shared with Thomas a sad tale of a stock Telecaster that only offers three tones. Shaking his head with understanding, he sent over his Telecaster 2-pickup Hyper-Mod™ control plate to break us free from our tonal restrictions.

PRESTO CHANGE-O! IT’S A SUPER TELE!

The entire mod is contained in a single unit. A black acrylic control plate serves as the base for a stacked master volume and tone pot, and three toggle switches. The genius behind the mod, the PTM switching system, is mounted to the bottom of the plate and sits within the control cavity. This unit installs as easily as one can imagine with a solderless connector block replacing the time and trouble of traditional methods requiring soldering tools, a steady hand, and a good dose of patience. I literally had the mod installed within ten minutes and that’s because I took extra time to desolder the leads from the stock plate rather than just clipping them.

DOUBLE YOUR TONES – DOUBLE YOUR FUN

A standard Tele offers three tonal pickup options: bridge, neck, and bridge/neck in normal phase wired in parallel. With the Hyper-Mod™, three more possibilities are opened up allowing for the maximum number of configurations from this two-pickup setup: bridge/neck in reverse phase wired in parallel, bridge/neck in normal phase wired in series, and bridge/neck in reverse phase wired in series. With the newly modded Tele running through a Blackheart Little Giant Half Stack and a touch of reverb, I recorded some short passages to give you an idea of the expanded spectrum of sounds.

1. Bridge (stock) [audio:http://blog.sharemyguitar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/01_bridge.mp3|titles=01_bridge]

2. Neck (stock) [audio:http://blog.sharemyguitar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/02_neck.mp3|titles=02_neck]

3. Bridge/Neck Normal Phase Wired in Parallel (stock) [audio:http://blog.sharemyguitar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/03_BNnorm_parallel.mp3|titles=03_BNnorm_parallel]

4. Bridge/Neck Reverse Phase Wired in Parallel (mod) [audio:http://blog.sharemyguitar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/04_BNrev_parallel.mp3|titles=04_BNrev_parallel]

5. Bridge/Neck Normal Phase Wired in Series (mod) [audio:http://blog.sharemyguitar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/05_BNnorm_series.mp3|titles=05_BNnorm_series]

6. Bridge/Neck Reverse Phase Wired in Series (mod) [audio:http://blog.sharemyguitar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/06_BNrev_series.mp3|titles=06_BNrev_series]

THE FINAL WRAP

Be All That You Can Be is a slogan proudly promoted by the US Army. Were it not under their legal jurisdiction, AweSome Musical Instruments would have every right adopting it for their core business which turns the equivalent of guitar caterpillars into fully matured tonal butterflies (work with me here – I’m waxing poetic). I would really like to see the control plate offered in chrome, rather than the singular choice of black acrylic, as it’s more common to stock and I imagine there are others, such as myself, who simply prefer that look, but for the greatest tonal options from your Tele with the least amount of hassle, this is the way to go.

It should be noted that for those of you with 3-pickup Tex-Mex or Nashville Teles, AweSome offers a mod that septuples (7 times!!!) your choices for a total of 35 possible tones.

DIRECT PRICE – $127.97 + shipping


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  • bob smith

    Nice to see this company is finally getting some exposure. I have one of these in my Tele and it gives me more pickup tones than a stock Strat. I’m looking to replacing the stock Tele PUPS with 4-wire humbuckers because this company will soon have a board to access the separate coils in each of the pickup packages and spit out an amazing 68 pickup tones. If this works, I can reduce the number of instruments I have to lug into recording sessions from seven down to perhaps two.

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