Contact: Kelsey Austin


Location: New York, U.S.

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3 Knob Tele Control Plate Hack

This hack is a pretty simple mod for any telecaster style control plate. The classic tele control plate has gone unchanged for decades. I felt it needed a bit more functionality and I'm always up for a good guitar mod. This hack can be done two ways.

1. You can buy a pre-made 3 knob control plate.


2. You can modify your existing control plate.

No product

Either way, its really not that difficult. It is possible to drill a hole in your existing control plate. But, before you start, there are a few things you should know.

*Understand, that if you make a mistake, thats it. You will probably have to get another control plate.

*IF your guitar is under any kind of warranty, this mod will certainly void that warranty. If you are like me, that doesn't matter because you like modding your axe, and you don't need a warranty to fix your own guitar.

Time to Complete: 30-90 minutes (Longer if you wire in a 3rd pot)

Tools and Materials:

  • 1 Guitar Potentiometer (250k-500k) This can be push/pull or regular.

  • Domed Knurled Telecaster Control Knob

  • Extra Guitar Wiring (For your new potentiometer)

  • Hammer

  • Metal Punch (To create dent for drill bit to sit in.)

  • Drill Press or Cordless Drill

  • Correct Size Drill Bits (3/8 inch or slightly bigger depending on your potentiometer.

  • Soldering Iron and Solder

  • Crescent Wrench or Socket Set

Step 1:

Remove the Control Plate from your guitar, disconnected the selector switch, volume, and tone controls.

Step 2:

Using a sharpie, make a dot at the halfway point between the two existing holes.

Using your punch right on that dot to make a starter hole for your drill bet.

Step 3:

Using your drill, center the bit in the punch mark and start drilling slowly. Use some kind of oil to cool the bit as it drills.

Step 4:

Now that your middle hole is complete, you cant start wiring up your third potentiometer. How you choose to wire it with your pickup configuration is up to you. 

Step 5:

Once you finish soldering its time to reinstall the pots onto the control plate. Then reinstall the knobs and mount the control plate back in the guitar.

Step 6:

Plug in your guitar and test your work. Don't worry if you messed up a few wires. I have done that myself on this mod, several times. Just take your time and re-solder the wires in their correct place.


Congratulations! You just finished the 3 Knob Telecaster Control Plate Hack!

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