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Unread 06-30-2010, 07:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

G'day I'm new to this forum, so hello from Melbourne, Australia

I've had an Ephiphone Les Paul for about a year and a half now, but today was the first time I noticed the toggle switch messing up. For a while the bridge pickup was struggling to get any sound on the treble and middle setting. The neck pickup was also getting a fair bit of sound on the treble setting which it normally doesn't.

It was great that after I put it down for a while and picked it up later it started working back to normal, but I'm not convinced that I can rely on it not to mess up.

I reckon I'm good at playing guitar, but in terms of reworking a guitar's setup I'm an absolute beginner. I changed the strings on it for the first time yesterday (I'm not sure if this is related to the toggle switch problem or not).

I've read some threads about toggle switches and people talk about replacing it manually or cleaning it.

My questions are I guess: Is it worth it to open up a guitar when you don't know what you're doing? Is there a good website out there or thread that shows how to change a toggle switch? and may it just need a clean?

Cheers,
James
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Unread 06-30-2010, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

The switch is relatively easy to work on or replace. Simply remove the 3 screws of the switch cavity cover to access it.

If you know how to solder, then I reccomend buying a new Swichcraft switch and installing it. If not, I would take it to someone and have him install it. The stock switch is not very good and it's simply not worth cleaning.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 07:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

James- toggle switches seem a common failure on Epis. I fixed one for a friend recently- he had bought a new switch. It didnt fit. Be aware that the switch is a metric sized switch in an Epi- an Imperial (gibson or gibson aftermarket like switchcraft ) switch wont fit through the hole in the top of the git. You can widen the hole a little. Dont drill - use a file or sandpaper round a pencil, work from the back. Be careful.

But I fixed that one, possibly temporarily, simply with contact cleaner. Get a can of electrical contact cleaner, remove the backplate and hit the switch. Do the pots at the same time.

If that doesnt work, change the switch. Simple job- just get the right part.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 07:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

I had an Epi LP and the switch started giving me crap right away! So... replaced the darn thing with a switchcraft, problem solved.

They put some crappy parts on those Epis or so it would seem, so, you might as well go and get a new jack and new pots and caps while you're at it, if you wanna upgrade all those things and get rid of the less-than-quality stuff.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 07:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Yep, same thing happened to my guitar. Some positions had low output even though the volume was on full blast. Now I have a long Switchcraft and seemingly no problems...
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Unread 07-01-2010, 06:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

It should be covered under the lifetime warranty. Just bring it back to the dealer. They should be able to take care of it for you. I had an issue with toggle switch right out of the box. Just need to toggle back and forth every once in a while. I almost always use the bridge pickup so it doesn't really bother me that much.
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Unread 07-02-2010, 11:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

In addition to my Epi LP, I have a number of other guitars. Some are higher-end brands, and I have owned some for in the 30 to 50 year range. I have found that using contact cleaner on these switches is sort of like changing the oil in your car. Just routine maintenance. I realize that a lot of Epi toggles have broken, so replacement is not a bad idea. But as your problem is intermittent, it sounds more like dirty contacts to me. And cleaning these is just maintenance.
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Unread 07-02-2010, 04:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

The toggle switches on Epis aren't the best. When I switch to neck pickup it occasionally doesn't put out sound. I just have to switch it to bridge then switch back.
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Unread 07-03-2010, 12:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

I've this problem too. Have to keep switching it to make it work. However it tends to happen more at home then during jamming practices. I guess it's related to the larger force i used to change the switch during jamming.
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Unread 07-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

I bought a new Epi Sheraton about two months ago and the switch is now starting to go. It seems like a common problem. While I am at replacing it, I will probably yank all of the electronics and upgrade. Love the guitar though.
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Unread 07-03-2010, 06:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

The switches that come in the epi's are pretty cheap and upgrading them is a good idea if you plan on keeping the guitar. Also epi's are not wired up like a Gibson so when you upgrade keep that in mind.

I have also learned that the paint inside the epi switch cavity is often conductive, so if any part of the switch lugs or bare wires are touching the cavity it will cause a short. The switch craft switches are slightly bigger so you allow for that when mounting the switch in there. I normally take a needle nose pliers and carefully bend the switch tabs out to the sides to keep them from hitting the sides of the cavity.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 06:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Hi I have a problem my lp custom i got yesterday and when i put it from middle to rythem it makes a poping noise somtimes is it normal or should i get it replaced because its under warranty
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Unread 05-28-2012, 06:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Hi toa, firstly, the thread is more than two years old. Imo, you just have to refer to this kind as reading material/reference. That being said, better create a new thread than resurrect this one. Anyway, just an advice.

Off to your question, switching it up and down should be making that popping sound like all other switches does. Unless when you switch it up/down and pops back to the middle, or worse it makes no sound, then it's a different story. But if it stays up/down when you switched it then you should be fine.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 07:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

could just be dirty, I find spraying a bit of lens cleaner (not water) into the top of the toggle and giving it a little work back and forth fixes it, if not I'm in melb too, if you feel like coming over to hoppers crossing I've got a couple spare toggle switches and I'll chuck a new one in your Epi for free.

EDIT: Wow, I just read how old this thread is
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Unread 08-20-2013, 01:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLeftyPaul View Post
HUnless when you switch it up/down and pops back to the middle
I've got the same problem with my Firebird V. When I switch it down, it pops back to the middle. I've just noticed that the plastic tip on the bottom of the switch post that presses against the flanges doesn't press enough, that's why it pops back, I suppose. What should I do to solve this problem?
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Unread 08-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Try unscrewing your switch tip until it is higher than the collar around the switch. If that solves the problem, just stick a bit of paper or a broken piece of a matchstick in the tip and screw it down until it tightens up and is still above the rim of the switch.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 02:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

How should I unscrew the tip? It is surrounded be these flanges. Sorry for being newbie and thank you for being helpful
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Unread 08-20-2013, 02:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

The tip is just a plastic cap that is screwed onto the switch shaft. Just grab it and unscrew it by turning it counter clockwise.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 02:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Well, I unscrewed this. What's next? I can't understand, where should I stick a piece of paper or a piece of a matchstick
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Unread 08-20-2013, 02:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Just unscrew it enough so that it does not interfere with the rim and see if the switch will stay in the proper position. If that seems to solve the problem of the switch returning to center, then stuff something into the tip so that when you screw it back into place and snug it down, it no longer comes in contact with the edge of the switch.

If you simply unscrew it a bit, the tip will be loose and will probably fall off and get lost.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

But it doesn't interfere with the rim even if the tip is not unscrewed. I unscrewed the tip and it is still pops to the middle. Are there any ways to solve the problem?
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Unread 08-20-2013, 03:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Oh! In that case, I think your switch need to be replaced.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 03:49 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

The wire in the switch is broken, so it pops back. If you are not sure how to remove and replace it but a crafty enough I think you can just put a thin wire (paper clip I think) in it. But you have to remove the switch first.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 02:44 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

I would be very careful about bending the prongs on a Switchcraft switch. There will definitely be clearance issues. Did that once, to make it fit, and one of the prongs on the switch snapped off as soon as I started to gently apply pressure. Since the Switchcraft switches were a bit pricy, I was pissed for sure. Never had problems bending prongs on any other switch. Seemed like the metal in this one prong was really brittle.

I suspect it's better to enlarge the hole just a bit. There is plenty of lip where the cap will cover it, and lots of ways to safely file/sand a small groove for the prongs of the switch.
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Unread 08-22-2013, 05:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Toggle Switch Issue on Epiphone Les Paul

Thank you people! I finally coped with the problem
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