Selector switch problems

Oddball667

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Well i think my switch is going out , there is no middle position ..
Idk anything about how to change the switch or if theres a preferred or better switch I should be checking into , any information would be greatly appreciated.
 

ARandall

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So the individual pickups each work then???

The 3 way works by forcing 2 metal 'leaves' apart.....and by default 'deselecting' a pickup. In the middle both pickups are not 'deselected'.....but the position of the leaves is not quite the same as where they sit on either extreme.

So what you most likely have is a slight bend in either inner leaves (which go to the switch) or the outer leaves (from pickups). Its an easy fix usually, and your selector can work perfectly fine for a good while yet with some mechanical massaging.
 

Oddball667

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So the individual pickups each work then???

The 3 way works by forcing 2 metal 'leaves' apart.....and by default 'deselecting' a pickup. In the middle both pickups are not 'deselected'.....but the position of the leaves is not quite the same as where they sit on either extreme.

So what you most likely have is a slight bend in either inner leaves (which go to the switch) or the outer leaves (from pickups). Its an easy fix usually, and your selector can work perfectly fine for a good while yet with some mechanical massaging.
So basically pull the cover and check it out lol .
Ok .
From the looks of it its the original switch , which would make it 27 years old , but what would i be looking for a broken leave ? Or tab ?
Maybe solder thats come loose?
 

Oddball667

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Ok theres rhe switch and pots , are these orginal?
And what kind of pots are these 100k?
I'm pretty sure I can fix the switch ,because yeah the neck & bridge work separately and in the middle the bridge comes through but not rhe neck .
And it almost sounds the the bridge goes single coil or something and sounds diffrent , but if I turn the volume down to only hear the neck in the middle position .....nothing , no sound what soever.
 

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Roxy13

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They look original to me.

Yes, the switch might be repairable. As was pointed out, check that both "leaves" are making contact when in the center position.

If you can't repair the switch it is easily replaced. I like the Switchcraft long toggles and the Gotoh toggles, but that's just my opinion and experience so YMMV.
 

Roxy13

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And if you do have to replace it use that photo to put your new one back with the same orientation and to make sure you put the right color wire on each lug.
 

Oddball667

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And if you do have to replace it use that photo to put your new one back with the same orientation and to make sure you put the right color wire on each lug.
Thanks guys , I have been watching some videos and it looks easy enough .
For right now ill have to deal with the no middle position till I get the money to fix it .
But I am going to see if they guy I got it from can lend a hand.
 

CerebralGasket

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You need to make certain both volume controls are set to 10 and that each pup is working when selected by itself.

If either volume control is set to 0 when switch is in middle position, it will cut off both pups and there will be no sound.
 

Oddball667

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Ill give that a shot , we cleaned the switch with some electrical cleaner and now I can barely hear neck pick up and couldn't at all before.
 

moreles

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It is easy to eyeball whether or not the connections are being made. There should be no mystery -- it's observably mechanical in operation.
 

Oddball667

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Didn't pull it out just sprayed cleaner in.
The idea being I dont have a spare , or the money to replace it so im leaving it alone till i do.
 

jk60LPTH

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Is that the original switch wiring? It's just regular old Belden unshielded control, security & intercom cable. The insulation on this cable softens and melts very easily, and if it's lying against anything, that could push through the insulation when the conductor is being soldered. The one place in particular I'm looking at is the white wire in the control cavity. The insulation looks distorted where it goes over the potentiometer housing in the little notch right before it connects to the wiper terminal. It might just be the photo, but check the insulation on the underside of that just in case.

Contacts on switches can tarnish and contact cleaner spray won't clean that off. A contact burnishing tool will take the tarnish off without removing the contact plating. If you're in the US you can find one on Amazon (the second one looks a bit narrower, and might be more appropriate for the switch you have):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B5OK1AO
or
https://www.amazon.com/Jonard-OB-1-Burnisher-Insulated-Thickness/dp/B006C47JOI

You'll have to remove the switch to use the burnishing tool- if you don't have a proper wrench for the knurled nut, get one from StewMac or Amazon. Place the burnishing tool between the 2 contacts for each pickup and flip the toggle so the contacts close on it and move the burnishing tool back and forth a few times for each pair of contacts, no need to use contact cleaner afterwards, and because some cleaners also contain a lubricant, dust and other contaminants could stick to the lubricant and cause more problems later.

These tools are designed specifically to clean open-frame switches and relays- you don't have to worry about damaging the contact plating. Do not use sandpaper, no matter how fine it is, it's not the same!
 

Oddball667

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Thanks man. This is great information .
I'm not sure if thats the orginal wiring or switch as far as I know the guitar had to previous owners before me and has sat in a closet the last 9 years.
 

Dan18

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Interesting. I developed exactly the same problem yesterday. When selector is in middle position, the neck pickup doesn’t sound. But it does when neck is selected. After reading this, I’ll look again at the mechanical operation of it.
 

dasherf17

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It is easy to eyeball whether or not the connections are being made. There should be no mystery -- it's observably mechanical in operation.
A silly question on my part being in a similar boat...does the switching down below go the "opposite" to the lever?
 

Oddball667

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A silly question on my part being in a similar boat...does the switching down below go the "opposite" to the lever?
I would imagine mine is just old.
Plan on replacing it when I get some money together.
 

jk60LPTH

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I would imagine mine is just old.
Plan on replacing it when I get some money together.
Old isn't necessarily a reason to replace, my 63 yo SG still has the original switch in it and I've only burnished the contacts once, and has been like new ever since. I've occasionally had to clean the 1/4" jack too, I keep a .32 caliber pistol barrel brass brush in my tool kit, it fits snugly in the jack, rotate it in the jack while watching the tapered end until it's brushing against the tip contact of the jack. The plating on the jack is harder than the brass, so there's no wear to it, again it's years before I have to clean it again. I think I paid $3-4 for brush, and a few more for the T-handle that makes it easier to twist in and out of the jack.
 

zombiwoof

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Ok theres rhe switch and pots , are these orginal?
And what kind of pots are these 100k?
I'm pretty sure I can fix the switch ,because yeah the neck & bridge work separately and in the middle the bridge comes through but not rhe neck .
And it almost sounds the the bridge goes single coil or something and sounds diffrent , but if I turn the volume down to only hear the neck in the middle position .....nothing , no sound what soever.
To answer one of your questions, those appear to be CTS "vintage dishback" pots, they have the exposed axle and the dished back.
Al
 


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