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4-way switch problem 1972 EB3-L


Kelvinator

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I'm having trouble with the 4-way switch on my EB3-L. It often doesn't make a good connection when switching settings, and crackles until it's wiggled enough to work (very annoying on stage). Before I got it, the bass had been soaked from a leaking water pipe, then put in a closet for about 10 years; the pots & the switch were frozen (whole story in Gibson Basses - "Swamp Rat").

I've cleaned the pots and the switch several times; the pots are OK but there's no hope for the switch. My question is - can I replace the switch with a 3-way toggle and still have the choke? I just need 3 positions as I'd never use the bridge pup alone: 1- neck, 2 - neck & bridge, 3 - neck choked. This bass sounds great, and I don't want to change that, or make changes that aren't easily reversible. I would prefer a toggle switch over a rotary.

 

Any advice would be appreciated - I know just enough about wiring to be dangerous...

 

Tomseb3L008.jpg

 

Brown - center lug bridge pot

Red - center lug neck pot

Blue - 1st lug neck pot

Thin Black - choke

Cloth Black - jack

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I don't see why you couldn't use a 3-way toggle and wire it appropriately? The main thing to consider, I think, is the physical dimensions of the switch chosen and would it work in the control cavity of your guitar. Are you having problems finding a rotary switch as a replacement? ....Or if you found one, you would still prefer a toggle?

 

Rod

 

 

 

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"Switchcraft" is the OEM mfg for the Gibson selector switches we all know and love.

 

They make two shorty styles, one (or both) of them would certainly fit in your cavity. They also make the switch with the extra lugs for 3 pickup guitars (SG/LP), that might even give you better wiring options.

 

If you decide to stay with the rotary switch, it's most likely manufactured by CTS, and also readily available.

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I don't see why you couldn't use a 3-way toggle and wire it appropriately? The main thing to consider, I think, is the physical dimensions of the switch chosen and would it work in the control cavity of your guitar. Are you having problems finding a rotary switch as a replacement? ....Or if you found one, you would still prefer a toggle?

 

Rod

 

 

Thanks Rod.. There should be plenty of room for a 3-way, and yes I'd prefer a toggle. My problem is that I don't know how to wire it for the choke, or if that's possible with a 3-way. msp_confused.gif

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"Switchcraft" is the OEM mfg for the Gibson selector switches we all know and love.

 

They make two shorty styles, one (or both) of them would certainly fit in your cavity. They also make the switch with the extra lugs for 3 pickup guitars (SG/LP), that might even give you better wiring options.

 

If you decide to stay with the rotary switch, it's most likely manufactured by CTS, and also readily available.

 

To to use the choke, I may need the extra lugs; would that switch for a 3-pup guitar be a 4-way toggle? When the rotary is in the choke position, does that connect the blue wire to the black choke wire? Being electronically challenged, maybe another rotary switch would be the easiest way to go - but I would prefer a toggle if I knew how to wire it.msp_crying.gif

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Thanks Rod.. There should be plenty of room for a 3-way, and yes I'd prefer a toggle. My problem is that I don't know how to wire it for the choke, or if that's possible with a 3-way. msp_confused.gif

 

 

Hey Kelvinator, I am at a bit of a loss, as I don,t know how this choke functions? I am not familiar with the Bass-wiring with a choke. Does it effect tonal properties of both pickups?

 

My best guess would be to sub the bridge P/up wire with the choke wire on 1 leg of the 3-way.(or combine the bridge and choke wire) to 1 leg.

 

Here is a link to the 3-way wiring...

http://www.stewmac.c...gle_Switch.html

 

They sell a 4-way blade type switch also.

 

I gather that the choke is a feature that you utilize a lot?

 

Another thought!....IF any of the above does not work. Possibly wire the 'normal' 3-way wiring and run the choke to a push-pull(on-off) volume pot...!!??!

 

 

 

 

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To to use the choke, I may need the extra lugs; would that switch for a 3-pup guitar be a 4-way toggle? When the rotary is in the choke position, does that connect the blue wire to the black choke wire? Being electronically challenged, maybe another rotary switch would be the easiest way to go - but I would prefer a toggle if I knew how to wire it.msp_crying.gif

 

A good multimeter would be usefull in tracking the functions of this switch and answering some of your questions.

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Hey Kelvinator, I am at a bit of a loss, as I don,t know how this choke functions? I am not familiar with the Bass-wiring with a choke. Does it effect tonal properties of both pickups?

 

My best guess would be to sub the bridge P/up wire with the choke wire on 1 leg of the 3-way.(or combine the bridge and choke wire) to 1 leg.

 

Here is a link to the 3-way wiring...

http://www.stewmac.c...gle_Switch.html

 

They sell a 4-way blade type switch also.

 

I gather that the choke is a feature that you utilize a lot?

 

Another thought!....IF any of the above does not work. Possibly wire the 'normal' 3-way wiring and run the choke to a push-pull(on-off) volume pot...!!??!

 

The choke setting effects the tone of the neck pup only; it acts like a mid scoop, producing thick bass and articulate highs. It's a sweet sound for walking blues lines and slow tunes. Being a 34" scale with the neck pup placed farther away from the neck than previous EB3s, it doesn't suffer from the "mud-bucker" syndrome, so the choke setting is very useful.

 

A push-pull pot is a good Idea, and would no doubt work. I'll have to check the value of the original pots - I don't want to do anything that would change the sound of this old beast.

 

Thanks for the advice!

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The choke setting effects the tone of the neck pup only; it acts like a mid scoop, producing thick bass and articulate highs. It's a sweet sound for walking blues lines and slow tunes. Being a 34" scale with the neck pup placed farther away from the neck than previous EB3s, it doesn't suffer from the "mud-bucker" syndrome, so the choke setting is very useful.

 

A push-pull pot is a good Idea, and would no doubt work. I'll have to check the value of the original pots - I don't want to do anything that would change the sound of this old beast.

 

Thanks for the advice!

 

After thinking on it some more, I think the push-pull pot is the way to go. Possibly the tone-pot would be the best alternative to the volume pot. It should work for you. May have to do some trial and error, temporary wiring.

 

Do you have soldering skills?

 

This is a great site for info on your bass http://www.flyguitars.com/gibson/bass/EB3_schematic2.php

 

It says 500K vol. and 250K audio taper tone pots.

 

 

 

 

 

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After thinking on it some more, I think the push-pull pot is the way to go. Possibly the tone-pot would be the best alternative to the volume pot. It should work for you. May have to do some trial and error, temporary wiring.

 

Do you have soldering skills?

 

This is a great site for info on your bass http://www.flyguitar..._schematic2.php

 

It says 500K vol. and 250K audio taper tone pots.

 

 

 

Thanks for the link - the schematic and the pot values help. Yes I have good soldering skills and can follow directions. I've installed active EQs, pots, caps, pups, and switches - but I'll admit that I don't know exactly why things work the way they do, so your help & ideas are appreciated! As you've suggested, I think I will go with the 3-way toggle and a 250K P/P tone pot.

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I got a p/p 250k pot and a 3-way toggle switch today. I was able to install them without messing up the original wiring, so it can easily be put back if someone wanted to. The great thing about this arrangement is that I can add the choke to the combined neck & bridge pup setting - that's one more option than I had with the original wiring msp_thumbup.gif.

 

I have 7 basses (3 other Gibsons) that I've modified to suit my tastes, but I never really wanted to change this one; it's the only bass I own that was original and did everything I wanted it to do perfectly, but I just couldn't live with the "iffy" rotary switch. I'm glad I did the modification, as it made a great bass even better. After all, it is a tool (one I'll keep 'til I'm gone). Let the next guy put it back to original if he wants to...

 

 

Thanks again Rod for your advice. This worked out better than I expected!

 

IMG_0313.jpg

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Hey kelvinator, [thumbup]

 

Great! I love it when a plan comes together! You even got more than you bargained for! Good skills on your part for the clean work.... [thumbup]

 

 

Thanks Rod.. My soldering work looks even better with the cavity cover on... msp_biggrin.gif

 

Here's a shot of the front:

 

 

IMG_0317.jpg

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WOW ! Nice-looking bass. Is the bridge an aftermarket unit? Looks sturdy enough.

 

The neck looks like a good player [thumbup]

 

Thanks Rod. The bridge is a Babics; it's what Gibson is using now on the 2015 SG & T-bird. The bass is an early '72 and originally had a 2-point bridge. Someone changed it to a 3-point (which I'm no fan of). Even with the 3-point bottomed out, I couldn't get the action where I wanted it, but the Babics did the trick. It also adds unbelievable sustain and makes the bass quite a bit brighter.

 

My buddy bought her in the early 80's for $150.00, played it for a couple of years, then lent it to an idiot who left it under a leaking water pipe! She sat in a closet for more than 25 years covered in mold and about 50% of the lacquer flaked off the neck & headstock. It took about a year to talk him into selling it. Since then the neck has been refinished, the frets were leveled, the new bridge was installed, and the p/p pot & toggle switch were added. The only thing I need to do now is have the nut filed to get the action (in the first position) where I want it; then it will be perfect! I've owned many good basses over the past 45 years, but this old war horse puts them all to shame - She's very versatile, plays great, and sounds incredible! The one big regret I have is telling my wife that it's the only bass I want to play anymore; now she wants me to sell the other six! eusa_wall.gif

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