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Replacement part : coil tap switch for 1979 ES-335


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i'm the original owner of a 1979 ES-335 blonde.   ALL parts are stock and to my ear, are still in satisfactory condition ; except for the coil tap switch.  I was satisfied with the tonal difference generated by engaging or disengaging the switch but unfortunately the switch is slowly dying.  I used tuner cleaner for the past few years to keep it in a somewhat usable condition but that isn't doing the trick anymore.  Moving the switch lightly generates a loud static noise.

So my question would be if anyone would know of a good replacement part for this switch that would fit my guitar and where I could buy one ?  

Also, since I need to change one of the electric components, would you suggest I simply change the whole chain ( pots, jack and switch ) ?

Thank you all for your responses,

Richard

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1 hour ago, richardp1962 said:

i'm the original owner of a 1979 ES-335 blonde.   ALL parts are stock and to my ear, are still in satisfactory condition ; except for the coil tap switch.  I was satisfied with the tonal difference generated by engaging or disengaging the switch but unfortunately the switch is slowly dying.  I used tuner cleaner for the past few years to keep it in a somewhat usable condition but that isn't doing the trick anymore.  Moving the switch lightly generates a loud static noise.

So my question would be if anyone would know of a good replacement part for this switch that would fit my guitar and where I could buy one ?  

Also, since I need to change one of the electric components, would you suggest I simply change the whole chain ( pots, jack and switch ) ?

Thank you all for your responses,

Richard

I am an electrician and what is tuner cleaner. I use spray cleaners at work specifically made for electrical and electronic equipment but never heard of tuner cleaner. What kind of switch are we a talking about? A push pull type  that is on the pot and is activated when the volume knob, is pulled up or pushed down? With no control cavity cover you are gonna have to do the work though the F-hole. If just the switch is going bad I would take care of that and if the rest is okay then leave it alone, or you certainly could change out all the electrical parts,

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25 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I am an electrician and what is tuner cleaner. I use spray cleaners at work specifically made for electrical and electronic equipment but never heard of tuner cleaner. What kind of switch are we a talking about? A push pull type  that is on the pot and is activated when the volume knob, is pulled up or pushed down? With no control cavity cover you are gonna have to do the work though the F-hole. If just the switch is going bad I would take care of that and if the rest is okay then leave it alone, or you certainly could change out all the electrical parts,

Thanks Sgt, Pepper.  The cleaner i use is spray based typically used for electrical components.  

The switch is the standard 2-position switch used on the late 70's / early 80's ES-335s:

image.png.c05e7a3f814a2c044d80f2cf7e5173ea.png

Edited by richardp1962
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Not sure that is a "coil tap" switch?  Did not think that was available in the late 70s on a 335 and it is pretty rare even now.  The photo you provide looks more like the pickup selector switch and they are readily available through Gibson, StewMac, or SwitchCraft.  The problem is installing it because of the design of the 335.  Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about?

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3 hours ago, Twang Gang said:

Not sure that is a "coil tap" switch?  Did not think that was available in the late 70s on a 335 and it is pretty rare even now.  The photo you provide looks more like the pickup selector switch and they are readily available through Gibson, StewMac, or SwitchCraft.  The problem is installing it because of the design of the 335.  Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about?

Thanks for the reply Twang Gang. 

It is the coil tap switch.  The pickup selector is next to the knobs.  The pickup selector supports 3 positions whilst the coil tap switch supports 2.

image.png.5fbb243fecb36db41aa60e9b135fca27.png

Edited by richardp1962
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after some research on the web, i see there are 2 terms ( technologies ) used for this type of switch ; either coil tapping or coil splitting.  So i'm not sure what the 1979 es335 switch was actually doing on my guitar ;  coil tapping or coil switching.  Regardless of the technology it used, it generated interesting tonal options.

i sent the question to Gibson support.  Hopefully i'll get a reply back.  Will post it here.

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I think it was coil tapping, my old 76 (?) 335 had one.  I looked on the Stew-Mac site but it didn't look like they have what you need.  

Guitar parts seem to be in real short supply at the moment.  

If you can pull it out you might be able to clean it up and get it working properly again.

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2 hours ago, SteveFord said:

I think it was coil tapping, my old 76 (?) 335 had one.  I looked on the Stew-Mac site but it didn't look like they have what you need.  

Guitar parts seem to be in real short supply at the moment.  

If you can pull it out you might be able to clean it up and get it working properly again.

Thanks for checking and replying Steve.  Much appreciated.  Richard

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So as an FYI, Gibson support was no help at all.  They told to try to find the part at Stew Mac or Tubes and More.  They couldn't help me because my guitar was pre-1988.

Back to the drawing board.  I ordered some DeOxit Contact Cleaner and will give it a go.

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  • 3 months later...

I just bought a 1988 es347. Have a look at this model from the late 70s early 80s -and you’ll see it’s very similar.. your 335 is prob the precursor to the es347. And the coil tap switch is technically a coil split switch for the humbuckers (on/off with 2 pos).  If you look hard at vintage hifi website you can find  a schematic for the es347 which will be the same for your guitar. 
 

As simple as it looks it’s gonna be pretty hard to find a 1/2 inch width thread like the gibson 3pos selector switch in 2pos, my 1988 es347 uses a black dpdt mini toggle instead.
 

 

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