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6 way toggle for epi les paul??


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I was looking around reading some stuff about the Jimmy Page Black Beauty Gibson just released. It comes with a 6way switch("The result is this stunning “Black Beauty” with a slim-profile neck, Page BurstBucker pickups, gold Bigsby vibrato and an innovative six-position toggle that lets you isolate the neck and bridge pickups, or add the middle in any combination")... well, since I dont have $6000 laying around but happen to have a epi black beauty, figure the cheap way to go is build my own.. So here lies the problem... Where can I get a 6 way toggle???? Looked at Stew Mac and only saw 3 way toggles.... Any help digging one up would be appreciated.

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I've never heard of a "6 way toggle", so if it does exist on the Jimmy Page Black Beauty

it is probably some kind of special switch.


There are 3 way toggles and 5 way selector (lever) switches as on the Strat.


You can get a 6 position 4 pole rotary switch could replace the toggle

into the hole where the 3 way toggle fits, available from Guitarelectronics.com.

this will handle any 2 to 3 pickup combination on a LP, but the toggle switch cavity

will probably need to be routed out larger to accomodate the rotary switch.


The two pickup version of the Jimmy Page uses 4 push-pull pots and a 3 way toggle.

The push pulls are used for phasing and coil splitting.

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Technically' date=' the switch on Page's LP is a 5 position switch.. It's got North, South, East and West, and middle position for all 3 pups...[/quote']


Makes sense, except for the actuation of the toggle......


Typically, a 2 P_up (or 3 p_up toggle switch with the extra leaf contact), has the

pivot on one axis, so you have E (rythmn) mid (Both) and W (treble). The switch

toggle cannot be moved in the N-S position.


With this "innovative" trick "6 way toggle", it needs to move and stay locked in the

N-S position as well. In essence this only provides 5 way, since the mid position

configuration is already defined. To do a the E-mid-W and N-mid-S axis actuation,

it would need a gimble similar to a quad pan-pot that can distribute the audio

source 4 ways or any variation of the 4 ways.


While this is possible with single wire switching, it becomes a nightmare of wires

with 3 or 4 wires per p_up, if the coils need to be split as well or out of phase.

The simplest way is for a circuit board that accomodates printed circuit mount

pots and the necessary circuit board plugs for all the h/w components.


I can see with these innovations that the newer guitars will transcend into

consumer audio electronics manufacturing techniques. There will be just to many

wires to keep track of when soldering manually.

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Ive got a tricked out TeleMonster with a custom 6 way switch. It changes the tones drasticly between settings. Its also got a reverse phase switch for double the fun.

6 way switch


Your configuration(6 way 4 pole rotary switch) is the simplest way to go, but still involves

considerable amount of wiring to the rotary switch. With 4 poles, you can switch up to 4 wires

from each p_up and that allows for phase reversal on the coils, as well as coil splitting and the

various p_up configurations Neck, Bridge, Bridge + Mid, and Mid + Neck.


The only thing is, that in the Les Paul existing control cavity,

there is no room for a rotary switch that large.

You would have to use the toggle switch cavity and enlarge that, or rout a new cavity

for the switch (next to the control cavity) because of the large number of wires involved.

Estethically, the only place in this area that would look good with an extra knob is

infront of the neck volume pot (next to the pickguard..if equipped with one).

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I'm quoting Gibson when calling it a 6 way toggle.Definitely gonna save the info you guys are providing though in case I cannot find one.. Also, not worried about the wiring as will be taking to a local Luthier to do the work, not sure I am ready to tackle something like that on my own...Thanks for all the replies and feel free to add anything else to this if it might help...

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I went to the Gibson Forum and PM'd the Custom Admin my question.... Unfortunately he replied back that they don't sell the switch, but he did give me the info about the different pu combo's, "combinations for the 6 way switch are: B, B+N, N, B+M, B+M+N, M+N." So it is a true 6 way switch and not a 5 way as mentioned above...

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  • 2 years later...

So Stew-mac is now finally selling these 6 way toggles. This is about 2 years after the

original post in March 2008. Interesting how they can pack so many combos into

a small compact switch. It is essentially a "gear shifter".




But as they mention, it obviously requires the existing 3-way hole to be enlarged

to acommodate it, which may not be a trivial operation. You would need a Dremel

tool and a corresponding router or burr bit to open up the cavity to get the switch

to fit in..not to mention getting all the wires involved with 6 way combos to route

through that hidden wire channel from the existing 3 way to the control cavity.


If the 3 way requires 3 wires plus ground, the 6 way will require at least double

that, so the wire guage and thickness of the wires may have to be changed out

as well...which now becomes an expensive modification.

The switch is the cheapest part of this mod..the luthier/tech time is probably going

to run into the hundreds.


And..as a final thought...most people have enough grief troubleshooting problems

with a 3 way, having 6 combinations to troubleshoot...????

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