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Archtops, internal access


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Hi all, the neck tone pot on my ES175 is cutting out/crackling when it gets down to 1 or 2, and I was going to give it a good blast of switch cleaner.

Does anyone have any tips on getting into it, or a good website with step by step hints on getting the electronics out through the pickup holes? I know it's going to be a real fiddly job, just wanted some tips before commencing.

There is a severe lack of guitar repair people here in the northeast of Scotland, especially ones that are familiar with archtop problems.


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  • 2 years later...

Good luck!


Trying to find a decent luthier, especially for archtop work, is even harder if you live on Skye!!If you ever come across anyone do let me know - at the moment I take my 335 and 335 a LONG way if they need anything internal.

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It's not easy, trust me! Try the string idea as seen in the link in the above post.


I just had the volume pot on my Byrdland replaced. I attempted to do it myself but couldn't do the soldering work correctly. Oddly enough, at one point when I thought I had soldered it correctly, I put it back together --- though it did take me a few hours.


But before the pot went I had used some Deoxit a handful of times on the pots --- and did so without taking them out of the guitar.


I got a piece of rubber/plastic tubing --- and if IIRC it was 5/16" though I may be wrong. Nonetheless, just get the same size that fits over the pot threads so that the plastic is held on tightly.


You'll have to remove the small nut below the control knob though make sure that the pot does not fall down on you --- put your finger underneath it (through the f-hole) or use a screwdriver, etc.


When the plastic (I use a piece about 4" long) is snug over the thread of the pot, spray a tiny, tiny bit into the tubing. Keep a towel handy so that you don't get any on the body of the guitar.


The spray will slowly seep into the pot and when it is all gone, move the control back and forth from 1-10 to let the spray get on all of the contacts.


Will it be a permanent solution? Maybe, maybe not. But I had to do this about 18 months ago when I first got my Byrd and it worked on all the pots (until the volume part konked out completely).


Stew-Mac makes an actual product for doing this: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Supplies:_Cleaners_and_lubricants/Pot_Cleaning_Cap.html

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