Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

3-way switch or pickup trouble


Recommended Posts

I'm having a problem on my Les Paul SC Special. When I put the 3-way switch into the treble position the sound sometimes drops down then comes back, almost like a volume swell. It may do this a few times before it comes back on. If it were intentional it would be a cool effect, but since I can't control it, it is a pain. Can anyone tell me if this is a problem with the pickup or with the switch?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm having a problem on my Les Paul SC Special. When I put the 3-way switch into the treble position the sound sometimes drops down then comes back, almost like a volume swell. It may do this a few times before it comes back on. If it were intentional it would be a cool effect, but since I can't control it, it is a pain. Can anyone tell me if this is a problem with the pickup or with the switch?

Most probably the switch. Pickups have no moving parts to wear, thus seldom go bad. Try some contact cleaner, like DeoxIT.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? They should get better parts. The switch does not feel loose or anything. I'll try some contact cleaner. So I have to ask where one can find that? Also is replacing a switch hard? I've worked on strats before, but those are easy. Or should I take it to a shop?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even switchcraft brand LP switches can give you trouble.

 

The problem is that unlike the Strat switch that wipes across the contacts, the LP switch just touches and releases. This allows some corrosion to build up on the switch.

 

I live in a corrosive climate (South Florida near the Ocean) and have become experienced on fixing connection problems.

 

Here is what you can do:

  1. Remove the switch, watch carefully how it went out so you can put it in the same way
  2. Cut a white business card in thin strips
  3. Saturate the end of one of the strips with Caig brand DeoxIT (available at Radio Shack, on-line, and in most electronics parts houses)
  4. Open one of the contacts, put the saturated strip between the contacts, close the contacts and slide the card out slowly - repeat 3 or 4 times
  5. Take some clean strips of the card, and repeat the process untill the card comes out clean
  6. Open the other pair of contacts and do the same thing

 

You can also put a thin coat of Caig ProGold on the contacts in the same way, it will make them last longer before corroding again.

 

This will probably save you from buying new switches, and replacing them.

 

The DeoxIT and ProGold are also good on phone jacks and plugs, MIDI connections and just about every other similar connection. The DeoxIT is the best corrosion cleaner I've found, and the ProGold is a corrosion inhibitor and supposedly enhances the electrical connection.

 

I would guess it would work for tube pins as well, though I don't have a tube amp.

 

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even switchcraft brand LP switches can give you trouble.

 

The problem is that unlike the Strat switch that wipes across the contacts, the LP switch just touches and releases. This allows some corrosion to build up on the switch.

 

I live in a corrosive climate (South Florida near the Ocean) and have become experienced on fixing connection problems.

 

Here is what you can do:

  1. Remove the switch, watch carefully how it went out so you can put it in the same way
  2. Cut a white business card in thin strips
  3. Saturate the end of one of the strips with Caig brand DeoxIT (available at Radio Shack, on-line, and in most electronics parts houses)
  4. Open one of the contacts, put the saturated strip between the contacts, close the contacts and slide the card out slowly - repeat 3 or 4 times
  5. Take some clean strips of the card, and repeat the process untill the card comes out clean
  6. Open the other pair of contacts and do the same thing

 

You can also put a thin coat of Caig ProGold on the contacts in the same way, it will make them last longer before corroding again.

 

This will probably save you from buying new switches, and replacing them.

 

The DeoxIT and ProGold are also good on phone jacks and plugs, MIDI connections and just about every other similar connection. The DeoxIT is the best corrosion cleaner I've found, and the ProGold is a corrosion inhibitor and supposedly enhances the electrical connection.

 

I would guess it would work for tube pins as well, though I don't have a tube amp.

 

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

 

Years ago I used a USA dollar bill to clean crypto machine contacts.

the dollar bill had a rag content to the paper money, so is worked

very well.

 

also, there are relay cleaning abrasive strips... tiny strips

of emery cloth type material to run between relay contacts to

clean them. That should work well on open frame switch.

 

women use newspaper to make their knitting needles (buff up)

smooth.

 

there are many possibles. let your mind wonder.

 

improvise.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I shy away from the abrasive strips because they take some of the metal away. The DeoxIT doesn't remove anything but the corrosion and the ProGold inhibits it from returning.

 

Of course there is more than one right way to do anything, including cleaning contacts.

 

I'd clean them before I replaced the switch though.

 

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Link to post
Share on other sites

i have the same problem, and yeah a new switch is what im planning on getting in the next couple days, seeing the soldering isn't such a hard job to do.

 

Make sure you use a rosin-core solder when you solder.

do not use plumber's solder. Plumber's solder has no rosin flux in it.

 

You can buy rosin-core solder at places like the Rat Shack... a little

spool of it is only a couple of bucks and a soldering pencil (around 15 to 25 watts)

with a pencil point soldering tip on it will do fine.

 

PRACTICE soldering first it you never have... get some smaller, fine

wire and practice soldering two pieces together.

 

The solder must FLOW... like a liquid.

 

Do not dab... that will only partially heat the solder.

Dabbing solder onto a joint will probably give you a intermittent

"cold solder joint." To FIX a "cold solder joint", simply

REHEAT the joint until the solder flow like a liquid... then

let if cool without moving anything.

 

 

Make sure it FLOWS.... then remove the soldering pencil and

let the joint cool. Done !

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...