Stiff/broken pickup switch

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Mythiran, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Mythiran

    Mythiran New Member

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    Well it isn't broken, but it needs fixing :)

    The pickup switch - that is used for switching between the rhythm and treble pickups - on my Gibson SG has become stiff as hell. I have a lot of trouble switching it whilst playing, especially if I want to flick it to the middle position because obviously it's hard to judge the amount of force to put into something when it's stiff, so I usually end up over-doing it and flicking it all the way across. Which is a pain in the arse because, as you know I'm sure, you only get one chance to get things like this right mid-song.

    Anyway I'd like to know if anyone has any fool proof ideas of fixing this. I've took the back off and had a look at the mechanism. It looks fairly simple, I can't really see why it's started sticking though. But I have a few ideas, feel free to tell me which is the best one, or offer a new idea.

    The switch is made up of the lever part (that you flick with your hand and can see on the outside), and then two metal strips inside the guitar.

    Possible solutions

    1. Put a drop of oil on the inside end of the lever part (where it makes contact with the metal strips)

    2. Bend a part of the metal strips inside (either bend them themselves, or bend down the little flaps that come off the side of them)

    If anyone knows what I should do, let me know. I'm getting kind of worried that I'll flick it forcefully one day and one of the metal strips inside will snap, then I'm going to be stuck with one pickup for some time. Yikes ;).

    -Rich
     
  2. lagger

    lagger Member

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    1st try a spritz of contact cleaner.. be warned though DO NOT get any at all on the nitro finish it can eat into it .. If that fails buy and install a new one .. get it from allparts and get the switchcraft one .
     
  3. maxguitar

    maxguitar Member

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    Bending the contacts sometimes works, but you better be darn sure you're doing it the right way or you can mess them up even more. I'd try some cleaner first. Inspect it carefully and make sure you understand how the contacts work and will touch each other if you're gonna bend em.
     
  4. Sgmaniac

    Sgmaniac Guest

    Replace the switch, they only cost a few bucks. 8)
     
  5. CharlieB

    CharlieB Active Member

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    The switch probably took a knock, and has become bent internally.

    Just replace it with an actual USA made switch. There are number junk grade eastern made switches... I advise against them.

    That switch ought not ever get stiff unless it has been hit into something. Its not the nature of the beast. Old old LPs, ESs, SGs, you name it... all have good clicking switches, even when the contacts themselves have gone south.
     
  6. TNT

    TNT Active Member

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  7. skidshark

    skidshark Active Member

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    welcome myth!
    these guys won't steer you wrong.......
     
  8. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to ETSG Mythiran! :D :D :D
     
  9. Mythiran

    Mythiran New Member

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    ...

    Thanks for the assistance, welcomes, and all that....

    I'm concerned that replacing the switch won't fix the problem. It's very likely that the cause is that part of the contacts have been bent too far one way or another. Even if the switch took a knock this is most likely what has happened. There doesn't really seem any way that the switch itself could be damage/out of place, unless lubricant is required. But judging from the responses here, I'm thinking that's not the case.
     
  10. Mythiran

    Mythiran New Member

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    ....

    Just had a look at the switches on allparts and it seems they come as part of the metal strips. So I guess that would certainly fix my problem. I'm going to have a go at fixing this one by bending it slightly. If it goes wrong, then I'll replace the switch ;).
     

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