And while I'll have guitars on the bench.....

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by BMiller, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. BMiller

    BMiller New Member

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    The 3 way switch on my SE Tremonti Custom won't stay in the neck position. I've adjusted it but I think that it just needs to be replaced.

    What is the best switch for a drop in replacement?
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I had that very same problem - mine kept popping out in the neck position. I don't know if you tried this adjustment or not, but I'll post it so anyone else with this issue can try it.

    The Switchcraft toggle switch can be problematic that way (I don't know what they use on SEs), but you may not need to replace it. Jack Gretz told me how to fix it, and he was right.

    If you open up the control cavity, and operate the switch, you will see that the toggle has four steel spring plates with very small contacts attached to the inside of each plate. A "bat" that is on the other side of the toggle that you actually operate moves the springs apart, or lets them all connect. So in the middle position, all the contacts touch. When you move the toggle, the "bat" pushes one of the springs and its associated contacts away from the inner contact plate that's nearest it. This allows only one or the other pickup to make contact.

    Obviously, these springs have to be manufactured to close tolerances to make that happen, and they can get very easily worked out of shape.

    At the end of each outer spring is a little protrusion in the metal of the spring (it reminds me of the tail fins of an airplane) that's bent from the metal of the spring at an angle. If the angle of this bend isn't in adjustment, it can't grab the "bat" correctly, and the switch won't stay in the right position.

    This little protruding bent tail part can be bent very slightly upwards (by that I mean, upwards when the guitar is lying with its back open on the bench so the control cavity is facing you) with a needle nose pliers; and I mean slight changes are the way to go, kind of a bend it just a titch, see if it holds, try again, etc., until you get it to stay in position. You don't want to overdo it.

    Obviously sometimes the switches need to be replaced anyway. PRS sells the parts, and that's who I'd use to source it.
     
    #2 LSchefman, Dec 27, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
    AkiraSpectrum and SrDeMaFp like this.
  3. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    +1 on what Les says. I had a brand new one that I was installing on a project that had the same issue. Following what Les got from Jack is exactly what I did to correct the issue. I will also add that I have had one that was mounted too tightly to the body that was causing this same problem. Loosening the threaded mounting ring half a turn corrected the issue, and did not leave the toggle loose, or wobbly.
     
  4. xjbebop

    xjbebop Yippy ki yay!

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    What they said. Open it up and spend a few minutes looking at how it works, then make minor adjustments. Those tiny contact points need cleaning once in awhile also.
     
  5. BMiller

    BMiller New Member

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    Thanks for the advice Les. I've done this on 3 way switches on other guitars, as well as on this one, but I haven't had much luck with it. But I'll give it another shot today.....maybe the tech gods will smile upon me this go around....

    Thanks!
     
  6. CardMeHD

    CardMeHD New Member

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    I got linked to this thread when asking about another issue that I have on my brand new SE 7 string. I don't think it's the same issue that you guys are talking about, but maybe you can help as well. My switch has no problem staying in the neck position, but the pickup sometimes cuts out. It's not the pickup, because sometimes it works fine, and the center position works fine. But in the neck position, sometimes I'll get no sound, or very, very quiet. If I move the switch side to side I can sometimes get it to come back, but only temporarily. I'm assuming there's some parts in this position not making good contact; do you guys have any advice on what to look for?
     
  7. BMiller

    BMiller New Member

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    Card, I would suggest taking the back plate off and eyeballing the switch to make sure that the two plates in the switch at that position are making solid contact. You'll see what I'm talking about when you eyeball the switch. Might also be a bad solder joint but I think that might be unlikely as the middle works well. In you case, a multimeter to check continuity will go along way.

    Edit - Never mind my advice on the switch plates as I did not realize that yours has the 5 way instead of the 3 way toggle. Using a meter will still help though. Get some contact cleaner and give the switch a squirt or two.
     
    #7 BMiller, Jan 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  8. CardMeHD

    CardMeHD New Member

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    It's a 3 way switch, but it's the blade type that PRS started using on the SEs in 2012. This is the switch that I have:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/361364833575?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    Thanks for the tip, I'll open it up and check it out again. I think you may be on to something. I opened it up once and I was able to resolve the issue by applying pressure onto the side of the switch and flexing it a bit.
     
  9. BMiller

    BMiller New Member

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    Ok. I was thinking that these switches were all 5 way and enclosed, but looking at your link, I see that you can get easy access to the wiper and board. You might just have to bend the wiper in a way that allows proper contact across the entire length of travel. Should be an easy, and very slight, adjustment. Throw some contact cleaner at it if you have some as well.

    Good luck and let us know what you find!
     

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