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Scratchy pickup selector switch, clean or replace?

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  • Scratchy pickup selector switch, clean or replace?

    Can you clean a pickup selector switch that has become scratchy sounding or should it be replaced? It's a 5 way blade type switch if that matters.

    Thanks
    "You won't like me when I'm angry because I back up my rage with facts and documented sources" ~ The Credible Hulk

  • #2
    It depends. The in line import switches are best relegated to the junk pile. If it's an American style with connections on both sides they can be serviced quite easily as everything is out in the open for cleaning and lube.
    There can never be a perfect plan. What's perfect for one human bean ain't perfect for the next one. Cuz he's a lentil.

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    • #3
      It depends. The in line import switches are best relegated to the junk pile. If it's an American style with connections on both sides they can be serviced quite easily as everything is out in the open for cleaning and lube.


      Inline import. It's in my Indonesian made Ibby.
      "You won't like me when I'm angry because I back up my rage with facts and documented sources" ~ The Credible Hulk

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      • #4
        I would put a better switch in myself, but it would still be worth your while to pick up a can of small electrical contact cleaner to have around! It can be used for scratchy switches and pots! Doesn't cost much either!

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        • #5
          First step is to just squirt some contact cleaner down in the slot and work the switch around. That will sometimes fix the problem, or it may buy time on a dying switch.

          The import ones I have seen have a PCB on one side and a metal box with the switch assembly on the other. The two can be CAREFULLY pried apart by paying attention to the little tabs that hold them together. This lets you do a more thorough cleaning. Sometimes the tabs come loose and by tightening them up the problem goes away.

          But if the problem is worn contacts or metal fatigue, just get a new one.
          Check out my gear, rigs and soundclips at http://www.rigscope.com!

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          • #6
            I would put a better switch in myself, but it would still be worth your while to pick up a can of small electrical contact cleaner to have around! It can be used for scratchy switches and pots! Doesn't cost much either!


            It is important to remember not to use contact cleaner on pots - it will damage the pot in the long run.

            It is best to use tuner cleaner which is is available at Radio Shack among other places.


            you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

            contentment is true wealth

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            • #7
              Just clean it first. It may work fine for awhile. If not just replace it.
              Nearly All switches are made in the orient now. Some that come in guitars
              are better than others. So long as its not wobbely cleaning may be all it needs.
              Buy the switch and save it for next time it starts to malfunction.

              My one squire strat has a cheapo import switch. I cleaned the switch about 5 years ago and
              have been waiting that long for it to fail again so I have an excuse to replace it.
              No luck on it failing so far though. I've had other switches that fail in weeks of use so
              they're all over the place on quality. When you do replace them use a good quality switch and you're good to go
              for a long time. When you're in there clean the pots too. They're the same deal. Sometimes they last for a decase
              and sometimes they begin to fail in weeks. Just no way of knowing with some of them.
              it just had dirty contacts.

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              • #8
                My only complaint about Schecter imports are the quality of the pots/caps/switches, I am sure yours are of the same quality, replace is what I would do.
                One MIA Fender Strat, one Gibson Les Paul, one Martin Acoustic, what more do you need?

                http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/...ps92b32f13.gif

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                • #9
                  [COLOR="blue"]If your are at all good with an iron, look at it as a chance to upgrade the component. Put a better one in instead of messing with the old one and having it go again when your doing a gig. Old rule of maintainence...You take it down when you want to or it will take you down when it wants to.
                  Beach Hound

                  "Time Well Wasted.." BP

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                  • #10
                    It is important to remember not to use contact cleaner on pots - it will damage the pot in the long run.

                    It is best to use tuner cleaner which is is available at Radio Shack among other places.


                    Not quite. You need to be careful here on your recomendations.
                    You need to use lubricating contact cleaner or lubricating tuner cleaner that contains mineral oil.
                    Do not use zero residue cleaner that contains mainly alcohol or yes the problem will get worse in no time at all.
                    The radio shack tuner cleaner may have mineral oil and the contact cleaner I'm pretty sure doesnt.
                    Its been a long time since I used their junk. I buy mine at a real electronics parts store.

                    Anyway, you have lubricating and non lubricating contact cleaners and many tuner
                    cleaners are non residue or contain silicone so you have to be careful. Make sure its safe on plastics too.
                    Read the ingrediants. If you see mineral oil you should be fine cleaning most pots.

                    The exception are pots that are packed with conductive grease. You find those kinds of pots
                    in HiFi stuff and some older pro audio gear. You can tell twisting the pots because they feel plush and dont turn easily.
                    Some slider pots on mixers use it too. Companies Like Tapco had grease filled pots and when they got old they would freeze up do bad
                    the knobs would snap off trying to turn them.
                    Dont use non residue cleaner on grease filled pots. You may have short term results but the pots will freeze up like they have glue in them.
                    Those kind of pots must be flushed with petroleum based degreaser then repacked with conductive grease.
                    (the grease doesnt really conduct, its just called conductive. Its designed to promote good conductance)

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