Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube
Register
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21
  1. #1
    Forum Frontman
    Join Date
    09.15.06
    Age
    42
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,568
    Last Online

    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
    Likes
    3
    Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Default Wolfgang Toggle Switch Problem

    Hi All:

    I'm wondering if anyone has seen this before or if what I'm seeing as the problem is in fact not the problem.

    Today I took my Black Violet Wolfgang Custom Shop with me to my teaching job. I usually play clean on the neck pickup while I teach, but during one of my lessons I switched to the bridge pup and found it to have almost no output. The usual "jiggle the toggle switch" and other troubleshooting rendered no positive results, so on a break I opened the guitar up to see if there were any bad solder points. I saw no visible issues with any of the soldering points on either the toggle switch or volume/tone connections, but there was what appeared to be oxidation in the form of a white powder all throughout the metal portion of the toggle switch. It strongly resembled dry buffing compound, but there was nothing like it in any of the control cavities--only on the switch. I measured the pickups directly on their leads and found both to be okay; when I measured at the output jack I only got the neck pickup.

    I've attached a picture of the switch. Has anyone seen anything like this before? Is it likely some kind of corrosion? If so, could that be the cause of the problem? Should I just replace the switch and see what happens or try re-soldering each connection and see if that's the problem?

    Thoughts and ideas are welcomed. Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Wolfgang_Toggle_02.jpg 
Views:	122 
Size:	30.5 KB 
ID:	990  

  2. #2
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    It's gotta be a problem with the toggle. I bet you the inside of one of those metal 'leaves' which moves and contacts the others to select either one or both pickups is just corroded on the contact point. Is there enough space to scrape the inside contact points with a rough screwdriver?

  3. #3
    Forum Frontman
    Join Date
    09.15.06
    Age
    42
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,568
    Last Online

    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
    Likes
    3
    Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    It's gotta be a problem with the toggle. I bet you the inside of one of those metal 'leaves' which moves and contacts the others to select either one or both pickups is just corroded on the contact point. Is there enough space to scrape the inside contact points with a rough screwdriver?
    Actually, having just looked at it, those "leaves" are the only metal portions of the switch that are NOT corroded. That was a good guess, though.

    I'm going to start by re-soldering the bridge pup connections.

  4. #4
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Actually, having just looked at it, those "leaves" are the only metal portions of the switch that are NOT corroded. That was a good guess, though.

    I'm going to start by re-soldering the bridge pup connections.
    Hmmm... that is weird. I'm glad you checked because I couldn't really see them in the pictures. If the re-solder doesn't work, you may want to scrape/sand the contact points on the 'leaves' anyway in case there is any oxidation or whatever (could be more of a clear film than visible corrosion, depending on the metal).

  5. #5
    Hot For Teacher dg5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.07.04
    Age
    55
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    266
    Favorite VH Album

    All of em !
    Favorite VH Song

    same as above
    Last Online

    07.01.14 @ 09:09 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I would check the resistance across the switch contacts Andrew, just to make sure you dont have a high resistance across the contacts. If the contacts are ok, then i think you might have a high resistance in the wiring somewhere .

    Doug
    You can tune a piano, but you cant tuna fish !

    http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp...=545590&T=6107

  6. #6
    Hot For Teacher dg5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.07.04
    Age
    55
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    266
    Favorite VH Album

    All of em !
    Favorite VH Song

    same as above
    Last Online

    07.01.14 @ 09:09 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    That looks like a reaction to the plate for the switch coming from the cavity . I dont think that it should affect the actual switching operation .

    Doug
    You can tune a piano, but you cant tuna fish !

    http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp...=545590&T=6107

  7. #7
    Forum Frontman
    Join Date
    09.15.06
    Age
    42
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,568
    Last Online

    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
    Likes
    3
    Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Well thanks for the help, guys. It appears I sounded the alarm too soon. I cleaned and re-soldered the connections on both pickups and all is now functioning normally. The connections looked fine, but apparently one had gone cold. When I was putting the switch back in place I saw the possible reason why: All of the wiring had to be almost stuffed back into the switch cavity. The Wolfgang pups are four-conductor and there's the braided cable running from the toggle to the control cavity; that's a lot of stuff getting crammed in at funny angles. I was careful to not let any of them be put in a position where they would easily be "pulled."

    This is going to sound incredibly dorky, but I'm proud I figured this out and was able to fix it myself. A few months ago I wouldn't touch a soldering pencil and always had other techs do the wiring on my custom guitars. Having now done all the wiring and soldering on my last couple of projects myself I already feel quite comfortable with the process and have been wondering why the hell I didn't learn it sooner. Anyway... it's nice to not have to bring this one all helplessly to a tech.

  8. #8
    Hot For Teacher dg5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.07.04
    Age
    55
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    266
    Favorite VH Album

    All of em !
    Favorite VH Song

    same as above
    Last Online

    07.01.14 @ 09:09 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Way to go Andrew !!

    Doug
    You can tune a piano, but you cant tuna fish !

    http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp...=545590&T=6107

  9. #9
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    01.17.02
    Location
    Boston, Mass
    Posts
    93
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    I'm The One
    Last Online

    12.22.09 @ 08:02 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Well thanks for the help, guys. It appears I sounded the alarm too soon. I cleaned and re-soldered the connections on both pickups and all is now functioning normally. The connections looked fine, but apparently one had gone cold. When I was putting the switch back in place I saw the possible reason why: All of the wiring had to be almost stuffed back into the switch cavity. The Wolfgang pups are four-conductor and there's the braided cable running from the toggle to the control cavity; that's a lot of stuff getting crammed in at funny angles. I was careful to not let any of them be put in a position where they would easily be "pulled."

    This is going to sound incredibly dorky, but I'm proud I figured this out and was able to fix it myself. A few months ago I wouldn't touch a soldering pencil and always had other techs do the wiring on my custom guitars. Having now done all the wiring and soldering on my last couple of projects myself I already feel quite comfortable with the process and have been wondering why the hell I didn't learn it sooner. Anyway... it's nice to not have to bring this one all helplessly to a tech.

    Yup, the hot was probably shorting to ground. The white powder might have been some of the solder itself. Had most of a solder joint just dissolve away on me one time. Weird, but it does happen.

    I leave enough exposed wire, before the solder joint, to get the probe on so I can check for continuity before moving on to do the next connection.

    Saves lot of headaches that way.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
    Join Date
    03.24.04
    Age
    43
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,212
    Favorite VH Album

    Van Halen II
    Last Online

    08.07.17 @ 08:14 PM
    Likes
    331
    Liked 313 Times in 149 Posts


    Donor

    Default

    Must've been built on a Friday...LOL... Just kiddin'!!!
    Jet City Super Stealth
    Marshall 50th Anniversary JCM-1H and Class 5 Combo
    Austin Speaker Works KTS-60

  11. #11
    Little Dreamer Soap's Avatar
    Join Date
    08.03.08
    Posts
    18
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance, F.U.C.K.
    Favorite VH Song

    Pleasure Dome, Humans Being
    Last Online

    10.10.08 @ 09:05 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hey y'all,

    While we're on the issue of Wolfie problems (and since I don't have the power to post a new thread, apparently), I was wondering if anybody else has had problems with the input jack. Mine jiggles around all the time, I'll unscrew everything and put it back together, tight, and then it'll get loose again. However, the loose/tightness doesn't matter as much compared to what's started happening all the time - whenever I plug in to an amp, it's accompanied by loud buzzing that is virtually impossible to get rid of without fiddling with the input jack by jiggling the cord. Again, I have tried countless times taking it apart and putting it back together, but it makes no difference. Also, I made sure it is not just an amplifier or cord problem.

    Thanks.
    Bands Seen:

    Van Halen:
    Nov. 3, 2007 - Verizon Center, Washington, DC
    The Who:
    March 8, 2007 - Verizon Center, Washington, DC
    Rush:
    June 23, 2007 - Nissan Pavilion, Bristow, VA
    Pearl Jam:
    June 22, 2008 - Verizon Center, Washington, DC

  12. #12
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    12.15.07
    Location
    Iowa/Illinois
    Posts
    1,807
    Favorite VH Album

    Balance
    Last Online

    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
    Likes
    2
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soap View Post
    Hey y'all,

    While we're on the issue of Wolfie problems (and since I don't have the power to post a new thread, apparently), I was wondering if anybody else has had problems with the input jack. Mine jiggles around all the time, I'll unscrew everything and put it back together, tight, and then it'll get loose again. However, the loose/tightness doesn't matter as much compared to what's started happening all the time - whenever I plug in to an amp, it's accompanied by loud buzzing that is virtually impossible to get rid of without fiddling with the input jack by jiggling the cord. Again, I have tried countless times taking it apart and putting it back together, but it makes no difference. Also, I made sure it is not just an amplifier or cord problem.

    Thanks.

    Most likely you have a grounding problem with the jack or wires running to the jack. Do you have experience soldering things? If so, the fix is probably a VERY simple one. I would bet you that the ground tab on the back of your jack is either bent (or has a loose wire connection) so that it is touching the signal tab or wire. Or your signal wire or tab is touching the jack plate or grounded area of the jack. If you post pictures of the jack (taken out of the guitar) we might be able to spot something.

  13. #13
    Forum Frontman
    Join Date
    09.15.06
    Age
    42
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,568
    Last Online

    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
    Likes
    3
    Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soap View Post
    Hey y'all,

    While we're on the issue of Wolfie problems (and since I don't have the power to post a new thread, apparently), I was wondering if anybody else has had problems with the input jack. Mine jiggles around all the time, I'll unscrew everything and put it back together, tight, and then it'll get loose again. However, the loose/tightness doesn't matter as much compared to what's started happening all the time - whenever I plug in to an amp, it's accompanied by loud buzzing that is virtually impossible to get rid of without fiddling with the input jack by jiggling the cord. Again, I have tried countless times taking it apart and putting it back together, but it makes no difference. Also, I made sure it is not just an amplifier or cord problem.

    Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Most likely you have a grounding problem with the jack or wires running to the jack. Do you have experience soldering things? If so, the fix is probably a VERY simple one. I would bet you that the ground tab on the back of your jack is either bent (or has a loose wire connection) so that it is touching the signal tab or wire. Or your signal wire or tab is touching the jack plate or grounded area of the jack. If you post pictures of the jack (taken out of the guitar) we might be able to spot something.
    Yes indeed--if you can show a pic the problem can probably be diagnosed easily.

    Loose input jacks are common. If the jack itself is damaged it can easily be replaced with an exact Switchcraft jack (which costs on average about $2). What will likely solve the looseness problem once and for all is a star washer, which is a little washer with rough "teeth" on its inner edge that grip the jack plate as it is tightened down. I always make sure they are on the backsides of all the jacks on all my guitars, and I've almost never had a problem with a loose jack.

  14. #14
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    01.17.02
    Location
    Boston, Mass
    Posts
    93
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    I'm The One
    Last Online

    12.22.09 @ 08:02 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Golden Rule- NEVER learn how to do any kind of tinkering on your main axe. Practice on a crap guitar or pick up the part your gonna work on and practice on that first.


    That being said this is what I do for soldering to the back of a pot, but I think it pretty much applies to guitar soldering in general (except maybe for the widest tip part):

    -use the widest tip you have for the back of the pot
    -let iron (40-45 watts) heat up. when solder flows onto it, its ready to go.
    -tin (tinning is applying a thin layer of solder to every surface to be soldered) tip before using it for the first time and keep it wet throughout process. dry tip wont work
    -scuff up back of pot
    -put flux on pot
    -tin back of pot
    -put flux on wire
    -tin wire
    -put flux on pot and wire again
    -put solder on tip until a tear drop forms (doing it this way prevents the need for a 3rd hand!)
    -put wire on pot
    -put tip on wire and pot
    -solder will flow onto both
    -remove tip but hold wire on pot for a sec or two
    -unplug soldering iron
    -your done

    *NEVER use a soldering gun, only a soldering iron. If in the process of tinning the back of the pot you leave too much solder behind, remove the excess with copper solder braid.

    Also, check each connection with a multi-meter before moving on. You'll save yourself ALOT of headaches, trust me. You can't tell if a connection is sound by looking at it.

  15. #15
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.13.08
    Location
    Canada's West Coast
    Posts
    2,281
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear about it later
    Last Online

    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by the breadman View Post
    Yup, the hot was probably shorting to ground. The white powder might have been some of the solder itself. Had most of a solder joint just dissolve away on me one time. Weird, but it does happen.

    I leave enough exposed wire, before the solder joint, to get the probe on so I can check for continuity before moving on to do the next connection.

    Saves lot of headaches that way.
    Sometimes you just get bad solder. It happens at production plants too! I picked up some from my usual place once, and this batch was just terrible. The rosin just boiled so violently it would blow away the solder itself when I tried to replace a pot. Some solder, as bread says also seems to disintegrate and leaves a fine powder on everything when a charge is run through it for a length of time. Weird! Who knows why. Bad mix? or maybe just old contaminated stock. Glad you got 'er sorted out though Andrew. It is rewarding to be able to fix it yourself.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Wiring help - Dimarzios & THIS switch
    By s6275 in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05.11.08, 09:01 AM
  2. Is there an Update/Chance they are Going to Switch the Setlist?
    By Chazari in forum 2007 Van Halen Tour
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02.20.08, 10:04 AM
  3. VH needs to switch it up on leg 2
    By VH1988 in forum 2007 Van Halen Tour
    Replies: 121
    Last Post: 01.24.08, 11:33 AM
  4. Heh..Will Ed switch from Smoking Loon to "Vince" wine?
    By badkaraoke in forum Main VH Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05.07.05, 08:47 AM
  5. Are Dave and Sammy gonna switch in St. Louis??
    By Halen88 in forum "Song For Song" Tour 2002
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06.04.02, 10:52 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •