Introduction: Guitar Killswitch Installation
Guide to mounting a killswitch/cut of switch on your guitar. I'm aware there is already a guide to this, however I am hoping to give my two cents on installing a killswitch.
Little heads up on what they do, basically they kill the sound at a press of a button, Commonly heard on RATM tracks in standard E 400 tuning, in which Tom Morello's guitar for this tuning has a 3 way Toggle switch with 2 active pickups, which he uses as a toggle switch by turning one of the two volume pots, to zero and one to ten. Of course with a strat or tele, this cannot be achieved without modification. However, I am hoping to show an easy, understandable way, to still aquire a killswitch, without a Les Paul :P.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Picking Out a Switch
Right, well there is many switches to chose from so I can't cover them all, You can purchase the right type of switch for the job from I think is 'Radioshack' (I live in the UK, so I don't have radioshack's) There is basically two basic types of switch's.
Button switch's (Non Locking is FAR better than locking) you cannot do anything really with the locking type I would imagine.
For a toggle switch, if you have a toggle switch with 6 prongs on it, You would follow this guide as normal, and leave the middle prong for a "ON/OFF/ON" effect, if it is a 3 WAY switch.
if you have a two way toggle switch (like me), you will want to solder wires onto the middle and the side the oppisite end, of where you want your switch to turn off. So it will be an "ON/OFF" switch
It is hard to explail so hopfully, you should get it now after seeing the crappy picture I produced.
And now the pic of toggleswitches:
Step 2: What You Will Need...
After you chose your switch, you will also need:
Possibly a drill depending on where you want to mount your switch.
Screwdriver to fit the screws on the output/input jack, and for the cavity control plate.
Wire (not to thin, not to thick, check your guitar control cavity for apppropiate wire sizing (doesn't have to be exactly the same as the wire width that comes stock in your guitar.) I *THINK* the wire I used was 1.5mm for this project.
Wire Cutters or Wire Strippers - To cut the wires, and to expose the ends of wires (i.e Remove the outer casing)
Plus a area to do this work.
Step 3: Deciding Where to Place the Switch..
Well you kinda have to decide where you want your switch now, I would of liked to of bought a toggle instead of the push button switch however this wouldn't of worked that well in the cavity area, between the volume and tone pots.
If you have a pickgaurd, you can have it basically anywhere under the pickgaurd, due to this part always being hidden. However! you must take into consideration that you need to create a path for the wire's to the control cavity and the output/input jack. I do not have a pickgaurd so it was easiest to do this in the control cavity area so I would have to do no routing for the switch and wires etc.
My switch between my Volume and Tone controls =
Step 4: Wiring...
Very simple, however can be confusing, here's my diagram.
The silver circle is a volume pot, the other semi circle with the 3 black rectangles coming out of it is the output/input jack with the three prongs (hot and ground).
At first, I thought you could wire the wire to the output jack onto any of the two prongs, tried it first time, switch didn't work, so I used the other taller prong and it worked so I left it. Trial and error here basically, sorry, but it isn't that much hassle to swap the wire from prong to prong.
Of course you have to unscrew the output/input jack plate and the cavity control plate at the back to get to these areas.
To sum this up, one wire goes from the switch to the base of the volume pot, and the other goes to one of the two prongs on the output jack (Mine was the tallest prong, If you attach a wire to one prong, plug in your guitar to your amp, and the switch doesn't work, then solder the wire to the other prong.
Step 5: Drilling and Final Steps...
Assuming you wish to mount your switch on your guitar, you are gunna have to do some drilling.
Only other alternative is to remove a tone or volume (volume if you are crazy) pot if you do not wish to drill your guitar. However the switch might not fit perfectly so you may have to do some filing etc to make the switch fit.
Test the switch before you place the cavity plate back on. (I highly recommend screwing your output jack back on before you test the switch, Because you are going to be pluging you're amp in)
If it works, and if your switch is mounted on your guitar then congratulations, This is my first guide so I may have forgotten somethings in the step by step, If you notice any thing or have any questions, comment me.