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Thread: TL- electronic or pickup upgrades

  1. #81
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Do you think upgrading the kits 3-way switch to an Oak Grigsby or standard Fender US one is going to make a difference?
    I have connected wires to it now a couple of times now and it is starting to look a bit hammered, that's why.
    I presume you have the stock "import" type switch in there currently. Personally, if it's quiet, and working properly, I wouldn't. But that's just me. However if the solder lugs were looking gnarly with great gobs of solder, I would [have] thoroughly cleaned them off before soldering on my new pickup leads. With soldering, I'm of the opinion that a tidy looking solder join is also a better connection. Even if someone isn't an experienced solderer (?) I encourage them to try and be as neat as they can. FTR, I'm not an expert, but I can do a fairly tidy job of it.
    Sorry, got sidetracked there...

    Back to the switch upgrade...
    There will be no sonic enhancement (ie: better tone). Different types of switches will have different "feels" because of the individual mechanisms used in their function. You may like the feel of one over the other.
    More expensive units like CRL can certainly be of higher quality and may be more durable or reliable but ultimately they're all susceptible to wear and tear, corrosion etc. To me it's a situation of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" (unless it makes you feel better ).

    Another consideration is the depth of the control cavity. I can't recall what the cavity depth is on the PBG TL's, but CRL and O-G switches are taller than the import ones therefore may require routing the cavity deeper to accommodate them. If the cavity is shielded, there can be short to ground issues without proper clearance.
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  2. #82
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Fender US use Oak Grigsby or CRL switches. Itís more about how long they work for before going scratchy and intermittent than anything else. Iíve used both Oak Grigsby and CRL switches and I prefer the feel of CRL, so use those if available. But both are a bit deeper than the kit switches. The kit bodies can be a bit thinner than Fender ones, and the control cavities are often shallower and less wide, so you may need to do some work to make either of those switches fit, especially if you have screening foil or paint in the cavity as you donít want the switch tabs grounding out.

    If the switch is getting messy, then it sounds like you need a solder sucker to clean things up. You should be able to get the switch looking almost like new.

    The kit pots and switches should work and sound just fine, but just not for as long as better quality components.

    I never use the kit electronics and always use Switchcraft or CRL switches and CTS or Alpha pots for my builds and guitar upgrade work, but thatís by choice. The kit 3-way box switches are of a type that tends to fail very suddenly without warning, and can often leave you with no sound at all, whereas other types of switch might get noisy first before they start to fail to make contact. You donít want sudden silence mid-gig!

  3. #83
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    Judging by your answers I shouldn't worry. I was asking because in two places the print board of the switch got a caramel-like residue. It all works fine, I was just under the impression I might've burned something. Also, I don't gig, so if it doesn't make for a great improvement, I'll follow McCreeds advice of -if it ain't broke, don't fix it-.

    I am not the best solderer but did manage to clean everything clean of solder before re-wiring (I hate messy jobs, so for next time one of those solder suckers might come in handy ).

  4. #84
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    so for next time one of those solder suckers might come in handy ).
    $16.95 at Jaycar. METAL DESOLDER TOOL

    Worth every penny. I've had mine nearly 20 years.
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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCreed View Post
    $16.95 at Jaycar. METAL DESOLDER TOOL

    Worth every penny. I've had mine nearly 20 years.
    Thanks for the link. As I can easily see myself wandering into some pedal builds in the future, it is a no brainer to have.

  6. #86
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocknRolf View Post
    Thanks for the link. As I can easily see myself wandering into some pedal builds in the future, it is a no brainer to have.
    I find these much easier and effective than desoldering braid. I've struggled with that stuff every time I've tried it. Maybe I'm just using it wrong
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  7. #87
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Desoldering braid certainly has its uses. Itís especially good at removing solder from holes. You put it on the soldered area and put your iron on top. I think you need a very hot or powerful iron though. Iíve seen it work very well on some YouTube videos, but have failed with it myself, probably due to not having a powerful iron with a big enough tip.

  8. #88
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    I think you need a very hot or powerful iron though. Iíve seen it work very well on some YouTube videos, but have failed with it myself, probably due to not having a powerful iron with a big enough tip.
    Yeah, dunno. My soldering station is 48w and max temp is 450įC, I would think that's enough grunt. Though I don't know I've ever tried the braid with the 4mm chisel tip. I'm embarrassed to say I only started using chisel tips a few years ago. They make a huge difference.
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  9. #89
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    The chap I saw I think was using an 80W (maybe 60W) iron. One he normally saves for soldering/de-soldering large items. A large tip with a lot of heat capacity is certainly necessary. He's using it here.


  10. #90
    Mentor JohnH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    Desoldering braid certainly has its uses. Itís especially good at removing solder from holes.
    I can second this - it's great for cleaning out tube sockets or holes in input jacks, but I find it quite fiddly for anything else.
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