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Pickup Selector Switch


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I'm having an increasing problem with the magnetic pickup selector switch on my JTV-59.  When I switch, the output often drops dramatically (like 70%).  It seems worse switching from neck to bridge pickup.  It doesn't affect the modelled sounds - no problem there. If I switch it back and forth a couple of times then the pickup kicks in normally.   I wonder if it could be a dirty switch and, if so, if there's any reason not to give it a one-off spray of switch cleaner?

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I have exactly the same problem with the toggle switch on my JTV59. It was a problem with the first few production batches of the JTV59. I purchased it in 2010 and had to send it to back to Line 6 after a week to get it fixed and to re-set the model selector and alternative tuning.

 

I hardly use the mags so I have not bothered about getting the switch repaired again especially since the 3-way switch works fine when the modelling is engaged.

 

When did you purchase your guitar?

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Same happens with my JTV-89, although much less frequently since I bought a hard vinyl case for it.
In my case it seems to be bad contact on the inside of the selector, and everything goes back to normal after a few seconds of playing chunky palm muting riffs.

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I have the same problem with my JTV59.  It's intermittent and as I normally use the HD500 to control model switching I have not been too concerned about it, but it is definitely not right.  My JTV59 is from 2011 and was from after all the early bad switch problems - so I know it has the correct latest switch design BUT it still exhibits this odd behaviour some times when selecting between mags which means it is not suitable for live usage.  I don't understand why a fault on the switch would affect the volume of the mag pups - so I was wondering if it is something else that is failing that is noticeable when using the pup selector - certainly moving the pup selector will route  the signal differently - and if Inerzia has had a similar problem on his JTV89 then I doubt it is a problem with the JTV59 selector - more likely a common component that comes into play when the mag pups are engaged.  Just my guess.   Would like to know for certain though so I know what needs fixing when the time comes.  

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I have periodic issues with my 59 switch, also with my LP switch, my Strat 5 way switch, my Tele Deluxe 3 way switch.... If not moved, all switches get oxidation build-up that creates a contact resistance, that lowers the volume -- sometimes to the point of muting it totally. I exercise the switches on my 59 & 69S, and my other guitars.

 

On the JTV's I also use the HD 500X patches to switch the guitar patches, but if that is the what you do exclusively, the physical switch will move rarely, and be more likely to have oxidation problems on the unused position(s). On my LP, I use the bridge pickup the most, and when I switch to the neck, I sometimes have this problem. With a few flicks of the switch, just the action of switching cleans the contacts. Same with my 59. Not as often with my Strat and JTV-69S.

 

Spray cleaners will clean it up, but only temporarily, just like working the switch, sooner or later, the oxides accumulate again. Now if that doesn't get it working again (exercising the switch or cleaning), then you would likely have more of a problem, rather than an annoyance.... Then it would need to be fixed.

 

I had the early bad switch issue with my 59, and physical pickup switching was never an issue, only the model switching went whacky. The 59 and other JTV switches are not usual guitar pickup switches that can be replaced with normal switches, they have 2 different sets of contacts for the physical pickup switching and the model switching.

 

Anyway, that's my 2 cents....

 

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well this is pretty weird and could be coincidental, but I have reflashed the JTV a couple of times recently (vacillating between 1.X and 2.0 firmware) and the switch problem has gone!  So, although unlikely, it could have been a software problem.

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I've had my 59 since May 2011, it has a December 2010 mfr date per the S/N, it had the initial bad 3-way switch issue - returned for correction, has been solidly performing since then.

 

The guitar has been through all the available firmware updates since then, and I've never seen a change in the behaviour of the physical pickup selection.... The firmware updates mess with the models and some of the features and functions of the controls (volume and/or tone controls as HD500(X) parameter controls, etc.).

 

I do still periodically have to exercise the the switch for the physical pickups to get the neck PU to come back, but like I said, this happens on my regular guitars too, so I never saw it as anything but an occasional annoyance. The 5-way switches on my 69S (October 2012) and strat will do it, but never as often as a 3-way switch in the 59 and other guitars - typically LP or Tele styles.

 

I'm guessing you may have moved the switch enough to clear the oxidation away for now, and it may come back. One way to see if it is the electronics or just the phyiscal switch will be the next time it shows up, unplug the VDI or remove the battery so when you plug it in with a 1/4" cable the electronics are off, and see if the mag PU's still have the switching issue. Without power, the JTV is a passive guitar through the 1/4" like any other electric guitar. If you still have the switching issue, it'll likely be the dirty contacts on the mag PU side of the pickup selector switch...

 

Dave

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I'm having an increasing problem with the magnetic pickup selector switch on my JTV-59.  When I switch, the output often drops dramatically (like 70%).  It seems worse switching from neck to bridge pickup.  It doesn't affect the modelled sounds - no problem there. If I switch it back and forth a couple of times then the pickup kicks in normally.   I wonder if it could be a dirty switch and, if so, if there's any reason not to give it a one-off spray of switch cleaner?

Same problem here...had it a while.  But since I rarely use the magnetics, I'd forgotten about it.  Seems like a design defect with a substandard part since I know others have this same issue.  Big surprise.

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I've had my 59 since May 2011, it has a December 2010 mfr date per the S/N, it had the initial bad 3-way switch issue - returned for correction, has been solidly performing since then.

 

The guitar has been through all the available firmware updates since then, and I've never seen a change in the behaviour of the physical pickup selection.... The firmware updates mess with the models and some of the features and functions of the controls (volume and/or tone controls as HD500(X) parameter controls, etc.).

 

I do still periodically have to exercise the the switch for the physical pickups to get the neck PU to come back, but like I said, this happens on my regular guitars too, so I never saw it as anything but an occasional annoyance. The 5-way switches on my 69S (October 2012) and strat will do it, but never as often as a 3-way switch in the 59 and other guitars - typically LP or Tele styles.

 

I'm guessing you may have moved the switch enough to clear the oxidation away for now, and it may come back. One way to see if it is the electronics or just the phyiscal switch will be the next time it shows up, unplug the VDI or remove the battery so when you plug it in with a 1/4" cable the electronics are off, and see if the mag PU's still have the switching issue. Without power, the JTV is a passive guitar through the 1/4" like any other electric guitar. If you still have the switching issue, it'll likely be the dirty contacts on the mag PU side of the pickup selector switch...

 

Dave

 

Either I'm the luckiest guy in the world, or oxidation can't be that much of an issue...and I live in the NE, about 7 miles from the ocean...salt in the air, wretchedly humid summers, blah, blah.. .I've lost count of the number of guitars I've owned over the years. 3 way switches, 5 way switches, push/pull pots, etc, etc....and I can recall exactly one failed 5 way switch on a Strat, that was an every day player, and it probably took 15 years for that one to die. Some guitars would sit for quite a while without being played, and it never occured to me that the switches would need "exercise"...maybe it's me.

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Either I'm the luckiest guy in the world, or oxidation can't be that much of an issue. I've lost count of the number of guitars I've owned over the years. 3 way switches, 5 way switches, push/pull pots, etc, etc....and I can recall exactly one failed 5 way switch on a Strat, that was an every day player, and it probably took 15 years for that one to die. Some guitars would sit for quite a while without being played, and it never occured to me that the switches would need "exercise"...maybe it's me.

This is my experience as well.  Never even had to use switch cleaner yet on any of my Strats or Teles.  Knowing quite a bit about electronic circuits plus seeing all the back plates on my JTV59 (not counting the battery compartment), methinks the bulk of the price of this guitar is in that and the mechanical parts are less than stellar to keep costs in low orbit.  A simplt thing like a 5 (or 3) way switch ought to last near forever really and is self cleaning with use and little exposure to smoking.  That said, I haven't taken my guitar apart because it scares the hell out of me -- and I've had large parts of KC-135 aircraft autopilot gear spread all over hangar floors in my time.  But that switch could be an absolutely beast below the waterline, similar to an iceberg -- owing to the myriad of things it really controls aside from the magnetics.  This may mean "one off part" which is sketchy if not QCd properly.

 

 

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This is my experience as well.  Never even had to use switch cleaner yet on any of my Strats or Teles.  Knowing quite a bit about electronic circuits plus seeing all the back plates on my JTV59 (not counting the battery compartment), methinks the bulk of the price of this guitar is in that and the mechanical parts are less than stellar to keep costs in low orbit.  A simplt thing like a 5 (or 3) way switch ought to last near forever really and is self cleaning with use and little exposure to smoking.  That said, I haven't taken my guitar apart because it scares the hell out of me -- and I've had large parts of KC-135 aircraft autopilot gear spread all over hangar floors in my time.  But that switch could be an absolutely beast below the waterline, similar to an iceberg -- owing to the myriad of things it really controls aside from the magnetics.  This may mean "one off part" which is sketchy if not QCd properly.

 

 

 

Well it seems that the powers that be don't want you to look at the JTV's guts cross-eyed anyway...

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I've never had use switch cleaner either -- a few flicks of the switch always did it for me. The switches would do this after extended times of not being moved, like if I didn't play one for months and it sat in its case or hung on my wall racks, collecting dust -- my regular guitars, mostly.

 

On the 59, I use mainly the bridge mag PU and have patches set up on my HD-500X for the models I use, so it can go for quite a while without being switched physically, but the one or 2 times I had it happen, it cleared right up with a couple of flicks of the switch.

 

My 69S has not done it that I specifically remember, but my strat has, but only after months hanging on the wall -- I have Hercules wall hangers for 4 guitars on display in my man-cave. If you regularly use the switches, just the normal switch movement keeps the contacts clean and you probably won't see this too often.

 

My Tele Deluxe that I've had since 1973 has a regular LP style switch, and my LP switch are both your standard Switchcraft good quality switches, and they both have done it....

 

My point is, if switch movement doesn't clear it up for the mags, you may actually have a bigger problem that needs looking into -- the best place to start is with the manufacturer -- this case for the JTV's, Line6.

 

This is not a switch that can be just replaced by a Switchcraft 3-position switch as used in LP's, because it has more going on. If you take the switch access cover off the back of the 59 and look inside, you'll see a switch with a printed circuit board attached and more leads (at least mine is like that).

 

If it's a 69 or 89 with a 5-position switch, they are also not your stock strat switches. When I replaced my 69S's single-coil PU's with DiMarzio noiseless units, I saw 2 rows of contacts on the 5-way switch, not one row like inside my strat.

 

Just relating my experience with this, is all.....

Dave

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