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Using a guitar killswitch or emulating one by switching between 2 pickups (one with the volume turned down), has been a thing for decades.
They’ve grown in popularity in recent years and have become an addition to many modern guitars.
Some of which now include the killswitch from the factory. Nevertheless, you always have the option to install an aftermarket one that will look just as good if not better, & function as it should.
If you had any questions though, here’s a few that we’ve collected over the years since we started offering guitar killswitches in 2015.
A switch of this type is essentially just a button that momentarily mutes or “kills” the guitar signal while being pressed, and resumes when released.
It can be used to create staccato or tremolo-like effects when used in conjunction with your playing.
There are two types of switches & here is what they do.
The first is a normally open switch & this one mutes the signal by grounding out the pickup signal.
The second is a normally closed switch & this one mutes the string by cutting either the pickup or ground wire.
Yes, with a bit of soldering, basic wiring knowledge, and maybe a steady hand, anyone who’s into DIY projects can tackle this job.
It basically just requires soldering 2-4 wires, installing a resistor for LED models, and using some heat shrink. Switches larger than 10mm will require some drilling as well.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, any local guitar shop should be able to do it rather easily.
Some of the most notable guitarists are Buckethead, Tom Morello, and last but not least, Charles Caswell of Berried Alive.
For a normally open switch like the ones we carry, you simply attach one lead to a grounding point & the other lead to your pickup wire either at the jack or at the volume pot. This is called parallel wiring.
For a normally closed switch, you have to cut either your pickup wire or your grounding wire (sleeve) at the jack then install the switch in series.
The task is rather simple and should only take about 30 minutes to an hour. Depending on the rates of your local shop, it could be anywhere from $20-$80 USD
Absolutely not, but it does add an extra avenue to be creative with your guitar playing.
Typically you will need an exact diameter forstner drill bit & a soldering iron or t-splices. Some smaller switches that fit into an existing potentiometer hole don’t require drilling, so just need a soldering gun/t-splices. The splices can be found at most car parts stores.
FAQ specific to Iron Age guitar switches
Iron Age guitar kill switch installation diagrams
Buy Iron Age guitar kill-switches
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