Guitar Kill Switch Frequently Asked Questions

For Iron Age guitar kill switch installation instructions & resources >see our installation page<
For general information on killswitches & artists who have been known to use them >see our general about page<

Q: Do these switches also produce noise (crackles/pops)?
A: While these switches do not affect the guitar signal itself, most if not all kill-switches will produce a pop or crackle when activated. (Even the arcade style ones like you see on some signature guitars)
It's just the physics of snapping the signal to ground, however it's mostly encountered when playing through a clean channel. By adding some dirt, whether it be overdrive, distortion, or fuzz, you are clipping the signal anyways. So any crackles or pops from pressing the switch simply blend in & are greatly diminished. Because of this aspect, these switches are intended for high gain applications only.

Q: What skills are required to install one of these switches? Can anyone do it?
A: While we recommend having a professional do it as a safeguard, anyone can install their own switch.
All it takes is a steady hand to operate a drill & basic soldering skills. The wiring itself comes into focus with out installation guides and once you grasp the concept, only takes a couple minutes to install.

Q: Can these switches be installed into an 18v system?
A: Yes but will need more or a bigger resistor than the one that's included. Approximately 700 ohms are required for this set up.
We can provide a larger compatible resistor for you at no extra charge. Just let us know you have an 18v system & need some extra resistors, there's a comment box on the slide-out cart labeled "Order Notes" . As far as installation goes, it's the same as installing with a 9v and a smaller resistor as shown n the diagrams.

Q: What diameter hole do I need to install one of your switches?
A: For your convenience, all of our switches have a 16mm installation diameter.
We also stock exact-diameter drill bits too at the fraction of the price.
Some forstner-style bits can easily go above 10 bucks to upwards of 50 a piece!

Q: How long will the switches last?
A: Our switches are industrial grade & built to take a beating.
They're rated for a full 500,000 presses so they're ready for any amount of abuse you throw at them.
The LEDs are rated for 40,000 hours, which equals 4.5 years of continuous use without ever being turned off - You're gonna need more than a few batteries to push that limit!

Q: Can these be installed on a bass guitar?
A: Yes these can function on a bass guitar, BUT they sound best on distorted channels.
Abruptly clipping a smooth sound-wave (i.e. Clean channel) can produce an unwanted click or pop when the switch is activated. This can be diminished with a bit of overdrive/distortion/fuzz & is imperceptible with higher gain tones.

 Q: Does the LED turn on/off when the button is pressed?
A: No, sorry the LED does not flash intermittently when the button is pressed.


Q: How long will the battery last for the light?
A: For both the 9v battery & the 2032 "Slim Power Pack", you can expect at least 100 hours of continuous use.
Please note that the kill-switch will still work even if the battery runs out, or is left disconnected during install.
Also, if you have a micro-switch or another means of turning the LED on or off, you will be able to conserve power & increase longevity by deciding when to use the light.

Q: I installed one of your switches, but it's working in reverse. I can only hear my guitar when I press the button!
A: If this is the case, you likely installed the switch in "Series" instead of "Parallel". That means you connected both killswitch wires to a single wire on your guitar. No big deal, simply reconfigure the killswitch wires so 1 touches ground, and the other touches the pickup's live/power wire & you will be fine.

Q: Can these replace my volume/tone knob?
A: Yes but it will require a different approach since the hole for a potentiometer is usually no larger than 10mm.
Our switches are all 16mm in diameter but you won't be able to simply drill a bigger hole. You can however accomplish this feat by using a file to enlarge the mounting hole instead. Here's a video that can help you accomplish just that: How To Enlarge A Potentiometer Hole

Q: Do the Non-LED models require a battery to operate?
A: No, only the LED models use a battery which is for the light, and is optional.
That means you can use an LED model without hooking up the light & it will still function.


Q: How long are the switches (mounting depth)?
A: Our switches are 2cm long, but we recommend having enough space for 3cm to allow the wires enough room to bend without strain.

Q: What's the rating on the resistors that come with the LED killswitch models?
A: We include a single 150-ohm resistors (1watt) with each kit. You should be fine with a total total resistance that ranges from 150-200. Any less can cause heat to build up & too much can begin to dim the LED.

Q: Is there any difference between the various finishes?
A: Nope. Other than looks, the black, stainless steel, & vintage gold finishes will all perform the same

Q: What's the difference between "Normally Open" & "Normally Closed" switches?
A: The difference lies in how they are installed & their mechanism of action.

A normally closed switch (NC) is installed in series and works by simply cutting the pickup's power or ground in two.
When you go to press the button, it creates an "open" or gap in the wire & so the electricity can no longer pass through the switch.

Our switches however,

are all normally open (NO) and are installed in parallel, not series.
This means that 1 wire hooks up to ground, and the other to power which creates a bridge (with a gap, open).
When you press the button, it closes the switch (completing the bridge) and shorts the power to ground as it's being fed in, thus "killing" the power.

More guitar kill switch FAQs coming soon,
feel free to message us if you have any other questions that aren't listed here.

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