ES 339 - Cutting sound when selecting bridge pickup -What could it be?

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Mcsard, Oct 3, 2020.

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  1. Mcsard

    Mcsard New Member

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    Hello everybody, I am new to the forum.

    What could cause an EPI ES-339 to occasionally loose connection when selecting both/bridge pick ups or just bridge? Sometimes you need to give a twiddle to make the connection .

    I am trying to figure out how it can be sorted out.
    If anybody ever had that problem and managed to fix it, I would appreciate a lot some advice!
     
  2. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    I would try a little bit of contact cleaner on the switch first and see if that does the trick.
     
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  3. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Typical dirty pickup selector switch. Most will tell you to change it, that it is crap. I still have original ones in my 2003, 04, 06, 11, 12 and they all still work well. Trick is you have to maintain them, like any mechanical part.

    Get yourself a can of cleaning-lubricating spray like Deoxit. WD40 makes one too with the yellow cap, probably easier to find at your local hardware or auto parts store.

    WD40.jpg
    Remove the plate in the back and douze the switch contact points while moving it up and down. Do this once or twice a year and it'll be trouble free.
    EDIT: No back plate, so spray it through the F hole.

    IF that doesn't solve 100% of the problem, maybe the prongs slakened. If you take the switch out, it is very easy to take it apart and bend the prongs inside a bit to make contacts stronger, stiffer.
    EDIT: Hope you don't have to go that far, but it being close to the F hole, it would be relatively easy to get to it.

    Toggle switch.jpg

     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  4. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Not on an ES I wouldn't. SG's and Lesters sure, but an ES it's too much work. :cheers: :rofl:
     
  5. Caddy

    Caddy Well-Known Member

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    This is a 339. Never saw one with a back plate. Mine sure doesn’t. Taking it out through the F hole is the only way.
     
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  6. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Right, forgot about that. It being close to the opening, it'll be easy to spray.
     
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  7. Mcsard

    Mcsard New Member

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    I hope as well but good to know that it would be feasible.
    Thanks for the great info, much appreciated!
     
  8. Mcsard

    Mcsard New Member

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    Thanks, I will check if they have some at my hardware store.
     
  9. Steven Westberg

    Steven Westberg Well-Known Member

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    My epi LP did this. It’s most likely you selector switch. If you can work an ohm meter you can “look at it” while it functions and see if the contact points aren’t making the connection. You will read infinite ohms if it’s bad. If not you get zero ohms reading.

    I just replaced mine with the best on the market. Problem gone.
     
  10. Old Woody

    Old Woody Active Member

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    Everyone here has pretty much pointed you in the right direction of Deoxidizing cleaner and I agree but, I would get a tube applicator and not a spray unless you like the smell and possible wood stains. :)
     
  11. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Don't all those spray cans come with a small tube attached ?
     
  12. Old Woody

    Old Woody Active Member

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    Yes ,but it still sprays out of the can and do you really need a years supply for one guitar? I recommend this https://www.amplifiedparts.com/products/deoxit-d100l-caig-squeeze-tube and I would hold an old cloth underneath the switch when appying the drops oh and this works wonders on scratchy potentiameters (pots) -ie- volume and tone controls.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  13. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    I am curious as to how you are going to get that tube throught the F hole and directed to the toggle prongs.
     
  14. Old Woody

    Old Woody Active Member

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    I assumed he was going to call his good friend Antman to shrink the tube and then himself fly in and do it for him. Good point I forgot that model has no backplate. Spray away.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
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  15. Mcsard

    Mcsard New Member

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    Thanks.
    Actually the guitar is not with me yet, so I cannot check how feasible the whole thing would be without drenching the wood accidentally..
    I guess I'll have to figure out when I get it, crossing my fingers while it travels with the courier.
    My previous purchase was so badly packaged that the neck cracked in transit, so I had to return it in the same package for a refund , apparently on the way back the headstock separated fromthe neck.. The seller had the gall to mention that I could have it back discounted after they had someone fix it (e.g. glue it back I take.. honestly, WTH..).
    Anyway, the seller of the one I am waiting for mentioned the problem with the switch, so I was looking for solutions in advance of receiving it.. Hopefully in one piece this time, I mentioned what happened before and he said he will pack it well..
     
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  16. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    It's mostly alcohol so it evaporates pretty quick. To damage anything you'd have to try real hard and probably empty half the can on the same spot. Don't worry, it's something real easy to do. If you are really anxious about it, simply shove a rag in there that'll absorb whatever stray spray.
     
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  17. Old Woody

    Old Woody Active Member

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    Honestly there is a device which is in essence a bendable rod with a magnet on the end I believe you take the top nut off and drop the switch down and use the magnet to bring it to the cutout spray it then guide it back to it's original position and viola.
     
  18. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    It's about ½ inch from the cutout. He won't get it any closer to the spray tube by taking it out. But if he has to tweak the prongs, then yes.
     
  19. Mcsard

    Mcsard New Member

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    As a gratuitous update, I finally received the guitar and spent several hours playing it.
    I had the seller ship to Sam Deeks first, for a setup, and he could not replicate the problem.
    Neither could I today.. The bridge pickup seems to be perfectly happy, fingers crossed..

    However, at some point I found out that the there was no sound when selecting the middle position.. Just to realize that this is by design apparently. Like with some (all?) Gibson, the ES-339 electronics will mute the output in middle position if any of the two volume knobs is set to 0.
    Which I guess makes sense in most situations.

    So there is a chance that the previous owner did not know that and thought it was due to some problem.

    Or perhaps there is really some issue with the switch but for the moment is not showing up..

    Anyway, I like a lot the guitar.. Lots of different sounds and the coil splitting is very useful.
    I mainly play jazz, well try to anyway, so I spent most of the time exploring clean tones with no effects, DI to my soundcard, and it sounds really good.
    Distorted tones were not as good, but I think I will get there.
    The only thing is, the open E and A tend to start singing by themselves all the time unless I either mute them or keep the volume knobs low, making up for it with the mic level on the soundcard.

    It is a bit of pain because the things I am practising right now are mostly headless chords leaving the bass open, so working out all my chords to mute the bass is not very practical, and having to leave the volume low all the time limits the tone.. I think at least, I have only played acoustic over the last 20 years, it will take me a while to understand how to deal with an electric guitar.

    Perhaps it has something to do with the signal being too hot, if I do not find a solution I might try and lower the pickups a smidge and see if helps.
     

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