A Guitar Switch is a Vintage Guitar Part Borrowed from Military Surplus. The 3 Way Lever Switch Remains
a Guitar Replacement Part Used by Today's Pro Builders and Novice Builders...
Lever switches are the Guitar Switch of choice on a vast number of Tele and Strat style guitars. They are generally reliable and give the user a positive position feel.
The 3 position (3 way) lever switch is used for 2 pickup Tele style guitars and the 5 position (5 way) is used on 3 pickup Strat Style
The most popular alternatives are three position Toggle switches used on Gibson style guitars.
The switch pictured is the shallow body version.
Over the years there have been various incarnations in the construction of t
he lever switch. The 2 most popular are the "Spring Plate"and the "Side Spring".
The Side spring version uses the tension of a spring mounted on the switch chassis to lock the switch into place at each position. This style lever switch has a tactile advantage over the spring plate style, because of the way it pops into position and is harder to accidentally knock out of position.
3 way and 5 way Lever Switches with Side Mounted Spring - are economy priced, but built strong and durable like the units made popular in vintage and the early Japanese manufactured guitars.
These switches will pump up your Telecaster or other 3 Way switching guitar setup.
Because of the big spring mounted on the side, These units provide a very definite and tactile feel when switching pickup positions. They are very well built and should last a long time.
Very good for stage guitars. The only draw back is that because of the larger size, slightly larger control cavity space may be required.
Note: We call these switches roller spring plate because of the operation method. But, in the world of electronics this Guitar Switch goes by a different name.
The spring plate version has a metal plate that is bent or sprung by little wheels that pass over humps on the solid chassis of the switch. The plate holds the wheels in position between the humps. This version of the lever switch has a softer feel. It's profile is slightly thinner than the side spring version making it a better choice for tight installations.
The 3 way also has the capability of an odd "in between" position that has been exploited by guitar players over the years, making the 3 way effectively a 5 way switch.
So, why not just use a 5 way switch? Many players believe the halfway point between positions on the 3 way provide a unique out of phase sound that can't be duplicated with a 5 way switch.
Modern Vintage offers this traditional Vintage Style Roller and Spring Plate 3 way Switch with a few improvements over the traditional vintage models.
The advantages of the Roller and Spring Plate 3 Way Switch is it's Famous ability to position the switch in-between the Neck, Mid and Bridge pickup positions. The two extra positions provided the classic hollow and pinging out of phase sounds made popular by many early Blues and Rock artists.
Problems associated with using this style switching were that switches wore out faster. After a lot of use the action became very sloppy requiring replacement.
Plus, It was hit or miss if the switch would stay in the two mid-positions due to the stamped detents on the switch plate being inconsistent. Some had pointed tips, some flat.
To achieve consistency for in-between positions, working musicians and their techs used a small flat hobby file to level the humps between the 3 positions for a positive feel and assure the switch couldn't pop off position during playing.
Larger Contact Surface
MVG 3 way Lever Switch electronic contact areas are designed with a larger surface assuring the desired mid-position electronic effect. The Spring Plate thickness was increased giving both an improved tactile feel and longer switch life expectancy.
Finally the Stamped detents in the switch plate are designed for a flatter top for increased mid-position switching. While mass produced stamped products may not be 100% consistent, the odds of not having to file the MVG switch are much improved.
Desire for better sound has evolved the trusty Telecaster 3 Way.
Recently, a 4 way version of the spring plate switch has been growing in popularity.
Instead of just a position for the Neck pickup, Bridge Pickup and Center position using both pickups, the four way's two center positions replace the 3 way center position and can be used, with the right wiring and pickups, to create two noise canceling or Hum-bucking sounds. inexpensively opening up a whole new palette of sound for any 2 pickup guitar.
Modern Vintage offers this traditional Vintage Telecaster Style Roller and Spring Plate 4 Way Lever Switch as an improvement over the traditional 3 Way vintage model.
The advantage of the 4 way switch is the ability to wire Tele or any other style pickups in Series, giving the Single coil Tele pickups a powerhouse mid-tone not usually found in non-Humbucker guitars.
The added switch position with the fatter sound opens up the sonic possibilities when combined with the famous Tele twang.
Modern Vintage Guitar 4 Way Switch is a great addition to your current guitar or possibly, a reason to build an additional guitar with a different sound.
MVG offers both styles of 3 way and 5 way switches along with the spring plate 4 way