When it comes to 3-way pickup selectors, there’s a new kid in town. Would you like an introduction?
If you're a hardcore DIYer, here's something to get excited about. It's rare we get to celebrate a new, novel guitar switch, but two different types have recently appeared on the market and I want to introduce you to them. We'll dedicate this column to the first one: the Göldo Double Wafer 3-way switch.
Göldo is the German-based company that designs and develops the hardware, pickups, and electronics for Duesenberg Guitars. Additionally, Göldo Music GmbH is a large distributor for all kinds of guitar parts. (Göldo only sells to luthiers, dealers, music stores, and guitar companies—not directly to individual customers—but they offer an international dealer list on their website, which is available in English.)
A few years ago, we explored Fender's 5-way Super Switch, which has been available for about a decade. It features four independent switching stages in one package, rather than the two offered on a standard 5-way pickup selector switch. For background on this device, read “Introducing Fender's 5-Way Super Switch" and “Exploring Fender's 5-Way Super Switch."
Until now, this amazingly flexible switch has only been available in a 5-way configuration, but it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the corresponding 3-way version, and here it is. (Eyb Guitars offers a 3-way Megaswitch based on a modified Schaller switch with a printed circuit board. It works well, but soldering on a PCB is not for everyone.)
Fig. 2 — Photo courtesy goeldo.de
The Göldo Double Wafer 3-way switch (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2) offers the same open construction as the Fender 5-way Super Switch. It's a 4P3T (four-pole, triple throw) blade switch with a total of 16 lugs, which are divided into four groups with a single common output and three input lugs. This is like having two standard 3-way switches in one package, and you can use this switch not only for Telecasters, but for any guitar that accepts blade switches. Capable of all kinds of fancy wirings, this switch pretty much eliminates the need for installing additional switching devices in a guitar because all you need is already there. This type of selector is also often called a 4-pole switch, a double-wafer switch, or a double-throw switch.
With a height of 33 mm and a depth of 17 mm, this switch should be easy to install in any Telecaster compartment, which was always a problem with the Fender 5-way Super Switch, because of its enormous size. That said, any double-wafer switch can be tricky to install in tight compartments, so it's always a good idea to check your dimensions before attempting a retrofit.
All the basic concepts from the Fender 5-way Super Switch also apply to the new Göldo 3-way switch, so we can keep it short here. To get up to speed, simply review the two columns about the 5-way Super Switch.
Fig. 3 & Fig. 4 — Diagrams courtesy of singlecoil.com
Fig. 3 shows the basic layout of the Göldo Double Wafer 3-way switch, seen from below, with the metal frame on the left. The four switching stages are named A, B, C, and D. As I mentioned before, each stage has three input lugs and one common output lug.
To illustrate what happens inside this switch, I've made three diagrams. If you install the switch in a Telecaster as shown in Fig. 3, position #1 corresponds to bridge pickup only (Fig. 4), position #2 yields neck and bridge pickups together (Fig. 5), and position #3 selects the neck pickup (Fig. 6).
Fig. 5 & Fig. 6 — Diagrams courtesy of singlecoil.com
Because there are simply so many possibilities to explore, it will take a while before wiring diagrams using this Göldo switch begin to show up on the web. (We saw this with Fender's 5-way Super Switch, too.) But now that we have this tool in our hands, it's only a matter of time before creative modders figure out ingenious ways to use it. Perhaps you'll be one of those intrepid souls to bring new ideas to the table.
Next month we'll examine the new 6-way blade switch from Electroswitch, the company that makes CRL and OakGrigsby switches. Until then, keep on modding!