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Kill switch


Kill switch

Kill switches are used to kill the sound signal coming from the guitar and going to the amp, creating a stuttering effect.

Some well-known players that use a kill switch effect in their music include Eddie Van Halen and Buckethead. It's commonly used when you have lots of gain, but you're playing clean.

How To...

Step 1: Prepping the Guitar

First, Remove all the strings from the guitar. After removing the strings, unscrew all the screws that hold the faceplate onto the guitar.

Note: If you have never taken the faceplate off your guitar, the screws near the pickups and the pickup selectors should not be unscrewed.

Once the faceplate is unscrewed, you can then flip your faceplate upside down so that the components of the guitar are showing. Be careful not to pull to hard as there are two wires, one going to the grounded to the bridge, and that goes to the output jack that connected to parts of the guitar.

Step 2: Soldering Two Wires Onto Momentary Switch

Soldering the wires is not a necessity, although we recommend that you do to prevent the wires breaking and fraying apart.

Take two wires, and carefully strip both ends on both wires.

Solder one end of each of the wires to the two contacts on the switch. The order of the wires does not matter.

Step 3: Drilling A Hole in the Faceplate

Now that you have prepped your switch you are ready to prepare your faceplate, flip your faceplate so that the electrical components sitting are inside the guitar and choose an appropriate location for your kill switch on your faceplate. Avoiding all electronics on the faceplate and in the guitar.

Using the appropriate size drill bit, carefully drill a hole into your faceplate. (Most switches will have the drilling diameter on the packaging. If you cannot find the diameter for your switch, start with a small hole and work your way to a bigger hole, until you get to the size you need.)

Test fit your switch to check the fitting in the hole you drilled. If it fits, then mount the switch onto the faceplate by placing the nut included with your switch, on the opposite side of the faceplate, and tighten it until the switch is secured.

Note: When choosing a switch, we recommend a switch that has to have a hole drilled over a notch. Using a notch switch causes greater risk of damaging the faceplate when installing the switch.

Step 4: Soldering the Switch to the Volume Pot

Remember, you don't need to solder the wires, you can twist them on, however they might break and fall off over time.

Solder one wire onto the middle contact(output signal) of the volume pot, and the other wire onto the volume pot itself (the volume pot is grounded).

For non-Strat guitars: Instead of soldering the kill switch onto the volume pot, trace the wire that goes into the output jack of the guitar and inside the single wire should be two smaller wires. Solder one wire that is attached to the kill switch onto one of the wires found in output jack(which one does not matter), and then solder the other wire attached to the kill switch to the unused wire. One of the wires coming from the output jack should not have a rubber casing, as it is the ground. Basically what you are doing is creating a potential bridge in which you can kill the output signal with the press of a button.

Step 5: Making Space for the Kill switch in the Guitar Body.

The area that you choose to place your kill switch will most likely not be hollow underneath, you must hollow it out so that the switch can sit in the body of the guitar. We recommend using a router to do this, but if you don't have one available you can use a drill by drilling multiple small holes and connecting them. Make sure you form a big enough hole so that your wire from your switch lay flat into the guitar.

Step 6: Finishing Up

Put all the wires in the hollow spaces in your guitar and gently place the faceplate back on the guitar, making sure no wires get pinched between the body and the faceplate. Screw the faceplate back into place and restring the guitar.