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Freeway Switch

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  • Freeway Switch

    Hey! I'm looking to update my HB SG custom with new pickups and wiring to allow for all three humbuckers to be usable individually and get rid of the three-way switch in the guitar now. I was thinking of using a rotary switch, but someone suggested a freeway switch. Anyone use one? Would that be easier to wire and allow more options?


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    -=The Dali
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  • #2
    Re: Freeway Switch

    I have one in a 3 PU's semi hollow and I like it. Another member found it flimsy: it suggests that such switches must be handled delicately but I've not got any issue with it until now personally.
    Duncan user since the 80's...


    • #3
      Re: Freeway Switch

      @zizyphus suggested this to me too for my custom build, the concept is super cool.

      My first thought was that yes it might get loose and flimsy over time. But imagine having that kind of precisely driven versatility?

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      • #4
        Re: Freeway Switch

        Great idea; I've long considered a Freeway for one of my guitars that has three humbuckers.
        Might not choose it for an instrument that sees heavy duty usage on the road; I'd worry about reliability issues in the long run.
        Probably great for anything short of that, though - some have reported using them for years without problems.
        "My hovercraft is full of eels."



        • #5
          Re: Freeway Switch

          i have the 5 way double switch (i.e. 2x5=10 position) and the 6 way toggle (i.e. 2x3 =6). The former is great. The latter is a piece of hot trash. I broke it within a month. if you switch pickups like Zakk Wylde, just save yourself the trouble of this toggle and find a decent MEC or Switchcraft. Maybe they upgraded the toggle but from what I had, I wouldn't ever recommend it.


          • #6
            Re: Freeway Switch

            I inquired about them quite a few years ago and I was pretty much told they weren't reliable. I have no personal experience with them, but i ended up going with a 4 pole 6 pos rotary. Its a little weird to get used to at first, but after a bit you get used to it, kind of like playing without looking at the fretboard. It's on my #1 and at this point it just seems like second nature to change pickups.
            Warmoth Split Jazzmaster (Zhangbucker Crushbucker UOA5 splat, Cherrick tapped)
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            Seymour Duncan 84-40 (Weber Grey Wolf Light Dope)


            • #7
              Re: Freeway Switch

              Maybe should I have precised that besides a 2x3 positions FreeWay toggle switch in one axe, I've rotary switches in several guitars. The most complex is a Burns Bison with a 4 positions rotary AND another one featuring 5 positions...

              In MY subjective experience, rotary switches are not easier (nor harder) to use than the FreeWay and don't seem more (nor less) reliable. A rotary can get stuck between two positions sometimes.

              In my understanding, none of these systems seems adapted to "authoritative" switching: a rotary will... rotate and get loose if handled brutally.

              Now, it's possible to handle them delicately: I'm a XXL guy but I succeed to be gentle with my switches so it is doable... :-)
              Duncan user since the 80's...


              • #8
                Re: Freeway Switch

                Had one, the Gibson style. Thought it was a cheap piece of junk that had poor positive engagement of the positions. It's fine for before-song switching. IME, it's too fiddly and flimsy to reliably use quickly during songs. I didn't even give it enough time in the guitar to break, but I felt like it probably would at some point, if I kept it.

                I was using it as a solution to get something that no other switch I knew about gave you: 1) bridge pickup, 2) one coil from bridge pickup and one coil from neck pickup, in series ("virtual" middle humbucker), and 3) neck pickup. It gave me that...and three other positions I didn't actually want. I eventually found out about a special sort of switch that is actually three switches internally, controlled by a single toggle lever...and Artie hooked me up with one. Gave me everything I wanted, and nothing I didn't, and was built like a tank.

                IMO, a better option than the freeway is a 3-position toggle that just gives you each pickup alone in its three positions. Standard electronics supplier stuff, not a guitar switch. Then you can add bridge-on and neck-on switches on push-push pots, if you want to use multiple pickups at the same time.
                Originally posted by LesStrat
                Yogi Berra was correct.
                Originally posted by JOLLY
                I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.