a pickups' change job's on the desk for little Mustang with P90s – which includes a brand new, complete circuit, in order to keep all the original parts and harness untouched, for future resale (second-hand) "as it came from the factory".
that's my reason for buying this Switchcraft Short Toggle Switch, to honor the motto that goes "paying once maybe a bit more saves you from having to buy twice".
the switch looks the part, it appears built with care – and its imperial thread on the lever allows the choice of a high quality, brass-made, German tip knob that feels great [contrary to those plastic cheapos that come with a tedious ridge across, just where you place your fingertips for action].
so i'm putting it in, soldering all wires in place, neat and clean – and it feels right, i just have to make sure anything works fine, before i tick the job "finished, ok".
and it fails, for three quite silly, and not entirely related reasons.
stiffness of spring contacts is really low: this was designed to be a very comfortable, soft and silent switch – which is why it costs maybe a tad more than "standard" parts.
and it is, indeed – only too soft: when the guitar is played with a bit of passion, the switch lever in mid-position isn't firmly held in place, because the spring contact isn't stiff at all, so the lever rattles by sympathetic vibration – loud enough for you to hear it, if you're miking your amp in the same room at moderate sound pressure level. did i say that the original, cheap, stock switch was dead silent, instead?
when you operate the switch, changing selection from "neck" to "both" to "bridge", the action is [mechanically] perfectly silent, but it's [electrically] disturbed by a clearly audible "pop" or "click" in the output signal – which wasn't, and isn't, there with the stock, cheap switch that the guitar came equipped with.
with the switch correctly wired and installed, there's a static discharge noise happening when you rub the pickguard, no matter if you're playing wearing shoes with rubber soles on a thick carpet, or naked-feet on marble, or wood floor. did i say it wasn't there with the original, cheap, stock switch that was factory-installed on the guitar?
i have a built-in "doubt-routine" installed in my head since my prime, which serves to point my finger at a possible mistake of mine first, before even thinking that it's the world to be wrong somehow – it's an always running process, hasn't got an off-switch, runs in the background and i can't help it (nor stop it).
so i'm removing this Switchcraft switch, thinking i might have done something wrong, and soldering in another "pricey" switch (the Dieter's one with gold contacts) – this still's got too much play when in mid-position, for my taste, meaning it might (acoustically) rattle occasionally, but the pops and clicks in output are gone, as is the static discharge, "fingernails on the cheese-grater" noise: dead silent.
not yet content, and still thinking i might have done something wrong, i remove the Dieter's piece, and install instead a Harley Benton switch: mechanically it feels solid enough, it's got far less "idle" play (when brand new, at least), and it makes no pop, no click, no shhhrrkkk static noise when operated, or when you rub the pickguard with pick or fingertips.
dealing with electric guitars, and especially those with passive pickups, means by experience that something might be wrong even if you can't see the reason, or understand it – so it has occasionally happened to me, with the three or four dozens of guitars i've (electrically) wired and serviced, that simply dismantling it all, and putting it in back again from scratch, made sometimes the problem disappear... no more than a couple of times in total, maybe, but it happened – so why should i rule this instance out now, as unlikely?
so i'm putting the Switchcraft Short Toggle Switch back in again, on a newly-made circuit (different pots, different cap, different wires, different output jack).
pops and clicks are there again, as is the static discharge grating noise, and the mechanical rattle, of course still there, too.
decision's taken: piece is discarded, i won't use it – i'll keep it, as a reminder that sometimes paying more for "das gute Stück", the good piece, for your own peace of mind just doesn't mean things will go as planned.
lucky as i am, this ain't my job, and i'm not as such being paid for doing it – i'm doing it for friends, for free, occasionally, and for my own guitars. had i been doing it as a professional service, billed by the hour, this Switchcraft switch would have ended up costing more than the whole guitar it was supposed to go in, even billing my labor at a cheap hourly rate.
of course there would have been a workaround, which some would have implemented, in order to solve at least the static noise problem (and it would have probably mitigated the "pop-and-click" one, too): shielding the cavities with copper foil, and the underside of the pickguard with aluminum foil, would have likely cured the problem – but it wasn't asked by the client, which has insted opted for noiseless pickups, and there's no (valid) reason to shield a cavity if it's not (signal-wise) needed, so it wasn't honestly an option, here; and, it's easier, quicker (and cheaper) to simply choose the right toggle switch instead.
in the end, the Harley Benton toggle switch stayed – while it's fair to say that you may be luckier with this Switchcraft than i was.