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Installing A Varitone Switch On A Dot Studio.


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Hello All,

I just bought a EPI Dot Studio (es-335 type). It only has 1 volume/1 tone control and I was thinking about installing a Varitone switch to give it more tone. I'm new at this and I am wondering how difficult this would be. Can anyone tell me the size of hole, type of drill bit and how to install the varitone switch into this guitar? Any help would be appreciated.


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Short version: this guitar does not have a control cavity in the back, so you'll need to pull all the electronics out the F-hole, wire in the varitone, then feed it all back into the guitar.

Long version: First....get the varitone and make sure it will fit through the F-hole so you can get it into the body. If not, then you might be toast.

If it fits, then you'll have to drill a hole big enough for the threaded shaft collar. But when you do, you need to be very careful to put the hole in a place that will leave enough room for the varitone so that it does not bang into the "sustain block" that runs down the center of the guitar body, or the other two pots. Put the hole in a place that leaves enough room around the varitone and its caps & tabs so it doesn't hit anything else.

Next, you'll need to de-mount the volume & tone pots and switch and pull them out...tie a piece of string to each of the shafts before you do, it'll make it easier to fish them out later. You may also need to de-mount the output jack in the same way if the leads aren't long enough to get the pots out the F-hole; plug a cable in first though (see why below) before you do. Pull the vol & tone pots out the F-hole, being careful to avoid breaking the solder joints.

With the vol & tone pots out, you can wire the varitone into the circuit. Feed another bit of string into the varitone hole and out the F-hole so you can pull the shaft up and out of the hole. After soldering, you should plug the guitar in and test the varitone before feeding everything back into the body! You don't want to spend all that time pulling the shafts up through the holes and bolting them on, only to find out you messed up a solder joint somewhere and have to fish them out again.

If everything checks out, THEN shove it all back into the body, fish the shafts out through the holes with the strings and bolt everything back on. Then crank it up and lay into The Thrill is Gone.

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yea what erik said. :D

We use fishing line at the shop. Its rigid and tapes easily.

MAKE sure you ground the varitone properly to a pot or directly to the output jack. It will not work at all if you don't.

Depending on whos version of the varitone you bought the different wires mean different things. Any questions post here and I will try to jump in.

Also if you are going to drill a hole into your guitar you better make sure you know what you are doing. If you just take a bit to the guitar you will chip and ruin the paint. You need to tape off the pain in the spot that you are going to drill in. Then you can either take a brad point 3/8 bit and go so very very very very slow with as little pressure as possible. OR you can take regular bits start off with the smallest and go larger to 3/8, using every size in between. Even if you are really careful you may still crack the paint.

If you are not very careful then take it to a luthier he should know what is going on and all of that.

Sorry I am late to my own thread...

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