Fixing a faulty switch on a Parker MaxxFly guitar
On the Parker MaxxFly (previously called Dragonfly) guitar, there is a 3-way switch which allows you to select between magnetic, magnetic+piezo and piezo pickups. Mine came with a faulty switch which was stuck in the blend mode. No matter which way I flicked the switch I would always get both pickups in the output. It wasn’t the end of the world because there are individual volume knobs for each pickups but it’s still annoying.
I searched the Internet and discovered that this is a fairly common issue with the MaxxFly/Dragonfly. There are several posts about this on the Parker Guitars Forum. One owner posted his finding which helped me to understand the issue. As it turns out, Parker was using a 3-way OFF-ON-OFF toggle switch — common on Gibson Les Paul — but modified to become a ON-OFF-ON. This is required for the Fishman Powerchip preamp used on the MaxxFly. Checkout Page 10 on the Powerchip User Guide for the details.
Parker’s modification includes bending the two inner leaves of the switch toward the centre so that in the middle position both inputs are open and disconnected from the output. The issue is when thrown to either side, the — now bent — inner leaves do not make sufficient contact with the outer leaves and either inputs never get connected to the output. The switch is stuck in the off position.
The solution is to simply replace the switch with a proper ON-OFF-ON switch. Any SPDT or DPDT toggle switch with centre off should do the job. I got one from Jaycar for five bucks. It’s a bit bulkier than the original switch but still fit nicely. The most important thing of course is the pickups selector now works properly. Parkers are supposed to be high end guitars — and expensive too! — so it’s disappointing that they didn’t use a better component in the first place.