If you’ve found this page you surely know exactly what you’re looking for by now. Below are a few thoughts from my experience of changing out the mechanical, failure-prone “spring” switches of the DL-4 and replacing them with something more reliable, quieter, and smoother to press.
Here is what the original, mechanical switches look like:
I have VERY limited soldering experience but I think I could have done this on my own. Despite that, I enlisted a generous and more experienced friend to help me replace these DL-4 switches.
From what I read, people tend to want to change these switches because the springs either break or simply stop switching reliably. I was starting to experience the very first signs of unreliable switches (“hey, I thought I pressed that button…”) and so I chose to preemptively swap them out. We used the following resources:
2. Written instructions on Gear Page forum
3. Replacement Switches source (order 4 of them) *Updated broken link* (If necessary in the future, search smallbearelec.com for SKU 0206A, Momentary SPST “Soft-Touch” switch.)
The only real comments I would add to the video and forum post above are as follows:
– The six rotary knobs are very difficult to remove in the disassembly process. I ended up wrapping a layer of electrical tape around each switch and then using a large set of pliers to pull them straight up and off. I found it easier to put my pliers on the “long” way across the knob instead of the “short” way. That is, there are two orientations in which you can grab the knob. Use the way that opens the mouth of your pliers more widely. Pull straight up and be careful to not bend the knob too far side to side. Some folks say to use a screwdriver to pry the knobs off. I had no luck with this and don’t recommend it.
– You do indeed need to file or cut out the little metal nub on the DL-4 enclosure. The replacement switches I got have a groove but if you line up the groove with the nub, the new switch will not fit in the enclosure. In theory the switches could spin a bit without the nub, but just tighten the nuts down well when you re-assemble.
– The video and the forum I’ve mentioned show opposite configurations for where and how to solder the wire. Either one will work.
– The total height of the switches is just a little too high. We had them sticking out the hole on the front of the enclosure as much as possible (which I recommend), but we still had a hard time getting the back of the case to close flush. I think I ended up taking out the large middle stand-off screw completely.
– Be careful to not bend the long posts that the LEDs are mounted on when you’re re-assembling the unit.
If possible I’d test out the unit before putting it completely back together to make sure your wiring is good. That’s it! Once I had the pedal disassembled, the process took us about an hour. Here’s the finished product: