NSF Controls Free-Way switch review

Not your normal toggle switch

  • £25
The Free-Way switch allows for huge versatility when switching

MusicRadar Verdict

Tricky switching be gone! If you need to expand your pickup switching options, this takes some beating.


  • +

    Expands your tonal options without adding extra switches. Works really well.


  • -

    Not as smooth as some regular toggle switches.

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Yes, the Free-Way switch looks like a regular three-way toggle switch that you'd find on most double 'bucker guitars, but this is a toggle switch that works in two planes (each with three positions), creating a six- position switch.

"The Free-Way is simpler than a push-pull mod and doesn't add extra switches to fight with on stage"

Designed primarily for twin-humbucker guitars with four-conductor wiring, it allows for various pickup coil configurations and huge versatility.

Guitar-maker Chris George explains:

"I discovered the switch while building a triple single-coil guitar, but I wanted - apart from each pickup individually - all available twin-pickup combinations: bridge and middle, bridge and neck, and middle and neck."

Now that could all be done with a push/push or push/pull on the tone or volume control, or even a separate DPDT switch, but the Free-Way is simpler and doesn't add extra switches to fight with on stage.

In Use

Once you get used to the dual plane of the switch, it works like a dream. All connections are 'make before break', so there are no clicking or popping noises as you change positions.

"The only downside," mentions Chris, "is that it isn't quite as smooth as, say, a Switchcraft long-spring contact toggle switch."

For expanded sounds, without altering your guitar's switches, try this. A great UK-designed/ manufactured product.

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.