I have a guitar amplifier with a 'clean' and 'lead' 'channel' that can be manually toggled. I'd like to switch between my different amplifier settings using a 'foot controller'.

I often see schematics from people who make their own foot controller using a 1/4 inch TS (or TRS) jack with switches between the tip/sleeve and ring/sleeve. These schematics do not have current limiting resistors in series with the switches(!).

My amplifier (Roland Cube 40GX) has no mention of supporting these kinds of 'DIY' foot controllers in its manual nor can I find a schematic. But from what I can gather, the officially supported FS-5U and the FS-6 are just a switch inside a fancy branded enclosure.

Is it safe to short the tip/sleeve, ring/sleeve, tip/ring, tip/ring/sleeve together of a 'foot switch' or 'foot controller' socket on the back of a guitar amp? Are these inputs protected against shorts with itself?

  • 1
    You'll need two switches , one for lead/clean, the other for solo on/off. Most amps are wired so the footswitch works in parallel with the switch on the amp itself. Doubt you'll do any harm, but you need to find whether they're momentary or latching switches. – Tim Jun 29 '20 at 14:34
  • @Tim Yes, amps expect either momentary or toggle switches from foot controllers. But my question is: CAN I short the TRS leads together with <1 Ohms or do I need at least a 1k current limiting resistor? And what about shorting tip/ring together? -- I'm trying to avoid blowing my amp up with DIY hardware/generic brand foot controllers. – Xunie Jun 29 '20 at 15:48
  • I called up a place and this guy said he'd be surprised if they weren't protected against that. I did order the wrong foot switch, though. If you have a cube 40gx? You want a momentary switches in your foot controller! – Xunie Jul 8 '20 at 1:16

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