Embrace your inner rock star!

Why are there so many different types of guitar pedals but the guitar tones you hear are just those few?

A good question that I came across today on Quora (which I happened to answer there as well) was:

“Why are there so many different types of guitar pedals but the guitar tones you hear are just those few?”

In a nutshell my answer was guitar players are the only ones who obsess over their tone and think all the many subtle variations actually matter to the listener. In truth only a very small percentage of listeners in the grand scheme of things will notice any difference between the use of an original Ibanez Tubescreamer or say a Joyo overdrive pedal that cost $50 new.

So moral of the story is, let’s try to remember that and spend more of precious time just playing our instruments, and not too carried away with gear pursuits as we chase the mythical tone that we think will blow everyone away.

 

Gear: DIY 2 way momentary switch for amps, effects etc – Only $10 in cost

For about $10 in materials cost, or less if you find cheaper suppliers or re-use stuff you might already have lying around, you can build your own 2-way / dual switch that can be used with many types of gear, including amps, modelling amps, effects pedals and the like.

Here’s what we are building:

DIY 2 way momentary switch

It’s a low-cost and sturdy alternative to commercially made switches such as the Boss FS-6 or the Kemper Profiler Switch 2 Way, both of which don’t come that cheaply.

I made one recently and thought I’d share the steps – it’s really simple.

Parts list:

– Enclosure
– 2 x momentary stomp switches
– 1 x 1/4″ stereo jack
– some thin gauge electrical wire, any colour, around 20cm is all you need

DIY switch parts required

Tools:

– Soldering iron and some solder
– adjustable wrench (to tighten the nuts on the jacks and switches)
– drill to drill the holes for the jack and switches

Steps:

1) Drill holes in enclosure

Drill holes in enclosure

2) Wire up and solder as shown below

Wiring and soldering for 2 way momentary switch

Note:
– colour of wires doesn’t matter
– in my switch, I used blue for the “ground/sleeve” terminal on the jack
– left switch goes to “ring” terminal (purple wire)
– right switch goes to “tip” terminal (other purple wire)
– you can reverse which is which if you want, doesn’t matter
– since NO AUDIO SIGNAL passes through the switch, you don’t even have to be too fussy about the quality of your solder connections, in case soldering isn’t your thing. Just so long as the connections don’t fall apart and don’t short out, it should work fine.

And that’s it!