Fender "old style" footswitch with RCA plugs question

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by bbarnard, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    First, let me say whoever came up with this design is an idiot. I have an old style Fender type footswitch with the RCA type plugs on it for my Vintage Sound 20. It has the leads soldered to the the plugs directly. And once they are on the jacks in the back of the amp, they are virtually impossible to get off!

    So, second, my question is this. Is there any reason that I couldn't get small male to female "extension" pieces for each footswitch lead that has the better grips on the plugs themselves to use to connect the switch to the amp? Something like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. superdave2001

    superdave2001 Supporting Member

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  3. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    With Fender verb/trem combos, the distance from the back panel to the edge of the cabinet is not all that deep, about 1-1/4" or so. You will find using a more conventional straight RCA plug body will put the wire outside the 'zone of protection' of the cabinet. In other words, if you lay the amp on its back, or slide it next to another piece of gear while loading equipment, you may damage the wire, the plug or the jack. Since Fender intended for players to leave the FS connected (placing the FS in the back of the amp for transport), the short RCA connectors make sense.

    Your amp doesn't care what provides the open/short to the verb/trem jacks. If you find a different connector that works for you, go for it. All the amp needs is an open or a short at those jacks to switch the verb and trem. Just remember the caveat about what will happen if the amp gets loaded in the equipment truck with a dongle sticking out the back...
     
  4. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    Adding to Jeff's insights... I'd guess (and that's really all I'm doing) that using a different kind of connector also keeps boneheads from mixing up speaker and footswitch jacks given that they are on the back of the amp. I'd try and find right angle plugs or extenders rather that what you have pictured.
     
  5. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    Thanks all! I don't like to keep my footswitch connected to the amp because I worry more about the footswitch punching a hole in the speaker if stored in the back of the amp than I do about screwing up a dongle that is under $5.

    The right angle pieces look like they'd be perfect as they could stay on the wire ends of the footswitch but are big enough that you could grip them to remove them from the amp when done.
     
  6. superdave2001

    superdave2001 Supporting Member

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  7. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    Superdave, no it won't. That is not a shorted plug, just a 90° adapter.
     
  8. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's a little something from Martha Stewart's Organizing Tips for Gigging Musicians:

    Worrying about that loose footswitch punching a hole in one of your speakers? Just buy one of these utility zippered bags, and a small eyescrew. Put the eyescrew into the interior side wall of the combo cabinet, and snap the utility bag onto the eye. Now you can put the footswitch, spare tubes and fuses right in the bag and zip it almost shut (around the FS cord). It also would be good to throw in one leather glove for your tube-grabbing hand.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/CLC-1100-3-Zippered-Utiltiy-Bags/15185663?action=product_interest&action_type=title&placement_id=irs-106-t1&strategy=PWVAV&visitor_id=KnyYUFFzjA3v-3XBQ3I8TU&category=&client_guid=7a1d54ed-a308-45b0-8777-63d228bee18c&customer_id_enc=&config_id=106&parent_item_id=15176549&parent_anchor_item_id=15176549&guid=f7f572a2-1814-410f-9558-7ca63c6597e1&bucket_id=irsbucketdefault&beacon_version=1.0.1&findingMethod=p13n

    Bonus tip: with two power tube amps, always buy matched quads, so you can travel with a spare pair that is identical to the installed pair. Blow a fuse at the gig? Pull your power tubes and rectifier tube, replace them with your spares, and 95% of the time you're good to go. You can sort out what went bad afterwards...
     
  9. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Almost all the current production cables are terrible, the rca jacks (even if gold plated) are thin and cheap and don't grip the socket well enough. The fact that the old type are "hard to get off" is a good thing.. how often do you really need to get them off?????
    Just last week I replaced the RCA jacks on a Blues Junior (reverb didn't work) with the old vintage style. that fixed his reverb! I tried to adjust the flimsy ones tighter but they are mush metal.
     
  10. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    Well for me, after the end of every gig and practice (or basically most every time I play). Because I don't want to leave the footswitch permanently connected to the jacks. Thus the original question.
     
  11. superdave2001

    superdave2001 Supporting Member

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    Ok thanks for that. So sounds like I have 2 options:
    • Get the RCA to 1/4" adapter I originally posted
    • Use a shorted RCA cable
    Right? So how do I create the shorted RCA cable? Is it as easy as cutting off one plug from an old RCA cable, exposing the wires, and wrapping them to each other?
     
  12. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Lots of ways to protect your speaker.. one noted above. Basically I'm saying you have two choices ; reliability or not.
     
  13. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep, pretty much. Here's a pic of a couple I've made up. One is made from chopping off the end of a RCA cable, stripping and twisting together the shield and center conductor, then soldering them, then dabbing a little insulating varnish over the join just to make it look nicer. The other one is fabbed from an 'old school' RCA plug like Fender used on reverb cables, etc. Just took a long length of bare jumper wire, slid it in and soldered the tip, then wrapped the rest of it around to make a loop grip, and soldered that to the plug body.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I wouldnt worry about having 90 degree plugs if you remove them every time any way.. exposure is not an issue....
     
  15. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    I've always had a few plugs soldered up too. Pretty useful for Fender amps.

    Looks like pro versions are available. :)
    [​IMG]
     
  16. superdave2001

    superdave2001 Supporting Member

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    Wow those look cool (ugh...I just TGP'ed myself...liking something shiny vs. making them myself LOL). But they do look cool, where are those available?

    And I did get the adapter I was looking at, and it works like a charm. It sticks out a bit, but I will remove it when it's moved anyway. So problem solved. Thanks again.
     
  17. J M Fahey

    J M Fahey Member

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    You calling Leo an idiot?

    Now that's funny ;)
     

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