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Old 10th February 2015, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default noisy foot switch; is there a fix?

Hello all, I have been asked to build a simple kill switch for a guitarist friend who wants to be able to silence his guitar downstream of his pedal board so he can silently tune etc... I built a box with 2 jacks connected together (in and out) and a switch that shorts the signal to ground when turned "on". The problem is he complains it makes a click that is audible through his amplifier at the moment he steps on it. No matter if he stomps it hard or gently presses it makes a noise when he turns his guitar "off".

Is this the switch contacts bouncing on connection or what? I do not hear a noticeable click like he does but he swears it is no good the way it is... SO

Is there a better made switch (I used this one: Peavey On/Off Single-Button Replacement Switch) or must he go with an active circuit for a silent kill switch? As a purist guitar type he demands straight through designs (so called true bypass pedal designs only please...) so any design I can think of that would be truly silent would not be true bypass...

Is there another way?
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Old 10th February 2015, 02:43 AM   #2
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I would try some options in Figure 1:
Mike Mute
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Old 10th February 2015, 02:54 AM   #3
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My design is identical to Fig 1-B (shunt switching). This is what I built. I know better than to use 1-A as that would be an invitation to more noise. I don't understand how using 1-C (both series and shunt switching) would stop the click noise during actuation. Can anyone give an explanation here?

I believe the Figure 1-B diagram as shown is not in the muted position (Fig 1-A and 1-C are in mute position but not 1-B).
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Old 10th February 2015, 03:23 AM   #4
rayma is online now rayma  United States
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it makes a click. Is this the switch contacts bouncing on connection or what?
Maybe there is some DC in the amp connection. Try a coupling cap at the amp input and see if the noise goes away.
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Old 10th February 2015, 03:28 AM   #5
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Maybe there is some DC in the amp connection. Try a coupling cap at the amp input and see if the noise goes away.
Can you suggest a value? Remember the customer is very concerned about tonal coloration so the cap value would need to be such that it didn't change his tone noticeably...
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Old 10th February 2015, 03:34 AM   #6
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Quote:
As a purist guitar type he demands straight through designs (so called true bypass pedal designs only please...) so any design I can think of that would be truly silent would not be true bypass...
a DC series cap is better than a series switch?

I reckon a double pole switch would be unbeatable for pure. how you hook it up... well tell no tales tell no lies
if the problem is DC i'm sure you'll find more "pure" nonsense at the source
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Old 10th February 2015, 03:38 AM   #7
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It could be that even if there is a cap in the amp input, that its leakage current is causing problems. A large value (megohm) shunt resistor might help on the amp side of the switch. The guitar doesn't have any active electronics?
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Old 10th February 2015, 03:39 AM   #8
rayma is online now rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmeknik View Post
Can you suggest a value? Remember the customer is very concerned about tonal coloration so the cap value
would need to be such that it didn't change his tone noticeably...
This is mainly for troubleshooting. If the noise goes away with the cap, there's DC on the input and a tech should check it.
Try either a 1uF film or a 10uF nonpolarized electrolytic.

If that doesn't help, try a 2k resistor in parallel with the switch. This will help if the amp has a very high input impedance.

Last edited by rayma; 10th February 2015 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 10th February 2015, 03:41 AM   #9
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set up is as follows: guitar (passive) to an extensive pedal board then the kill switch at the end of the signal chain just before the amp.
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Old 10th February 2015, 03:59 AM   #10
rayma is online now rayma  United States
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set up is as follows: guitar (passive) to an extensive pedal board then the kill switch at the end of the signal chain just before the amp.
Can you describe the pedal board?
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