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Old 13th Jan 2018, 7:43 pm   #1
brinorl
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Default Reverb foot pedal.

Hi, I have an old Fender amplifier with Reverb operated on or off, by a footswitch on a long length of cable. I would like to remove the cable, and just operate it from the front panel control How is the best way to go about this? Could I just cut the wires and join them together?

Last edited by brinorl; 13th Jan 2018 at 7:46 pm. Reason: added content.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 8:43 pm   #2
ITAM805
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Generally on Fender amps the reverb defaults 'on' if the footswitch is unplugged, the amount adjusted as usual by the reverb pot
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 6:29 am   #3
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Get a schematic so you know where the cable connects to. Connect it to a switched pot of the right value.

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Old 15th Jan 2018, 3:32 pm   #4
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Could you tell us what the amplifier model is? Earlier Fender amps used spring reverb, but more recent ones might well have digital reverb.

The operation of the reverb foot-switch is to short the output from the spring reverb tank to ground, i.e., before the reverb recovery stage. If you are intending to use the amp for an instrument (guitar?) and voice, then switching off reverb when you do any announcements is a really useful feature, unless you want to come over as a bit of a wally.

As ITAM805 states, Fender reverb footswitches were usually plugged in to the rear of the amplifier using a phono plug. Removing the plug will default to "reverb on", but if you want to remove the footswitch and not use the reverb, you could plug in a shorting phono plug. I have no idea why you might want this, as you could just as easily put the existing footswitch into the case of the amplifier in the "off" state, or turn the reverb level right down, or maybe remove the reverb driver valve. Perhaps your amp has a wired-in reverb footswitch? If so, I have not come across such a situation and it just might be a modification.

If you really want to have a switch on the front of the amp to turn reverb off and on, then you could mount an ordinary single-pole on/off switch on the front panel and run a screened cable from that switch to the contacts on the reverb footswitch phono-socket(with the outer screen connected to earth on the socket). If there is no phono-socket, then desolder the footswitch cable at wherever it goes to in the innards of the amplifier and connect your panel-switch lead to those same points, again ensuring that the screen of the cable is connected to earth (and only at one end, not both). It should be easy enough.

I think I should introduce a caveat or two here. I can't think of many reasons why you would want to change the convenience of the footswitch for a panel-mounted reverb on/off switch, to be honest. Leo Fender was no fool and neither were his designers and engineers. If we are considering a classic Fender amplifier with valves, then any modifications will have a negative impact on the re-sale value of the amp. If you mount the switch on the front panel, that would be a pretty major mod as it is immediately obvious. Mounting the on/off switch on the rear panel might be less obtrusive, but it will still affect the value of the amp to others and to be honest with you, the switch wouldn't be that convenient in use, certainly much less-so than the existing foot-switch. Of course, your amp might be a modern, solid state item, in which case modifications won't have much, if any, impact.

Just my two-pennyworth.
Colin.

EDIT: I don't think Diabolical's idea of a switched pot of the right value is of that much use, but having thought about it, you could look for a pot of the right value (i.e. same as the one present) but with a push-pull switch and use that switch for your reverb on/off. That way, you wouldn't be drilling holes in the front panel and the mod is reversible, especially if you put the original reverb pot into a ziplock bag, drawing-pinned into the inside of the case.

Last edited by ColinTheAmpMan1; 15th Jan 2018 at 3:39 pm. Reason: Extra ideas.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 3:52 pm   #5
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Upon reflection I think maybe leave as is, is the best option. The lead is hard wired into the amplifier, and it looks tricky to get the amp out. Its a spring reverb. which has another feed to operate it. Or maybe shorten the lead a bit, its miles long, and I'm only a bedroom player. Thanks for the advice and comments.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 4:13 pm   #6
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Just shorten it by folding a la cables supplied with anything new these days and hold in place with a couple of cable ties or bag twists.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 6:47 pm   #7
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

What model is it, I've not seen a Fender with a soldered in footswitch?
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 1:31 pm   #8
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Yes please, brinorl, let us know what model of Fender amp this is. It will save me wading through all my books on Fender amps to find one with a soldered-in reverb footswitch
Colin.
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Old 21st Jan 2018, 5:41 pm   #9
brinorl
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Its a Fender Sidekick Reverb 25, only a cheapie, made in Taiwan, but badged as Fender Instruments, Brea, California. Its about 25-30 years old, speaker says Fender PFG 1012. I think I'll leave as is, tuck the cable inside, in the "on" mode , and use the front knob when required. Thanks for all your comments. Brian.
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 3:23 pm   #10
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

I have now stuck the switch inside the cab, and secured the cable inside as well. All very neat and tidy. Have sent a photo, but its gone astray. or maybe to Colin the Amp Man.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 7:06 pm   #11
ColinTheAmpMan1
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brinorl View Post
I have now stuck the switch inside the cab, and secured the cable inside as well. All very neat and tidy. Have sent a photo, but its gone astray. or maybe to Colin the Amp Man.
Hi Brian,

Yes, I got the photo and I think you have done a good job. I have attached the photo to this post. It is possible that if ever you gig with the amp, you might just have to turn up the volume and the footswitch could rattle against the cabinet, but that might be of no concern to you.

On the subject of gigging, as I said in my earlier post, if you are putting both a guitar and a microphone through the amp, then if you make any announcements between numbers, turn off the reverb, otherwise you are likely to sound like you are in a bathroom! I don't know if your amp has tremolo, but putting that effect on a voice can sound really weird. There are times when it has been done - if I remember correctly Donovan's recording of "Hurdy-Gurdy Man" did it (incidentally, I think I know the original Hurdy-Gurdy Man, but that is another story).

I must admit to being confused by your original description of the amp as an "old Fender". To me, that means one made back in the heyday of Fender and using lovely valves. I don't think that you could do much harm to your Sidekick, as it is hardly a classic, even if it does sound ok. I have some information on the Sidekick 20 Reverb, but unfortunately no circuit diagrams or layouts. That doesn't mean that they can't be found on t'internet, though.
Good luck, anyway.

Colin.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 8:22 pm   #12
brinorl
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Default Re: Reverb foot pedal.

Hi again Colin. My days of gigging are long gone. A few years ago I had a mate at work who had a Fender twin Reverb, that was some amp, it weighed a ton, but the sound was stunning. We used to stay behind after work and have a thrash, with my son on bass. I have another one from the 70,s , a 50 watt FAL MERLIN, that's got reverb and tremolo. get good sounds from the lap steels on that. Theres also the 30 watt R.S.C. valve amp from the 60,s, that I got overhauled with help from this site, that's quite basic though. Cheers, Brian.
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