#1
As this mysterious title implies, I'm looking for amp heads with two footswitch inputs for channel switching.

Why in the world would I need this? After fumbling around having no clue what I'm doing, I figured that to switch channels on an amp using the Carl Martin Octa Switch, the amp must have two footswitch inputs.  Worse, I think those inputs have to be standard instrument cable inputs.  I'm still not completely sure, but I have to start somewhere.

To begin, here's an example and my main inspiration for buying the Octa Switch in the first place:

-Intronaut uses Mesa/Boogie Royal Atlantics and can change the channels using an Octa Switch MK3.
-After contacting Mesa/Boogie, I received this message

    "I'm not very familiar with the Octa-Switch but it looks like you would  just need an insert style Y-Cable (TRS 1/4" to TS 1/4") to take the  signal from Ext 1 and Ext 2 on the Octa Switch and plug in in place of  your footswitch. The Switching on the Octa Switch (if not already) would  need to be set so that each switch functions as a latching style, tip  to ground footswitch. "

tldr; Exactly what I said (if I'm reading this right).


..anyone observant enough to know any amps with two TRS 1/4" channel footswitch inputs? I'm dying here.

Any leads at all are VERY much appreciated!


Quick summary of what tones I'm looking for: Jazzy Cleans, Modern Metal High-Gains

I play:
-Tesseract
-Caligula's Horse
-Intronaut
-Baroness
-Mastodon
-Elder
-Tool
Last edited by Brianstanek25 at Jul 10, 2017,
#2
I'll have to be honest it seems like a poorly thought out footswitch when you need 2 footswitch jacks to operate it properly- something that amps almost never have. Why doesn't a footswitch with so many switching options support MIDI? There are a lot more amps out there these days that support MIDI switching than they do multiple 1/4" footswitch output jacks.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#3
Oh yeah, if there's no hope, I'd be up for just trading in my Octa Switch for some other way of changing pedals selections and amp channels like MIDI or something idk.
#4
T00DEEPBLUE Haha, a minute after you posted too. Yeah, this is a great product but the difficulty of channel switching is pretty harsh. To be fair, the function was more for switching between amps rather than switching channels on an amp. But of course, it can switch channels.
#5
Quote by Brianstanek25
Oh yeah, if there's no hope, I'd be up for just trading in my Octa Switch for some other way of changing pedals selections and amp channels like MIDI or something idk.


This is one of the reasons I've been using units like Line 6's Helix. Aside from what's built into the unit in terms of amps/cabs/FX, it's a great piece for including exterior effects (four FX loops) and amp switching (two separate amp switch outputs) in the routing.
#6
Well, as long as you're okay with a, beastly I might add, solid state amp, look for an old Ampeg SS-140C. The only reason you need two footswitches for this one is to operate channel switching and reverb for one, and chorus for the other. It also has a preamp out for running into a tube power amp, but for a solid state amp, I think it's comparable in tone to my Mesa and Laney. Good shit, fam.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
Mesa F-50
Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
pedals
#7
No, you read Mesa's email wrong. You probably should have been emailing Carl Martin anyway, since your issue should be with the switch and not the amp. Sort of a cart-and-horse problem here. 

Anyway, what Mesa were telling you was that their amp has a TRS input, and the Octaswitch has two TS, so they told you to get an adapter to plug the two Octaswitch outputs into the single Mesa input. That's all this takes, a $10 adapter cable, not a new amp. This will work with nearly any amp with a single TRS input for a latching footswitch, which is a lot of them. You can also use a single regular TS (mono instrument) cable if the amp only has a single button footswitch on a TS input.

Search term would be something like "1/4 TRS to 2 TS cable"

This'll work. 
https://www.amazon.com/Seismic-Audio-Insert-Cable-Adapter/dp/B006ZBZC6U
#8
^ try teh CM forum, I am with Roc8995 on this one.

According to CM:
"The Octa-Switch has two external switching jacks for changing channels on your amp(s), or other operational features."

It might be something with the dip switches on that one that controls it what kinda signal it sends, lathing/non-latching, 3pin or 2pin, etc...
The manual doesn't explain it very well...but here it is:

"The Octaswitch has stereo outputs, and a stereo return on Loop 8 (this is
a stereo jack with tip-left and ring-right). Since stereo effects like choruses
are placed at the end of your effects-chain, we would typically insert them
in Loop 8.
The Octa-Switch has nine switches, the eight are presets and the ninth is a
true bypass switch, which bypass the unit for clean sound.
Please note if the buffer is engaged it will also be engaged in the bypass
mode, which we recommend as on large stages when running long connected
cables, there is a definite drop in the high end of your guitar sound, the buf
fer
prevent that.
The Octa-Switch has two external switching jacks for changing
channel on your amp, or other operational features.
Operation is very simple as on the two corresponding DIP
switches you simply engage which of the presets 1-8 you which
the amp to change channel or turn on reverb, - boost or other
operational features.
So say you which to shift to a high gain channel on preset 6 via
ext. switch 1 you simply engage DIP switch 6, so now every time
you enter preset 6, the amp go to the high gain channel.
Please note that the different amps switching systems varies, so
we recommend to us a stereo jack, and then try to solder either
the hot on ring or tip, till the wanted result are achieved.
The External switches is Lacthing, we suggest you check if your
amplifier can work like this."

http://carlmartin.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/manual-octaswith-mk2.pdf


Two channel amps traditionally use 2 pin (regular mono 1/4 guitar cable) momentary (I think) switching, so when you press a signal is sent once and changes the channel, next press it changes it back. That cable has 2 pins - one ground and one signal.

On 3 channel switch it has to 3 pin, so it uses stereo cable which has 2 pins - ground, L and R.
#9
The dip switches don't change anything about the switching send (they're always latching TS), they just change what preset changes the channel/effect for that switch output. 

In this case, all you have to do is use the adapter to go from 2xTS to the single TRS input on the Mesa. The Octaswitch was clearly designed with exactly this scenario in mind, as it lets you break out both functions on the common TRS two-button footswitch with a single common cable. It also of course lets you switch channels (or whatever) on two separate amps if you want to. 

I think latching is still more common than momentary, but that may be changing. The Mesa is latching anyway so if that's the amp OP wants to use, the Octaswitch is going to work fine. 

The documentation is oddly shoddy for the switching, but it is actually fairly simple. It's just two latching TS outputs, which means as long as your amp uses a latching footswitch you can switch any two things you want with a TRS cable, or any one thing on two amps using separate TS cables. 
#10
^ that makes sense, bridging the two TS on the CM with a 2 mono to 1 stereo 1/4 adapter for the 3 channel switching.

OP - maybe check with the CM forum peeps and see if anyone might be using your setup? Or contact CM directly?

I have a Voodoolab GCX and Ground Control switcher that is more complex than this and has 1/4 mono out for each channel as teh back of the Mesa actually the channels are wired separate for switching...or I might be wrong?

http://www.voodoolab.com/gcxdiagrams/03-Wireless_Pedals_3chAmpSw.pdf

Mesa Mark V
http://www.mesaboogie.com/media/Amplifiers/Electric/Mark%20Series/Mark%20V/head/mark_v_back.jpg

From what I can see it is just 1/4 cables (standard guitar cable) from each side of the CM to the pedal?
#11
Thanks for the input everyone. I'm glad this issue is a lot more simple than I thought.

Roc8995 I had actually emailed Carl Martin first. They basically just told me to email Mesa/Boogie haha

My only problem is that I'm not exactly looking to buy the Royal Atlantic (although I might). If instead I wanted to set this up for a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier (which uses an 8 pin I think), what then?

At that point do I need to commission a custom cable? Could I go 2 TS cable to 1/4" TRS  to a 1/4" TRS to 8 pin adapter? Could there be any risk in that?
#12
You'd need to figure out the switching configuration on a Recto. If it's latching, you could get a custom cable made and switch two of the parameters with the Octaswitch. If not, you're out of luck. 

Basically as long as the amp uses a latching footswitch of some kind, the format of the connector isn't a big deal, and there shouldn't be any issue with switching. My concern would be that a lot of the more complex, newer amps use relay switching (I think the rectifiers do) which means the octaswitch probably isn't compatible. 
#13
Mesa should plug into "External Switching" so it is either one 1/4 mono cable in each chan2 and chan3 or a Y stereo cable from CM being on the stereo end.
That's how Voodoolab do their switching diagram and I imagine the CM will be the same as essentially they're just dumb switches both:


In other words - you won't use the weird 7 pin DIN on the Mesa but the 1/4 "External Switching" option. I am not sure how you use channel 1 on a Recto as it doesn't show on the back, I imagine when you "unlatch" the switch that it reverts to channel 1 (the clean channel).

My Boss GT-10 changes the channels (clean/dirty) on my Mesa Mini Recto via a 1/4 mono cable in the front but that is a simple 2 channel amp, which I also think that the CM won't have any issues with. Considering that you would have the option to use all the CM loops and say put an overdrive on for 3rd channel/solo channel, maybe you'd just need a Single Rectifier or another 2 channel amp, like say Marshall DSL JCM2000?
#14
Another quick concern: If the amp has 2 channels but 3 modes (being togglable between high and low gain but as one channel, then the clean channel), would that be an issue? The footswitches for these kinds of amps have a button for switching between high and low modes and changing the channel. Would the CM just ignore any interference of the mode switch and just do the channel switch?

I'm going to test this on an old, cheap amp I have. This is a bit of a loose test though: Rather than having a mode switch, it has an effects switch. In other words, it can toggle effects on or off and switch between two channels.
Last edited by Brianstanek25 at Jul 12, 2017,
#15
It's all going to depend on the switching configuration being used to toggle the channels/modes. Contact the manufacturer or figure out whether it uses a latching footswitch. 

If it does, you're fine, if it doesn't, you can't use it. It doesn't matter what is being switched, it just matters if it's latching or not. Generally the more complex stuff that has more than two options per switch is going to be non-latching, but if the modes are just on the one channel, it might still use a latching switch since each switch only has two options. There's not much point in speculating whether it will work or not on some theoretical unknown amp. 
#16
Frens, it actually focking worked. It did completely ignore the effects. I recognize that this experiment didn't matter since all the information is already here but I just wanted to try it for fun.

Once again, thanks to everyone who contributed.  I'll finally be able to buy amps worry-free.