Dippy idea, Patentable, or Already exists?

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG]' started by ImTheOnlyOne, Aug 31, 2022.

Dippy idea, Patentable, or Already exists?

Poll closed Sep 28, 2022.
  1. Dippy idea

  2. Patentable

    0 vote(s)
  3. Already exists?

    0 vote(s)
  4. Use a carrot

  1. ImTheOnlyOne

    ImTheOnlyOne Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    Many instrument amplifiers mute output when a 1/4" is inserted into their effects return. I imagine a finger sized product that essentially combines a 1/4" male cable end with a toggle switch for mute/unmute, built to reside in an otherwise unused effects return. Is there already such a simple device?
  2. darkwasthenight

    darkwasthenight Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2010
    Hiwatt - UK Team
    The mute is a mechanical function of the jack physically lifting contacts to break connection when pushed into place. I'm not an expert on every single amp out there but don't see it as something you could really switch externally.

    Edit: you COULD however, have a send and return box with a switch placed between the two cables for the same effect. The lack of standardised distances between FX loop jacks means it wouldn't be one size fits all though.
    ImTheOnlyOne likes this.
  3. creaturegods


    Sep 23, 2017
    ^^ Pretty sure this is right.

    There are 1/4" to 1/8" adapters that are basically just male 1/4" connectors with female 1/8" ports that could perform this function without any extra cable bits to worry about, but it being "switchable" would be tricky, if possible at all.

    Heck, a properly-trimmed carrot might actually be applicable here. :D
    Ricky Rioli and ImTheOnlyOne like this.
  4. ImTheOnlyOne

    ImTheOnlyOne Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    You landed precisely on my current solution (headphone adapter, not crunchy snack)
  5. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    Vail, CO
    yes , some of my amplifiers have a mute button.

    not hoping to discourage you , but the fact that your idea can be done does not mean that it is usable. I mean , I could roll down the volume of my bass , or I could buy the mute , and then flick the sound off.
    ImTheOnlyOne likes this.
  6. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    No they don't. What happens is the power amp source is switched from the preamp output to the f/x return. If there is no signal on the f/x return then there is obviously no output. But the amp is not muted. Any pops, crackles, hiss or other noise that appears at the f/x return will be amplified. If the amp is cranked then your speakers might be at risk.
    Not a good idea, IMHO.
    ImTheOnlyOne likes this.
  7. SteveCS is absolutely right.

    What you really want to use is called a shorting plug. If you have separate send and receive jacks, then a shorting plug is just a ¼" phone plug with a short piece of wire inside connecting the tip and sleeve. Plug it into the return jack to ground the return input and prevent potential problems. (Don't plug it into the send jack.)

    On the other hand, if the send and receive are combined on one jack, called an insert, then you would use a ¼ TRS plug with one signal conductor grounded (usually the tip) and the other (usually the ring) floating.
  8. ImTheOnlyOne

    ImTheOnlyOne Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    Great technical explanation. Hadn't heard the term "shorting plug" before.

    And elgranluis, yes, most bass amps I've seen these days have a mute button built in :thumbsup:
  9. ImTheOnlyOne

    ImTheOnlyOne Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    Appreciate your opinion.
    Calls into question what technically is "muting" an amp? I would have said it's interrupting the signal, but seems there's more to it.