BOSS, 1/4-Inch Straight Metal Momentary Unlatch-Type Footswitch (FS-5U)
- Momentary (unlatching) footswitch
- Linkable metal case construction
- Polarity switch
- 1/4" cable connection
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From the manufacturer
FS-5U Foot Switch
MOMENTARY "UNLATCH" FOOTSWITCH
Roland/BOSS offers two types of sturdy metal footswitches for different applications. The FS-5U (silver) is a momentary "unlatch"-type footswitch, and the FS-5L (black) is a latch-type footswitch with an LED to indicate status. Both footswitches can be connected using ordinary guitar cables. Please consult your owner's manual for compatibility.
- FS-5U is a momentary unlatch-type footswitch
- Also available as "latch"-type footswitch (BOSS FS-5L)
BOSS offers two types of sturdy metal footswitches for different applications. The FS-5U (silver) is a momentary "unlatch"-type footswitch, and the FS-5L (black) is a latch-type footswitch with an LED to indicate status. Both footswitches can be connected using ordinary guitar cables. Please consult your owner's manual for compatibility.
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There are several reasons I love these switches. Their extreme flexibility tops the list. Each of the two switches on a single pedal can be hooked up either singly with TS cables, or in tandem with one TRS cable. The switches on the back allow you to change the polarity of each switch, changing it from momentary to latching. When you latch a pedal "on", the LED on that pedal lights. Like most Boss/Roland gear, they're tough and built to last. Finally, the ability to chain them together is fantastic, and makes for a nice, clean setup.
There are a couple of cons worth noting. One, they are a bit expensive. In my humble opinion, they are worth every penny, but they represent a healthy investment for something you drop on the floor and step on. Two, they do each require a 9v battery. The good news is, a fresh 9v lasts a really long time in them, especially if you remember to unplug them when not in use. I use rechargeables for all my gig gear, and recharge them before every show, so I can perform without worrying about batteries going out.
Overall, these are solid little tools that fit a wide range of situations. You'll never be sorry to have one in your gig bag or studio.
The Philmore switch is the cheapest pre-fab switch I could find "out there," and comes with a basic 1/4 inch cable pre-installed. It "works," but it's like a noisy little tin can, and the guts of it are just too crude to really work effectively/consistently with any modern digital music devices. I couldn't get it to work properly/consistently with my project ... this switch is really designed for analog control of lights, ham radio mic/audio, etc.
The Hosa switch is "OK," also comes with a pre-installed cable, and SHOULD work, but it's basically a glorified version of the Philmore device, designed/made a little better for use with digital music devices ... that is, the internal circuitry is better designed for that function.
Then there's the Boss switch, which doesn't come with a pre-installed cable ... you'll have to provide your own. I've already been using two of these switches for years, as a controller for an Alesis SR-16 drum machine. One switch for "on/off," the second for switching between "A" and "B" patterns. They've worked so great for that purpose, I NEVER had a switch-related problem until one of them finally became so worn/glitchy that I had to replace it. That took about 10 years of regular (more than weekly) use.
Inside and out, Boss is the best such device out there. The case is thick, solid aluminum with a hard rubber base, and is basically bombproof. It has modular grooves on the right and left sides that allow you to lock multiple units side-by-side, and create a "bank" of as many separate switches as you want/need. The pedal is firm and the switch action is QUIET. The design that transfers the heavier action of the pedal to the more fragile/delicate internal circuit-board push-button is the best I've seen, and the internal circuitry is specifically designed to properly interface with the highly sensitive circuitry of digital music equipment.
Unlike the other two, the Boss pedal can also function as EITHER a "normally on/closed" OR "normally off/open" switch, by use of a toggle switch mounted next to the 1/4 inch input jack. This switch is simply labeled "polarity," but what it actually does is change the way the switch operates ... from "normally off/open" to "normally on/closed," and back again, so you know this one switch can easily be made to work with either type of input ... no experimenting with different model numbers.
In sum, if you know you need a "momentary" footswitch, spend the extra money and buy the Boss. It's the best-designed, most durable and most reliable option out there for the price, and it will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
Boss should of put more thought into its design, they must know by now that people use pedalboards.