For bigger guitar rigs, a guitar switching system enables guitarists to keep pedals, amps and rack gear together while using a separate controller to turn the effects and amps on or off. Switching systems can be as simple as a strip of true bypass switches (with your pedals behind it on the pedalboard) or as complicated as a rack full of pedals, rack-mounted effects, multiple amps and switching system control units that pass signal to a customized floorboard with complex and programmable switching capability for nearly any combination of effects, amps, etc.
Do you manufacture guitar switching systems, want to increase your exposure and attract more customers? Feature your business at the top of this page. Learn more.
Most Popular Guitar Switching System
The most popular guitar switching systems used by professional guitarists are the ones produced by Bob Bradshaw’s Custom Audio Electronics brand (The Edge, Trey Anastasio, Joe Perry, Peter Frampton, Prince…read about Bob’s legacy) and the customized (and often high-quality buffered) switching systems from Pete Cornish (Queen, Yes, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, King Crimson…read about Pete’s Queen years).
Directory of Guitar Switching Systems
Audiotech was created in 1995 with the on offering guitarists (and other musicians) an alternative to overly complicated and high priced switching systems for more simple-minded (yet electronically adventurous) guitarists. The company’s line of products are ideal for guitarists wanting a more simple “stompbox” based approach to gear switching. Their product line includes the Source Selector 1×6™ (a rack mount switching system to handle guitars, amps and even wireless packs), ABY MKII (two-way channel selector), and the ABC CCM (three-way channel selector…shown in the picture).
(OUT OF BUSINESS) – Axess Electronics was run by Mario Marino, who offered customized interfaces & control solutions to musicians since 1998. All of Mario’s products were handmade using only high quality, double-sided printed circuit boards (equipped with plated-thru holes), Neutrik and Switchcraft jacks, Preh DIN jacks and Carling switches. They are sometimes used by Fractal Audio AxeFx users.
The legend began in 1972, when Pete Cornish began making guitar routing systems for Peter Banks (Yes), and eventually grew his clientele to include the likes of Jimmy Page, David Gilmour and many more classic rock guitar legends. Pete Cornish has created everything from effects pedalboards, to units that distribute power effectively across guitar rigs, to customized custom speaker cabinets, to high-end cabling and buffers that tie it all together. He builds both his custom guitar rigs and select store-sold guitar distortion units with only the highest components to live up to one of the greatest reputations in guitar gear history.
Quite possibly the industry standard for amateur to professional guitarists around the world, Bob Bradshaw’s midi foot controllers and switching systems got their start in 1980 with a visionary drawing. Capable of handling everything from a rack of guitar pedals to multiple guitar amps, mixed in with effects processors and line mixing, Bob’s product line covers it all. Guitarists such as Trey Anastasio and John Mayer are famous users of Bradshaw switching systems, and they give guitarists the ability to switch between massively complex tones at the touch of a button.
Since 1986, Digital Music Corporation (aka Voodoo Lab) have provided professional musicians with switching systems designed for both the road and studio. Handmade the USA, these rugged and and highly usable devices offer great functionality at an affordable price. The Ground Control System is their flagship product and offers a more affordable alternative to Custom Audio Electronics.
Lehle makes handy little switching system devices that tone purists can use for splitting and diverting electronic signal to amps, guitars, basses, keyboards, synth modules and effects. Every Switcher preserves that unique interaction between guitar and amp (or effect) through the finest gold plated relays and contacted switches in the signal path. Their Second Generation of Switching (SGoS) units offer programing and networking features using midi and other technologies to give the electronic musician greater control. These devices look darn cool too!
Loop-Master is a small company that specializes in various types of A/B boxes for guitarists and other musicians. These boxes are great for switching between two amps, or switching between an amp and a tuner, or even for using two or three amps simultaneously. They offer low-frills and straight-ahead functionality.
Skrydstrup R&D is a small but innovative company who is focused on switching systems for guitar, and their MR10 product is worth making note of. Each of the 10 loops are paired with a high impedance buffer to keep your guitar signal strong and toneful. More importantly, this feature allows guitarists to hear their pedals in all their amazing glory without impedance mismatches getting in the way. Skrydstrup also has a custom shop for guitarists with more complex rig needs.
Founded in 1986 by small-town Oregon engineer, Ken Czepelka, Sound Sculpture prides itself off its flagship product…the Switchblade. Offering everything from midi switchability, to midi volume and panning control, to programmable preset memory functionality. Their Volcano product offers remote volume control with a highly discrete/transparent audio signal.
Founded by Tony Chostner, Star Touch Pedals is the product of Tony’s researching 100 companies, combined with a passion for making high quality yet highly affordable switching devices for guitarists. In all their shiny glory, these little guitar switching devices offer true bypass, zero bleed-through or tone deterioration, very bright LEDs for stage use, and all-analog signal paths.
TheGigRig makes the G2, which is a groundbreaking pedalboard switching system that picks up where the industry standard Pro/MIDI 14 stopped. G2 is known for being surprisingly user-friendly, compact and very transparent in audio quality. The thing that makes G2 special is its “Passive True Bypass Matrix.” Sounds complicated..and cool, eh? What it does is guarantee the most direct electric signal path imaginable with no loading whatsoever on your guitar signal. So…line up those true bypass effects and get switching!