Carling DPDT 316-B-PP

This is the classic foot switch found in wah pedals and older effects. In the old days this was the switch, 3PDT switches were not available or were very expensive and hard to get. These days these switches are about $10 each! And they don’t have the extra pole for an easy LED indicator and true bypass.

This switch feels solid and industrial. The data sheet says it has a stiff activation of 6 to 8 lbs. and Electrical Life: 25,000 cycles, and Mechanical Life: 100,000 cycles. I’m guessing that 25,000 cycles is important to pedal builders. How long would this last in a pedal? If you stepped on this once per second for 7 hours that would be 25,200 stomps. Probably not going to happen. What if, somehow, you managed to use it on the chorus of every song in a 10 song set you might step on it 60 times, unlikely but possible. You could play 416 such gigs before reaching 24,960 stomps. If you did this gig once a week it would last 8 years.

I’d say it sounds pretty pretty reliable. But not military grade. The construction is a little loose, the lugs are not epoxied in place and wiggle a little. This means it can probably stand higher heat when soldering but also reaches an intermittent functionality sooner than it’s life expectancy would be my guess.

The threaded shaft is tall with lots of threads. It comes with two knurled nuts. Which look nifty but are hard to tighten and seem a little light weight. There are aren’t a lot of tools for tightening these and it seems easy to scratch your enclosure trying to get them tight with a pair of pliers.

Overall the switch is pretty tall. You could use it on an enclosure with a thick wall like wood. The button can sit up higher than the knobs on the top of a box which might help prevent accidentally hitting the knobs with your foot while stepping on the switch.

Overall rating: 5/10 – not bad if, you have one in your parts bin use it. If you’re buying something new get one of the more modern switches for 1/4 the price and the extra pole. Best used for specialty situations like fixing an old wah, something vintage, or you need an extra long shaft.

Available at smalll bear

I built this Klon clone with buffered bypass which only requires DPDT. I used the carling here. The original Klon Centaur used these carling switches.