FBV2 +

Not your standard
FBV2 !

Visual cue for a Line 6 FBV-2


I have several Line 6 guitar amplifiers, some guitar players like them, others don't and this is not the debate here.

I find these amps easy to set up for gigs, you get a sound quickly, no messing with stomp boxes and wires all over the place; when playing in small bars and cramped places, this is quite nice.

My Line 6 amps have floor boards (the so-called "FBV Express" or "FBV Shortboard") to switch between channels/effects and have a wah/expression pedal. Another model is the cheap and simple FBV2, just 2 switched to UP and DOWN through the 4 channels Line 6 amplifiers typically have. One thing I found missing in the FBV2 is a visual cue to what channel the amp is before I press UP or DOWN.

I find it frustrating having to turn to see what channel is on (A, B, C, or D) before knowing what to do; Sometimes the amp is not easy to spot, or if the a band member for example stands in the line of vision.

So I decided to add what I was missing, a simple set of four LEDs directly reproducing on the FBV2 the four LEDs that are on the amplifier facade (see video). I opened my FBV2 (4 screws) and picked-up the schematics. Turns out there is just what I need on the FBV2 printed circuit! Line 6 have probably been thinking of this but did not implement it; maybe to save money?

I am not going to publish the FBV2 schematics (useless and probably forbidden). The changes to upgrade the FBV2 are really simple: add four LEDs and one resistor.

Here are the different steps (Click on the pictures for a high definition view):

Remove the electronics from the top metal plate

Drill 4 small holes (diameter 3 to 4 mm), nicely aligned and equally spaced

Prepare a small and simple PCB to carry the four LEDs

Select 4 LEDs (I decided for Ultra High Red SMD models)

Assemble the LEDs on the PCB so they perfectly align with the four holes mentioned above

The resistor finds its place on the FBV2 PCB

Connect the LED PCB to the FBV2 PCB with 5 small wires

Ensure correct insulation of the LED PCB with the top metal plate and glue the LED PCB in place

When everything works, re-assemble the FBV2 PCB on the top metal plate, close the box

Fill the holes of the LEDs with (transparent!) silicone to avoid dust getting into the holes

Enjoy an easier to use FBV2 !

Note: I described here what I did. The author cannot be held responsible of any wrongdoing would you try to bring similar modifications to your equipment.