"Best" a/b a+b box A.K.A. the "No Tone S*ck" zone

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by pnutz, Jan 22, 2014.


  1. pnutz

    pnutz Supporting Member

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    Jun 25, 2004
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    Am building my a/b set-up (one amp dry and effects in the effects loop in the other amp). figured it'd be easy to choose a pedal or box to split my bass signal into two amps. then the dreaded "tone suck" monster reared its ugly head.

    picked up a lehle p-split after researching its benefits. plugged my bass into the box and sent the signal into the two amps. immediate tone-suck.

    i don't want to keep buying box after box trying to see which one doesn't alter the tone.

    basically, does anyone use a a/b, a+b box or pedal that DOES NOT alter your tone?

    basic research on other options like the radial jx-2 and the boss ls-2 have varying opinions.

    oh, and budget-wise, i'd like to keep the price around $150 (if possible).

    any experiences and opinions are appreciated. thanks y'all!
     
  2. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive Supporting Member

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    I run a Lehle Little Dual ABY box and never noticed any tone suck. Any chance you doubled the length of cable when you added your AB box in there from say...20 total feet to more like 40?
     
  3. pnutz

    pnutz Supporting Member

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    negative. as soon as i took it out of the box, ran my 18' 6" cable into the input of the lehle and then ran two 3' cables from the lehle to the in's of my amps (eden wtb-1000's).

    on a positive note, the first bass i tried had its tone 'mellowed' a bit (single p/u in the 'sweet spot'). it's a bit 'boomy' in tone but running it thru the lehle smoothed the tone out. was kinda happy for a sec. then i ran my normal 2 p/u basses and all their tones became 'wimpy' and thin. i flipped the phase switch on the lehle to see what would happen but the tone just thinned out even more.

    i'm hearing more praise for the boss ls-2. kinda curious why one of the cheapest alternatives is the best. i figured the more 'boutique' items from lehle and radial would kick butt over 'cheaper' alternatives. if i can find a ls-2 on the cheap, will try one out. would still like to commit to one box/pedal that doesn't color or change the tone one iota.
     
  4. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive Supporting Member

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    I have felt my tone got sucked through every Boss pedal I've used (no experience specifically with the LS-2). Didn't notice anything with the Lehle. Of course YMMV.
     
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  6. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    Hmm, you must of experienced cancellation problems or something, because I have a Lehle splitter and I absolutely love it - it's a top of the line splitter, no doubt.

    Oh well, maybe give the Radial BigShot switcher a try - its really nice and cost less too.
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...neering-tonebone-bigshot-aby-passive-switcher

    Note: Both the Lehle and Radial BigShot have ISO, phase, and ground lift switches - which IMO are "must have" options.
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm guessing they were all passive basses? The P-split is passive, so it will load passive instruments, altering the tone. You'd need an active splitter.

    The reason you see so much praise for the LS-2 is because it is cheap and readily available, so lots of people have used it. Far fewer people have any experience with anything more boutique.

    That said, since the LS-2 is active, it might be just right for your needs!
     
  8. Rickenmonster

    Rickenmonster Supporting Member

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    Radial ABY. True bypass. No LED tho. Built like a tank. They also have a buffered one with LEDs.
     
  9. pnutz

    pnutz Supporting Member

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    whoa, i think this might be the answer. i did not realize that active and passive p/u's might react differently. the basses i used to test the lehle had passive barts. aw crud. so if i used my basses with emg's, all would be right as rain correct?

    so looks like i basically need to swap out a/b boxes depending on if the bass has passive and active p/u's.

    so i need a a/b box to switch between "passive p/u a/b box" and "active p/u a/b box"... :D
     
  10. ryansalmond

    ryansalmond Supporting Member

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    Nov 21, 2007
    Same experience here. SFX was the answer.
     
  11. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive Supporting Member

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    Doesn't have to be active pickups specifically, any active preamp will combat the effect of tone loss over an extended signal chain.
     
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    Correct, plus an active splitter works just fine with active basses, so there's no need to swap back and forth if you use both kinds of bass.
     
    jeffgnr90 likes this.

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