stereo 'Y' cable - changing between stereo and mono basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by webmonster, Jan 18, 2014.


  1. webmonster

    webmonster

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    New Zealand
    If I use a stereo 'Y' cable for my Rickenbacker 4001 can I successfully use the same cable for standard mono basses?

    i.e. could I change basses during a gig between Ric and (say) a P bass by unplugging the cable and swapping the bass?
  2. Sartori

    Sartori

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    If you use a stereo Y cable, you're using two amps for your Rickenbacker?

    If you plugged the Y cable into a P bass, you'd have its sound going to just one of the two amps.

    I tend not to use the stereo feature on my Rickenbacker... so far...
  3. Arthur Strand

    Arthur Strand

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Wokingham Berkshire England UK
    Hi! I have had a 4001 since 1973 although I scarcely use it lately. The stereo "Y" lead from bass to amp. It may not work because the 1/4" jack plug has the live in the middle and earth connected to the outside of the 3 lugs that the 3 wires are soldered to and the other wire in the middle with only a small section to catch the connector inside the socket. Sometimes, you can ease out the socket a bit and it will fire up but then the plug will be unstable and may fall out. best thing if swapping from Rick to JB is to have a standard cable ready plugged in on the instrument and then you need only unplug the Rick cable and plug in the JB. It is possible to get a junction box custom made so that both basses can be plugged in and only need to switch from one to the other when changing over. I spotted Selmer treble ' n ' bass 50 amp. I had one long before I bought the Rick. I would not say no to one nowadays but the prices have gone through the roof. for more info go to my website www.escutcheonmedia.com
  4. webmonster

    webmonster

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Two channels of the same (vintage) amp, back pickup probably via some overdrive.
    Rats.
    OK. I may simply use a mono cable into one channel and run a jumper/patch cable over to the other channel.
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  6. Sartori

    Sartori

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Ah, a two channel amp. Well, that makes it some easier in that at least you're not schlepping a whole other rig, but yeah, the mono bass would only be going to one of the two channels.
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    Most Ric owners do not use the Ric-o-sound. You have brought up one of the reasons.

    The main Ric that I played for years was mono, All 3 of my current Rics are mono. Splitting the signal does improve the sound. I run 4 parallel signals through my pedal board and re-combine them into one signal so I only need one amp. http://www.3dentourage.com/425/effects.htm Geddy also uses parallel processing. He splits his signal 3 ways.
  8. webmonster

    webmonster

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    New Zealand
    OK, looks easier to keep using the mono output, especially if swapping basses during a set.
    I have a nice noiseless lead that doesn't crackle when unplugging/plugging in.

    Yes, I have a Selmer t'n'b 50. Jolly nice amp :) No idea how it got here to NZ. I bought it back in 1994(?) off a mate who's Dad used it as a PA for singing through.
    High prices... so are people in the UK these days realising that they are nice amps?
  9. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Since Ric-o-sound is two channels you use a stereo cable that feeds two amps (or in your case two channels). Thus tip is one channel and ring is the second channel. Of course at the AMP you need some kind of Y cable or adapter to split the two signals from the stereo cable to each amp.

    I have a Resoguitar I set up this way. Really sounds GREAT by the way.

    But what about a mono bass? Well things aren't so simple! The easiest way to deal with say a passive P-bass is to change the jack on the bass. If you put in a stereo jack and wire tip and ring together, when you plug in your stereo cable it will feed the mono P-bass signal to both channels. Cool! Simple.

    However, that was a passive bass. With an active bass the ring teminal is usually the battery switch so no mod like that can be made. In this case you need to build a Y adapter box at the amp where in stereo position it feeds tip and ring to each channel, while in mono position it feeds tip to BOTH channels and ring is grounded to turn the battery on. This kind of adapter box will ALSO work with passive basses without modifying their jack.

    That's the story. And by the way, I've found that if you use effects, especially the kind that have stereo outputs (as some do) a bass with effects with stereo outputs into TWO amps sounds MUCH better than the same bass and effects into a mono rig. However if you want to have all this going: Ric-o-sound, mono bass, and stereo bass effects, the switching box becomes a true nightmare. In that case I'd urge using one of the small mixers you can pick up cheap instead.

    Good luck!

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