2 Basses into 1 Amp...advice needed

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Introvox, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Introvox


    May 21, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    Ok here's the thing...now that I have incorporated my new fretless into our show, I want to run both into my rig. First of all, here is the gear I travel with (and a few optionals)

    "Passive" Aria Pro (fretted) & "Active" Dean (fretless)

    Peavey Mark 4 head (has "Low" and "High" inputs as well as effects sends/returns - A & B channels can be run separate if I plug into returns but then I believe both inputs become "Low")

    1x18 Black widow - 2x10 Scorpions (not really an issue here)

    I do have a small 4 channel mixer, it's a cheapy, not sure if I should trust it.

    Wireless system for both basses (EV and Nady).


    1) Can I / should I try plugging into the Low and High inputs and level them with the wireless "Level" knobs

    2) Can I / should I try running into A & B returns and level with the A & B Gains / Outputs

    3) Should I really be considering a rock-solid 4 channel mixer and mix into one of the inputs (Low or High?)

    Would love some advice on the best possible setup for each bass, I have less than 20 seconds to change basses so they have to be ready to roll when I strap em on.

    Thanks in advance

  2. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Try a Raven Labs MDB1, which is a three ch (with one optional stereo input) 1/2 rack size line mixer/buffer amp and DI. Exceptional sound quality (quiet as can be...and what goes in is eaxtly what goes out!) Each ch. has its' own level, so any differences in the levels of your basses can be comepnsated for,as well as individual channel or "master" mute switches... and it has a sidechain paralell aux loop (for fx send/ret or tuner send). The DI is studio quality and very very good.
    Runs on Ac or 2 9v batts (which last a long, long time)

  3. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Raven Labs, my thoughts exactly!
  4. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    You could also use what's called an "ABY" switch. It allows you to switch between two inputs going into one amp, and you can use it in reverse to use one bass and switch between two amps (or drive both amps with one bass, thus the "Y" in "ABY"). I've got a Morley volume pedal with a built in ABY switch. They also make an ABY switch by itself, and I'm sure there are some other brands that make them. It's mostly intended for guitarists who want to use say, a Marshall for distortion and a Roland JC-120 for clean.
  5. Introvox


    May 21, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the posts so far...keep em comin...great ideas.

    Couple of questions...if I go with the ABY idea, how can I level the two basses seeing that one is passive and one is active...I prefer to run my bass' volume at full.

    I like the Raven Labs idea...so I'll begin a search for a good price....how much are they new?

    and can anybody tell me what would be best setup with my current gear (above), until I get the Raven Labs.

    Thanks Gang....
  6. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    The ABY switch does no signal leveling at all, but I'd make sure you really need it.....active basses are not necessarily louder than passive basses. My old stock P bass is actually a bit louder than my active basses - 1 has EMG's with an EMG BTC, one has Barts with an Aguilar OBP-3.

    **edited to add.......

    In general, an active bass shouldn't be louder than a passive if you are using the EQ correctly. A lot of folks are used to turning the tone knob up all the way on their passive basses, so they do the same on an active bass - bass and treble up all the way, then they back off one or the other to taste. That boosts the signal a lot. You really ought to start with all controls flat - no cut, no boost - and adjust from there, trying to keep your overall level as close to where you started as possible. You'll get a lot more headroom, which means less clipping.....your amp will thank you......
  7. Introvox


    May 21, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    good point Bruce...I never actually compared their levels (so to speak), but I will tonight...
  8. Check out this link. Radial is out of Vancouver, so you won't have to pay exchange etc. I tried one out a couple weeks ago - it's great. http://www.tonebone.com/tbone-bassbone.htm The blurb on it is as follows:

    The Radial Bassbone is an innovative multi-function tool for bassists that expands the tonal palette, adds versatility and expedites instrument changes during performance!

    The Bassbone features two instrument inputs with a footswitch selector for instant access to two basses on stage. Both channels feature independent level controls and EQ settings to contour each instrument for optimal compatibility with the bass amplifier settings. A combination power-booster and effects loop provides variable gain boost as well as on demand access to effects for soloing.

    [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In addition to the main instrument output, the Bassbone integrates a separate tuner-out and a balanced low-impedance XLR output for the mixing console that acts like a DI. Designed to spur on the creative process, the Bassbone puts you in control of your sound with ease and confidence, opening the door to new sounds and a more exhilarating musical experience.

  9. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    yes, the Radial looks real interesting, but the lack of individual ch. mutes makes it not too useful for live work....