How do you guys use multiple amps at once?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by NeverIsNow, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013
    Probably a dumb question, I'm a little inexperienced when it comes to stuff like this

    Do you guys some how split your guitar cables? Is there a pedal for this?
  2. Hi.

    Not a dumb question IMO.

    Plenty of different ways to do it and Your goal and the equipment you wish to connect together determines the easiest/best way to do it.

    Could be as simple as a passive signal splitter, or as complicated as using a cross-over to "active" bi-amp.

    I used to run two 100w tube amps together in the late 80's by just jumping the channels on the Monster (Marshall 4 input 2 channel clone) and linking the remaining input to the Fender Bassman 100.

  3. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    I run two amps at once in my studio with my band for rehearsals one on each side of the room low volumes but it fills the room and I can hear myself out front.

    On my pedal board I have a few true bypass and a couple old school which is good because they have buffers and it helps drive my signal. With all true bypass unless wireless you would need a line driver. The Lehle I use is perfect it's passive with little to no loss of signal and quiet and doesn't change my tone. Radial makes some kick-a$$ stuff too but I have never had one issue with this guy below..
  4. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013

    My goal is to run two tones (different EQs, maybe one OD'd, etc) and ultimately beef up my sound. I don't have a whole lot of extra money so I think using a Y guitar cable might be the way to go.

    While I'm at it, which is better: one big spectacular amp, or a lot of okay amps?

    Happy New Year btw
  5. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013
  6. There are two kinds of split/Y cables, actually...

    Mono split: This works with any bass. A Y-cord plugs into the standard jack, and splits the mono signal into two signals, for separate processing. The original signal is weaker due to being split in two, and usually (but, not always) requires some means of boosting the signal, further up the chain.

    Stereo split: This requires a stereo jack at the bass. A Y-cord plugs into the stereo jack, sending the signal from the neck pickup to one amp, and the bridge to another. Standard on 4001/4003 Rickenbackers, and a few others (mostly vintage basses from the 80's and a few custom basses, going forward). This allows for the bass and treble frequencies to be processed separately, which is the payoff in this design.

    You're probably more interested in the former, but I just thought I'd throw this out there, for informational purposes.

    You just need to know that there are two distinct kinds of Y-cables, and one kind won't work in the place of the other. There is a mono x (2) mono, and a stereo x (2) mono. Big difference.

    Hope this helps. hrb
  7. use a radial ABY switch...DO NOT USE Y only are asking for problems in phasing and impedance issues...i came across this problem at a gig i did over new years!...
  8. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I was doing this for a while. I ran parallel rigs split with a Lehle Little Dual amp splitter. It's got a lot of bells and whistles, and is kinda pricey but allowed for phase inversion options, amp selection options, and was well built.

    I used one side for my "clean" tone and one for my effected tone. It was a lot of fun and sounded pretty good. My band's current album (link in sig) was recorded using that setup.
  9. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013
    Thanks TBers! After doing some looking around, I think I'll go with an ABY box. Are there any ABY boxes the have more than two outputs?
  10. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA

    Google "Lehle" and you will find happiness!

    EDIT: Oops......Unrepresented beat me to it! Lehle is the only way to go, IMO. Top of the line stuff.
  11. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    That would move beyond an ABY pedal and into ABC selector territory. The ABY refers to the two sources (AB) and the ability to run them simultaneously (Y).
  12. vince a

    vince a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Modesto, CA
  13. OP: When you do this, also make sure both your amps are plugged into the same grounded AC power outlet.
  14. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings
    I run 2 bass heads and I go into a dual gate then out to each amp. I Love it.
  15. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    What about using a stereo effects pedal running each out to a different amp?

    I've done this with guitar amps for years.
  16. Tuner output of one amp into the input of another.

  17. CAW


    Apr 18, 2010
    There are, but they start to get spendy as they are targeted at the touring musician and/or recording studio crowd.

    Things like Radial Engineering's JX44 (up to 4 selectable output banks) or JD7 (seven always on/simultaneous outputs).

    FWIW, I have the JX44, using it for its input routing (I don't run multiple amps). I've been very happy with it. Works well and is very quiet on the noise front.
  18. DriesG


    Feb 27, 2009
    Gent (Belgium)
    +1 for Lehle
  19. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013
    Thanks! I didn't realize there were two distinct kinds until now