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Is there a way of summing two amp outputs into one cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dirtychinchilla, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. As per the title really. Most of my favourite bassists split their signal into two amps. I’ve been thinking about how to achieve this without running two cabs.

    My best idea is to get (or build) something like the Radial Engineering Mix 2:1, which allows you to blend two XLR outputs into one and adjust input levels. But I don’t know where there would be a problem with having a high watt output from an amp (or two) being put through a device like that.

    It may be simpler just to have two setups, but that’s all £££ that I would rather not spend if I can find a smarter, and less cumbersome, solution.

    Any ideas?
  2. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    There is no way to blend the output of two amps into one speaker system. I suppose it would be possible to modify a multi-driver system in a way that separates it electrically into two different systems, but it isn't possible to run two amp outputs through some sort of 'mixer' into one speaker the way you've described...you can't get there from here.
  3. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    What exactly is it that you hope to accomplish with this?
    Blue likes this.
  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Stack separate cabs on top of one another is as close as you are going to get in blending power amp outputs.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  5. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015
    ^^^ yup! Predictable results.

    As previously stated, you could use a multi-driver cab, like a 2x12 or 4x10, with separate chambers, so the two elements are acoustically (mostly) and electrically isolated. One side for amp 1 and one side for amp 2.

    2 amps, 1 cab, but safe..........like U.L. safe. :thumbsup:
    DrMole and vvvmmm like this.
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    The typical, low-budget way a lot of bassists simulate this tone, is to use a preamp or overdrive pedal that has a "blend" knob. A popular example is the Tech 21 SansAmp.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    Nevada Pete and chupacerveza like this.
  7. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    You cannot sum the output of two amps into one cabinet, you will most likely damage both amps and the speakers.

    I don't really understand if you're trying to biamp or just run two amps full range and what are you trying to achieve by doing this.
  8. Wow thanks for all the response. I accept that this won’t be possible!

    I am really aiming to biamp without having two cabs. I use a sans amp, but it doesn’t really achieve the level of control I think you could get by using two amps.
  9. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    In a true bi-amp system, you would have an active crossover dividing your full-range bass guitar signal into two different pass bands; you must have two different amplifiers and two speaker systems. In a common bi-amped PA box, the two speakers are in one cab, but there are still two different speakers. Likewise, if what you want to do is achieve the tonal advantages of two different amps--a sort of parallel mono--then likewise those two amps each have to have their own speaker. The important concept is that you can't parallel the outputs of two amps into a single load. .
  10. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Yes, but you won't hear anything save for some loud popping sounds, possibly a loud buzz.

    But you're going to have an AWESOME light show, a free smoke machine and then you're going to have to open some windows.
  11. byacey


    May 16, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    Zoltan see much smoke in your future!
    SactoBass, DrMole, Ewo and 6 others like this.
  12. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    My understanding is that the "blend knob" on SansAmp pedals does not blend two amplifiers, it blends "wet" and "dry" copies of your bass's output, where the dry is unaffected by the tube emulation, aka drive, and the wet is the signal with the emulation applied. All of which has been processed by the EQ section. At least that is how my version one ParaDriver DI works.

    N.B., the blend is the tiny little cylindrical knob just above the red light, and to the immediate right of the parametric "mid band shift" knob.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    Mushroo and chupacerveza like this.
  13. Sure you can. Use an amp modeler. :D
  14. byacey


    May 16, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    Not to sound harsh, but you should really have a definite goal in mind of what you are trying to achieve before ruining gear by tinkering blindly.
    agedhorse, Jim Carr and Lobster11 like this.
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Yes you need two amps and two cabs. They don't have to match though. A bass player in another band here in town uses his bass amp for clean and an old Peavey 2x12 guitar amp for his distortion. Works for him!
    dirtychinchilla likes this.
  16. Both the amps and the speakers will be destroyed. not sure which first, probably the amps first?

    only way to do it is to electrically separate the speakers in teh cab. if 2 speakers, one speaker to one amp, other to the other. if 4 speakers, 2 to one amp, 2 to the other.

    this could also be used for stereo, if you like.
    byacey likes this.
  17. byacey


    May 16, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    As well, it would be better if the speakers were divided into individual chambers within the cabinet.
    dkelley likes this.
  18. DeathSlanger

    DeathSlanger Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2018
    Take a 2-speaker or 4-speaker cab and install a switch that separates them. This yields a stereo cab (two inputs) that can become mono at the flick of a switch. Keep your ohms in order and you can plug in two amps to one cab.

    I was gonna take this approach with a 2x15 cab, so I could do wet and dry. I ended up just getting another 2x15 haha!
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
  19. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    While it's true the SansAmp does not literally "blend two amplifiers" it can be used to simulate the sound of playing through two amplifiers: one clean and one dirty/tube. For example some bassists like to blend the signals from a clean bass amp and a tube guitar amp, both running full frequency range. The SansAmp is a simple/inexpensive step toward that tonal goal in a small package. Some of the newer SansAmps (like the Geddy Lee model) have interesting additional features.

    But I hear you that the OP needs a more complex setup. Ideally with a crossover and a full set of preamp controls for both the high and low signal. JohnK and Broughton have made some small-batch pedals that are ideal for achieving crossover/filter effects. Other builders that come to mind, who might be able to help you achieve this vision in a pedalboard format, include Saturnworks, Smokin' Amp, Trickfish, Suncoast, and DSM Noisemaker.

    Another thought is to get one of those tiny/cheap Bugera tube combos (and mic it for gigs, if necessary). I know that is counter to your goal, of not wanting to run two cabinets, but it is something to consider.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    Jim Carr and dkelley like this.

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