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Running 2 Combos off the Preamp of One

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Arranger, May 16, 2011.

  1. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    I have a gig coming up on the 28th and want to wire two amps to operate simultaneously. The amps are identical. It's this Hartke Kickback 12 combo-
    Hartke - Kickback 12

    The amp has no pre-out or post(power amp)-in. The headphone out cancels the speaker output. The speaker actually has a 1/4" jack on its receiving end that plugs into the main out on the back of the top-mounted head. So the amp actually has a full out, but no way to tap off into a second amp.

    I just want the same signal from my bass going into both amps without a loss of signal. My P bass has low output. So, I'm thinking that if I could tap off a pre-out (pre or post EQ) from one head and plug it into the power section of the second head, I'd have control of both amps from just one of them. I could bring wires out through a corner into a temporary jack for the moment and worry about making it pretty later.

    Is this simple? It seems like it should be. Since the pre is off of a normal 120v/60Hz powered head I'm figuring that I wouldn't have an signal loss by splitting the pre out to two power amps. Sound right? If I tried a direct box or a Y-connect off my bass I think I'd risk losing impedence and also wouldn't have singular volume/tone control for both amps from just one. I'd have to control each amp seperately.

    Any advice would help. I hope I don't need too much help and I'm glad to have someone with real experience behind me.

    Thanks! :)
  2. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010

    Not a Y.

    "AB Y.", thats the way to go.

    You're welcome;)
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It would be much easier in this case to just buy either a stereo fx pedal, or an AB/Y switch, and run both amps stereo.
  4. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    Would I be dependent upon the battery in the AB/Y switch to keep my signal strength strong or would it be just as easy to use a Y connector and skip the switch altogether?

    Thanks again.
  5. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    It almost looks like the Morley AB/Y only needs a battery to run the LED lights. If that means it only splits my instrument signal then it's pretty much a passive parallel circuit.

    Still, these methods don't give me dual control of both amps by using the Pre of one amp into two others.
  6. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Okay 1st, I reread your post, and I don't know of any way you can control both using the preamp of just one.

    Now , onto the AB/Y bidness

    I've heard you get a "signal drop" using just a Y.
    Maybe someone whos used both can clear it up.I don't wanna be accused of spreading myths.

    Ive used a splitter box with good results.
    I've never just split with a Y.
  7. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    Thanks again, Bassdirty. Glad to have the advice. This might be the quick fix for my upcoming gig. It just seems like a little hard wiring would simplify it all.

    Enjoy the day!
  8. 1n3


    Sep 13, 2007
    The simple way to do this is with a Y. Disadvantages:
    1. The signal current from your bass is divided into two inputs (input impedance is halved). You might notice a change in level and/or tone, especially if your P bass pickup is weak, as you say.
    2. You have to set volume and tone for each amp.

    An AB box with a preamp/buffer will solve problem 1, but not problem 2.

    I thought you might be able to use the DI out, but found that it is both pre-EQ and pre-Volume, so you still have problem 2.

    If you've got the time and skills, this would be the ideal solution. But that's a lot of work for one gig. If you wanted to make it permanent, I see a problem: where would you put the jacks? I don't see any obvious space on either front or back panel, though you'd have to open it up to know for sure.

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