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Single channel amp/multiple basses

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kobass, May 7, 2004.

  1. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    I'm returning to gigging after a long (15 year) hiatus. I have a Mesa M-Pulse 600 which is a single channel amp with a choice of active or passive inputs. I will be using two active basses, one fretted and one fretless. I'm trying to decide between a mixer (Raven Labs MDB-1) or an A/B switch to allow for quick changes between songs. Are there any advantages of one over the other? What do you use? Thanks in advance for your input! :D
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The advantage of an A/B box is it's cheap, small and simple. You can get passive ones so that you don't even have to worry about batteries.

    Mixers are nice because they let you match volume and EQ between instruments but they are expensive, it's more cabling to deal with and more junk in the signal path. The Raven is one of the few that's designed from the gorund up for instrument use (rather than mikes).

    I used an A/B box for a few years then just went and bought a real two channel amp (Walter Woods). There are a few more two channel amps hitting the streets recently...Epifani, Ampeg PB800. Hopefully this will become a trend, after all two channel amps were common up until the mid 80s.
  3. ingmar


    Oct 14, 2002
    Normandy, France
    I switch between 2 basses using my Korg DTR 2000 rack tuner, only an option if you already lug a rack with an extra space around :rolleyes: There's no gain control though, a mixer would indeed be nicer but ...
  4. plug an a/b box between your basses and amp. no need to lower the volume of your bass when not in use, and no faders to push. less complicated, more groove.
  5. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Thanks for the inputs everyone! :D
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Personally, I use the MDB-1, and I love it. Of course, I already had a rack rig with half a space available (next to my wireless), so you may want to consider whether or not you want to add a rack (or get a larger one). I am very impressed with the sonic quality and with the useability of the MDB-1. As I often will play electric, URB, and ABG in the same show, the MDB-1 lets me not only mix them, but also control the volume for each source. I have also found the effects mix option very useful for effects that sound better with some of the "pure" tone mixed in (like distortion/overdrive).

    If you were planning on using a rack for your M-Pulse 600 (or already do), I would go for the Raven Labs. If not, then I'd look into a quality footpedal unit.

  7. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    This is what you need.
    You can gain match both basses to each other.
    Also has many other uses.
  8. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Thanks again, everyone!
  9. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I have similar issues. I compensate for output discrepencies between my Fender and EUB by using a preset on on my Roland SE-50. ToneBone is making a very nice looking switcher that has level and tone adjustments on it - it's a floor unit.