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switching between basses

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by lojack, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. lojack


    Jan 6, 2005
    What do y'all use to switch between two basses and one amp? The low tech version would be to manually unplug, switch, then plug back in; that, however, takes up alot of time as you would also have to factor in adjusting the volume to compensate for the difference in signal (say from a Jazz bass over to a upright bass with a pick-up)--and everyone in the band/audience would have to wait for you.

    So, I've been looking for an A/B box. The Boss LS-2 seemed to be the sure answer to my problem. The Boss brochure seems to support this, but the guys at the store I went to don't think so (and they work there!). We looked at the manual inside; it appeared to corroborate the fact that that pedal is mainly used to switch between effect loops (meaning it only accepts one input). I went on the Boss website, but they apparently don't accept e-mails there.

    Does anyone own one? Or, is there another product/solution? I've been told that Morley sells an A/B switch; however, there's no level controls for the one I saw. I've never made my own pedals; has anyone made their own?

    One more thing: another out, separate from the one going to your amp, would really come in handy for a tuner.

  2. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    The (discontinued) Raven labs MDB-1 is exactly what you are looking for. It's basically a 3 channel half-rack mixer, with an effects loop and a DI out. It's a great unit if you find one.
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I still do it manually and it takes very little time. I know if one bass has a hotter output than the other and it takes maybe a second to bump the gain on my amp one way or the other... less time than it takes to strap on the other bass.

    Unfortunately this is also the cheapest way to do it;)
  4. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    A simple A/B box will do that. Plug each bass into one of the two input's then plug the output into the amp. You can then footswitch between them. The morley one will work fine. You just might have to do a little volume adjustment but that takes no time at all.
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I use the Radial BassBone. Expensive, but does the job. It also allows me to compensate for the hot output of one of the basses.
  6. lojack


    Jan 6, 2005
    The Radial Bassbone doesn't appear to be what I am looking for (or at least, what I'm willing to pay for). Sounds.. rad. I suppose it's a rackmount thing?

    The first drummer I ever played with called the switching from electric bass over to acoustic a "hushed anticipation"; I call it a hassle when everyone's waiting on you. Some bands don't mind this, while other bands I play with move a brisk pace (like counting in the next song while you're holding the last note, say). It comes down to making everyone's life easier, so if I can pay money for some device that can do this, I will forgo next month's Botox treatments.

    Am still holding out for a report on that Boss LS-2. who's got one?
  7. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I have an old Rapco A/B box it's set up with 1 input, 2 outputs and two foot switches . I just reverse and plug my 2 basses into the outputs, I'm sure Whirlwind still makes something comparable (the swichbox 99.99) at sweetwater and there are probably other boxs out there, just be sure you get one with LED's so you can tell which bass is on! I've used mine for years, as far as volume if you have enough headroom in your rig, just turn the louder bass down, I have that problem with a loud Sadowsky Metro and a relitively quiet Pedulla Buzz.
  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    The Boss LS-2 will let you adjust the output levels for each bass, but keep in mind it is NOT true-bypass. I tried one for two gigs, and it sucked the "oomph" out of both of my basses.

    I wonder if a private tech could modify one to be true bypass?
  9. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    I don't often switch but when I do, I use same method Brad Johnson does....nothing fancy, no extra boxes and cables to haul and have problems with. I use a wireless and it takes me just a few seconds to switch basses. I don't even have to put the wirelsss on standby, thus avoiding the loud click. I simply turn the volume off on the amp, unplug the cord from my bass, unclick the 2 straplock buttons (leaving the strap over my shoulder, switch basses, and reconnect. No problem. And as Brad says, it takes a second to hit the gain or volume on your amp and yer back in bidness. Why complicate life with extra gear?
  10. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  11. Lowfader


    Jul 11, 2004
    :cool: Startouch also makes a good switchbox.
  12. lojack


    Jan 6, 2005
    That's a bummer about the LS-2; for some reason I was really set on it.

    And the setup I'll mostly be using this with is electric and and stand up bass (which sets up it's own little dilemma). I wouldn't be going from bg to bg.

    When I saw Alain Caron come to town, I don't ever remember him turning around and fiddling around with knobs when he switched his aerodynamic F basses, but he was wearing leather pants, and the whole night seemed to be a blur anyways.

    What would be most ideal is separate amplification (which would solve different levels and EQ), but I am only one guy (a musician at that, and a jobber on top of that); I guess I'll stew over this. Thanks, y'all.
  13. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    That is what the Bassbone is, a specialized prepreamp. You could probably also solve it with a preamp and a loooper. Use the preamp on the DB and run the BG straight. If you can get a good used preamp, it would be cheaper.
  14. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Amongst numerous other things, the Boss LS-2 can be used as a simple A/B/C box or an A/B/bypass box with volume control for each channel.
    It's buffered too, so you can mix active and passive instruments without a problem.
    It would be very hard to make it true bypass. I can't say I've noticed much loss with mine though.
  16. lojack


    Jan 6, 2005
    Thanks. The EBS one looks like it's off the lunar lander; I have EBS pedals and they're as good as they are sexy. That thing has overdrive on it? Probably not what I'm looking for (or what I deserve).

    I guess the Boss LS-2 is the closest to what I'm looking for (that is, an AB stompbox for two inputs, two outputs--one for the amp, one for a tuner--and separate level controls for each; and nothing else)--so far. Jazz Ad made mention that the LS-2 isn't full bypass, and it's hard to do so. Why?

    And seanm, you recommended going with a preamp for one; how would you complete that setup? Would, say the stand up, go direct into the preamp/housePA and the bg would be only for the amp/housePA?

    What's funny is that I honestly just want to bring one instrument; it's fun playing different instruments, but you get the most enjoyment out of one. (I think Sonny Rollins said that). I guess he and I share the same sentiment of wanting to make only one trip to the car.
  17. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I keep looking at this thread and wondering...how hard could it be to build your own A/B switch setup?
  18. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hmmm, no, that would work, but you might not hear the stand up properly on stage.

    This assumes the BG has a hotter output than the DB:

    DB to preamp to loooper A
    BG straight to loooper B
    Loooper output to the amp.

    This is basically what the Bassbone is, but I thought it might be easier/cheaper to get the individual parts. I also assume you already have a DI.

    Really all the preamp does it get the levels the same. If you are willing to fiddle with the knobs on the amp, the loooper is good enough.