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Switching between several preamps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Calorios, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Calorios


    Oct 2, 2005
    I am in the prosess of getting two or three preamps to use with my different basses (I already have an Alembic F-1X and have ordered a Demeter VTBP-201S as well). Does anyone know of a rackmountable unit with a footswitch that will make me able to switch between the amps and send a mono signal to one power amp or a stereo signal to both a power amp and a DI (for the PA)?
  2. No, but maybe a small rackmount keyboard mixer would do the trick, not footswitchable though. Unless the newer ones have some midi capability through the footswitch.

  3. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    I use an old out of production (late 80's early 90s) AKAI MB76, midi programmable line mixer to select between preamps in my racks. They are out of production but if you hunt for one on EBAY they will turn up. They are 7 in/ 6 out in a matrix format, have 32 programmes, and are line level at unity gain max. I use this to switch between a Triaxis, a marshall JMP1 and a homemade preamp. I use the DMC ground control midi foot controller.

    I also use this to switch between various midi sound modules for keys, with another MB76 in my keyboard rack.

    Also used one for a bass rack which switched between an F1X, and trace V Type and a Groove tubes preamp all feeding the same poweramp and speakers; though I no longer do this and have the F1X and the Trace in separate racks. (sold the GT for a Demeter, which I also sold)

    You can achieve the same switching ability with a Digital Music Corp (voodoo labs people) GCX, but this unit does not 'mix'.

    Sound scultpure makes something similar to the AKAI, is more programmable and goes up to 16 X 16 in/out matrix but is way more expensive. They have a website www.soundsculpture.com ....all you need is the Switchblade 8.

    AKAI also made a companion programmable EQ called the PEQ6, which has the same chassis, 1U and is a 6 band EQ. Interestingly, Alain Caron at one stage used one of these and If I am not wrong used the MB76 to select between various active line level basses.

    The 'guitar rack' people like Bradshaw also make a similar switcher I think, which is 4X 4 matrix I think; and Kawai also had a similar line level mixer to the AKAI with less channels 8X2?...
  4. I was thinking of doing a similar thing with just 2 preamps and a poweramp - how would one runa line to the desk from this setup though? It would have to be sent after the switch, but before the poweramp - A DI box stuck in there maybe??
  5. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    "I was thinking of doing a similar thing with just 2 preamps and a poweramp - how would one runa line to the desk from this setup though? It would have to be sent after the switch, but before the poweramp - A DI box stuck in there maybe??"

    The system with the AKAI MB76 and other active MIDI programmable matrix line mixers might be (for one bass and two preamps) :

    bass into line mixer Input channel 1, splits into various outputs to various preamps, say output 1 & 2 into preamp inputs

    2 mono outputs from preamps, into line mixer input channel 2 & 3,
    feeding output channel 3, which goes into your power amp

    output channel 4 could be your line output to house PA, via a Di or line level

    And if you want to you can patch effects in the chain either in series (for compression or distortion) or parallel ( for chorusing, reverbs and delays).

    You could patch efx before the preamp or after as per your choice. And you could programme it so that your compression can kick in for parts of a tune, say when you slap...

    Basically it is a programmable mixer/patch bay but the matrix configuration means that any output channel could be programmed to receive any configuration of input channels; and conversely any input channel can be patched to any configuration of output channels; albeit all with mix levels programmed as well.

    What you do with this ability to patch/mix is up to your needs and imagination, and the matrix connections and MIDI switching make it more than a mixer.

    for some reason I can't upload attachments, so I have tagged the pdf manual to a defunct standards band website I played in (band is no more but web ownership is still with me). Download the MB76 manual and see what you make of it. They turn up on ebay from time to time and are usually sub USD$100... I buy them when I see them and have a few.....The only downside is that the memory is not upgradeable and you have 'only' 32 programmes as opposed to standard 128 as is typical of later digital gear... but I'd say if you need more that 32 programmes from this unit you are not thinking enough about your music.....

    download the manual at:
  6. DaRQsiDe


    Jan 17, 2008
    Istanbul, Turkey

    I would like to resurrect this thread to learn more about new technologies for switching/looping systems and rackmount systems (everything I have is in racks...)

    Thanks :)
  7. DaRQsiDe


    Jan 17, 2008
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Expanding on my previous question, do any of you have any experience with these? They are rack mixer/splitters.

    http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MX882.aspx - Behringer MX882
    http://www.rane.com/sm26s.html - Rane SM26S

    Do you think that they can be used efficiently with multiple preams and then the output can be routed to the PA? The pricing on the Behringer is sweet but is it sweet with a hint of lemon in it?

    Thanks :)