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two guitars, one amp slpit with hot fudge and icecream

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Rocks, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Rocks


    Mar 9, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio
    I'm looking for a very inexpensive way of having two basses plugged in my amp at the same time and having a switch that would let me selt the bass for the next song. Of course I know this is an ABY switchWHo much doe a decent one cost? ALso, I have a planet waves y adapter two females into one male all 14" Can I us that as long as I turn down the bass I'm not using?
  2. An EHX Switchblade is an inexpensive way of acheiveing this =) Should be about $30
  3. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    If you're using an A/B switch, you don't need to turn the volume down of the bass that you are not using. If you have it set to loop A (where bass A is plugged in) you won't get any signal from loop B (where bass B is plugged in) going to the amp.

    Essentially you can select via the foot switch:

    Loop A (with bass A plugged into it) -> other effects (if any) -> amp


    Loop B (with bass B plugged into it) -> other effects (if any) -> amp

    If you were using an A/B/Y pedal, the Y function would turn both loop A and B on at the same time and you would need to turn down the volume on the bass that you are not using.

    If you're looking for an A/B pedal, or an A/B/Y pedal, loop-master is a great place to buy from. There's tons of options for A/B and other types of bypass and switching/routing pedals on there and they have fairly decent prices. Definitely not as cheap as making your own, but pretty fair. There's a bit of a wait for them to build the pedal (they're generally made in batches and sometimes they don't have any of a particular pedal in stock), but they work perfectly fine if you need a really cheap solution.

    However, the downside with a simple A/B pedal occurs when you are using two basses where the output volume of each bass is noticeably different from the other. Another downside occurs when the impedance of two basses is different, such as in an active bass and a passive bass.

    For instance, lets say that the output of bass A is moderate for a passive bass, but bass B is a high output active bass, and you have them both plugged into a passive A/B pedal. In this case, playing bass A in loop A of the pedal, setting it down and then playing bass B through loop B of the pedal will give you two different output volumes, and your pedals will get two different impedances. (honestly, most of how impedance works goes right over my head. If you really want to know how it works, I suggest doing a search on here, google, or just waiting for the resident electrical engineer to pop in and drop some knowledge ;))

    The output volume can generally be equalized by setting your bass volumes on each bass so that they are much closer together, which isn't so hard.

    However, the impedance issue is one that a simple passive A/B box can't overcome. For that you need an impedance-matching box that will correct the impedance of the signal coming from both basses to be exactly the same (There are few products out there that can do this) but suffice it to say that unless you own a picky effect like the Z.Vex Woolly Mammoth which likes to see a passive bass' impedance (it still works with active bass, but doesn't sound the same), you really don't need to worry about impedance issues.

    Another thought is that if you just run your bass direct to the amp, and your amp has two 1/4" inputs like on most Markbass amps, you could just plug one bass into each input, adjust the input gain as needed, and turn the volume up/down depending on the bass you need to play. :bassist:
  4. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    Playing the devil's advocate for a minute, why can't you just unplug your cable?
  5. Goatee220

    Goatee220 Bassist/Photographer/Goalie Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Spring City, PA
    I think the idea is being able to switch back and forth on the fly and not having to worry about "pops" when you're unplugging one bass and plugging another in. Plus, if you have basses with active and passive pickups, you may then have to switch inputs on your amplifier. All a pain when playing live.
  6. dokazaado


    Mar 25, 2009
    Empty Hills

    using an ABY, you'd still have to switch the input to the amp.
  7. isthimus


    Aug 14, 2010
    surely you could make an ab pedal at home with a spdt switch, a push button and a pad to press? why do you need to buy one at all?

    perhaps im missing something.....
  8. mwbassace


    Jul 26, 2010
    N.W. Ohio
    Lots of amps/preamps have active/passive inputs, so run (for example) line A of the A/B box to the passive input & then line B to the active. A friend runs his signal into an A/B box w/A going to the tuner & B going to another A/B box. Then out of that box A to the regular input on a sansamp rpm rackmount(for the passive bass), and B to the 20db padded input on the back of the sansamp(for the active bass). This also allows to mute the signal by using A of the first box.

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