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Two Heads One Bass

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by WorldCarver, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. WorldCarver


    Jun 30, 2011
    I recently got my hands on a couple of Marshall bass heads and want to run them through my rather large rig. My end goal is to run each head through it's own cab, through my Sans Amp, and into my bass... The complication is how.

    I've read into a bit of the pros and cons of using a A/B Y pedal with only one real concern which is dealing with tone fluctuation/changes. However, in my mind it makes more sense to just use a Y cable (skip the pedal/more straight forward) but have found a lack of information on why that's a good or bad idea.

    I want to run two bass heads into one bass possibly without a pedal. Can a Y cable handle that on its own?
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    A y cable alone will halve the impedance on your pickups, which is tone suck. Better getting a buffered split to keep tone, and an isolated buffered split to lose ground loop noise that comes with split rigs. The Sansamp will do the buffering. Plus, if you want same thing going to each amp Might as well plug into one and slave the other one from it, if they have the appropriate connectors.

    I use two different rigs, and have my bass wired with its own output for each pickup, much more tonal variety that way.
  3. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Just nit picking but you run your bass into the amp not the other way around. :)

    Run an instrument cable from input 2 of amp 1 to input 1 of amp 2. Run your bass into input 1 of amp 1. Adjust volume of amp 1 to taste and then bring up the volume of amp 2 to match.
  4. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    The right way (to me) is Lehle little dual. Otherwise you aren't getting the best straight bass path from guitar to each amp. Use one or the other or both with no loss. I use them for guitar and once did a two amp bass set up....one clean one with effects.
  5. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Are you planning on using different tones on the heads? If you just want one masive tone maybe you can run a line out from your primary head into the FX return of the secondary one (utilizing its power section directly).

    For running two amps with different tones (sometimes for fun I'll do this... one rig clean, the other OD) I think what you want is a good quality Y box or another type of pedal which can serve as a Y. A cheap A/B/Y box into two amps can cause a feedback effect... not sure exactly why (maybe "loose ground loop" that Fox mentioned), but it's a common symptom.
  6. WorldCarver


    Jun 30, 2011
    So basically bridge the heads and run the remaining two to the cabs?
  7. MagicMan_841


    May 29, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
  8. Regardless, I recommend using an a-b-y box..very versatile.

    With a b y , you can also reverse it and use 2 different basses into one head..switch basses with click of a switch.

    Haven't used mine in a while, but I believe you can KILL everything and use the A B Y as a MUTE box as well??..