Best way to play through two amps at once

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by RhythmFender, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    2 guitars, a lefty and a righty.
     
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  2. Alex W

    Alex W Friend of Leo's

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    I tell you what I'd do, man. I'd daisy chain them by running a cable from input 2 of the first amp, into input 1 of the second amp.
     
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  3. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    After reading some of these posts, I put in my ABY switch I've been neglecting. I now have my compressor/od group running into the Y side, with A going to my Quilter Tone Block 201 head and B to my Bugera G5. I have my effects loop on the Quilter. It actually sounds pretty cool here at home. I'm not sure how practical it would be in a gig setting. ((Quilter into a 2x8 and a 1x12...Bugera into a 1x12)).
     
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  4. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    I’m too clumsy for that and too lazy to search for a proper ROS box that may have outlived its usefulness.

    That’s why I use a long MXR stereo cable and a Switchcraft SC600.
    9D0FFF28-419E-4CB0-BF6D-0ADC3DD7B4C1.jpeg 0F77F862-2E00-4B05-8189-6EAE102EF482.jpeg
     
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  5. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The best way is to have a guy do that stuff for you, like Keith.

    Otherwise a Radial BigShot is the second best option for the $$s.

     
  6. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    Love the lefty Gretsch!
    I have been considering chaining my 71 SF Super Reverb and my early '60s tweed Fender Champ like this.
     
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  7. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    So...you're saying that you WOULDN'T do two chicks at the same time, afterall?
     
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  8. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    Radial Twin Cities pedal. Works like a charm.
     
  9. willie ray

    willie ray Tele-Meister

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    I use a Morley accu-tuner,
    It's got two outputs...through a Fender BDRI and
    a Fender Deluxe 112...
    works great.
    Morley_Accu_Tuner_2_large.jpg
     
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  10. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    A buffered ABY pedal, or something that is not that but effectively serves the same function, is the best way.

    That said, an Ampeg Jet II + a vintage '68 Princeton Reverb used to be my go-to rig in this one band. I used to just run a jumper from the Ampeg's "ACCORDION" input over to the other amp. Sounded fine to me, and kept me with a simple single cable from guitar to amp.
     
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  11. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    If you are planning to gig with two amps it's worth it to get an AB box, like the Lehle or Bigshot mentioned in this thread, cause sooner or later you'll encounter hum, grounds loops, etc.

    If playing at home you might not need them. Depending on electricity and your gear you may have fine results just by connecting an extra output from one amp to another.
     
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  12. Terrygh1949

    Terrygh1949 TDPRI Member

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    A lot of to do for not that much gain in sound. Dragging extra gear around, hassles in setting up, getting the sound right. Not worth the effort.
     
  13. jordan86

    jordan86 TDPRI Member

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    The best way? It’s really up to you. But I want to emphasize what a few others have said about the goals more than a particular box.

    Any true stereo pedal you already own could accomplish for you. Typically a tuner would not fall under this category but maybe a delay, Reverb or mod placed last in your chain could. How well? That depends on your other gear.

    I would say the most important factors are isolation and phase. Phase meaning both speakers are pushing and pulling together. To see if amps are out of phase, turn amp one up to a good volume, as you turn the second amp up to match it you will hear the low end get fuller, or it will get strangely thin and feel like a weird Reverb is on. Has a weird spatial vibe. Hard to describe. Easiest (Cheap) solution is to flip the leads on the speaker if it’s a single speaker amp. Or make a flipped polarity speaker cable. I have several amps on some are out of phase so I made a speaker cable with the tip/sleeve reversed on one end.

    Second is isolation. Sometimes you encounter a terrible hum. Best way to tackle this is a splitter device like some of the others have said. Usually they have a second isolated out. Big shot comes to mind.

    A good box will also have a polarity/phase switch to let you correct one of the amps without messing with speakers, etc.

    So nothing new, but hopefully that explains the issues and what you should be looking for in a splitter.
     
  14. Daddy Hojo

    Daddy Hojo Friend of Leo's

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    Sometimes, I'll use one of those two input 1/4" jacks on a pedal on my pedalboard. It's kind of fun to put it somewhere in the middle of your chain (before modulation/delays), so that one amp gets some interesting effects and the other one stays relatively clean (except a lil OD or compressor).
     
  15. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I picked up a used Radial Twin City a few years ago, and find it very quiet, and convenient. It's an active ABY. I don't so much play through two at once, but it saves me getting up and walking ten feet if I want to switch amps. A must have :D
     
  16. DCgtrguy

    DCgtrguy NEW MEMBER!

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    I take it you want to have the tone, distortion, reverb etc. of each amp, distinct from the other. But if you are looking for just one "sound" (i.e., the tone/distortion from one pre-amp), and especially if you use your amp as a clean platform for pedals, then consider using an amp w/ an fx loop. You can have a serial insertion fx loop (aka passive) put into an amp for $50 - $100 (but don't drill holes in your vintage amps!). You'd then use a stereo fx unit like a stereo chorus or reverb, etc. to split the signal. You'd only need a slave amp and speaker for the second amp. You can use a small Quilter amp (101 Mini or Interblock) as the 2nd amp.

    If you are using a chorus etc. pedal as your stereo unit in the loop, you'll need a loop buffer to keep from overloading the pedal. If you use a rack unit (I use an Intellifex) you probably won't need the buffer. It's more complicated using a loop, but the fidelity of time based effects like chorus or reverb are much better.
     
  17. Turtleneck

    Turtleneck Tele-Meister

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    I run a cable out of my Boss Stereo Chorus pedal.
     
  18. 808stevan

    808stevan NEW MEMBER!

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    All of the4se responses are good, but I did not see what I do, so here it is....
    You need to purchase a George Lynch Orange Box 3 way splitter. Why this one? It is what I use gigging out and I get a stereo sound using THREE amps.
    The floor pedal allows me to choose any of the three amps in any combination I want or all on at once. It also gives you the latitude run 3 different effects chains. I will run many of my wet effects through one amp on the right side and my dry set through the left side. This allows me to have the middle amp as my main rig with my personal "sound". I then balance all three volumes to not compete with each other. The sound is magical and people respond very well to it. I get compliments like..."your sound is thick!" or "I could feel your guitar in my chest!"

    Sometimes for low volume gigs, I will use three Roland Cubes all set to something different, like one is chorus and delay with distortion, next amp is distortion with dry signal and the third is a slow sweep phaser and distortion. After I balance out the volume and tone for each, I have the time of my life....a real David Gilmour sound....Experiment with the distance that you spread the amps to work your room acoustics into play. I like to get them at least 5 to 10ft apart with the outside left and right angling back to me. By the way, you can do this anywhere because of the battery powered Roland Cube. Have fun experimenting!
     
  19. HJ4646

    HJ4646 NEW MEMBER!

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    An A-B box or a "Y" cable would work fine...not sure why most here would need two amps...but there's no sense trying to make sense to guitar players. Here in the 21st Century, the "volume police" are everywhere with their little DB Meters to ensure that we're not deafening the masses. I'm kind of old and I remember better times.
     
  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Just to add some info, the Morley and many or most "affordable" ABY boxes that have a battery do not actually have a buffer, so you will get the same signal loss as "daisy chaining" did on all those awesome live recordings some of us try to emulate.
    The battery is only to power the handy LEDs that let us know our status.

    WRT the idea of a "best way", one may answer with a favorite way but to find a best way we really need more info.

    Instead of discussing products and brands the place to find what's best is in discussion of the problems that come up with a stereo rig.
    I could be pedantic and point out that it's not stereo unless one amp gets a different signal than the other, but never mind...

    >Ground loops. Multiple paths to ground due to both amps being grounded via the three prong may cause hum.
    >Signal loss, as nojazzhere mentioned will happen if you don';t use a buffered splitter, but two amps may make up for any losses.
    >Phase cancellation. This is more likely with vintage amps than modern, but if you wire your own speaker cabs it may come up. Basically your pickup is an AC signal and the speaker moves forward and back, but if one amps speaker moves forward when the other amps speaker is moving back, you have phase cancellation with cuts volume and makes funny tone. Simply reverse the speaker connection on one amp, but first figure out which one is wired backwards. For example Vintage Marshalls were out of phase with vintage Fender amps, but oddly, vintage Jensen speaker were mislabeled so got wire backwards, resulting in no phase cancellation. If you hook up speakers correctly, + to +, and run a '65 Fender amp next to a '65 Marshall amp, they will be out of phase and sound weak together.

    Super expensive ABY pedals have solutions built in that take care of all the above problems.

    Some amp combinations and some house wiring do not need any solutions because there is no guarantee you will have any of these problems.
    A buffered pedal with stereo outs fixes the subtle signal loss condition, but not ground loop or phase problems.
    In the old days we broke the third prong off our guitar amp cords, or we simply had old amps with two prong cords and ground reverse switches, or we plugged both amps into a single power strip resulting in the single path to ground where the strip plugged in.
    Plus of course we all used the mojo enhancing death cap.

    I got into the two amp rig in the late '80s and made my own ABY box.
    My favorite then was a '67 Plexi 100 with a '67 Super Reverb.
    Never had problems due to having the above solutions.
    In the late '90s I tried a stereo chorus and that was cool due to the swirly stereo chorus effect, or I could turn off the effect and just use the buffer. Not a really big change to the sound using the buffer.

    The buffered pedal combo never sounded as good as the old non buffered DIY because I didn't have the same great amps any more.
    IMO the amps and the sounds are more important than the splitter box.

    If you need to tour in dives and depend on your sig stereo sound then you will need an expensive ($200, not $60) ABY box to deal with venue wiring and just to be ready, like if one amp breaks and you need to borrow an amp etc etc.
    If yo just want to try it at home you don't need to pay $60 for a passive ABY with battery or power supply for the LED.
    AFAIK not all amps can be combined with their second input, don't have a list though.
     
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