A/B/Y Pedals / Boxes... Difference?

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by TrippyStormtrooper, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. TrippyStormtrooper

    TrippyStormtrooper Member

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    Forgive me if this has been covered already, I couldn’t seem to find a tread on it.

    Are all A/B/Y pedals pretty much the same? As in, they shouldn’t affect tone, all they do is switch between channels/amps. Am I missing something in differences between brands?

    Wanting to pick one up for channel switching in my Black Magick Reverb. Considering the JHS mini one.

    Thanks!
     
  2. monty john

    monty john Senior Member

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    I had a Star Touch ABY that was grounded and was wired so it was never out of phase....great footswitches...used it on my modded vibrolux...it was used for like $50.....buy a good one with a ground lift and phase switch....the cheapo stuff won't have these options
     
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  3. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    I say if you're gonna do this, do it right. Don't cheap out and get an ABY that has a buffer and a polarity switch. I briefly used a Radial Twin-City pedal and it was excellent for this use.
     
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  4. 8len8

    8len8 Senior Member

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    They are not all the same. First, think about what features you need:
    - Active vs passive (cable driving vs transparent)
    - Phase switch (if amps are out of phase)
    - Ground lift (to eliminate ground loop induced hum)

    Then there are the brands. Many cheaper passive ABYs tend to pop when you hit the switch. If you look through various forums you’ll find the most popular passive is Lehle, and the most popular active is Radial.
     
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  5. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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  6. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Member

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    The OP asked about differences. The biggest difference is that a passive unit loses 3db of signal strength when both outputs are active and active units "theoretically" keep the output levels the same as the input! If simply using to switch from one amp to another and never using both at the same time, a passive unit should be fine, although having one with the outputs "isolated" from the chassis and each other so that you have ground lifting and phase switching options is a very good idea!
    Just My $.02,
    Gene
     
  7. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    I briefly tried the 'tone-stacking' experiment, it was fun but for me, impractical. I tried both passive and active units and I agree that an active unit is a must for 'Y' playing.
     
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  8. Brocko

    Brocko Senior Member

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    If all you are doing is channel switching you won't need any features and passive will be just fine.
     
  9. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    True. But then, you could just pick up an AB footswitch. Hard to see the point of the 'Y' if it's not gonna be used.
     
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  10. Brocko

    Brocko Senior Member

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    well, quite.

    Although he might have an amp with two separate inputs. So an ABY would be able to switch one guitar line to between the two amp inputs

    Passive would be fine for this usage, any thing else would be overkilllllllllll
     
  11. TrippyStormtrooper

    TrippyStormtrooper Member

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    Part of the reason I want one is because I have the Supro Black Magick Reverb, which does have two channels and would allow me to channel switch.

    I Also want to experiment with using the amps channels in conjunction vs using the 1+2 Input. Should do the same thing but I’m curious.

    I’m also curious how it would sound to run one channel cleanish and the other dirty at the same time.

    Just messing around with options, I appreciate all your guys’ feedback!
     
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  12. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    I gave tone-stacking a shot and it was a lot of fun. It ended up being just a faze when I realized it was better off trying to just get a decent sound out of one amp, lol. I tried it first with a homemade passive true bypass pedal from a friend. It seemed cool, but I could tell I was losing a lot in Y-mode. The Radial Twin-City made a HUGE difference and I have to admit, it sounded pretty cool to split FX to two different amps and pound the strings. But yeah, it's a project for a better guitarist than yours truly.
     
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