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A/B box recommendations

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A/B box recommendations

Postby alfredo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:37 am

I'm currently using a Boss AB-2 on my pedalboard (elec guitar > A; mandolin > B; output into the board). It's fine, but temperamental, though I'd like to upgrade it as it's the only pedal not screwed down so I can get to the batteries. Unfortunately, that means it often comes loose and rattles around in the pedalboard case. Also, I have to take all the leads out so I don't run the batteries down - not a huge amount of effort, I know, but a pain anyway.

So, what I'm looking for is an A/B pedal with LEDs telling you where you are and runnable from a power block rather than batteries. Naturally, I can't afford to spend a fortune on this so high end solutions probably won't be an option.

I've had a quick look at the Morley range (the ABY and ABC are battery only; ABY Mix only has LEDs on the outputs), the Tonebone Big Shots (no LEDs) and the ART (battery only). Seems the Boss LS-2 might be an option, but I can't work out from the manual how you set it up for Input A only/Input B only/Output to board.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

alf
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby JamesM808 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:34 am

From what I remember the LS2 would do A/B, but it does seem overkill for you needs.

If you have a soldering iron laying about it would be a lot cheaper to make you own, it's a simple thing to put together, more info here.

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby Dan LB » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:47 pm

So, what I'm looking for is an A/B pedal with LEDs telling you where you are and runnable from a power block rather than batteries. Naturally, I can't afford to spend a fortune on this so high end solutions probably won't be an option.


Have a look at the Little Lehle II. I think that will do what you want. Costs about €100

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby Hewesy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:53 am

Loads of really nice A/B boxes out there, Morley, Lehle, Boss LS2, or home brew of course as above.

What I did to my AB2 was wire in a mini on-off switch from Maplins. Nice and easy to flick off when unplugging leads at the end of the gig. Really helps the battery life.

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:28 am

I have the ART one and it's not great. Depending on what you're splitting to, it often buzzes like crazy.
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby grab » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:44 am

I've gone proper cheap - Thomann "Lead Foot". It's just a switch in a box so no power needed, and it cost under £20. But it switches virtually silently, and it's built so damn strong that if I needed to put one wheel of my car up on bricks and I ran out of bricks, I'd happily use this and expect no damage except scratches on the paint. I've had it 18 months now, using it every week, with no problems. But if the switch or connectors ever start going dodgy then I can chuck it in the bin and get another, and I can keep doing that for four replacements and still be ahead of that Lehle one.

The one downside is that it doesn't tell you which way it's switching. But you get into the habit of playing a chord before you start a song to check it's switching the right way.
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby ef37a » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:12 pm

Grab, (and others) If you are up to a bit of fairly simple "mackling" you can get a 3 pole footswitch from
http://www.bitsbox.co.uk/switches.html#footsw

Then get a lucky bag of LEDs from Maplin and go thru' them with a PP3 and a 100k resistor. You will be suprised at how low a current some LEDs need to give a perfectly useful indication. I found a few that were quite visible at 220microamps! At that sort of drain a decent battery will last a very long time and of course, when it is off it's off!

The same idea can be use for phantom power indication at the XLR.
Ooops!That link SHOULD be 3 pole,,.http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/c ... -302-.html
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby ef37a » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:19 pm

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby grab » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:45 am

Yeah, I *could* hack it and add a LED. But I don't really feel the need. It only has two settings, after all, and if I strum a chord and nothing comes out then I want the other one.
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby ef37a » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:25 am

grab wrote:Yeah, I *could* hack it and add a LED. But I don't really feel the need. It only has two settings, after all, and if I strum a chord and nothing comes out then I want the other one.
Errrrr? WHY do you have "A" and "B" if only one makes a noise?

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby grab » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:59 am

Pick up guitar 1, switch to A; pick up guitar 2, switch to B. And strumming guitar 1 when box is switched to B is rather quiet...
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby ef37a » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:05 am

grab wrote:Pick up guitar 1, switch to A; pick up guitar 2, switch to B. And strumming guitar 1 when box is switched to B is rather quiet...

Ah! Sorry! You are A/Bing GUITARS!

Gotcha!
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby Hewesy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:52 am

On the other hand, why not replace the A/B with a snap guitar lead? Nice silent swaps should be possible, and you can easily add extra tips for other guitars/instruments too.

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby alfredo » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:17 pm

Thanks very much for all your replies, guys. Seems the Lehle ticks all the boxes but it's a bit pricey - I guess that's what you have to pay for quality. LEDs are the main thing, though, as I have to do a very rapid switch over so I need to know exactly where I am (I have a high Klutz Quotient, which is why soldering my own is not an option!).

Hewesy wrote:On the other hand, why not replace the A/B with a snap guitar lead? Nice silent swaps should be possible, and you can easily add extra tips for other guitars/instruments too.

Hewesy
Do you mean these Hewesy? Not come across them before, but you've got me thinking that they might be a really good solution. Just watched a few videos - how are they on keeping your tone?
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby Music Wolf » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:26 pm

Hewesy wrote:Loads of really nice A/B boxes out there, Morley, Lehle, Boss LS2, or home brew of course as above.
Hewesy

I have to say that the Boss LS-2 is probably the most useful pedal that I have ever bought. Just this week it has found its way back onto my pedal board. In the current set up I'm playing a guitar with magnetic and piezo pickups. The piezo goes to a passive A/B switch (EH Switchblade) then its fed to either an acoustic amp for acoustic sounds or to the LS-2 where it's combined with the mag pickups and into my normal amp to give me a sort of hollow body sound. I can turn the piezo off on the guitar for purely mag sounds and I can also use the LS-2 to bring the mag sounds in and out whilst playing the acoustic (think Pinball Wizard).

Its a sort of Swiss Army Knife. You sketch out a possible circuit then think "will the LS-2 do that?" and 9 times out of 10 it will.

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby Hewesy » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:05 pm

I used one of the snap jacks when testing a guitar, and it sounded fine to me. Solidly made, and the option of putting a snap jack on all your instruments for chopping and changing seems good to me.

See if your local shop has one to demo?

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby alfredo » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:45 am

Thanks, Hewesy. I found a shop on ebay selling them for less than a third of the RRP so I thought I'd have a punt. I'll keep you posted.
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby Hewesy » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:50 pm

Nice one, if it is any good please let me know the shop you used. Sounds like a bargain!

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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby 4TrackMadman » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:10 pm

Radial also makes great boxes. I also second the Boss Line Selector.
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Re: A/B box recommendations

Postby alfredo » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:25 am

Right, I've spent a couple of weeks with the Snap Jack lead (and a couple of spare angled jacks) and it's great. Sorts the instrument switching issue, doesn't seem to be any tone problems (it's a nice thick, good quality cable) and no noise when you 'break' the connection - although if you put your thumb on the open magnet end there's a tiny bit of buzzing, which you'd expect.

My only really picky thought is that they could do with producing shorter lengths for those of us who have their amps virtually right in front of them - they're currently only available in 15 or 20 foot lengths.

Searching ebay for 'Snap Jack guitar lead' should get you to the shop that's selling them for £10.99, rather than the £35-£40 a pop elsewhere. They don't appear to do the spare jacks, but they were only about twelve quid for a pair online.
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