Are you looking to take your guitar sound to the next level? One way to achieve a richer, fuller tone is by splitting your guitar signal into two amplifiers. By doing so, you can create a stereo effect and add depth to your sound.
But how exactly do you split your guitar signal into two amps?
In this article, we’ll explore the different methods you can use to split your guitar signal into two amps and get the most out of your guitar sound. This guide will provide you with the tools you need to take your sound to the next level.
Reasons to split a guitar signal to two amps
There are multiple reasons why a guitarist might choose to split their guitar signal to multiple amps. Here are some of them:
Enhanced sound and tonal possibilities
Using two amps allows you to create a richer, more complex sound that can add depth and dimension to your music. By setting each amp up differently, you can achieve a unique tone that blends together for a more dynamic sound.
Splitting your signal to multiple amps can boost the overall volume of your guitar sound, making it ideal for gigs and live performances.
Having a backup amp during live performances can prevent sound loss due to technical issues or equipment failure. By using two amps, you have a built-in backup system that ensures uninterrupted music.
Different speaker types
Changing speaker types can significantly alter the overall sound of your guitar. By using two amps, you can experiment with different speaker types, such as a classic tube amp and a modern solid-state amp, to achieve the sound you want.
Splitting your signal into two amps can create a stereo sound that adds depth and dimension to your guitar sound, which can be useful in recordings where you want to create a wider soundstage.
Methods for splitting a guitar signal into two amps at the same time
There are a few methods for splitting a guitar signal to multiple amps:
Splitting a guitar signal with Daisy-chaining
Daisy-chaining is a method of connecting multiple devices in a series, where the output of one device is connected to the input of the next device, and so on. The devices are typically connected using a single cable that runs between each device.
This is how to split your guitar signal with Daisy-chaining:
- Check if you have at least one amp with two or more inputs. This will be the amp that you will connect your guitar to.
- Plug your guitar into the first input on the amp.
- Connect the second input on the first amp to the first input on the second amp using a standard instrument cable.
- The signal chain should be: guitar – amp 1 first input – amp 1 second input – amp 2 first input.
- Your guitar’s signal will go through the first amp and into the second.
Pros of Splitting a guitar signal with Daisy-chaining
- This method is the cheapest and easiest way to connect two amps.
- You don’t need any additional equipment or special cables.
Cons of Splitting a guitar signal with Daisy-chaining
- Both amps will be used at the same time, and you won’t be able to switch between using one or both.
- The amps will likely be out of phase, resulting in the overall sound of both amps being slightly weaker. This issue can be fixed by reversing the speaker cables on one of the amps.
- There might be increased hum and noise coming from the amps due to grounding issues.
By the way, if your guitar amp is buzzing, check this guide on why it happens and how to fix it.
Splitting a guitar signal with Effects pedals
Effects pedals, also known as stompboxes, are small electronic devices that are used to alter the sound of an electric guitar or other electronic instrument. They are placed on the floor and controlled by the guitarist’s foot, with a simple on/off switch or a series of foot switches.
If you want to split your guitar signal using effects pedals, here’s a guide on how to do it:
- Choose an effects pedal with stereo outputs.
- Connect your guitar to the pedal’s input.
- Connect each amp to either of the pedal’s outputs. The pedal will then act as a splitter.
- Turn on the pedal. Keep in mind that once you turn on the pedal, the amp connected to the effect output of the pedal will have that effect applied to it.
Pros of Splitting a guitar signal with Effects pedals
- This method is fairly simple and easy to do.
- An effects pedal can create unique and interesting sounds, which is great for experimentation.
- The dry channel signal will still be present once the pedal is activated, making it an effective method for thickening your sound.
Cons of Splitting a guitar signal with Effects pedals
- You will need to purchase an effects pedal with stereo outputs, which can be expensive.
- If you want to switch between using one or both amps without the effect, you must turn off the pedal and readjust the amp connections.
- Using effects pedals can add noise to your signal chain, which may require additional troubleshooting or noise-reducing pedals.
Splitting a guitar signal with an AB/Y switcher
An AB/Y switcher is a device that allows you to switch between two amps or use them both simultaneously. This device has a single input that splits the signal into two outputs, which can be connected to two different amps.
You can use it to split the signal by following these steps:
- Connect your guitar to the input on the AB/Y splitter.
- Connect the amps to the outputs on the splitter.
- If you’re using pedals, you can also put your entire effects chain before the splitter.
Pros of splitting a guitar signal with an AB/Y switcher
- You can switch between amps or use both at the same time, giving you more tonal options.
- You can preserve sound quality with a buffered splitter, especially over longer cables.
- Active splitters maintain the signal strength and prevent the weakening of the guitar signal, ensuring a strong and clear sound.
Cons of splitting a guitar signal with an AB/Y switcher
- Passive splitters can weaken the signal strength of your guitar, halving it and potentially affecting your tone.
- Active splitters tend to color the tone a bit, which may or may not be desirable, depending on your preferences.
- You need to make sure the splitter you are using is buffered to preserve sound quality and prevent tone loss.
In conclusion, there are several methods to split a guitar signal into two amps, each with its own pros and cons.
Whether you choose to use a daisy chain, an effects pedal, or an AB/Y splitter, it’s important to consider the sound quality and signal strength of your setup. With the right approach and equipment, you can achieve a fuller and more dynamic sound for your guitar playing.
In the end, I have some curious facts for you – the biggest guitar amplifier measures 3.06 meters (10 feet 0.47 inches) long, 2.47 meters (8 feet 1.24 inches) tall, and 1.30 meters (4 feet 3.18 inches) wide. Full Sail University (USA) achieved this record at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, USA, on 30 June 2017.