Using an A/B Box as a Simple Instrument Switcher for Doubling

Using an A/B Box as a Simple Instrument Switcher for Doubling

While we stock a host of 2-channel preamplifier solutions for bassists who double (with every bell and whistle imaginable), sometimes simplicity takes the cake. I personally like using a Radial Engineering PZ-Pro for my upright (and electric, thanks to its switchable input impedance) needs, and while it's a full-featured, flexible unit (even has microphone capability!) it might be more than you need for a simplified stage rig.

An A-B box like The BigShot i/o Deluxe A/B Switch provides a simple solution to the problem, with a few extra features that put it a step above most simple A/B switches. The passive, true-bypass circuitry means that you can still get the benefit of the impedance buffering of your downstream preamp or amp, with the extra perk that you don't have to worry about batteries or a power supply (although it does accept a pretty common 9v power supply to light the LEDs if you so choose). The trim control, which they have smartly moved to the top of the box in the newest iteration, allows you to bring down the volume of input 2 to match that of input one. This is really helpful, as you don't need to worry about a louder instrument blowing your audience's hair back when you switch from one to the other!

On top of that, the BigShot i/o provides an dedicated tuner output, and a footswitch to fully mute the output while in use. Did I mention that it's made by Radial Engineering, which means that you can throw it through a wall, dust it off, and play a gig? For those of you, like me, who are a bit rough on their gear, this is a huge plus.

Obviously, a passive A/B switcher isn't the preferred option for the knob twiddlers among us (that's why we carry the Bassbone OD, Headway EDB-2, Red-Eye Twin, and Grace Designs FELiX2)... but for someone looking for an easy, reliable, and inexpensive solution to doubling, the Bigshot i/o fits the bill.

May 11th 2021 Mark