AB/XY for 2 Guitars and 2 Amps on Separate Channels




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As usual I like to make things that solves problems for me.

This time it's this, I use a Boss AB-2 pedal to switch between my two amps, one is normally dirty and the other one is clean with pedals in front of it.

Then when someone else comes along and wants to use one of the amps I have to mess up the cables between the pedals so that both guitars get an amp. This happens when my son wants to play or when a friend comes over.

So I thought I'd make a pedal to solve that, I saw some AB/XY pedals but they only had the ability to send one signal through at the time. That means one guitar OR the other, and one amp OR the other. I wanted the ability to have a normal ABY and to switch it over to having two guitars and two amps connected and then switch the connection between them.

And now I do.

Step 1: My Layout

Two inputs and two outputs.

When the pedal Toggle is off the pedal acts as a ABY pedal. The Toggle position is indicated by a blue led. The signal goes in to the Main input and out of one of the outputs, stomping the Switcher makes the signal go out the other output. A led (yellow or red) indicates which way it goes. The unused output is grounded.

When the Toggle is stomped the secondary input is activated. The Main input will be connected to one output and the Secondary input to the other. Stomping the Switcher will switch which goes where and the leds will indicate where the Main Input is going.

There is a 9 volt circuit to power the leds and it is not connected to the signal circuit. The pedal works the same without this power but there will be no indication from the leds.

A battery would last a long time powering only two leds simultaneously but I wanted to use an adapter. If you want a battery to fit inside the enclosure it needs to be bigger.

Step 2: Parts

2 x 3PDT Stomp Switch (You could also go with one 3PDT and one 2PDT as one row of contacts will be unused)

1 x Connector Power

3 x 5mm led, use whatever colors you like, I chose one red, one yellow and one blue

3 x led socket

2 x 3,9 kΩ Resistor

3 x Mono jack, 6,4mm / 1/4"

1 x Stereo jack, 6,4mm / 1/4"

1 x Enclosure 1590b, it gets really tight in this one so maybe a bigger one is better

I made a miscalculation when I ordered my stuff so I have a 2,2 kΩ resistor for the blue led which makes it shine a bit brighter than the red and yellow ones. The are connected to a 3.9 kΩ resistor as described in the list above. Anything from 2k to 5k should work but gives different brightness, low for more brightness and high for dim.

Step 3: Schematics

This is the pedal seen from inside the box.


I noticed I made an error in the layout.

The Secondary Input should be a Stereo jack, the green wire goes to the tip and the purple goes to the ring.

The reason for this is to disable the secondary input if there is no cable connected there.

There should also be a wire from ground to the ring lug on one of the jacks to ground the enclosure, this is to get rid of possible interference.

I will add these things when I have the time.

Step 4: Soldering

I used jacks that are grounded when screwed to the walls of the box so there are no wires for that part of the grounding.

The led legs are not isolated here and it would be better if they where but its very tight in this small enclosure so I skipped that, the internals are not moving and it should be fine.

Step 5: Unnecessary Amount of Photos

And here it is, so far it works as intended as I like taking pictures so here's a whole bunch of them!

Step 6: So, What Is It for Then?

With this pedal I can connect my guitar to MAIN INPUT, and then connect my two amps, a Laney IRT15 on the LEFT OUTPUT and my Madamp G3 on the RIGHT OUTPUT.

With the SWITCH I can change between the two amps.

If I want to connect another guitar, like when my son wants to play with me or when a friend comes over, their guitar would be connected to SECONDARY INPUT and I would stomp the TOGGLE. That would make it so my guitar goes to one OUTPUT and the other guitar goes to the other OUTPUT. Stomping the SWITCH will then change amps.

And then there is a picture of my rig, the amps go to one 12" each in the cabinet. There are only two speakers in there right now.

Step 7: Sticker

I felt I needed to relabel a used pedal I bought and thought I'd make one for this pedal at the same time.

I did as with with my BYOC Overdrive II Kit.

First a primer, then a color, this time white base because my printer can't print white. Then I printed a picture on transparent "paper" with adhesive on one side. After that I added a clear coat to make the sticker blend in more and to make it more durable.



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    26 Discussions


    Question 8 months ago on Step 3

    Hi, I have a stereo output on my guitar - one is regular pickuos and one is piezo. I would like to change the signal to go instead of my amp to PA or acoustic amp. Can I replace both inputs with one stereo input and proceed with schematics. Would that do the trick? Thanks :)

    10 answers

    Answer 8 months ago


    I don't think it will work as you would have either just one of the pickups connected (need to change cables to change which) or both of them connected at once. And in the later case they would both go through to each amp. If I understand you correctly.

    You want to choose which pickup is used and what amp it goes to? Or is it always the piezo to the acoustic amp and the regular pu to the PA?

    Either way I'll have to figure something else out for that I think, if you haven't already.


    Reply 8 months ago

    I am using stereo TRS cable. Suppose the diagram foe the guy with 6/12 stribg guitar would work for me too? Tip would always be routed to Amp so I can use stereo cable for other electric guitar. Sleeve would be routed to PA. When using PA other should be muted and vice versa. I will use your method you suggested for tommypage. I wanted to make it myself but can't figure out why do we need 1-8 and 2-7 connection on attached schematics. Can you figure it out?


    Reply 8 months ago

    Those are for grounding the unused signal to avoid hum.

    So when A is active, B is connected to ground.

    When B is active, A is connected to ground.

    Ill try to make a layout for what you descrive, later tonight (in a few hours) if I get the time.


    Reply 8 months ago

    Wouldn't the connection, you described for tommy, work? Unused route is grounded. I will also use a second 3pdt switch to completely bypass it in case I have to change the guitar. I'll make a layout and send it so you can check. Cheers, V


    Reply 8 months ago

    Since I am using an old aby switch with 2 dpdt switches and since I have two 3pdt and I dont need extra hole, I had to find use for second one. And here it is. Second one controls 3rd led and in case I want to mute whole input (guitar change). This is what I came up with. Sorry for hand drawing but I recon you'd figure it out. I will draw it better as soon as I can if you need it.


    Reply 8 months ago

    It looks fine, I think it will work.

    Just remember to add resistors for the leds. And L3 will be kind of obsolete (a matter of taste off course) as it will be always be lit together with one of the A/B leds, and when you mute all of them will be off. So you could see that it muted when none of the A/B leds are on.
    But I can see that it could make for more clarification to have it there :)


    Reply 8 months ago

    I was thinking that when it's mute, L1/L2 are lit together with L3. Otherwise only 1/2 are on. Just so I know if there are two leds on something won't work :) I agree that it's rddundat but since I have it installed I see no other use for it :) I am opened for suggestions. As for resistors, I am using an obsolete aby switch that already has LEDs with resists installed. I did notice something curious. It has two additional resistors in parallel with ground. Anyway, I'll let you know of the progress :)


    Reply 7 months ago

    I did it. Works as a charm. The onky thing is that I reversed the DC polarity on connector. But it works fine anyway :)


    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    I have a 12 string & a 6 string and 2 amps. I want the 6 string to hook up to amp-1 and the 12 string to hook up to amp-2. When I stomp on the switch, it connects the 6 string to amp-1 and disconnects the 12 string from amp-2. Stepping on the switch again disconnects the 6-string from amp-1 and connects the 12-string to amp-2. I'm trying to quickly interchange my 12-string (on a stand) and 6-string to play Jimmy Page stuff but not have to buy a very expensive double neck. Hope that's not confusing. I originally thought this pedal would work but now I don't think so. Any thoughts on what may work?

    4 answers

    Answer 1 year ago

    If that is the case my pedal won't work for you.
    But the following should work I think, you can skip the leds and the battery as it is not needed for the signal but I think it would be useful to know what setting you are on. Place the leds in a logical position so you know where the signal goes.


    Answer 1 year ago

    If I get you correctly you want both guitars and amps connected to the box at the same time, each guitar to its own amp.

    When clicking the switch you want to change which guitar and amp is active.
    Like this:
    First setting -> 6 string to amp-1 active, 12 string to amp-2 muted.

    Click the switch

    Second setting -> 6 string to amp-1 muted, 12 string to amp-2 active.



    Reply 2 years ago

    This will not work for me as I want to be able to switch between two amplifiers, that would require two outputs on that box and how that would work I don't know.

    I should probably point this out more in my description.

    Thank you for the link and comment.