17 Best ABY Pedals in 2021 (All Price Ranges)

ABY pedals have a reputation for being confusing devices. In reality, they simply allow musicians to integrate two amplifiers into their setup, and either switch between them or use both simultaneously.

Some guitar amplifiers sound great when you’re using the clean channel, while others perform best with plenty of gain added. An ABY pedal makes it possible to use both so that you don’t have to choose between them and limit your options.

Some of the Best ABY Pedals

In this guide, you’ll find a selection of the best ABY pedals and a breakdown of the essential qualities they provide.

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. Radial Engineering Twin-City (Best Overall)Radial Engineering Twin-CityType: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$190Read Full Review Below
2. Orange Amp Detonator (Best Value)Orange Amp DetonatorType: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$140Read Full Review Below
3. BOSS FS-6 (Best Under $100)BOSS FS-6Type: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$70Read Full Review Below
4. Fender ABY Pedal (Best Under $50)Fender ABY PedalType: True Bypass
Effects: ABY
$40Read Full Review Below
5. JHS Mini A/B BoxJHS Mini A/B BoxType: True Bypass
Effects: AB
$55Read Full Review Below
6. Electro Harmonix Switchblade PlusElectro Harmonix Switchblade PlusType: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$75Read Full Review Below
7. Radial Engineering Tonebone BigShotRadial Engineering Tonebone BigShotType: True Bypass
Effects: ABY
$110Read Full Review Below
8. Old Blood Noise AB/Y SwitcherOld Blood Noise AB/Y SwitcherType: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$50Read Full Review Below
9. ART CoolSwitch ProART CoolSwitch ProType: True Bypass
Effects: ABY
$80Read Full Review Below
10. Mooer Micro ABYMooer Micro ABYEstimated Price: $50
Type: True Bypass
$50Read Full Review Below
11. Donner ABY BoxDonner ABY BoxType: True Bypass
Effects: ABY
$35Read Full Review Below
12. Sonicake Sonic ABYSonicake Sonic ABYType: True Bypass
Effects: ABY
$30Read Full Review Below
13. Morley ABCMorley ABCType: True Bypass
Effects: ABY
$100Read Full Review Below
14. Landtone ABY BoxLandtone ABY BoxType: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$25Read Full Review Below
15. Radial Engineering Bones Twin-City ABYRadial Engineering Bones Twin-City ABYType: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$190Read Full Review Below
16. Morley ABY MixMorley ABY MixType: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$115Read Full Review Below
17. Lehle 1 at 3Lehle 1 @ 3Type: Buffered
Effects: ABY
$300Read Full Review Below

Here Are the Best ABY Pedals

1. Radial Engineering Twin-City (Best Overall)

Radial Engineering Twin-City

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Estimated Price $190
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: By producing a range of robust devices which promote signal quality and prevent the degradation of tone, Radial Engineering has been established as one of the leading ABY pedal manufacturers in the world.

I’ve had the pleasure of testing several of their ABY pedals on different occasions, and in my opinion, Twin City is their best offering to date. As soon as I switched the pedal on, I was amazed at how easy it made the task of connecting a pair of amplifiers for simultaneous use.

ABY pedals don’t need to be over-complicated, and that’s one of the main qualities I enjoyed when using the Twin City. I found its dual-footswitch design made toggling between the two amplifiers or choosing to combine them a very simple process.

The standout quality which makes this Radial Engineering ABY pedal shine is its impeccable sound quality. I found the reverse polarity switch to be very useful for ensuring that the amplifier’s outputs don’t encounter phase issues, and the high-quality buffer ensures maximum signal integrity.

Who is this best suited for: If the overall sound quality of your guitar rig is of great importance to you, I think the Radial Engineering Twin City ABY pedal is a must-have device. Not only does it allow you to seamlessly integrate a second amplifier into your setup, but it also features several controls and mechanisms for ensuring signal strength and quality of tone.

Bottom Line: Radial pedals are renowned for three main qualities – industrial durability, easy operation, and sonic clarity. The Twin City ABY pedal boasts each of these traits in abundance. It also features highly visible LED indicators, sophisticated buffering technology, and ‘Drag Control’ for keeping your signal strong throughout the chain.

2. Orange Amp Detonator (Best Value)

Orange Amp Detonator

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Estimated Price $140
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: When I first came across the Amp Detonator pedal, I had high expectations due to my past experiences using Orange amplifiers. The expert manufacturers who were largely responsible for the classic British guitar tone also have an impressive catalog of stompboxes.

This compact ABY pedal is delivered on all fronts. Firstly, I found the simplistic design of the pedal made switching between two amplifiers a quick and easy undertaking. Orange amplifiers are known for their minimalist designs, so I was pleased to see that this quality had been carried over into the Amp Detonator pedal.

When searching for the best ABY pedals, I was on the lookout for devices that combined reliable amp switching with flawless noise-reducing capabilities. Right off the bat, I could tell that the Orange Amp Detonator was designed to prevent tonal degradation and improve the overall quality of the guitar’s signal.

I believe that the thing which makes this ABY pedal stand out is the transparency it promotes. Orange has taken all of the necessary measures to prevent ground loops, which can be very detrimental to a guitarist’s tone. Additionally, the onboard phase correction ensures that there are no issues caused by the signals from both amplifiers going out of phase.

Who is this best suited for: I would highly recommend the Orange Amp Detonator to musicians who use their pedals often, as it is built like a tank and will stand up to heavy labor. It’s also a great choice if you value simplicity over having an array of complex controls.

Bottom Line: The Amp Detonator by Orange allows guitarists or bassists to link two amplifiers quickly and easily. The simple design, which features two footswitches for toggling between the amps or playing them in unison is refreshingly straightforward to use. The phase correction switch combined with high-quality buffering creates exceptional clarity and prevents any noise issues from occurring.

3. BOSS FS-6 (Best Under $100)

BOSS FS-6

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Estimated Price $70
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: BOSS’ FS-6 possesses all of the qualities I love about this prolific manufacturer’s pedals – rugged construction, easy operation, and a pristine output. I liked how BOSS has managed to keep things so simple in terms of the pedal’s design, whilst including everything required of a functional ABY pedal.

The FS-6 stood out to me initially due to its rather unusual layout. Unlike the majority of AB or ABY switchers, this pedal utilized two different technologies to facilitate dual amplifier setups. To do this, BOSS combined two of their popular pedals in one unit; the FS-5U and the FS-5L.

Those two aforementioned pedals produce momentary switching and latch switching respectively. Having them at your disposal within a single unit is very useful, whether you are using two amplifiers or simply using the ABY function to control specific aspects of one amp.

Who is this best suited for: The BOSS FS-6 is a great tool for guitarists who want to broaden the control they have over their tone and effects. It can be used as a conventional ABY switcher, or it can act as a way to control other effects.

Bottom Line: BOSS’ reputation as an innovator in the field of effects pedals is fully deserved, and the FS-6 is another example of their expertise. Combining two popular pedals, the FS-5U momentary effect, and the FS-5L latch effect, this unit opens up a new realm of possibilities for musicians looking to switch between amps or effect settings.

4. Fender ABY Pedal (Best Under $50)

Fender ABY Pedal

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Estimated Price $40
Type True Bypass
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: With decades of experience producing some of the most iconic guitar amplifiers in existence, it makes sense that Fender would know a thing or two about ABY pedals. Firstly, I need to point out that this pedal is exceptional for the price. It rivals many of the more expensive, esoteric ABY devices on this list in terms of performance and builds quality.

The only thing which I felt could have been improved by Fender when designing this pedal, is its slight tendency to suck a little of the tone out of a guitar. However, I discovered that this can be rectified by pairing the pedal with an EQ device and increasing the prominence of the mid-treble frequency bands slightly.

Determining the attribute which makes this Fender ABY pedal unique isn’t difficult. It utilizes passive operation, which removes the need for external power. All you’ll need is a 9v battery, which will power the LED indicators, and is likely to last for a long time before it will need to be replaced.

Who is this best suited for: The Fender ABY pedal is a great choice for guitarists who want a reliable method for using two amplifiers at a very affordable price. The low price tag of this pedal may allow you to invest in other effects to add to your signal chain.

Bottom Line: This ABY Pedal by Fender boasts noiseless switching with no ground loop hums or crackling. It also uses passive electronics, which significantly reduces the power it requires to run smoothly.

5. JHS Mini A/B Box

JHS Mini A/B Box

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Estimated Price $55
Type True Bypass
Effects AB
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: The majority of JHS pedals that I’ve encountered in the past were designed to transform the tone or dynamics of a guitar, an example of this being the brilliant Unicorn uni-vibe pedal. After discovering the Mini A/B Box, I was intrigued to find out whether their competence extends to ABY pedals.

Compared to other popular ABY pedals from Raidal Engineering or Morley, I liked how JHS opted for a more simple, compact design. Another thing I enjoyed about this pedal is that the power supply is optional, with the only aspect of it which requires external power being the LED indicators.

The only thing I wish JHS would have improved about the Mini A/B box is that it cannot send the signal to both the A and B outputs at the same time. In that respect, it’s perhaps more accurate to call this an AB pedal rather than a conventional ABY pedal. Nevertheless, it is a great tool for switching between two amplifiers onstage or in the studio.

Who is this best suited for: If it’s unlikely that you’ll need to play through your two amplifiers at the same time, and you’d rather stick with a device which is solely for switching between two amp outputs, the Mini A/B by JHS is worth considering.

Bottom Line: Although the Mini A/B Box doesn’t include an array of adjustable controls and parameters, it’s a highly effective tool for quickly toggling between two separate guitar amps. The pedal lacks the ‘Y’ aspect of a traditional ABY device but performs very well in the role of an amp switcher.

6. Electro Harmonix Switchblade Plus

Electro Harmonix Switchblade Plus

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Estimated Price $75
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 3 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: As one of the most prolific effects pedal producers, Electro Harmonix has amassed an impressive and diverse catalog. The Switchblade Plus is their flagship ABY device which caught my attention due to its unique design and affordable price tag.

The first thing I noticed when analyzing the Switchblade Plus was its robust built quality. Like most EHX pedals, it is encased in a solid chassis which ensures the protection of the important inner mechanisms of the device.

In terms of its functionality, I like the uncomplicated design used by Electro Harmonix. Using the two footswitches, I found it very easy to toggle between amplifiers. Engaging the ‘Y’ aspect of the pedal was also a breeze, and the additional output for my tuner also came in handy.

Who is this best suited for: If you’re looking for a simple but effective ABY pedal to switch between two amps or play through them both simultaneously, the Switchblade Plus by EHX is a reliable choice. It’s very easy to use, and the durability of its chassis makes it suitable for touring musicians.

Bottom Line: The Electro Harmonix Switchblade Plus includes one standard input, two outputs for dual amplifier rigs, and an additional output for hooking up your tuner or other effects pedals. It also operates passively, meaning you don’t need external power to use this ABY device.

7. Radial Engineering Tonebone BigShot

Radial Engineering Tonebone BigShot

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Estimated Price $110
Type True Bypass
Effects ABY
Connectivity 2 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: The Tonebone BigShot is the second ABY pedal I’ve tested by Radial Engineering, and I must say that I find their proficiency in this area to be very praiseworthy. Compared to their aforementioned Twin City ABY, the Tonebone BigShot is packed with more adjustable switches and controls.

I found that although the layout of this pedal is more complex than most other ABY devices, once I got to grips with the functions of the five switches, I gained a new level of control over my multi-amplifier setup. It goes beyond the capabilities of your average ABY switcher, offering special modes for Latch, Close and Open settings, in addition to a unique ‘Pulse’ mode which can be applied to each of the two footswitches.

Who is this best suited for: The Tonebone BigShot is best suited for guitarists or bassists who use a lot of effects in their signal chain. This is because the pedal can be used simply as an ABY switching device, or it can be integrated into your effects chain to control a variety of different functions.

Bottom Line: Although it takes some time to become accustomed to the various controls included on this Radial Engineering ABY pedal, once you understand how they work, the pedal becomes a highly valuable tool for amp switching and controlling effects. This pedal is one of the most detailed ABY devices on the market, and its ability to prevent noise issues is second to none.

8. Old Blood Noise AB/Y Switcher

Old Blood Noise AB/Y Switcher

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Estimated Price $50
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 2 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: Using two guitars or two amplifiers as part of your rig should not be overly complicated. Old Blood Noise has made the process quick and simple with their AB/Y Switcher pedal. I like that they have chosen a convenient passive design for this device, which means it doesn’t require external power to run smoothly.

This AB/Y Switcher pedal works perfectly, without any noise issues or loss of tone. I also found that it is built like a tank, and the LED indicators provided me with a clear visual display of the status of the switching mechanism.

Who is this best suited for: The AB/Y Switcher pedal by Old Blood Noise is ideally suited to guitarists who want to integrate an additional axe or amp into their rig, without complications. If the signal strength is a concern for you, you’ll love the transparent performance of this device.

Bottom Line: Old Blood Noise has designed the AB/Y Switcher pedal to perform without blips or blemishes. It’s a minimalistic device, which is passive by design and built solidly to withstand wear and tear or heavy usage.

9. ART CoolSwitch Pro

ART CoolSwitch Pro

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Estimated Price $80
Type True Bypass
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: The CoolSwitch Pro by ART is a highly functional isolated ABY switcher pedal. When I first analyzed the specifics of this device, it reminded me of a preamp or DI box due to its dimensions and design.

Upon further inspection, I discovered that one of the main strengths of this pedal is its additional controls for combating phase and ground loop issues. Output ‘B’ is accompanied by several switches which can be used to minimize noise problems and ensure that your signal remains clear when switching between the outputs.

Who is this best suited for: The CoolSwitch Pro by ART is a great choice for musicians whose main priority is keeping their signal a transparent as possible. It allows you to tailor the splitting process to suit the specifics of your signal chain.

Bottom Line: Kitted out with switches and controls designed to reduce hum from ground loops and avoid phase cancellation when using two amplifiers, the CoolSwitch Pro is a reliable ABY pedal. Its chassis is as solid as they come, and the operation of the pedal is very easy to get used to.

10. Mooer Micro ABY

Mooer Micro ABY

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Estimated Price $50
Type True Bypass
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: When it comes to affordable pedals, Mooer has emerged as one of the leading manufacturers in recent years. Their compact Micro ABY provides guitarists or bassists with a simple method for integrating two amps into their rig.

The quality I most enjoyed about this pedal is its simplicity. I was a little skeptical about the fact that it only has one footswitch, but the inclusion of an additional switch for activating the ‘Y’ function to use two amps at one time convinced me of this product.

Who is this best suited for: I’d highly recommend this ABY switcher pedal to musicians who perhaps are lacking space on their pedalboard. Its compact size means that the pedal won’t take up unnecessary room, which allows you to add more transformative effects to your signal chain.

Bottom Line: Boasting a robust metal housing, true bypass operation for noiseless switching, and three inputs/outputs, the Mooer Micro ABY rivals many of the larger devices featured on our list.

11. Donner ABY Box

Donner ABY Box

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Estimated Price $35
Type True Bypass
Effects ABY
Connectivity 2 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: With its stylish aesthetical design, affordable price tag, and undeniable durability, the Donner ABY Box is one of the best switching pedals I’ve come across. I like how the manufacturer has kept the size of the pedal to a minimum without compromising on its functionality.

When connecting two amplifiers to the pedal, I found that switching between them or choosing to play through them at the same time was very easy to do. The small switch in the center of the pedal removes the need for a second footswitch, which ensures that the device takes up very little space on your pedalboard.

Who is this best suited for: Donner’s vast range of pedals are ideal for musicians looking for affordable devices to form their signal chain. The ABY Box is as compact as they come, which makes it suitable for smaller pedalboards.

Bottom Line: With true bypass switching ensuring the maintenance of signal strength, the Donner ABY Box is a great tool for switching between two amplifiers. This sturdy unit is smaller than most ABY splitters, but it still offers the full range of functions as a much larger option.

12. Sonicake Sonic ABY

Sonicake Sonic ABY

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Estimated Price $30
Type True Bypass
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: Admittedly, when I first came across the Sonic ABY by Sonicake I thought it looked like a very basic amp switching device. However, after taking a closer look at the pedal, I found that it is capable of more than first meets the eye.

Compared to more substantial and sophisticated ABY pedals, this device perhaps doesn’t offer the same number of additional frills and perks. Nonetheless, as a simple ABY switcher, it performs to a very high standard and keeps noise issues at bay.

Who is this best suited for: Affordable and easy to operate, the Sonicake Sonic ABY is a good choice for guitarists who want to switch between two amps without overcomplicating the process.

Bottom Line: The Sonic ABY allows you to choose from two different signal flows – Y to A/B, or A/B to Y. It has a bright LED indicator so that you can see the status of the pedal, and additionally it utilizes a true bypass switch to promote a clear and strong signal path.

13. Morley ABC

Morley ABC

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Estimated Price $100
Type True Bypass
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 3 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: Morley’s ABC pedal is undoubtedly one of the best guitar amp switchers on the market. Compared to some of the other switcher pedals made by this manufacturer, the ABC lacks the usual input transformers, but I was pleased to discover that ground loops and phase issues are still kept to a minimum.

Due to the passive operation of the Morley ABC, only the LED indicators require external power. This means that you can use the pedal to split or combine different signals by simply connecting the devices with no PSU or batteries needed.

Who is this best suited for: Whether you’re looking for a reliable method for switching between two amplifiers, or you want to integrate a second or third guitar into your rig, this Morley device is a ready-made solution.

Bottom Line: Morley’s pedals are always built like a tank, and this ABC device retains that quality. It also manages to operate with no noise issues, and the passive design of the pedal makes it a very convenient amp switcher for guitarists, bassists, or keyboardists.

14. Landtone ABY Box

Landtone ABY Box

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Estimated Price $25
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: Landtone’s ABY box makes routing a signal to two outputs, or two outputs to a signal an easy process. I was impressed by the pedal’s ability to maintain tone and signal strength, which is mainly due to the inclusion of true bypass switching.

Another aspect of the Landtone ABY Box that I found to be useful was the clear labeling used on the pedal’s front panel. This, coupled with the LED indicators, allows you to see which output is selected at any given time.

Who is this best suited for: If you’re on a tight budget but still need a high-quality ABY box, is Landtone offering is certainly worth considering.

Bottom Line: Landtone is a relatively new pedal brand, and I must admit I haven’t experienced too many of their devices in the past. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the ABY Box, which includes all of the staple features such as true bypass switching, ABY signal path switching, and a robust build.

15. Radial Engineering Bones Twin-City ABY

Radial Engineering Bones Twin-City ABY

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Estimated Price $190
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: This Radial Engineering ABY pedal is one of the most in-depth devices in its field. At the heart of the pedal, I discovered that Radial had installed their acclaimed buffer, which ensures impeccable signal strength with no diminishment of tonal quality.

I was pleased to find that many of the components used in this ABY pedal were taken from Radial Engineering’s most popular past creations, such as the Drag Control from the JD7 Injector. The polarity switch ensures that both amplifiers are in phase, and the footswitch lowers the impedance when used solely as a buffer device.

Who is this best suited for: The Twin-City ABY is a great choice for any musician looking for a clean and smooth switcher pedal that they can rely on.

Bottom Line: Radial Engineering has designed the Twin-City ABY to be a multi-functional device. Its primary function is to serve as a traditional ABY, offering to switch between amplifiers or a combination of the outputs. Additionally, you can take advantage of the high-quality buffered circuitry to improve your signal chain’s consistency.

16. Morley ABY Mix

Morley ABY Mix

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Estimated Price $115
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 2 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: The ABY Mix by Morley is the perfect solution for guitarists who use two different axes or amps onstage. It makes routing two signals a breeze, without sucking any of your tones or causing unwanted noise issues such as ground loops or electrical hums.

The standout quality that I liked the most about this Morley device is the flexibility of its routing. You can easily send two inputs of your choice to two outputs, which gives you the freedom to set up your rig in exactly the way that is required.

Who is this best suited for: The ABY Mix by Morley is well suited to guitarists who want to ensure that their tone remains untouched when switching between two outputs.

Bottom Line: Morley’s ABY Mix is a conveniently designed switching pedal, which combines durability with ease of use. It contains a high-quality buffer circuit for the maintenance of the signal level when the pedal is not in use.

17. Lehle 1 at 3

Lehle 1 @ 3

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Estimated Price $300
Type Buffered
Effects ABY
Connectivity 2 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 3 x Outputs
Power 9 Volt DC

My Review: Boutique pedal manufacturers Lehle are renowned for their unique designs and extensive controls. The 1@3 allows you to integrate up to three amplifiers into your rig, expanding the possibilities you have at your disposal.

One of the things I liked the most about this switching pedal is its ability to be controlled by MIDI. This makes it possible to use the pedal as a central hub for controlling other effects or sounds as you perform.

Who is this best suited for If traditional ABY pedals don’t offer enough outputs for your requirements, the Lehle 1@3 is a great solution. With three outputs, it gives you the freedom to use a range of amps as part of your setup.

Bottom Line: The Lehle 1@3 can route a guitar’s input signal with true bypass switching, ensuring maximum clarity and strength. It can then be sent to three individual outputs, essentially creating an isolated effects loop.

Choosing the Right ABY Pedals for Guitar

For guitarists who own two amplifiers and would like to use both of them as part of their live setup, ABY pedals are essential. These devices come with many different capabilities, but they all provide the same core function – switching between outputs.

What is an ABY Pedal?

Simply put, ABY pedals are a type of guitar pedal that receives the signal from a guitar or other instrument and split it into two outputs. The two signals can then be transmitted to two amplifiers or other devices instantly using the pedal’s onboard controls.

The name ‘ABY’ is a little confusing, but it represents the two signals (A and B) which are either switched between or combined. The letter ‘Y’ represents the input signal which enters the pedal before it is split.

Why You Need an ABY Pedal

The reason that most guitarists require an ABY pedal is to utilize two amplifiers for accessing a broader range of tones. Let’s say you have an amplifier that sounds great on the clean setting, and another which sounds better with the gain cranked.

By using an ABY pedal, you can switch between the clean and dirty amplifiers by simply selecting them using the footswitch on the device. This makes your whole rig more versatile and allows you to expand the sonic options you have to use onstage.

Stereo Amp Rigs Explained

One of the key aspects of ABY pedals is stereo amp rigs. If you’ve never come across that term before, don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it may seem!

Stereo amp rigs are related to panning. When guitar tracks are recorded, it’s common for them to be panned left and right, meaning they come out of the chosen speaker side to create a stereo effect. This can be achieved in a live setting by using an ABY pedal and positioning their amplifiers at either side of the stage.

The advantage of using ABY pedals to create a stereo amp rig is that it creates space between the two tones, which helps to differentiate them to the audience’s ears.

Avoiding Phase Issues with ABY Pedals

Phase cancellation is a problem that most musicians will encounter at some point in their recording process or live performances. It occurs when frequencies that are very similar to one another are played simultaneously, which causes certain tones to be canceled out as the waveforms clash.

For example, if you’re playing a riff on your guitar and you have both amplifiers active at once, the waveform of the riff will essentially be double-tracked and played through both speakers in sync. This will cause the frequencies of the riff to move at the same speed, and phase cancellation will weaken the overall tone.

Using two amplifiers with an ABY pedal is likely to cause some phase issues. Therefore, most ABY pedals include a function known as ‘reverse polarity. This inverts one of the two signals, preventing phase cancellation from occurring.

True Bypass & Buffered ABY Pedals

A key distinction to make between the different ABY guitar pedals on the market is whether they use true bypass switching or a buffer. Each of these designs offers several benefits, but they both aim to promote signal strength and prevent loss of tone.

Buffered ABY pedals work by boosting the strength of the signal so that as it passes through the chain it doesn’t diminish. True bypass ABY pedals work by allowing the signal to flow freely through the inner circuitry of the device even when it is not in use.

Both types of ABY pedals are reliable, and there’s no clear winner. However, if you use extensive cable runs in your signal chain, it’s a good idea to use at least some buffered pedals to ensure that the signal remains strong throughout.

When it comes to providing your ABY switching pedal with power, the conventional way to do this is by using a power supply unit (PSU). This is a device that outputs the necessary voltage for effects pedals, using small power cables to form the connections.

The advantage of using a power supply is that it allows you to leave your ABY pedal, along with your other effects, plugged in at all times. This will save you time and effort when you come to use your effects, as you won’t need to reconnect them all.

Passive ABY pedals don’t require any external power to function, apart from their LED indicators. These pedals are convenient as they can still be used even if you don’t have access to mains power.

Summary

Although ABY pedals are perhaps not as exciting as other tone-bending effects, they are a vital part of any guitarist’s rig if they want to use more than one amplifier onstage.

ABY pedals are a great tool to have at your disposal, and they can increase the options you have when shaping your instrument’s tone.

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