3 Best ABY Pedals [2023 Review]

gear available. ABY boxes are utilized by numerous professional and touring

artists all over the world, even though they are not as well-known as some of their pedal equivalents.

If you have a couple of guitar amplifiers and wish to play them both live, and ABY pedal will help you switch between them. There is more to them than that, though! Keep reading to find out about the threebest ABY pedals that we chose.

We also have a buyer’s guide, and we will go through everything ABY pedals can do. If you are interested in these models, keep reading our Best ABY Pedal review for more information below.

Our Top Pick: Radial Engineering Acoustic Guitar Hardware (R8007115)

Features: The Radial Engineering Acoustic Guitar Hardware is an active ABY switcher and buffer that lets you connect any two amps and drive them at the same time without noise, loss of gain, or degradation of your natural guitar tone.

Radial’s renowned buffering technology and the same Drag Control (TM) load adjustment circuitry used in the award-winning Radial JD7 Injector are employed to achieve this.

The set and forget feature compensates for cable signal loss and adds just the right amount of loading to mimic the way your guitar and amp interact. If you are looking for the best ABY pedal, you should definitely give this one a chance.

Radial Engineering offers a wide selection of high-quality ABY pedals, the majority of which have the aforementioned “polarity reversal” switch. Many of their products are more specialized and targeted at tube or solid-state amplifiers.

The major advantage of their ABY pedals is that they allow you to switch between amps while utilizing the same speaker cabinet while maintaining both loaded at all times to avoid damage.

This is an excellent alternative if you do not want to run in stereo but still want to swap between amps. It also makes your setup more controllable and portable.

The all-passive Radial Engineering Acoustic Guitar Hardware is one of the company’s most beneficial inventions. The Radial Engineering Acoustic Guitar Hardware includes true bypass switching to avoid altering the user’s tone.

Along with that, there is an onboard isolation transformer, and a ground lift switch to quickly remedy noise and hum issues, as well as a ground lift switch to instantly rectify noise and hum issues.

Runner Up: Radial BigShot ABY True Passive Switcher

Features: ABY True Bypass Switch Pedal by Big Shot makes it to second place in our list of best ABY pedals. The Radial BigShot ABY is a small ABY converter that allows you to switch among two amps or mix the signal when both amps are being used at the very same time.

Because there are no tone-altering buffers between both the guitar and the amplifier, this true-bypass ABY switcher is totally passive. You receive the pure tone from your guitar connected directly into your amp with the BigShot ABY.

The BigShot ABY also has a second tuner out for more versatility. This ‘always on’ output keeps your tuner out of the signal chain while feeding it for continual monitoring. If you are looking for the best ABY pedal, you should definitely give this one a chance.

Radial Engineering in Vancouver, British Columbia, is all about switching. The company’s specialty is coming up with new ways to split, route, join, and exchange audio signals while maintaining the original sound. Radial gear is also always tough, with a build quality that inspires trust.

It also features a polarity reversal switch, which eliminates phase cancellation issues that might occur when two amplifiers of different make and models are used at the same time. With an always-on dedicated tuner output, the Radial BigShot ABY is an excellent choice for guitarists that use two amps.

Silent switching is possible because of the built-in ground lift and isolation transformer, and the onboard switch corrects the polarity.

The BigShot is simple and small in design. It has two latching footswitches that may be used to activate one of your amplifiers or both at the same time.

  • Easily switch between amps
  • Polarity switch prevents frequency cancellation
  • Does not take up much space on your pedalboard
  • Durable construction
  • Affordable
  • Nothing

Best for Budget: MXR M196 A/B Box

Features: MXR calls this an A/B box, although its function is more like that of an ABY in that it allows the player to use both A and B outputs at the same time.

The M196, unlike many other designs, features two distinct, dedicated footswitches, one for each output, rather than one footswitch that toggles between A and B and another that activates both A and B at the same time.

It also has a thorough output for tuning purposes, as well as a silent, pop-free genuine hardwire bypass. Even at the darkest, loudest, and most confusing phases, each channel has its own LED, allowing the user to quickly tell which ones are active. If you are looking for the best ABY pedal, you should definitely give this one a chance.

The MXR M196 is a reliable and cost-effective option for guitarists who wish to utilize two independent amplifiers or signal chains at the same time. The MXR M196 pedal is a simple, affordable, and effective ABY amp switcher that can be used to choose one or both amps with different effects at the same time.

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The MXR Company’s groundbreaking creation created this effects pedal to be a dependable and robust stompbox in a tiny size. The Thru output can be connected to a tuner, amplifier, or any other device that requires signal reception.

A signal is sent to two distinct outputs by the gadget. The MXR M196, unlike other pedals, is powered by a 9V battery. This pedal may be used with an active bass guitar, as well as two high-gain amps. It will not degrade the signal’s clarity or produce a buzzing sound. For any bass guitarist, it is a simple and effective gadget.

  • Simple and effective
  • Does not cost much
  • Small size
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • Nothing much

What is an ABY pedal?

Do not be intimidated if you have no understanding of how ABY pedals operate or what they perform because they have a pretty basic purpose. An ABY pedal essentially splits the one signal from your instrument into two.

These two separate signals may then be routed to various amplifiers or sound sources, allowing you to flip between them for a wider range of tonal possibilities. In case you were wondering, ABY is more of a visual cue than an acronym for anything.

Tips for Best ABY Pedal

ABY pedals are great for a variety of applications, but there are a few factors to keep in mind when deciding which one is ideal for your setup.

Problems with the Phases

There is a risk that phase cancellation will happen if you use an ABY pedal to make a stereo amp setup. This might have a negative impact on the power and consistency of your voice.

When utilizing an ABY pedal, phase difficulties arise as a consequence of comparable frequencies being played concurrently from various sound sources. Certain frequencies are wiped out, resulting in weak areas in the overall sound.

Switches that reverse polarity

Many manufacturers include a feature known as a polarity reversal switch on their products to counteract phase problems that might occur when utilizing an ABY pedal.

One of the signals sent out by the ABY pedal is reversed with these switches. The technique is also known as phase inversion, and it causes the second waveform’s peaks and troughs to align more closely with the first.

Any phase difficulties should be resolved as soon as the switch is turned on. If you want to keep the power of your tone when using stereo amp setups, we highly recommend an ABY pedal with polarity reversal.

Clean and Dirty

The most frequent method that guitarists utilize ABY pedals is to let them use one amplifier for their nasty, high gain tone and the other for their clean, unprocessed tone. This has the advantage of allowing you to quickly switch between amps when the need arises, such as when switching from a clean chord sequence to a distorted riff.

True Bypass

True-bypass pedals are those that entirely eliminate the effect circuit from the signal stream. The idea is that a true-bypass pedal will transmit the guitar’s original sound without any buffering or loading on the pickup, which might change the clean tone.

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True-bypass pedals have the disadvantage of producing switching noise owing to the hard contact produced when the footswitch is depressed and the internal relay is activated.

When utilizing high-gain amplifiers, the noise is most evident. The BigShot ABY is an ABY switcher that operates in true-bypass mode, so if you are searching for one you should check our runner-up.

Active Switching

Active switching using a buffered circuit has the advantage of allowing the electronic engineer to control the signal and reduce noise. Electronic switching is used by many brands.

Some of them use a succession of photo-electric chips (optocouplers) to ramp up and then ramp down the signal in a controlled manner to avoid harsh contact. The signal must be buffered for this sort of switching.

Comparing ABY Pedals

Let’s compare some of the best ABY pedal types.

Active Buffer Pedals

The buffer is used to electrically enhance a low-impedance guitar signal so that it may be sent over great distances without losing its tone. Whether the pedal is on or off, it is always functioning.

Active buffer improves a weak high impedance signal across longer wire lengths from your guitar to the amp without changing the instrument’s tone. However, signals may be driven via at least 100 feet of the wire using active low impedance pickups. The cost of buffer pedals is rather expensive.

Passive Pedals

When the effect of the pedal is switched off, the signal from your guitar travels through the pedal without being changed (bypassed). When the pedal is turned off, a true-bypass pedal will not push the signal through long wires to the amp, which might cause tone distortion or loss.

Signals may be driven through 18 feet of the wire using passive high impedance pickups. So it is true that active pedals are more expensive than passive pedals.

How to choose the best ABY pedal?

To choose the best ABY pedal, you need to do some homework on it. Make sure you read our buyer’s guide before buying an ABY pedal.

First and foremost, you must decide whether you want active or passive ABY pedals. The only method to keep the instrument’s absolute tone is to use active true-bypass ABY boxes. Passive switchers are less costly and may appeal to a wide range of users.

Musicians use an active buffer ABY switcher in the hopes of reducing noise from lights, transformers, radio frequencies, and other magnetic fields while also allowing for longer wire runs.

Active buffering ABY switchers, while more expensive, can solve the issues of a passive switcher. Keep in mind that the ABY pedal should be able to eliminate noise and stop buzzing and it should be able to flip between amps or choose between two amps without affecting the signal’s dynamics or quality.

Conclusion: 3 Best ABY Pedals [2023 Review]

As guitarists, we occasionally want more tone options. Adding several amplifiers to your gear may give you a lot more flexibility on stage. We must divide the signal in order to do this. ABY pedals take a step ahead.

When it comes to setting up various sound sources, a dependable switcher is essential. This list showcased some of the greatest alternatives available to the best ABY pedal, as well as their unique characteristics. We hope you liked our Best ABY Pedal review and it was helpful.

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