Hooking up multiple amps

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by SteveR, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    ... or can this be done???


    This is a little long, but hopefully it will be some good information for others like myself.

    I have a Maz 38 SR head and Z-best cabinet that I love for my clean sounds. Lately, I'm really gassing for Randall's new Tomcat amp. I had an Invader for about two weeks and those are absolutely the overdriven tones that I seek.

    That said, I know I could order the Tomcat head and get an Axess head switcher and run them both through the Z-best cabinet. No problem. The sound guys mike one cabinet and I'm all set. But, I'm thinking I would like to get the Tomcat in the 1x12 combo format. This would be nice for the occassional 'grab and go' scenario.

    So, if I get the combo, I know I can get something like the Lehle A/B box and switch between both rigs. Only problem I see there is the need to mike two cabinets. Nothing insurmountable, but still could cause issues with taking up an extra channel on the sound board.

    So I'm wondering (and here's the 'can it be done' question) ...

    Can you safely hook up one amplifier - the head - to use the speaker of a second amplifier - the combo - have them running at the same time and switch between the two??? This would give me the clean sounds from the Maz head coming through the Tomcat combo speaker and then swithching over to the Tomcat combo for the overdriven stuff.

    Hope that made sense. Thanks in advance for the help.

    Steve
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Yes, provided the speakers in the combo are the right impedance and can handle the power from the other head - it's just the same as two heads and one cab, except that the cab is the combo speaker.

    You MUST use a proper amp/cab switching system like the Axxess though, for all the same reasons as if doing it with two heads.

    You CANNOT connect them together by any means such as plugging the other head into the combo's extension speaker socket, or both into a 'common' box - that's an almost certain way of killing both amps.
     
  3. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    Thanks John.

    So, assuming proper impedances and power handling, it sounds like just unplug the internal speaker from the combo and plug that into the speaker inupt on the Axess head switcher. Worst case I may need to lengthen or extend the speaker wiring coming from the combo so that it will better reach the Axess unit.

    Do they make a 1/4", female to female speaker adapter that I could connect to the combo speaker wire, and then run another 3-4 feet of speaker cable to the Axess unit???

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Yes, but I would not recommend using the normal 'barrel' ones you can get for speaker connections. They are inherently unreliable, often making poor or intermittent connection. If that happens at high signal levels, you may damage the amp.

    If you want to make this kind of adaptor, you need to use high-quality sockets, preferably something like the Neutrik locking 1/4" line socket. One of these on one end of an extension cable with a decent (I like Neutrik here too) 1/4" plug on the other is the best solution to this problem, or a 'cable box' like this:

    [​IMG]

    (This particular one is wired for stereo with four sockets but you get the general idea.)
     
  5. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    Many thanks John. Very helpful information.


    Steve
     

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