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BigShot™ ABY FAQ


What is true bypass all about?

True-bypass pedals are devices that switch the effects circuit out of the signal path when not in use. In other words, they do not amplify or buffer the signal in any way. Some guitarists prefer true-bypass pedals as this gives them the sound as if connected directly to their amps. When a pedal like an overdrive is turned on, it buffers or amplifies the signal. Non true-bypass pedals buffer the signal when off in order to eliminate turn-on transients that can cause the guitar amp to pop each time the pedal is activated.

Will the ABY introduce pops into my guitar signal?

Yes and no. It depends on your amp and how much gain (distortion) you are using. The higher the gain, the more sensitive the input and therefore the higher chance of getting clicks and pops when you switch the unit. This of course is the downside to true bypass switching. If you want to eliminate any pops, you may want to consider one of our active ABY pedals like the TwinCity™ or the Switchbone V2™.

How do these active ABY pedals eliminate the pop?

The Radial TwinCity™ and Switchbone™ are equipped with special circuits to eliminate the pop and employ Drag™ control load compensation to replicate the sound as if connected directly to your amp, as if true bypass. These pedals do not pop when you switch.

Why no battery to power the LEDs?

Our goal was to make the BigShot ABY easy to use, keep the cost down, and make it as compact as possible for pedal boards. Since most players that need LEDs to keep their setups straight also have power bricks we felt the added cost of a battery compartment was not needed. Those that have simple setups can use the ABY without power and likely do not need the LEDs to guide them.

Can I use the BigShot ABY to switch between two channels on an amp?

Yes. Many older vintage amps have two channels but switching between them is not possible. Simply connect the ABY as you normally would and send each output to a channel. The isolation transformer and 180° polarity reverse can be used to make sure both channels play in phase.

Can I use the ABY backwards as an instrument selector?

Yes. Just make sure the isolation transformer is switched out.

What is the difference between the BigShot ABY and others?

Most ABY boxes will work fine in many applications. The BigShot ABY simply adds more functionality with the isolation transformer that helps eliminate ground loops and the polarity reverse that solves the phase problems that occur when using two different amplifiers.

Will switching the transformer into the circuit change the tone?

Yes and no. It depends on how you are using the ABY. If you are connected directly from your guitar, then the tone will have to be adjusted to compensate on the isolated amp. If you are first connected through a buffer, then the tone will be pretty much unaffected. Always use a high quality buffer like the Tonebone Elevator™ as this will ensure the tone of your guitar is maintained.

Will adding a tuner affect my tone?

It can. This depends on the tuner. Most will draw some current and therefore add a minute load on your pickups. This can cause the tone to change slightly.

Some tuners cause noise – what can I do to solve this?

The best way to solve clicking caused by the quartz timers inside tuners is to buffer the guitar signal before it hits the tuner. Always use a high quality buffer like the Elevator™ as this will ensure the tone of your guitar is maintained all the way through.

Can I use the BigShot ABY to switch guitar amps or cabinets?

No. Simple ABY switchers are not designed to safely switch between amps or cabinets as the voltage being switched is not the same magnitude. We manufacture a specific product called the Headbone™ that switches heads safely and the Cabbone™ that does the same with speaker cabinets.

Can I use the ABY backwards to combine two pickups or mics together?

No... you cannot use a passive device like the BigShot ABY to mix two microphones or pickups. You need an active device like the Radial PZ-Pre™ or the Mix-Blender™. These pedals have a mix/blend function that allows both inputs to be combined like a mixing console.

Can I use the ABY to mix two guitars and play through one amp?

Plugging in two guitars may work, but it will be like using a Y-jack. As it is not buffered, you could encounter some cancellation and turning up or down one guitar may affect the other. The Tonebone Mix-Blender is designed to do this properly.

When the transformer is switched 'in' on output-b, is output-A still true-bypass?

When used individually, each channel is completely separate from the other, so when output-A is selected, output-B is off. If both channels are on at the same time (A+B), you may encounter a slight bit of loading on A, but the effect will be minimal.

If I buffer my guitar signal before the ABY, do I still need a buffer after the signal has been split?

No. A good quality buffer like the Radial Elevator™ will drive the BigShot ABY and cable to 15 meters (50') without appreciable noise.

Can two people play guitar using the Big-Shot ABY through one amp channel?

Yes, however as there are no buffers to manage the two guitar signals, they will interact when one of the guitar volumes is turned up or down. The Tonebone Mix-Blender™ is a pedal that is better suited for this purpose.