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Best Multi Amp Splitter Box?

12/27/1998 9:56 PM
Dan Dissault
Best Multi Amp Splitter Box?
I recently bought a Morley XYZ box to run one guitar through two amps. Needless to say, it sucked tone big-time! Out of the many more sophisticated units available, (Kendrick,etc) any that stand out above the rest? I caught wind of a unit made by a guy in Canada that is supposed to be excellent.  
12/28/1998 7:33 PM
Mark Hammer

There's not an awful lot to splitting a signal to send to several amps, when it comes to guitar and related instruments. All it needs to do is provide an appropriate output impedance to the various receiving amps, keep the outputs separate and noninteracting, and provide a measure of safety in case some of those amps are older two-prong power cord types and you would rather not find out about grounding the hard way. If the latter aspect can be overlooked, there ain't a helluva lot to it.  
Some boxes which are purported to be splitters make a feeble stab at the various criteria listed above, and provide at most a couple of jacks tied together with a couple of resistors. In some cases (an old E-H box to wit) even the resistors are absent.  
When you say "sucked tone big-time", this may be because you are using the device inappropriately (e.g., it may have certain input or output impedance requirements that are not being met in your playing circumstance). It may also be because the device is not designed for your purposes.  
I don't really know the Morley unit. Is it passive or active? (i.e., any batteries in there anywhere?). Is it transformer isolated in any manner? Does it sound respectable when you only use it to drive one amp? What does it sound like if you run two or more of its outputs to the same amp?  
Years ago, I put together Craig Anderton's "Spluffer" (PAiA sells the kit) for a buddy with a 59 Strat and a Blackface Super. He used it to select between effect and normal channels on his amp. It positively killed. Sounds came outa that beast that he had never heard before. Like I say, it doesn't take much to make a decent splitter. Check out the one at Jack Orman's site if you're into making your own boards and stuff.
12/29/1998 11:46 PM
Dan Dissault

You brought up some good points and posed some questions I hadn't considered. I'll do some research and get back to you.  
Thanks for your input!  
1/1/1999 10:00 AM

I'm preparing a DIY board/project for a transformer isolated splitter intended specifically to float grounds and not cause lots of treble loss (the actual process whereby tone is sucked).  
You can also do an opamp/diffamp circuit that will split signals hum free as long as the hum is not too severe.

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