Sydney-based guitarist & recording/mixing engineer Tye Pennington contacted us in November of 2011 regarding the availability of a customised version of the Rich Split active buffer/splitter pedal. Tye and his band KTR, ie Killing the Ritual, were in the studio working on their debut album, with Tye performing both engineering and guitar playing duties. At this stage, Tye had already attempted splitting the guitar signal to record with multiple amps, experiencing terrible noise problems with “ground loops”.
For a more detailed appraisal of the issues arising from recording &/or performing with multiple amps &/or signal paths please read our previous blogs on the subject: Rich Switch A/B/Y, Bob’s Rich Split & More About Signal Splitting. These can be found in the Pedals archive.
Here is what Tye had to say: Hi Ivan, just wanted to quickly say how much I love your pedals, I am the proud owner of the Rich Fuzz & the Class-A Distortion, and they have a permanent home on my pedalboard. Anyway, I was interested in the Rich Split for a studio project where we will be splitting to at least four guitar amplifiers simultaneously. I think the Rich Split will be perfect for the task, but I am also interested in using the pedal at live gigs. My question is would it be possible to have the pedal modified with fooswitches to engage/disengage the sends (outputs) ? Cheers !
So, we set about designing a 4-way Rich Split, with three transformer isolated splits, one direct split, plus four individual mute switches and LED status indicators. An external regulated +18V DC power supply is required, although the pedal will run off +9V DC at reduced headroom. Power consumption is quite low, even with all LEDs illuminated. The electronics, footswitches & Harbuch broadcast quality line transfromers all fit neatly inside a Hammond die-cast aluminium enclosure, which also provides superior shielding from external noise sources. The Rich Split pedal is currently available with up to five splits, although the majority of customer orders have been for the 2-way & 3-way splitters.
A high-quality regulated power supply is a critical component for an active splitter & other similar gear. Although this pedal will happily run off +9V DC, +18V DC is the recommended supply voltage to achieve reasonable headroom. Some commercial pedalboard power supplies will provide regulated +18V DC. We have experimented with some of the switch-mode power suplies (SMPSU) on the market, and have found them to be unsatisfactory for powering the Rich Split & Rich Switch pedals, ie under some circumstances they have introduced noise into the signal chain. The best solution is still the linear (ie, analogue) power supply.
For customers like Tye, who require an external +18V DC regulated power supply, we can supply the model FX-18 Rich Power pedal at reasonable cost. We are not a commercial manufacturer of power supplies, but have always offered individually custom-built pedalboard power supplies for guitarists in a variety of configurations. These units are relatively indestructable, housed in a robust Hammond die-cast aluminium enclosure, and protected from normal guitarist type abuses & incidents.
Thanks agin to Tye, for his enthusiasm for our products and we hope to hear soon the results of his recording project. Future blogs now being prepared will include the extremely rare Marshall JMP 10 watt Lead/Tremolo combo, and other major overhauls of vintage amps.