subdirectory_arrow_left subdirectory_arrow_left Patch Bays
Gear Patch Bays {{currentManName}}swap_horiz Select a
Find a manufacturerkeyboard_arrow_down
  • settings_backup_restore
211 products24 news items3 classified ads2 tutorials83 user reviews5 discussions

User reviews on Patch Bay products

Doesn't hold up over time (dbx - PB48)

By briank, 27/08/2011
The DBX PB48 is a low-cost, no-frills, 48-point, 1/4" TRS jack front-and-back patch bay. Patch channels can be normalled or de-normalled depending on how you have each module oriented--to change configurations, you loosen a plastic nut, remove each module, rotate it an re-install.

The plastic nuts are spaced close together which can make them difficult to access and manipulate, and care must be taken not to crack them. The process of removing the modules for re-configuring is fiddly and tedious. If you expect to re-configure your patching scheme very much, I would look at other bays with easier mode-changes.

The faceplates are very simple, clean and dull: charcoal metal frame and white label strip areas. I suggest using a thermal label printer with 1/4" tape for labeling these bays.

I used 8 or 10 of these bays for years until my recent installation of a vintage console with internal TT patch bay. Patching is good and solid for a while with the DBXs, but in due course you will find the need to clean the internal contacts (coating a patch cord end in Deoxit D5 and inserting it several times in each patch point will do the job. Due to poor chassis rigidity and flimsy plastic-nutted module mounting, the modules are very prone to cracked socket solder joints on the module PCBs with continued use, which will cause intermittent connections and incorrect signal levels. I was pleased as punch by the time I upgraded patch bays and retired the dbx bays after about 5-7 years of service because they'd gotten to a point where I was having to pull and re-solder modules all the time just to keep the studio usable.

I have also owned and used similarly priced and classed bays by Re'an and Neutrik. I consider the dbx and Re'ans to be very low duty, suitable for a light-use home studio and no more. The Neutriks are the best of the bad bunch, easier to reconfigure, a little more rigid hence a little better life expectancy, and good connectors.

It would be a better spend of money for more serious or frequent patchers such as commercial facilities or frequent-use home studios to to bite the bullet and look into more expensive, slightly more permanent but better built, more difficult to install BUT more efficient, reliable and professional TT/Bantam patch bay options with multipin quick-connects or hard connection terminals on the back. The patch points on my 31 year old MCI console are much more solid and reliable than a ~5 year old, routinely used dbx PB48...let's put it that way (the dbx bays sure install easier, though!) Again, in a light-use home situation, I expect they would be longer-lived and just need periodic cleaning.

Sonically, well, you're always going to lose a little something with the additional connections points a patch bay adds to the signal chain, and this rings especially true with jack in, jack out bays like the dbx PB48, but beyond that, these guys don't do anything especially horrific in a worse-than-average sort of way to the sonic quality of the signal. They're no better or worse than other similar bays in this, until you've patched one too many times, the solder joints start letting go and your signal starts getting wonky.

moosers's review (Tascam - PB-32P)

By moosers, 01/09/2011
The Tascam PB32P is a simple 1/4" 32 point patch bay that can be used in any sort of studio setting. I've used the PB32P a bunch at a friend's home studio where he has it hooked up to some outboard gear. You probably know this if you're reading this review, but the main idea for a patch bay is to make easy connections between your gear so you don't have to get behind it each time to make connections. There isn't very much that you need to know about the PB32P to get started, as it simply has 32 1/4" jacks in the front and the back - the back for connecting your gear, and the front for making connection adjustments. It is also rack mountable and will only take up a single space in a traditional rack casing system. That's all you need to know when it comes to technical specifications, and as long as all of the points in the patch bay are working and not noisy, I can't see any reasons why this wouldn't do the job in any studio situation where you were looking for a 1/4" patch bay. Personally I do prefer a TT based patch bay as it just seems to be easier to make connections without noise problems. A 1/4" patch bay is fine but you'll need a bunch of 1/4" cables that are of decent quality and I've just found it easier and less expensive to get cheaper high quality TT cables when compared to 1/4" cables. Either way, for a home studio situation especially, the Tascam PB32P seems to be good choice as you can get them used for very cheap, although they are no longer being made. If you find one of these for a few bucks as they shouldn't be much more, pick one up for your home studio as it will make your life easier if you've got enough connections to worry about...

Best Midi Patchbay on the Market (JL Cooper Electronics - MSB+ Rev2)

By ryanmaster2112, 03/02/2014
Many people ask me what this machine is, and what it can do. First off, this box is designed for a keyboard player who has multiple synths in a keyboard setup. No, it's not the 'most' user-friendly device that has ever been made, but if you read the manual carefully, you should get somewhat a good idea how to use this.

First off, you need to make sure you are always in the correct 'mode.' Otherwise, you're routing assignments and Midi configurations will all be messed up! So always double check what mode you're in, because it can get confusing. That being said, it also obviously has many options, and is such a high class Midi router. It can route anything to anywhere. Really professional, really powerful.

It also sends program changes, or "sound changes" to each individual Midi Output. You can custom-build these sound change messages just to you're liking. You can even save these settings into 64 separate user-preset locations on the machine. They can be recalled in Program "PGM" mode by using the eight push-buttons to enter the numbers. This program change mechanism is my personal favorite part of this machine, and it's exactly why I said it is designed for a keyboard player with multiple synths. Many synths these days are so complicated, and take for ever to call up a sound because of keyboard's modern complexity. This machine can do all of that for you, via Midi. It can do all of this for ALL keyboards in your setup at ONCE, by simply punching in the number of the preset! Again, so professional.

To put the cherry on top, it has two built in Midi Processors. This is actually the most complicated part of this JL Cooper MSB+ Rev 2. They call it a "Rev 2" because it is the second version of the JL Cooper MSB+. The difference between the classic MSB+ and the MSB+ Rev 2, is the Rev 2 has two built in Midi Processors, which basically allows more Midi control! You can transpose, channel bump, and much more. As mentioned earlier, you can save 64 user presets on the JL Cooper. On most old patchbays, these presets are individual for what you are trying to do. For example, only a routing assignment can be saved to a preset. If you want a program change, that is its own preset. A midi processor is another separate preset, etc. With the JL Cooper, it combines all of these into one preset! You can send program changes, use Midi processors, route custom assignments, etc. all in one preset change! You no longer have to have separate presets for separate things. Very convenient. Some patchbays don't even have a processor, or the ability to send program changes.

So, this machine CAN do all of the above, and CAN do all of it at once. It is the most sophisticated Midi patchbay ever created and continues to be in a class of its own. It was actually the first ever patchbay to be considered a "Midi Switcher," because it can switch so many Midi messages (Program Changes, Processors, Assignments) all at one time. I remember a good friend of mine had to have five different patchbays (Yamaha MJC8 to be exact). One MJC8 sent program changes, one was routed to a tone module to apply a reverb effect, another one was sent to a seperate sold Midi processor to send to each keyboard. Another simply merged midi data from one master keyboard. What a pain! That's almost as bad as having to change all keyboard settings manually! Point is, the JL Cooper MSB+ Rev 2 would have been the better buy for him over the Yamaha MJC8, because the Cooper can do EVERYTHING each of his five other patchbays can do, all in one small box. Switch to a mode to do whatever Midi message you want to do, and when you're all set, touch the "write" button and assign it to a preset location by punching in the desired number. Switch to PGM mode to recall those presets.


News Patch Bay

Patchulator 8000 now shipping

Published on 11/04/15
Boredbrain Music has announced that its Patchulator 8000 8-channel mini patchbay is now available.

RME released its MADI Router

Published on 03/29/14

Tips & Tutorials Patch Bay


Published on 02/10/14

Forums Patch Bay