Channel switcher or independent amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Luke, Jul 11, 2008.

So which do you do?

  1. Channel switcher for ease

  2. Clean amp with a couple of pedals for different amounts of dirt

  3. Eric Johnson route, independent amps for tones (say 3)

  4. Something else (explain)

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  1. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    Over the past decade a ton of 3 and 4 channel amps have come along, all trying to be everything, like the Mesa Road King.
     
  2. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    For the most part, I can get by easily with a single channel amp that is touch-sensitive. I can regulate the amount of grit by controlling my volume knob and by how hard I dig in.

    I'm now gigging a Glaswerks, and the added versatility of the second channel is very nice.

    In either case, 1 amp is PLENTY for me to play through at a given gig. Sure, I bring a backup amp, but a multi-amp setup for me would be overkill...
     
  3. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    I play a Egnater Mod50...king of the channel switchers....I will never look back...:dude
     
  4. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    Channel switcher for ease implies there's a compromise. With the MOD50, (and a few others), I don't think I was missing anything.

    -EP
     
  5. RJM/rydog2223

    RJM/rydog2223 Member

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    I've tried to the single channel thing for awhile but always go back to the channel switcher. Just makes things easier gigging IMHO.
     
  6. wc8485

    wc8485 Member

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    Different here: Running two channel switchers all the time, W/D. Just started using this setup a lil over a month ago.

    Most times I dont need to click to a clean channel, just use neck pickup, lower volume and tone knob a bit(We're not doing many covers, YET... this approach will change soon and I'll need to use a cleaner clean.) I change my dynamics quite a bit too when doing this for clean(For a rock guy, I incorporate alot of fingerstyle picking in my playing.)

    I dont run both amps with a lot of gain, never past 2 O'clock. I use the Mesa with mids scooped and heavy on the bass, the QR is set for a more midrangey tone.
     
  7. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    My Road King II actually gives me the tones I want. I would gain nothing my using multiples!:banana:dude:hide

    Tony
     
  8. MightyGuru

    MightyGuru Member

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    My Aiken Sabre delivers the goods. Channel switching amp with great sounding clean and dirt.
     
  9. kurtsstuff

    kurtsstuff Member

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    2 Cornford MK50II's...Done!..Only need 1 but...2 is one louder!! innit???
     
  10. D.G.

    D.G. Member

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    Fender clean with high quality stompers is the only way for me. I've never been happy with any channel switchers I've owned. There always seems to be a compromise with at least one of the channels and frequently with both. I live in the cleans, so that's the most important part for me. Even when an amp has a really good overdrive voice, I almost always prefer a high quality dirt box.
     
  11. Echo Are

    Echo Are Member

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    I just use my guitar's volume knob and touch, going through an amp set to be slightly dirty when my guitar's maxed out. I play mostly blues and roots(low gain)stuff, so I can get by with one sensitive, fat, blooming Fender-y channel(think Deluxe Reverb on 7).

    One thing I've discovered in recent years is that you really don't much gain to play rock, or even hard rock. If need be, I can get through a hard rock song without having to use a high-gain Marshall or Boogie channel.

    Edited to add: Now, if I was playing guitar in an '80s cover band, where in a typical set I would have go from, say, Bryan Adams' "Run To You" to AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long", then, yeah, a channel-switching amp would be the way to go.
     
  12. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    I don't have the fame/fortune to afford a roady to carry multiple amps around for me. ;) So I choose either a switcher, or clean + pedals. These have pros and cons. Even with a channel switcher, though, I end up with pedals for different flavors.

    So this all leads me to a good 1 channel amp plus pedals. :)
     
  13. ben_allison

    ben_allison Member

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    I think multiple amps are important if you need extremes – brilliant cleans and death-machine gain – or very different tones for a large song catalogue – eg, U2.

    But I don't think for most bands that level of complexity is necessary or even beneficial. For me, a combo with pedals does everything and I'd put my rig up against any channel switching/multi-amp setup.
     
  14. somedude

    somedude Member

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    Can I take 1, 2 and 3?

    I use a channel switcher because it sounds great.

    I use a single channel amp and my guitar's volume because it sounds great.

    I use a multi amp setup because it sounds great.

    1 channel switcher or a single channel with dirt box/guitar volume is super convenient and gives you plenty of tones, but having one amp for rhythm and another for lead just smashes you over the head with volume/fullness boost when you step on the loud pedal (A/B/Y box).
     
  15. wc8485

    wc8485 Member

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    And what drives you to think its not beneficial for most bands? Have you personally tried using a multi amp setup? I don't see it mentioned in your post... Perhaps you just want convenience and an easy load-in, load-out. That's fine, own it if its your preference...
     
  16. SoulToStrings

    SoulToStrings Member

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    I'm sure if playing really large venues, the multi-amp rig would be perfect. A hassle if nothing more than a club sized show.

    I was never happy with channel switching amps until I got a Fuchs ODS.

    www.soultostrings.com melodic instrumental guitar rock
     
  17. ben_allison

    ben_allison Member

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    Well I've certainly played a variety of amps and am aware of how broad the tonal options are. I'm just saying that most bands I've seen don't use multi-amp setups – it's just more stuff that can go wrong on the road, and for what? Slightly more options when compared a channel switcher and/or pedals. The proof's in the pudding – I said "most bands", and I'm pretty sure that many, if not most, do not use multi-amp setups. I could be wrong that "most" don't, but if I am, then certainly many us just one amp.

    In the studio, of course, it's a different story.

    FWIW, I'm actually considering a multi amp set up! I have a Dr Z and I'm feeling like the only way I can cover all the ground I need to is by adding another amp to the line up. But for most gigs, as you pointed out, I'll just bring pedals that can get me 85-90% of the way there.
     
  18. Faustine Amps

    Faustine Amps Member

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    In the 70s and 80s, I used to get by just fine with a single channel amp (set for clean headroom) and a pedal board with distortion, chorus and delay. In the 90's, I had to make my setup infinitely more complicated with a rack full of stuff and a couple of 2-12 cabinets.

    When I stopped playing out regularly, I got rid of the rack gear and went back to a simpler setup with a channel switching amp. I like getting my overdrive tones with the tubes in the amp as opposed to a pedal. Now when I play out, I take a (heavily modified by me) '96 Hot Rod Deluxe and a couple of guitars and I'm set. I will eventually build myself some delay effects to compliment my sound but right now I'm happy to just keep it simple.

    Ultimately, I'll build a Faustine channel switcher to replace the Hot Rod, but at this point, the Fender has been modified enough to suit my needs quite well.

    Regards,
    Tim Gregoire
     
  19. alivegy

    alivegy Member

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    I would prefer a high gain and a clean amp with signals mixed by a stereo volume pedal. But right now I use a clean amp with pedals due to space and spousal limitations.
     

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