How to add a 'channel' to a single ch amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Axe-Man, Oct 10, 2017.


  1. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    I've been pondering how I might do this of late. I've got an amp I particularly like with an excellent loop and I'd love to rig up a preamp so I can have a 'clean' channel.

    Does anyone know how this could be done?

    I've read that the new MTS preamps will add a 'channel' to single ch amps etc but am not sure how it could be easily accomplished without ground loops and hums etc and have things switch reasonably easily.

    I have a little BOSS GT-1 which would work great for clean tones.
     
  2. rizla

    rizla Member

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    I tried to achieve something similar once but it didnt work out.
    I now use a clean amp and a kingsley pedal for gain. The kingsley feels like part of the amp. The set up is better than any multi channel amp I have owned.
     
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  3. JK1965

    JK1965 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah the only way to add a clean "channel" that I know of is to run too amps or run amp clean and use pedals for dirt.
    These days it's the 2 amp setup for me. Clean amp/dirty amp
     
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  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Member

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    You can also use a preamp type pedal that emulates a specific amp type like ones Tech 21 produces like the Blonde for Fender type tonality or the Liverpool for Vox tonality or the JOYO versions of the same.

    I can set up my Egnater Tweaker in it's AC/Vox settings and get warmer more mid prominent cleans and if I add in something like a JOYO American Sound I'm over into Fender Blackface or Fender Tweed territory so it's roughly equivalent of having two separate channels on a single channel amp.

    I can either add more gain to each for some breakup or just use my pedals and the voicing remains true to which ever way I'm using the amp. One with the American Sound as a preamp and one without. I don't know if that's exactly what you're looking for but it's one way to do it.
     
  5. davidespinosa

    davidespinosa Member

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    Think of the preamp section of your amp as "pedal A".
    The input of pedal A is the amp's guitar input.
    The output of pedal A is the amp's effects send.

    Think of the GT-1 as "pedal B".

    You want to alternate between
    guitar -> pedal A -> amp effects return
    and
    guitar -> pedal B -> amp effects return

    You could do that with a loop switcher.
    The full chain is:
    guitar -> pedal A -> pedal B -> amp effects return
    But you never use pedals A and B at the same time.

    Since you like Boss, you could try the MS-3, maybe with a different clean preamp pedal:
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MS3Switcher

    Worry about hum issues later.
     
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  6. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    Get one of the new Synergy preamps
     
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  7. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten Member

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    Have you tried a simple EQ pedal to cut the signal back and accentuate the highs a bit?
     
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  8. Dday

    Dday Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm currently looking looking into the same with my Naylor SD60. I like the sound of the Synergy stuff, but don't want to spend that much. Tech 21, Kingsley, ADA, and maybe Mooer preamp pedals look like possible options. Or...finding a decent deal on a gtr preamp, like a Mesa Studio. Good luck hunting! Be sure to let us know how it turns out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  9. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

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    EQ pedal to clean up a dirty single channel amp. to me that's much better than using distortion pedals. I play rock so gain tone is more important.
    cant stand distortion pedals.
     
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  10. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I always described using an BB preamp pedal with my Naylor single channel amp that way. I set the amp for a crunch and just roll down, or add higher gain wit the pedal which has a great EQ on it. It gives a lot more flexibility.
     
  11. peter_heijnen

    peter_heijnen Member

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    Easiest way to to this would be with a double tb-looper with flip flop functionality. Flip flop means: the moment you engage loop A, loop B is automaticly disengaged, and vice versa. Gigrig sells those: https://www.thegigrig.com/quartermaster

    Guitar > looper in
    looper send 1 > external preamp in / external preamp out > looper return 1
    looper send 2 > amp in / amp send > looper return 2
    looper out > amp return

    Don't forget to labels your cables to make the system fool proof. ;)
     
  12. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    To me, a "channel" implies a separate signal path, at least for the input signal up to the tone controls. Many multi-channel amps share the tone controls. (It's argued by many that these amps, are often less useful than multi-channel amps in which each channel has its own separate EQ...but that's a whole other can of worms.) The real issue for you is how do you add an extra input jack and circuit w/o most likely modifying your amp? There's no one correct way to do this and it will almost certainly involve modifying your amp unless you've got an extra input jack and at least half a 12A_7 (or some kind of pre amp tube) available as your first gain stage.

    I suspect that this is a way bigger subject than anyone can cover right here. The other half is that w/o understanding the rest of the circuit in your amp, is there any reason to think this will work and come out sounding the way you want it to? I'm dubious. I think you're probably better off starting over with a decent two channel amp, or an amp with a great clean sound and use a pedal (perhaps a tube-driven one, like a Kingsley, if you're a tube-purist). This approach, is much more likely to get what you're ultimately after.
     
  13. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Part of my point--which was kinda buried in there--is that amp circuits are like organic critters...you have to look at the entirety of the whole thing before you can go about just tacking things into it somewhere. E.g., a great pre-amp (for cleans) won't get you what you want if the amp's existing phase-inverter circuit produces a fair amount of overdrive on its own.
     
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  14. Blix

    Blix Member

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    The Synergy SYN1 and SYN2 are set up to do just what you're looking for easily.

    http://synergyamps.com/index.php/hardware/syn1
     
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  15. jhale

    jhale Supporting Member

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    Ha I have a naylor too but its a duel so I got clean and high gain. I like a middle channel so I uses an RC Boost turned down to take gain down. I prefer this than using mid gain then boosting for solos because the natural high gain on amp is killer
     
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  16. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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  17. jackson

    jackson Member

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    I think you'd be better off getting a 2 channel amp, unless you really want to try to do this.
     
  18. jhale

    jhale Supporting Member

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    Actually I use the Donner mini boost killer RC clone its cheap and great.
     
  19. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    I use JMP/JCM 2203's and a 4104 and I use the guitar controls to do this just like it was always done before channel switching amps and a gazillion pedals were available. With a LP...........

    Set your amp with a medium but bright crunch on the bridge pickup vol at 8 -9.

    Roll bridge tone down abit to take the edge off.

    Go to your neck pickup with the guitar vol on 2 and you should have a mellow clean.

    Go to your both pickups on and you should have a low gain rhythm tone that's not too bitey.

    Or roll the bridge pickup volume down for a jangly/bitey cleanish tone and have the neck vol up for bluesy solos.

    Add a boost or OD for hard rock solos or heavier stuff.

    You basically now have a 3 channel amp and it's all seemless with a ton of different shades of clean/dirty/light/dark.
     
  20. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    Cheers guys. I ended up with a Helix which via 4CM should do the trick. Getting a touch of tone suck so I'll see how I go.

    A couple of Helix 'pedals' (boost+OD) into the front end might end up a better idea ultimately if I can't sort out the tonal change. Need more high volume time atm but with kids on holidays that's unlikely for the next month.

    Unfortunately I don't have LP style guitars and only one with single volume knobs. Maybe I need to rewire my guitars with two volume knobs so I can separately adjust the pickup volume...I don't think I've ever actually used a tone control in my life so they are a wasted knob.
     

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