Is it better to have 2 amps or 2 guitars?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Resonate01, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. Resonate01

    Resonate01 Member

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    I was away this past weekend playing events with my band in cities about 2-3 hours away from where I reside. With me, I only brought 1 amplifier and 1 guitar along with my pedalboard. Nothing went wrong during the weekend, but considering I'm the only guitarist in my band, if something ever did go wrong, I'd be in a bit of trouble.

    Which is why I ask, is it better to bring two guitars to a gig or two amps? Of course with two amps you can use them in stereo anyways or use it mono if your other one is having issues. It seems to me as though the only real thing that could happen to a guitar is if a string breaks.

    Anyone care to chime in?
     
  2. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    I would say two guitars and a bag with back-up tubes and fuses for the amp.
     
  3. gigs

    gigs Member

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    I bring two guitars, two amps, one pedal board, and a leather bag full of spare parts to gigs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  4. lareplus

    lareplus Member

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    it's easy to drop a guitar and break it but if you have a huge amp it's not so easy to drop and it will build your muscles up so you look great in a tank top without even having to join a gym! Actually shoot for the sound you want and go from there. Tell us what you have right now and what your aim is and then you will get some suggestions.
     
  5. Valus

    Valus Member

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    If you're the only guitarist, breaking a string means the whole band is down while you change it out. No bueno.

    I typically bring two guitars, one amp, and spare tubes, fuses, and cables. I also have a Pod in my gig box in case the worst happens.
     
  6. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    Two guitars, one amp, and a direct-to-board solution in case the amp goes down (such as a Sansamp Character series pedal).
     
  7. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    To the OP.... YES!!
     
  8. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I second that commotion.
     
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  9. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    I play 3-4 hour gigs, i always bring 3 guitars and 2 amps. I don't have time to trouble shoot if an amp goes down mid set, so simply bringing tubes or fuses doesn't quite cut it. If there's enough time between sets then that's when the spare fuses and tubes come out (and restringing guitars if i break a string).
     
  10. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    I believe an amp is both more likely to fail, and more time consuming to trouble-shoot and repair at a gig. I say 2 amps.
     
  11. Coldacre

    Coldacre Supporting Member

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    2 amps.

    you can keep playing with a broken string, but you can't keep playing with a blown tube.
     
  12. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    This, Good
     
  13. ohiomatt33

    ohiomatt33 Member

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    I play 3-4 hour gigs states away from home, and bring 2 guitars, 2 heads, and a cab. I have played gigs where an amp has died, and I break strings about one in every two shows.

    Are you playing a combo or a head/cab amp right now?
     
  14. freaksho

    freaksho Member

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    yes, the best of all solutions imo, though i prefer a small SS backup amp to going direct. i bring a Crate PowerBlock to gigs. if that's too big for you, the EH Magnum 44 is the size of a pedal.

    i personally think string breaking is more likely than amp break down, but either will stop a set dead. i mean, you can maybe finish a song with a broken string, but probably not a set. so if you're not a fast stringer then two guitars is a must. and i simply can't imagine trying to troubleshoot an amp break down during a gig, so i think a backup amp is also a must.

    whoa. which strings do you use? (so i can avoid ever getting them)
     
  15. jota

    jota Member

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    For years I played only one amp and one guitar.
    Kow I have two guitars and usually two amps (1 combo and 1 head as a spare).
    You can also get a amp sim. pedal like a Tech 21 Character series to go direct if your amp fails.
     
  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    Both. Stereo rig? Why? They do come in handy for pissing off sound guys. lol
     
  17. ohiomatt33

    ohiomatt33 Member

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    Daddario XL110's. I just play pretty hard on the lower strings and my American Tele's love to snap D strings at the bridge. Must be how they get that 'twang.'
     
  18. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I would make sure you have good strings on both guitars and bring them both to your job. As for amps, a consideration is to bring your main amp and have a SS backup power head, such as a Crate Power Block, or Quilter Tone Block so that you can easily get up and running again without a lot of fuss.

    Yes, a Quilter is not cheap, however, it is far easier to carry in your gig bag as a second amp, and if you choose, you may also run it in stereo with your main amp.
     
  19. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    For 1-set gigs with my original bands, it's usually 1 gtr, 1amp that otherwise is good working order. For years I was bad with string breaking, but that has improved and in my original acts there are other guitar players so I have time to change a string or grab another guitar if needed.

    For longer gigs I always bring two guitars. 1 amp, and a Tech 21 device of some sort as a backup as a minimum. Occasionally two amps if I'm feeling up for it or if it is a higher $$ gig/bigger stage.

    I've had tube amps that blew fuses before, so I'd always be prepped for that (and have done it on the fly midset!) but I've never had an otherwise functional amp completely die mid-gig. I've been lucky I guess.
     
  20. rummy

    rummy Member

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    Two guitars, one Boogie.
     

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