Need a 2 or 3 channel amp to use strictly for studio work.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by grendel4guitars, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. I do many different types of sessions. Everything from G-funk hip hop tracks, to brutal metal, to classic rock, to indie jangle, to nu metal and emo. I've been using plugins and Line 6 moddelers, but now that we're moving to a bigger spot, I can get a real, tube powered amp and a cab that will push some real air. But, that's the problem. I can really only afford on good head and possibly a couple of 2x12 cabs with different speakers.

    My question to you guys is which route should I go? I have thought of a few possible scenarios.

    A: Clean, high headroom amp with a variety of pedals.
    B: 2 channel amp switchable clean and overdrive modes and a few less pedals.
    C: High end, 3 or 4 channel head with no drive pedals, just modulation, wah, delay, etc, instead.

    Please tell me what you'd guys do. I'm budgeting $3000 for my new rig. No matter which scenario I choose.

  2. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    I'd go w/ scenario two....i think it lends to more flexibility. A high headroom amp would make it hard to get those natural overdrive sounds (sometimes, pedals just wont do!) without going deaf, especially in a studio environment. Look into some of the multichannel heads. One of the best IMHO, is the Koch heads. Paul Reed Smith himself plays a Koch Multitone, I believe. They are 3 channels. The clean channel is VERY blackface, works really well with pedals. Rich tone....then the other two channels get more aggressive, so you can get that tube overdrive you might need. Just my .02! Good luck!
  3. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    Guytron FV 100. You can pretty much do anything with this amp and it can do it any volume, whisper quiet to roaring. It has more range then any other amp I have owned. I have sold all my overdrives because this amp does not need it. I can get very middy tones like my Tone King on the lead channel or I can do blackface tones it's all there. The amp is capable of more then one clean tone or overdrive tone and the controls allow for almost unlimited options. It sounds great with any guitar I have used, either single coils or humbuckers. The clips on the sight give you some idea of it's capabilities but it can do much higher gain and more unique tones then listed on the clips. The best part of this amp while versatile it is not hard to dial in good tones which I would think for studio use would be very important.
  4. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    Wait a second, you've got $3k to spend and you're trying to cover a lot of sounds? I like scenario 4: buy 3 different amps! For that amount of money you should be able to find:
    1. Clean-early SF Princeton Reverb-only the most recorded amp in history and THE definition of high headroom clean ($700)
    2. JCM800 head and cab (probably go with an Avatar cab and 4 different Scumbag speakers so you can choose which ones to mic for any given session ($1500).
    3. You're a bit short on cash for the high gain side. You might be able to find an older MB MkII or III head, or perhaps better, get a good high gain preamp (Morin, JMP1, Mesa) and run that into the JCM800.

    You've got a few bucks left for tubes or pedals!
  5. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Marlton, NJ
    I say save your money and keep doing what you're doing.

    Is there really one or two amps out there that REALISTICALLY can cover the sounds of 1x12, 2x12, 4x10, and 4x12 Fenders, Voxes, Marshalls, and Boogies, just to name a few?

    I haven't heard one yet.
  6. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

    Aug 27, 2005
    Lafayette, LA
    The problem is you'll need a bunch of different amps. . .In the Fender, Vox and Marshall camps and several different guitars, like a Tele, Strat, Les Paul, Ric 360, and something with P-90's to cover most bases. That still leaves you wanting for something high gain and something tweed. If you don't need a bunch of guitars, then here's what I'd do. . .

    Shop around for used amps. I picked up a used Vox AC15 once for about $800. You could easily find a used Fender Deluxe Reverb for around $800 (silverface preferrably). Then, you'd have enough money for something in the Marshall camp. I would suggest looking around for a used Bluesbreaker. I think they go for between $800 to $1000 most of the time on ebay. You'd still have enough money left to buy an overdrive pedal, wah pedal and chorus pedal. That should cover most ground. In time, you could add to your arsenal with nicer amps as your needs and ability to purchase grow.

    Alternatively. . .You might try to buy a used Matchless DC30 for around $2500 and just be done with it for the time being and start saving for your next major purchase.

    Good luck!
  7. MARCO

    MARCO Member

    Oct 26, 2005
    Try a Diezel Herbert or VH-4.....those are some of the best multi-channel amps in the industry !!
  8. First of all,. thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

    As far as guitars, I'm doing ok. I have a Relic Strat, ESP Tele, ESP/LTD H-100 (modified), 61' SG/Les Paul Reissue and a Gretsch Duo Jet. Of course there are a few more I'd like to pick up, but I can cover alot of ground with what I have.

    One of you suggested the multiple amp route and that may be a wise thing to do. Since I'm working in a studio setting, I could go with low to moderate powered amps (except for the clean amp, which would have to be at least 35 watts for the headroom).

    I'm gonna look at soome options before I decide. Once again, I'd like to thank everyone for their suggestions, please keep em coming.
  9. Ricker

    Ricker Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Cape Town South Africa
    I'll second the Koch..............
    I've got a multitone 100 and ******* it's the best amp for recording and versatility..........I've just finished up a CD with the koch and used it on plenty sessions on many styles of music.
    The thing with the koch is it not only covers many also covers them goooooooood!!
    Channel 1 does take pedals well
    and channel 2 and 3 ..........well you won't be needing pedals.
    Has a 1/2 power triode\pentode switch........and cool onboard spring reverb with 2 extremely good parallel and one series.........also has a direct out with cab sim straight into a can take any combination of el34s,6l6s,5881,Kts etc etc........what can i say's a smoking studio amp that really puts my bogner shiva to shame.
    It also outstudios my mighty Budda sd80

    Good luck
  10. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Diezel VH4. I just sold one, but it really covers a lot of ground. Tommy Roberts of Guitar Center fame told me that a lot of Nashville players are getting these because of the incredible tone and flexability. I thought it was a pretty versatile amp. Or, just buy a bunch of amps specific for each tone. :)
  11. Mullet Kingdom

    Mullet Kingdom Senior Member

    Nov 2, 2005
    Just South of the Colorado
    And it's time once again for a suggestion straight out of left field!;)

    Hey grendel. Have you considered the Groove Tubes Trio tube pre-amp?

    It's got three distinct channels voiced to sound like classic american and british amps. Being that it's a stand-alone pre-amp it would give you a ton of flexibility as far as output tube options i.e. use another amp as a slave or get a tube power amp etc.

    Groove Tubes makes really nice gear. The Trio could be an awesome building block if you dig the way it sounds. Having nearly endless output and speaker options would make the tone pallet even wider. You could use it direct with a speaker simulator too.

    Just a thought.

    I personally would rather have three different amps to choose from rather than opting for a three or four channel head, but that's just me.

    One thing I wouldn't recommend is relying on distortion and overdrive pedals to give you your sounds in the studio. I always get better results in the studio when the tone comes straight from the amp--with out the "aid" of a pedal.

    If I had to build a dedicated studio rig like you want and had a budget of 3K I'd probably make it a good sounding Fender tube combo with reverb and no master volume (vintage if possible because they're built a lot tougher), a Marshall head or combo that sounds awesome stock i.e. un-mod'd (or something very similar) also non-master volume, a Roland Jazz Chorus 120 (for pristine clean tones) and a Radial Tonebone Hot British Distortion pedal for highly saturated, scooped midrange tones. (Yeah I know what I said about pedals in the studio, but we'll make one exception :p .) Those three amps plus that pedal should cover quite a bit of sonic territory.

    Shop around and you could probably have a nice chunk of change left too.

    Good luck
  12. The Koch amps are very interesting, but I'm concerned about reliablity and to be honest, they are BUTTUGLY!!!

    I'm really leaning towards the multiple amp setup because I won't be moving anything around and if I'm very selective, I can get a few really nice amps.

    Thanks again
  13. jgraham

    jgraham Member

    Jan 17, 2002
    Based on my experience, a Tremoverb will get you what you're looking for. Do a search here on TGP for info/opinions. Spam alert: I happen to have my spare head for sale. And I'm local to you.
  14. Ricker

    Ricker Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Cape Town South Africa
    He he he're right they are ugly..........but unreliable they are not.

  15. SFW

    SFW Member

    Jun 3, 2004
    Houston, TX
    The three most versital amps I have ever played were:

    Mesa/Boogie Trem-O-Verb (The Blues mode wil blow you away)
    H&K Triamp. (The entire amp will blow you away!)
    Mesa/Boogie Mark IV. (The studio work horse!)
  16. dave s

    dave s Member

    Apr 24, 2003
    NE Ohio
    This might be a useful idea. For about a year, I gigged with a Mesa Mark IV Simul-Class combo. 3-channel deal that allows you to pretty much dial in fabulous tones from clean to scream and everything in between -- just not on stage!

    The only thing I could think after retiring this amp from live work and selling it was that the idea behind the design of this amp had to be with the studio musician in mind.

    With the graphic EQ, the 3-channels and all the push/pull pots, the possibilites are endless with the amp. Again, just not good for live work!

  17. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    Planet X
    In a studio setting, there's so many ways to go.

    Personally I would find a Bogner Metropolis and a Rivera two channel* and a Rivera sub. Get 'em all used.

    *Lots of the two channel models would work. Go out and play 'em and get a deal.

    The Rivera isn't critical, either, there's guys that would use a VHT Pitbull 45 in this position.
  18. Mark C

    Mark C Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    El Paso
    1 - Blackface or early silverface Fender Vibrolux or bigger. There's your cleans. Could find something around $700-800

    2 - JCM800 Marshall 50 watt. Should be able to find one of these for about $700 or maybe even less. Good crunch, throw a Boss OD1 in front and it'll get you into Zack Wylde Territory. Crank the master and dial down the preamp and you are getting into plexi territory (the early JCM800's are essentially the same circuit as a plexi with a master volume - Yes there are other differences, but in a studio you can get what you need).

    3 - Spend the rest on cabs and speakers. Those two amps can cover basically any style of music between them. The only other amps that really offer anything drastically different are a Vox (I'd go with a Hayseed 30), a Boogie (Mark series amps can be had used for reasonable prices), a Dumble (Even a clone will kill your budget right off the bat) and Tweed style amps.

    There's all kinds of variations, but the classic tones are: Fender tweed, Fender Blackface, Marshall and Vox. Next up are Boogie Mark series, Uber gain tones ala Dual Rectifier and Dumble. I think you can get almost everything you need with a Good Fender silverface and a Marshall with a couple pedals.

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