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Pros and cons of a stereo rig

1cmb

Member
Messages
87
So what are some of the pros and cons you guys face when running your rigs in stereo... The idea of running mine in stereo has been toying with me, but I'm not sure if I will yet
 

stetyrrell

Member
Messages
295
Cons : A lot more stuff to set up, a lot more stuff can go wrong, waste a lot of loading time, multiple trips when loading in, can be expensive to find true stereo effects.

Pros : The sound. When you hear a ping pong delay go from one side of the signal to the other, or a lush chorus sweep from amp to amp, you know it was worth the effort.

I use a stereo rig in the studio quite often, but I wouldn't have one if I was regularly gigging, simply because it would be too much hassle
 

traviswalk

In the Great State
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,657
I've started gigging with a stereo rig over the past year and love it. Agree with the post above that it's a bit more to lug around, but to me the size and heft of the tone is worth it. And running from the stereo outs of a Timeline really shows off what an amazing delay it is and makes the whole rig come together. My setup is quiet as a mouse, no buzzing, no bad loops, no incremental setup other than the other amp as my pedalboard is the same, etc.
 

Mattbedrock

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,798
I played stereo rigs for many years. First was a matched pair of '65 Tremolux's and an early rack mounted stereo delay/chorus/etc. I loved the rig, rich tube tone and stereo sound, but I got tired of lugging two amps and cabinets. And my Tremolux's weren't getting any younger and I feared they'd be slowly destroyed by years of outdoor gigs at the beach.


During the '90's, like many people, I went to the darkside with a rackmount rig - Digitech effects processor and a Stewart stereo power amp. Sealed up in an SKB rack, it was a real convenient rig. Durable, versatile and good sounding.

But after the turn of the century, I went back to tube amps. I missed them. You know.

Fenders, Marshalls, ORange, etc. Great sounding tube amps. But all mono. And I didn't feel like lugging two.

So why not a stereo tube guitar amp?

Viola - the Dual Bandmaster. Two BFF Bandmasters in one head shell.



Call me crazy, but stereo chorus and leslie effects are cool. And I can bring one stereo cab for most gigs or bring a pair for big gigs. The best of both world's.
 

1cmb

Member
Messages
87
...I really want to run my rig on stereo now haha. After I set it up, it stays set up for a good while, so it's not really a problem to have it all set up in stereo, and I think it would be cool to hear it like that... I know that essentially its running your stereo effects through two amps, but what's all the talk about wet and dry and just all the more technical things about it
 

UncleLarry

Member
Messages
2,242
I ran a stereo rig for about 3 or 4 years back in the 90's.

The pros: It sounds amazing. I absolutely loved it when practicing or rehearsing alone. It's easy to get lost in the swirly effects and ping-pong delays.

The cons: Most of your audience doesn't really give a rip or even hear the amazing effects. And as said before, it's alot of gear to lug around. More to set up, more to go wrong. If you play out much, I don't think it's worth it unless you have your own roadie/tech. If you're just a bedroom player, it's great fun!
 

mcdes

Member of no importance
Messages
7,545
I ran a stereo rig for about 3 or 4 years back in the 90's.

The pros: It sounds amazing. I absolutely loved it when practicing or rehearsing alone. It's easy to get lost in the swirly effects and ping-pong delays.

The cons: Most of your audience doesn't really give a rip or even hear the amazing effects. And as said before, it's alot of gear to lug around. More to set up, more to go wrong. If you play out much, I don't think it's worth it unless you have your own roadie/tech. If you're just a bedroom player, it's great fun!
To add to cons, if your micd up, I've had some sound techs just pick the best sounding amp, leaving all the delays etc half full!

But it sure sounds killer!
 

nofearfactor

Member
Messages
969
Been there done that.

I was playing in my main band, a metal band, with the regular head/pedals/cabs rig and was asked by some friends I knew to join an industrial/metal side project as their guitarist. In the Industrial band I was going to be mixing my guitar sounds with a synth/keys/bass pedals player and a drum machine/sampler/programmer. I wanted a different type of rig with the different stuff we were playing in the Industrial band so after our first rehearsal I sat at the drawing table and designed my first stereo rig. Then hit EBay.

I started out running 2 seperate heads splitting the signals with a Radial Switchbone then found all stereo in/out effects pedals and along with a few 2 channel rack processors I ran them into/back out of each amps effects loops, then out of the heads I ran the 2 signals into either one Marshall 1960 4x12 cab in stereo. Later I changed to 2 mono cabs, 4x12 or 2x12- the mono cabs were way better sounding for stereo seperation especially with those pingpong delay programs and chorus. It was a great sounding rig but was a real freaking mess to setup quickly and a real bitch at loadins/loadouts.

Thats when I decided to simplify things and build my first rack rig. I started out first with a Digitech GSP1101 digital stereo preamp/multi effects processor as my preamp/effects processor/modeler and an Alesis RA-300 solidstate stereo poweramp as my power amp. Bought a rolling rack. Along with the preamp and power amp I added a Furman power conditioner, a tuner, and a few 2 channel signal processors I had used before. (Tried a few tube preamps with an effects processor but I liked the digital stereo preamp/effects processor/modeler better). Later I bought a Fractal AX-FX Ultra as my preamp/effect processor/modeler, and then later changed from the 300watt solidstate power amp to a 200watt Marshall 100/100 Dual MonoBloc tube power amp. The Marshall was a monster power amp.

All I had to do then at loadins was roll in the rack, roll in the cabs, plug it all up, set up my sm57s on the cabs. After awhile though I just started running direct lines from the processor to the board and just used the rack rig for my stage volume. Then I got to where I would just run the Fractal processor straight to the board and not use the rack rig if I didnt need stage volume other than the monitors. That finally morphed into just going to a show with the Fractal in a rack case and my guitars.

Finally my main band got too busy for me to be in more than one band so I went back to just playing in my main band. I'm back to just playing thru one head with a floorboard of effects pedals in the loop into one or two cabs. And back to the simple life. Still using the Fractal, but only for recording now.

I had my fun with the stereo rigs but I think I would rather just plug into one tube head with a few effects and play into one cab. Or two. Less mess.

Have fun with it. The width of the sound you get, and the power of it all, its awesome.
 

norumba

Member
Messages
694
Its worth it for me -- running a bassman 50 and and bassman 70 configuration --



but i'd like to consolidate it a bit; perhaps racking the heads and going with two 1x12s before we hit the road in May. Cant really use the current setup at rehearsal either as our space is tiny, but im trying to set up a small practice rig.

Doesnt sound like anything else!!
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,145
Another solution, if you want to keep the rig compact, is making a small wet/dry configuration.
If your main amp have a line out (or you can use fx loop send), you can send the signal into say a reverb or delay pedal set to 100% wet, going into the line input of a small combo.
If you keep the wet side all wet, it's amazing how small a wet amp you can get away with, even a 10-20w transistor combo with a 8" speaker will make you rig sound HUGE :)
 

Chicago Slim

Member
Messages
4,453
My favorite setup is, bi-amping with two small combo's (non-stereo), with a Y cable from my Tape Echo. It sounds big, without too much volume, or sounding over effected.
 

DRS

Member
Messages
12,290
A stereo live rig is sort of like masturbating - feels good but nobody else can enjoy your performance.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
26,315
A stereo live rig is sort of like masturbating - feels good but nobody else can enjoy your performance.
well, uhhh..... that seems a bit simplistically dismissive, to me.

i've been playing a w/d or w/d/w stereo set-up since the early '80s,
both "live' and for recording, and continue to do so.
i think some folks have expressed enjoyment for some of those performances,
and some folks still do.
 






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