Stereo rig advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 1off2morrow, May 29, 2015.

  1. 1off2morrow

    1off2morrow Member

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    I would like to use stereo time based effects in the effects loop of two different amps and just want to be sure that I'm heading in the right direction. Thanks in advance for the help.

    Guitar>overdrive>ABY box with signal spitting to the front of two different amps

    Right effects out and in through the effects loop of one amp
    Left effects out and in through the effects loop of the second amp

    Does that sound right?

    The only amp I have currently with an effects loop is a Fargen MP II. I know it's a matter of taste, but do I look for the same or a very similar sounding amp for the other side, or something different?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Randy

    Randy Member

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    I did this years ago... You're on the right track for sure. Make sure your A/B box is isolated and buffered, otherwise you will run into signal loss and ground loop hum. Also, although many time based effects have dual inputs and outputs, they are not true dual engine effects. I used a G-Major in a setup similar to what you're describing and discovered that it was really only taking the input from one side and then splitting it to the stereo outputs... either that or it was summing both inputs together and then splitting them (I think that was it...). Either way, really not a huge deal unless you're trying to run one amp dirty and one clean, then it gets messy... this gets complicated when you have volume differences with channel switchers too...

    As far as the differences in amps - I found that running one amp that was bright and crunchy with one that was dark and fat gave the biggest sound spectrum, but also the biggest tweaking nightmares. In that situation, just a very small change on one of the amps gave a very big change to the overall sound. The bigger the difference in tone between amps, the harder it is to dial them in as a pair. Important, if you're gigging with this rig and moving it around to rooms that sound very different. Much easier to get similar sounding amps to work well together, but not as big sounding and ultimately tweakable.
     
  3. 1off2morrow

    1off2morrow Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm using a Whirlwind AB box. I guess when I get the second amp I'll let my ears decide about ground loops and signal loss. Or is there a particular box you'd recommend?

    I really like Strymon and currently use a Timeline and Mobius. I think they are true stereo.

    Great ideas about what kind of second amp. I'll have to chew on that one for a while.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Randy

    Randy Member

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    I used an Axess BS-2 buffered splitter, but I believe they are out of business. If I were looking for one today, it would be the Suhr buffer pedal - same concept and obviously John Suhr knows his stuff;

    http://www.suhr.com/buffer/

    I guess it gets into semantics, but true stereo means the sound is coming from two independent signals, throughout the chain. The setup you've described has two independent sources (in your amps' preamps), but I think the only true stereo effects units out there are something like the (rare and now discontinued) TC electronics M300 dual engine processor. Almost all others that I know of will sum the inputs and then split them. This can cause a lot of headaches if you're running channel switching amps... You get it set for one combination of input impedances and gain levels, then switch channels and everything is different... Honestly you're almost better off just tapping one of the amps for your wet signal, but it really depends on what you're trying to do - blend clean and dirty amps or just do a tandem amp kind of thing...
     
  5. AXEnGEAR4J

    AXEnGEAR4J Supporting Member

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    Right now I run direct into a Boss GT8 and out stereo to two Orange OR120's and 4X12's
    True stereo on many effects...heavenly!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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    Radial Twin City is what I use. Transformer isolated switching splitter with a great buffer and an impedence adjustment to dial in the load for your tastes.

    I use fractal axe fx for stereo effects.

    I like a kid centric dirty am and a scooped cleaner amp for the channels.
     
  7. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    No need for the ABY in front with two of the same amp(or two similar amps). You go guitar to amp A, effects send to stereo effects, into the effects return on both amps.
     
    DaveKS likes this.
  8. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    Yes! This is a very easy and good way to do it. It even works well with dissimilar amps, especially those that get most of their tone from the pre-amp section. Also nice to only channel switch on one amp, if it's a 2 channel amp.
     
  9. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    Yep a master/slave setup, your basically only using the preamp of one amp then back to the effects return/power amps of both.

    Thing about doing it way you originally posted, when using 2 different preamps trying to use both amps preamp, unless you have a effects box that does pure, discrete 2 channel processing you'll get preamp channel bleed over depending on effects you use. Sometimes they can even sound out of phase. It's very hard to do that way.

    Either run preamps, pedals, effects ahead of everything and split out to 2 clean amps or do the master/slave thing.
     
    Blix likes this.

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