Stereo rigs - worth the hassle?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by TTBZ, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. TTBZ

    TTBZ Member

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    This is something I've been thinking about for a while now. I play in a one guitar heavy stoner rock band. We like playing as a 3 piece so another guitarist isn't an option. Currently using a Mini Jubilee combo for band practices which is perfect, got a 2x12 for those louder moments.

    I was thinking about when we start properly gigging, getting another lower wattage combo and running them in stereo with an a/b-y switcher. This would be to make the songs more dynamic than just using the one main sound all the time - the idea to use just one of the amps set cleaner and more subdued for verses and quieter sections, then kick both in to fill out the sound for the choruses and main riffs.

    I guess the main thing is - is this sort of thing really going to be that noticeable to the audience and will it have the impact I want? Will it give that bigger 2 guitars sound?

    Or could I achieve a similar effect using an eq pedal to thin out the sound for the quiet parts - without the hassle of having another amp, ground loop and phase issues etc? I think volume knob adjustments are a bit too subtle for this.

    Fwiw I don't use much in the way of effects, just a DD7 which I guess would be fun in stereo. I'm more concerned with the song dynamics and making the big bits sound bigger.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  2. Dave L

    Dave L Member

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    Well, without much in the way of stereo processing, apart from when the DD7 is on, that´s more of a dual mono set-up. It will get louder and sound different, but for that big two guitars sound I´d at least add a tiny bit of delay on the second amp to make it wet-dry. Not an audible separate echo, but a short one in the doubling range below maybe 40ms. Still not stereo, but maybe more applicable here.
     
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  3. mesa/kramer

    mesa/kramer Member

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    Mic'd or just stage volume?

    Mic'd you prolly won't hear the stereo effect as much .

    Straight off the stage it will sound big (I would run one cab on each side of the stage for best effect)

    If your the only band playing that night, not a problem to set up a stereo rig
    But if your doing the 3-4 band 45 min set original thing, kind of a pain with the quick set up/tear down in between bands
     
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  4. mbell75

    mbell75 Member

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    Using multiple amps isn't about having a "stereo" sound or to sound like two guitarists, its to get a bigger sound and a way to have two or more amps set slightly different to blend together and make a great tone. Think about your favorite guitarists live rigs, how many amps do they play? I know all of mine play a multiple amp setup, I will be too shortly.
     
  5. TTBZ

    TTBZ Member

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    Yeah that's more what I was getting at I think. I know I won't ever sound completely like 2 guitars, more just wondering if getting that bigger more filled out sound is possible or noticeable with a stereo/dual mono rig. Sounds like it might be. When we get gigging in the next few months I'll get a better idea of the typical venue capabilities etc. I've only played in pub covers bands before but not expecting the originals scene to be quite the same.

    Why would set up/tear down be any worse for us compared to a 2 guitar band though? 1 extra combo isn't exactly back breaking work and it'd just go in the stage space where the 2nd guitarist would go? Sound guy should already have a mic channel for the 2nd guitar, unless they have some kind of weird 3pc only policy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  6. mbell75

    mbell75 Member

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    More amps will for sure be a noticeable and a bigger sound if done right. I have a 68 Custom Twin right now which is more than loud enough for bars we play, but I will be adding a 68 Custom Vibrolux. Not for volume, I want two 10s to go with the two 12s in my Twin and I will set it up for more top end while the Twin will be set for more low end.
     
  7. TTBZ

    TTBZ Member

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    Might borrow a Code 50 just to try it out at practice! Should be something in there to blend nicely with the jubilee.
     
  8. mbell75

    mbell75 Member

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    I have a Code 50, I did a few gigs with it and it was terrible. Its not a gigging amp at all. Its basically a bluetooth speaker. There is no chasis, just 4 circuit boards mounted to a particleboard cab and a terribly cheap, generic 4ohm loudspeaker. Its good for bedroom practice, some recording and thats about it. I would advise against gigging with it unless its an open mic at a coffee shop.
     
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  9. DonaldDemon

    DonaldDemon Member

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    I did it for a short while and though it did sound good it's not worth the hassle IMHO. I also play heavy stoner rock stuff as a 3 piece. I'd rather just use delay to get a bigger sound. If you don't mind the hassle it's a cool sound.
     
  10. stratpaulguy86

    stratpaulguy86 Member

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    Mono done right sounds righteous and huge. Stereo sounds cool, especially with delays, chorus, and reverb. Wet/dry or W/D/W sounds perhaps the most 3D in person but loses some of the magic in a live setting. I say go with whatever fits the band and inspires you.
     
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  11. e???

    e??? Member

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    I've had gigs where it made it awesome, and gigs where it was a hassle, no point, overkill, pain to do. Sometimes it doesn't work as well in certain rooms, might be phase issues or something. I usually skip it these days, but still would do it in the right situation. Worst case scenario, you turn off one amp, and go back to normal. Most sound guys I've dealt with don't like to mic both, that's fine; it's still worth it on stage when it's working.
     
  12. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    Sure it's better.

    But you are the one hauling your gear, so choose wisely.

    My 2 cents is that with smaller wattage amps, it helps because doubling your footprint, you may not have to run them so close to the point where they are choking on themselves, and that is a bigger sound.
     
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  13. Relicula

    Relicula Supporting Member

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    For years I have used two pro jrs, with a reverb, and delay pedal. Huge sound, portable, and cheap.
     
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  14. Springfieldscooter

    Springfieldscooter Member

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    Are you using a Fender now?
     
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  15. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    The only thing that will sound as big as two guitars will be two guitars. Or maybe a guitar and a keyboard, saxophone, electric cello, etc. In other words, it'll always sound thin compared to adding another musician. A stereo setup will help to thicken your sound, however, many stages don't have stereo P.A.'s, or don't have a FOH engineer that wants to mess with that stuff, so you'll likely still find yourself in situations where stereo doesn't do you much good.

    Back when I was the sole guitarist in a trio, I played stereo. But we were a psychedelic style band, so we were pretty effects heavy. Also, most of my effects are in stereo.

    In most smaller clubs, I'd skip P.A. support for my amps. I know how to balance my volume with the rest of the band, so I always skip the amp mics for any venue small enough that the drummer doesn't get mic'ed. Most venues where the drummer got mic'ed, they also had stereo P.A.'s, so it was rare that I didn't get to play in stereo, but there is one venue in town that we frequented that only did mono, and that was one of the better venues to play. And it was a bit of a hassle switching from stereo to mono, because a lot of my effects had to be retuned when ran in mono to sound good.

    In any event, you'll never know until you try. It was worth it to me, and I live in constant pain from a bad back. But I'm not a wuss. Pain is what life feels like.
     
  16. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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    maybe cool at home but for gigs way too much hassle.
     
  17. MkIII Renegade

    MkIII Renegade Member

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    It is absolutely worth it for the home studio. I only recently went true stereo when I got my Mesa Quad preamp. I've always had two 4x12s, but only used one MkIII head to power both. Now with the Quad/2:90, true stereo delay is absolutely stunning!! One thing I've always known from recording is that a very small difference in the presence/EQ of one channel can help make the entire stereo image sound even better. It has been a new source of inspiration for playing (especially clean) through my t.c. electronic NOVA delay, and I suppose I should get a good rackmount delay at some point. Last night I just noodled for at least 30 minutes, drinking in the cavernous sound. Not going anywhere with it, not recording, just playing, and standing up at that. I haven't done that in a while. Simply couldn't leave that sound behind. :cool:
     
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  18. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Way worth it!
    Not much hassle at all for me now, the only thing I need to do stereo, is bringing the second FRFR and the audio and power cable for it. Ok, maybe 42.59 seconds extra hassle.
     
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  19. TTBZ

    TTBZ Member

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    Hmm mixed response! Sounds like it's maybe more bother than its worth at the minute. Think I'll probably just stick to my combo + 2x12 and use an eq pedal to thin out the tone for the quieter bits for the time being.
     
  20. two fingers

    two fingers Member

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    This may be something I am bringing over from my bass-centric experience. But this seems like a better solution for the OP. Two identical cabs running from one stereo rig. Over on the low end, we have constant arguments over mixed driver sizes. The reason is phase cancellation. In short, mixed driver setups MIGHT sound like the left hand of God on a twenty foot Steinway. But they will likely sound WORSE than either cab by itself. It's a crapshoot and the odds are not in your favor. However, the best way to take your sound to the next level is to stack your cab on top of another identical cab.

    OP, if I were going to give this a shot, I would probably try to find an identical combo to the one you have already. Less chances of problems.
     

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