Three channel amp vs two channel + pedals

mattt67

Senior Member
Messages
568
Hi guys
I am in a dilemma right now as I must choose between a 2 or 3 channel amp (namely a Carol Ann).
I'm thinking the 3 channel might sound better (more organic?) but it's more expensive.
On the other hand, I have lots of od pedals and clean boosts, and these might be more versatile to act as a third channel.
What do you think?
Thanks
 

C-4

Member
Messages
15,526
I was in that spot a few times.
Consider that the more channels an amp has, the more wiring it usually has and that reduces the quality of the voicing, unless each channel has a dedicated preamp. At least this has been what I have found.
I don't buy amps based on which types or the number of pedals I have.
Find the amps that gives you the clean, and dirty tones you really like, and then think about which of your pedals would compliment that amp. Some amps aren't meant to add a lot of pedals too. They just sound great with the bare minimum of effects, like time-based effects and a couple of mandatory pedals up front, like a wah, etc. If Carol-Ann amps are your choice and you cannot make up your mind, contact the build and ask him specific questions.

I have found that the most organic amps have the least number of additional channels. For example, after having 3 and 4 channel amps that sounded great for heavier music, although I was using them for everything but heavy music, I am now saving for a Metropoulus amp. These sound the most organic of the type of amps with the sounds I like best. ymmv Good hunting. :)
 

C-4

Member
Messages
15,526
Matt,
Best of luck in your hunt. Take your time. It will pay off in the end. :)
Stephen
 

Stormin

Tele's and Plexis
Messages
4,201
Hi guys
I am in a dilemma right now as I must choose between a 2 or 3 channel amp (namely a Carol Ann).
I'm thinking the 3 channel might sound better (more organic?) but it's more expensive.
On the other hand, I have lots of od pedals and clean boosts, and these might be more versatile to act as a third channel.
What do you think?
Thanks

I played the 3-channel amp game during several years of gigging and found it mostly frustrating: Mesa Mark IV, Mesa Mark III, Soldano Decatone, Mesa Rectifier, Marshall TSL, etc... Trying to get an amp with 3 GREAT sounding channels seemed to be impossible and I always felt something was missing at gigs in at least one of the channels. All I really wanted was clean rhythm, dirty rhythm and lead.

In the end, I gave up and found that a 2-channel amp plus one OD pedal gave me what I was really looking for: Bogner Shiva. That's been the end of channel switcher GAS for the last 9 years for me. Sometimes less can really be more.
 

ledzep618

Member
Messages
5,175
Yeah I like the concept of 3 channel amps more than I like the implementation of them. I've yet to find one that has very natural transitions in the voicing between channels.

So I stick with amps that have 2 great channels that switch smoothly between them and then a relatively transparent OD pedal.
 




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