Two amps at the same time.

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2,313
I've used and noticed other people using a two amp setup where one is your "gain" amp, and the other your "clean" amp.

Often this includes switching completely between one amp or the other.

I'm starting to experiment more with two amps at the same time and I'm noticing things that I bet others have "experimented" with.

For example, two tones tend to reinforce the "common" elements of the two tones while diminishing the non-common... I've noticed this can cause an audible drop out of some freqencies.

How do you prefer to use this? Setup amps with different eq ranges or "q" settings? Or go with a blended sound that pushes those common frequencies.

How about gain levels. Sometimes two high gain tones together can get pretty "flabby"... if you're trying for a "tighter sound" are you using a clean and driven tone together? How equal in apparent volume do you prefer.

How does the tone you want when you're NOT using them together influence the tone you want when you are. In other words do you use the same settings both when the amp's by itself and when it's blended... and if you change, HOW do you change, pedals, eq's... ?

Thanks in advance to any ideas to try!

M
 

captain_bob

Member
Messages
3,486
I've played around with it a bit. Running two amps with a Morley A-B-Y switch is a lot of fun. Great for stereo pedals and getting a HUGE tone.
 

jeffwith1f

Member
Messages
3,823
For at least 15 years, and I think longer, I've run a stereo setup with 2 amps. I did not nessesarily split amps into clean and dirty, but have for as long as I can remember run a stereo effects processor out into a pair of (usually) channel swithcing amps. I will add the amps distorition channel into the tonal mix when needed (at times I run 3-4 levels of distortion from pedals in fx loops, amp dirty channels, and the processors distortion channels).

More recently I switched to a Line6 Vetta amp, which several years ago was thier top of the line modelling amp. it had more processing power than the other amps in the line so the models sounded a bit truer to the amps, plus it also did pedal emulation as well as rack effects emulation AND it models 2 different amps at a time, which can be mixed together, or split L/R, which is typically how I run it, running the Vetta Head into a pair of 2X12 speaker cabs. I have found that where perhaps a individual modeled amp may sound not quite as sonically rich as the real thing (although really, it's good enough to fool just about everyone hearing it), when I create a patch that mixes a combination of amps, coupled with dialing in speaker cabinet emulations, and then in turn tuning this for each of the real cabinets I am running it throuhg, it creates gorgeous tone. excellent cleans, crushing gain, everything inbetween. If I want a ligt crunch I can do it, in fact the easiest way to do this is to model a JCM 800. and back off on the volume from the guitar, or using the expression pedal.

it felt a bit weird at first, the couple ms of processing is felt more than heard, and it did take some getting used to, but now that I am, the flexibility allowed by the amp, and it's relative compactness compared to my previous setup is just a godsend.

If I want a huge stero tone I can place my cabs on opposite sides of the stage/room, but I have found that my favorite config at the moment is with both cabs stacked, and the combined sound of the dual amps intermixing and creating the overall tone. Every guitarist that has heard me play it comments on how good it sounds, they are even more surprised when I tell them that my head is closer to a computer than an amp. not a tube in site..

mygearoutside--large-msg-115344923154.jpg
 

IPLAYLOUD

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,102
I wanted to see if using a second amp from the stereo output of my Verbzilla would work. I can face both amps in different directions to spread the sound out nicely and fill the room.
Both are set clean and get fed from the same Pedalboard.
Not for every gig, but depending on the shape of the room, it really helps.
 
Messages
2,313
Thanks for the comments.

I have a Vetta combo that I've upgraded to the Vetta II.

I also like the dual amp feature and have found some interesting amp matches that I wouldn't have originally picked.

I'm starting to drill down into different virtual pedals for different amps, and also changing around the cab models for all their different variety.

I'd like to get another 2x12 cab to take this a step further.

I also have a regular "tube amp", a Mesa F-50 combo which has a great sound of its own. I've occasionally used them together, and it's interesting to hear the "blended" tones. I'm especially liking clean and dirty together for the bite the clean gives and the drive and sustain of the dirty amp.

M
 

Aran

Member
Messages
3,192
I prefer it. You have a lot of control over the tone shaping. You can set one amp for low end and one amp for highs. It give better definition than trying to handle it all in one amp.
 

rmconner80

Cantankerous Luddite
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,260
For me, playing in a rehearsal or a gig... everything is about volume control. It's not so much about getting a distinct tone out of each of the amps.

Specifically this has to do with 1) your levels in the house (i.e. functional stage volume - are you too loud or not loud enough?); 2) playing dynamically within the song by adjusting your volume levels as you play (picking and working the guitar volume); 3) and the headroom of the amp(s) - (I want an amp of low enough wattage to overdrive it some).

Adding a second amp (which I do frequently) increases your overall dynamic range / headroom, whether A/B or A+B between the amps. This is more important to me than accessing two distinct tones.

I am using the Lehle Dual A/B to switch between two amps of slightly different headroom, employing them where needed to meet the headroom / volume / 'tonal' requirements of each part or song, and/or engaging both amps A+B to increase dynamic volume / headroom where needed.

Combined with a two channel overdrive pedal (set for two different levels of dirt AND boost), I have a very broad range of dynamic volume and headroom within which to work.

While this flexibility is really cool, it usually causes a tap dance to work it all, and is also more difficult to haul around and to set up / break down.
 

Totally Bored

Member
Messages
9,544
I would think Running 2 amps, 1 for dirty and 1 for clean requires to differant pedal boards unless you can play clubs where you can crank your amp to get Dirt. Clubs I play in, I would be to loud so I dont this. I do sometimes bring 2 Combo amps for dispersion or fullness of it all but I'll use just one pedal board.
 

mesa/kramer

Member
Messages
3,057
If you were going to run 2-heads this way (one clean one dirty), the best way would be to get a head switcher, so both could run through the same cab.
 

ersrhead

Member
Messages
37
I've been doing this lately to cover a little more frequency range and make up for shortcomings in various amps. I run a fuzz into a vintage club 15 which is nice and bassy, but a little flubby with the fuzz. When I split the signal into an acoustic 220 and 2x12 it sounds much more balanced and thick.
 

Brett Faust

Member
Messages
853
I sometimes run a THD Univalve and Bivalve each with a 2x12 THD cab. One is a little grittier and one has more headroom but together they sound glorious and much louder and fuller with richer harmonic content than either alone.
I do not have to run the things cranked to get the effect.
 

rdwilson

Member
Messages
410
been doing it for over 20 yrs w/various amps,right now at our practice bulding, i have a carvin V3= 3 channels w/ a legacy 4x12 w/celestion grn/backs, plus a VOX XL 100 watt w/2x12s (combo) it has 2 channels,& morley tripler f/sw the V3 is dry,the VOX is my FX , & is my lead channel combined w/ the V3. anyway i have 2 diff clean chan between the 2 & 3 gain chan. the only prob is neither F/S has LED's . at my shop i have a VHT PITTBULL CL 50 w going into a 76 marshall 4x12 w 65 w/celestions & + a 30 W VOX XL combo w 1x12 ..
 
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smolder

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,684
I run through two amps nearly every day (have never played out with more than one). It's a great approach. You don't have to do dirty clean, but thats how most stat. I think it works best with separate speakers for each amp so you can blend them. also... try a fender with a marshall... it can be a very big sound.
 




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