Why should I not buy a dual channel amplifier?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Aldinyo, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. Aldinyo

    Aldinyo Member

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    So I'm about to buy a new amplifier, and a friend of mine, who knows more about this stuff than I do, told me that I should buuy a single channel amplifier, that I didn't need a distorted channel with the whole footswitch thing, etc., that I could achieve all that I need to achieve through a single channel, as long as it's a quality amplifier.

    Any insight into this? Any recommendations? Any help would be greatly appreciated...

    :bow

    Thanks!
     
  2. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Kind of a "to each his own" thing. I have never liked channel switching amps because if they break, they're harder to get repaired and I'm a simplicity freak. A really good single channel amp that gives me my basic sound and maybe a couple of pedals does it for me. I may be the only one who answers like this though.
     
  3. mitch236

    mitch236 Member

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    I have heard that advice. According to some boutique amp builders, you should not "clutter" an amp. If you make a tremendous clean amp then pedals should be able to get you almost any sound you want, at least that's what they say. I disagree. I like the sound of overdriven preamps (and power amps too!) but need the ability to go clean at times. For that, I think you would need two channels.
     
  4. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    comes down to preferences I believe.
    But in my own experience I've done better with a single channel and pedals then a dual channel, usually the dual channels that i've tried just gave up a little too much on the clean side for me to like the amp. Clean is more important to me then the gain side. Most channel switchers i've gotten to try have a good but not great clean and then gobs and loads of gain.
     
  5. stan p

    stan p Member

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    just another approach with reasonable benefits and shortcommings
     
  6. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    well, in that perspective you could buy a ss amp and push it too, but, meh.

    just think about the music you want to play, the style you are going to play, your needs and what you like,

    then forget all the advices, even this one and listen to the records you like and think how history was made(in different decades) and you will be good to go.

    If you are into the nineties and today, a dual channel is great.
    if you are in 1950, go with one channel.

    But tell me , which of the small guys are in the records you love, and which of the ones you love to listen to are using the gear that made history?
     
  7. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    Ultimately, you should have two AMPS... one for "your perfect clean", and one for "your perfect overdrive". The problem with people's opinions of channel switchers is, everybody's "perfect" is different. If you could get a channel switcher that had YOUR "perfect clean" and YOUR "perfect overdrive" then that amps would be PERFECT... for you.
     
  8. Lution

    Lution Member

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    When it's done right there is nothing wrong or bad with a two channeler. There are two and three channel tube amps out there that are done right.

    Not to be bias but my Bogner Ecstasy 101B is a really good example of all three channels sounding great! The Blue channel is the very best overdriven sound I've ever heard.
     
  9. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    It depends on the music. If you are playing classic rock or blues a single channel amp works great. You wind it up till its just breaking up, use the volume control on the guitar to roll back to clean tones. You can use an overdrive to push the amp a bit more, or a fuzz for complete mayhem.

    A lot of single channel amps have multiple inputs and volume's (like a four input Marshall). You can use an A/B/Y box to switch and blend the channels together. This will help you if you are used to switching channels.

    Channel switchers are great too. Esp if you need squeaky cleans and heavy crunch. I would stay away from channel switchers that have more than two channels. In my experience they excel at one sound, and have a few other compromised tones.

    I would try out as many amps as you can. Also single channel amps require quality volume pots on the guitar to maximize their effectiveness.

    Good luck.

    dk
     
  10. Aldinyo

    Aldinyo Member

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    Thanks for all the advice, MacMax makes a really good point (and for the record, I'm leaving the ss amp team right now, that's why I'm asking the channel question), these dual channel options weren't even available back in the hey day of most of my heros, and those are the tones I'm looking improve upon, and if you ever need more distortion, it's only a stomp away, right?

    I'm assuming to get the multi-channel package "done well," as Lution suggests would cost a fairly pretty penny, and I'm working with a mediocre penny, if you get my drift, $1000, give or take, any more suggestions?

    Thanks again!

    @ldinyo
     
  11. Lution

    Lution Member

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    if $1000 or so is your budget and you can wait a month or two the new 2 channel Alchemist from Bogner sounds like a really sweet amp.
     
  12. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    I would suggest a Tremoverb.

    The amp has very good clean and could be even BF'd if you know how to tweak it.
    Most players tend to try to get a great clean with the Volume on the guitars in 10, don't do that, try to find a sweet spot with your guitar volume and the amp's clean channel.

    Then you'll also have a great blues channel and a great Distorted channel.

    The Mesa Tremoverb is a beast of an amp.

    Take good care,

    Max
     
  13. doyle o'brian

    doyle o'brian Supporting Member

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    I have and like both types of amps. For me it depends on what you are playing. If you want a pristine clean tone as well as an overdriven sound, then the channel switcher is the way to go. The reason I say this is that most overdirve pedals are designed to be played with an amp that is starting to break up already so it is nice and fat. If you want pristine clean with a non-switcher, you have to have the amp turned down low enough that it doesn't break up at all. A lot of pedals will sound lame with an amp that is not cooking. If your style allows you to crank the amp a bit so it is cooking, you can roll back your guitar volume to get a cleaner tone (at the cost of a bit of volume) and use pedals for overdrive or crunch. A lot of times I want a pristine clean tone that is just as loud as or louder than my overdriven/crunch tone. The reason for this is that when I am playing my crunch tone I am usually playing harder and when I am clean I am playing softer or more subtle parts that need more volume to be heard. I would recommend a channel switcher for this as well.
     
  14. AirKuhl

    AirKuhl Member

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    If you have need for gain as well as clean, why would you use a chip in a little metal box instead of the tubes already sitting in your amp?

    There is nothing inherently inferior with multiple channels.
     
  15. Norjef

    Norjef Member

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    If you can find YOUR right tube channel switcher (LOTS of options, fun and time), you may dump most or all of your solid-state-transissy pedals, and single channel amps. IMHO tis worth the quest. Best Wishes
     
  16. Lou Brush

    Lou Brush Member

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    I agree. I've gigged with many nice channel-switching amps (Carr Slant 6V, Bogne Shiva, etc.), but could never get two perfect tones. I'm currently using two seperate amps and an A/B/Y box. My '79 Marshall JMP 2204 produces the perfect dirt tone imho, but clean is not in its vocabulary. I'll use another Marshall head set up for cleans. I like the two-Marshall A/B setup because the amps will sound similar (British) when switching rigs (instead of switching to Fender Blackface cleans, for instance). I use a 2x12 cab with each amp getting an 8 ohm speaker.
     
  17. freaksho

    freaksho Member

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    i think that's a good point too.

    and as a result most who want the convenience of 2 channels seem to pick switchers based on the tones of dirty channel and just deal with whatever they get on the clean side. which makes sense to me b/c if cleans mean more to you you'd probably just get a single channel and use pedals for all your gain flavors. (or use two amps, as you said.)
     
  18. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    Oddly enough, I have had many two channel amps but ended up using only the clean channel with pedals, but that sound worked for ME, so IMO, YMMV

    RC
     
  19. doyle o'brian

    doyle o'brian Supporting Member

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    You may be right, but I would think the opposite. It seems to me that most single channel amp builders are more concerned with the break up and overdrive characteristics of the amps. They figure people are going to crank them up to get the goods. A channel switching amp on the other hand lets you have the cranked up tube channel and a clean channel at the same time. I would think that builders would want the clean channel to sound good because if it didn't, there would be no reason not to just buy a single channel amp and crank it up. The clean channel is a big selling point for a channel switcher and people who buy channel switching amps care a lot about how the clean channel sounds.
     
  20. mitch236

    mitch236 Member

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    It all really boils down to how particular you are. For most live situations as has been mentioned many times before, 2 channel amps are great. Most of the audience won't notice any loss of tone from your compromise.

    For recording, two amps is more appropriate.
     

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