How Practical is Running Two Amps?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Discoqueen, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Discoqueen

    Discoqueen Dang tootin

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    hey y’all

    The question is right there in the description, but I’ll give some context here. The reason why I am considering running two amps in my rig is because my friend and I are a two piece, he plays drums and I play guitar (obviously lol). Because we are a two piece I feel my tone needs to be as full and massive as possible. I already have two maps (Orange TH30h w 1x12 cab + Rivera Pubster 45 combo).

    My concern is that when we start playing out, would that be incredibly excessive? I’ve only played out once before so I have very little experience with working with a venues sound person. I will be getting a aby switch (recommendations would be appreciated?) regardless because once the idea was raised, I feel curious so I have to experiment with it during practice, at least.

    Added notes: My pedals include a tuner and I am thinking of adding a booster or overdrive pedal. The orange is a very midrange-heavy sound and goes out a closed-back speaker, and the Rivera is an open back combo that has a very saggy, lower tone. I prefer the sound of the Rivera but can see how the two could compliment each other.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    People do it all the time. Radial ABY solves any issues.

    If you want full, add a reverb pedal. The TC electronic hall of fame mini would do well.

    My band runs 2 bi-amp setups. It's fun once it's set up.
     
  3. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    It's definitely my thing.

    Run one amp mid heavy low-med gain...pushed cleanish.
    Run the other in full bRoOtAlz mode.
    Adjust each volume to your own tastes.

    The Radial 'Bones' ABY is fantastic for the money.
     
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  4. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    It's just fantastic, ground switch and iso switch are key.
     
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  5. Discoqueen

    Discoqueen Dang tootin

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    Ah, thank you both. I do have a holy grail I can throw into the mix and see how that turns out regarding reverb. And thanks for the recommendation on the bones!
     
  6. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    I think you'd be way more flexible with a digital solution and two FRFR cabs.
     
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  7. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    I think I'd rather see you with 2 half stacks, one on each side of stage, same amp.

    It is fine though, if you're OK to lug them, more power to you!

    In my case - I am going with a modular preamp setup and a stereo power amp. Once we fire our 2nd guitarist who's been slacking off, I'll switch the amp to stereo and add a 2nd cab on the other side of the stage.
     
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  8. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR I too, know what it's like to lose...

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    I gotta say, it's really fun. I've ran my H&K into my Recto 2x12 and the JSX I used to have into my 4x12 using both outputs of my Boss chorus ensemble. H&K un-boosted set for huge low end/low mids and JSX boosted and set for high mid cut. Sounded massive. Looking forward to trying this with my H&K and Invective.

    If I were playing out though, I'd have to pass on lugging around 2 100w tube heads, 2x12 and a 4x12 + cables, pedals, guitars.

    You're talking about a much smaller setup so if you're cool with lugging it around, do it.
     
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  9. crankyrayhanky

    crankyrayhanky SS.org Regular

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    Sounds glorious
    Super impractical for gigging though
     
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  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Drink Sunny D, pet kitties.

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    practical for gigging ? hell no, it'd be overkill for small venues imo.

    it is fun to mix vastly different amp sounds though. I've been messing around tracking stuff with my mk3 and my f100.
     
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  11. Humbuck

    Humbuck SS.org Regular

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    It's amazing, but like others stated, sucks to transport and set up/break down.

    Another vote for Radial. Don't even think of anything else in an AB/Y. Built like a tank, reasonably priced and actually work super well. I have a Bigshot and it is impossible to find fault with.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  12. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Sure, until you dont use the flexibility.

    If you arent the only band member, someone is available to help carry gear ;).

    Guitar - fx - aby - two amps isnt complicated. It's an extra amp and cable compared to anything else. One more thing to go wrong yes, but at some point you cant control all the variables.

    My back wishes we didnt run dual bi-amp setups, but my tone is stoked. It's not far off just adding a cab moving wise.

    OP, try it out. If it doesnt work out after a few trials, go back to single amp :yesway:.
     
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  13. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Have you considered trying this with drums and bass? Run two amps, one conventional bass amp set pretty clean, and then a guitar amp set for a pretty heavy grind. I think that might sound huger and more band-like than a guitar bi-amped with a drummer.
     
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  14. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Drink Sunny D, pet kitties.

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    That's basically what Royal Blood does. It sounds pretty awesome live.
     
  15. Discoqueen

    Discoqueen Dang tootin

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    If I like my Orange’s tone more, I’d prolly go with this advice! But the Rivera is my favorite and it doesn’t have two outs like the orange does.

    And between the Big Shot and the Twin City is there much of a difference in performance does anyone know?

    And thanks everyone for the feedback!
     
  16. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Get the big shot - covers more, still affordable.
     
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  17. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Not worth it live unless you have control of the mix hitting the PA, which is the primary sound for the venue.

    Throwing two amps up on stage, where there is minimal PA reinforcement, you're going to have to get very picky about how you position both (or more) amps. You can't just put them anywhere and set them up however and expect a good blended tone. It's going to take longer to EQ them complimentary to the room.

    I used a dual, and at my gear-whoring-est a three way rig, and in order to make it not and absolute logistical nightmare I had to invest in a bunch of outboard gear.

    Playing with dual (and bigger) rigs is fun and can teach you a lot about how tones can work together, but maybe get some more gigging under your belt before engaging hard mode.
     
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  18. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I'll be honest, I only touch volumes.

    The only complaint is ever volume, not tone :lol:
     
  19. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    In almost two decades of playing in front of people, I have never, ever, been told by an audience member (who wasn't also a member of another band playing that night) that my tone was good or bad. Doesn't matter if it was a $300 cobbled together basic rig or a $15k boutique rack of opulence.

    Your songs and stage presence will make or break you.

    That said, if all you want is more volume, there's easier ways to just be obnoxiously loud without dual rigging it.

    I have probably one of the loudest rigs I've ever owned, but that's because its more or less a PA system. :lol:
     
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  20. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    I personally love my tone when I run 2 heads+cabs. It's hard to describe other than I feel like my tone sounds more "3 dimensional" when I run a set up like that. I usually have one amp set pretty dirty and the other acting as a clean mix for note definition and a morley ABY for splitting. When I want to play a "truly clean" part I kick off the OD on the on my dirty amp and play a little lighter and I get the perfect "edge of break up" tone which is great for what I play. I'm in need of a reverb pedal so I'm thinking about trading out the Morley ABY for a boss rv-6. Partially for the stereo in/out, but also because the shimmer reverb is perfect for post rock style stuff Imo. Keep in mind I almost never play at spots that mic my rig, so I don't have to worry about hashing out specifics with a sound guy.

    Honestly, if I were you I'd say you'd be better off selling both of your smaller rigs and investing that money in a half stack. I feel like you'll have better results getting a full range, thick tone out of a solid head/can set up than you ever will even running 2 or more combos. I ran 2 combos in stereo (6505 2x12 and fender hot rod DeVille 4x10) using the fender for the clean mix, and I honestly have no regrets with selling both and getting into head/cab set ups. Even running just one sounds way more full and aggressive than 2 combos ever did.

    Alternatively (and I do this when I'm feeling lazy) but you could possibly look into heads with 2 speaker outputs and then run 1 head+2cabs. Then set up one cab on either side of the stage, or face one cab towards yourself & the crowd and use the other cab as a monitor of sorts for your drummer.

    Like Max already said, running stereo rigs is pretty unnecessary, buts a lot of fun and can lead to alot experimentation & new ideas when it comes to building a rig and crafting your tone.

    Edit: in the same spirit of the topic at hand (at the risk of thread jacking) are there any/why don't you ever see any guitar heads with bi-amping capabilities like you see on alot of bass amps? I think it would be great to run the low end through a 2x15 and the mids/highs through a 2x12 or 4x12.
     

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