Running two amps - pros and cons

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Axegrinder77, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    As some may know (prior thread) I just acquired a Marshall Origin 50 combo. I was close to trading in my DRRI for another guitar.. space, redundancy, guitar gas, etc.

    But I do like the deluxe. So... I tried running both. Wow! I mean just great! They really sound good together. I had mixed success trying this before with other amps (ac15 and 68 cpr).

    Seems like the Marshall gives it a nice crunch and burn, and the DRRI fills everything out with depth and lushness, and maybe some complimentary eq. Turning each one off, that's my current takeaway.

    So then... I like simplicity, and this obviously complicates things. Running my pedal board, potential phase issues, more crap to lug around, more crap taking up space in the home studio. Just a lot more work in general it seems. But the tone!!

    In your experience, was it worth it - for gigs and home? I've only been able to test it at home, with moderate volume.

    It sounds so freakin good I'm gonna go with it for a while. Will be fun rigging up my delay and chorus in stereo - tried it out already, and it's massive sounding.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  2. stormsedge

    stormsedge Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I run two amps at home most of the time. Usually I use my Quilter 201 and DV Mark Micro 60 Jazz (purely clean amp)...guitar>ODs>ABY>two amps...I run my modulation pedals on the Quilter's FX loop. Both the amps are on two cabs. Mostly low volume stuff. Sounds great.

    I'll occasionally substitute a tube combo for the DV Mark. I doubt I'd carry all that stuff to a gig, but two combos wouldn't be too bad. Fun!
     
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  3. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    My biggest concern is, would it have that great sound in a BIG room at a gig….my music room sounds great but gigs are a whole different story…i still get great tone but it IS different. For all the hassle the audience wont notice.
     
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  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Its the combination of my age/not great health+ the actuall music we play+venues we play/setup space too...

    But I go with 1 amp, and the absolute smallest amp needed for the gig.
    ( have 4 small combo amps, all good sounding/plenty of power)

    * keep things really simple/portable
     
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  5. sixstringbastard

    sixstringbastard Friend of Leo's

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    Taking two amps to a gig not only gives you that sound but it also ensures that you have a backup amp.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
  6. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If the amps work together well, and are hooked up without phase or ground loop issues, two amps will pretty much always sound better than one. If the question is whether the extra hardware, weight, setup time, complexity, etc. works for you in whatever environment you're playing in, only you can answer that.
     
  7. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    Pro: loud is more good; con: only two more loud.
     
  8. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I sometimes run two PV Special 130's side-by-side on larger outdoor venues where nothing is mic'd but the vocals. For me, it's the ultimate outdoor rig.....very clean, punchy and powerful enough to cover a lot of sonic real-estate.
     
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  9. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Holic

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    I live in an apartment, so... one amp takes less space :)
     
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  10. King-of-Tone

    King-of-Tone TDPRI Member

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    Years ago when rack gear was in I ran a stereo setup into the power amp in of two Blues DeVille amps. I always figured it must have sounded awesome, but honestly it only sounded good to the crowd in between the two amps.

    If you're not doing the stereo thing, and have the amps near each other pointed in the same direction having two different amps probably does sound better than one.
     
  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Wasn't worth it for me. Too much to set up, too many noise issues, too many small stages etc. But yeah, it makes the sound bloom with two amps. Realistically though, a Super Reverb with the 4 x 10 has a ton of "voice" over a plain 12" combo too... but we hate to carry that big amp around.
    Compromises....
     
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  12. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Those are two nice amps to have. I'd keep both and play them together whenever I could, and have both as options when I could play only one. They don't take that much space.........

    I sold my Deluxe Reverb a couple of years ago, and there are times when I really regret that I got rid of it. If I could go back, I would keep it now so that's where I'm coming from.
     
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  13. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Logistics is the only con to me.

    I bet you get a 355 or a Ric before you are done.
     
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  14. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to gig with two amps often. Getting some sort of splitting box with an isolation transformer is most ideal so you make sure the two amps are in phase or eliminate any ground loops that will inevitably occur when playing in unfamiliar power sources. The Lehle P-Split works great. When I used to play live, I used a pair of Traynor amps(YBA-1 & YSR-1) into a pair of 2x12 Fender cabs with Celestion G12-80 or a pair of Mesa Thiele cabs with 1x12 EVM-12L(obviously easier to carry with about the same amount of raw volume). Sometimes I would pair the YSR-1 with a late 70's Hiwatt SA112 50 watt combo. Around my apartment, I still use a pair of Kalamazoo single ended combo amps with a Strymon Big Sky. I love the sound of two amps.
     
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  15. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    So... i'm already running into phase inverting issues - due to my ehx dmm and mistress pedals... not sure about the boss ch1 yet. Nothing i can't work around, but yeah it's getting more complicated. I just ordered a radial twin city buffered aby swich, with phase and ground loop switches... i had a passive one a while back to run just the deluxe (both channels) and it was noisy.

    Whether or not i go wet/dry is yet to be determined. It sure sounds massive with the modulation and delay, but as noted by someone, this may not translate so well in studio or on stage.

    One thing is for sure though, i will run both amps. They just compliment each other so well.... if i turn one off, it's just not the same. The marshall mid range has been missing my entire life - i get it now, starting to at least - that's where the guitar's sonic space is. The fender, i think, just fills everything out and gives some added snarl and depth. The marshall on it's own by comparison just sounds a bit dry, and the fender own its own lacks that character in the mids that is really the core of the guitars sound, especially melodically - imho.

    Also noted by someone - two amps means you aren't SOL if one dies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
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  16. '64 Tele

    '64 Tele Tele-Afflicted

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    I run a Fender 68 Custom Princeton Reverb and Blues Jr NOS tweed using stereo out from Neo Ventilator pedal.
    Sounds huge.....my favorite amp sound.
     
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  17. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    I've run two for a long time using one as the louder amp, clean at the breakup point, and the other lower in volume but with a lot of drive for sustain. When volume is needed a Mesa Mark IV and Mark V. For less, two blues juniors. I love it. Not much of a hassle except for carrying one more amp as I just run two cords out of my Boss TU-2 tuner. One extra cord, one extra amp.

    I will say not all amps I have paired have worked well together. Not sure why, I just couldn't get them to feel right together, but the pairs above are perfect.
     
  18. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    More than a few years ago I used to run a Deluxe Reverb with a late 50's Gibson GA40LP. The Gibson has a prominent midrange and a vicious overdrive. The two amps sounded phenomenal together, very complimentary, so I totally get what you are describing.
     
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  19. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Afflicted

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    The more the merrier....a two amp setup is a thing of beauty! It sounds huge. I love it.
     
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  20. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a simple two-amp rig once upon a time: Two Pro Jrs with one run wet, and the other dry. A Boss CE5 split the signal, and I ran delays on the "B" side. Sounded wonderful, especially with the chorus when engaged. When the chorus was not engaged, I still had dry plus delay on one amp only. I dug it, and two Pro Jr.s are not a particularly difficult load-in, but I still quit doing it after a while.

    'Cuz one amp is simpler.
     
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