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more amptalk (channels)

Instruments and Gear
gx1327  
2 Mar 2011 12:33 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
who wants to talk about the benefits of having an amp with 2 (or more) channels vs. an amp with only one channel?

for my first "real" amp (upgrade from my first practice amp i ever bought) i have been looking at vox, marshall, fender, and orange... OR anything that i find on craigslist that looks like a deal.

now the marshalls and the fenders (i'm looking at in my price range) offer multiple channels, and on most of them you can use a foot switch to switch between the clean channel and the drive channel. this is obvious to me as a way to switch to distortion.

now the orange (35ldx) obviously offers both clean and distorted sounds, but it only has one "channel". you can use a footswitch or a push button to switch between the "clean" and "dirty" tone. but this is still only one channel.

the vox (i've been looking at the valvetronix VT and VT+ series) also has what appears to be a push-button ability to switch sounds. but again it is only one channel.

SO my question is, what real benefit is there to having to independant channels? what drawbacks are there to having only one channel that the amp models differently with the push of a button?

i don't have specific amps handy, but for frame of reference i'm looking in the $500 range which includes mostly solid state amps (i.e. fender FM65, orange 35LDX or similar, vox vt series, or whatever comprable marshall)

so tell me about channels.
luthier  
2 Mar 2011 13:50 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jul 2008
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 10
I love my fender. It has two channels.
Domigan_Lefty  
2 Mar 2011 13:53 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
Independant channels usually come with independant controls. (volume, gain, tone)
(usually on higher quality amps.)

I use a clean channel on a Fender amp, and get all my FX, Dist, and other stuff from individual fx pedals. Which instantly makes me not care about how many channels or the quality of the non-clean channels.
BodomBeachTerror  
2 Mar 2011 13:57 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 25
If you use Distortion/Overdrive pedals, I don't think having a drive channel would be much use to you
case211  
2 Mar 2011 14:13 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
I use pedals for my main distortion sound. My amp is an old Peavey that has a "clean" and a "lead" channel. I have my rhythm tone dialed in on the clean channel(has a parametric Mid control) and my lead tone is on the lead channel. The amp is really quite clean and isn't meant to be used as a stand alone for doing higher gain stuff(hence my pedals) so the preamp doesn't distort very much(Also use the low gain input).
Having the ability to switch between lead and rhythm on the fly is amazing--very useful for practicing with the band and for live shows.

But if you aren't going to be doing any of that, then the added ability to have distortion and then clean at the flick of a switch is still pretty useful.
DannyEss  
3 Mar 2011 00:00 | Quote
Joined: 19 Oct 2010
United States
Karma: 1
If you have basic soldering skills and can read an electrical schematics, you should consider a tube amp kit. You could build a great amp in that budget. Weber Amps have some of the best speakers in the hand wire amp arena.
gx1327  
4 Mar 2011 02:07 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
okay, these responses really don't even take my question into consideration soooooo....

pedals? who is talking about pedals???
case211  
4 Mar 2011 03:08 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
I think a great pedal you may want to look into a little bit would be the Fulltone OCD. They can get some dirt, but aren't exactly a high gain monster. They got a nice middle of the road sort of gain--plus they clean up nicely when you roll the volume back on the guitar.

For multiple channels though, in my experience they have more use if you are playing in a band situation rather than jamming at home. It's nice to have, definitely, since being able to switch between clean or lightly overdriven to heavily distorted is always a nice thing to have in your arsenal o' tones.
Guitarslinger124  
4 Mar 2011 08:25 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
Lessons: 12
Licks: 42
Karma: 38
Moderator
Honestly dude...Two channels means, you don't have to change your rig to change your sound and if something breaks in one channel, you can always use the other one.

Rock on!
gx1327  
4 Mar 2011 22:49 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
case... i don't want a pedal... i want an AMP

guitarslinger... THANK YOU that's what i wanted to know. so basically multiple channels means you can set the tone for each individual channel.

BUT an area where i'm still confused is --- some amps only have one channel, BUT they still allow you to switch effects (including distortion) on/off with a pushbutton or footswitch.

so what is the difference between these two hypothetical amps:
an amp that has 3 channels - clean, drive, overdrive
an amp that has 1 channel, but you can pushbutton distortion on/off

for instance looking at a lot of VOX amps, they only have "one" channel, but they seem to cover that fact by adding dials that only apply if distortion is on or off.

and on the other hand, a lot of marshall amps have multiple channels and separate tone knobs for each channel. but in the end, we are really looking at the same thing, right?

i'm leaning (heavily) towards the vox, but i'm still curious. if it weren't mardi gras weekend in soulard i'd go to a music store and play around this weekend. guess it'll have to wait until next week!
BodomBeachTerror  
5 Mar 2011 00:42 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 25
okay so the thing with 2 channels, say if you like your clean tone with high mids, low treble or whatever, but you like your gain channel low mids high treble, you can set your tone for both without having to fiddle with the knobs everytime you switch.
AlexB  
5 Mar 2011 01:27 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Mexico
Licks: 2
Karma: 23
BBT is right,also different channels give different tones that guitar pedals cant get
Guitarslinger124  
6 Mar 2011 03:36 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
Lessons: 12
Licks: 42
Karma: 38
Moderator
gx1327 says:
i'm leaning (heavily) towards the vox, but i'm still curious.


Go VOX dude. A buddy of mine just bought a 30 watt Vox tube and it is awesome. Way better than an Marshall for the same price.
Schecter_player  
6 Mar 2011 19:28 | Quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 3
Keep in mind that the vavletronix are not pure tube amps. They go both ways!


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