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3 Or 4 Channel Guitar Combo Amps

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One for the many guitar Gods on this forum..... :)

I'm unhappy with my current amp setup (Line 6 DT 25 with HD500), it seemed like a good idea at the time but it's just not working out for me.

Ideally, what i'm looking for is a valve combo with 1 x 12" speaker and at least 3 channels.

I want a nice sparkling clean Fender sound from one channel, a mildly overdriven crunchy sound from another and a full on high gain wail from the 3rd.

And importantly I want to be able to use a footswitch to switch mid-song between all 3 (or 4).

The Hayden HGT-A40 looked like it might fit the bill but it's got some rather average reviews.

Mesa Boogie Roadster? Pricey, but if it's as good as it's claimed....

Got any recommendations?

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One for the many guitar Gods on this forum..... :)

I'm unhappy with my current amp setup (Line 6 DT 25 with HD500), it seemed like a good idea at the time but it's just not working out for me.

Ideally, what i'm looking for is a valve combo with 1 x 12" speaker and at least 3 channels.

I want a nice sparkling clean Fender sound from one channel, a mildly overdriven crunchy sound from another and a full on high gain wail from the 3rd.

And importantly I want to be able to use a footswitch to switch mid-song between all 3 (or 4).

The Hayden HGT-A40 looked like it might fit the bill but it's got some rather average reviews.

Mesa Boogie Roadster? Pricey, but if it's as good as it's claimed....

Got any recommendations?

I've owned a few tube amps over the years. Unless spending megabucks I tend to find putting pedals in front of a good clean channel more often gives me pleasing results. For example, the basic Fender Hotrod sounds GREAT clean but the drive channel's not up to much. It depends what you're expecting to hear, I guess.

The REALLY high end modellers Kemper/Axe-FX are a noticeable improvement (recorded you can't tell the difference to the real thing) on Line6 stuff BUT they are possibly OTT unless you really want the sound of 100 different amps and gazillions of FX - and we're talking BIG money.

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Outside of the many modeller amps with a 4 way switch for presets, you may struggle.

I think Mesa do make a proper three channel job.

Have you not considered a pedal or two?

I bought one of these a while back, and they are excellent for the dosh.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Biyang-X-Drive-OD-8-True-Bypass-Overdrive-Tubescreamer-Clone-/281123492736?pt=UK_Guitar_Accessories&hash=item4174441380

A Fender Twin (red knob) might also suffice.

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I've owned a few tube amps over the years. Unless spending megabucks I tend to find putting pedals in front of a good clean channel more often gives me pleasing results. For example, the basic Fender Hotrod sounds GREAT clean but the drive channel's not up to much. It depends what you're expecting to hear, I guess.

The REALLY high end modellers Kemper/Axe-FX are a noticeable improvement (recorded you can't tell the difference to the real thing) on Line6 stuff BUT they are possibly OTT unless you really want the sound of 100 different amps and gazillions of FX - and we're talking BIG money.

I've got a Peavey Classic 30 combo with a 1x12 cabinet underneath. I use pedals and i'm covered.

Ive had a few Fender combos, and discovered much to my surprise, that Peavey do "Tweed" better.

All i miss is an acoustic simulator, which i have on my GT10, but i need another looper pedal to bring it in instantly, and can't justify it for the diminishing number of gigs i do.

ie Currently none. :D

Had an Eleven Rack, and sold it on in 10 days flat.

I use Revalver to record at home, nice software.

I do not work for Peavey!!

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I'm sure a lot of people would be more than happy with some of the amps i've had in the past and just using a pedal in front (and it would be cheaper too!) but i'm a bit of a tone junkie.

For example, my Fender Hot Rod and Pro Reverb had the best clean sparkling tones ever, but the crunchy or gain tones sucked big time.

My Marshall's, the opposite.

If I could magic up an amp I'd have a 4 channel amp as follows:

1. Fender clean

2. Marshall crunch

3. Vox chime

4. Mesa Boogie wail

It would be a 1 x 12" so not too heavy and be 50w with an attenuator built in for when you need to kill the volume.

Also, it would be possible to match the volumes of all 4 channels so that for example channel 4 isn't 10 times louder than channel 1 and it would have a footswitch so I could instantly switch between any of the 4 channels.

Maybe I should just go into business and build one myself :D

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Multi channel amps aren't at all neccessary, and only exist because marketing departments need new gimmicks and knobs to go on about.

Get a single channel amp with as few knobs as possible and set it up so that it's just on the break up point between clean and crunch, play softly and it's clean, dig in and it's mildly overdriven. Use the guitars volume knob to clean it up further if required. Put a tubescreamer in front for the 3rd sound and your good to go.

Edit to add: Or if you must do it all with your foot run a switching system through different preamps into a power amp.

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I'm sure a lot of people would be more than happy with some of the amps i've had in the past and just using a pedal in front (and it would be cheaper too!) but i'm a bit of a tone junkie.

For example, my Fender Hot Rod and Pro Reverb had the best clean sparkling tones ever, but the crunchy or gain tones sucked big time.

My Marshall's, the opposite.

If I could magic up an amp I'd have a 4 channel amp as follows:

1. Fender clean

2. Marshall crunch

3. Vox chime

4. Mesa Boogie wail

It would be a 1 x 12" so not too heavy and be 50w with an attenuator built in for when you need to kill the volume.

Also, it would be possible to match the volumes of all 4 channels so that for example channel 4 isn't 10 times louder than channel 1 and it would have a footswitch so I could instantly switch between any of the 4 channels.

Maybe I should just go into business and build one myself :D

Why don't you get a Marshall and a Fender and an A/B box?

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Egnater Tweakers have a switch for independent US and Brit voices, vintage or modern. Switches for everything really. I don't own one because I don't need/want the higher gain stuff. Only 2 channels AFAIK.

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I've got a Peavey Classic 30 combo with a 1x12 cabinet underneath. I use pedals and i'm covered.

Ive had a few Fender combos, and discovered much to my surprise, that Peavey do "Tweed" better.

All i miss is an acoustic simulator, which i have on my GT10, but i need another looper pedal to bring it in instantly, and can't justify it for the diminishing number of gigs i do.

ie Currently none. :D

Had an Eleven Rack, and sold it on in 10 days flat.

I use Revalver to record at home, nice software.

I do not work for Peavey!!

I borrowed an Axe-FX for a few days once with a option to buy it and it was VERY impressive compared to Line6 pods and the like - really responded like a tube amp in terms of 'cleaning up' when rolling off the volume. Uncanny really. However, in a mix in a DAW the extra edge over plugins wasn't that pronounced, so it wasn't really worth the big money - also it needs some serious manual reading to get the most out of it. I tend to record rhythm guitar as mic'd cabs and plugins for leads and little textures.

I have the 30 too! Great amp. Not quite as shrill as a Fender so can take a beefy overdrive pedal better. I got it too as an occasional gig amp that wasn't too heavy or OTT.

So, yeah, Peavey Classic. OP should check those out.

I'm not at home at the moment but I'm pretty sure the Peavey goes up to 12. So it's one better than 11.

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I borrowed an Axe-FX for a few days once with a option to buy it and it was VERY impressive compared to Line6 pods and the like - really responded like a tube amp in terms of 'cleaning up' when rolling off the volume. Uncanny really. However, in a mix in a DAW the extra edge over plugins wasn't that pronounced, so it wasn't really worth the big money - also it needs some serious manual reading to get the most out of it. I tend to record rhythm guitar as mic'd cabs and plugins for leads and little textures.

I have the 30 too! Great amp. Not quite as shrill as a Fender so can take a beefy overdrive pedal better. I got it too as an occasional gig amp that wasn't too heavy or OTT.

So, yeah, Peavey Classic. OP should check those out.

I'm not at home at the moment but I'm pretty sure the Peavey goes up to 12. So it's one better than 11.

I've heard bits about the Fractal, i am simply not going there. Too much money.

I've got a GT10 which would double nicely for live stuff amd is quick to navigate once you get going.

Didn't like the Eleven rack, i was expecting to be knocked off my feet and i just wasnt.

Also AVID don't have an editor for it if you don't use Pro Tools.

I would urge anyone looking for a guitar sim for a DAW to check out Revalver, its got that "feel".

Very good for clunky bass too.

I've also got a Vox VT50 which aint too bad.

I had a Hiwatt non master volume head when i was 18 (1984) and flogged it. Doh!!

I shudder to think what that would be worth now.

Should have filled the bloody garage with them. Valve heads were not popular back then.

Every Marshall amp i have owned has been a MASSIVE disappointment.

I think the Classic 30 through a 4x12 would be an absoulute beast.

Ramble off.

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I've heard bits about the Fractal, i am simply not going there. Too much money.

I've got a GT10 which would double nicely for live stuff amd is quick to navigate once you get going.

Didn't like the Eleven rack, i was expecting to be knocked off my feet and i just wasnt.

Also AVID don't have an editor for it if you don't use Pro Tools.

I would urge anyone looking for a guitar sim for a DAW to check out Revalver, its got that "feel".

Very good for clunky bass too.

I've also got a Vox VT50 which aint too bad.

I had a Hiwatt non master volume head when i was 18 (1984) and flogged it. Doh!!

I shudder to think what that would be worth now.

Should have filled the bloody garage with them. Valve heads were not popular back then.

Every Marshall amp i have owned has been a MASSIVE disappointment.

I think the Classic 30 through a 4x12 would be an absoulute beast.

Ramble off.

I think the Fractal stuff is good because you have dedicated DSP chips which offer more power than a plugin. So give it enough time for computer grunt to catch up and plugins will arrive at the same place. And it's hardware so more solid for live.

Yep, in guitar land you are asked to pay ££££ to get the extra 5% of quality. My Gibson is clearly better than previous Epiphones but it's not 5 times the price better.

I'm a bit of a skeptic for £2k handwired amps and £200 boutique overdrive pedals. As soon as you step away from the cheapest kid's stuff and get half-decent gear paying more is mostly about bragging rights.

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Why don't you get a Marshall and a Fender and an A/B box?

Because I don't want to have to take 2 amps to gigs!

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Multi channel amps aren't at all neccessary, and only exist because marketing departments need new gimmicks and knobs to go on about.

Get a single channel amp with as few knobs as possible and set it up so that it's just on the break up point between clean and crunch, play softly and it's clean, dig in and it's mildly overdriven. Use the guitars volume knob to clean it up further if required. Put a tubescreamer in front for the 3rd sound and your good to go.

Edit to add: Or if you must do it all with your foot run a switching system through different preamps into a power amp.

I have a Marshall 1974X which is as simple as they come and was my main gigging amp for years and I used it exactly as you suggest however I couldn't get the "cleans" as nice as i'd like and it did have a big of a signature 70s rock voice that although was really excellent meant a was sonically a bit of a one trick pony.

Also, imagine you're playing something like "Live & Let Die", coming out of the rock bit into the "reggae" part it's easier to stomp on a pedal for a clean channel than mess with the volume. Yes you can live with it but i'm also happy to see what else it out there. Hence the question "does anybody have any recommendations for 3 or 4 channel amps" ?

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I have a Marshall 1974X which is as simple as they come and was my main gigging amp for years and I used it exactly as you suggest however I couldn't get the "cleans" as nice as i'd like and it did have a big of a signature 70s rock voice that although was really excellent meant a was sonically a bit of a one trick pony.

Also, imagine you're playing something like "Live & Let Die", coming out of the rock bit into the "reggae" part it's easier to stomp on a pedal for a clean channel than mess with the volume. Yes you can live with it but i'm also happy to see what else it out there. Hence the question "does anybody have any recommendations for 3 or 4 channel amps" ?

Try the VOX VT100 or VT50.

They have a footswitch with 4 buttons for saved presets. I run mine in manual mode and it emulates a Vox AC30 quite well.

If you demo one watch that the sound is consistent as there is a tendency for these amps to fur up on the contacts.

Mine has 4 jack sockets (input, speaker out,footswitch, headphone mini jack) and if the contacts are grubby they short and break up the sound. I use Servisol to clean them or some fine emery paper. Bit of a pain but amp will be ok for 2-3 weeks after.

Maybe the more current Vox range has addressed this "feature"

These amps have a valve in the OUTPUT stage not the input which helps emulate break up.

You can pick up a used VT50 for under £150. Plenty online about them.

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I have a Marshall 1974X which is as simple as they come and was my main gigging amp for years and I used it exactly as you suggest however I couldn't get the "cleans" as nice as i'd like and it did have a big of a signature 70s rock voice that although was really excellent meant a was sonically a bit of a one trick pony.

Also, imagine you're playing something like "Live & Let Die", coming out of the rock bit into the "reggae" part it's easier to stomp on a pedal for a clean channel than mess with the volume. Yes you can live with it but i'm also happy to see what else it out there. Hence the question "does anybody have any recommendations for 3 or 4 channel amps" ?

Ok, but you're unlikely to find a single amp to do it, because a big part of the different tones is the different speaker makes and models in differently engineered enclosures. For example, sealed or open back cabs makes a big difference to bass response.

The trouble with your Marshall was that you took an amp with a good distortion sound and then tried to process that to get a good clean sound. That's the wrong way around. Start with an amp that does the cleanest sound that you like the best, then process your signal to add whatever distortion you need with pedals or whatever.

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Ok, but you're unlikely to find a single amp to do it, because a big part of the different tones is the different speaker makes and models in differently engineered enclosures. For example, sealed or open back cabs makes a big difference to bass response.

The trouble with your Marshall was that you took an amp with a good distortion sound and then tried to process that to get a good clean sound. That's the wrong way around. Start with an amp that does the cleanest sound that you like the best, then process your signal to add whatever distortion you need with pedals or whatever.

I did try that with my Fenders but I could never get a dirty sound I was happy with.

Closest I came was using a thing called a Reezafratzitz pedal. Nice but not nice enough as you miss things like the "sag" as the valves saturate on overload.

This looks like the kind of thing i'm after but without the huge price tag and half the weight please.

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Every Marshall amp i have owned has been a MASSIVE disappointment.

Amen. I guess they are good for recording hard rock if you've got them mic'ed up for recording and pushed to the limit. Otherwise you're paying a fat wedge to have something you can't move around easily and isn't anything to write home about.

Best all-things-considered amp is the Roland Cube series. Or maybe the all-solid-state analogue Tech21 Trademark.

Anyone going on about the more expensive stuff are wasting their money unless they really need it for gigging or something.

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Because I don't want to have to take 2 amps to gigs!

Yes! That would make you a bigamist! :blink:

I really only ever use the "clean" channel, on my Peavey Triumph 120 (very loud).

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I hate all this stuff.

I have a Fender Twin amp. It has clean or distortion. That's it.

That's all I want. That's just me though. I also use a Boss Chorus and Delay pedals occasionally to thicken the sound.

Nothing frustrates me more than to see guitarists hiding behind massive weapons of mass distortion.

Agreed.

However, when i was gigging i was also the singer. So i bought a loop pedal in order to run two circuits, so that i could hit one button and in so doing, bring in a lead channel with the overdrive, delay and compression all wacked in together for a solo.

Rather than pressing 3 buttons at once.

So i had a few pedals but wasn't really using them as a wall of sound generator, it just made life easier.

Never was a shoegazer.

I'm a songwriter not a sonic terrrrrist.

This might help the OP, Neil Youngs Whizzer. (That little box sat on top of the Deluxe Reverb combo).

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.gearslutz.com/board/attachments/high-end/318562d1353805070-neil-young-whizzer-neil-young-whizzer.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/786482-neil-young-whizzer.html&h=276&w=400&sz=37&tbnid=YuvbWT9AByKA0M:&tbnh=90&tbnw=131&zoom=1&usg=__7ypp0LZ_cu5KCfX4C9pgU_6_gaI=&docid=ub-ER_xB1zoXgM&sa=X&ei=SMnMUfDLCI_40gW8gYG4Aw&ved=0CDoQ9QEwAg&dur=49#imgdii=YuvbWT9AByKA0M%3A%3BHFKSef6mRfI0fM%3BYuvbWT9AByKA0M%3A

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I hate all this stuff.

I have a Fender Twin amp. It has clean or distortion. That's it.

That's all I want. That's just me though. I also use a Boss Chorus and Delay pedals occasionally to thicken the sound.

Nothing frustrates me more than to see guitarists hiding behind massive weapons of mass distortion.

Very good Mr.B :blink: ! If you have paid an "unreasonable amount of money" for an instrument, which I am sure I have done, several times, I don't want it to be "clipped" and sounding like any £50 plank, in some metalhead's bedroom! :blink:

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I hate all this stuff.

I have a Fender Twin amp. It has clean or distortion. That's it.

That's all I want. That's just me though. I also use a Boss Chorus and Delay pedals occasionally to thicken the sound.

Nothing frustrates me more than to see guitarists hiding behind massive weapons of mass distortion.

When I was a teen it was all grunge and My Bloody Valentine with as many distortion pedals and FX you could get. The trouble is soon everything starts sounding the same - a massive wall of noise with no light or shade.

Now I feel that with a pretty nice tube amp and an expensive great-sounding guitar I only add something to the signal chain if there's a good reason to.

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After a few road tests I found what I was looking for.......

I ended up getting a used Mesa Boogie Road King.

More amp than I could ever use but it was at the right price and I fell in love with the tone. From sparkling cleans to high gain insanity this amp does it all.

Basically it is 4 amps together so I can set them up for the sounds I want and just stomp on a button even mid song to get the required sound.

Even has a "solo" button which boosts the volume.

It sounded great at band rehearsal earlier this week and I can't wait to try it out at a gig next week.

I think i've finally found the perfect amp. Love it.

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After a few road tests I found what I was looking for.......

I ended up getting a used Mesa Boogie Road King.

Very nice Mr Spot. All the MESAs are pretty much very good, which I would expect for the price! :huh: I hope you have big roadies, as they are very heavy! :unsure:

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  • 242 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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