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  1. #1

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    So I'm sitting around the house, with my Vintage Sound VS20 to the side of the piano, and my DVmark Little Jazz on the other side - and then it occurs to me: I have a good ABY box somewhere. So I dig it out and start experimenting with using both amps. Guitar is an Eastman John Pisano.
    Some thoughts:

    Makes for a very good AB comparison, which is not fair as the VS is so much more amp.

    Allows me to turn off the DVMLJ reverb which I don't like, and rely on the VS tube/spring reverb which I very much do like.

    Before I tried it and dialed it in, I wondered if it would be too much and sound unclear, or if it could be the best of both worlds. I am leaning toward the later. I'm getting the body and verb of the tube amp, with a little of the definition of the DVMLJ added in. Can't say I would bother for live situations, but for home playing it's very enjoyable.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    So I'm sitting around the house, with my Vintage Sound VS20 to the side of the piano, and my DVmark Little Jazz on the other side - and then it occurs to me: I have a good ABY box somewhere. So I dig it out and start experimenting with using both amps. Guitar is an Eastman John Pisano.
    Some thoughts:

    Makes for a very good AB comparison, which is not fair as the VS is so much more amp.

    Allows me to turn off the DVMLJ reverb which I don't like, and rely on the VS tube/spring reverb which I very much do like.

    Before I tried it and dialed it in, I wondered if it would be too much and sound unclear, or if it could be the best of both worlds. I am leaning toward the later. I'm getting the body and verb of the tube amp, with a little of the definition of the DVMLJ added in. Can't say I would bother for live situations, but for home playing it's very enjoyable.
    Now try it with a stereo chorus effect instead of an ABY box.

    John

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Now try it with a stereo chorus effect instead of an ABY box.

    John
    Hmmm very interesting but I don't have one.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    Hmmm very interesting but I don't have one.
    Time for more gear!!

    Seriously, though, two-amp and/or stereo rigs can be a lot of fun!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Time for more gear!!

    Seriously, though, two-amp and/or stereo rigs can be a lot of fun!
    I don't doubt it. Can it be done with analog pedals?

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    I don't doubt it. Can it be done with analog pedals?
    Sure - there are all sorts of ways to do it! Even what you described originally is a good example: tube amp with reverb on one side, solid-state amp running dry on the other side! Add and subtract from there!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    Hmmm very interesting but I don't have one.
    One man's problem is another's opportunity.

    John

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    I don't doubt it. Can it be done with analog pedals?
    For sure. Boss makes a really good stereo chorus pedal that you can find used for well under $100. All the usual suspects (EXH, Digitech, MXR, etc.) make something similar.

    John

  10. #9

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    I used to play that way, using the Stereo Chorus feature of the Boss ME50. They removed it from the ME80 and, I think, the ME70 as well.

    Iirc correctly, the problem is that one side is clean and the chorusing takes place in the air of the room as the pressure waves from the two individual amps collide in the air.

    What happens is that it can detune the sound of the guitar. Meaning, at certain spots in the room, some of the time, the waves can collide in such a way that the guitar will sound badly out of tune. I found that, even though the guitar sounded great where I sat, it could sound awful elsewhere, and I had to stop using it.

    I tried other ways to generate two signals that, together, would thicken the sound of the guitar, but I never got anything useful and I stopped trying. Now I play one amp at a time.

  11. #10

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    I use a Roland micro-cube with Marshall a jcm800 full stack.
    I'm deaf in my right ear for some weird reason.
    Last edited by arielcee; 02-21-2020 at 06:11 PM.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Now try it with a stereo chorus effect instead of an ABY box.

    John
    So the aby I have, (Fulltone true path) has a phase switch to insure that the two amps are in phase.
    I'm not seeing this so far on the stereo effect pedals. Does it not matter?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    So the aby I have, (Fulltone true path) has a phase switch to insure that the two amps are in phase.
    I'm not seeing this so far on the stereo effect pedals. Does it not matter?
    The idea behind a phase switch is that if you're sending the exact same signal to two different amp you want to make sure the speakers in both are moving back and forth at the same time. If the two amps are electrically out of phase with teach other, one's speakers will be moving back while the other's is moving forth, leading to the potential for the two sounds to cancel each other out somewhat in the air. A phase switch on an ABY switch lets you correct that problem. In a typical stereo chorus set up, the "wet" signal (a modulating delay) goes to one side and the "dry" signal goes to the other. Because of the fact that the two sides have different sounds coming out of them, there is not the same risk of phase cancellation of the sounds in the air, hence no phase switch is needed.

    John

  14. #13

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    I am a big advocate for multi-amp setups. As the fortunate caretaker of a Gibson ES-345 with stereo VariTone, I can testify to the sonic richness that two amps receiving separate similar-but-not-identical inputs can create. My fave: two blackface Deluxe Reverbs about four feet apart (and aligned perfectly) and stereo Y-cord. All levels set to achieve left-right parity. "Lush" is the only word that fits.
    To a degree, just bridging the amps does produce an effect (Watch the grounds!) and the amps can be different, just be patient setting levels. Have fun with reverb settings, and "vibrato" or tremolo, if available. A light touch with the effects is advised. With this type of enhancement, a little goes a long way. And of course stereo echo is something you've got to hear!
    Whether or not a audience could or would appreciate the time & effort to pull this off is debatable. Please your own ears!

  15. #14

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  16. #15

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    I do it with a Line6 GT10 wireless system. For various reasons, I ended up with two receivers. It's easy to pair a transmitter with multiple receivers. I sometimes connect receivers to my AI Clarus, Little Jazz, Vibrolux Reverb, or whatever else I desire, and play through both simultaneously. It's really a pretty good sound, no other boxes needed, just the two receivers and two cables to the amps, one from each receiver, from the one transmitter in the guitar jack.

  17. #16

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    I have a pair of voxes sitting next to each other, so this occasionally happens. I'll take one of the outs from one of my pedals and run it to the second amp. So one is clear and all the lasers shoot out of the second one. Or one is clean and one is distorted. Or one is full and one is very middy and punchy. Or one is a vox and one is a fender. Or one is a Roland. Or one is a PA.

    There's lots of ways to go about it. A pedal with a stereo out or wet/dry outs ( like my maxon delay) is probably the simplest, and you might even own such a pedal already. It's common with reverb and delay pedals, for instance.

  18. #17

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    The more I play with this the more I realize that part of what I like is the blend of the different amp sounds, (that's what I was looking for), but also I like the wide spread of the amps. Problem is, once you have it dialed in if you move you lose the proper mix. This is solved by placing one amp on top of the other but then you lose the spread.

    So really what I want is four amps! One of each type on each side. But I'm not about to buy duplicates of my amps just so I can try this.
    But it occurs to me that I might get a similar result with extension cabs - tube amp on the right with an extension cab on the left. SS amp on the left with extension on the right. I plan to try this as time allows.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    The more I play with this the more I realize that part of what I like is the blend of the different amp sounds, (that's what I was looking for), but also I like the wide spread of the amps. Problem is, once you have it dialed in if you move you lose the proper mix. This is solved by placing one amp on top of the other but then you lose the spread.

    So really what I want is four amps! One of each type on each side. But I'm not about to buy duplicates of my amps just so I can try this.
    But it occurs to me that I might get a similar result with extension cabs - tube amp on the right with an extension cab on the left. SS amp on the left with extension on the right. I plan to try this as time allows.
    Down the rabbit hole we go!!



  20. #19

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    Tube and Ss combination works great. As long as you have multiple speakers, the sound gets bigger and better really! My favorite combinations are a small tube amp and something like a Zt lunchbox or an Aer. Half the reason why I bought the zt lunchbox is it is tiny and so easy to carry as a second amp.

    But to use 2 amps live you want a splitter box otherwise you may have noise, hum, etc. depending on where you play

  21. #20

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    When mixing, if you duplicate parts hard left and right, there needs to be something different on each side or else it will sound mono down the center. So you eq the sides differenly or use different effects etc.

    With amps, same thing, each side needs to sound a little bit different to get a stereo sound. Wet/dry is something that seems to be in vogue these days. If you have two different make or model amps, I think that would be good.

  22. #21

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    It's all making me want to upgrade my SS amp, to something with a 110 or 112. I don't know what though. I don't want "tube like", or "polytone ish". Instead i want something accurate and clear, more along the line of thinking when trying to amplify an acoustic flat top. The sound of a studio monitor comes to mind. This imo is what I want to blend with my tube amps. At least for fingerstyle solo work.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Now try it with a stereo chorus effect instead of an ABY box.

    John
    Or with one of these...

  24. #23

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    i want to go stereo, i do it sometimes with my stereo delay pedal... love it, i have a princeton reverb and a vox pathfinder, and it's a blast
    if i was still gigging, i would get a champ and a polytone again

  25. #24

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    You really don’t even need a”stereo “ setup, but rather just a Y cable with two female connections leading to one male that goes into your amp. It’s especially nice to use if you have a small, maybe closed back SS, great tone but a bit to directional or boxy sounding amp. Get two and link em together and separate them by 6 to 10 feet; they won’t sound directional now, you sort of can’t tell where the sound is emanating from (in a good way). Perhaps you can use two different amps, I don’t know as I’ve always used two of the same model.
    Last edited by whiskey02; 02-24-2020 at 07:37 PM.

  26. #25

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    Or get a head and two cabinets, and connect the cabinets, or an extension cabinet with a combo. Lots of ways to get it done, some easier and cheaper than others.