View Full Version : Clean & Dirty from a single channel amp?
05-21-2011, 02:49 AM
I've got a single channel Laney LC15R Valve amp, it sounds real sweet when cranked for a overdrive sound and also can do a great clean tone.
My problem is, when playing with others I'd like to be able to switch from clean tone with delay, to overdrive/crunch without changing volume.
I know, get a 2ch amp!!...Unfortunately a cant afford that at the moment and Ive already thrown a load of money at the Laney to make it sound sweet (Jenson Speaker, Valves, vintage output transformer....)
So is there a way of doing it?
My pedal board consists of... Boss Blues Driver (keeley mod)>Keeley Compressor>amp....and a Trex Reptile delay in the FX loop
the amp is run through a Weber mini mass attenuator to keep volume in check.
05-21-2011, 04:36 AM
I'm not a big fan of compressors, but I would put that first in the chain. Personally, I find they take away too much of what tubes add (all the nice dynamics and stuff).
I normally use 2 channel amps, but I have a one channel practice amp (Vibrochamp XD) I use for in the house. I usually use the clean amp model. I have a TS808 on my board that can push it just into crunch.
Sometimes I want more serious overdrive, so I'll set the amp's gain to be just slightly crunchy, roll of the vol and/or use neck or both pick ups for the cleanest tone, and then switch over and crank it for more drive.
With only channel, one needs to find a "happy medium". You could try a distortion pedal also. This will work if you can find poe that doesn't suck. I have a BOSS MT2 and it's like playing through a jar of bees. =P
[Edit]I've heard of using 2 over drives, but have never tried that.
05-21-2011, 05:36 AM
I'd suggest getting a volume pedal (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUS403&q=volume+pedal&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3182378765653603110&sa=X&ei=SZXXTdqFKYP40gHE6KH8Aw&ved=0CFAQ8gIwAQ&biw=1197&bih=1015#)
05-21-2011, 09:42 AM
Oh yeah, volume. Thanks, Jeff, just living up to my sig. :) Why are you unable to level your OD output with no OD? Does it have no level control?
05-21-2011, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the replies, my OD has a level on it and I can set the amp clean with the OD off, then balance the volume with it on. The problem with that is the pedal isn't cranking the amp any more than when it's off, so the distortion effect is just from the pedal, not the amps output valves, and it just doesn't sound as good.
If I use the OD with just a little gain but more level, it drives the amp into beautiful touch sensitive crunch, but there's quite a jump in volume when i step on it, which mucks up the mix with the band, and drives our sound guy on the desk crazy!
05-22-2011, 04:27 AM
I've tried that as well. Kind of using it for a clean boost, and it does sound great, but it left me in the same situation. (Damn, logic wins again! :) ) So, now I keep the gain and level knobs in unity with the gain about 10% less than level and bring them up or down together so when I switch, there is no change in volume. They sit about 12:00 and I get a nice crunch from that setting.
It's a little bit like 'you can't have your cake and eat it too'. :p
05-22-2011, 09:38 AM
Thanks Razbo, I guess I'll have to make do for the moment and try and make a compromise. I guess that having a 2ch amp would make it easy to get clean and overdrive at the same volume, or would it? Doesn't a 2ch amp only have 2 pre amp stages and a single shared output stage? If that's the case, to have output tube distortion it would need to be driven fairly hard, so any clean sound would have to be quieter to be clean?? I don't know if that's right or not, I've never used a 2ch!!
05-23-2011, 05:39 AM
Preamps usually work with a "Gain control" and a "Master volume".
The preamp's purpose it to get you that high gain without forcing you to high volumes. It's an amplifier within an amplifier, if you will, and the Gain is like the volume control for the first amp. You turn your gain up or down to get the overdrive happening in that first amp. That overdriven signal is sent to the output tubes.
Some amps have a gain and a master on each channel (like my Jet City amp, and probably other high gain gain amps would.) Others, like my DeVille have just one control control for the Clean channel, and a Gain + Master for the dirty channel.
On the DeVille, what I do is level the Clean to be what I want, then set the Gain on the dirty channel to be what I want, then set the Master Volume on the Dirty channel to match the output of the Clean channel.
Preamp OD is not quite the same as overdriving your output tubes in the power section. Unfortunately, putting your power section to overdrive means means high volumes. You will have to set everything else around that point where you get the break up you want.
Preamps give you a lot more versatility that way, and you can get great sound at lower volumes and play anywhere.
I find it indespensible to have the second channel. It sucks to compromise your sound.
05-30-2011, 05:41 PM
Hi there...thought I would add my two cents worth... there are tons of high quality great sounding pedals out there that I'm sure could solve your problem...ie clean and dirty at the same volume through a one channel amp...A boss overdrive or Ibanez tube screamer should give you good result...they will drive the amp into a distorted lead tone without losing too much of the tube sweetness...the thing to avoid is a distortion pedal...!!! There is a difference between overdrive and distortion and overdrive will always sound better in front of a tube amp...
But...if you cant find one you like and decide to go down the two channel amp route then you should find that there will be an independent volume control for each channel in addition to the master volume...I can't say for certain that every amp will have this but in my experience this is the case...
Hope this helps...
06-16-2011, 03:55 AM
Id suggest at least auditioning something like a Blackstar HT-DRIVE overdrive pedal (http://www.gtrmusic.co.uk/effects-pedals-blackstar-c-23_42.html) to add the gain channel. To be fair you may lose a little in the original tone but I think overall it will sound better and have balanced volumes. You get recording outputs as well.
06-28-2011, 12:57 AM
I have a Blackstar dual channel distortion pedal that sounds really good. Use it with a Laney Lionheart amp.
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