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2 guitars -> 1 amp ?

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(@sarton)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Apologies if this has been asked before, but...

Are there any negative consequences with plugging two guitars into one amp?

A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

Godin Freeway Classic, PodXT Live, Seymour-Duncan 84-50.
(All this so I could learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little' Star for my youngest.)


   
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(@Anonymous)
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Apologies if this has been asked before, but...

Are there any negative consequences with plugging two guitars into one amp?

That works fine...If you get a Behringer Guitar/Amp Selector
you can switch between the two. Or you can go one guitar to two amps. I have this pedal and it works great!


   
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(@gnease)
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My answer applies to two guitars playing at the same time:

I would not expect any damage to result -- if that is your worry. However, sonically there are limits: It works best if (and IMO, only if) one is running the amp clean (not overdriving any of the amp's stages). Basically, this means one would be using the amp as a PA. Any distortion one wishes to have on either guitar should be wholly created in the FX units before the amp -- and an overdrive pedal is no-no.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@ricochet)
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Lots of older amps were made with multiple guitar inputs AND a mic input. They never expected players would crank them into distortion.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@sarton)
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Yes, I guess I should have been a bit more specific. I was referring to both guitars playing at the same time. Thanks much for the answers. It's a good excuse to get another efx unit. ;)

A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

Godin Freeway Classic, PodXT Live, Seymour-Duncan 84-50.
(All this so I could learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little' Star for my youngest.)


   
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(@forrok_star)
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Some are designed for it and some are not. Even if its not that not to say you can't. Experiment and see if it works and how it sounds. a few amps are set up that when a guitar is plugged into one of the channels it disconnects the jack for the other channel. A couple of older amps I have has 4 input jacks. Each jack has a different sound when your guitar in plugged into them, also you can plug into one input then use a cable and connect it from another input into another input which allow you to drive one channel into the other channel.

If your amp has a separate inputs for each channel you could do this. However I would becareful with how hard you push the amp. The playing dynamic's of each guitar may put extra strain on the power supply and transformers.

joe


   
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(@noteboat)
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You also need to watch the effects. Some years back I was working with a band, and the other guitarist's amp blew a fuse. He didn't have a replacement, and my amp had two inputs, so in he went.

Then he started messing with his effects, and my guitar started dropping out of the mix. He was totally oblivious to the fact that the more gain he added, the more I became a stage prop. Kinda ticked me off.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@sarton)
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My setup has been guitar->pod xtl->amp, with the xtl input going to the power amp (efx in) stage. For both of us playing, I would probably do something more like guitars->Y->amp.

My daughter likes to dabble with the guitar, but I only have the one amp. So, I thought if I could use a splitter to input both guitars into my amp, I would. I'm not concerened about using a lot of efx, just the ability to amp both guitars. It's more to gain the ability to duet, pass one some of what I've picked up, etc.

A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

Godin Freeway Classic, PodXT Live, Seymour-Duncan 84-50.
(All this so I could learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little' Star for my youngest.)


   
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(@doug_c)
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My daughter likes to dabble with the guitar, but I only have the one amp. So, I thought if I could use a splitter to input both guitars into my amp, I would. I'm not concerened about using a lot of efx, just the ability to amp both guitars. It's more to gain the ability to duet, pass one some of what I've picked up, etc.Most commendable. 8)
The Holiday '05 issue of Guitar World includes on its CD a video lesson with Dickey Betts and his son Duane playing harmonies on "Jessica" and other songs. I'm sure they each had a separate amp, but I bet your plan will work out just fine for the time being. Maybe we'll be seeing you and your daughter playing harmony in a video some day.
Godin Freeway Classic, PodXT Live, Seymour-Duncan 84-50.
(All this so I could learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little' Star for my youngest.)What a good dad. :)


   
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(@kingpatzer)
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Probably the BEST way to do this is to get yourselves a couple of pre-amps for the guitars and a mixing board.

The chain would look like this:

guitar 1 ---> pre-amp ---> effects ---> board input
---> board out --> amp
guitar 2 ---> pre-amp ---> effects ---> board input

Then use the amp only for clean amplification.

With this setup you can use most any effect you want and adjust the mix post-fx to get a balanced sound. It still won't be perfect, but it will be about as good as you can expect without moving to a true PA system.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@gnease)
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You also need to watch the effects. Some years back I was working with a band, and the other guitarist's amp blew a fuse. He didn't have a replacement, and my amp had two inputs, so in he went.

Then he started messing with his effects, and my guitar started dropping out of the mix. He was totally oblivious to the fact that the more gain he added, the more I became a stage prop. Kinda ticked me off.

This is exactly why I recommended keeping the amp out of saturation. It was not the FX themselves, but the absolute level the other guitarist was driving into the amp. The total signal (yours and his) was pushing some amp stage into non-linearity. When that happens, the larger signal will dominate disproportionately (what non-linear is all about!). OTOH, if the total signal is kept low enough so the amp is running clean, then the amp stays within a linear operational range and -- EQ and amplification aside -- "what comes out" will be pretty close to "what goes in." No matter what FX are used prior to the amp, if the total level from both input chains is low enough to keep the amp linear even on dynamic peaks, then no problem. As I said above, nobody gets to use an overdrive pedal in this arrangement. KP's suggestion of a mixer will help mediate the situation.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@sarton)
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As a followup to this, I was given some equipment: an E-mu Drumulator (old, but works), and a Midiman Micromixer 18. I'm thinking of looking for another multi fx unit (boss gt-8 perhaps). Then plugging the output of each multifx into the mixer, and then from there into the power stage of the amp. Comments?

A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

Godin Freeway Classic, PodXT Live, Seymour-Duncan 84-50.
(All this so I could learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little' Star for my youngest.)


   
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(@forrok_star)
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That Midiman Micromixer 18 is a nice mixer. With it you could plug the two guitars into it and then into the amp. Here's the manual if you don't have it. MicroMixer18_Manual. You'll need Adobe Acrobat to view it.

Joe


   
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(@sarton)
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Thanks for the link. Hopefully I get to play with it some this eveninig. I still want a GT-8 though. :D

A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

Godin Freeway Classic, PodXT Live, Seymour-Duncan 84-50.
(All this so I could learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little' Star for my youngest.)


   
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(@forrok_star)
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Your Welcome.

Here's a thing I do with a mixer. is have your guitar come in on channel one, use a direct out and into an effect then back into channel two. You could do this with a few channels then mix them all together. If done right you can make it sound like more than one guitar playing the same thing only they each sound just a little bit different. Kind of like doubling effect except in this case its all being done in real time.

joe


   
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