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liam_nz 09-20-2012 05:09 AM

How to utilise a Single Channel Amp
Hey Guys,

About a year ago, I picked up an Orange Dark Terror. It's incredible. The drive sounds are phenomenal. Only problem is that when I'm using the DT's preamp for distortion, I can't use a clean tone. I've started doing gigs recently, and it's starting to become a problem.
Basically, I'm wanting to get a clean tone, while still being able to use the preamp tubes for the distortion. Is this possible? If so, what can I do to achieve this?


Eppicurt 09-20-2012 05:13 AM

Volume knob on your guitar and less pre-amp distortion.

Cathbard 09-20-2012 05:18 AM

The most common way to do it is to dial the amp in so it only distorts when you hit the strings really hard. Then back off the guitar's volume for your cleans and kick in a boost/od pedal (with guitar volume wound up) for your dirt.
Just experiment with varying degrees of that until you find what works best for you.

Shor 09-20-2012 07:44 AM

You could use an eq pedal or similar that let's you lower the signal from your guitar before it hits the amp. That'll let you control it without fiddling with the volume knob on your guitar.

edit: Couple above with using an OD pedal to drive the amp harder when you're playing with a distorted sound and you should be able to go distorted enough for most things whilst still having a clean-ish tone two clicks away.

ikey_ 09-20-2012 08:07 AM

many ways. generally, if you have a low wattage head you are going to run out of of headroom and the power section will breakup.

you have to understand the gain control etc is only preamp. if your power section is overdriven, your going to be dirty nomatter what. think angus young. he just rolls back the volume to get a cleaner tone, but generally if you hits the dtrings hard or something hes still playing with crunch. he just manipulates it.

besides, many people love that clean tone with a tad bit of grit. with 15 watts playing live, it might be near impossible to get prestine fender twin cleans.

HOWEVER - you can try to get cleaner in many ways and the first of which is to begin utilizing the volume knob more. if not that, a volume pedal, or a pedal that can limit the signal, like an EQ with a level control turned down.

2- if you have a les paul layout, you can keep 1 pickup on like 3 and 1 on like 10, keep the neck on 3 switched on for cleans and then drop it to the middle for dirty tones using both the neck and bridge on 10.

3 - attack. get better and stumming softer / harder and digging into the strings.

4- overdrives and most importantly BOOSTS! with a single channel amp at 15 watts, your amp will be extremely receptive to a high oytput boost pedal, which would saturate your preamp and give you a ton of gain. this is natural, opposed to electronics created clipping created by most ODs with teh gain maxed.

your are essentially pumping a naturally outputted signal into the amp so hard the amp distorts itself, rather than running an amp clean and relying on the circuitry in a od pedal to produce the gain. you can run the output high on an OD pedal and get a boost effect too as well.

thinking of me, i would consider a few things. 1 an OD, 2 a boost, 3 perhaps a volume pedal or something to help manipulate guitar volume. i would probably use my les paul style guitar layout and 4, perhaps a clean boost in the FX loop, like an EQ with the level up for clean volume in case i need "more"

however, if your power section is overdriven, a clean boost in the loop might not actually provide a clean volume boost. it depends. every setup is different.

essentially, its all about regulating your gain to work for you. instead of thinking of it as confusing pedal and knobs, consider them all forms of input. more or less.

MickAlmighty 09-20-2012 08:11 AM

^ I do that with a 6505+ and somehow get a better clean sound than the clean channel does haha.

I keep the gain at around 4, my ibanez 'metal-screamer' (which is just a tubes reamer in a black and pink case and a TAD more grit) set as a boost, and the volume on the neck pup on my LP rolled back (the treble bleed mod is BESUTIFUL!!!)...

HEY PRESTO!!! Two-channels (I'm too lazy to buy a footswitch, and I have a feeling that the socket for the FS doesnt work right haha)

sykryk 09-20-2012 10:54 AM

I was going to buy an Orange Dark Terror, or a Line 6 DT25. I then came across this video:

As I NEED cleans for my stuff, I went with the Line 6. I also invested in a POD HD500 and totally do not regret not getting the Dark Terror. While it is amazing at the dirty tones, the Line 6 was infinitely more flexible.

My oh my Line 6 have come a long way!

liam_nz 09-21-2012 03:08 AM

Hey guys, the help you've given me is amazing. I've been experimenting with a friend's Ibanez Jet Driver JD9, and I'm getting clean-ish tones.
The problem is that I'm not able to smash the power section like I'd like to. I'm basically wanting to get the dirty sound as close to the fat, beefy, high-gain sound that I'd get out of the Terror on its own. Eventually I'll buy myself another head for the clean tone, but until then, that's just words.

liam_nz 11-21-2012 03:55 AM

For anybody interested, I'm getting the Home Brew Electronics Detox EQ pedal. The main application of it would be to clean up the hard driven amp, and I've heard it is fantastic! I look forward to getting it. If anybody has any questions on it, please don't hesitate to ask.

gumbilicious 11-21-2012 04:34 AM

i played a tiny terror for a couple year, i did like cath said and ran it at the breakup point. i also used extensive pedals through it. it started my love affair with single channel amps. all my amps are signal channel (until my multi channel arrives soon).

single channel amps will def push into a territory where you become a very responsive guitarist, learning how to manipulate your gear.

i am interested in why you think an EQ pedal will add extra flexibility. i used an EQ for a bit, but mainly used it for the exact opposite reasons, i used it to push the preamp a little harder (it had a level boost) and push the mids to make it peak out around 1K to 2K so my solos were heard more. how will the EQ clean the dirty up?

Blktiger0 11-21-2012 05:01 AM

Gumbi, I think he plans to use the "volume" on the EQ to basically turn the volume down on his guitar with a footswitch instead of rolling th eknob back.

Another thought would be to add a Chorus Pedal when you want cleans. It'll make them sound at least a little bit better. With any single-channel amp, though, you're going to have to get creative to get drastically different tones. The stuff the other guys have said are the tried and true methods here.

Personally, I would make it a habbit of using your guitar's volume/tone knobs more. I think they're one of THE MOST underrated tools available to every gutiarist. Most people just leave them on 10 and never bother with them. For me, I have to have a guitar with at least 2 volume knobs and one tone, preferably 2 of each. There's just so much flexibility available.

If you couple all of these tips together, you should have no issue getting a much cleaner and prettier sound, but like others have said, you'll never get true cleans from a 15watt single channel live.

Personally, I really like the "cleans" of a single channel, especially something JCM800-esque. I still use and love nice crystal cleans, but I could live with myself if I couldn't have them.

Raijouta 11-21-2012 05:10 AM

Guys, this thread is over 2 months old.

gumbilicious 11-21-2012 05:18 AM

Originally Posted by Raijouta
Guys, this thread is over 2 months old.

i saw that, but TS bumped it.

Raijouta 11-21-2012 05:32 AM

Originally Posted by gumbilicious
i saw that, but TS bumped it.

My bad. I thought ikey was the one who necrobumped because people who necro tend to reply with long posts from what I've seen.


gumbilicious 11-21-2012 05:37 AM

Originally Posted by Raijouta
My bad. I thought ikey was the one who necrobumped because people who necro tend to reply with long posts from what I've seen.


i usually try not to encourage the necro bumping, but i guess TS wanted some parity/context for his post so it seemed pretty reasonable.

no worries :cheers:

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