I'm guessing its like cleans and overdriven but I could be wrong so...
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A dual channel amp has channels with one typically dedicated to clean and another to distortion.

A single channel amp has both in one channel, but because of this there's no way to switch between the two.
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1 channel is just 1 set of controls for 1 input on the amp

2 channel could mean a few things, like older amps came with 2 channels and sometimes there would be a set of inputs for each channel. the seperate channels had independent volumes and even eq's at times. this was so you could run 2 instuments out of one amp without having to make them share volume knobs.

later channel switching via external switching boxes became popular, later they added more functionality like dirty/clean switching or the more manic hughes & ketner triamp style switching(3 amp models, 2 channels a piece, total of 6 switches!). my orange OR50H has a footswitch option that bypasses the master volume, so you could set that up as a potential 'channel switching' effect.

so just look at the specs of an amp to find out how it's channel switching works.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Aug 21, 2009,
Mind you, you can still use clean and overdriven sounds on the same song with a one channel amp. You can either use pedals (a volume pedal before the amp should work I think, and of course distortion and overdrive pedals would) or just use the volume knob on your guitar. Single channel amps tend to be built to have good dynamics so you can get decent distortion levels with the volume knob at full and playing hard, and cleanish sounds with the volume knob turned low and playing soft.
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