#1
This might sound like a stupid question to experinced people on these forums but my question is about use of multiple amp heads. I've never figured for the life of me why most guitarists have several amp heads on their rigs? For example I was watching an old Tonny Iommi video/lesson program and he talks about his gear saying he uses 4 mesa heads going through his cabs. I've heard stories of Pete Townsend having multiple heads and I've seen live bands where the guitarist has 2 or 3 heads going through a single 4x12 cab.

So what does this do? Is it just for more wattage or something? If so why not just use a more powerful head, what would the purpose of running multiple heads going to the same cab system serve?
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#2
I would say that it might be because a guitarist would want to layer his sound with two different amp settings to make it fuller; kind of like layering with two guitars but with one.
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Last edited by Vecheka at Jan 10, 2010,
#3
might have A/B switching for different sounds, or all at once to produce a better tone. combining the tones of amps through one cab sound pretty sweet.
#4
split the signal and you can run stereo or layering. Plus I know that my Mesa at least has a slave out which allows you to chain amps to reprocess effects through different channels and stuff.
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#5
i though it was so have one amp run the other amps to make it easier to overdrive or something like that like have the signal from one amp out into another amp over drive the hell out of it thats just wat i thouhg
#6
Quote by AcousticMirror
split the signal and you can run stereo or layering. Plus I know that my Mesa at least has a slave out which allows you to chain amps to reprocess effects through different channels and stuff.


why in the **** do u have a prs with a marshall mg10?!?!?
#7
Quote by supersac
i though it was so have one amp run the other amps to make it easier to overdrive or something like that like have the signal from one amp out into another amp over drive the hell out of it thats just wat i thouhg

That would destroy one or both of the amps.
#8
It's an SE. Der.

Guitarists use multiple heads for a variety of reasons as stated. Some A/B them as they may prefer the clean on one amp, and the crunch of another. Other amps are able to be chained together, as stereo heads are able to run multiple cabs in stereo. Plus it comes down to just having plenty of backups. A touring guitarist doesn't have the time to fiddle with broke ass amps all the time. In the heat of the moment its just alot easier to switch them out and keep playing while on tour.
#11
to tighten up their sound . think of the other amps as " boost pedal " in front of a tube amp . they basically boost the amp .. with the same amp ( so they get the same sound , same tone but with another "layer" . metallica have done that for recording and live almost all there career .

they double or even triple the guitar ( for example : and justice for all album was recorded by doubling or even tripling the guitar sound to give it is full saturation and dryness . )

or :


To get different sounds . a combinaison of fender tube head for "clean" and marshall or mesa for "dirty" is very common .


http://filepit.freewebs.com/montyjay/jamesamps/james1993rack.jpg metallica rig


its basically 2 entire rack of the same stuff : Mesa boogie mark II , Mesa boogie triaxis , fuhrman power conditionner , parametric equalizer etc.. . hes got like 4-5 of each on stage .

wicked .
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#12
Quote by yomoma21
why in the **** do u have a prs with a marshall mg10?!?!?


You didn't see his NGD threads did you?

I'm pretty sure he has a JCM combo and a Tremoverb half stack which likely pwns your face.
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#13
Quote by Skysc
to tighten up their sound . think of the other amps as " boost pedal " in front of a tube amp . they basically boost the amp .. with the same amp ( so they get the same sound , same tone but with another "layer" . metallica have done that for recording and live almost all there career .

they double or even triple the guitar ( for example : and justice for all album was recorded by doubling or even tripling the guitar sound to give it is full saturation and dryness . )

or :


To get different sounds . a combinaison of fender tube head for "clean" and marshall or mesa for "dirty" is very common .


http://filepit.freewebs.com/montyjay/jamesamps/james1993rack.jpg metallica rig


its basically 2 entire rack of the same stuff : Mesa boogie mark II , Mesa boogie triaxis , fuhrman power conditionner , parametric equalizer etc.. . hes got like 4-5 of each on stage .

wicked .


The bit in bold, is true combining 2 amps for a clean / dirty setup is very common and can get you awesome sounds.

The other bit thought (and it could just be me) sounded like you were saying run one amp into another, which would break the amps. The amps are run simultaneously into the stereo inputs on a cab giving a much fuller sound.

With Metallica, they only run one of those racks at a time IIRC, the rest are backups incase one dies they can flip on the other pretty easily.

Quote by TOMMYB22
You didn't see his NGD threads did you?

I'm pretty sure he has a JCM combo and a Tremoverb half stack which likely pwns your face.


He has THD as well, and the sexiest double cut LP I've ever seen.
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