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A Second Amp for Wet/Dry Rig set-up?

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  • A Second Amp for Wet/Dry Rig set-up?

    I have recently become aware of a term and concept that I suspect many of you here are already familiar with - The so called "Wet/Dry Rig" and even "Wet/Dry/Wet Rig", referring to setting up 2 or more amps and running all the "wet" pedals (delays, reverb, chorus, modulators etc.) through one or two amps and then the "dry" pedals (gain, distortion etc.) through a second amp. The idea is (as far as I've understood) to enable you to keep the tone and attack while still being able to have a lot of effects going on at the same time, without the sound turning to mush.

    To me this seem like a good idea but I have no experience with it and if I want to go into it fully I would have to buy a second amp and I just don't know what I should be aiming for. The amp I'm currently playing through is a 100W Hughes & Kettner Vortex Black Series top and its 4/12 cabinet. Would I need to buy something that is equivalent to this, i.e. another 100W amp top with a 4/12 cabinet, or could I get away with something smaller, like a 50W combo? And if so, how should I approach it? Should I run the "dry" through my H&K and the "wet" through the smaller one?

    Another question that obviously relates to this is - does anyone have any suggestion on what amp brand would best complete my H&K for a wet/dry set-up?
    Last edited by DarthTangYang; 01-08-2021, 11:26 AM.

  • #2
    So many ways to do this and I'm sure others will chime in. For me if I wanted to do this with as few components and wires as possible I'd look for a stout 2 channel acoustic amp with a good compliment of on-board effects. (That way you get power, speaker and effects all in one box. A guitar modeling amp loaded with different effects could work a treat too.) Mic the dry cab and feed it to the acoustic amp mic input. Use the direct out that I assume your HK has to drive the instrument input of the acoustic amp. If the acoustic amp has an effects loop you could add out-board effects too.

    If you are going to gig the rig I'd make sure the wet rig is powerful enough to keep up with the dry rig. Just remember that 15-50 watts could/should be more than enough for the wet rig if you're not cranking up your 100 watt dry rig.
    Last edited by SlyFoxx; 01-07-2021, 08:48 AM.

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    • #3
      Either use identical amps and cabs, or use a really clean (almost like a P.A.) for the wet side. The latter only works if all your dirt and distortion are coming from pedals before the amp and you aren't depending on the amp for most of your tone. But the most preferred would be to use identical amps/cabs. The main point is clarity by separation - each amp and set of speakers is only responsible for reproducing their portion of the signal, so the effects side will be clearer and so will the original dry signal. Also has the side benefit of having a really big, wide sound in the room.

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      • #4
        Are you using an effects loop and do you use the amp for gain or external pedals exclusively? What’s your total chain as of today?
        Oh no.....


        Oh Yeah!

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        • #5
          Steve Morse does this, and it sounds amazing when he does it. The 'effects' amp is a duplicate of his dry amp & cab. That way the tone doesn't change.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post
            Are you using an effects loop and do you use the amp for gain or external pedals exclusively? What’s your total chain as of today?
            I plan to build a pedalboard and will probably run all effects, wet as dry from that. As of today I only have a Roland VG-88 which I probably won't be using. I sold all my pedals years ago as I only used the midi effects from the VG-88 at the time but have now decided I want to build up a more traditional, analog set-up again. So I have started diving deep into everything I would need to get the really fat sound I've always wanted.

            As I'm still researching pedals I'm not 100% set on which ones I will invest in but the pedals I am currently considering for the new pedalboard build are:

            Lehle Mono Volume Pedal
            Dunlop Crybaby GCB95
            JHS Little Black Buffer
            Diezel VH4-2 Pedal
            Strymon Riverside
            MXR Micro Amp M133
            TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay
            Boss DD-3T Digital Delay
            Boss GE-7 Equalizer
            Boss BF-3 Flanger
            Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble
            Lehle Little Dual II

            If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on any of these I am more than open to hear about it but perhaps that's a subject for another thread.

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            • #7
              Another thing to consider is the Komet AmbiKab. A very cool piece of gear.





              If you are looking for some pedal suggestions to look into as well, (I saw your list which has some awesome pedals listed) but I would encourage you to look into the Revv pedals for gain. Most amp like pedals I have owned and I am not a gain pedal guy. I prefer the drive to come from the amp. As far as reverbs and delays, etc. I can't express how nice the Free the Tone products are.

              For MANY MANY years I have run two amp rigs for blended tones etc. I will help answer any questions you may have (or try to). When you get all the pieces right, it is a wonderful thing to hear. Good luck!
              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.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DarthTangYang View Post

                I plan to build a pedalboard and will probably run all effects, wet as dry from that. As of today I only have a Roland VG-88 which I probably won't be using. I sold all my pedals years ago as I only used the midi effects from the VG-88 at the time but have now decided I want to build up a more traditional, analog set-up again. So I have started diving deep into everything I would need to get the really fat sound I've always wanted.

                As I'm still researching pedals I'm not 100% set on which ones I will invest in but the pedals I am currently considering for the new pedalboard build are:

                Lehle Mono Volume Pedal
                Dunlop Crybaby GCB95
                JHS Little Black Buffer
                Diezel VH4-2 Pedal
                Strymon Riverside
                MXR Micro Amp M133
                TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay
                Boss DD-3T Digital Delay
                Boss GE-7 Equalizer
                Boss BF-3 Flanger
                Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble
                Lehle Little Dual II

                If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on any of these I am more than open to hear about it but perhaps that's a subject for another thread.
                Looks good, the Little Dual will work if you want to turn off the wet amp completely. The CE-5 will split nicely as well, in stereo one side is dry, the other is vibrato.

                I’m also inclined to say another of the same amp.
                Oh no.....


                Oh Yeah!

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                • #9
                  I ran wet / dry briefly, but abandoned the rig because it was a pain to set up and required A LOT of hardware. I tried both a rackmount preamp and multi-channel head and mic'd the dry amp and used a mixer / PA setup with a rack processor. It produced a very hifi tone that reminded me of David Gilmour circa The Division Bell.
                  Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                  And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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                  • #10
                    I would also think that doing this in a live setup would be difficult on multi-band shows where you can't bring your own sound person and have to trust the person doing sound to get the mix right (and give you more than 1 channel for guitar). It is much easier to implement in your house, or on a recording that you have control over.
                    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                      I would also think that doing this in a live setup would be difficult on multi-band shows where you can't bring your own sound person and have to trust the person doing sound to get the mix right (and give you more than 1 channel for guitar). It is much easier to implement in your house, or on a recording that you have control over.
                      That's a great point. I never actually played a gig with my wet / dry rig; just trying to use it for a couple rehearsals was a big enough PITA.
                      Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                      And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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                      • #12
                        I actually found an episode of That Pedal Show where the question of how to go about choosing amps for a wet/dry rig is addressed



                        Their conclusion seem to be that it doesn't really matter which two you choose (with a couple of exceptions).

                        Firstly, depending on what sound you're going for you might want to consider using two amps with similar gain levels as it won't sound very good when you step on your gain pedal. And since I am a metal guy, high gain is my thing, so that's definitely something I need to consider.

                        Secondly, don't use a digital amp with an analog amp as the digital amp will introduce quite a bit of latency which puts the two amps out of phase. You can use an analog transistor amp with a valve amp, so that's not a problem. You might even be able to use two digital amps if they are both the same type, thus having the same latency. But since my Vortex isn't digital I need to either get another transisitor amp or get a valve amp.

                        Wattage doesn't seem to be a problem either. In the video they ran a 100W amp together with a 5W amp and it worked fine, so that doesn't seem to be an issue at all. Now, I'd never buy a 5W amp but it shows that I don't need to neccessarily get another 100W amp for the wet/dry rig to work.

                        Any thoughts on this?
                        Last edited by DarthTangYang; 01-08-2021, 11:22 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I would think that it would be better if they are both the same. The basic tone would match. Again, I would have concerns doing this live when you have to depend on someone else to do your sound. I would almost guarantee that the 'wet' amp would never make it to the PA system.
                          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DarthTangYang View Post
                            I actually found an episode of That Pedal Show where the question of how to go about choosing amps for a wet/dry rig is addressed



                            Their conclusion seem to be that it doesn't really matter which two you choose (with a couple of exceptions).

                            Firstly, depending on what sound you're going for you might want to consider using two amps with similar gain levels as it won't sound very good when you step on your gain pedal. And since I am a metal guy, high gain is my thing, so that's definitely something I need to consider.

                            Secondly, don't use a digital amp with an analog amp as the digital amp will introduce quite a bit of latency which puts the two amps out of phase. You can use an analog transistor amp with a valve amp, so that's not a problem. You might even be able to use two digital amps if they are both the same type, thus having the same latency. But since my Vortex isn't digital I need to either get another transisitor amp or get a valve amp.

                            Wattage doesn't seem to be a problem either. In the video they ran a 100W amp together with a 5W amp and it worked fine, so that doesn't seem to be an issue at all. Now, I'd never buy a 5W amp but it shows that I don't need to neccessarily get another 100W amp for the wet/dry rig to work.

                            Any thoughts on this?
                            Mick and Dan have been covering this on and off since their channel started, so dive deep into their vids. I love wet-dry, at home in my studio, but I wouldn’t even think of attempting it in the local live shows I do play.


                            Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              Split your main amp FX send signal so you keep most of your original amp tone from its Preamp section. Send one split thru your effects and into the FX return of one amp for the Wet sound and send the second split into the FX return of a second amp for the Dry sound. However if you need individual control of the volume on each amp then be sure the master volume is on the power amp, in some cases like the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe when you plug into the FX return it works at full volume all the time. For example you can use a Magnum 44 power amp pedal or ISP Stealth Ultra Lite into a cab and control the volume individually. As with any other dual amp rig, be aware of solving potential phasing and ground loop issues.

                              Edit: I just read you have a 4x12 o_OĦ Not sure how loud you really play man but if you don't really crank it maybe you can try a couple of 2x12 or even 1x12 with a smaller amps. Take a look at Rebea Massad rig, yes he uses two amps for stereo but he uses a couple of 2x12, easier to carry and you can always separate them a bit for a better spread of the stereo image.
                              Last edited by IMENATOR; 01-11-2021, 11:47 AM.
                              Who took my guitar?

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