Multi-Micro Setup

Orange Amps Technical Q&A's

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icthulhu
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Multi-Micro Setup

Post by icthulhu » Sun May 12, 2019 6:50 pm

Hi all,

New to the game but loving the Orange tone. I'll admit that I know next to nothing about impedance which is impeding my thought process.

I have a Micro Dark plugged into a PPC212. Since the 212 has two speaker inputs, would it be reasonable to plug a Micro Terror into the second speaker input, and then A/B switch between the heads for Clean/Dirty?

Other than I'm obviously too lazy to fiddle with the knobs, are there any technical issues with this idea?

bclaire
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Re: Multi-Micro Setup

Post by bclaire » Sun May 12, 2019 7:41 pm

Absolutely not. The cabinet is for ONE amp only. Unless you had a stereo cabinet that would allow for the left speaker to one amp and the right speaker to another, there's no way to do this...

Rlw59
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Re: Multi-Micro Setup

Post by Rlw59 » Mon May 13, 2019 3:00 am

The jacks on the cab are connected to each other. The Micros have a single output jack, but if you want to use two cabs you can run a cable from the amp to one of the cab's jacks, then run another cable from the cab's second jack to the other cab.

Plugging two amps in would connect the amps to each other, and damage both of them. (Even if one amp was turned off, damage to both is possible.)

icthulhu
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Re: Multi-Micro Setup

Post by icthulhu » Tue May 14, 2019 3:09 am

This is why I ask smart people before I do dumb things.

Rlw59
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Re: Multi-Micro Setup

Post by Rlw59 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:55 pm

Speaker connections confuse most people.
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There are mono/stereo cabs with switching jacks. You plug one cable in, it's mono driving both speakers from the same amp. Or connect two amps, and the jacks automatically turn it into a stereo cab with each amp connected to its own single speaker.

But those jackplates are always labeled. (Often confusingly labeled, but there's always some printing to alert you.)
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If you can solder, it's very easy to rewire the cab to stereo. The first time you might have to replace two of the speaker wires (depending on the how the stock wiring is configured). But after that, changing from mono to stereo would be a 5 minute job, just unscrew the jackplate and change the jack connections.

A PITA if you want to frequently change from a one amp rig to a two amp rig.

But as a test setup to see if you want to run a stereo rig, it's an easy no-cost way to experiment.

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Re: Multi-Micro Setup

Post by Rlw59 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:12 pm

It's also possible that the jacks Orange uses have the contacts and extra terminals that would allow automatic mono/stereo switching.

I don't know -- I've never owned an Orange cab. But amp input jacks typically have those to allow shorting with no plug inserted (to prevent hissing/noise), and many companies just buy switching jacks in bulk and use them for everything, even for things where they don't use the switching function.

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Re: Multi-Micro Setup

Post by Rlw59 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:58 pm

BTW, multi-amp setups sound totally awesome. And they offer so many sonic options. Endless options if you throw some effects into the setup.

For live use, I personally can't handle elaborate amp rigs. Too much other stuff going on. But amazing at-home soundscapes.

But you're far better off running 2 separate cabs. Speading them apart literally and figuratively "widens" the sound.

Doesn't have to be a matching cab. Another PPC212 would be one valid choice, but something completely different opens another huge range of possibilities.. With 2 different heads and 2 different cabs, you've got a mono rig with either head driving either or both cabs, or 2 different stereo setups. A different rig for every day of the week.

A combo amp instead of a second head is another good option.
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There can be ground loop noise problems with 2 amps. A loud, deep hum. Doesn't always happen, and there are lots of easy, cheap, safe ways to fix it.

Basic A/B/Y pedals are less expensive and more often than not, you can use them with no problems. But better ones have iso transformers, ground lift switches, and/or buffers to fix ground loops. May be worth the investment, for the peace of mind of knowing you won't ever have to do one of the ad hoc fixes.

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Re: Multi-Micro Setup

Post by PBA » Fri May 17, 2019 11:29 am

I might be over thinking it but are we really sure that the proposal would damage the amps?
With an A/B switcher (NOT A/B/Y) only one amp would be sending signal at a time. The other amp would clearly "see" the signal at its own speaker cable but would that cause damage? Surely the voltage and current experienced would be similar to those present if that amp was sending the signal?

If it doesn't work, I'm guessing it must be due to the second amp messing with the whole system impedence. I've no plans on trying it but it does make me wonder...

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Re: Multi-Micro Setup

Post by Phlowen » Fri May 17, 2019 3:13 pm

PBA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 11:29 am
I might be over thinking it but are we really sure that the proposal would damage the amps?
With an A/B switcher (NOT A/B/Y) only one amp would be sending signal at a time. The other amp would clearly "see" the signal at its own speaker cable but would that cause damage? Surely the voltage and current experienced would be similar to those present if that amp was sending the signal?
Are you talking about using an A/B pedal with the speaker cables?

That actually does work, but it's not a good idea since it leaves one of the amps unloaded which is bad (potentially catastrophic) for the transformer.

To do it safely you need to use something like the Radial VT Tube Head Switcher that puts a dummy load on whichever head you aren't using. https://www.radialeng.com/product/headbone-vt
That thing is designed to do exactly what you are wanting to do, OP.
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