Did Anyone Else Think That 4 Guitarist Could Play Through ONE Amp?


Just another guy, really.
Back in the day, Fender (others, too) had two separate input channels, each with two input plugs. We (my high school garage band mates and I) thought that was so up to four (or at least, two) guitarist could play through one amp. No one does that, these days, but I wonder- was that part of the "plan," back then?

To be honest, I really don't know WHAT Fender, et al was thinking, putting all those input plugs on their amps. I know the second input often is for high-gain guitars (on my little Ampeg J-12T, I find when I plug my high-gain harp mic into the 2nd input, it is much easier to control the volume) so, yeah, there is that, but given that foot switches were used to turn tremolo and reverb on and off, why didn't they make the input channels foot-switchable? What changed to make that become common, when once it was completely un-heard of?

And while I am wondering, I remember my Vox Essex Bass amp has a single, momentary-on foot switch, hard-wired, which was supposed to increase sustain. I never found it did much, but I didn't learn it was a sustain switch until after I stopped playing that amp, so maybe I just didn't wait long enough to hear what it did. I do recall watching the bass player in the band that played my senior prom (1974!) who used an Essex Bass amp- I remember him using the foot switch, often. So, I guess it did increase sustain, but I never heard it do so.


Sage of the Order
IIRC, they were designed to accommodate two guitars, a bass, and a singer. You have to consider that amps initially were just supposed to make guitars louder, and that their ability to color sound only became desirable with time.


I have high and low inputs on one of my Fenders.The funny thing is I always plugged into the first input and never figured it out until I had it for ten years.:o:o:o


Sage of the Order
Oh, for your channel switching question, you have to think about what the amp was designed to do. Remember, these were's "channels" per se, they were inputs designed to accommodate different instruments. And when have you ever switched from a high-output to a low-output instrument mid-song? From the engineer's standpoint, it was a solution to a problem that didn't exist.

It was only down the road when true separate "channels" with completely different gain structures became commonplace where the ability to switch between them on the fly became desirable.