Opinion on preamp design channel switching from Marshall to Fender Tonestack

Which scenario do you think is best

  • clean fender, dirty marshall when channel switches

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • pick fender or marshall, then channel switching from clean to dirty

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • you suggest

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


2016-01-03 5:13 am
Hi all, I'm designing a preamp. I'm relatively new at this. I have distortion section of the amp that has channel switching, then it goes to 2 tonestacks. This is more or less and opinion question. Which way should I wire it.

1) Clean channel A goes through Fender tonestack (with level control), Distorted channel B goes through Marshall tonestack (with level control)

In other words your playing with distortion with marshall and when you flip to clean, the tonestack also changes to fender


2) first choose which tonestack you want with a toggle switch (choose either fender or marshall) then the stomp box only changes from clean to dirty, but the tonestack stays the same.

out of these two designs, which do you think would be better? Don't worry about the gain differences, I'll make appropriate adjustments.

or 3) leave some other ideas!

Thanks all!
Always good to check what has been done before - just for ideas if not blatent copies.

Here is an example of 3 channels, each with two switchable options including separate tone stacks (that is, it is switchable options taken to the extreme):

I'm with the kiwi dj above. A two channel amp needs separate tone stacks (and volume controls etc.) for each channel, else it is too limiting.

Last edited:
What they said. Most modern amps have channels with their own eq and gain controls. Lots of the newer amps have each channel tailored with respect to voicing and optional knobs and buttons. The clean channel will have stuff like a "fat" switch or a "drive" knob, where the lead channel will have a tone scoop control and some sort of crunch/distortion switch. These controls may be as simple as a stage bypass of some sort, or may completely reroute the signal path.

That being said, there is elegance in a "little" studio or lunchbox amp that is a really good one or two trick pony. As long as it has some sort of effects loop, It's super easy to add pedals or rack-mount effects. Since It's a custom build, making the unit stand on its own with the sounds you like best is not overly expensive. However, it does entail a good amount of "refine and listen" testing.