Single-Channel vs Multiple-Channel Systems

AGI Blog - Single Channel Systems vs Multi Channel Systems

Our customers often want to get the most out of our equipment while sticking to their budget. As such, many will opt for a cheaper single-channel system instead of a multiple-channel system. When customers are weighing the options, we often get the question “What’s the difference between the two?”.


The simple answer? Speed.


Of course, there are a few more bells and whistles that a multi-channel system offers, but the key difference is how much faster it is when compared to a single-channel. That’s what we’ll focus on in this post.


Take a look at our chart below comparing our Single-Channel SuperSting™ R1 and our Multi-Channel SuperSting™ R8. We’ve included a few of the most standard arrays that you’re most likely to use as well as some typical numbers of points. We do want to note that the numbers below are assuming a 1.2 second measuring time and 2 stacks in each measurement.


Arrays 28 Electrodes 56 Electrodes 84 Electrodes
  # of points Time for R1 Time for R8 # of points Time for R1 Time for R8 # of points Time for R1 Time for R8
Wenner* 117 18 min 18 min 495 1.3 hr 1.3 hr 1134 3.0 hr 3.0 hr
Schlumberger* 117 18 min 18 min 495 1.3 hr 1.3 hr 1134 3.0 hr 3.0 hr
Inverted Schlumberger 171 27 min 9 min 842 2.2 hr 37 min 1068 2.8 hr 48 min
Dipole-Dipole 237 37 min 7 min 762 2.0 hr 26 min 1453 3.8 hr 57 min
Pole-Pole 378 59 min 9 min 1540  4.0 hr 34 min 3486 9.1 hr 1.2 hr

*Wenner and Schlumberger are single-channel arrays


It’s all a matter of what works best for you. As the chart shows, Wenner and Schlumberger arrays will cost you the same amount of time since they are both single-channel-only arrays. However, in other arrays, you could get 2-3 times the amount of work done with a multi-channel than you could with a single-channel.


If you have more questions about what equipment would be right for you—or how you can easily upgrade to a multi-channel instrument (if you’re using a SuperSting™)—we can offer a free consultation with one of our experts.