Gig an amp too quiet to be heard onstage?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by charlie chitlin, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Actually…I've got one.
    It's the best sound I've ever heard, but it's so beamy I have a hard time enjoying using it in clubs.
    And…thanks for the compliments!
  2. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    It's a little embarrassing, Keith…I have several great amps that fall between.
    I think I'll tote the '56 Deluxe as a back-up….AND an amp stand.
  3. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2006
    Trust a sound man? Hell no.

    He might get it to sound good through the PA, but you'll never know because you're on stage. "Get your monitor mix right"? Are you kidding? In a band with two guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and two singers, with maybe (if you're lucky) three monitor speakers and everyone telling the sound guy what they want to hear out of the monitor closest to them, and you're not standing anywhere near ANY of the monitors, the bottom line is this: if you want to hear yourself, play loud. You don't work for the sound man, he works for you.
    Salsg and tery like this.
  4. RossL

    RossL TDPRI Member

    Dec 23, 2018
    New Jersey
    I’ve owned a tweed deluxe since 1970. I could never gig with that amp. I know others will disagree. I don’t feel like it could compete with a rock drummer.

    Even if you don’t need a clean tone. I used to play with a decent sized PA, even a mic wouldn’t allow me to hear it on stage with any guts..... singers would not want to deal with it in the monitors.

    Great sounding amp one of the few pieces of gear I have owned since I started playing
  5. Lynxtrap

    Lynxtrap Tele-Holic

    Feb 29, 2016
    That's a common misunderstanding among musicians.
    Sound men are there primarily to make you and your band's music sound good to the audience.
    So are you.
  6. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Words to live by!
    Piotr and zephyrR1 like this.
  7. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2015
    I had a former bandmate use his solid state Marshall practice amp (an MG15, IIRC) for one gig after his 5150 crapped out the day of the show. Hid it behind the bass rig, miked it, ran into the monitors and mains, and played 2 hours. Worked just fine.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  8. Mrbob135

    Mrbob135 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    May 21, 2014
    Franklin, VT
    Amen ^^^ It is a team effort to sound the very best you can. What sounds great to you on stage might sound like a pile of poo to the audience. If you insist on turning up your 100 watt Marshall to hit that sweet spot for your tone, it really ties the soundman's hands on what he can do with the mix, because he can only mix in relation to the loudest source. Usually that is the drums, unless you have a disciplined drummer that can play softer. And your 100 watt Marshall might be fine on a stage in an open field at a large festival, but be total overkill in a small club. I play with a 30 watt 12" combo tube amp, and with proper positioning on stage, seldom need to turn it up beyond 2 on the volume dial...but man it sounds, and feels GREAT when I can turn it up to 6...I think I have had it there twice. (Both on a large stage outdoors)

    And there are ways to compromise if you feel you need to turn your amp up to get your tone. Face the amp away from the audience and towards you, or turn the amp to face the back of the stage behind you. Don't make the soundman use the baffle of shame on you :)
  9. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Dec 11, 2009
    Bloomington, MN
    It's a tough gig when you can't hear and you are trusting your fingers to play what you are pretty sure is right. I'd love to always be able to use a small amp if possible, but I seem to just end up setting it so it's in mushy territory and still can't quite hear it. I am one of those folks that does not like the sound from my amps coming at me from the monitors - it's okay if I'm not singing, but I find it distracting to hear it pushed right there. I do better when it's a softer acoustic setup where you have no choice but to have it in the monitors.
    As for your Pro - are all the 15" speakers beamy? I've been using a newer Jensen C15N, of all things in my clone, and once it got broken in, it's been pretty good for me. I do also think it's beamy, but I still love the sound; but would like to know of other experiences with different speakers that seem to broadcast a wider path....
    I also use power tubes that are a bit lower in output... more 5881/6L6WGB than 6L6GC. I seem to be able to get that amp turned up to halfway at the start of a gig - then up to 7 or so for later on when ear fatigue sets in for all of the old guys in the band - including me!
    As for putting the amp up and aiming it at your head.... personally I think amps get some sound from the floor, particularly lower end tones, and I miss them when any amp I've ever owned was "up" off the floor without contact. I used to use a SF Twin, and that I could make sound good even if elevated, but most amps I've ever owned just start missing something when elevated on a stand or chair, etc.
  10. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

    Nov 10, 2018
    vallejo ca
    Never ran into that problem before. Although have seen a few sound guys cringe as I was unloading. Once its explained that just because I have 100w doesn't mean I'll use them all we generally work together well. The whole concept of pushing the power valves to meltdown always escaped me I suppose. I actually have a couple of big watt jobs that sound guys jump for joy when they see them coming thru the door. Namely a Kustom 72 Coupe 212 or Kustom Double Cross 412 half stack which share the same DI circuitry. Not that I care but the sound guys seem to love them. Stage volume is just a matter of the Master Volume knob. Had that knob up to 8 on the DC once. Lets just say it wasn't nothing nice.
  11. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    The sound the audience hears is what matters. I am used to a suboptimal mix on stage. Bass and drums always carry well
    so as long as I can hear them well, I know what's going on. If your band is tight it isn't hard to
    stay in the pocket and know what is going on even if you can't hear everyone perfectly. Like others have said I just make sure
    to point my amp at my head and stay pretty close to it. That ensures I can hear myself well enough to know what I'm doing.
  12. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    You must work with some really bad techs to feel the way you do! In my world good techs are equal to musicians not sub par to them. We all need to work together to get the best sound out front!

    A tech can always turn things up, he CANNOT turn anything down when it comes from the stage. I wish more players (not just guitarists) would realize this!

    What you are describing is a specific situation when yes, you do need to take care of yourself on stage... IMO, best done through positioning. For gigs where there are separate monitors/mixes, "get your monitor mix right" is not a joke ;).... nobody's kidding.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
    haggardfan1 and drlucky like this.
  13. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    Oct 16, 2015
    New Jersey
    I back my Tweed Deluxe with a Spyder 50, v3
  14. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    I say take the '51 and give the soundman a shot to get it right. Have the Bassman sitting nearby so he knows what's coming if he doesn't. Easy. Any more first world problems before I retire for some needed respite? <(-:
    Good luck!
    drlucky likes this.
  15. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    The other thing about stage mix is volume wars. Except for the drummer, if you can't hear yourself it's way better to hear yourself by getting everyone else to turn down
    and/or for you to stand closer to your amp rather than for you to turn it up. My last gig I succumbed to the temptation and turned my amp up a little bit. Later on I got feedback
    from one of the bartenders that we were a little too loud and that our last gig was a better overall volume. By turning myself up rather than being disciplined, I contributed
    to the on-stage volume wars that crept up our total signal dB over the level that the venue wanted from us. Our drummer uses the little bundles of wooden BBQ skewers instead
    of sticks and the low-volume cymbals with a gazillion holes in them, but still he's always the limiter on how quiet we can play. We should probably get a big plexiglass baffle for
    drlucky likes this.
  16. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Meister

    Jun 2, 2015
    I've worked with great sound men and terrible ones. A sound guy once told me you should be quiet enough on stage to talk in a normal voice while I control the FOH. Can anyone honestly play guitar at that volume and enjoy it? Good sound men have never brought that up. I don't mean to be harsh on sound men. Generally we don't have one unless it is a big outdoor festival supplying the PA. We plug in and play. Our stage volume is not overpowering and all is well.
  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Well, I'm a loud talker, so my amp can be pretty loud and I can still talk in my normal voice....;-)

    I swear, I'll be at home in our spare bedroom "man cave" playing what I truly believe to be bedroom volumes. MusicMaster Bass amp
    on 3 or 4, for example. Wifey gets home and is horrified by how loud it is. Just like when my personal belongings are not put away it's
    "crap all over the house". Maybe if we think of the sound guy (or bartender) as being just like our spouses we'll get the stage volume just right.

    Of course, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. She'll put on some dreck on our Sonos music speaker and turn it up so it
    can be heard throughout the house and I'll be thinking, "God, what is that infernal racket, and why does it have to be so damn loud?"
  18. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

    Jan 11, 2013
    Tampa Bay
    Ridiculous how control freak soundmen have managed to castrate us like this. Sure, turn down so low you can hold a conversation on stage, just so that they have all the control. Worst part about it is that you go out front and it usually sounds like crap. It's just their own personal taste on the mix which is so subjective. Often these idiots put way too much compression/reverb/delay on everything, weird/awful EQ on my guitar, and the most common mix is mostly bass, kick drum and vocals. Ugh... Don't get me started about modern scooped bass tones!

    Best part of playing live is getting to crank up my tube amps (pretty much the only time I can do this) and meld 3D sound with my band mates. If all you are hearing is what comes through the monitors, you might as well be in the studio. Let's take out all the juice of a live gig and make it like super sterile/uptight studio session! Let's make it sound like we are in the control room laying down a track and pretend our soundman is Mutt Lange, let's defer to him for his exquisite taste and knowledge - Sounds like a fun gig!
  19. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2014
    Texas and Louisiana
    My first experience with this was playing a big festival stage with a Pro Junior. Granted, at the time it broke up at stage volume a little sooner than I would have liked; but, miked up it kicked a** in front of probably several hundred people, outdoors.

    I wouldn't hesitate to play the same show with one of my Peavey Red stripe Envoys today, with the right sound guy. I'd prefer a 12" speaker over a 10" in that environment for my monitor, but I'm easy to mix and I do love carrying a smaller amp and making an impression with it.
    King Creole and drlucky like this.
  20. Honest Charley

    Honest Charley Tele-Holic

    Dec 13, 2013
    "My band plays so loud I can´t hear myself."

    OK. Let´s read it one more time. :)

    "My band plays so loud I can´t hear myself."

    is it only me who find this totally bonkers?

    But what do I know? I´m only an old goat. :rolleyes: :)
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