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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Postulation: All "Real" Amps Have a Sweet Spot...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Tele-beeb, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

    May 19, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    I'm friends with a GREAT blues/rock pro player who hosts a blues jam on Mondays I go to when time allows. He owns tons of amps and brings a different 2 for jammers to play. His band usually does a 30 min set to start it out.

    2 weeks ago, he played a Les Paul straight into a Marshall 18 watt. 2 hrs later he plugged that L.P. into a Heritage Victory, which is a 22 watt Fender Deluxe Reverb inspired amp.

    Sounded pretty much the same. Tone->fingers.
    Mayas caster and Tele-beeb like this.
  2. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Very subjective and as individual as we all are. There are some amps out there that people love and I can't find one sweet spot on them. Does that mean any less for those amps? No, it just means I don't like them. Others don't like the amps that I have. Same issue ... they don't like them.
    Tele-beeb likes this.
  3. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2012
    Troy, MO
    Tonight I was tweaking some guitar patches on the Zoom B2 modeler pedal I use for bass (and now guitar)...four patches of increasing distortion intensity from clean to Vernon Reid freakout. This has been a gradual, ongoing effort, and I'm getting pretty close to what I want...most of the time, that would be the clean sound and the just-past-clean plexi-ish sound.

    Using that Zoom with my power amp and cabinet, it's apparent that I need to tweak for a sweet spot at the volume level I want. For instance, perhaps because of Fletcher-Munson curves and human hearing, what sounds great at low volumes becomes overly bright and harsh at high volumes. I can tweak EQ, overall gain and compression to suit higher volumes and get a pretty inviting tone and feel sweet spot going on...but that sound sucks when I turn it down...kind of honky and dark.

    So I'm sitting here thinking that a lot of sweet spot comes from output level/speaker selection/speaker enclosure/acoustic environment. Doesn't matter that much whether the front end is tube, solid state, or digital modeling if it's ultimately driving speakers in an acoustic space.

    I should add that I am not using speaker emulation; I keep it switched off because I'm driving a SS rack power amp and a speaker cab and letting those items contribute what they will.
    Tele-beeb likes this.
  4. Tele-beeb

    Tele-beeb Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 2, 2012
    The Bluegrass
    I have played (and owned) amps that can’t have ever been meant to be guitar amps... merely thrown together amplifying devices that guitars can plug into and generate sales. I have one in a practice space now that rests on the edge of a trash can.
  5. Tele-beeb

    Tele-beeb Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 2, 2012
    The Bluegrass
    Yes ;)
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    "The Sweet Spots" -- band name sighting!
    Tele-beeb and Obsessed like this.
  7. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

    Apr 27, 2016
    It sounds like you're just saying "All the amps that I like have a sweet spot." That's cool.
    Tele-beeb likes this.
  8. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    Sweet. I can't wait to tell the guys at the local blues jam that my Frontman 15 is seriously contrived.
    Tele-beeb likes this.
  9. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Holic

    May 7, 2015
    I beleive, as being an old fart, who was there as it happened, that is why guitar pedals became ubiquitous. People (aka musicians) became frustrated with the limits in tone available strictly from amplifiers, and so the fuzz, the phaser, the wah-wah etc became extremely popular. Who among us doesn't own at least one pedal? I own more pedals than amps and I've got way more amps than I need, almost a dozen in various shapes and sizes.

    To try use an amp to completely or even mostly shape your tone is a dead end street that a lot of people like to drive down. Tone is a complex group of elements, including the guitar and player, its everything from your fingertips to the speaker, and especially everything in between like strings, pickups, tone circuits, pedals and effects, and just changing the sequence of effects, changes everything.

    A tone that compliments a certain style and chord sequence will be anathema to another style and chord sequence, its a moving target. The best you can do is find sounds you like and remember how to reproduce them.

    So to postulate that all "real" amps have a sweetspot is to state the obvious, if they don't have a sweet spot they are really space heaters, not amps, by definition an amp to be useful must sound good, and a sweet spot is merely a sound you especially like.

    I have sounds or tones, I especially like and I have developed a feel for what works with what I'm trying to create. Sometimes I stumble upon tones used by prominient guitarist like Santana, its interesting to learn how someone uses a tone, and how you can modify or use it in a different way.

    so basically I agree amps have a sweet spot, but I also posit, that a sweet spot is a moving target which can never be the end of your quest, but merely a part of the search for proper tone. So that's why I don't get too hung up on whats on the end of my guitar cable. I don't feel that the proper amp will make me a super musician or even a better musician, its just like a wrench, its a tool to get the job done, but you do all the work and merely use the tool to accomplish what needs to be done better, faster and easier.

    There is no magic guitar, or pedal or amp, its all just learning to use things and practicing with them and improving yourself and your use of your tools.
    Tele-beeb likes this.
  10. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Holic

    May 7, 2015
    they're on the same label as
    "The Wet Spots" , OptomiTree, "if you can see our spots, you can hear them"
    the label that was bought by 20/20 records right before the plant burned down.
    Tele-beeb likes this.
  11. LudwigvonBirk

    LudwigvonBirk Tele-Holic

    Aug 26, 2017
    Who's got some haiku to address this heavy postulate?

    Here's a stab:

    Everything has sweetspots

    Sweetspots are very rarely static

    Finding them is art
    Snowbird and Tele-beeb like this.
  12. Mayas caster

    Mayas caster Tele-Holic

    Dec 21, 2015
    Caraquet N.-B. Canada
    Must be a veru cool cat...
  13. Lacking Talent

    Lacking Talent Tele-Holic

    Oct 22, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Not too long ago (within the last month or two, IIRC), over on TGP, Steve Kimock explained in detail how he approaches finding the sweet spot on any amp. Preview: the process involves listening to the amp while not playing a guitar through it.

    Will post a link here if I can find his explication.
    Felino likes this.
  14. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Hendersonville, TN
  15. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Holic

    Jul 1, 2008
    it is as easy as tweaking the knobs. done.

    play music!
  16. Evil Funk

    Evil Funk TDPRI Member

    Sep 23, 2017
    according to your logic...

    ... ANY car can serve the exact same purpose that any OTHER car can serve.

    You go ahead and drive the Kia if you want.... i have something else in mind.
  17. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Well, one trick ponies do abound, in "real" amps.
  18. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2010
    Fullerton CA
    ^This. True for amps, and true for GF's.
  19. Guitandanza

    Guitandanza Tele-Meister

    May 31, 2015
    Digital amps sound like music thru the radio to me. They also don’t reveal playing qualities, or lack of same. They always err on the side of the player, somehow. Is it possible to digitally eliminate clams.
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