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Grounded amps vs amp stands

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by CavCrookJosh, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. CavCrookJosh

    CavCrookJosh TDPRI Member

    Jul 22, 2015
    Hey all,

    Recently I was having issues with my telecaster being too treble piercing when playing at gig volume with my band. I have a 60's inspired Bassman amp that's a single 1x12.

    Long story short after putting my amp on the ground in our space, while trying out another amp for comparison, all the treble issues went away. The bass rounded out, the highs were tamed, and my guitar sounded much better overall just from this simple switch.

    Anyone else have similar experience? Should this have just been a common knowledge thing? I've been playing guitar for almost 20yrs now and never thought about this before.
  2. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia TDPRI Member

    Jun 22, 2015
    Generally speaking, putting an amp on a stand tames the low end a bit and lets you hear yourself a bit closer to what the audience is hearing. Putting it back on the ground will generally enhance the bass a bit, and will also kill some highs to your own ears. Those aren't rules...just guidelines. Can you adjust the amp a bit to sound OK on the stand? That may be closer to what your audience is actually hearing, and it tends to bring the overall volume down too when you can hear yourself better.
  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I'm with John. I think the ground is an acoustic "trick" that leaves you hearing a different sound than the FOH. It also causes really weird (or cool depending I guess) bass resonance issues on some stages IME. Much better to keep it on the stand to control stage volume, approximate what the crowd is hearing, and EQ around that. IMO.
  4. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    Port Moody, BC
    Yeah, the piercing treble is still there. It's just that you don't have ears near your knees.

    The audience, however, can certainly hear it, and they want you to adjust your tone.
  5. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2006
    Potsdam, NY
    Actually, there is a real physics-based 3 dB boost to the low end when you put an amp on the floor. Put it on the floor near the wall and it's 6 dB. Put it in the corner, and it's 9 dB.

    Some people like it, but many use amp stands or Auralex-style isolators to break the coupling and avoid the boomy sound.

    I prefer a stand, pointing my 1-12" combo right at my head. That makes sure I hear plenty of my guitar, without being to loud in the general stage mix. Then it's up to the FOH guy to make sure the balance is right out front. Added bonus is that I hear the true on-axis sound of my amp, just like what the mic is picking up. So, minimal EQ should be required in FOH.
  6. drmcclainphd

    drmcclainphd Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 3, 2012
    Abingdon, Virginia
    Putting an amp on the ground does indeed change the tone. This is because it allows some frequencies to bleed down into the floor due to cabinet vibration, and it uses the floor as a single side of a horn to reflect the low frequencies and focus almost half the bass up into the other half.

    On a stand, you hear the amp itself as it truly sound. That's the audiophile stance. But your amp was designed to sit on the floor. The designers took into account the difference in tone. They accept the trade off of loss of some volume for making the output fit their design criteria.

    I don't do that. I build with stand offs on the bottom. I do this because I use very flat response speakers. I want them to add or subtract nothing at all, because I do a lot of f/x and I want to make the sound I intend from the equipment. I have a different goal so I have diferent design criteria. Neither design is "better", they're just alternatives. But they require different presentation. Glad you found the one that works for you.
  7. thegreatwent

    thegreatwent TDPRI Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
  8. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 1, 2011
    Tampa, Fl
    I like the amp on the floor. More bottom end.
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