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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Rena Rune, Jan 19, 2009.
Um....Big Gigs????? :idea:
Who has turned up to eleven a few times, himself....
Tweeds go to "12".
That's one louder, innit?
I've always assumed that some sort of "Minimum Safe Distance" was involved.
It's more like a roll of duct tape. Crank it up, walk around the stage during soundcheck. Find out where it's controllable and where it isn't. There will be hot spots where your guitar will just shriek in an un-musical manner. Mark those with duct tape on the stage surface. There will be other spots where you can hold certain notes for until your arm gets tired, mark those as well.
I use a powersoak.
Or an ISO-cab.
weirdly enough, it ain't the size of the amp. I've sat ten feet from the stage while Robert Cray played through a dimed Twin Reverb. Sounded great but it didn't hurt & I could communicate my drink order(s) to the waitron. Why? Control. Taste. If you (like me) don't have much of either, then you have to play through a little amp to keep from killing people. But look at that Redd video that the boss just posted the other week: he's playing a small room through a PEDAL STEEL amp and sounding great.
big amps, small amps . . . yes please.
i love to play my 12w 6g2 princeton around the apartment on volume 2, for a warm, clean tone that doesn't bother the neighbors.
at my studio, the princeton is fun to crank up, but there is nothing, and i mean NOTHING, like the experience of playing my 67 blackface twin, whether at 2 or 10 on the volume dial. the presence, bass response, dimension, cannot be found in smaller amps.
great tube amps are great regardless of size. i'll take one of each
Small amps have really blossomed over the last few years for two reasons:
1) PA's are a LOT better than in the old days and
2) No disrespect to anyone intended, but affluent bedroom players have really driven the boutique amp market. As a result, the impression is that expensive is pro, right? Not necessarily, more like marketing and demographics.
Large amps have a fidelity and percussiveness that the small amps just don't deliver above bedroom volumes. If you have your own PA and can count on consistent mic'ing etc, almost anything can work, and for recording small amps allow the board to be opened up to hit its sweet spot. But if you're a player that wants a true clean tone and play in a variety of settings, wattage is a necessary part of the toolkit.
I had a '67 Marshall JTM tube rectified 50 watt, through two 4x12 cabs. Sometimes I used an attenuator, sometimes I didn't.
I didn't dime it ... often, but usually around 6.5 or so. But I used my guitar control volume, a lot. As a result, I got a lot of rather useful musical tones out of it. I had a/c and kept the windows closed and thought the sound in as well.
I was lucky I had tolerant neighbors, I was also kind in that I didn't play late at night ... much. And I apparently am not as deficient in my playing skills as my internal critic thinks I am.
There is a presence that amp had that my DSL 50 and DSL 401 only wish they could have
Got lucky enough to have the bass player in my band (also a close friend) and his family's ownership of a second house they always meant to rent out....but never did!
And it just so happens to be in the middle of the woods! I really lucked out, able to keep most of my big stuff over there most of the time...at home, I can't get too loud before the parents start yellin' down the celler steps!
Have to bring my twin reverb with me to college end of this week cause I have a gigging band up there...should be interesting to see how it adjusts to dorm life...
OT but it's not just marketing and demographics.
The traditional small amp was as stripped down as it could possibly be, mininmalist circuit, small cheap speaker, cheap cabinet. Never mind that an industrial genius like Leo Fender simply built a tiny version of his bigger amps, the old tweed Champs are still minimalist and stripped-down.
Do a parts count. Compare a tweed Deluxe to a tweed Champ. You're going to have to buy transformers, there are two in each amp. In industrial quantities Champ transformers are only slightly less expensive than Deluxe transformers. Three tubes in the Champ, five tubes in the Deluxe. Double up on the 6V6s and add a 12AY7, that's the Deluxe. The Deluxe cabinet is a little bigger, the 12" speaker is closer to a premium piece, a P8R is closer to the low end.
If one were to build a premium SE the parts count and parts prices are almost identical. One can in fact shuffle the circuit of a tweed Deluxe and end up with a premium single ended amp. Use the two 6V6s in paralell, power them with the same Deluxe PT. Use a high quality OT like the Hammond 125ESE or equivalent, that iron is more costly than many tweed Deluxe replica OTs. Shuffle the preamps around, you could arrive at a higher gain channel using the 12AX7 and a lower gain channel using the 12AY7... or get tricky and use a 12DW7 for one channel. Same pots, same knobs, same cabinet, same speaker.
Price-wise it would have to be on par with mainstream tweed Deluxe offerings.
The math is simple, add up the cost. It's very difficult for a small builder to put together a quality tube amp for any less than $400.00 in parts, a more realistic number might be closer to $600.00. Add in labor (lots of labor), advertising costs, shipping costs, keeping the heat and the lights on and we get what we get. A grand or more for a small amp might seem like a princely sum until you try to build to that price point.
Musicians look at it from another perspective, they look at it as, "How far can I stretch a buck?" Mainstream manufacturers are very good at catering to that perspective, they'll have things built with the least expensive parts they can find and they'll have it built somewhere else with cheap foreign labor. They're counting on you looking at the outside of the amp not the inside, they're counting on the unit staying in one piece until the warrantee runs out.
I'm one of lucky ones that has an isolated house with thick stone walls and a very understanding wife (and dog) but I still bought an amp with an attenuator built-in. It's loads of fun being able to play loud but it's not really necessary all the time.
When I did have neighbours - my last three houses were attached - on the rare occasions that I did play at volume I sorted it wth my neighbours first and the couple of time when we had to rehearse at home we paid for them to go out for dinner.
dumped a drri for a vox ac30cc2, also have a 59 bassman ri, and if i find the right deal would like to own a fender twin (not a 65 ri), nothing sounds better (high or low volume) than 4x10(s) or 2x12(s) or 4x12(s), ear plugs are a must if you crank amps
i had a guitarstudent who was in a real bikergang. he has a marshall at home and turns it loud as he likes. nobody dares to say a thing. that would be a nightmare for to live in the same house as this guy.
Uh, you wanna bet ? *
t'was only a joke, that ain't me an' that amp ain't mine....
t'would be fun to blast some Hendrix through though....
When you play golf, you don't use a putter for every shot.
With one of these:
See, I've always felt you really need TWO 16x12s to get a full sound -- one cab just doesn't cut it. (Of course, it could just be the Crate head. Or the fact that the amp's control knobs are so high you can't reach them... ) CS
I DO, and always will!
I am thinking of trading my HRD for a Blues Jr. I just don't need the HP of 60 watts for where/what, I play. It's a mint condition Ltd. and looks so beautiful, but I just can't justify it's power anymore (and that's not even a big amp like the post is about)
Hey, I've heard those are heavy. And loud.