Listener fatigue or amp sounds too harsh??

davidge1

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My advice is: when you're practicing by yourself, just adjust the tone to something that sounds good at the time and don't worry about it... because whatever you do, it's going to sound a lot different when you're playing with a band. For me, there's usually one good tone that sits well in the band mix.

When you're playing with a band, you'll know it when you hear it. Practicing by yourself, you'll spend all your time second-guessing when it comes to tone.
 

chris m.

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There are lots and lots of tube amps whose amazing tones can still be enhanced by the right pedal. Tons of guys playing the most to-die-for classic amps like Plexis and JCM800s still goosed them with pedals like TubeScreamers, or tone shaped them with graphic EQ pedals.

Ear fatigue is also definitely a thing. The highs can really start to grate, particularly when at higher dB levels. When in the studio I typically have my amp in an isolation closet and am hearing it through monitoring headphones at a much lower volume. That helps reduce ear fatigue for me.
 

ETMusic777

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Sometimes I play through a rig and its the best sound ever. The next day I play through the same rig, same settings with same guitar and am not pleased with the sound. I don't know why that is. Mood maybe? Brain chemistry off that day? Bad electricty? Anyway it happens and I just switch to a different guitar and move on. Maybe we all experience this.
 

Swirling Snow

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Sometimes I play through a rig and its the best sound ever. The next day I play through the same rig, same settings with same guitar and am not pleased with the sound. I don't know why that is. Mood maybe? Brain chemistry off that day? Bad electricty? Anyway it happens and I just switch to a different guitar and move on. Maybe we all experience this.
I suspect we do, and it's important to recognise this before tearing everything apart and trying to fix something that isn't really there. 🦋
 

11 Gauge

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Ear fatigue is also definitely a thing. The highs can really start to grate, particularly when at higher dB levels.
I think this is probably the crux of it, and higher dB levels probably happen more often than we often realize.

I've got a 2X12 closed back cab with a WGS ET65 (sort of like a Celestion G12-65) paired with a WGS Veteran 30 (like a Celestion Vintage 30 but with less of the mid-treble'ish spike). I primarily use it with either my 2204 head or recently acquired EVH lunchbox amp (the 'original' 5150 one).

...With the lunchbox head (which is only like 20 watts max), I only run it on the blue channel, with the gain set lower than max (maybe a bit higher than 12:00. max). I run the MV at like 11:00-12:00, and can play it like that for hours, with zero ear fatigue.

...With the 2204 head, which even with the gain at max is way less distorted than the lunchbox, and the MV at like 11:00 max, I typically end up with some kind of ear fatigue after 30 to 40 minutes. The 2204 has just a very powerful power amp section, and the Celestion-like speakers with the closed back cab are just very efficient at pumping out all of that upper order harmonic content, somewhat kind of directionally.

So at least IME, this really is a matter of volume, and how powerful/efficient the power amp and speakers are. The 2204 is just a natural for pumping it all out even with the gain set low. I kind of got the EVH lunchbox on a lark (used), thinking there was no way that ~20 watts (max) would cut it, but so far, so good. It was actually my Marshall Origin 20H that changed my thinking on all of this.
 

hamerfan

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I do some FOH mixing and I am a bedroom player. I try to keep the ear fatigue low with reducing the onstage volume. In most cases it also helped to reduce the lows on the amps and turn the highs lower accordingly.
 




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