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Low volume and silent playing and recording

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Axegrinder77, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Yes,I know this is a common question, but in today's exciting technological times, it's hard to keep up.

    Background:

    I live in a townhouse, and my "crank in up" when nobody is home set up consists of:

    68 custom Princeton, modded
    Attenuator (brake lite)
    Dirt pedals.
    Some common sense stuff, like amp up on a tilt stand, rugs in the room, moving blankets under and behind amp.

    This gives me fun and inspiring sounds at sort of "loud stereo" levels.

    However, in the evening, it's a bit much for my wife. I lose my inspiration when I feel like it's bothering someone.

    I used to own a Yamaha thr10, so I went to the store to grab the newer thr30. It is suppose to have more low end (lacking in my old one). While loaded with features, I was disappointed in the tone. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Same with the Katana, just sounds flat to me (although the brown setting brought it alive when I tried)

    I'm now considering the idea of either a two notes torpedo captor x or maybe an hx stomp or pod go. Or maybe the Iridium.

    Paramount is the tone and feel of "real tube amp."

    Options for experimenting are nice, but pointless if it sounds "digital." I know that I won't end up playing. That's just me, YMMV. Not looking for debates on tubes vs digital yada yada. After all, I'm ready to drop considerable $ on digital, so clearly I'm open minded.

    I'd appreciate the wisdom and advice of those who've gone down this rabbit hole, particularly within the last couple years with the newer stuff.

    Yours gratefully,
    Axe
     
  2. TheOtherNeill

    TheOtherNeill TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Opinions on these vary widely (what? on the internet?), but you might consider trying a Fender ToneMaster. I have the TM Deluxe Reverb--my only amp--for exactly the reasons you describe. You can really crank that thing, if necessary (it's never necessary for me, but the 12-watt setting is very cool), but the "attenuator"/master volume is great: the amp really will retain the sound you dial in, only more quiet.

    One caveat: if you can, try one with the current firmware (bright cap mod and adjusted taper on the reverb), as it takes pedals better. Also, try both the blond and blackface versions--they really do sound distinguishable.
     
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  3. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Funny you say that. I had 30 minutes to spend in the store yesterday, but knew within 1 minute the Yamaha wasn't the solution.

    Spent the other 29 playing the new blonde tone master deluxe. I thought it sounded damn good. Nice to know it might take pedals well too! I did think it might be a bit loud still, with the 12 speaker. Also, no headphone jack! WTH? Nice amp though. The guy in the store said he didn't like them. We jammed with that and him on a Blues jr. Personally I preferred the tone master overall, less boxy and more versatile. Although the BJ did it's thing well when cranked.
     
  4. TheOtherNeill

    TheOtherNeill TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I practice--often at 10pm--with my wife in the next room and my kids right above me. Even at 1 watt, I'm usually OK, and the 1/2 and 1/4 settings can be whisper-quiet.

    [ETA: I *can* use 5 watts that late, with my guitar on near-minimum volume and soft picking.]

    I agree with you about a native headphone jack, and I was considering a converter/pedal that would allow me to go XLR out --> headphones. Also, if you use/mix on your PC, you can plug right in from the amp, and use your headphones from the PC. I have not tried that.

    I really think there is a built-in bias against these amps, and I understand why. I just think it's misguided and steers away lots of people for whom these amps are really great choices.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  5. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    Somebody will probably suggest a small unit made for headphones... Here's a complicated solution but great for recording, some of it might work for you. We have people trying to sleep upstairs so in my basement at low volume I isolated a 12 inch JBL using a cardboard box and put a mic in front of it for recording.

    Guitar LHS - Miked JBL/tubes goes into a Boss Stereo Chorus to a Focusrite 2i4 interface/PC and then sound is out to either headphones/Grado 60 wired or JBL 305 monitors.

    Guitar RHS - Boss pedal into a Cube 60 COSM direct recording/line out. Focusrite makes a Solo unit. You don't have to go stereo but I would suggest putting the amp in some kind of insulated box with a mike to a PC and using headphones.

    Have to say there's a huge difference in tone, dynamics and feel between the tube side and the SS side. I've tried this with a POD XT on one side and the Cube 60 on the other and something is missing with just SS amps...am personally unable to operate without the feel and dynamics of tubes.
     
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  6. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What about the Universal Audio Ox Amp Top Box? It is a load box and a cabinet impulse response loader. You can have low volume or silent playing/recording with the amp running full blast so you get that tube saturation. They are very expensive though...
     
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  7. irie

    irie Tele-Holic

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    kemper....
     
  8. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    I have a Princeton and Princeton Reverb, and for late at night, both are too loud for playing for my wife and family. I bought an Avid Eleven Rack several years ago used for $255, and while it's not the same as the Princeton, being able to play through headphones or studio monitors at levels that work for the rest of the family is a godsend. Easy to edit on the screen. I can also run my pedalboard into it, which is helpful to understand how my Fuzz pedals interact at higher volume levels than I can do with amps.

    So I like using both approaches - I still record my amps, but for late night playing, the Eleven Rack can't be beat for the price.
     
  9. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    for me, of late: nylon string

    otherwise, the old pod is simple, versatile & reliable

    better yet, it's already at hand, so no shopping & waiting required (bonus):cool:

    Peace - Deeve
     
  10. Jubal81

    Jubal81 Tele-Meister

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    I was in the same boat with my wife working from home. Captor X is some of the best money I've ever spent on a piece of gear. Best headphone experience I've ever had and it lets me use my whole rig.
     
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  11. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I'm a newbie to this rabbit hole you speak of. The Iridium works great for me, I can once again enjoy my electric guitar. The sound quality is superior to the THR.

    If I had it to do again,I would have tried the Blackbird and still might.
     
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  12. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I had a 5E3 Tweed Deluxe built by Carl's Custom Amps with a VVR, variable voltage regulator. I can dial it down to .5 watts. It been fantastic for an apartment dweller who works very odd hours. If I come home at 1am & want to play with an overdriven amp...no problem.
     
  13. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Oh, and the "room" feature on the Iridium is icing on the cake and is what gives the Iridium "feel' IMHO.
     
  14. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    If money were no object, I'd likely go that route. But... It's $2k after tax up here in Canada. That's a pretty big investment.

    The captor x is within the budget, however.
     
  15. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Iridium is a contender. Have you tried it with pedals?
     
  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    So. Reality check.

    Even a steel string acoustic OM sized will produce more than whisper volumes.

    I owned a TMDR and on the lowest attenuator, cranked it was medium to loud stereo volume.

    I have two solutions:

    1. Katana Air Headphone amp. Sounds great. Feels great. Connects to iPhone to play along. EZPZ. Unplug pedalboard lead to amp. Plug in Katana transmitter.

    2. VHT 50w Dumble head through Blackstar vertical 212 cab. Of course, that rig sounds and feels best at loud stereo (to big stage) volume. But I was stunned at the good whisper volume tone and feel, and have been completely happy with the quiet to normal conversation tone and feel. Exclusively on the overdrive channel in my case.
     
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  17. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    So that Katana headphone rig works well with pedals? Are you talking about the waza headphones?
     
  18. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Oh yuck. It fits in the "way out of budget" category for me too.
     
  19. TheOtherNeill

    TheOtherNeill TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    "Whisper" might have been a poor choice of words on my part, and you're right, but definitely below conversation volume. I have found it's less disruptive to practice my electric for exactly this reason.

    My experience is similar. I find if I keep volume at about 3 1/2 to 4 and use an OD, no one is the wiser that I'm playing (or, in my case, "playing").
     
  20. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Yes, it works fine with the ones I have (HOF reverb, EA Trem clone and TS mini)... I tried the Iridium through my 5F2 clone and it was meh with the right side LED on, good with it off. But, it shine through headphones and I hear that it records very good.
     
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