Struggle between playing volume and great tone

Theiglupickin

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A Deluxe Reverb (or Twin) Tonemaster. Dial back the attenuator while keeping your volume in the sweet spot (5-7?). Yes, not a lot of speaker cone pumping as someone mentioned but it does get you close. Also, use the line out with speaker cab emulation to a mixer, then headphones without the cab speaker on. Some thoughts.
 

Si G X

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It's something I just learned to live with and accept that at home it doesn't really matter.

Rent a rehearsal space once a week, crank it and enjoy it.

At home just play through headphones or a little desktop amp. There's enough options these days at all prices for it not to be a problem.
 

JustABluesGuy

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It's something I just learned to live with and accept that at home it doesn't really matter.

Rent a rehearsal space once a week, crank it and enjoy it.

At home just play through headphones or a little desktop amp. There's enough options these days at all prices for it not to be a problem.
That was my solution. Different expectations for different situations, as well as different equipment. I use a two watt tube amp and an Eminence Reignmaker speaker, usually adjusted for low efficiently.

Even then, if I want more than just crunch (at TV levels), I throw an OD at it. I wrote off the feeling of being kicked in the chest by a mule at home long ago. The physics will never allow that to happen. Maybe a chest thumping pedal would be marketable. Take the right frequencies, and then send them to a vest that will thump your chest as much as you want at any level you want! (Pat. Pend)

I often play with friends on acoustics and don’t generally need a lot of distortion, so it works fine. I could even use this for an acoustic open mic, small coffee shop or restaurant.

Expecting any amp to sound the same in different settings or at wildly different volumes will only disappoint.
 

Dismalhead

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I've reduced my practice volume tremendously over the last few years, to where someone could come into my studio and we could have a pleasant conversation while I'm playing. I gave up the idea of ever having any kind of cooking amp gain and just use pedals and my amps are pedal platforms. It just took a few months of getting used to it then; now I can't believe I used to play that loud.
 

Ryan0594

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That's how we used to treat the volume control(s) on the old Plexi - just like tone controls!

Just turn 'em up until it sounds good. Unfortunately 'good' means 'extremely f'king loud' and that's why I (and lots of other users) have wrecked hearing.

It's true though, mate! Like the feeling of speeding in a fast car can only be achieved by driving at high speeds! The element of loud amps we (generally) love IS the loudness itself . . . nothing can substitute it!
 

arlum

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I think the approaches being discussed here are backwards. True electric guitar players wouldn't waste time fiddling with the precise settings required for his or her perfect guitar and amp tone. They spend years coming up with perfection to their ears. An electric guitarist wouldn't alter his guitar equipment. He would alter his living space to accommodate the needs of his equipment. Sound deadening in the walls and overall architecture of the the home structure. Adding an additional room to the the existing structure that's separated by a garage or whatever from the family / bed room areas. Purchasing a new house that has the overall size required to allow for rooms of adequate size and isolation between to allow for the guitar equipment to breathe in an environment that allows it to sing with the angels.

Turn this knob down. Reduce this. Switch this. Muffle this. Put the amp in a closet. Philistines !!!
 

bgmacaw

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Play as loud as you can. That way you won't hear them knock...

policeknocking.png
 

Chester P Squier

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As a bedroom player, I don't like for the amp's volume to be so low that the acoustic sound of the strings vibrating is as loud as the sound coming out of the amp's speaker.

Play as loud as you can. That way you won't hear them knock...

View attachment 997537
I've practiced saying "I'd like to say thank you on behawlf of the group and ourselves and I hope we pawssed the audition!"
 

Twang-ineer

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I think that those who posted about "change your expectations" are the only realists here. This is a physics problem, the only way to experience "loud" is to actually be loud. When that is the fundamental problem, you can't have it all. I personally started years ago, to find fun in getting different tones, a wider variety of playing experiences, just to keep myself motivated to play. I have a collection of tiny and small amps that I can drive the daylights out of and still have fun. Uber low watt amps (DSL1HR-really awesome) and a variety of very small speakers. Mostly I play through 8's but I have home built 7",6" and 4" cabs just for grins. Pushing any hardware to its breaking point tends to yield interesting results, and add in the massive DSP of a Helix or other and you have many, many options for great tone at volumes you can talk over. If you just want the easy solution.... THR, Spark or Vox Nu-tube are all the fast and easy options. Today was a Vox Silk drive into the 250watt power section of a DV Mark head into an Earcandy 2x6. No DSP, no effects, just semi clean gain and the sizzle of small drivers.
 

NoTeleBob

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Basic issue I see here is "I can't get the sound / dynamics of a cranked amp without cranking the amp".

I hope that brings some clarity.

You can get a sound that close with a master volume to limit output and a little bit of pre-amp volume. Probably just a little over "I live in an apartment with sheetrock walls" volume but not "I live in a house, my neighbors are 100' away, I'm cranking up" volume.

You can use an attenuator and crank the amp. Attenuate away. Again, within the confines of the above, you can get a good sound. Will it be the same as "cranked amp"? No. But it can be close.

You can get a modeling pedal or amp with 30+ amps, something clean as an power amp if not included, and again, get close to a cranked amp sound with reasonable volume. Will it be a cranked amp? No. But close.

Those are the limits and options as I see them.
 

bgmacaw

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My home playing solution (aka a volume that won't bother my wife downstairs while she's watching Really Drunk Housewives) is to use an attenuator with a line out going into an IR cab pedal then into a mixer and PA speakers (I can also go to headphones or to a PC for recording if I want). I can also add various effects after the IR, such as a reverb, that gives more tonal options. It's also a good way to hook up a small amp, like a Princeton Reverb, with a big (simulated) cab. I usually use a EVM 12L 4x12 IR cab. Another feature I get is the ability to send another audio source into the mixer, like a backing track, drum machine or synth, and play along in an actual mix.

You have a Rivera Rock Crusher which gives you an important part of this setup. You would need the IR Cab pedal, just get one where any built in amp or power amp options can be switched off. Then you would just need some kind of clean amplification from there. Is the the same as being in a small room with a cranked amp blowing your hair back and your eardrums out? No. But your hearing and your family and neighbors might be happier.
 

burntfrijoles

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My amp is a PRRI with a 12" speaker. I use the lower power input and blend the volume controls on the amp and any OD pedal to get a manageable volume with the tone I want to hear. It's not perfect but I'm satisfied.
When Howard Gee was with Catalinbread he did many of his demos with PRRI and the volume set low, yet his tone was great. It's doable.
 

Barquentine

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I have a Quilter Cub US. While I have some issues with the amp, it does a great job of sounding like an old tube amp cranked up at any volume.
 

imwjl

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Yamaha THR or possibly one of a few other late model amps.

The THR gives satisfaction like the Princeton Reverb with the other wonderful input and output options great for home playing and practice. My original THR had a software upgrade where other solid state purchases with promises like that were crap.

Something else and reminded when they had upgrade for original THR owners, is now in my 60s, that's decades of Yamaha made and branded stuff always being someplace between decent and excellent.
 




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