Struggle between playing volume and great tone

nickmm

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Clapton, Beck, Walsh, Richards would use 5 watt Champs in the studio.
It's about filling the space, a Deluxe and or a Vibrolux are loud amps.
The rest is in your hands
 

cousinpaul

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Even a 5 watt champ can be too loud for some situations. An OD or preamp pedal can be used to turn all the way down to TV or conversation levels.
 

warrent

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Amps into Isolation cabs, miced through decent mic pres, fed into monitors will get pretty good tones at reasonable playback volumes.
 

NoTeleBob

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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.

Yamaha, perhaps the red-haired step child, has always had some great SS solutions if you're looking for clean. Close to tube amp sound and dynamics once you spin the EQ section a little. Great amps to model into or go into with some pedals. Just don't be silly and try to overdrive them. Do the work first, let the amp amplify.

It's recently occurred to me that as much as I've been a fan of their SS models, I haven't tried a THR. Putting it on my short list.

Back on topic... I'll note that most SS amps I've used, if they sound good, need a little volume to sound right. Not too much, But you're not going to get them to sound like a tube amp, even if they can, without at least bringing them up close to loud TV volume. At "don't wake anyone up it's Sunday morning" volume they are dull and lifeless.
 

Telecaster582

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I hear you, I really do, except I still live with my parents (13) so yeah, it stinks, you just gotta deal with it until they leave the house.
 

slauson slim

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Try using cascading boost, compressor and OD pedals, and an EQ pedal, to approximate the sound in you head or that you desire.
 

alex1fly

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Interestingly I find that a 2x12 cabinet sounds much fuller than a 1x12 at the same volume.

Solid state amp + 2x12 guitar cabinet has been working for my low volume home playing for years.
 

kuch

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My choice is a 70's sfvc.... people might knock it but I'm happy with it. More headroom... i plug in my 65 prri.... :)
 

FuzzWatt

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This is egg-zactly why I use tube preamp pedals at home. There is nothing like a ramped up tube amp. There's also nothing like a tube amp on 1 or 2. The latter being about as rocking as listening to music on your phone's speaker. So even though I play generally on the clean side, edgy side of clean, at home I drive my l'il baby Champ with a pedal that has 2 full sized 12AX7 tubes that actually break when you push them. I know it's not 100% the sound of a Plexi falling off a cliff but it's hundred times better than what any amp sounds like at house volume.
I used to have the place to myself all day before you know what. But now the wife "gets" to work from home all darn day and I've learned to get creative.
Plus I like to have the natural dirt there when I want it.

What preamp pedal you using?
 

Killing Floor

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What preamp pedal you using?
The one I like for Marshall tones is called JC Emerald by Sushi Box. I like it because there’s a lot of gain range and room to play cleaner and still get more overdriven later. I have a Kingsley Harlot that I like a lot but it’s a different sound. I feel better about playing low at home with that juice up front.
 

1955

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I never had good tone, and played most of my gigs at low volume. That’s how I paid my bills, so I had to work around it.
 

ReverendRevolver

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Despite having great guitars and amps, I struggle playing at home at a reasonable volume vs keeping my tone clear and with best quality. There is only one way for me to play Rock or Blues...moderately-to-pretty-darn-loud for "bedroom play". It is part of me needing to "feel" - through hearing - the music.
I mostly play plugged "straight-in" to my amps despite having an amazing pedal board, to include a Rivera Rock Crusher attenuator that I do not yet use (maybe I should).
I also watch all of these great demos from various people, and they sound great, sitting in their bedroom or studio ripping it up, at a still-reasonable volume. I seem to push it too far...I want to "gain-up" and push my amp to overdrive and distort, but it takes a certain volume, after which I sometimes lose the clarity of the signal: certain frequencies start mixing and it can get muddy. When I turn down the Volume or Gain, I lose the "feeling" of playing. It reminds me of being a 10 year old kid with my 5-watt student amp sounding lifeless.
I guess I should mention that I am playing 22 watt Deluxe Reverb to 35 watt VibroLux Reverb power amps. Even if I get the gain and tone where I want it, if I knock it all down with an Attenuator, it won't be physically "loud enough" for me...I need "loud"...but again, I lose tone. Ideas?
The only idea I can give you is run a 5w or less amp through a cabinet pushing 2 or more inefficient speakers.
When the Epiphone Valve jrs were selling like hotcakes in like 2005(maybe?) A bass player my dad worked with had JUST bought one, and popped over to the garage while my band was wrapping up practice. We plugged it unto the early 70s pyramid-angled 4×12 bassman 100 cab I used for my AB165 bassman. It was projecting like that cab normally did (which is good for a garage, awful for a medium sized bar. (=life lessons....) )
And we could push it hard and it didn't get as loud as our normal band practice volumes, which to be fair was my Fender 75 on low power mode. I won't honestly say it was moving air like the bassman did, but it had a fullness you don't get from the single (often 8 or 10") speakers that typically paired with that size amp in a combo. Since then I've tried similar pairings, and it's as close as you can get to having your amp handle like a pushed tube amp and drive speakers in some way similar to a normal (50w) amp, without the volume or possibility to actually push the speakers to thier breakup. You can't get the full effect without the added loud, so best case scenario is always going to be gig volume for the speaker/amp combination. Or, make consessions on part of the whole.

I hear you, I really do, except I still live with my parents (13) so yeah, it stinks, you just gotta deal with it until they leave the house.
I remember those days. I'd run a 25'cable from a pedal to guitar and an 18' from pedal to amp, and drive my 50w rig in the other room. While talking to friends and girls on instant messenger (we had to use computers back then, which is probably for the best since cell phones and CB radios can add noise to speakers if close. Wouldn't trade timing on that. Anyway....)
At 33 I can't run my 30w+ stuff unless my wife's not home. My kids complain about them too, when they inevitably want to play fortnite when I'm plugging into the dining room amp. Solution? Well insulated house with a basement. I have my 4×12 in the basement and can dime the Frenzel at quarter power without my wife noticing, and can push to 2oclock at half power (just under band practice volume) if someone's watching a loud movie.
 

FuzzWatt

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I never had good tone, and played most of my gigs at low volume. That’s how I paid my bills, so I had to work around it.

Conversely, I know a few guys who own upwards of 7 $2000 amps who go on and on about how incredible their tone is, but they're not making any money gigging, and when they do gig, the audience doesn't know or care what their amps cost.
 

Skyhook

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There was(still is, probably) a That Pedal Show -video on EwwTube where they'd had noise complaints and had to record
an episode using modelers through headphones. Half the episode(or sure felt like it) was used to whine that they
can't feel the sound but they conceded that it all probably will sound great when playing back the finished episode(spoiler: it did).
Apologies to OP, but at that point I just wanted to go over there and un-bunch their panties.
 

Telecaster582

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The only idea I can give you is run a 5w or less amp through a cabinet pushing 2 or more inefficient speakers.
When the Epiphone Valve jrs were selling like hotcakes in like 2005(maybe?) A bass player my dad worked with had JUST bought one, and popped over to the garage while my band was wrapping up practice. We plugged it unto the early 70s pyramid-angled 4×12 bassman 100 cab I used for my AB165 bassman. It was projecting like that cab normally did (which is good for a garage, awful for a medium sized bar. (=life lessons....) )
And we could push it hard and it didn't get as loud as our normal band practice volumes, which to be fair was my Fender 75 on low power mode. I won't honestly say it was moving air like the bassman did, but it had a fullness you don't get from the single (often 8 or 10") speakers that typically paired with that size amp in a combo. Since then I've tried similar pairings, and it's as close as you can get to having your amp handle like a pushed tube amp and drive speakers in some way similar to a normal (50w) amp, without the volume or possibility to actually push the speakers to thier breakup. You can't get the full effect without the added loud, so best case scenario is always going to be gig volume for the speaker/amp combination. Or, make consessions on part of the whole.


I remember those days. I'd run a 25'cable from a pedal to guitar and an 18' from pedal to amp, and drive my 50w rig in the other room. While talking to friends and girls on instant messenger (we had to use computers back then, which is probably for the best since cell phones and CB radios can add noise to speakers if close. Wouldn't trade timing on that. Anyway....)
At 33 I can't run my 30w+ stuff unless my wife's not home. My kids complain about them too, when they inevitably want to play fortnite when I'm plugging into the dining room amp. Solution? Well insulated house with a basement. I have my 4×12 in the basement and can dime the Frenzel at quarter power without my wife noticing, and can push to 2oclock at half power (just under band practice volume) if someone's watching a loud movie.
Yeah, mines a 60 watt amp which I have to say packs a punch, I'm afraid the neighbors across the street may hear it at 6. The other is a 20 watt acoustic amp which is also pretty loud, but the reverb an chorus sound amazing, and it sounds pretty good at lower volumes
 

bgmacaw

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Princeton Reverb of your choice. If that is still too loud, whoever is complaining needs to be asked politely, but firmly, to leave.

It depends a lot on your neighbors. Where I used to live, a next door neighbor called the cops on me because I was playing guitar too loud and woke her newborn baby. I had it on about 3 or 4 with a Rat providing some dirt and boost. The time was around 7:30 PM. The cops said the volume wasn't excessive given the time of day but also asked me to keep it down so that they wouldn't have to come out again.
 

naveed211

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I'd recommend software or a modeler with headphones for home.

Then crank up your amp in a gigging (if you're playing places that let you play loudly)/rehearsal setting and let it wail.
 




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