Struggle between playing volume and great tone

ReverendRevolver

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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.
Neighbors are a factor. Had them called a few times (as a teenager)at friends houses in the middle of the day just to be told by pd that we had to be done by 9pm, and that my guitar "looked cool". (Note: that was with a SS 2×12 Peavey)

In that instance, it reminds me how we tiptoed around our firstborn, but by the time the third one was born we figured out to be loud as a TV pretty early on so she'd sleep through normal life activities. 6 years later i can play through an amp on another floor of the house while she (and her brothers) are asleep.
 

Telecaster582

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So I think I may have found a solution. I usually keep my amp at 1, but if I lower my pickups so that they are level with the pickguard, you can turn it up higher and to me, it does sound better. I have my amp at 2 1/5 with the volume on my guitar at 9. Try it, see if it works. I've not read the whole thread so maybe it's already been a suggestion but there's my (actual) two cents.
 

AndrewG

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Get yourself a Marshall DSL1CR. It's a really good little amp, surprisingly so-and toneful at very low volumes which is exactly how it was designed to work. If that 1W is still too loud there's a button to reduce it to 1/10W. It also has an fx loop, emulated line out/headphone out, and speaker out. Comes with channel f/s.
 
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Bill

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Turn your amp down and connect it to a volume-controlled fan pointed at your pants.

Amp feel + amp sound.
 

11 Gauge

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I often wonder how much easier it would be if some of us just tried to secure a location where we could play louder. Sure, there's rental costs, and there's the inconvenience of having to actually leave the house and go there, but that's about it.

I realize that some folks either can't leave the house, or have nowhere to potentially go to, but those aren't restrictions for all of us. So if they indeed aren't restrictions, why not just look for a place/space where you can be loud?
 

cyclopean

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I often wonder how much easier it would be if some of us just tried to secure a location where we could play louder. Sure, there's rental costs, and there's the inconvenience of having to actually leave the house and go there, but that's about it.

I realize that some folks either can't leave the house, or have nowhere to potentially go to, but those aren't restrictions for all of us. So if they indeed aren't restrictions, why not just look for a place/space where you can be loud?
Depending on rent/gentrification where you live, being able to afford both a place to sleep and a place to practice can be pretty rough.

We’ve already lost a couple of practice space complexes because other uses make better money.

**** luxury condos. They’re the cancer of cities.
 

11 Gauge

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Depending on rent/gentrification where you live, being able to afford both a place to sleep and a place to practice can be pretty rough.

We’ve already lost a couple of practice space complexes because other uses make better money.

**** luxury condos. They’re the cancer of cities.
I live out in the 'burbs, with commercial zoning right down the street from me. As a matter of fact, the rear fence in my backyard butts up to a small alley for a row of businesses.

I know for a fact that commercial rent is stupid expensive around here. My wife is a therapist and has been looking for a place since late '21. Having said that, there's also commercial/industrial business parks also somewhat nearby, and I know they struggle to rent them out. And since they are at least partially industrial, I'd assume they have no kind of sound restrictions (within reason)...

...Anyway, I'm personally in a financial position where I could probably swing renting some place in an industrial business park, assuming the landlord doesn't expect top dollar for a somewhat small space that has little or no demand from others. And I've considered exploring that, versus ever trying to add an attenuator to an amp that sounds good at moderate volumes. I realize I'm probably in the minority, too.
 

cyclopean

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I live out in the 'burbs, with commercial zoning right down the street from me. As a matter of fact, the rear fence in my backyard butts up to a small alley for a row of businesses.

I know for a fact that commercial rent is stupid expensive around here. My wife is a therapist and has been looking for a place since late '21. Having said that, there's also commercial/industrial business parks also somewhat nearby, and I know they struggle to rent them out. And since they are at least partially industrial, I'd assume they have no kind of sound restrictions (within reason)...

...Anyway, I'm personally in a financial position where I could probably swing renting some place in an industrial business park, assuming the landlord doesn't expect top dollar for a somewhat small space that has little or no demand from others. And I've considered exploring that, versus ever trying to add an attenuator to an amp that sounds good at moderate volumes. I realize I'm probably in the minority, too.
Context is everything, right?

In dense east coast cities, it gets hard to find industrial space without immediate residential neighbors, and it’s not uncommon for practice space landlords to sell when someone makes a good enough offer. There’s also a real crunch for smaller, noncorporate venues around here. There just aren’t a lot of spaces with 100-300 capacity. It makes it a real uphill struggle for a band to grow.
 

Maguchi

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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?
Volume is a function of tone.
 

Happy Enchilada

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Both my Quilter Aviator Cub and my Roland Blues Cube Stage have Wattage selector switches that allow me to sound the same at "bedroom" volume as at full-blast "gig" volume. Turned down, they don't even alarm the kittycat. Turned up halfway, they're more than adequate for rehearsal. Turned up to full power ... that's best left for outdoor venues because it's way damn LOUD. But it all sounds the same, regardless of volume, which I love.

Most quality SS amps have this capability. No attenuator to purchase and futz with. Yet another virtue of circuits.
Besides being practically maintenance free, weighing and costing half of their tube counterparts, and being far less fragile in real-world applications.

I get serious Fender-based honk out of the Roland. The Quilter delivers luscious squeaky clean Fender tone in your choice of Tweed, Blonde, or Black. With the right OD box, they both deliver rock, blues, and country in spades. Hooked up to my Marshall Guv'Nor, I can sound somewhat like Gary Moore. After 50+ years of playing electrics, I am quite satisfied with these two beasties and have no desire to go back to vacuum tubes. In fact, if I ever get a wild hair and buy another amp, it'll be a Quilter 101 Reverb and a nice cabinet with a Texas Heat inside.

Linda Lou sez "Hi!"

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HolmfirthNJ

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Playing loud at home, I find, can overpower the room/sound horrible.
I’ve tried an attenuator- immediately hated it because it felt and sounded all wrong- my fault maybe for not persevering but I just didn’t want another thing to try to get right (that probably never really would be).
I’ve found that sometimes the amp (Princeton Reverb) set at low volume will kind of come to life, played right.
But if you want loud, maybe an acoustic is the way to go- you can get to the guitar’s natural volume without it ever getting too loud for the space? I’m just learning this and enjoying the simplicity.
 




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