What Do You Do When You Realize Your Amp is Too LOUD?

Peegoo

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I've not ever tried this. So there is no speaker hazard involved with impeding the air movement around the front of the speaker? Probably a silly question, and I'm just the guy to ask it. 😄

Doesn't hurt the speaker at all.

Ever stood next to a revving hot rod with the hood shut? That's what this sounds like.
 

Stratocast

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What did YOU do when you realized your amp was too loud for your needs/space/situation?

Seriously? Because both my SV20h and my Victoria 20112 are KILLING my ears. I LOVE the sound of these two amps when they are doing their thing, but I can’t stand to be in the same room with them at those volumes. Along with damaging my hearing anymore than I already have, I also don’t want to piss off my family or neighbors (I live in a duplex with great neighbors). I’ve tried attenuators (Ox Box, Marshall Powerbrake, JHS little black box, buffered volume pedal) and they sound worse than playing the amps at low volume. Not only that, but when I play at church (they only place I “play out”) it’s all digital and direct, and I don’t see the digital modeling trend going back to amps-on stage in churches for the foreseeable future.

So, do I sell them and use some of the funds to build the 5F2a I’m wanting to build? Do I play them at low volume knowing full well that the tone I crave is in there, but unobtainable? Do I keep them around because they are awesome amps even if they’re too loud and won’t be used to their potential?

As an aside I have a ‘75 SFPR that is the amp I play most. I love it. I can control the volume, it sounds awesome with either my Tele and LP, and takes any of my pedals extremely well, so I do have a great amp that gets played a lot.
Everyone’s situation is different. I started out with a Fender with 2 10’s in it then switched to a Peavey with 2 10’s I have used the Peavey with 2 10’s for about every venue I have played in the last 40 years or so only had to replace a fuse in it in all those years it is a tube amp. I have a Marshall 1/2 stack that I have never used.., but I have a lot of smaller 20 and 10 watt amps just to mess around with at home. I would suggest if your amp is too loud for home practice get a less wattage amp to mess with.
 

Lowspeid

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You said you didn’t like the OX but I use it with my heads and listen with headphones. It sounds pretty glorious to me anyway.
The OX sounds fantastic as a recording device, and if you have goo headphones it sounds excellent as well. For my needs/usage (as a basic attenuation) there are much better options on the market. I recently picked up an old Marshall Powerbrake and it's as good, if not better, than any other attenuater I've tried (Boss Waza, OX, JHS Little Black Box, Hotplate).
 

spurcell

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You could also find or build someplace where you can really let it rip for awhile. (Maybe rent a U-Haul & park it just outside a busy airport?). I’m betting it won’t take long before you realize that music is a lot more fun when you can actually HEAR it?”

Just sayin’.
 

gazzie

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What did YOU do when you realized your amp was too loud for your needs/space/situation?

Seriously? Because both my SV20h and my Victoria 20112 are KILLING my ears. I LOVE the sound of these two amps when they are doing their thing, but I can’t stand to be in the same room with them at those volumes. Along with damaging my hearing anymore than I already have, I also don’t want to piss off my family or neighbors (I live in a duplex with great neighbors). I’ve tried attenuators (Ox Box, Marshall Powerbrake, JHS little black box, buffered volume pedal) and they sound worse than playing the amps at low volume. Not only that, but when I play at church (they only place I “play out”) it’s all digital and direct, and I don’t see the digital modeling trend going back to amps-on stage in churches for the foreseeable future.

So, do I sell them and use some of the funds to build the 5F2a I’m wanting to build? Do I play them at low volume knowing full well that the tone I crave is in there, but unobtainable? Do I keep them around because they are awesome amps even if they’re too loud and won’t be used to their potential?

As an aside I have a ‘75 SFPR that is the amp I play most. I love it. I can control the volume, it sounds awesome with either my Tele and LP, and takes any of my pedals extremely well, so I do have a great amp that gets played a lot.
If you have effects loops (not sure if your amps have them?) then just buy a simple "volume knob" box that can go in the effects loop - and use that to turn down. Can run the amp at full blast if you need to to get your sound, but still turn it down to any usable volume you like. They're very cheap. I got mine years and years ago on eBay for playing a Hot Rod Deluxe at home.
 

Telecastoff1

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I own several amps ear-marked just for gigging purposes (most all). Each has its own place and fills a specific need. My amps are tools, and I know by now what works and doesn't work for any given venue or situation.
 

sinecrafter

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It should be pretty obvious to most people that a lower-power amp is not going to make any significant difference. Halving the power reduces SPL by only -3 dB. When you are playing through a guitar loudspeaker with a sensitivity of 100 dBA/1 W @ 1 m, even playing a 1/2 watt amp into produces a minimum of 94 dBA SPL within a 12' diameter circle, which is very loud, at home. In fact, when I'm mixing live sound in a small club, I prefer to limit the FOH PA to about 96 dBA at mid-floor, because that's about the limit before peaks start to make you wince, if your hearing isn't already too damaged.

So, replacing a 50 W amp with a 25 W amp, or a 15 W amp, or even a 5 W amp, isn't going to make it any better.

A large part of the problem is the typical guitar loudspeaker design, which hasn't significantly changed since the 1940s. This type of speaker requires a certain amount of power before it starts to bloom, so to speak, a point at which it is already ungodly loud. Putting a simple volume knob in the effects loop or using a power attenuator isn't going to change the physics of guitar speakers.

You need a high fidelity loudspeaker, if you want to sound really good at typical home listening levels, say no louder than one might typically have a television set, but again, at that volume, the best you can hope for is for your guitar to sound as good as it would when playing back a recording of a guitar, which is a completely different sound to what "good tone" is when playing a live concert.

What do I do at home, in my apartment in a multi-unit building? I play my Mesa/Boogie F-50, set clean, at a fairly loud volume (85-90 dBA, just loud enough to get the Celestion Vintage 30 working, no louder than someone's home theatre system while watching a movie), and I don't play past 10 pm. I get all my overdrive sounds from my pedalboard, which helps.

Or I plug into the headphone jack of my DSM & Humboldt Electronics Simplifier or Simplifier Bass Station, if I want to be quiet. My other option is plugging the Simplifiers into my nearfield studio monitors. Again, this sounds nothing like a guitar amp, but it does sound like a recording.
 
Last edited:

MikiLoving

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What did YOU do when you realized your amp was too loud for your needs/space/situation?

Seriously? Because both my SV20h and my Victoria 20112 are KILLING my ears. I LOVE the sound of these two amps when they are doing their thing, but I can’t stand to be in the same room with them at those volumes. Along with damaging my hearing anymore than I already have, I also don’t want to piss off my family or neighbors (I live in a duplex with great neighbors). I’ve tried attenuators (Ox Box, Marshall Powerbrake, JHS little black box, buffered volume pedal) and they sound worse than playing the amps at low volume. Not only that, but when I play at church (they only place I “play out”) it’s all digital and direct, and I don’t see the digital modeling trend going back to amps-on stage in churches for the foreseeable future.

So, do I sell them and use some of the funds to build the 5F2a I’m wanting to build? Do I play them at low volume knowing full well that the tone I crave is in there, but unobtainable? Do I keep them around because they are awesome amps even if they’re too loud and won’t be used to their potential?

As an aside I have a ‘75 SFPR that is the amp I play most. I love it. I can control the volume, it sounds awesome with either my Tele and LP, and takes any of my pedals extremely well, so I do have a great amp that gets played a lot.
Get a Torpedo captor X attenuator.
 

printer2

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It should be pretty obvious to most people that a lower-power amp is not going to make any significant difference. Halving the power reduces SPL by only -3 dB. When you are playing through a guitar loudspeaker with a sensitivity of 100 dBA/1 W @ 1 m, even playing a 1/2 watt amp into produces a minimum of 94 dBA SPL within a 12' diameter circle, which is very loud, at home. In fact, when I'm mixing live sound in a small club, I prefer to limit the FOH PA to about 96 dBA at mid-floor, because that's about the limit before peaks start to make you wince, if your hearing isn't already too damaged.

So, replacing a 50 W amp with a 25 W amp, or a 15 W amp, or even a 5 W amp, isn't going to make it any better.

A large part of the problem is the typical guitar loudspeaker design, which hasn't significantly changed since the 1940s. This type of speaker requires a certain amount of power before it starts to bloom, so to speak, a point at which it is already ungodly loud. Putting a simple volume knob in the effects loop or using a power attenuator isn't going to change the physics of guitar speakers.

You need a high fidelity loudspeaker, if you want to sound really good at typical home listening levels, say no louder than one might typically have a television set, but again, at that volume, the best you can hope for is for your guitar to sound as good as it would when playing back a recording of a guitar, which is a completely different sound to what "good tone" is when playing a live concert.

What do I do at home, in my apartment in a multi-unit building? I play my Mesa/Boogie F-50, set clean, at a fairly loud volume (85-90 dBA, just loud enough to get the Celestion Vintage 30 working, no louder than someone's home theatre system while watching a movie), and I don't play past 10 pm. I get all my overdrive sounds from my pedalboard, which helps.

Or I plug into the headphone jack of my DSM & Humboldt Electronics Simplifier or Simplifier Bass Station, if I want to be quiet. My other option is plugging the Simplifiers into my nearfield studio monitors. Again, this sounds nothing like a guitar amp, but it does sound like a recording.
"a sensitivity of 100 dBA/1 W @ 1 m, even playing a 1/2 watt amp into produces a minimum of 94 dBA SPL within a 12' diameter circle"

Wait, isn't doubling power a 3 dB gain in volume? So wouldn't 1/2W be 97 dB at 1m? Plugged in 3m with a 100 dB speaker and 1/2W gives 87.4 dB.


"So, replacing a 50 W amp with a 25 W amp, or a 15 W amp, or even a 5 W amp, isn't going to make it any better."

So reducing volume by 10 dB is not going to make a difference, 50w to 5W?

"This type of speaker requires a certain amount of power before it starts to bloom, so to speak, a point at which it is already ungodly loud."

Heard a podcast where the guy had an engineer from Jenson saying that the speaker does not change in response to different wattage levels. Looked through my links and can not find it. Did find this though.

"The effect of signal level is not huge,” says Ian White, "and certainly not as big as it is on the amplifier. These cone break-up mechanisms happen at a few microvolts input. You don't need to drive 20 Volts into the thing to make them happen. There are some level-related effects that come into play, but they're not the ones we've been talking about up to now. As the level goes up, the voice coil does heat up naturally. That will cause some compression and it could cause some other things to change slightly as well, so the sound will change a little bit as the speaker is driven harder. But the sound character of the speaker is just as much there at low levels as it is at high levels.”

 

Brent Hutto

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"a sensitivity of 100 dBA/1 W @ 1 m, even playing a 1/2 watt amp into produces a minimum of 94 dBA SPL within a 12' diameter circle"

Wait, isn't doubling power a 3 dB gain in volume? So wouldn't 1/2W be 97 dB at 1m? Plugged in 3m with a 100 dB speaker and 1/2W gives 87.4 dB.


"So, replacing a 50 W amp with a 25 W amp, or a 15 W amp, or even a 5 W amp, isn't going to make it any better."

So reducing volume by 10 dB is not going to make a difference, 50w to 5W?

"This type of speaker requires a certain amount of power before it starts to bloom, so to speak, a point at which it is already ungodly loud."

Heard a podcast where the guy had an engineer from Jenson saying that the speaker does not change in response to different wattage levels. Looked through my links and can not find it. Did find this though.

"The effect of signal level is not huge,” says Ian White, "and certainly not as big as it is on the amplifier. These cone break-up mechanisms happen at a few microvolts input. You don't need to drive 20 Volts into the thing to make them happen. There are some level-related effects that come into play, but they're not the ones we've been talking about up to now. As the level goes up, the voice coil does heat up naturally. That will cause some compression and it could cause some other things to change slightly as well, so the sound will change a little bit as the speaker is driven harder. But the sound character of the speaker is just as much there at low levels as it is at high levels.”

It's interesting to read from a speaker engineer what I've always intuited.

All the talk about guitar amps not sounding like they should until "the speaker is moving some air" are attempts to rationalize the simple fact that most guitar players want to hear amps that are loud as hell.
 

Festofish

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As an aside I have a ‘75 SFPR that is the amp I play most. I love it. I can control the volume, it sounds awesome with either my Tele and LP, and takes any of my pedals extremely well, so I do have a great amp that gets played a lot.
As an aside I really don’t have a problem at all because I have a great amp I can play.
 

Happy Enchilada

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OP: Get one of these: Roland Blues Cube Stage.
1680523595401.png

Unless you're playing the Astrodome, it has plenty of LOUD - 60 Watts' worth.
And there's a nifty power selector switch that lets you dial it down to room levels.
Plus a headphone jack if you want to run silent.
All without losing any tone. For real. Try that with an expensive heavy tube amp.
Delivers Fender-esque tone and useable OD (yes, I like pedals, but it'll do in a pinch).
Reverb is fine. Has a clean and crunch channel, and the clean is nice too.
Got mine gently used @ Reverb for $450 - they've gotten higher since.
Still a screamin' bargain all day.
 

ruark

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These tube adapters sound 100% like my amp just breakup earlier.
 

karsten harazim

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attenuator guitar amplifier spekaer
Combining the speaker and the 8-ohm resistor in parallel creates a 4-ohm load. Adding the 4-ohm resistor brings the load back up to 8 ohms but the signal is attenuated by around 6dB

 

Refugee

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I am very lucky. I rent a place over a business in an industrial zone. No one lives near as far as I know. I love music loud. After business hours, and weekends I play to my hearts delight! I'm a night person, so 3am 4am, what ever, I can play with a window open. No problems.
View attachment 1099049
I hate you!

Oh and my buddy has the same poster as the one on the right.
 
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