What size amp do you need for gigs?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Mr_Martin, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. JGOCTO

    JGOCTO TDPRI Member

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    This is an interesting article. I've had this 100W Marshall for quite sometime. I always felt it was waaaay too much for almost all the club venues that I played in NYC/NJ,Philly. I never really got to open it up at any venue. Now, I wasn't playing arenas, but I was playing in front of a few hundred to about 2000 people. All of the big clubs have a stage monitoring system with a sound man taking care of the stage sound. So, the only time I really got to open up this 100W Beast was during a recording session in a Studio set up just for that. I have been tempted to sell the Head for a combo with less wattage. Plus the Marshall head is soo freakin' heavy then adding the cabinet is a lot to lug around-Ooofff! (I'm getting old-LOL!!!)
    I have never used an attenuator. I wish I had one when I was playing those gigs. But, lugging that combination takes a toll on you.
    Now, I am in the pursuit of a more versatile amp that I can get some Arena tones and at the same time not be pissed off on stage because I can't crank it up properly. I like the features on some amps, whereas you can adjust the power wattage( Attenuate). I have to say, unless you're in a Death Metal band, you will most likely not need a 100W Beast. That is a matter of choice, though. I had played in some Loud Heavy bands, and was never really able to crank up my amp onstage, due to it's massive power. But I am now into finding a trusty handwired tube amp that won't destroy my back or my ears as well my savings account. I have seen a few, but need to save up.
    Thanks for the article!
     
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I like your post, though I disagree, slightly.
    I'm 59, and I have been gigging since 1973.
    I too love and use Roland Cube amps.
    They do everything I could ever ask an amp to do, and are light, cheap, ultra dependable, and replaceable.
    I have used 60 or 80 watt models exclusively since 2008.
    I also am in OK physical shape, including my hearing.
    I rarely play loud, but actually enjoy it the rare times I get to.
    It's like a treat.
    95 % of my gigs are polite, controlled and for people roughly my age.
    I can't be scaring them with my loud guitar, and losing gigs.
    I like the extra firepower, in case someone, somewhere wants to rock out.
     
  3. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

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    I got a Fryette Power Station, and now it doesn't matter if the amp is 150 watts, or 1 watt.

    I can adjust the SPL according to venue.

    I took a HW Vibro Champ, Power Station, and 2 x 12 Celestion Creams to a jam the other night, and everyone was blown away by how it sounded.

    50 watt Champ ???

    5 watt Metro LTD ED GMP45/100 ? ???

    PS works as advertised. I got 2 of them, and also use different Preamps, Effectrode Blackbird, Alembic F 2B, and use the PS as a stand alone 1-50 watt amp.
     
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  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What model is your Marshall? Just curious if it's a master volume model and which one. I use my hundred watter for just about everything. Even though I have smaller amps. It just sounds better. In any sized room. And it's never too loud. I don't remember the last time I got asked to turn it down. Had to be in the 90's.
     
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  5. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool on the power station. I totally see myself getting one

    How do you rate the "attenuator" part of the job (compared to others - if you had others)?
     
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  6. ArivacaCharlie

    ArivacaCharlie TDPRI Member

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    My guitar amp is 135 watts, my bass amp is 180 watts. Both are more than adequate for any gig I've ever played, indoor or out.
     
  7. bad-daddy

    bad-daddy TDPRI Member

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    Decades ago, 100W was my 'standard'.....Decades later I switched to a 50W, then all the way down to a vintage 16W, then a Bugera v22...Heading back up now to a 40W Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue. For me, it's all about the tone I want. Seems I'm always searching.
     
  8. tealsixtysix

    tealsixtysix Tele-Meister

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    25 years ago I gigged with a '67 Dual Showman. Today, I don't own anything over 50w... and my one 50-watter is mostly gathering dust. 20-40 watts is where it's at now.
     
  9. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

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    Depends entirely on which 2 amps you're comparing.
    (although, I get your point)
     
  10. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

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    The Attenuator aspect is the best Ive used. I had an Aracrom, Bad Cat, Rockcrusher
     
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  11. JGOCTO

    JGOCTO TDPRI Member

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    Hi Jakedog- I have a JCM 2000 100 DSL. It's pretty versatile, but I've just gotten tired of it. I use to play a JCM 800, for years and I loved that amp. On the JCM 2000,I use to use mostly the Gain channel more than the Normal/Clean channel. But lately I really enjoy the tones from the Normal/Clean channel. This channel has more of that classic Marshall tone that I love and it works great with pedals. But, in all honesty, the amp has just got so much more power than I really need. I just did a recording for a new project that required more of that classic warm tube tone and I was able to tweak in the right sound for the songs. It really is very versatile. Lugging it around, though, gets to me nowadays.( I'm getting old-LOL!!!). I am strongly considering selling my amp so I can get a smaller combo that is well made. The Marshall was just recently serviced by an authorized Marshall Tech.
     
  12. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    I didn't read all the comments, so it may have been said, but I have definitely learned that cabinet size/material/design, along with speaker choice can dramatically change your perception of amp power needs. I started building my own pine cabs, 50's tweed style design, and a Pro Jr in a 16"x20" pine & birch cabinet with a Ragin Cajun is a thing to behold. Swap the RC for a 20w Veteran 10 and cut the volume/headroom for early "low" volume breakup. Either way, I could win bets with other guitar players who think I'm lying to say its a 15 watt Pro Jr. Between it and my 5e3 clone, I don't see myself ever owning more than an 18-20 watt amp again in my life, maybe a bigger Tweed build one day, but only for kicks, not necessity.
     
  13. brapscallion

    brapscallion TDPRI Member

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    At the moment, I gig with my Hot Rod Deluxe. And it pushes air like no-one's business.

    I can't remember the last time I pushed it past 3 on the volume. I originally bought it to deal with any situation, but now I'm sorta thinking that a smaller amp, mic'd up, would be better. I'd love to be able to crank my amp and get the breakup I love in it. But I'm reluctant to downsize!
     
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  14. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    That's why I sold my HRD. I was never able to use more than 20% of the dial comfortably.
     
  15. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Holic

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    The answer is 5 watts.

    If you really love to play clean, the answer is 20.
     
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  16. swampyankee

    swampyankee Tele-Holic

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    A friend of mine who is a monster guitar player plays in a 6 piece GB band. When we hear them at club venues he's playing through either a Blues Junior or a Super Champ XD - mic'd into the PA of course. He always sounds great.
    I play lead guitar in a 4 piece '60's rock and roll band. Our PA is very basic and only used for vocals. I use a Bandmaster for larger and outside venues and a Vibroverb inside where space is limited. I have used a Custom Vibrolux Reverb outside but I've had to drive it beyond it's clean headroom, which wasn't good. My bandmate runs 50 to 60 watts, and thinks I should be running that as well, but I've found 40 watts works about right most of the time.
     
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  17. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Yea, funny, went from dual 100watts to 12 to 17 watts nowadays..
     
  18. tonytrout

    tonytrout Friend of Leo's

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    With the typical place we've played (a little coffee house/bookstore here in town), , my 22w '65 DRRI does the job. It's probably a little too much but it's the only amp I've got.
     
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  19. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    1-5 watts to mains and monitors, via microphone or DI.
    That's all you need.
    Those throw over guys from the eighties with their double stacks of marshals, and hernia belts, are compensating for shortness.
    And it only impresses other GUYS.
    But do what you want.
    I happily whistle carrying in my 9 lb. ac4c1.
    That never happened with my 82 lb. Rivera.
    And you still gotta do it again, at 3:30 in the morning, loading out.
    You are NOT playing a stadium.
    Edit to say I preffer a bit more 'air', so that 4 watts may go to extra cabs/ speakers.
     
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  20. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Great thread that just keeps going and going.... depends on a few facts through...
    - How much clean headroom do you want/need
    - Do you like your amp in your monitor (do you even have one, I myself do not as I am no vocalist)
    - Do smaller amps sound like bigger ones? (I am one that do not believe they do, I have both and the larger ones sound fuller, deeper and to me better)

    I am not against smaller amps, but those on both sides (for small/for larger) need to understand, it's a personal preference, both are good, both are the correct answer. No need to try to sway someone to your camp, both camps are perfectly fine and neither are out of style (living in the past or the dark ages).

    just my two cents...
     
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