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When did separate "bedroom amp" and "gigging amp" become a thing?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by 3-Chord-Genius, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Has it always been this way? I gigged a lot in my 20's, during the mid 1990's, and I had one amplifier: a Marshall JCM900 half stack. That was it. At home, I turned the master volume down and played quietly, using the preamp gain as distortion. At bars, I'd turn the master up to around 5 or higher, and play. We were always miked on stage. I'm sure there was some difference in tone (or reactivity, I guess...) between gig levels and home levels, but I never thought enough about it to obsess over, I just knew that it sounded better at gigs. I didn't turn it up loud to achieve a certain "power tube saturation" or whatever tonal characteristics result from turning up a tube amp; I turned it up so I could hear it. And as far as I remember, other guitar players did the same thing. Rack gear was popular with some of the guys, a co-worker had a nice system and he used the same rig for gigs and home (he just turned it down).

    These days we have guitar forums, and it's normal to see discussion about amps for "bedroom levels" and "stage levels". Am I missing something? Did this change sometime in the past 20 years or so, or has it always been like this and I just never knew about it because internet forums didn't exist?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  2. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Not every player wants to gig, nor play in a band. Different strokes for different folks.

    A great many guitar players will NEVER play onstage, nor need a stage/band setting amplifier. No mystery there.

    That's why a huge majority of guitarists need "bedroom" oriented type amplifiers. (Like Yamaha THR10?)

    It's kind of a no brainer, isn't it? Different needs, for different players. What is the mystery to that?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  3. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

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    My gigging days were pre master volume controls on Marshall, so firing up the 'alf-stack at home pretty much never happened, I was living in flats anyway so no way. I had a little H|H combo I stuck my tube screamer into for 'home' use.

    Master volume controls were a game-changer.
     
  4. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't forget the studio amp.
     
  5. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    The "mystery" as you put it is the other scenario; guys who do gig but feel the need to purchase another amp of lower output for "bedroom" use. Why not just keep one amp and turn it down at home?
     
  6. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the big reason is weight. Hauling around a gig amp(s) is a pain. Easier to keep at the practice room, in a truck, or at the gig, if it's a standing gig.
     
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  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And who that no longer lives with Mom & Dad plays guitar in the bedroom?
     
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  8. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    I've not owned a ton of amps & Marshalls have never done it for me.

    Anyone with the majority of vintage styled Fender tube amps will tell you they don't usually do both stage & bedroom well without some kind of help and or compromise. In theory if we're all mic'ing there's no actual need for a "Stage Amp" but it does make the experience of being on stage more enjoyable for me.

    The only amp I personally have owned that was as nice to play at home as it was on stage is the Johnson Millennium
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Seems like the trend to "prefer" small amps cranked over bigger MV amps with a good gain channel also made small MV amps with a good gain channel popular. I don't really get amps like the little Yamaha unless you live in a dorm room or play at the office.

    If you use the gain channel on a tiny amp you might as well use the gain channel on a bigger amp.
    If you prefer small amps for power tube distortion, why buy the little Yamaha THR10?
    I also don't get all the shoppers who actually buy non MV amps that are too loud for their chosen use, planning to use it with an attenuator.

    Shopping for gear seems to no longer make sense.
    I still think in terms of how loud a drummer CAN play as a reference point for how loud an ideal amp should be.

    So from that perspective, I don't understand players who say they can't turn their 5e3 up very far when playing with a drummer?
    I've never played with a mature quiet drummer.
    Should I be sad about that?
     
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  10. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    My "Bedroom Amp" is in the living room. It's a Johnson Millennium so it can get as loud as I want but also as quiet as I want.

    Between rotating day/afternoon shifts for me and renting out my basement to someone working midnights there is rarely an appropriate time to crank it.

    For a while I was using a Kustom 16 watt amp & both neighbours on either side of me said they could hear it in their houses. To my surprise i once heard the neighbor play his saxophone. All fully detached houses. Imagine a full size amp in an apartment building.
     
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  11. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

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    I gig 50W Marshall half stack



    I practice at home, and record, with a Yamaha THR10


    The THR does't work fine at gig levels o_O, The Marshall does't work fine at bedroom (actually living room) levels:eek:. That's all...
     
  12. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Yes, sad you should be, if you feel that you need to be sad. :lol:

    For a great many players, guitar playing isn't about playing LOUD. Nor is it necessarily about playing with a DRUMMER. Nor is it necessarily about playing in a FULL BAND.

    Guitar playing, like any other kind of musical instrument playing, is about the MUSIC, not about volume.

    Guitar playing is about MUSIC itself, and nothing more. Not about ANY kind of volume level which some may or may not prefer/require. Do as you personally require and don't subject anyone else to your restraints.

    Amplify as you personally require, and graciously acknowledge whatever level of amplification as anyone else may see suitable to their own particular requirements.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  13. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    So we're all supposed to just own one amp, yet the answer to "do I need another guitar" is always yes?
    Hmm.

    My "need" for a "bedroom amp" is really just for nighttime practice - the THR10, or a software solution, lets me play along to tunes, take a lesson and so on while wife is sleeping. I imagine it is a good recording solution, too, although I've always been happy sticking a mic in front of a real amp. Doesn't seem that hard to get a nice sound.
    While it is easy to say "just turn your big amp down" - I often practice at home through my non-MV Super Reverb and I can attest it is very hard to play it quietly. And is does not sound as good!
     
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  14. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

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    Separate 'bedroom amp' and 'gigging amp' became a 'thing' when they met a their company Xmas party, made a good connection, started dating, and eventually moved in together. I understand they are currently going through a rough patch though. :(
     
  15. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    My gigging days are probably behind me. When I was gigging a lot (90s-2000s) I had 3 amps. An old fender deluxe reverb and a Tweed Harvard for smaller blues and country gigs, and a Fender Pro sonic for larger gigs and for rock gigs. I kept them at home, and brought them to rehearsal rooms. I didn't have a quiet home amp back then. I didn't have a reason to back then. But now, I have two smaller amps for home use. It seems more important now, not wanting to disturb others in the home, or close neighbors. I still have fleeting hopes that I could gig again. But, my priorities have changed with age.
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There are things i do with an electric guitar that work fine at whisper volume.
    But to me, what an electric guitar IS, is a speaker pushing air pushing strings in a closed loop.

    When the speaker isn't pushing enough air to push the strings, then instead of "an electric guitar", we have an electrically amplified guitar.
    Only when the electricity powered amplifier is actually driving the strings, does the guitar become truly electric.

    Of course an amplified guitar is nice too but so much of what I love about playing electric guitar only happens with volume.

    Music yes of course, but stepping back a little further we have sound.
    Then looking at how sound interfaces with the listener we have first the ears for smaller sounds, while the entire body receives bigger sounds. So again, without volume, the experience isn't quite the same.

    I even argue that a recording of a music performance isn't the music that was recorded, any more than a photo of a painting is the painting.
    Many have seen pics of Botticelli's Venus on the Half Shell but not seen the actual painting.
    Many have listened to records, but not heard the actual music.
    Many have listened to youtube amp demos but not heard the actual amp.
    Much perception is more perspective than perception, so viewpoint as much as what is looked at.
    Guitar sound is both dead and alive until we open up that box!

    And these are my opinions!
    Plus my experience.

    Here we seem to be looking at having a bedroom amp and a gigging amp, so presumably it's not about players who never gig.
     
  17. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I have experienced and understand the wonderful feeling coming from an amp blowing huge power into the air around you. It's awesome. :)

    But, that is not the essence of MUSIC. It is simply a sweet by-product.

    Enjoy it, music, however you are able to intake it!
     
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  18. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    when this happened

    mcfly.jpg
     
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  19. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    About the same time separate sinks became a thing in bathrooms; and an outdoor kitchen to complement the indoor; 2 (3?) cars; I could go on. Advertising. Expand those markets...
    Ah, but who am I to talk? I ‘need’ all my amps and guitars!
     
  20. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    people with roommates.
     
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