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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. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2015
    Back in the 70s I had only a Twin Reverb with JBLs.
    On the weekends I used it at gigs. I would haul it back to college and carry it up two flights of stairs to my dorm room so I could entertain myself during the week, volume on 0.5-1.

    It never occurred to me to buy a small "dorm room" amp. It never occurred to me I needed to get gig level dirt in my dorm room. "Tone" was to be worried about at the gig. At home I concentrated on learning songs and technique.

    The concept of bedroom amp has grabbed a lot of people and made a lot of $$ for amp companies.
    Slippery Jack likes this.
  2. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2009
    North of Toronto
    Brian May used what a lot would consider a 'bedroom' amp (a 4W VOX or the Deacy). He sounds like a monster with those.
  3. smoggyama

    smoggyama TDPRI Member

    Apr 28, 2018
    Los Angeles
    So where's the Tele?
  4. drneilmb

    drneilmb Tele-Meister

    Nov 30, 2019
    Decorah, Iowa, USA
    I can't believe it took 9 pages for someone to tell the truth: gigging musicians are a tiny fraction of the market of people buying and playing electric guitars.

    Honestly, I'm never going to play a gig, ever. I might play a talent or variety show once a year, but if my Marshall half-stack is going to sound less than great when I'm practicing and I'm never doing anything other than practicing, then I want something else that fits my situation better.

    When I fell in love with rock music in the 1980s I was a kid playing my Fender 10W practice amp at home with my parents yelling at me to turn it down and I wished like hell it sounded like Metallica. Now with modeling technology and headphones it basically does and my wife and kids don't have to yell at me.

    Technological improvements like digital modeling and micro tube amp designs and cultural improvements like increasing acceptance of low wattage amps that lead companies to release better products for my needs have made my playing of music much more enjoyable than it was in 1987.

    What's so wrong with that?

    sax4blues and Anacharsis like this.
  5. Yearofthecat

    Yearofthecat TDPRI Member

    Mar 19, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Hello Everyone, This really resonates with me. I am an amateur but have been lucky to play 'on stage' enough to feel the magic of 'playing live'.

    Frank Sinatra would refuse to sing in recording sessions until he could feel the orchestra hit him in the chest. That is what I think what telemnemonics said about 'having heard the actual amp'. I have been to concerts and when they are loud, you not only 'hear' the music, but 'feel' it. It is a different and additional dimension, and an awesome 'high'.

    I jammed with a group for a few years in a barn on a farm. It was remote and they really cranked it up; it was like Woodstock (minus the half million fans). In the first jam I was invited to, I brought long my Roland 30w amp. No one could hear it. So I bought a Roland 80w and then cranked it up in the next jam session. The sound was amazing (the guitars I played were brought to their full potential when they were played loud), and the feeling that I was 'on edge' (I was so loud and out front when I was soloing that I was either 'great', or 'a bum') is unmatched anywhere, anyhow. I think Keef (Richards) said something about being 'on edge'. Playing loud is a great sensation.

    Back to practical matters. When I play at home, I downloaded tunes and backing tracks to my laptop and wire its headphone outlet to the Aux input in my amp and play along with my headphone plugged into the amp. This way, I can play loud without waking up my wife (She claims she can still hear it through my headphones - I crank it up so much that she warns me I will have hearing damage - I never listen to her anyway so I guess the damage is already done!! Hah). Perhaps more importantly, when I am figuring out a new number, or 'wood shedding', I don't sound very good, and it is not nice to impose that on others and also embarrass myself.

    On playing quiet, good players sound great playing electric guitars even unplugged, they don't need no bedroom amps (there is nowhere to hide, no gain or effects to mask mistakes). I would like to think I am half way there (likely not...) but I am working on it.

    So, hope this adds substance to the thread and maybe provide more perspective to other players.
    telemnemonics likes this.
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