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

LostTheTone

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In theory most people could survive with one amp, but they would need some sort of cobbled together solution to really be useful both at gigs and at home.

We all know amps and speakers behave differently at different volumes. We all know that practically every overdrive sounds worse through headphones without some additional special sauce.

So, with that in mind, it's pretty obvious why people end up with two amps. Because what sounds bad ass blasting through 4x12s is likely to sound pretty meh when you're trying not to wake the kids.

Now, I'm not saying whether people spend their money in the right ratio, but as a real human being I completely understand it.

To put the question slightly differently - Why have a good, physical amp and also have a desktop software amp/effect sim? In theory you could use one for both uses. In theory. But you wouldn't want to.

For stage work, a physical amp is vastly more reliable and much less delicate. For home recording work, software is great both for headphones but also to give you access to more tones and sounds and effects. If you need a Vox or Fender sound but you only own a Marshall, or whatever, then no problem. On stage people don't mind so much about those intricacies, but to record you want it just so, and saving settings so you can come back and play again in months time no matter what else you did in between is great.

There are reasons here.
 

Guitarteach

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Sure... marketers have wanted to create that segment and people have gone for the message. No one wants to miss out by not having the same as their neighbour and so more product has sold. The newer digital home amps with USB and AUX interfaces, in built fx and modelling are def their own thing now too, so there are relevant innovations too.

But not all musicians gig.. i do, so all my home amps (that I did not make) are also my gigging amps - mesa and Marshall. They all have perfectly usable MVs but they are big and heavy. My home brew amps all have VVR circuits. My 5w champ is still deafening cranked through a 12”. Unusable for cranked tones at home without some power attenuation.

i think a fundamental problem is about avoiding master volumes and a hanging on to old amp designs as something special.

There seems to be a belief you can only get the ‘tone’ with a cranked non-MV amp and this is a fallacy. Amps and amp preamps have improved since the 50’s. But this belief drives people to buy a ‘low wattage’ non-MV amp, that is still too loud to really crank... so then you buy your transparent overdrive pedals for your dirt and your special tube tone you thought you were paying for is just transistors.

Just buy more... Its what it is all about. Gear marketing.
 

AJBaker

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I have a few amps between 10w and 40w, and I consider them all gigging amps and home amps. At home, I just turn down the volume on the guitar. It still sounds nice, though obviously different from gigging volume.

I used to have a 5w champ copy, but it didn't do it for me. Cranked it's still too loud, and the cleans weren't as nice as my other amps.
 

hemingway

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I think it worked backwards.

Once upon a time amps were fairly big, loud things - not Marshall stacks, but pretty beefy, and all tube. Then they got even beefier in the 70s . . .

So that, when I started gigging in the early 80s the received wisdom was that you needed a head with a big 4x10 cab or you weren't in the game. Hmm . . . glad I ignored that particular wisdom . . .

Smaller amps were available, but they often weren't very good.

Then they got better.

And guitarists started to realise that this "gotta have a huuuuge amp" stuff was all a bunch of mine's-bigger-than-yours. And that they were paying for more "headroom" than anyone would ever need, especially if you were using a PA. And they started to get great sounds from smaller amps.

And the rest is history.

I still see guys playing small venues with the head and the 4x10, but I have started to see them playing with much smaller amps, and sounding just as good.

And they look a lot less tired.
 

LostTheTone

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i think a fundamental problem is about avoiding master volumes and a hanging on to old amp designs as something special.

I'd say it's much more the latter than the former.

And with good reason. Ok, yes, some of it is marketing speak, but can anyone here legitimately say they have never felt the temptation to buy the same amp as Pete Townsend or EVH or whoever makes your heart flutter.

No, you can't just buy your JCM and then say "I am become Slash, shredder of strings". Maybe the marketing team want us to think that. But there is a certain something in using the same designs and valves and even the same limitations.

I don't want to say any vintage amp is so special nothing can replace it - Personally I don't like vintage amps anyway, I like slamming modern metal tones. But they are classics. They put a smile on a lot of people's faces in a way not many things can.

In the end, if people didn't want them they wouldn't keep making them.

It's notable that the first thing that every amp sim company does is create good, classic Marshal, Fender and Vox tones. All the cheaper modelling amps are pre programmed with classic profiles (of varying accuracy). The default amp when I open Amplitube is the "American Tube Clean" through a 4x10 cab.
 

swervinbob

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Even though it’s got a master volume, I play my DSL40cr at home with a load and through my recording setup with an impulse response so I can GET THE POWER AMP INVOLVED. Yeah, I lose the speaker (but, what good is it at low volume?) but even a cheap Marshall loses it’s balls without really cranking it. I love the new technology. I could never get this tone at home when I had a JCM900 half stack and had to wait for a time when the neighbors were at work, which of coarse, would be when I was at work also.
 

3-Chord-Genius

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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.
I guess being broke (but financially irresponsible enough to buy a JCM900 half stack....:confused:) factored into my only owning one do-all amplifier. I did stuff that thing into the back of my '72 VW Bug, and after gigs, wheeled it into the living room where I kept it. There it became my practice amp. I lived in a townhouse with paper-thin walls, so I barely turned the master up just loud enough to hear it. I just needed it to be audible, the concept of tone or whatever never figured into it, since I wasn't at a gig.

Occasionally, if I looked outside and the parking lot was empty indicating that the neighbors were gone, I would crank it up just for kicks, but I was just something I did for fun, I knew it was impractical and never became focused on the tone of it.
 

BobTheOwl

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Separate amps for gigging and home became a thing to me after marriage. There no way in this world would our lass tolerate my playing through a deluxe reverb upstairs (yes in a bedroom and I don’t live with parents), whilst she’s downstairs trying to watch Coronation Street. When I used to live on my own it didn’t matter as much as long as I didn’t annoy the neighbours.

So it goes, for me anyway, larger gigs, Deluxe Reverb, smaller gigs and rehearsals Blues Junior, at home with my headphones Blackstar HT-1.
 




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