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

telemnemonics

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people with roommates.

My condolences!
(To the people who have to play guitar in the privacy of the bedroom)

I'm obviously opinionated, but we pretty much come here to banter about our opinions.
My feeling is that we should avoid living situations where our music is frowned upon by our "peers".

We DO get to choose our peers!
Same with who we marry, though I guess we might find the rare perfect mate except that they don't like our guitar playing.

IDK what the right approach is to being a musician in a world where intolerance is a celebrated right, but I always encourage musicians to seek out living situations and circles of friends who appreciate us for that fairly important aspect of our lives.

Of course some of us might play guitar a little just to relax, we might not consider ourselves musicians, we might not even really care if anyone ever really sees us play music.

But that group of players does not fit the OP's question, because they have no "gigging amp"!
If you have a gigging amp, obviously music is a big part of who you are and you form the rest of your life around that thing that's not just what you do but also who you are.

If who you are, is a musician, and you're no longer a "music student in a dorm or off campus housing, then dammit you need to place a value on, seek out, and find a living situation where you are not forced to play your music in your bedroom!

I emphasize this because it seems like so many players comment that their mate makes them play only at certain times in certain rooms at certain volumes etc. I understand that some of us just use guitar as a relaxing hobby and it means little to who we are or to the person we marry or shack up with.

But for all those who have a "gigging amp" because we play in bands and live the life of a musician, is it too much to ask that our friends and family value and respect that part of who we are???

I've tiptoed around whiny folk quite a lot, and am very concerned about upsetting them with loud guitar.
To avoid a life like that I've basically chosen industrial artist loft type living situations, or had a rehearsal space.
And all my GFs have been like us musicians, people with unique interesting characters and needs, who appreciate what we do, because they have something they DO too, other than work cook eat sleep and adjust the home decor.

In a way, living with a mate who does not appreciate me as a musician?
That's a HORRIFYING idea!
 

Mjark

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I think it arose from hobbyists who never play out. That said it is convenient to have an amp that never leaves home. I’d been using a Vibro Champ XD for a while but it recently died. If Santa doesn’t come to the rescue I’ll have to replace it with something else. I keep some of my more expensive guitars under my bed. But I don’t play them in there.
 

4wotitswurth

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For me it’s mostly convenience, a small amp is easily picked up moved around, moved aside to avoid cluttering the place up. I have a few THRs and really like the sound from them, mostly the clean sound. If everyone’s out I might plug in a different and maybe bigger amp, and add pedals, mostly to change the sound too something different. I don’t know about others, but I tend to get bored with one piece of kit and try something else to vary things... I guess that’s why we acquire and experiment with so much equipment?
 

Whatizitman

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Around the same time Internet forums became 'a thing'

Yup. This. Engineers and players learned from experience that a master volume made even a stack be playable at lower volumes, while still getting some grind. But then the interwebz came along and told us we were all wrong - that output tube distortion is the only true amp gospel, and we were all fools to believe pre-amp crunch was ok for anyone who wasn't a tone deaf dweeb.

Well, I for one know the difference in low volume playability between a JMP 1987x and a JMP 2204, because I've played them both at low volume. Guess which sounded not just better than the other, but really good?

Nope. :rolleyes:Only a low wattage small amp cranked too loud at home is the way, because the internet said so. Still too loud? Get an attenuator.

Anyone else remember when we called small amps practice amps? It didn't mean they sucked or were less worthy than a big amp. It meant they were for practice, and not for gigging. They were simple, and could be transported to anywhere there was a plug but no drummer. The fact that any of them sounded cool when cranked was a side effect of tube design. Not a feature.
 

Mexitele Blues

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"Bedroom amps":
'77 Pro reverb
'60 Gibsonette
PV 6505+ Combo

"Gigging amp":
PV Delta Blues 210

My "bedroom amps" are mostly larger and more powerful than my "gigging amp". My "bedroom amps" live at the top of a narrow, winding staircase with plaster walls, and only come down for special occasions.

My "gigging amp" mostly lives in our drummer's basement, coming out for gigs and tuneups.

My DB210 is a fantastic gigging amp because it is portable, affordable, and sounds great, and if it gets beat up or spilled on, I can easily repair or replace.

When we die, there will be no reward for only having used one amp.
 

gitold

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Back in the late 70’s I had a Ampeg V4 for playing out and a Pignose for playing in the house when the wife was home. Worked for me.
 

scottser

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i have two amps, one for me and one for when one of the guys comes over to jam. he has a spare at his place when i go over to his.
both my amps, a marshall jtm30 and vht special 6 are loud enough to gig with and quiet enough for home use when the kids are in bed etc. i don't get that whole 'gig or bedroom' thing tbh.
 

telemnemonics

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Me. But I also play guitar in the living room, home office, kitchen, and bathroom.

Although, to be fair, I only use an amp for a couple of those rooms.

Not saying which ones.

On a completely unrelated note, the sound of an amp on a tiled floor is really cool.

+1 to playing guitar in the bathroom/ tile floor!
The mid boosted ring of a room with all hard surfaces is great, and not without long historic precedent.
One of the Fathers of guitar, Robert Johnson, supposedly played into the corner of a room to get the crisp brilliant mid boost reflected off the walls.

What I associate with bedroom amp and bedroom playing, is 1) a room with terrible acoustics because the bed and usual clothing, maybe curtains etc absorbs sound; and 2) playing in private, to avoid being heard, with a quiet little amp basically designed to avoid offending others with that nasty devils music.

I did at one time have a band that actually rehearsed in my bedroom, and the drummer left their kit there.
I suppose for recording, you want a dead sounding room with no reflected sounds or echo, and with volume it's not a "problem" to have sound absorbing materials. For example 50-100 meat puppets absorb a good amount of sound.

But yeah playing in every room is cool, sort of the opposite of the idea that when we play guitar, we should find a private place so nobody sees or hears us. That just makes no sense to me!
Not that I'm the arbiter of sensible stuff, if I was I would have skipped playing music and probably be more financially secure now!
 

bgmacaw

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Maybe "bedroom amp" is a new phenomenon, but only because it used to be called "practice amp." Practice amps have been around a long time.

C7o1rW6XUAQ0m2z.jpg large.jpg
 

BobTheOwl

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My condolences!
(To the people who have to play guitar in the privacy of the bedroom)

What are you talking about? Not playing loud electric guitar in a family home is common decency in a suburban housing estate! Not only to my family but to neighbours as well. In the UK land is probably at more of a premium the in the States so our houses are built closer together thus the chance of annoying everyone and copping for a ASBO from the local council are higher.

In addition to that, when I'm practicing I don't want everyone to hear every wrong note on a partially learnt song! If folks want to hear things played loud and wrong they need to watch one of our gigs.
 

alnico357

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Back in the 60s most people I knew had an amp and a guitar. When I had only my Twin Reverb it was the amp I played at home. A lot of times I do not plug in. "Tone" is something I think about at the gig, not at home. At home I concentrate on technique.
 

carpenter

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Never realized it was a thing I've got 4 a 100 watt 50 and 2 15s one of the 15s has a head phone jack
I call the one with the headphone jack the bedroom amp. I keep it in the living room and can play in the middle of the night. And don't wake my wife.
 

3-Chord-Genius

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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...
It doesn't? Why doesn't the Marshall work at low levels? My 900 (and previous, my 800) did. I just cranked the pre volume and barely turned up the master.
 

telemnemonics

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What are you talking about? Not playing loud electric guitar in a family home is common decency in a suburban housing estate! Not only to my family but to neighbours as well. In the UK land is probably at more of a premium the in the States so our houses are built closer together thus the chance of annoying everyone and copping for a ASBO from the local council are higher.

In addition to that, when I'm practicing I don't want everyone to hear every wrong note on a partially learnt song! If folks want to hear things played loud and wrong they need to watch one of our gigs.

So, are you suggesting the British Invasion happened because Brits as a whole, hate electric guitar music?

My half joking point in this thread is that gigging musicians are JUST PLAIN WRONG trying to live in suburban housing!

Of course trying to figure out stuff is different from playing music.
So it makes sense to not play your music sound and volume when trying to learn to play something, or when trying to play something new so it sounds like music rather than trash cans tossed into the gorilla cage at the zoo.

I have a trick I sometimes use when I find I want to play something but it keeps coming out all wrong.
I use that knob on the guitar that sort of silences my fumblings.

Playing music though?
Maybe in the UK all the neighborhoods are silent?
Here in the US, land of the armed and dangerous redneck, we generally have noise ordinances that require quiet from commonly 9pm to 9am, or 10pm to 10am. Some buildings tighten that up to limit carpenters doing renovations.
One building I was doing roof gardens arbors and planters on decided to limit us to like 10am to 3pm.
Had several dwellers all wanted renovations done quicker they might have extended the hours to reduce the number of weeks they lived in dust and havoc.

How about you trucks or lorry's?
Are they silent too?
No hammering of nails in the suburbs?

Or is it only guitar music that must be silent?

Society is crazy I tell you!
Just crazy!
 




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