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

bgmacaw

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So when those who live in studio apartments have friends over, they tell their friends to come over and hang in my bedroom?

When I lived in one I had a pull out couch for my bed. Since I usually left it pulled out, I had to make sure it was folded up before friends came over. I only had a couple of acoustic guitars at the time so an amp wasn't an issue.
 

Maps & Guitars

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For me it's about a) disliking the consequenses of pissing off my wife, b) consideration for my neighbors and c) still wanting to get some air moving. For years my home rig (and still, tbh, my main recording rig at home) has been a Pod 2.0. For most recording and prac, it sounds FINE. But headphones are less fun, less satisfying, than sitting in a *room* with sound in it.

My gigging/ rehearsal amp resides at the practice space, which is in a different borough.

Prior to marriage, I was storing my amps higgledy-piggledy in my apartment, and prior to THAT there was also the ancestral family basement. And also then I was a cheez-eating kid who didn't know from tone and also did not have enough money for more than one bass amp and one guitar amp

Now I'm a cork-sniffing fiftysomething and I can get the amp I want.
 

Mgeek

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These amps are the same thing for me. I've done a fair bit of touring, festivals etc and always used a small, easy to carry amp, which gets miked up.
 

Muadzin

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

They may not live with mom or dad, but married men tend to have their hobbies and gear banished to some small bedroom, if they're lucky. They should really stop calling it bedroom amps and call them mancave amps.

It's becoming that NO AMP is an expectation. You plug your modeler into their PA system and the sound guy gets to decide what your tone sounds like and how much of it anyone (including you) gets to hear of it.

I HATE having my guitar fed to me in the monitor. Why? Because it muddies up the stage mix. All I want in my wedge is vocals.

Newsflash, the sound guy will decide what your guitar tone sounds like REGARDLESS of whether or not you brought a modeler or a real amp. Unless you're one of those guitar douches who absofragginlutely has to turn up his full Marshall stack to 11 EVERYWHERE. But those bands don't tend to be very popular with venues. Unless they manage to draw in a crowd. In which cause you hold a tea party on stage, as long as it draws in a guaranteed crowd you will be booked.

I use a modeler, I hate having a stage mix, it only causes unwanted feedback anyway. I always tell the sound guy to ditch the wedge in front of me as I want more space on stage. With wireless in-ear and wireless guitar I want room to move. Not be tied to my spot because that's the only place on stage where I can hear myself.

That still doesn't make sense to me?
What do these people have in the living room area?
Entertainment centers?
Video games?
Posters and potted palms?
Who not a nice Twin Reverb?
Doubles as a coffee table and triples as hip decor.
Quadruples as entertainment center and almost affords video game status.

My suspicion is: Guitar players hook up with hot chicks that demand they only play (guitar) in the bedroom, and dictate the rest of the home/ apt decor!
I mean really, guitars and amps look great!
Music is for everyone!

WTH is up with so many having to hide when playing music???
Crazy I tell you just crazy!

In today's society as a man you basically have to hand over your balls to the missus when you marry. Happy wife, happy life has crushed more male dreams and hobbies then having to work for a living.
 

Maps & Guitars

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OH AND ALSO

When I was in high school, the practice amps I could get were *small* but they were also *****e* solid state harmonies and globals and the like.

The advent of the "bedroom level" amp is the advent of "small amplifier that actually sounds really good, also"

Sure, the little champs and princetons all existed, but unless you were lucky enough to see them and try them out in a used shop that *happened* to have one, it wasn't as easy to go looking for something as it is now.

And the guitar stores were all selling amps for musicians playing clubs with LOUSY sound systems, that couldn't be counted on to mic a small amp properly. You needed that twin or marshall 4x12 for your stage level because the PA wasn't going to do you any good at all. So the stores couldn't be counted on for having a whole lot of good, small amps on hand (unless they were pretty weird, oddball shops, which I didn't really encounter until my 20s.)
 

mkdaws32

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My bedroom and gigging amp are the same one. H&K Tubemeister 18 - 18 watt tube head with built in attenuator and a built in Redbox to go straight to the board. At the full 18 watt setting, it's louder that I will ever need.
 

marymurrah

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Not old or experienced enough to really answer this but I guess the main difference is pissing off your living partners / neighbors!
 

oregomike

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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?

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?


I think the term "bedroom amp" is more of a marketing term and honestly, I have no idea who was the first to coined the term. You could very well call it a studio amp, as many recording artists/engineers like to use low wattage amps and mic them. Ideally for someone like me who plays quite a bit in his garage but also gigs, if I were to only have one map I'd have my 40w with an attenuator (think Tone King Ironman II).

OregonMike
 

Captdan61

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: well I'm in Arizona where everybody is armed Maybe heavily-armed. And did my neighborhood while I did indeed soundproof my garage I am the band house. And we might be a little loud sometimes we're not crazy when I use a Marshall's or anyting music Tweed Deluxe most of the time enter volume with moderate. But in my neighborhood we're all Sinners no Saints. Usually the weekends there are mariachi bands going on at one of my neighbors homes so I'm not the loud guy in the neighborhood between Harley motorcycles my neighbor 70s pickup truck a little something bass for mariachi band I am not the loud guy in the neighborhood it's all good no one calls the cops everybody's happy and if you are wishing a neighbor to be a little quieter we simply asked. Try to go for a combination of respect and civility seems to be dying in America but I hear politically it might be making it come back next year
 

bigjohnbates

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Well I live on a boat so the "salon amp" is a Marshall MX30 (with a 10" greenback) and the recording/live amps are a pair of Fender Vibrolux or the Amplitube plugin on my DAW for writing. Of course I do have a tiny iRig with a 4" speaker that runs on batteries for "solos at sea" ...
 

JunebugJones

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I think one simple answer to the question of why folks choose to have separate gigging and "bedroom" amps is because they can. In the '90s, when I was gigging in a small punk/rock band, I was a lot less knowledgeable about amps, had less money, and my ear and playing style didn't demand a wide range of tone. I hated my guitar amp, so I'd run my SS amp through an old PA speaker for a warmer tone. Cobbling together sound solutions wasn't perfect, but it worked for me. Since then, I've had the chance to play through some nicer amps, and the genres of music I play became more varied. I got rid of the cheap bass and guitar amps and upgraded to better pieces. I gig out these days with a Fender Twin, which stays in my practice space because it's heavy and bulky. For everyday use, I splurged on an old Fender Vibro Champ to use around the house and in my recording space, and I am absolutely in love with its tone. I bought a Roland Cube for outdoor jams because it's lightweight, battery-powered, and I don't mind it getting knocked around. I've found that when I have the right piece of gear for the situation at hand I tend to play more and feel more inspired.
 

3-Chord-Genius

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I'm understanding that some people need the "sustain, dynamics, rectifier sag", etc. at home when the only one hearing it is themselves; I guess that is probably the root of what I don't get. But if that's what people are into, I'm cool with that. I just know that for me, I just turn it down and as long as I can hear it, I'm good. Playing out, I know I'll have it louder and if that results in anything in the area of tone, that's great - but my main concern is being able to hear it. I only bought Marshalls because they looked awesome and guitar players are always trying to outdo each other...
 

bigjohnbates

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Ahhh, issues of semantics again!
So when those who live in studio apartments have friends over, they tell their friends to come over and hang in my bedroom?
Or do they say come over to my apartment?
When did "studio apartment" become "bedroom"?

Is a studio apartment amp really a bedroom amp?
Or more of a multi use kitchen/ LR/ bedroom/ practice amp?

It happens in Vancouver all the time, we're coming for your NYC prices and tiny spaces ; p My GF has a studio with guitars and cowboy hats on the walls - and a Fender Pro JR beside the couch. She says "Come over to mine" ...
 

Maguchi

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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?
I had a a Yamaha THR 10, gag! It sucked. I gave it to a friend for free. He sold it at a swap meet for peanuts. There are many better amps out there both big and small.
 

stratoman1

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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.



I live in a third floor condo. My amps range from twenty to 36 watts but can scale down. Been here 5 years, no complaints
 




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