Who is able to run their amps open at gigs?

UpstateDon

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I recently got a Maz 18, which I love. I gigged it first time this weekend at a fairly sizeable theater. Maybe my band stage volume is fairly low, but I had to keep the master at 10am, which is lower than I run it at home..preamp volume around 10-11am. I was shocked I couldn't open it up more. We played an outdoor county fair a few weeks back, and I played pedal steel at that with my Deluxe Reverb, just mic'd up. No issue. We're a country band, so maybe that's part of it, and our stage volume isn't high

But just curious if other folks are able to run their amps more open at gigs. I just picked up an attenuator, which I'm yet to use but definitely going to in the future. I realize the Maz 18 is a loud 18 watts...but for folks with big amps like bassmans, twins....how the heck are you using these things at gigs?
 

schmee

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I use a BF Deluxe regularly at gigs in clubs and it's always on 3 on the volume. I use pedals for OD or grit.
I use a 6L6 x 2 for outdoor shows and it's at 3.5 max usually. I have used the Deluxe outdoors at times too, but it does get swallowed up by the infinite room size!
 

Cpb2020

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Only at outdoor gigs (20-watt tube amp) without it attenuated, but it has a built in attenuator on board.
 

TunedupFlat

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I use a plexiglass baffle infront of my amps. Takes off the direct air attack that the guys on the board complain about and the front seats rue. My super reverb is only ever from about 4 to 6 and my tweed bassman is close to that as well.

You do have to be careful with a baffle though on what direction you have everything pointed. It doesn't make the sound go away, just aims it somewhere else.

Small gigs I use my Swart AST Master combo with a 5y3 so that it is getting hairy at 3
 

loopfinding

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When I bring the bassman, I’m playing heavier rock stuff at DIY spaces. The only thing a PA is for there is vocals. So you have to be as loud as you can be, because you are the sound system, and people have expectations about the loudness at those type of gigs. Sometimes the bassman actually gets lost in the mix. Sometimes it’s like a big warehouse space and something smaller than a 50 watter through a 4x12 wouldn’t fill the room at loud enough levels.

Otherwise I just bring my 15 watter. And I usually can run it near wide open with a rock band, that’s sometimes the only way to keep up if the bar’s PA is only for vocals. When I’m mic’ed up or play with acoustic musicians or light drummers, I have to use an attenuator.
 
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beyer160

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Some audiences like loud music, some don't.

charles-peterson-charlespeterson-photography-msic-art-rock-grunge-seattle-nirvana-soundgarden-...jpg


music-therapy-2.jpg
 

Chiogtr4x

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I've always liked the sound of ( and use) a clean BF/SF Fender combo amp, even at low volume, before the power tubes are really working 'cookin'', I just never cared about this need to have to turn the amp all the way up.

I learned how to 'toggle' between that clean/moderate amp volume sound, or just find the right OD pedal (s) to give me the right breakup I wanted, at the same ( or slightly louder volume, I can control.
This, IMO, sounded better than just cranking the amp all the way up anyway ( too loud, and not really a pleasant distortion)

The one amp I do crank up all the way, and the volume breakup/crunch is just right is a 5-watter 'fake Champ' - but that is at the expense of a loud enough ( to jam with) clean tone
( but I got it, so I could crank it, get real tube overdrive, in band situation). There I crank amp and govern with guitar Volume knob.
 

bottlenecker

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I recently got a Maz 18, which I love. I gigged it first time this weekend at a fairly sizeable theater. Maybe my band stage volume is fairly low, but I had to keep the master at 10am, which is lower than I run it at home..preamp volume around 10-11am. I was shocked I couldn't open it up more. We played an outdoor county fair a few weeks back, and I played pedal steel at that with my Deluxe Reverb, just mic'd up. No issue. We're a country band, so maybe that's part of it, and our stage volume isn't high

But just curious if other folks are able to run their amps more open at gigs. I just picked up an attenuator, which I'm yet to use but definitely going to in the future. I realize the Maz 18 is a loud 18 watts...but for folks with big amps like bassmans, twins....how the heck are you using these things at gigs?

I used a 65 bassman with a 2x12 cab on 4 last time I gigged it. Next gig is a pro jr iv with a 1x15 cab. I'm not sure where it's volume will end up.
 

brookdalebill

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Being a, uh, seasoned (old) guy, I live in both worlds.
I play dancehalls where I get to open up an 80 watt amp (not paint-peeling loud).
I also play senior living facilities, where I barely amplify.
Whatever the customers want.
I aim to please, get paid, and get asked back.
So far, so good.
I actually love both.
 
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LOSTVENTURE

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My smallest amps are a Super Reverb (45w) and a Vibrolux (40w) and it's been decades since I had to run either of those at anything past 5. I do use a TMTR when playing with my church's praise team, with the attenuator set at 17w and the volume around 4. But the DO lets me run in the room's sound system, so I'm just using my amp as a personal monitor really.
 

Lou Tencodpees

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Back when I was still gigging AND had a Maz 18 (2 1x12 cabs) I played an outdoor gig. The other guitarist had a Marshall head and 4x12 cab.

My wife told me to turn down. The Maz is a loud amp.

OTOH, the closest I ever got to really opening up an amp at a gig was a Les Paul into a Vibro King, also at an outdoor gig. The humbuckers really drive that amp. (It was pretty glorious😄)
 

schmee

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I wouldn't want to. I want to hang onto what's left of my hearing and keep the tinnitus from getting worse. I don't get the obsession with volume. I left a really good band because the drummer was too damn loud and wouldn't play quieter. I'm talking about too loud even with my ear plugs.
Me neither any more. Drums drive me crazy. I've been playing some gigs without drums off and on for a few years. It's amazing how much nuance and vocal stuff you can do too without someone beating on things in the background!

How did music get SO into the drum kit anyway? A snare drum is like the worst sound out there. I'd like to get a percussionist who plays all those middle eastern tasty sounding drums mixed with congas too etc.!
 

Beebe

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In my experience, the drummer sets the volume.

The one I'm playing with now is loud. We run our amps around 7 (80 W Dual Showman and a 40 W Bassman) in the practice space and same on stage.

Without 80 Watts, I can't play clean at all with this drummer. Mids and treble on 10 and bass around 4.
 




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